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Thread: The "Becoming cultured thread".

  1. #21

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    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_driverless_car

    Besides some clever technology the av will change how we think of culpability and possessions. There is no need to own a car when you can dial a service and the car will drive itself to your door. Driving, like skydiving or skiing is inherently risky and as long as we're all in autonomous vehicles we will be forced to assume responsibility. So as in the culture I see the autonomous vehicle exposing the flaws of law and ownership.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by adelatorre View Post
    I found this video yesterday . I found it both insightfull and inspiring.
    This guy Hans Rosling seems to be a really cool guy.

    http://www.ted.com/talks/hans_roslin...n_poverty.html
    I entirely agree that ending poverty is one very important step towards becoming 'cultured'. However, I think Rosling is over-enamoured with his software. The problem I have with his analysis is that by looking just at nations is inadequate, not taking into account how the wealth is distributed within a nation, the massive inequality. Hundreds of millions still live in poverty in India and China even as the country's wealth grows. In the rich nations of Europe and the US the masses are losing share of wealth, particularly with the imposition of 'austerity'. This is regression from 'becoming cultured'. Until the distribution of wealth becomes equalized we'll never be like the Culture.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rakhmetov View Post
    I entirely agree that ending poverty is one very important step towards becoming 'cultured'. However, I think Rosling is over-enamoured with his software. The problem I have with his analysis is that by looking just at nations is inadequate, not taking into account how the wealth is distributed within a nation, the massive inequality. Hundreds of millions still live in poverty in India and China even as the country's wealth grows. In the rich nations of Europe and the US the masses are losing share of wealth, particularly with the imposition of 'austerity'. This is regression from 'becoming cultured'. Until the distribution of wealth becomes equalized we'll never be like the Culture.
    You are right in the part of inequality, yet we have to see the context : he is from Sweeden which is one of the countries with the lowest gini indexes and higher life expectancies, so he has some right to be so optimistic.

    His powerpoint slide was also very insightfull : economic development as a means , not as a goal at all , Cultural development as a goal , but not as a means.
    That slide was the cornerstone of his whole presentation it gives a new sense to the whole notion of economic development and global economy. That's why I liked the presentation so much.
    Excentric - Torturer Class - Right Winger's Nightmare

  4. #24
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    Specially for Rakhmetov.
    Indeed, inequality causes great social distress and takes us all away from that Culture objective. And here is a video with hard scientific data to proove the point :

    http://www.ted.com/talks/richard_wilkinson.html

    Oh , and by the by , this little video showing who owns the world ( it doesn't point any fingers ).

    http://www.ted.com/talks/james_b_gla...the_world.html
    Excentric - Torturer Class - Right Winger's Nightmare

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by adelatorre View Post
    Specially for Rakhmetov.
    Indeed, inequality causes great social distress and takes us all away from that Culture objective. And here is a video with hard scientific data to proove the point :

    http://www.ted.com/talks/richard_wilkinson.html



    Oh , and by the by , this little video showing who owns the world ( it doesn't point any fingers ).

    http://www.ted.com/talks/james_b_gla...the_world.html
    What the people at TED are doing is trying to address the socialist critique of capitalist society in the context of capitalist society. This is doomed to fail, the priorities of our economic system preclude it. Witness the rollback of the social gains attained over the past century in recent years. Or the accelerating decline of our environment despite 40 years of environmental awareness. As long as profit and not human need is the motive of society we'll not get there and will continue to sink into the mire.

    I was looking through the list of folks associated with TED, a few of whom I recognised and respect, EO Wilson comes to mind. Wouldn't be the first time Dr Wilson got too far out of his field. And there are folks with a lot of blood on their hands like Colin Powell and Madeline Albright, that should raise some alarms. At the best they are well meaning but out of their depth, at the worst hustlers creating distraction.

  6. #26
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    What the people at TED are doing is trying to address the socialist critique of capitalist society in the context of capitalist society.
    Yep , that's called mixed economy.

    This is doomed to fail, the priorities of our economic system preclude it.
    I'm not sure. Sure in my country there have been some changes in the pension system . Yet our healthcare system remains being largely public.

    Or the accelerating decline of our environment despite 40 years of environmental awareness.
    That was addressed in the previous video: No country has found a way to match development without rising carbon emisions. This is a global problem ... my guess is it will only be addressed when we run out of cheap oil and oil companies start switching to something else or go broke.

    As long as profit and not human need is the motive of society we'll not get there and will continue to sink into the mire.
    In this we agree.

    At the best they are well meaning but out of their depth, at the worst hustlers creating distraction.
    In this I totally disagree. I think they are helping rise awareness in the importance of maintaining equality and a welfare system.
    Last edited by adelatorre; 20-02-2013 at 06:47 PM.
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    Is the Culture a mixed economy?

    Has a ruling class even willingly surrendered power?

    Good for you on your health care. Not so much in the US of A.

    Usage of petrochemicals is dictated by those who control the economy. The automobile culture which this planet suffers was the wilful creation of the US oil, automobile and real estate industries in conjunction with the government. The Pentagon accounts for half of US petrochemical use. These things and neither inevitable nor irreversible.

    Anything which deflects from clear criticism of and opposition to the current arrangement delays it's correction.

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    Is the Culture a mixed economy?
    No , of course not. But it is a post-scarcity society with antimatter generators Minds and (very sarcastic) drones.
    Meanwhile we still have to work (assisted by machines) and our current system ( our working system ) is capitalism. Yet pure Capitalism has some huge disadvantages ( inequality, wars , poverty etc), so it has to be tamed.
    We have to keep in mind Capitalsim is a means for development and not a goal by itself. Once we get to the point in which we have AI's smarter than the average person , fusion generators and robots , then yes , maybe we can be like the culture. Meanwhile if every country can achieve the lifestyle of a country like Sweeden I would feel happy enough ( in may humble opinion Sweeden is the most Culture-like country on Earth).
    Excentric - Torturer Class - Right Winger's Nightmare

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by adelatorre View Post
    No , of course not. But it is a post-scarcity society with antimatter generators Minds and (very sarcastic) drones.
    Meanwhile we still have to work (assisted by machines) and our current system ( our working system ) is capitalism. Yet pure Capitalism has some huge disadvantages ( inequality, wars , poverty etc), so it has to be tamed.
    We have to keep in mind Capitalsim is a means for development and not a goal by itself. Once we get to the point in which we have AI's smarter than the average person , fusion generators and robots , then yes , maybe we can be like the culture. Meanwhile if every country can achieve the lifestyle of a country like Sweeden I would feel happy enough ( in may humble opinion Sweeden is the most Culture-like country on Earth).
    To be sure capitalism has greatly developed the means of production. But this has come at a great cost in injustice, human misery and environmental calamity. Those means of production have developed to the point that basic human want could be alleviated yet billions languish in utter poverty and millions others lose ground. We can do better than that. Were the current system to develop that sort of fancy stuff the benefits that accrued to the mass of humanity would be secondary or accidental to profits. Should the fools make an AI it would probably be Skynet, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

    I wouldn't put Sweden on too high a pedestal. Yes, they are well known for their favorable social condition but close examination shows those are slipping, they cannot help but swim in a capitalist ocean. And for all of their vaunted progressive-ism their companies have sweatshops overseas.

  10. #30
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    And for all of their vaunted progressive-ism their companies have sweatshops overseas.
    Well , yes they are not perfect , of course.
    And that's an interesting point. I was thinking a little social service overseas might make a nice antidote for winter depression which is so pervasive in those latitudes.
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