Re: [unrev-II] Economics and the Garden of Eden

From: Eric Armstrong (
Date: Mon Jun 05 2000 - 21:11:14 PDT

  • Next message: Eric Armstrong: "Re: [unrev-II] Economics and the Garden of Eden"

    Paul Fernhout wrote:
    >... Eric has a good point
    > in suggesting we turn our attentions to building "Edens", however the
    > inhabitants define "Edens". For me, that means creating decentralized
    > resilient self-replicating infrastructure for life support and
    > economic production.
    Now *there* is a beautiful one-line summary of what we need.

    I grant most of the advantages of civilization you mention.
    (Not all, but I won't go into details here.] Eden would be marvelous,
    but it is a climatic impossibility. The climate, in fact, produces
    the need for housing, which leads to the need for available water
    and plumbing -- all of which produces a trend towards the specialization
    of effort that produces our civilization.

    And given that food is *not* readily available year-round, there is a
    need for preservation, storage, and delivery systems. I know our lives
    are better off than they were. I am not overly romantic about it. But at
    the same (especially in this culture) we have given over large portions
    of our lives to keep this culture going. Everytime someone comes up with
    a new "energy saving device" -- be it a program or a steamshovel, it
    does not translate into less work, but rather into more production for
    the same amount of work. It seems that nothing we do allows us to work
    less -- only to do more by working just as hard, or even harder. It is a
    viscious treadmill that our culture seems powerless to slow down, much
    less stop.

    At the same time, there is a lot less health to go around than there
    should be. We have traded one set of diseases for another -- and most of
    them I can trace directly to our nutritional environment. The fact is
    that many "food producers" are profiting from the sale of substances
    which contain, quite literally, metabolic poisons. Like tobacco
    producers, the sale of substances which are tempting but ultimately
    harmful is untempered by any sense of morality -- it must therefore be
    tempered by law. The only way to pass those laws (for example, to
    restrict the advertising of Twinkies) is to get business out of
    government. The only way to fund the research we need (for example, on
    dietary and herbal prevention of disease, and cures for same) is to get
    business out of government.

    C. Everet Coop should have been elected Saint -- or president, at least.
    He fearlessly went wherever the science led, politics and conventional
    wisdom be damned. We need that kind of thinking now, more than ever
    before in history.

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