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The importance of skill in ever more advanced wars. 
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Post Re: The importance of skill in ever more advanced wars.
Razor One wrote:
You seem to be labouring under the point that money is worthless (trust and confidence are not worthless in a modern economy) and that taxation somehow removes money from the economy (it doesn't) and that people profit from the results of their work instead of because of their work (they don't).


What worth does money have? Trust and confidence aren't necessary, either, but do make things easier since otherwise it would probably take coercion.

Isn't it possible to destroy money that is taxed? I don't see why money can't be stopped from being circulated on a whim.

Why would someone profit because of their work instead of from the results? Working can create something worthless. A company can go under and fail to pay its employees' salaries.

Could be that we're falling off topic, but I suppose it's just an intellectual discussion and a few interesting tangents don't hurt anything.


Thu Jul 16, 2015 5:46 pm
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Post Re: The importance of skill in ever more advanced wars.
Kava wrote:
Razor One wrote:
You seem to be labouring under the point that money is worthless (trust and confidence are not worthless in a modern economy) and that taxation somehow removes money from the economy (it doesn't) and that people profit from the results of their work instead of because of their work (they don't).


What worth does money have? Trust and confidence aren't necessary, either, but do make things easier since otherwise it would probably take coercion.



Trust and confidence have value. They are absolutely necessary in giving fiat currency value, as fiat currency with neither are considered worthless. See the Zimbabwe Dollar for a contemporary currency that has neither, as well as for an example of a failed state incapable of waging war on anyone.

Beyond that, money is a system for equitable exchange. I do work worth X dollars. I can exchange those X dollars for Y foodstuffs. I could work for foodstuffs, but what if I then also wanted water? Would I then need to work for water? Would I have to then trade food for water? What if the water trader does not want food, but blankets? Do I have to renegotiate with my employer to be paid in blankets temporarily so I can afford water?

Money has value because we say it does. The same way that life has meaning, because we say it does. Or that we convince ourselves that what we do matters, because we say that it does.

If you insist that money has no value, I will insist that you send your worthless money to me. If indeed it is of no value to you, surely you will not miss its presence in your life.

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Isn't it possible to destroy money that is taxed? I don't see why money can't be stopped from being circulated on a whim.



That defeats the purpose of printing infinite money. Creating money only to destroy it after one circulation through the economy and back into government coffers is pointless and wasteful. You may as well print only the money you need to replace damaged or destroyed notes and recirculate it back into the economy. Government spending on the economy has a large stimulus effect, creating jobs, wealth and prosperity, growing the economy and thus your ability to make war if push comes to shove, or averting a war entirely because your enemy does not dare risk the devastating trade sanctions you'll impose.

As I explained in my prior post, money is the oil of the economy. Remove (or add) it without due consideration and you gum up the works.

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Why would someone profit because of their work instead of from the results? Working can create something worthless. A company can go under and fail to pay its employees' salaries.



Let's say there are two jobs on offer. One is to make wooden toys, the other is to sell them. The toy making job pays by the toy. More toys, more money. The toy selling job pays by the hour. Both jobs have pros and cons. The toy maker can make a lot of money if his toys are good and he makes a lot of them. The toy seller makes a fixed and predictable income, no matter how many toys he sells.

This example is of course ridiculously simplified. Put simply, not everyone can produce toys, produce them in the quantity they require to survive, or make them well enough to entice buyers to part with their money, to say nothing of supply and demand. Customer service and retail don't actually make anything physically valuable, but their jobs are necessary, valued by customers, critical for their employers, and they must be compensated... thus they profit because of their work and not from the results. A person working in accounting doesn't make money by balancing the books. He gets paid to to balance the books. He profits because of his work, not from the results of his work. If, in any case, the work they do is shit, they get fired and replaced by someone competent.

Companies go belly up all the time. Companies that produce nothing of worth are usually scams (illegal, unless we're getting into a 'true value' argument) or soon to be insolvent and in receivership. The usual solution for the former employees is to clear their desks and find a new job ASAP, or failing that, apply for welfare to support them until they can find a new job. If the insolvency issue is bad enough, the employees could issue a class suit against the former companies receivers and attempt to extract their due from them, though that's usually a long and drawn out legal battle, and more often it's just called a loss.

Most jobs will compensate their employees at a fixed rate by the hour or via salary. Some do it by commission, with mixes and matches depending on what field of employment you go into. The people that profit from the results of their work are artists, writers, real estate agents and so forth. Often these people sell a product (a painting, a book they wrote, a portion of the profits they made etc.) to enrich themselves. The people that profit because of their work include people working in retail, IT support, help desks, factory workers, journalists, waiters*, the military and the police, secretaries and so on. Their work often enriches others, and those others will compensate their work in turn or risk their valuable employees walking off the job for more gainful employment. The pay will vary depending on many factors, from unions to supply and demand and labour laws.

So... in short... generally people profit because of their work because it offers a stable and reliable income that they can budget with. People who profit off the results of their work have unstable incomes and cannot budget as well.

In an ideal world, Arioch would be doing Outsider full time and would be a millionaire on the profits he reaped, profiting from the results of his work. In reality, Arioch works a full time job for a stable income and does Outsider in his spare time, and occasionally gets supplementary income when or if someone feels like donating because they like the comic. The stable job lets him put food on the table and a roof over his head, where otherwise living from the donations would have resulted in him starving to death long ago.

In an even more ideal world, nobody has to work period, since we'd be in a post-scarcity society and would want for nothing. Any work you would do you'd do because you enjoyed it. Money would be obsolete in such a society and would thus actually have no value, even in trust and confidence, since anything anyone could want could be gotten for free and in whatever quantities you want. Short of developing a cornucopia device though, this is nothing more than a mildly pleasing fantasy. We live in a world where resources have finite limits, from iron to skilled labour, from software to scientific knowledge, thus money will always have a place as a medium of exchange for those resources that cannot be directly converted from one into another.

*Unless you're in the United States, where you get paid in tips, which is absolutely disgraceful.

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Fri Jul 17, 2015 9:23 am
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Post Re: The importance of skill in ever more advanced wars.
razor: arguably we in the western world are already in a post scarcity society, or the beginning of one at the very least when it comes to the digital market, and i can tell you that economists really get upset when you insert 'zero' or 'infinite' into their equations.

and to clarify, effectively zero cost and infinite supply(of digitally reproducible goods) changes how pricing works just a tad bit.

and you said it quite well yourself, money is damn useful.

kava: money has value, if you believe otherwise please give all of yours of away then wait a few weeks and see what happens.


Sat Jul 18, 2015 4:11 am
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Post Re: The importance of skill in ever more advanced wars.
discord wrote:
razor: arguably we in the western world are already in a post scarcity society, or the beginning of one at the very least when it comes to the digital market, and i can tell you that economists really get upset when you insert 'zero' or 'infinite' into their equations.

and to clarify, effectively zero cost and infinite supply(of digitally reproducible goods) changes how pricing works just a tad bit.

and you said it quite well yourself, money is damn useful.



Digital commodities are effectively post-scarcity already given how easy it is to copy and distribute in this day and age. Our response is of course to force scarcity via a perversion of copyright laws original intentions and litigation, since post-scarcity anything is bad for business if your business happens to be content distribution and production, at least under the old paradigm. New paradigms like Patreon and free digital distribution are definitely the way of the future.

The western world at large though is still very much not a post scarcity society. There's still a limit to how much cabbage is grown, how many heaters are made, how much petroleum is imported and produced, and how much chocolate is on shelves. A truly post-scarcity society is one in which anyone who fancies building a hundred gold statues of themselves can happily do so at no cost to themselves or anyone else.

To me, post-scarcity means unlimited goods, resources and labour for zero (or effectively zero) cost. The only stuff that would cost anything are the things you can't physically make, such as time, living space, or exotic elements that can't be found in nature and so on. I did pretty much call it a fantasy. Going by the Tech Levels section of the Insider, a truly post-scarcity society like the one I'm imagining kicks in at around Tech Level 14 with replicators and hits its stride at 15 with matter transmission.

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Sat Jul 18, 2015 6:10 am
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Post Re: The importance of skill in ever more advanced wars.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Pq-S557XQU


eek


Sat Jul 18, 2015 6:47 am
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Post Re: The importance of skill in ever more advanced wars.


The one thing the video above forgot to take in the equation is energy consumption, the fact that energy sources are finite and dwindling while fully automated environments are the heaviest energy consumers.

Energy conservation will stop full automation by 2050 when the supply of oil will have run out, by then the vast majority of raw and industrial resources will be going to renewable energy sources which will severely limit the available raw materials for the production of other kind of machinery.

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Sat Jul 18, 2015 8:56 am
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Post Re: The importance of skill in ever more advanced wars.
dragoongfa: yeah, that energy thing...blame luddites and green muppets(tech fearing and environmental saving crazy people).

what does this have to do with it? well take thorium reactors, the known and accessible supply of that could keep us with 'enough' energy for an expanding energy consumption for the next thousand years plus, and if we have not figured out something better by then the human race is doing something strange.
or getting fusion to work, water comes in, power and helium comes out....

but it's nuclear! that is bad and not green!.... yeah about that, the existing nuclear power has some of the lowest enviro impact of all power generation we have, thorium just makes that better, effing green muppet luddite morons, they are just as bad as those SJW crazy people....
actually, they are the same kind of people, just different causes. huh never thought of that before.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Environme ... generation <---- not be all and end all of facts but it shows my point and if you do not believe it, check data yourself.


Sun Jul 19, 2015 2:16 am
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Post Re: The importance of skill in ever more advanced wars.
discord wrote:

but it's nuclear! that is bad and not green!.... yeah about that, the existing nuclear power has some of the lowest enviro impact of all power generation we have, thorium just makes that better, effing green muppet luddite morons, they are just as bad as those SJW crazy people....
actually, they are the same kind of people, just different causes. huh never thought of that before.



There's actually a reason why that is the way it is.

The anti-nuclear sentiment in the green movement can be traced back to the sixties where the main goal was nuclear disarmament, arguably a good thing. Nuclear weapons and power generation, then and now, used either plutonium or uranium. At the same time, you had thorium reactors in development until 1973, when research into them was shut down by the US government on the basis that uranium reactors were more efficient, was a proven technology, and could have its byproducts cycled back into nuclear weapons.

You then had accidents such as Chernobyl and Three Mile Island which played deeply into the publics fears, especially since everyone at the time lived in the shadow of the cold war. Fear and ignorance held a huge sway over opinion. I doubt many people aside from the experts knew that Chernobyl was an outdated design that was being horribly mismanaged, or that three mile island was as bad as it was made out to be.

Nuclear power has obviously advanced since then. Newer and better designs are out there, one's that don't explode, one's that fail safe, lovely thorium reactors that produce waste that lasts only a tenth as long as older uranium based reactors do. Recent accidents like Fukushima certainly stoke those old embers of fear, but that was an old design built in an earthquake prone region that was hit by a tsunami... kinda hard for the thing not to break.

What most greenies have is a lack of education on modern nuclear power generation and efforts into producing energy positive fusion power, though there are those out there who would love nothing more than to remove all things nuclear from our society because reasons. SJW crazies tend to come from tumblr, which is notorious for producing echo chambers and extreme opinions, so I'd say that the causes are in fact different if we're discussing the two groups in aggregate, though I won't say that there isn't some overlap nor will I say that there aren't those subsets within those groups, just that I doubt they're the mainstream.

So... basically, the anti-nuclear movement within the green movement was co-opted from the anti-nuclear lobby in the 60's, and the decision to go with a nuclear industry that promoted the use of nuclear weapons only exacerbated the situation. If Thorium power research hadn't been killed in 1973, then you may have had a split within the green movement or a complete revolution such that there would be an anti-uranium movement and a pro-thorium bent. I think its still possible to get this result, but it's going to be an uphill battle as individuals are easy to convince, but groups aren't.

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Sun Jul 19, 2015 6:06 am
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Post Re: The importance of skill in ever more advanced wars.
A problem is that we have an insane green movement that want to close down anything remotely nuclear even if that lead to more relience on fossil fuel burnig. In their minds burning brown coal is still bettrr ghen using a thorium plant.


Mon Jul 20, 2015 4:49 am
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Post Re: The importance of skill in ever more advanced wars.
Especially since this debacle, everything Thorium related is, where I live, a big no go.

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Mon Jul 20, 2015 6:08 am
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