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Discussion and Explanation of the Writings of Tom Campbell: The Paradigm Changes Here

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2012 7:10 am 
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Well we better get moving along on that whole awakening in consciousness really, really quick! The graph doesn't look too good and I'm sure if they updated till 2011 it'd show we are in even deeper trouble.


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Forty years after the release of the groundbreaking study, were the concerns about overpopulation and the environment correct?

Recent research supports the conclusions of a controversial environmental study released 40 years ago: The world is on track for disaster. So says Australian physicist Graham Turner, who revisited perhaps the most groundbreaking academic work of the 1970s,The Limits to Growth.
...
...

Turner compared real-world data from 1970 to 2000 with the business-as-usual scenario. He found the predictions nearly matched the facts. “There is a very clear warning bell being rung here,” he says. “We are not on a sustainable trajectory.”


Read more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-n ... rowth.html


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2012 7:28 am 
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I have their original publication somewhere around, or it should be. Sponsored by the Club of Rome. That is part of why I have pointed out things related to sustainability and the nexus towards which we are headed between the degradation of the ecology, the growth of population, the political mess and throw in the potential for re glaciation on top of it all. Malthus was right, just well before his time and without computers to do the math. The 1% sees the 'handwriting on the wall' and the 'bad guys' are trying to get into the saddle to ride it out on top and the 'good guys' are trying to wake up the sleepers to turn things around and otherwise minimize the pain for the 99++%. We are not 'above the fray' here and we should recognize the responsibility, as we are able, to interact to protect those who cannot protect themselves.

Ted


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2012 8:16 am 
How are we suppose to protect them other than putting out information that we think is important, do you think we should send letters to the media and vote for the ones who we think would be the most fair. Sabby


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2012 9:51 am 
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sabby wrote:
How are we suppose to protect them other than putting out information that we think is important, do you think we should send letters to the media and vote for the ones who we think would be the most fair. Sabby
Hi Sabby and welcome to Tom's MBT discussion forums. Ted put forth a simple idea when I first came onto the board here that if each of us took responsibility for/help one other sentient entity who needed protection/help the world would be a better place. In the current context yes information is important , letters and voting. One thing one could do if they lived in one of the states making voting harder than normal for some of us is help those disenfranchised people get their voter ID in place and help make sure they get to and home from the polls. Trying to get a community garden or two going seems like something to do too. Welcome again.
Love to you and yours,
Bette

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2012 10:09 am 
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Mind upgrade required for human consciousness. It's really, really needed!! Because right now this is where we're stuck at. The highway to hell.

http://questioneverything.typepad.com/q ... -this.html

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What Does It Mean to Be Smart?

All of the above problems might have solutions if we can just invent the right technologies and apply them in time to avoid pain and suffering. We should be able to do this because we are smart apes, right?

This is precisely where the argument turns. We are smart. Smart enough to create technologies like agriculture and machinery that seem to solve certain immediate problems. We seek more certainty in our food supply so we plant and tend crops. We have to settle down in one place to do this but that, at first, seems a side benefit. We want to get places fast, and do harder work faster so we invent machine-based tools that require external sources of energy to run. We solve a problem, the problem of increasing demand for the products, by making those products more rapidly. At every turn, the smart ape has solved a problem of immediacy and done so with extraordinary results.

What this ape has also done is ignore a meta-problem. Every problem solution carries with it the seeds of another problem of greater scope. Dilworth sees the pattern clearly. It turns out that the entropy version of the Second Law of Thermodynamics explains this situation[3]. In the process of humans inventing ways to do what is to them useful work (and solve problems) they are effectively decreasing the local entropy in their vicinity. That is, they are increasing the order (e.g. building functional structures and equipment) for themselves. But the Second Law tells us that every gain in order in a system can come only at the expense of an even greater increase in disorder (entropy) of the larger, embedding system — the environment. So even as humans increased the “value” of their human-built world, they did so at the greater expense of the environment. Order and organization on the Earth have decreased overall (think, for example, about biodiversity - a measure of organization/complexity), as the Second Law demands, but at a rate accelerated by the activities of humanity. The Earth system had been operating close to a dynamic equilibrium (Dilworth's first chapter provides insights into the meaning of this) prior to the evolution of humans. This is because the solar influx of energy had stabilized and even though the Earth was experiencing cycles (e.g. the ice ages) of ups and downs, on the whole, the biosphere was adaptively able to maintain its activities precisely because the rate of fluctuation was matched by the rate of evolutionary change in species. After humans got started, that dynamic state was forever disrupted, with greater energy dissipation and rejiggering of many of the large scale, long time geochemical cycles such as the carbon and hydrological cycles. All of this is now witnessed at a global scale. And it is very much the proximal cause of all of our other problems.

So here is the crux of the matter. We are smart enough to have created this situation by virtue of our capacity to increase the rate of entropy increase for the whole Earth system. But we are not smart enough to fix it. That is because of a simple fact. Smartness is for invention and solving local problems. Intelligence and creativity are great for finding new ways to increase entropy. In a perverse twist, this is exactly what biological evolution was all about! And we smart humans were simply fulfilling our biological mandates. Unfortunately, from my own perspective, that also means the greatest natural check of all, a negative feedback control, whereby humans destroy the very life support systems they need to exist, will correct the situation. Any time any system gets out of control it breaks apart. Why should the human-built system be any different?

The Vicious Circle Principle

Thus we come to Dilworth's vicious circle principle (VCP). Man gets smart enough to become inventive. He invents things that allow him to survive and through increased fitness produce more offspring. But as often as not he creates something like a surplus and nature abhors both vacuums and concentrations, so man begets more men to work off the surplus. Or he invents some variation on a need fulfilling tool that produces something men might want, even though it isn't strictly speaking in support of survival. After a while, those wants being fulfilled, man gets used to having whatever it is and it effectively becomes a new need. But then population overshoot reduces the availability of the whatever and a new problem exists. So back to the drawing board, invent something else that will fulfill the new need. And around we go again. I have not done justice to Dilworth's explication here. I only wanted to give the reader a sense of the direction the author is taking. Of course you should read his work to fill in the details. And there are many more details that he covers superbly.

This VCP, according to Dilworth's thesis, is the penultimate root cause of all problems that we are experiencing. It is the process where intervention would be needed to stop and reverse the predicament. But therein lay the greatest problem of all. The VCP exists because of our human nature and nothing short of changing that is going to allow an intervention that could halt the vicious circle dynamic.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2012 10:11 am 
Thank you Bette for the welcome, that sounds like a good idea i am always looking for more insight as to help one another. does he mean the 1% are the people with most of the power,money and influence, and the people who follow them are the bad ones. Sabby


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2012 10:22 am 
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sabby wrote:
Thank you Bette for the welcome, that sounds like a good idea i am always looking for more insight as to help one another. does he mean the 1% are the people with most of the power,money and influence, and the people who follow them are the bad ones. Sabby
Well first off who is the "he" you refer to please. The 1% are probably 400 or so families that have the power and if we went bad/good they are the bad guys.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2012 10:40 am 
Bette i meant Ted, i guess he meant the 1% are just doing for themselves, self serving and not concerned with others unless it helps them, and the ones following them are of the same mindset. I agree that is a problem Sabby


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2012 11:41 am 
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I meant that some of the very wealthy do not seek control through political manipulation, contribute to causes or create trusts to better the world and advocate to their, as the über wealthy, paying their fair share of taxes. These I consider the good guys. There are many others among the über rich who do none of these helpful things, manipulate and control government and elected representatives for their advantage and particularly to cut their amount of taxation, compared to others. These I consider to be the bad guys.

I started a thread detailing much of this situation throughout its many pages. viewtopic.php?f=5&t=6316 What the situation is here and world wide and how it is playing out politically here in the US.

Ted


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2012 12:11 pm 
Ted Vollers wrote:
I meant that some of the very wealthy do not seek control through political manipulation, contribute to causes or create trusts to better the world and advocate to their, as the über wealthy, paying their fair share of taxes. These I consider the good guys. There are many others among the über rich who do none of these helpful things, manipulate and control government and elected representatives for their advantage and particularly to cut their amount of taxation, compared to others. These I consider to be the bad guys.

I started a thread detailing much of this situation throughout its many pages. viewtopic.php?f=5&t=6316 What the situation is here and world wide and how it is playing out politically here in the US.

Ted
Thank you for being clear on that i do agree with your opinion. Do you have any helpful insights other than pointing these things out that might better the situations. Sabby


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2012 2:37 pm 
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The "Tea Party" was coopted from the first by forces seeking the control of our society in terms of control of the government and elimination of social services in the name of reducing debt versus returning taxation on the to more historical levels when there were budgetary excesses rather than deficits. It is extremely important that the Occupy movements and the 99% not be either coopted or corrupted or tarred and branded as 'violent', anarchistic or terrorist. That would provide the opportunity for violent shutdown of all dissent and produce full occupancy of the 'detention camps' that have been reported to have been created by the Homeland Security Administration. That is a difficult requirement on what is inherently an inchoate movement of such a broad and diverse group of citizens, typically with their own narrow viewpoints and desires as the 99% represents. That seems to be our best hope for the future without major violence. Those of the 99% who are what would be thought of as the middle class must recognize that they are in fact in truth a part of that 99% equally with the poorest. The poorest elements of the 99% must realize that those who 'have', although not when compared to the über rich, are not the enemies of the 'have-nots' but rather the specific elements of the über rich that I categorized as the 'bad guys'. It must actually be acknowledged and realized that there is even such a class as the über rich as they mostly live invisibly to the 99%. Only the spread of information sources such as the Internet permit these facts to become available to the 99%. Otherwise, their very existence would be unknown other than for the highly visible few who are not in fact the über rich.

Ted


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2012 4:18 pm 
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My initial exposure to LTG was through reading at The Oil Drum. I thought it was common sense that finite things have a finite nature. I was also introduced to various arguments against that nature.

Awareness level seems to correlate, at least somewhat, positively to recognition of finite resources.

I came across George Mobus' site through TOD and read him for a bit. He, in concert with others are certainly thinking in improved ways. I'm not sure it's improved enough to lessen the pain that is likely be created for many. I tried to introduce 'the big picture' to George, by questioning his premises a few years back but he clearly - and intellectually - rebuffed me totally.

The road to hell is a choice one makes, and I'm choosing another road, but my intent could use a LOT of sharpening. Thus my participation at this site.

By the way, thanks to all who contribute to make this site possible.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2012 4:59 pm 
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Viv wrote:
Well we better get moving along on that whole awakening in consciousness really, really quick! The graph doesn't look too good and I'm sure if they updated till 2011 it'd show we are in even deeper trouble.


Quote:
Forty years after the release of the groundbreaking study, were the concerns about overpopulation and the environment correct?

Recent research supports the conclusions of a controversial environmental study released 40 years ago: The world is on track for disaster. So says Australian physicist Graham Turner, who revisited perhaps the most groundbreaking academic work of the 1970s,The Limits to Growth.
...
...

Turner compared real-world data from 1970 to 2000 with the business-as-usual scenario. He found the predictions nearly matched the facts. “There is a very clear warning bell being rung here,” he says. “We are not on a sustainable trajectory.”


Read more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-n ... rowth.html



I certainly wouldn't diss the idea of concern about the related set of issues of over-population, the availabilty of services, food, etc. That graphic has all sorts of serious issues though. That's quite a Y axis there ... um... what are the units that it is registered in? Further all the X variables appear to be vast averages of what had to have been differently arrived at statistical figures with large and unequal variances. If I were a policy wonk and some advocate of this or that approached me with such a graphic, well, whatever difference in altitude there is currently between my eyebrows would probably be increased to Spock-like proportions.

Backing away a level for a more distant view, I might wonder if my assumption is always correct:

More resources per capita = better quality of life.

Mehn~ It's probably one equation of a set of equations that goes into that final calculation (of quality of life), and it is probably somewhat true with in a certain range, depending on what else is going on in all the other equations.

But ya... too many people, not enough resources, and certainly not enough respect for or proper usage of resources. When the populations of all the other dumb animals spike, they inevitably crash. That is what will happen here as well, I expect. But then again I'm a lousy prophet :-)

Montana

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2012 5:42 pm 
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I read Limits To Growth sometime around the time I was working on my masters and doctoral research. Keep in mind that the IBM mainframe used at my college was probably significantly less powerful than the computer my son and I built as a sort of work station about 5 years ago. It is far from state of the art now. There are much faster processors and a much faster memory type available and I could double to 8 giga bytes of ram for less that I spent for half of that. I can't remember now what that old mainframe was exactly, but a 64 bit processor with 4 cores as in my present machine, it certainly was not. I think that it was 32 bits. The hard drives had removable disc packs about a dozen heads and kilobytes of storage and were about the size of dishwashers. My pc's hard drives are nominally 1.5 Terra Bytes and you probably know how small they typically are now. The models in Limits to Growth are very simplistic compared to what can be done now.

I really suspect that this same type of calculation is now being done but in secret and by the government. That kind of information regarding country versus country and relative status of mineral, oil and food reserves is strategic information now. At the time that Limits to Growth was being written, it was state of the art, hot stuff, never been done before. Have any of you ever seen anything like it on the Internet? I think not. Randy, have you as an economist ever seen anything like that without being sworn to secrecy? No government wants it to be advertised what they will be in short supply of in 10 years and every government wants that kind of inside poop on the competition. This is the kind of thing that the CIA, the NSA or some other variety of alphabet soup we have never heard of cranks out now days.

Ted


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2012 6:24 pm 
Ted Vollers wrote:
The "Tea Party" was coopted from the first by forces seeking the control of our society in terms of control of the government and elimination of social services in the name of reducing debt versus returning taxation on the to more historical levels when there were budgetary excesses rather than deficits. It is extremely important that the Occupy movements and the 99% not be either coopted or corrupted or tarred and branded as 'violent', anarchistic or terrorist. That would provide the opportunity for violent shutdown of all dissent and produce full occupancy of the 'detention camps' that have been reported to have been created by the Homeland Security Administration. That is a difficult requirement on what is inherently an inchoate movement of such a broad and diverse group of citizens, typically with their own narrow viewpoints and desires as the 99% represents. That seems to be our best hope for the future without major violence. Those of the 99% who are what would be thought of as the middle class must recognize that they are in fact in truth a part of that 99% equally with the poorest. The poorest elements of the 99% must realize that those who 'have', although not when compared to the über rich, are not the enemies of the 'have-nots' but rather the specific elements of the über rich that I categorized as the 'bad guys'. It must actually be acknowledged and realized that there is even such a class as the über rich as they mostly live invisibly to the 99%. Only the spread of information sources such as the Internet permit these facts to become available to the 99%. Otherwise, their very existence would be unknown other than for the highly visible few who are not in fact the über rich.

Ted
So getting the information out as to open peoples minds to problems that most people do not know exist, along with a nonviolent stance as similar to Gandhi is what you are offering? I think i would add not to be to passive these days and time i think would call for that. Sabby


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