Talking Walkaway with Reason Magazine


#21

Unless the intial manifestation of a framework is perfect, every framework suffers from the problem of always being able to point a finger. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t look for structural problems and attempt to fix them. In a non-ideal world progressive refinement is necessary.

An is-ought problem is taking what is as for what ought to be. This is arguing that what is ought not be. It acknowledges structural flaws and proposes that we try to correct them.


#22

Hm. Try maybe a few hundred, at best?


#23

So, is it just me, or does the picture of Cory look like he should be in a 90s industrial band? @Mister44?


#24

It’s the rich contrast black and white photo.


#25

And the haircut. It’s like he stepped right out of a recording session with like Front 242 or something!


#26

It’s all a matter of perspective. According to a large contingent of commenters there who recently split off to their own discussion site, Reason writers are a bunch of SJWs.

The Reason Foundation is, and they make no secret of it, it’s always disclosed.

And yet those are things that disproportionately affect everyone else worse.


#27

And that’s great that they are good on those, but what about issues that don’t affect cis white males?


#28

I tend to agree with you, at least to an extent. I often use socialist as shorthand, because of how i believe production and distribution should be oriented, but if we really want to get to the heart of it, I believe in finding the most scientific method to achieve those goals. (In a nutshell!)


#29

I like how they think that political left=Democrat.


#30

And that’s language which really scares me.

Want fairness? I’m open to that.

Want a safety net? There are ways in which it can work.

Want to run the economy “scientifically”?? I hear - and this is not personal - dictatorship in the wings when I hear a phrase like that.


#31

What percentage of the leftists here do you think typically vote Democrat??


#32

Is Democrat part of the identity of the US left, or a flag of convenience that they would happily change if they thought they could successfully do it?


#33

It shouldn’t- I’m not in favor of centralized planning nor technocratic dictatorship.

But I would ask, what is the goal of economy? For me, in the most basic terms, the search is for the most efficient manner of production, and the most transparent equity of access to the distribution of said production.

At the same time, these methods must align with ecological reality. The Jevons Paradox is what seals capitalism’s fate IMO. The long-run trend, spanning the entire “neo-liberal era” (I’m aware of your disagreements on definition, and arguing that here is probably beside the point- simply using it as an easily referenced title) is that for every unit of efficiency gained, we use another 1.5 units of energy. While on it’s face this seems absurd, anybody’s newish Honda Civic makes the point quite well- a newer base model achieves maybe a few points better mpg, on average, than a 30 year old base model. The newer model has had three decades of being tinkered with by some of the finest engineers on the planet- the engine alone is a far more efficient fuel-sipper, without even considering advances to the transmission, materials, drag reduction etc. However, the newer Civic is longer, wider, and quite a bit heavier. Once a spare, utility-driven machine, even the base model is stocked with all sorts of energy-sapping shit, the half of it unrelated to the purpose of the machine in the first place.

Beyond reducing carbon emissions, a necessary condition to keep our planet habitable is to cut energy usage as a whole. Free energy from the sun is great, and clearly what we must seek (as well as other renewable, non-emitting sources) in the next half-century. Over the long haul, though, we have to reduce energy use as a whole if we want to avoid Earth becoming Venus II. Dyson thought it would be easier to build his spheres than achieve this goal, and maybe he was right (and certainly knew more than I.) The last figures I saw, two years ago I’d guess, predicted boiling hot surface temps by 2400. I really don’t think most people are aware of this, but in order for the US to do it’s part, we’d need a per household reduction in energy consumption of roughly 1000%. Can you imagine running your home now, or at any time in the near future, on 1/1000 your current energy demand?

So when I say, we need to run our economy in a scientific fashion, I mean that we need to solve those problems. We sure as shit are not gonna get 10-15 billion people onto Mars/Titan/Dyson Spheres within the next 100-150 years.


#34

They’ll never know unless they try.


#35

I’ll respond in a little more depth later, but for now, is the phrase “Venus II” hyperbole, or is there in fact a reasonable chance that the Earth’s atmosphere will reach 965,000 ppm CO2??


#36

I’m a fan of (I think it was) Heinlen’s quote, roughly “I’m not in favor of the free market because it’s more efficient, I’m in favor of it because it’s free”

IMO Efficiency is only a good thing to pursue insofar as it doesn’t eclipse other more important values (which of course vary from person to person so your mileage may vary in any particular situation). Such as your example.


#37

Yes, the giants would be free, but the rest of us wouldn’t be free from being trampled by them even more than we are already.


#38

The issue I have (well, without digging into some of the more, erm, antiquated assumptions of free market philosophy, like the rational consumer) is that, whatever the theory says, in practice there ain’t much free about it. More like, "free, unless…[quote=“stinkinbadgers, post:36, topic:104361”]
MO Efficiency is only a good thing to pursue insofar as it doesn’t eclipse other more important values (which of course vary from person to person so your mileage may vary in any particular situation). Such as your example.
[/quote]

I should make it clear that by efficiency I pretty strictly mean the least material resources and energy usage for maximal returns. Part of the issue with capitalism in this respect (and part of why efficiency gains are so rapidly swallowed up by increased energy output) is that across the chain of production to distribution many hands dip their fingers in the pot, so to speak, whether it’s germane to the production of a thing or not.


#39

Well considering that different people have different definitions of good, it’s hard to say. My suspicion is that a conversation along these lines will eventually distill down to negative versus positive rights.

Also, perhaps I’m not qualified to say. Unfortunately their tags are an embarrassing mess, but/ feel/ free/ to /look/for/ yourself. Just don’t read the comments, for the love of dog. Seriously.

Anyway, not my job to defend them or to tell the oppressed what their opinions should be. I just think they provide an important POV that reminds that allowing the gov’t to infinitely intervene in private affairs is a double edged sword that can turn upon the wielder faster than you can say Donald J Trump.


#40

Lilliputians bring down giants, but it’s a heck of a lot harder when the giant has a buddy to coordinate attacks with and provide doc martens.