Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Self-Driving Cars - Heaven or Hell
#1
A story I found in the online edition of In These Times presents opposing views on the arrival of self-driving cars, referred to as autonomous vehicles, or simply AVs. Following my own comments I post a link to the story for discussion purposes only. On the old forum I had a thread dedicated to whether we ever will be motivated to reduce auto dependency. Not only has not much changed since many had to wait in long lines to get gasoline nearly a half-century ago, but the expansion of what became known as the exurbs actually tended to increase auto dependency. This is something we really need to do but don't seem to have the political will to do so.

I began to feel angry and anxious as I was reading this story. Our overwhelming dependency on the automobile has in many areas made it more difficult to breathe despite the pollution saved when many of the once ubiquitous smokestacks began to disappear from the landscape during our conversion from an industrial to an information and services based economy. Less car ownership would release a lot of pent-up physical energy through physical movement, one of the things many health and wellness gurus kneel at the feet of. 

A few years ago when gas prices shot up substantially, I was beginning to explore the idea of just how high they would have to get to produce a significant drop in consumption. Most said the price would have to get to at least $7 per gallon before you would begin to see this happen. Suburban areas would need to embrace higher density housing in order to make mass transit feasible there; something they have resisted all along. We obviously can't continue to build our way out of congestion forever.


http://inthesetimes.com/features/self-dr...bolish-ice
Reply
#2
Self-driving cars will make travel, especially long-distance travel. less expensive. With fewer collisions they will have lower insurance rates. They will allow people with such conditions as narcolepsy, sleep apnea, and epilepsy to drive. -- well, more technically, take a car. They will allow people to command a car after those people are no longer fit to drive. They will lead to fewer traffic tickets for speeding, red-light violations, and stop-sign violations.

But here is one effect: they will allow people to travel overnight without concern for falling asleep at the wheel. So if you are out of work in Chicago, you can drive to Atlanta for a job interview without missing the afternoon in Chicago -- or stopping at a motel on the way. You might sleep all the way from about Lafayette, Indiana to Chattanooga, Tennessee. This could hurt the motel industry badly, at least in rural areas that are not destinations in their own right.

I doubt that we will give up the car for some time. It has been around for a century, and it has a huge commitment in infrastructure dedicated to it.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


Reply
#3
(07-07-2018, 12:32 PM)pbrower2a Wrote: Self-driving cars will make travel, especially long-distance travel. less expensive. With fewer collisions they will have lower insurance rates. They will allow people with such conditions as narcolepsy, sleep apnea, and epilepsy to drive. -- well, more technically, take a car. They will allow people to command a car after those people are no longer fit to drive. They will lead to fewer traffic tickets for speeding, red-light violations, and stop-sign violations. 

The problem is who controls the software and so ultimately controls the car.  You might want to consider what [URL="https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/articles/201611/are-we-forfeiting-control-over-our-digital-lives"]Richard Stallman has to say about such things.  Then there is the little matter of vulnerabilities that exist in all software that could be used by the malicious.

As usual pbrower is incapable of thinking beyond the obvious.
Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard. -- H.L. Mencken

If one rejects laissez faire on account of man's fallibility and moral weakness, one must for the same reason also reject every kind of government action.   -- Ludwig von Mises
Reply
#4
(07-08-2018, 03:32 AM)Galen Wrote:
(07-07-2018, 12:32 PM)pbrower2a Wrote: Self-driving cars will make travel, especially long-distance travel. less expensive. With fewer collisions they will have lower insurance rates. They will allow people with such conditions as narcolepsy, sleep apnea, and epilepsy to drive. -- well, more technically, take a car. They will allow people to command a car after those people are no longer fit to drive. They will lead to fewer traffic tickets for speeding, red-light violations, and stop-sign violations. 

The problem is who controls the software and so ultimately controls the car.  You might want to consider what

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/artic...ital-lives

Richard Stallman has to say about such things.  Then there is the little matter of vulnerabilities that exist in all software that could be used by the malicious.

As usual pbrower is incapable of thinking beyond the obvious.

As usual I start with the obvious in my desire to create a consensus that begins with rational analysis. That is not "a" philosophic position: that is the philosophic position.

I note that whenever one flies in a jetliner or takes either the train or a bus or embark on a boat, all of which are far safer than driving a personal automobile (let alone a motorcycle) one sacrifices control of the means of getting from place A to place B. Paradoxically, handing the authority of driving and even route selection to someone else obliged to drive the machine is statistically safer. Common carriers are safer means of getting around in the First World (which is not to say that I would ride in the back of a truck on a standing-room-only basis somewhere in the Third World). Between Michigan City and Toledo, the Indiana Toll Road and Ohio Turnpike (which John Steinbeck lambasted as "U.S. 80/90" , the dullest highway in America) is far less interesting than US 20. But US 20 east of South Bend goes through Amish country with all those quaint horses and buggies. The Old Order Amish do many things that violate some of the rational assumptions that both of us make about economic life and choices in personal expression.

I make assumptions whenever I drive a car -- that traffic laws and regulations are to be obeyed because violations are more likely to get me into an accident or intensify any accident that I might get into. Speeding does not really save time. Add to this, I have never had more than one drink before driving. I know also that, statistically, commute traffic on the Interstate (no matter how unpleasant) is far safer than the alleged "open road".

Yes, all software is vulnerable to hacking, design flaws, breakdown, and obsolescence. This too is obvious. If you dislike this, then rely exclusively upon dead-tree editions and do your calculations (this is possible for logarithms, square roots, and powers of e) by paper-and-pencil methods. It is inefficient, but so is the use of horses and buggies. I know enough to avoid the Deep Web, pornography, crank, and extremist sites.

I know your philosophical position -- that we are all vulnerable to liberal bunglers, so we might as well have faith in a market unaccountable to anyone except those who own and manage the assets because such people truly know what they are doing. Well, Meyer Lansky and John Gotti both knew what they were doing, and they did what they did very well. Need I remind you of the Russian Mafia, masters of economic crime. I prefer to avoid dealings with people strongly motivated to hurt, humiliate, or exploit me. I am convinced that a complete reversion to unregulated economics is nearly certain to lead to something like the Planet Mongo (the Flash Gordon universe), basically feudalism with high technology. Does jus primae noctis operate there? It may or may not have under feudalism.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


Reply
#5
(07-08-2018, 10:32 AM)pbrower2a Wrote:
(07-08-2018, 03:32 AM)Galen Wrote:
(07-07-2018, 12:32 PM)pbrower2a Wrote: Self-driving cars will make travel, especially long-distance travel. less expensive. With fewer collisions they will have lower insurance rates. They will allow people with such conditions as narcolepsy, sleep apnea, and epilepsy to drive. -- well, more technically, take a car. They will allow people to command a car after those people are no longer fit to drive. They will lead to fewer traffic tickets for speeding, red-light violations, and stop-sign violations. 

The problem is who controls the software and so ultimately controls the car.  You might want to consider what

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/artic...ital-lives

Richard Stallman has to say about such things.  Then there is the little matter of vulnerabilities that exist in all software that could be used by the malicious.

As usual pbrower is incapable of thinking beyond the obvious.

I know your philosophical position -- that we are all vulnerable to liberal bunglers, so we might as well have faith in a market unaccountable to anyone except those who own and manage the assets because such people truly know what they are doing. Well, Meyer Lansky and John Gotti both knew what they were doing, and they did what they did very well. Need I remind you of the Russian Mafia, masters of economic crime. I prefer to avoid dealings with people strongly motivated to hurt, humiliate, or exploit me. I am convinced that a complete reversion to unregulated economics is nearly certain to lead to something like the Planet Mongo (the Flash Gordon universe), basically feudalism with high technology. Does jus primae noctis operate there? It may or may not have under feudalism.

You idiot, it has nothing to do with liberal bunglers.  It is about whether or not someone else gets to control property that you paid for.  It is all about giving others power over your ability to travel because unless you control the software you do not control the car.  In the final analysis the programmer has ultimate control over the software and do you trust him and the people he works for?  Given the tendency of the human race to abuse any form of power this seems like a really bad idea.

Try thinking for a change.
Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard. -- H.L. Mencken

If one rejects laissez faire on account of man's fallibility and moral weakness, one must for the same reason also reject every kind of government action.   -- Ludwig von Mises
Reply
#6
(07-08-2018, 08:13 PM)Galen Wrote:
(07-08-2018, 10:32 AM)pbrower2a Wrote:
(07-08-2018, 03:32 AM)Galen Wrote:
(07-07-2018, 12:32 PM)pbrower2a Wrote: Self-driving cars will make travel, especially long-distance travel. less expensive. With fewer collisions they will have lower insurance rates. They will allow people with such conditions as narcolepsy, sleep apnea, and epilepsy to drive. -- well, more technically, take a car. They will allow people to command a car after those people are no longer fit to drive. They will lead to fewer traffic tickets for speeding, red-light violations, and stop-sign violations. 

The problem is who controls the software and so ultimately controls the car.  You might want to consider what

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/artic...ital-lives

Richard Stallman has to say about such things.  Then there is the little matter of vulnerabilities that exist in all software that could be used by the malicious.

As usual pbrower is incapable of thinking beyond the obvious.

I know your philosophical position -- that we are all vulnerable to liberal bunglers, so we might as well have faith in a market unaccountable to anyone except those who own and manage the assets because such people truly know what they are doing. Well, Meyer Lansky and John Gotti both knew what they were doing, and they did what they did very well. Need I remind you of the Russian Mafia, masters of economic crime. I prefer to avoid dealings with people strongly motivated to hurt, humiliate, or exploit me. I am convinced that a complete reversion to unregulated economics is nearly certain to lead to something like the Planet Mongo (the Flash Gordon universe), basically feudalism with high technology. Does jus primae noctis operate there? It may or may not have under feudalism.

You idiot, it has nothing to do with liberal bunglers.  It is about whether or not someone else gets to control property that you paid for.  It is all about giving others power over your ability to travel because unless you control the software you do not control the car.  In the final analysis the programmer has ultimate control over the software and do you trust him and the people he works for?  Given the tendency of the human race to abuse any form of power this seems like a really bad idea.

Try thinking for a change.

Word: Technonarcissism. Cool 

Man, I'd never, ever get a Tesla or other magical mystery machine car because:

https://www.mercurynews.com/2018/06/25/t...-3-circus/
https://teslamotorsclub.com/tmc/threads/...il.107480/

And how much would it cost to install powering stations in say, Oklahoma?  I'd reckon too much.  We proles can't afford the things anyway.  I suppose Trump would have to get the coal industry going again to produce enough power for the things.

I also don't want to be a product because I know all of that software has built in spyware.  Like anything else, like Google which I don't use, I demand to be paid for my data. Since I don't get paid now, Big Tech is firewalled out of my computer because I get nothing, nada, zilch in payments! That's how Neoliberalism works. No money for me = no money for Big Tech.  Same for FaceFuck.  I demand a $500.00/month check from Facefuck before I use it.
---Value Added Cool
Reply
#7
(07-09-2018, 01:21 AM)Ragnarök_62 Wrote: I also don't want to be a product because I know all of that software has built in spyware.  Like anything else, like Google which I don't use, I demand to be paid for my data. Since I don't get paid now, Big Tech is firewalled out of my computer because I get nothing, nada, zilch in payments! That's how Neoliberalism works. No money for me = no money for Big Tech.  Same for FaceFuck.  I demand a $500.00/month check from Facefuck before I use it.

Yes, and the same would be true of self-driving cars.  Expecting pbrower to understand anything beyond first order effects is unlikely and not even all of them.
Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard. -- H.L. Mencken

If one rejects laissez faire on account of man's fallibility and moral weakness, one must for the same reason also reject every kind of government action.   -- Ludwig von Mises
Reply
#8
(07-09-2018, 01:21 AM)Ragnarök_62 Wrote:
(07-08-2018, 08:13 PM)Galen Wrote:
(07-08-2018, 10:32 AM)pbrower2a Wrote:
(07-08-2018, 03:32 AM)Galen Wrote:
(07-07-2018, 12:32 PM)pbrower2a Wrote: Self-driving cars will make travel, especially long-distance travel. less expensive. With fewer collisions they will have lower insurance rates. They will allow people with such conditions as narcolepsy, sleep apnea, and epilepsy to drive. -- well, more technically, take a car. They will allow people to command a car after those people are no longer fit to drive. They will lead to fewer traffic tickets for speeding, red-light violations, and stop-sign violations. 

The problem is who controls the software and so ultimately controls the car.  You might want to consider what

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/artic...ital-lives

Richard Stallman has to say about such things.  Then there is the little matter of vulnerabilities that exist in all software that could be used by the malicious.

As usual pbrower is incapable of thinking beyond the obvious.

I know your philosophical position -- that we are all vulnerable to liberal bunglers, so we might as well have faith in a market unaccountable to anyone except those who own and manage the assets because such people truly know what they are doing. Well, Meyer Lansky and John Gotti both knew what they were doing, and they did what they did very well. Need I remind you of the Russian Mafia, masters of economic crime. I prefer to avoid dealings with people strongly motivated to hurt, humiliate, or exploit me. I am convinced that a complete reversion to unregulated economics is nearly certain to lead to something like the Planet Mongo (the Flash Gordon universe), basically feudalism with high technology. Does jus primae noctis operate there? It may or may not have under feudalism.

You idiot, it has nothing to do with liberal bunglers.  It is about whether or not someone else gets to control property that you paid for.  It is all about giving others power over your ability to travel because unless you control the software you do not control the car.  In the final analysis the programmer has ultimate control over the software and do you trust him and the people he works for?  Given the tendency of the human race to abuse any form of power this seems like a really bad idea.

Try thinking for a change.

Word: Technonarcissism. Cool 

Man, I'd never, ever get a Tesla or other magical mystery machine car because:

https://www.mercurynews.com/2018/06/25/t...-3-circus/
https://teslamotorsclub.com/tmc/threads/...il.107480/

And how much would it cost to install powering stations in say, Oklahoma?  I'd reckon too much.  We proles can't afford the things anyway.  I suppose Trump would have to get the coal industry going again to produce enough power for the things.

I also don't want to be a product because I know all of that software has built in spyware.  Like anything else, like Google which I don't use, I demand to be paid for my data. Since I don't get paid now, Big Tech is firewalled out of my computer because I get nothing, nada, zilch in payments! That's how Neoliberalism works. No money for me = no money for Big Tech.  Same for FaceFuck.  I demand a $500.00/month check from Facefuck before I use it.

Galen -- I suggest that you use the words moron, imbecile, and idiot in the once-recognized psychological categories. Idiot: IQ 30 ir less. Imbecile: 31-50. Moron -- 51-70.  Current terms are "profoundly mentally impaired". "trainable mentally impaired" and "educable mentally impaired. The educational system is obliged to deal with such. You don't hurt my feelings by ridiculing my alleged low intelligence; I laugh at you for that.

...Ragnarok:

Technology and the legal process or social policy usually work together. The job that I have used to not require that I have a computer. Now I need one just to get assignments, even if the computer is nothing more than a smart phone. Note well that a smart phone is a more powerful computer than the mainframes in use as late as the 1970s in Big Business. Two box-store retailers encourage people to apply for jobs on-line. The government has been issuing the so-called "Obamaphones" so that people on welfare wil find applying for a job far easier. That may have helped cut the unemployment rate by matching people in impoverished sections of large urban areas with jobs otherwise hard to fill in the suburbs that those poor people cannot afford to live.

I do not have a problem with technology that helps people live better, more enriching lives. All technologies have changed the world, often in unexpected ways, if the technology is a reject. (Note that most innovations end up unused because they do nothing to improve life). Cheap stoneware by Wedgwood changed people's dining habits. Railroads allowed people to travel farther on land to meet marriage partners and allowed people in peasant villages to marry outside of their villages so that they were no longer marrying fourth-cousins as a norm. Automobiles greatly changed dating habits, even allowing people to find places in which to fornicate without detection. Antibiotics may have been the difference between the Allies and Japanese winning in the Pacific Theater because the attrition rate for Japanese soldiers was far higher.  The British created the far most advanced computer of the time to read the German naval code and prevent the German navy from tightening the noose around Britain  that would have starved Britain into surrender. High fidelity allowed people to turn living rooms into concert halls -- and one needs  hi-fi equipment to hear performances of Rostropovich of Bach's cello suites -- or the hits of the Beatles. It's a matter of taste, and not technology now. A smartphone or tablet and headphones are now adequate. Radio and television? Enough said.

To get the fullest use of a computer, one must make some compromises -- like subscribing to material behind a paywall or allowing sites to put cookies that offer click0bait. There might be suggestions, so that if you purchase a complete sets of string quartets of Beethoven and Shostakovich on Amazon.com you might get the suggestion that you might look into getting complete sets of string quartets by Mozart, Haydn, Dvorak, and Bartok -- or the symphonies of Beethoven and Shostakovich. But in the days when retail salespeople were in fact salespeople and not order-takers, that was part of the business.

As there was a snake in the Garden of Eden (in the myth), there are figurative snakes on the Wen... I don't have to go into detail. Maybe Donald Trump won the 2016 election because he better used technology (if without scruple, as is his wont in business dealings).

OK, so just because a couple can drive a flivver into the back woods and fornicate does not mean that their proposed fornication is a good idea. Watching mindless television is a complete waste of time. Connecting to child porn is illegal, and using the Web to reach neo-Nazi or ISIS sites is grossly unwise. All in all we need to inculcate conscience even before we cultivate the intellect, for a brilliant person with no morals (think of Josef Goebbels and Mao Zedong) can do great harm to Humanity. Islamic Jihad, which merged with al-Qaeda, was known as the "Engineers' Cult" because its way of thought fit the rigid black-and-white thinking characteristic of engineers. Aum Shinrikyo attracted some physicians and scientists who did the worst and got hanged for that. A moron with a solid moral compass is useful for doing work that is a challenge to that person and sheer drudgery to someone smarter. A brilliant person with no moral compass can easily become a sadist or terrorist.

I look at the positives of self-driving vehicles... and the big one is that they will greatly reduce vehicle collisions and consequent deaths and crippling injuries. I can see them changing patterns of driving -- like allowing people to travel while asleep. But we already have computers in cars -- computers that can warn us of such things as not putting the gas cap back or of driving on underinflated tires. O have cruise control which allows me to pay attention to the road instead of to the speedometer -- and using it I may have avoided some traffic tickets. All technologies have their problems. It's up to us to use any new technologically-created abilities and possibilities wisely. Just because a man can send a picture of his 'manhood'  to a fourteen-year-old girl does not make it wise or even lawful.

.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


Reply
#9
(07-08-2018, 08:13 PM)Galen Wrote: ... it has nothing to do with liberal bunglers.  It is about whether or not someone else gets to control property that you paid for.  It is all about giving others power over your ability to travel because unless you control the software you do not control the car.  In the final analysis the programmer has ultimate control over the software and do you trust him and the people he works for?  Given the tendency of the human race to abuse any form of power this seems like a really bad idea.

Try thinking for a change.

This is less a concern than the more obvious desire to turn every vehicle into a marketing tool.  I'm sure some plot to do fiendish harm will be tried, and may even be successful on a small scale.  Using the vehicle as a way to get your money is more in line with modern capitalism, and more likely to occur than some terrorist plot.

In the long run, most passengers will be just that -- passengers, not owners and certainly not drivers.  Cars will be more like ubiquitous taxis than the cars we own today.  Assume that you will be a member of a transport service like Uber (capitalist model) or have a universal transport card (socialist model).  The vehicles will be owned by companies, contracted non-profits or directly by the government, and those entities will be responsible for everything: maintenance, safety, availability … you name it.

In 50 years, the transport landscape will be totally foreign to you or me.  Cars are only one part.  Autonomous electric short-flight aircraft will be part of the landscape too.
Intelligence is not knowledge and knowledge is not wisdom, but they all play well together.
Reply
#10
(07-10-2018, 09:27 AM)David Horn Wrote:
(07-08-2018, 08:13 PM)Galen Wrote: ... it has nothing to do with liberal bunglers.  It is about whether or not someone else gets to control property that you paid for.  It is all about giving others power over your ability to travel because unless you control the software you do not control the car.  In the final analysis the programmer has ultimate control over the software and do you trust him and the people he works for?  Given the tendency of the human race to abuse any form of power this seems like a really bad idea.

Try thinking for a change.

This is less a concern than the more obvious desire to turn every vehicle into a marketing tool.  I'm sure some plot to do fiendish harm will be tried, and may even be successful on a small scale.  Using the vehicle as a way to get your money is more in line with modern capitalism, and more likely to occur than some terrorist plot.

...and this is a major point. If someone other than the driver or passenger controls the destination, then the car becomes a veritable prison because it can take someone where one does not want to go and stick someone there. So you really wanted to go to the Grand Canyon and ended up at a Las Vegas casino, and you have great objections to gambling casinos?  We have a problem there.

I can imagine other corrupt behavior. One might be that the program leads one to gasoline twice as expensive as alternatives.


Quote:In the long run, most passengers will be just that -- passengers, not owners and certainly not drivers.  Cars will be more like ubiquitous taxis than the cars we own today.  Assume that you will be a member of a transport service like Uber (capitalist model) or have a universal transport card (socialist model).  The vehicles will be owned by companies, contracted non-profits or directly by the government, and those entities will be responsible for everything: maintenance, safety, availability … you name it.


Owning and driving a car is an essential identity for the American middle and working class (except perhaps in New York City, where parking a car is more expensive than meeting the payments). Automobiles, motor fuels, vehicle repairs, and auto liability insurance together make a huge chunks the American economy. Giving up a car is about like giving up a kitchen.

We could see things so designed that the manner of getting a car no longer includes buying and holding a vehicle, You might be obliged to rent one in an ad hoc basis. There could be a veritable monopoly, and I would hardly be surprised that it would be easier to get a car to get to a high-cost venue (a gambling casino, a high-priced amusement park, or a retailer with extremely-high prices. You might be out of luck to get a vehicle whose destination is Yosemite National Park, but might find it easy to get to Disneyland. 

I may be cynical in expecting that maximal profit will be the objective of every business transaction, and that practically every human activity might become one. After all, this is Donald Trump's Corporate America, hardly something to engender human trust in Big Business, Big Government, or even technology.

Quote:In 50 years, the transport landscape will be totally foreign to you or me.  Cars are only one part.  Autonomous electric short-flight aircraft will be part of the landscape too.

Let's see -- fifty years ago, the Interstate Highway System was spotty, but patterns were already forming which hold to this day. Some of the roadside retailers have either completely disappeared (Stuckey's and Howard Johnson's) or largely disappeared (Texaco and Gulf used to be ubiquitous). Cars of fifty years ago were practically all rear-wheel drive.  You had AM radio, and not likely FM... and probably not even a cassette player.

Some of us have GPS to give us turn-by-turn instructions.

The workplace and household technology have changed more visibly. Transportation will change. If we get hovering vehicles, then we won't have to spend so much on highway repairs. In fact, you will not need paved roads. If you want to get from Lansing to Madison, you will take a course that includes a trip over Lake Michigan instead of through the traffic nightmare of Greater Chicago.

Economic models might change more than will technology. Maybe we will not own our personal vehicles, especially if we live in giant apartment complexes related to where we work. So the first floor is a grocery store and the store workers live within the skyscraper that includes the grocery store. Needless to say, the employer is the landlord, and employers have more control of workers who rent and do not have vehicles. Having a car with which to seek employment elsewhere? You can just imagine the concerns of privacy.

Getting away from the workplace and its environs might be seen as a special and (to management and ownership) a privilege to be offered rarely.  To get a car one might need to get permission from the employer, and taking it to a political rally (except for the Party or the employer's choosing) or a protest of policies that the employer endorses might be impossible. Getting schooling incompatible with the career path that an employer deems inapt (what do you mean, farm laborer -- you want to become an accountant? You horrible ingrate! Off to the corrective labor camp!) might be impossible. If you are thinking of farm laborers getting to live in single-family hovels, then think again -- they might live in one of the 'rationalized' housing complexes that forced communal living upon peasants in Romania under Ceausescu. Oh -- Ceausescu was a commie, and not a fascist?  His commie regime adapted much the same dehumanizing characteristics of fascism.

Reality after Donald Trump and the GOP have forced a transition of America into a fascistic Corporate State could be stuff out of a Flash Gordon serial.  Yes, the planet Mongo has a striking similarity to fascistic regimes of the 1930s (when the serials were made) except for more amazing technology. This said, no technology can redeem the awfulness of a fascistic nightmare.

We need to rediscover the merits of a humanistic democracy so that we can avoid a fascistic nightmare in America. Donald Trump demonstrates clearly that there is a fascist model tailor-made for every national heritage and national culture. Even ours! If you thought that American fascism would depend upon (KKK) ghostly robes, night rides, and cross-burning, and that we rejected the Klan back in the late 1920s as a national phenomenon... think of who we have as President. He does not need any ghostly robes, night rides, and cross-burning.

Even with technology -- technology for its own sake is a huge mistake. We need to pick and choose what is best for us and reject what is too dangerous, demeaning, or destructive.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


Reply
#11
You do paint a rather dark scenario of what our future may look like. Back in the mid-1980s it was widely predicted that the transportation wave of the future was going to be in high-speed rail. It had already proven relatively successful in much of Europe as well as Japan. I had often questioned how well it would take off in the US where the private auto is king. HSR was supposedly destined to perhaps all but obsolete both the car and the airplane. Here we are some 30 years later and HSR is in places few and far between on the western side of the Atlantic. Perhaps the question that needs to be asked is: Are we ready to implement a revised life philosophy or path with renewed confidence? I really feel that we don't (at least not yet) have the will to make some of the changes that really need to be made. I have my doubts as to whether today's society will ever be willing to sacrifice convenience for the common good. This will only occur when the majority begin to take on the attitude that it's time to live what we believe and believe in how and why we are living.

A few days ago I was in a somewhat oldies themed restaurant and this song came over the loudspeakers. Will all that is happening and what we read online, does it seem to you as though this song is still as relevant today as it was a half century ago when it was all over the radio.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5znh58WITU8
Reply
#12
(07-10-2018, 11:32 AM)beechnut79 Wrote: You do paint a rather dark scenario of what our future may look like.

I have seen a darkening mood going into the 4T, some brightening, and now an even darker mode of history. It is difficult for most people to separate their moods from the overpowering reality, and I am no exception.


Quote:Back in the mid-1980s it was widely predicted that the transportation wave of the future was going to be in high-speed rail. It had already proven relatively successful in much of Europe as well as Japan. I had often questioned how well it would take off in the US where the private auto is king. HSR was supposedly destined to perhaps all but obsolete both the car and the airplane. Here we are some 30 years later and HSR is in places few and far between on the western side of the Atlantic.

High-speed rail depends heavily upon high population densities as in Japan and parts of western Europe. China might qualify. High-speed rail depends at the least on dense population centers as ultimate and intermediate destinations. It is expensive to build, operate, and maintain.
 

Quote:Perhaps the question that needs to be asked is: Are we ready to implement a revised life philosophy or path with renewed confidence? I really feel that we don't (at least not yet) have the will to make some of the changes that really need to be made. I have my doubts as to whether today's society will ever be willing to sacrifice convenience for the common good. This will only occur when the majority begin to take on the attitude that it's time to live what we believe and believe in how and why we are living.

We will be compelled to make changes should the Crisis shatter our world. Should the low-density suburbs be devastated in war, we will not restore them as such. Capital could be scarce, so we might be obliged to put up Soviet-style concrete-block apartment complexes... basically prefabricated slums... just to keep people from ending up homeless in the cold.

Quote:A few days ago I was in a somewhat oldies themed restaurant and this song came over the loudspeakers. Will all that is happening and what we read online, does it seem to you as though this song is still as relevant today as it was a half century ago when it was all over the radio.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5znh58WITU8

Reality will shake our old myths and impose new myths.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


Reply


Forum Jump:


Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)