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Old 02-13-2010, 10:39 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Thoughts on the Zeitgeist Movement

the zeitgeist movement, if you don't already know, is basically a revolution happening based on the ideals and ideas of a guy named jacques fresco, a revolution aimed at changing the face of collective consciousness with a sustainable future in mind via EXTREMELY RADICAL CHANGES IN OUR ECONOMIC INFRASTRUCTURE.

mr. fresco believes that we now have the technology to create a world of abundance for all people. and he's launched this campaign not because he/we can, but because he believes we have to.

he bases his argument primarily on the mechanics behind the creation of money, and the fact that we can't just keep filling the system with more dollars because at some point it will bottom out, and money all around the world will be useless.

his answer to the problem is (from what i understand) to create a worldwide RESOURCE-BASED ECONOMY, wherein all people benefit from the gifts of the earth rather than just a select few. wherein the advancement of technology is no longer stifled by one scientist battling another scientist for the nobel... because they would work together in order to solve a problem, rather than pay the rent and ensure their work can continue. the automating of services currently performed by humans would no longer be feared, because the more work we can get machines to do means the more real thinking EVERYONE can do.

it's obviously a huge idea, and i don't want to wreck any good threadversation by investigating all the possibilities/impossibilities within the initial post, so i'm going to stop ranting and post this.

so have att'er. no holds barred, too. if you think it's stupid, you're free to say so! telling us why would be appreciated, and more respectable than one-word comments+absence.

if you haven't seen the doc.s, you should, because you can't disregard something without seeing it from as many angles as possible. there are two of them. zeitgeist the movie, and zeitgeist addendum. they're easy as pie to find online, i just don't have a link handy.

so please, DO DISCUSS. i'm sure this will be an interesting thread.

and again, i know this a touchy topic, so play nice.

EDIT: FEEL FREE TO GO OFF TOPIC! ANYTHING YOU CAN THINK OF! REALLY!

Last edited by P A N; 02-14-2010 at 09:13 AM. Reason: i just thought i should add that part is all.
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Old 02-13-2010, 09:54 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by zevokes View Post
and again, i know this a touchy topic, so play nice.
You're asking for trouble with this one!

Nah, but seriously. If you think that getting rid of the Nobel Prize is going to make scientists work harder, you're probably wrong.
Competition is normal, natural, and can cause people to work harder than their charitable urges sometimes. Not always, but enough to **** the rest of us. Sad, but true.
And, in a resource based economy, scientists wouldn't have any incentive to stay scientists because useful research doesn't always instantly create an exchangeable product.
It's not a perfect system. But it's one where you can survive in and still do something you love. And I, as a musician and not someone who produces tangible goods which can be traded, I think that I would get the short end of the stick if this came to pass.
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Old 02-14-2010, 09:01 AM   #3 (permalink)
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interesting. you think a world free of slavery wouldn't need entertainment?! i had a guy that owns a studio come up to me while i was busking around the time when the US was first deciding to inject 800 billion into the system... he told me that it doesn't matter how bad the economy gets, cuz there will always be people wanting to drink beer and have a good time listening to live music, so us musicians are always the safest... just gotta keep our chops up!

the nobel part: it's not getting rid of the nobel that would do anything at all. it's getting rid of the competition. of course it would take a paradigm shift in 100% of people's way of looking at things, but we wouldn't be working for our own safety, as that would be provided. we begin working for the system, for it is the system that would be our provider.

please keep in mind that ALL SERVICES WHICH COULD BE PERFORMED BY MACHINES, WOULD BE. so worrying about whether or not your product is good enough to trade or anything to that effect is an obsolete thought, because the whole idea behind the movement is to enlighten humanity to a point where being slaves to products and dollars is just NO LONGER ACCEPTABLE. critical thinkers and problem solvers all over the world would shift their focuses to making that a reality.

keep'em comin'!

and another thing: you say that competition is natural. now, is that because you've seen the research, or because it feels that way to you? either way, the research says it's natural because as far as anyone knows, it is. we've not really had any species that within themselves decide to share everything, because up until now, there has been a shortage of everything, so in the back of our minds somewhere is lurking this thought that sometime we might run out. what is the answer to this in an ape's head? get stronger. learn how to move faster. be able to outwit anything that challenges my ownership of these here bananas.

but in a human's head, a human with access to the flowering of a technological age unforeseen by any ape, it happens that we have a touch more reason and a touch more logic and a touch more love in us, and all this makes me not want to bash anyone's head in with a rock in exchange for bananas, but rather figure out how to acquire enough for me AND my friends, who were previously thought of as my competition.

know what i'm saying? i think this "competition" thing is like a complex is the consciousness of the modern world, something we share collectively, and it's the power of the dollar and that alone that puts a road block between us and thinking it's just a silly habit that can be overcome... and man, how good would THAT feel to wake up to everyday?!
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Old 02-14-2010, 02:45 PM   #4 (permalink)
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if you haven't managed to find a source of peace within yourself nothing you find out of yourself will provide it for you. this 'movement' is no different. if you feel like a slave it's because your ego has convinced you that you are.

we already exist in a resource based economy, only we use paper money to reflect the value of said resources. the associated paragraph reads like an idealistic hippie technicolour dream where every 'positive' aspect of a person gets celebrated and everyone is a winner, because that certainly hasn't created a generation of man-children incapable of dealing with legitimate conflict and challenges.

the world is not and will never be a fair place. fairness (and good / bad, right / wrong) is a strictly human concept, the world is not. the sooner you find a way to handle that the easier the rest of your life gets.
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Old 02-14-2010, 05:18 PM   #5 (permalink)
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you say that as though it's not an ideal as well. your argument is that things will remain as they have forever because anything outside of that realm is different than what you are used to, and therefore, let's say unpractical.

mind you, your argument, in my head, is just nay-saying. and not because that's what i want to think, but because the standpoint you just displayed as your own is one of no standpoint at all, other than to shut the topic down. it poses no alternatives to the current system, as though there just are none.

and furthermore, talking about my ego and finding inner peace sounds more like hippie-talk than anything i've said thus far. in fact, my searching for answers to what i believe are the world's problems has very little to do with my ego and much more to do with a genuine yearning to make the world a fair place... because i believe if people thought hard enough, they could be able to think themselves into a state of awareness that would put oue differences by the wayside, and allow us to tackle non-personal problems, like how we're all gonna eat in 50 years.

and ps. who said life was supposed to be easy?
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Old 02-14-2010, 09:40 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Such flagrant bullshit.

Competitiveness, more specifically capitalism, is what drove some of the most innovative contributions to the fields of math and science. We'd probably still be firing arrows at one another if there wasn't some competitive advantage to producing anything else. Alternating current, fission & the internal combustion engine are just a few of the ideas brought to light under the guise of competition.

No, competition is essential to developing technologies.
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Old 02-14-2010, 10:07 PM   #7 (permalink)
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i'm feeling it. paradise is coming, we just need to embrace it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mr dave View Post
if you haven't managed to find a source of peace within yourself nothing you find out of yourself will provide it for you. this 'movement' is no different. if you feel like a slave it's because your ego has convinced you that you are.

we already exist in a resource based economy, only we use paper money to reflect the value of said resources. the associated paragraph reads like an idealistic hippie technicolour dream where every 'positive' aspect of a person gets celebrated and everyone is a winner, because that certainly hasn't created a generation of man-children incapable of dealing with legitimate conflict and challenges.

the world is not and will never be a fair place. fairness (and good / bad, right / wrong) is a strictly human concept, the world is not. the sooner you find a way to handle that the easier the rest of your life gets.
there's no inner peace without outer peace...

also, i think because of speculation (that is, because people can "go meta" and "play" at capitalism, by using features of the system itself to generate profits for themselves) we do not live in a resource based economy, our money doesn't just reflect the resources that exist, it also reflects the value we believe they have (that is, our (changing) ideas about the resources) and this generates a tension that can't be resolved inside capitalism.

now, your last sentence is a little confusing. fairness is a human concept, but the world isn't? the world also seems like a human concept to me. i don't see why one shouldn't be applicable to the other. if we crack open our bibles, we find verses in which the promise of paradise involves lions lying down with lambs, and eating hay. now, the transition there from justice in the human world to justice in the animal kingdom seems rather seamless, and simple. and why our notions of order, harmony and resonance couldn't be extended to even things we consider "dead" is beyond me...

Last edited by cardboard adolescent; 02-14-2010 at 10:15 PM.
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Old 02-15-2010, 01:04 AM   #8 (permalink)
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i'm feeling it. paradise is coming, we just need to embrace it.



there's no inner peace without outer peace...

also, i think because of speculation (that is, because people can "go meta" and "play" at capitalism, by using features of the system itself to generate profits for themselves) we do not live in a resource based economy, our money doesn't just reflect the resources that exist, it also reflects the value we believe they have (that is, our (changing) ideas about the resources) and this generates a tension that can't be resolved inside capitalism.

now, your last sentence is a little confusing. fairness is a human concept, but the world isn't? the world also seems like a human concept to me. i don't see why one shouldn't be applicable to the other. if we crack open our bibles, we find verses in which the promise of paradise involves lions lying down with lambs, and eating hay. now, the transition there from justice in the human world to justice in the animal kingdom seems rather seamless, and simple. and why our notions of order, harmony and resonance couldn't be extended to even things we consider "dead" is beyond me...
i like that first bit, although i don't think you can find inner peace if you project conflict and strife. technically speaking if everyone spent a minute looking inward for peace then the entire planet would be at peace for a minute.

in terms of money just because we chose to alter our perceived value of the resource shouldn't change the fact that the money is initially based on said resource. it's not my fault lots of people let themselves be lead by the nose by their ego into thinking they NEED that new gadget or whatever some fancy pants famous person is whoring out.

as for my last sentence i stand by it. the idea of 'fairness' and what is 'right' comes from the individual human being. the world / the planet / biosphere / whatever you want to call it exists independently of the human animal. i do believe all those dinosaur bones out there kind of proves this. basically to me the human tries to established organized order to the world while the world laughs and continues existing via chaotic order.


as for the other questions that got thrown my way... in 50 years i'll be 83. i don't really care to live that long, i've made peace with the fact that i WILL die someday a while ago, but that doesn't mean i've forgotten how to grow a garden big enough to feed my family.

in the same breath that says life isn't supposed to be easy, where is it supposed to be fair?
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Old 02-15-2010, 09:56 AM   #9 (permalink)
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to mr dave: i don't agree that fairness is a concept or a framework created by humans within which we can chose to or chose not to participate in. i think rather that it is there all the time, and we can chose to ignore it or not.

this can be exemplified by a physical law (not sure what it's called) stating that for every action there is a reaction, and vice versa. we, for the sake of ease of conversation, could call that "physical fairness." now, in my mind, in a world where instead of agenda-minded politicians making decisions ON OUR BEHALF we have pure information setting the rules, physical fairness would be simply maintaining this crazy ideal where instead of feeding fat americans everything they can get their hands on, we even it out so the people in haiti and the people in ethiopia and all these third world countries get to eat.

if the earth itself were in charge, these people that are surrounded by deserts would probably figure out how to survive... either via migration or the integration of new technologies... things that are currently HINDERED BY US, by the people that get to pick and choose what we want out of life... as though it were f**cking entitled to us.

i suppose you could say that fairness is man-made. you COULD. but what you can DEFINITELY say is that our lack of attention to the creation of a possible fairness is far more worthy of praise as a major player in the way WE LET THE WORLD WORK, as it is THIS that sets in motion the gears which create suffering.

in essence all this is to me very much like basic math. it just doesn't add up that i should be able to have a whole crapload of stuff and someone else is denied the opportunity to acquire even a tenth of it over the course of their entire life. not to say that life is about stuff, of course.

and you're right. nowhere does it say that life should be fair. but regardless of what the media and our curriculums teach us, it doesn't say anywhere that we can't use our brains for anything we want. of course, they advise against it... but they can't stop it.

it is from this type of thought that we can generate moral code. and from moral code (which i am well aware you can argue is a choice, is subjective) comes fairness... if they're not one and the same thing.

my question is, why the hell not?

and to lucifer sam: you're right. but there were less people back then and the idea of money thusly made a little more sense as far as accurately distributing goods and services. the only way to acquire money was/is to work for it. the problem now is that we don't even need as many services as we have, they've mostly just been invented so as people can get their hands on some cash. namely in food and beverage ventures... which i do believe has it's first fully automated installation somewhere in germany. that's right. a fully-automated restaurant.

so back then you're right. there was huge incentive for scientists and engineers and all those specialists to create new things. but what a selfish driver. einstein didn't do what he did for money. he did what he did cuz he couldn't stop thinking about it.

and we now have enormous advantages in our creative tool set: computers. you can program these babies to do anything... even get them working on the next generation of computers (and PLEASE don't start about computers becoming self-aware with motives and aspirations. that's for the movies.).

it's likely that we're all so attached to the idea of competition because of two things. one being that if we can manage to make it in this world that otherwise makes us feel anonymous, then we can achieve some sort of identity. the second being that it is ingrained in us. not just by the media and schools, but also and largely by the fact that WE HAVE NEVER UP UNTIL NOW HAD THE MEANS TO OVERCOME IT.

it's like the world being flat versus the world being round. people speculated that it might be round, and were ridiculed and ostracized, because no one could wrap their head around the idea... no one could imagine it. only to be proved quite wrong of course. was it the tool going by the name of the 'telescope' that allowed the people on the shore to first see the mast and sails of a ship coming over the horizon and minutes later see the hull? that's a tool.

now we have better tools, and we can start imagining better things.
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Old 02-15-2010, 02:26 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I'd like to think that this movement would work, but sadly I feel like it is another one of these things that sound great on paper. In action, things would be just as bad as they are now. True, I feel like our current monetary system is ridiculous, especially with how paper money is becoming more and more obsolete. All most people have (save for the rare occasion we pull out some money from the ATM) is a card and a digital readout of their earnings. The powers that be are the ones telling us what worth that number has and what it represents. It could represent nothing. One day they could tell us it represents air, as that could be a scarce resource at some point (you never know). I think we do need something a bit more concrete than that, but I have absolutely no clue what that is. Even with some sort of "shared" resource economy there would still be some regions of the world that produce more of something everyone needs, there will still be disasters that tighten rations of a resource causing fighting amongst those regions, and war would still be as prevalent as ever. And with no competition and thus no timetable for technological and scientific advancement, war would still be the vehicle for our progress.

All in all, sure we need to change something. But humans have been living with a system of this type in one form or another for thousands of years, and it will be VERY hard to change.
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