Monday, June 23, 2008

Technocracy

When I was a teenager trying to read all the books in the Nashville Public Library, I encountered some real doozies. One was an almost certainly self-published item called Behold! The Circle Squared Beyond Refutation by Heisel and Faber, 1934. As you might guess, I had to look it up, and I was mighty surprised to see that it’s been facsimile reprinted by something called the “Sacred Science Institute” that seems to publish all sorts of weird arcana.

Another real gem was The ABC of Technocracy, by Frank Arkright. The word “technocracy” means “rule by experts” and a lot of people were talking about it near the beginning of the 20th Century, people like H. G. Wells and Thorstein Veblen. But by the time the Great Depression rolled around, it had turned into a crank economic theory, holding that the problem was that the value of money fluctuated (which is mostly true), so it should be instead based on something whose value didn’t fluctuate (which is probably impossible). The Technocracists decided that money should be based on energy, with the basic unit being the erg.

I think I recall a mention of Technocracy in Martin Gardner’s Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science but there’s no substitute for the pure uncut stuff. What I mostly recall from The ABC of Technocracy is just how tired I got of the endless repetition of the slogan, “an erg is always an erg.” (And you thought you got tired of the phrase “Guns, Germs, and Steel,” in the PBS series). Yes, from a physics standpoint it’s sorta kinda true that the erg is invariant, but from an economics standpoint, context still matters. An erg of electricity in my toaster is still more valuable to me than an erg of heat on my roof.

I’m guessing that the notion of a unit of energy as money came from the labor theory of value, the notion of Ricardo (and Marx) that all economic value is derived from human labor. Confuse “labor” with “work” and confuse the latter’s meaning in economics with it’s meaning in physics and bob’s your uncle.

Of course, even in physics, “work” isn’t the same as “energy,” since thermodynamics limits the amount of work that can be extracted from any given source of energy, but that’s hardly the most egregious error in the mix, is it?

And jeez, why the erg? I mean, that’s a tenth of a microjoule, and a joule is much closer to human scale, one watt-second, enough to lift a kilogram about tenth of a meter. An erg will lift one microgram one centimeter. What good is that? It would be like trying to base your money on micrograms of gold. That’s too small to even see.

Gold, at least, has some advantages as a commodity basis of money. It’s not a consumable, for example. It lasts more or less forever. It’s nice and compact, so it’s easy to store. It’s pretty, so you can always make a necklace out of it.

Of course any commodity-based money puts your money supply at the mercy of changes in relative commodity values. Gold in California resulted in a huge local inflation (e.g. the legendary ten dollar eggs), followed by a national inflation, which was then followed by the inevitable compensatory deflation. It was such a joy to be a commodity producer in the 19th Century, though I admit, it did beat being an inhabitant of Central America in the 16th Century.

The essential error here is confusing what are called “institutional facts” and “brute facts.” The former depend upon human institutions, like the value of money, the location of a state line, the name of the President of the United States, or, indeed, the existence of the Office of President, or even the United States itself.

By contrast, water freezing is a brute fact, as is the weight of a certain volume of gold, or the conversion of one form of energy to another. All proceed untouched by human hands.

There’s a related error here, however, and that is the notion that brute facts are somehow superior to institutional facts. One can make all sorts of conjectures and claims about “objectivity” vs “subjectivity” and the nature of human institutions and the physical world, but I rather suspect that a big part of the attraction of Technocracy and its erg-based money was the idea that scientists and engineers would run things better than politicians, bankers, or even economists. After all, energy is better understood than money, right? So why not use energy as money?

And there lies the error in the idea of technocracy in its more general meaning, “rule by experts.” It has at its center certain prejudices about what constitutes valid expertise. But a politician is an expert in his own field; if you don’t believe me, watch what happens if you try to get any given physicist elected to Congress. Everyone believes that their own job (or class, or race, or political philosophy) is more difficult and more important than the next guy’s, so why not try to gimmick the system to make sure that the “right” people run things?

And there’s no idea that is so loopy that someone won’t re-invent it:

Quoted in The Economist’s View:

A new kind of money, by Julian Darley, Alternet: The decline in the availability of cheap energy is likely to be accompanied by an equally ominous possibility of world financial meltdown. That we are facing both of these threats now is not an accident: energy and financial stability are intimately linked. I believe the solutions for dealing with these twinned threats are equally linked. To build an environmentally sustainable, monetarily stable world, we need to create an economy in which locally produced energy provides the backing for local currencies. ...

18 comments:

J Thomas said...

Money is special. Anybody who gets to keep other people's money can in theory act like a bank, though it isn't legal. Brokerage houses. PayPal. Anybody with a going concern where money comes in and goes out and tends to stay awhile.

We have the idea that government is supposed to keep prices stable, without too much inflation or deflation. I'm not sure that's a great goal, but it's at least one that you can sort of measure. Sort of.

So if GDP increases 3% in a year, and prices should stay stable, other things equal that means somebody gets to create money enough to buy 3% of GDP -- they get stuff for free, to keep prices stable.

Who gets it? I suppose it would be possible to estimate GDP monthly and send every citizen a check large enough to offset deflation. I've never heard of a government doing it that way.

I don't know how it ought to be done. Whatever method we used would have to satisfy the people who stay with with the current method or they'd block it. But here's a possible hint -- bacterial cells use ATP to signal various things. When there isn't enough of it, they slow down growth and cell division etc. When they've built a whole lot of ribosomes to make proteins to grow fast, and ATP levels drop, they start building enzymes to digest the surplus ribosomes as a materials-and-energy source. Etc. Lots of complicated responses to one signal. But they have a large collection of other signals. Cyclic AMP, GDP, etc etc.

Maybe we should have different kinds of money and set up exchange rates among them, and we might design in better free-enterprise regulatory systems than we get with just one kind of money.

James Killus said...

Government does more than keep prices stable. Government defines what money and property are. Everything else is just possessions.

The question that was asked by the gold standard and other Procrustean monetary beds is, "What price are you willing to pay for (long term) price stability?" You can never tell a speculative bubble from an investment boom (or so say people at the time), so asset inflation either does or doesn't get followed by a deflation, which may or may not show up in "The Real Economy."

skip sievert said...

Technocracy Technate design is not ''Rule by experts''... it is Administration by Science.
It is not an oligarchic people control mechanism as you describe.
Suggestion... google Technocracy movement and take some time to figure out the subject instead of relying on an old book that was unconnected to the group and the groups actual ideas.
YouTube - TBonePickensetc's Channel Technate videos.

Technocrat said...

The idea that the ABC of Technocracy was just some "old book" and unconnected to the concept of Technocracy is patently absurd for Sievert to say.

Having done research on the topic of Technocracy, it was specifically written by someone under the supervision of The Great Prophet himself, Howard Scott.

Unfortunately, the real consequence of Technocracy is that it sullied valid criticisms of modern capitalism as well as any concept of Technocracy via guild by association with the name.

From what I have learned, Technocracy Inc was anything but scientific and more resembles a cult. It's like Objectivism, but with the promotion of scientists instead of businessmen.

This doesn't mean scientists shouldn't have a role--or a more important role--in government. They should, and policy ought to have a sound scientific base. Scientists deserve mower power, more respect.

But Howard Scott wasn't an engineer, the organization never did--and still doesn't--like to give out information. All they want to send you is an endless stream of propaganda material.

skip sievert said...

Thats funny.. it is pretty obvious you are clueless as to the actual history of the group.

It never was about Howard Scott... it is about thermoeconomis and bioenconomics and ecological economics... as regards energy accounting in a non-market economic system.

So... I am not impressed with your knowledge.
Far from a cult... which is a ridiculous term to use... it is a scientific social design. Look up the people in the Technical Alliance and tell people they were a cult also.
Another point of which you know nothing most likely is that the ideas are based on thermodynamics... but I suppose you think that is part of the cult also.
So... The North American Technate TNAT read some of the outside information here in the side bar... such as the Biophysical Economics article by Cutler Cleveland or information about Frederick Soddy... etc. I could go on... but I am sure you do not care.

Technocrat said...

No, what's funny is that you're just parroting whatever they tell you like their official mouthpiece.

Compounding that hilarity is the fact that your'e not even affiliated with the organization. The last time I communicated with them, I told them about you and your little side-project proselytizing they didn't know who the fuck you were and saw you as a petty annoyance who lifted some material from them.

Cut the bullshit kid.You can technobabble all day long about yoru thermodynamics and your ergs and joules, and you won't impress me. Save it for someone who is too stupid to see through your fantasy Communism with a scientific sounding name.

Many of Technocracy's claims were refuted...and quite easily just looking at employment data from 1900-1940. COntrary to Technocracy's claims of decreasing industrial employment due to machinery...employment actually increased! They simply made shit the fuck up. And they rarely responded to criticism too, never submitting any of their data to any real system of peer review. It was joke rightly ridiculed by the American Engineering Association.

Their entire system is fundamentally unworkable, and anyone over the age of 2 can recognize this.



Note*

But regardless, my original claim was correct. ABC of Technocracy was written under the supervision of Howard Scott--a guy who claimed to be an engineer, but wasn't. He was actually a just some guy who owned a wax mixing shop---that failed--who told long, absurd yarns in Greenwich cafes.

He had no training in engineering whatsoever. The entire system proposed kills any incentive to do anything because it's expressly designed to destroy the profit motive entirely. not just regulate it, but destroy it. There is absolutely no property ownership and the means of production are all completely government controlled, operated. Everyone gets a yearly allotment of energy to spend whether they work or no.

Given there's no ability to accumulate wealth property and "abundance" is distributed regardless,there's no realistic motivation for people to provide quality services. Hell, there's no reason to provide quality products either from factories.

Who produces the goods? Who controls and operates the facilities? Why? There is no competition, given there's no private independently operated facilities. THe only alternative is for your government of technicians to operate, control, and distribute. But why would they do that?

Moreover, the organization contradicts itself repeatedly. It goes into a long-winded explanation of their system and how it will fix all these problems, then it turns around and says "we pose no solution." Well then shut the fuck up.

The only way your version of a Technocracy works is if you close your eyes and click your heels three times so you can leave oz.

You've been spamming this hippy-dipy technocommunism on every forum and site I've seen you so far. Even youtube!

Technocrat said...

To add: the fact that there were intelligent, legitimate authorities who happened to be tecnocrats is entirely irrelevant to the validity of the movement's ideas.

Although M. King Hubbert was a brilliant scientist, he still supported a load of horseshit. Engineers and scientists, sorry to burst your bubble, are not flawless demigods. There are scientists who also supported Communism too, despite it not working for shit.

Technocracy Inc is a living fossil. While giving lip service to the scientific method, they directly contradict it through their actions. I can supply primary sources with direct quotes of Howard Scott claiming "we do not have to answer our critics." That's not scientific at all.

They also didn't submit their work to independent peer review. It's all kept hush hush. The organization doesn't even like giving information out about them now! Well...other than their official propaganda, anyway.

It all boils down to the movement taking advantage of the legitimate engineering progressivism of the period, attempting to scare people into their dictatorial system with Howard Scott as Il Duche of America. The guy tried to get the government to appoint him war czar, for christ's sake. THe guy had serious delusions of grandeur for a failed wax maker and muscle schoals worker who was fired....for inefficiency and incompetence.

really, you need to do more research, and stay away from what they tell you. YOu shouldn't believe it any more than you should believe the Ayn Rand Institute's "official publications."

They're bullshit too.

skip sievert said...

Well... you have apparently mistaken your google button as a mark of intelligence... you can find almost any thing that your nose is pointed at in cyber space.

Also you could look up Neuro Linguistic Programming... that is when you try to convince people of any old nonsense by giving false or disconnected information. It is not a good way to make arguments.

As to who the poster here is... that is an avatar name... not real. This is the internet.. remember ?
You sound like a typical brainwashed person that believes all the ignorant economic disinformation about the carrot and stick approach of money... motivation etc. That puts you in the same category as Obama and McCain... ignorant... and a stooge or soldier for the antique economic system with its roots in the 22nd century BC... with its last update in the 18th. cent. AD. Adam Smith... who was not an all bad guy at all and did the best he could under the low energy conversion of society at the time,, he was not stupid... though and probably would have been a technocrat in the 20th. cent.

I see you are basically a mudslinger and not a rhetorical polemicist ... but a N.L.P. programmer of ''wanting'' to believe in certain brainwashed material. So be it.

Thermoeconomics is the name given to a type of heterodox economic theory that attempt to explicitly apply the principles of thermodynamics to economics. The term "thermoeconomics" was coined in 1962 by American engineer Myron Tribus, and developed by the statistician and economist Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen.

Howard Scott was connected to those ideas because his group invented the idea of energy accounting as an alternative economic system. Howard Scott was not a hero or a villain. Just a smart guy that started a social movement based on thermodynamics.

Thermoeconomics can be thought of as the statistical physics of economic value. Thermoeconomics is based on the proposition that the role of energy in biological evolution should be defined and understood through the second law of thermodynamics but in terms of such economic criteria as productivity, efficiency, and especially the costs and benefits (or profitability) of the various mechanisms for capturing and utilizing available energy to build biomass and do work. As a result, thermoeconomics are often discussed in the field of ecological economics, which itself is related to the fields of sustainability and sustainable development.

In Wealth, Virtual Wealth and Debt (George Allen & Unwin 1926), Frederick Soddy turned his attention to the role of energy in economic systems. He criticized the focus on monetary flows in economics, arguing that “real” wealth was derived from the use of energy to transform materials into physical goods and services. Soddy’s economic writings were largely ignored in his time, but would later be applied to the development of bioeconomics and ecological economics in the late 20th century.

Thermoeconomists claim that human economic systems can be modeled as thermodynamic systems. Then, based on this premise, they attempt to develop theoretical economic analogs of the first and second laws of thermodynamics. In addition, the thermodynamic quantity exergy, i.e. measure of the useful work energy of a system, is the most important measure of value. In thermodynamics, thermal systems exchange heat, work, and or mass with their surroundings; in this direction, relations between the energy associated with the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services can be determined.

Thermoeconomists argue that economic systems always involve matter, energy, entropy, and information. Moreover, the aim of many economic activities is to achieve a certain structure. In this manner, thermoeconomics attempts to apply the theories in non-equilibrium thermodynamics, in which structure formations called dissipative structures form, and information theory, in which information entropy is a central construct, to the modeling of economic activities in which the natural flows of energy and materials function to create scarce resources. In thermodynamic terminology, human economic activity may be described as a dissipative system, which flourishes by transforming and exchanging resources, goods, and services. These processes involve complex networks of flows of energy and materials.

Any way... I am not trying to convince you of any thing. You seem like a typical Dingus Erectus Ignoramus... type... and I am sure you could not care less about much of any thing except screwing other people in what you call the Price System.
Have a nice day.

Technocrat said...

[quote]Also you could look up Neuro Linguistic Programming... that is when you try to convince people of any old nonsense by giving false or disconnected information. It is not a good way to make arguments.
[/quote]

Oh please. Stop trying to impress everyone with your pseudo intellectual ramblings. Your entire argument is a non-stop bullshit fest where you attempt to win by inundating the opponent in sheer volume of copy-pasted Walls of Text from "official sources" thus parroting whatever they say.

You're like a spam bot advertising for a consumer product.

[quote]
As to who the poster here is... that is an avatar name... not real. This is the internet.. remember ?
You sound like a typical brainwashed person that believes all the ignorant economic disinformation about the carrot and stick approach of money... motivation etc. That puts you in the same category as Obama and McCain... ignorant... and a stooge or soldier for the antique economic system with its roots in the 22nd century BC... with its last update in the 18th. cent. AD. Adam Smith... who was not an all bad guy at all and did the best he could under the low energy conversion of society at the time,, he was not stupid... though and probably would have been a technocrat in the 20th. cent.[/quote]

And you sound like one of those whackyloonie hippy-dippy commies who thinks everyone will just work for the good of everyone else, even if they don't need to. Get real kid. This isn't fantasyland.

High or low energy conversion--it's irrelevant. The salient points are:

1. Someone needs to produce the goods.

2 They need to be produced somewhere.

3. Someone needs to control the facilities.

4. It's a fact resources are not limitless, but rather scarce

5. People do not work for free, just because they should.

You can babble incoherently all day long about how the modern economy is no longer a low-energy conversion system, but it's irrelevant entirely. People are not going to work for free, nor are they going to work double plus good, just for the good of everyon else. This is reality, not lala-land. People are animals, animals are greedy and lazy. They will not do more work than they need to do while not getting anything out of it. It's very rare and restricted often to limited charity functions.

[quote]
Thermoeconomics is the name given to a type of heterodox economic theory that attempt to explicitly apply the principles of thermodynamics to economics. The term "thermoeconomics" was coined in 1962 by American engineer Myron Tribus, and developed by the statistician and economist Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen.[/quote]

Irrelevant filler material.


[quote]
Howard Scott was connected to those ideas because his group invented the idea of energy accounting as an alternative economic system. Howard Scott was not a hero or a villain. Just a smart guy that started a social movement based on thermodynamics.[/quote]

It's not a viable alternative. There's no incentive to get people to actually do anything other than your hopes, wishes, and dreams. Hell, they couldn't even get other engineers to support their plan, much less convince everyone to work while still being guaranteed energy to spend.

Moreover, key resources aren't actually abundant (hence the energy crisis over Peak Oil), many products are naturally rare, and machinery did not cause vast unemployment, which was at the core of Technocracy Inc. claims. Their assertions were directly contradicted by labour department census data. They were just full of shit. Face it.

Technocracy fails adequately to address psychological realities of the human animal, assuming that because you can convert energy in huge amounts in modern society, that natural human urges, desires, and prejudices will suddenly disappear. Kinda like Karl Marx and his assumption that a change in the mod of production will suddenly dramatically alter the human condition.

In your Technocracy, the system si based on taking the total amount of production in any given year and dividing it by the amount of energy it takes to do it, then divvying it up among the population equally. Everyone gets a portion of the energy to spend, regardless of what they do. Everyone's perfectly well supplied, they have no investment in the ownership, control, or operation of any of the facilities, and there's absolutely no competition among firms for the production of goods. Yet...like an imbecile, you believe everyone will just keep on working and striving as hard as they can to provide top-quality products on demand---why?

WHy?

Why?

Why?

You can't answer this question, fool. You can only google up some paper written by Howard Scott in the 1930s and parrot what he asserts will happen.

[quote]Dingus Erectus Ignoramus... type... and I am sure you could not care less about much of any thing except screwing other people in what you call the Price System.
Have a nice day.[/quote]

That's it, run away Interneticus Blowhardicus. When people don't ooo and aahhh at your jargon-filled pollyswaddle, you run away like the little twerp you are.

Keep waiting for that revolution that topples the "price system", hoping that some day, value will suddenly disappear and people will hold hands and sing together in harmony.

skip sievert said...

4. It's a fact resources are not limitless, but rather scarce

5. People do not work for free, just because they should.

We live in a closed system. Without a context of sustainability our resource base will be destroyed. The price system does not have a context except profit. That will not work in the future as an arbiter of what to do and what not to do, for money.

People do not need to be motivated by political'economic lies.

This system (Technate) is not connected with communism or fascism.

Debate is over. You lost. Sorry. Anger and the use of the why why why in in an argument never work. Also you do not know the subject... but seem locked into mainstream garbage economics.

Sorry Charlie. You are not as smart as you think you are.

Later.
Oh... and that A.B.C. book was never sanctioned or connected... It just used some official info from the group. Multiple disconnected books came out around that time... so your original information was wrong also.

Technocrat said...

[quote]People do not need to be motivated by political'economic lies.[/quote]

Bullshit. You obviously aren't around people very much. YOu keep asserting this, but never demonstrate it's true.

Why would people provide services when they will get nothing in return, and then work to provide those services at top quality? It makes absolutely zero sense to anyone over the age of 10.

[quote]
This system (Technate) is not connected with communism or fascism.

Debate is over. You lost. Sorry. Anger and the use of the why why why in in an argument never work. Also you do not know the subject... but seem locked into mainstream garbage economics.
[/quote]

I lost because I asked you why your assertions are true and you can't answer why, because you have no answer.

Uh-huh.

I am also not angry. You're stupidity is more amusing than angering.

Technocracy doesn't need to have a philosophical connection to communism or Marxian economics because the actual practical consequences of your proposed system is just another form of Communism, although a-marxist.

It's close enough consequentiall as it eliminates all profit motives, collectivizes property in the State, and assumes everyone will work for everyone else without any compensation whatsoever other than your personal say so.

That's ridiculous. But if you think your inability to answer questions is "winning," okay. You win the Duh Prize.

[quote]

Oh... and that A.B.C. book was never sanctioned or connected... It just used some official info from the group. Multiple disconnected books came out around that time... so your original information was wrong also.[/quote]

Bullshit. It was directly supervised and approved by Howard Scott based on official nformation distributed by the group. This information has been confirmed by Technocracy Incorporated itself, you incompetent pseudo-intellectual moron. The organization itself admits the book was based on approved information.

You're an idiot. Really. You are.
You need to step back, slap yourself in the face, and come back to reality, technocommie. Your stupidity is an inefficient use of energy. I'll have to dock your ergs.

Technocrat said...

Notice how he also cannot address the fact that technocracy's industrial statistics were dead wrong.

His only answer is to plug his ears with his bony little fingers and wine about a vast conspiracy of evil economists hiding THE TRUTH!!!!

Everyone's wrong but his little deified engineers.


Put down the Kool-Aide.

skip sievert said...

Again... you appear as a scold and a nag instead of actually being interested in any information.
ECONOMY AND THERMODYNAMICS

Technocrat said...

Okay. If you want, I can put you in contact with the head of CHQ.

I'll give you his email address and our correspondence on this to prove to you that they approved of the ABC text. Shit, they recommended it as a primer.


Edit: and I have looked at ecological economics and thermodynamic theories of economy. None of them has any way of magically waving away the concept that human psychology largely works off of incentives and punishments.

Again, answer a simple question:

1. What would compel people to go to work? What is the incentive to do so if everyone gets a permanent, guaranteed substantial income through energy accounting?

Why?

This isn't an unreasonable question. You don't, and none of the technocrats in the 1930s had any realistic answer. In fact, if you do your research on proquest newspaper databases, you'll learn that when criticized by the American Engineering Assocation, Howard Scott blithely replied: "We don't need to respond to our critics." This is an unavoidable fact. They never provided any real answers to anything.

2. How would this system work for non heavy industry? How do you quantify human-human services that can be automated in erg allotments? It's entirely impractical for anything other than heavy industry.


Howard Scott also asserted that machines' production and displacement of workers were the causes of the Great Depresion's economic unemployment. This was false. How can you possibly dispute this when labour statistics clearly indicate the opposite.

Moreover, even if we assume what they said were true, it's absurd to believe that suddenly, as was in the case of the Depression, millions of people would be thrown out of work if it were really the product of a progressive machine displacement. On that note, all those millions of people went to work again...many in American heavy industry...right after the war.

The machines were still there. What happened? If the workers were displaced by them, how did they go back to work? Did the machines magically disappear?

skip sievert said...

You seem to be interested in doctrines of economic or political types... which I am not... about motivation and so forth. Mostly that is inculcated ... and not a factor of nature... just a type of system .. that in my view no longer works or will work in the future because of modern energy conversion.

A human like you can put out about 33 watts of power or 1/20th of a horse power.

Assuming you have a refrigerator... that probably has about a 1/4 horse power motor... and does a lot more so called work.. than you did today. It did not complain either... or try to run away.

People just plain do not understand that Technocracy Technate design is about energy conversion... and that leading to our modern way of life... and not the politicians or business men with their ancient theories of how to control people based on scarcity economics.

Here is part of a little piece by Hubbert.

Getting Something For Nothing:

In the distribution to the public of the products of industry, the failure of the present system is the direct result of the faulty premise upon which it is based. This is: that somehow a man is able by his personal services to render to society the equivalent of what he receives, from which it follows that the distribution to each shall be in accordance with the services rendered and that those who do not work must not eat. This is what our propagandists call 'the impossibility of getting something for nothing.'

Aside from the fact that only by means of the sophistries of lawyers and economists can it be explained how, on this basis, those who do nothing at all frequently receive the largest shares of the national income, the simple fact is that it is impossible for any man to contribute to the social system the physical equivalent of what it costs the system to maintain him fromm birth till death--and the higher the physical standard of living the greater is this discrepancy. This is because man is an engine operating under the limitations of the same physical laws as any other engine. The energy that it takes to operate him is several times as much as any amount of work he can possibly perform. If, in addition to his food, he receives also the products of modern industry, this is due to the fact that material and energy resources happen to be available and, as compared with any contribution he can make, constitute a free gift from heaven.

Stated more specifically, it costs the social system on the North American Continent the energy equivalent to nearly 10 tons of coal per year to maintain one man at the average present standard of living, and no contribution he can possibly make in terms of the energy conversion of his individual effort will ever repay the social system the cost of his social maintenance. Is it not to be wondered at, therefore, that a distributive mechanism based upon so rank a fallacy should fail to distribute; the marvel is that it has worked as well as it has.

Since any human being, regardless of his personal contribution, is a social dependent with respect to the energy resources upon which society operates, and since every operation within a given society is effected at the cost of a degradation of an available supply of energy, this energy degradation, measured in appropriate physical units such as kilowatt-hours, constitutes the common physical cost of all social operations. Since also the energy-cost of maintaining a human being exceeds by a large amount his ability to repay, we can abandon the fiction that what one is to receive is in payment for what one has done, and recognize that what we are really doing is utilizing the bounty that nature has provided us. Under these circumstances we recognize that we all are getting something for nothing, and the simplest way of effecting distribution is on a basis of equality, especially so when it is considered that production can be set equal to the limit of our capacity to consume, commensurate with adequate conservation of our physical resources.

Huer said...

You two make Technocrats look like complete idiots.. Honestly, arguing on the internet is like competing in the special Olympics- even if you win, you're still retarded. I would urge anyone curious about Technocracy to visit the website Technocracy.org or the forums at Technocracy.ca to learn more, not to listen to these two, screaming at each other on some damn forum trying to convince the other of the same thing, and that the other is stupid. I say both of them are 100% correct.

Anonymous said...

Technocracy.Ca is a garbage ego site that has virtually nothing to do with any real information. It is not connected in any way to the main Technocracy.org site.

Here are some actual connected ideas Links to articles, essays, science information, YouTube presentations and more.

Anonymous said...

An active site on Technocracy design
http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2205039391#!/group.php?gid=2205039391&v=wall
Lots of pictures and links and information about the original groups ideas.