Natural state of being

I’ve read several people recently claiming that “poverty is the natural state of human beings”, and I’m not sure if this is new bullshit or just old bullshit being rehashed, but I am sure it is bullshit … allow me to explain.

Humans are just another mammal, that’s all we are, and prior to the invention of the gun and the industrial revolution, lets have a look at what was going on with our various species of sentient mammalian cousins.

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Input efficieny: consumption per unit of consumption

If we were to make a generic unit of resource, such that all units of energy, matter, space, and time could be converted to this standard unit, we could more easily analyse how efficient our processes are. I’ve written a couple of articles over the last few weeks about this ( just have a look back through the blog roll ), but I want to in this article discuss the general concept of efficiency itself from an input resource perspective.

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5 elements of systemic scarcity: objectives, process, resources, temporal, and spatial

This article originally came to me as an idea about how to simply distinguish the differences between property/trade/currency vs. non-property/trade/currency based economic systems – being that the former manufactures scarcity, while the latter removes it ( where possible ). Which in turn was inspired by a debate on social media about whether or not the world is over populated, what we mean by that, and how/why we justify such a statement.

It then occurred to me that for people to understand these issues, they must first understand what scarcity is, and how it occurs – ironically, the people who understand this the least are often the ones who should understand it the best ( economists ), and yet it’s quite apparent that many of them haven’t a clue. The reason for that being, scarcity is an ecological issue, but not an economic one within the confines of the capitalist economic paradigm ( though it should be ).

So let’s start at the beginning and look at what scarcity actually is.

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The “Leaf Blower vs. Broom” analogy

People often argue that capitalism is efficient, and that it strives for efficiency, but even a cursory glance at the reality around you should tell you otherwise. There are countless other examples of the inefficiency of capitalism, but I want to provide you with one detailed example first.

I was walking up the road from my house when I saw a man using one of my most hated devices, the leaf blower, a device which is a very common and typical example of the failures of capitalism … let’s take a look at exactly how redundant and wasteful this device is. Continue reading “The “Leaf Blower vs. Broom” analogy”

A lesson for Microsoft ( and other tech developers )

I’m one of the generation who grew up with the first home computers; some of my friends at school had things like the Atari, Commodore64, ZX81, Apple III, and Amiga ( amongst others ), while our family had an Apple IIe, one of the schools I attended had some Amstrads, and the local TAFE ( aka Australian technical colleges – actually called a CAE ( “college of advanced education” ) back in those days, long before it became a fully fledged university ) had a punch-card & tape-drive mainframe system ( probably IBM, but I’m not sure ). Continue reading “A lesson for Microsoft ( and other tech developers )”

Capitalism Breaches Human Rights

I have been saying for a while now that capitalism is in breach of human rights, according to the articles of the international declaration ( or charter ) of human rights ( link ).

For those of you unfamiliar with the document, I have made a summary of its points ( following ), but you can also read the full version online via the link above. Anyone else is free to skip past all that to here. Continue reading “Capitalism Breaches Human Rights”