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The Venus Project





gandalfthegrey
Has anyone heard of The Zeitgeist Movement, Jacques Fresco or the Venus Project?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Venus_Project

They wish to build a test city using the most advanced technology. I believe they have been offered funds and land in Brazil. Good luck to them!
lightwate
I've always wanted to build a city like that, free from all the troubles of the world.

I was thinking more of a Konoha (from naruto) - like city (a little smaller though) where life is much simpler. Everyone knows each other and goes to the same school, There are also no need for cars which only pollute the air, and people will be more close to one another Very Happy

Idunno, I guess it would be fun to live in a place like that but I also don't want to miss the technology we have today.
ocalhoun
lightwate wrote:
I've always wanted to build a city like that, free from all the troubles of the world.

Many have... And some have tried.
None of their utopias have worked very well though, so you need to seriously consider the possibility that your idea of an ideal society may also be flawed.
airh3ad
All of these problems by actively engaging in the research, development, and application of workable solutions. I know that some would have difficulty with some of the socialist style concepts (resource based economy), and others might find fault with the way technology has been applied to solve problems.
I am not necessarily on board with all of it myself. But, I do think we have allowed the momentum of existing practices overtake many opportunities to improve on what we have.Anyway, I think it is easy to dismiss such visions, without really considering them seriously.
eday2010
The only way to build a city that is free from the troubles of the wold is to have it not contain any people at all. Once there are people, there will be problems.

Just like you will never get rid of racism or have world peace until there is only one person left alive.
ocalhoun
eday2010 wrote:
have it not contain any people at all.


Now there's utopia! ^.^

Thankfully, living where I do, I can escape to places like that on a regular basis.
cr3ativ3
I am indeed aware of "The Venus Project", it looks to be very intriguing, more than small amount of people are behind it as well (which suggests deservance of a chance, or further development).

The only issues I see with implementing such a solution in today's society, is due to the current evil of capitalism and the like. Attempts to start a project like this would need to be backed by some sort of capitalist entity or corporation with the resources to keep the project moving in a forward direction (without the desire to gain a profit off of it). The only exception for allowing this to work without such backing is if, the implementation started out from scratch with all the resources needed to run and free access to more resources for expansion.

When I refer to resources I am referring to all the necessities of life (food, clean water, machinery or the materials to build machinery, etc...)

If we as a society started out in a way such as The Venus Project proposes, I believe we would find our selves today living in such a society. By that I don't doubt such a society could exist, I however feel such a society today trying to invent itself will have huge obstacles in its way.

My two cents.
Radar
lightwate wrote:
I've always wanted to build a city like that, free from all the troubles of the world.

I was thinking more of a Konoha (from naruto) - like city (a little smaller though) where life is much simpler. Everyone knows each other and goes to the same school, There are also no need for cars which only pollute the air, and people will be more close to one another Very Happy

Idunno, I guess it would be fun to live in a place like that but I also don't want to miss the technology we have today.


You do realise you're essentially just talking about a country town.

Some of the details you mentioned aren't there, but it's really not that far away from reality.
ocalhoun
Radar wrote:
lightwate wrote:
I've always wanted to build a city like that, free from all the troubles of the world.

I was thinking more of a Konoha (from naruto) - like city (a little smaller though) where life is much simpler. Everyone knows each other and goes to the same school, There are also no need for cars which only pollute the air, and people will be more close to one another Very Happy

Idunno, I guess it would be fun to live in a place like that but I also don't want to miss the technology we have today.


You do realise you're essentially just talking about a country town.

Well, a country town where everything is packed in unusually close.

In a normal country town there is a very real need for cars because everything in town is spread out, especially people's houses being far away from town... And they'd also need transportation to go elsewhere whenever they needed something not in the town, and the smaller the town is, the more needful things it won't have.
slashnburn99
sounds a bit stepwood to me
jwellsy
How ironic, they want to use the technological fruits of a profit based society to start a non profit motivated society. It sounds like a scam for money to me.

Previous versions of this experiment even with a paleo focus have tended to discentigrate from jealousy over competition for available females.
uzeed
Building a venus project is a dream come true. Am looking forward to a world of great possibilities where men will be able to live not just on water but in water hahahahahahahah. i wonut live in water anyway.
c'tair
This reminds me of Rapture from Bioshock.
Also, wasn't it Marx or Lenin who argued that today's world is sh.it because of 'scarcity based' economy? And wasn't he proven wrong decades ago?

To me it sounds like a lot of bullcrap. There have been people inventing utopias for over a hundred years now. Creating communes that fail, villages that fail etc. Nothing has worked. And if the people responsible for the Venus Project expect to invent a utopia based on knowledge 50-100 years old then hey, good luck to them, but I think it'll flop. I just hope it doesn't take a lot of human life with it, as is pretty common in cases such as this.

Just compare the US to India - people in the US make many times more money, they can afford many more technological riches so these things aren't all that scarce in the US. Are the Americans an ideally happy nation? Not really. Last I heard, it was the Danish that scored the highest.

Material possessions, lack of work, lots of resources don't turn sad people into happy people.
ocalhoun
c'tair wrote:

Material possessions, lack of work, lots of resources don't turn sad people into happy people.

The lack of those things can make happy people into sad people though.
c'tair
ocalhoun wrote:
c'tair wrote:

Material possessions, lack of work, lots of resources don't turn sad people into happy people.

The lack of those things can make happy people into sad people though.


To a certain point. People can make do with very minimal resources, I'd bet that some tribal groups would be able to feed, cloth and house an entire tribe of people on the resources used by one American for a year.
c'tair
Well, I've read up more on this subject and I'm actually shocked and scared.
They believe that everything must be made super effiecient, ideally everything would be ruled by a computer and people wouldn't have to work because they would be replaced by machines.

Like, what the hell? First of all, where is any human dignity in all of that? If the AI decides that 100 people must die because it will mean a more 'efficient' system, isn't that denying basic human rights to people?

Also I must point out one huge flaw that they seem completely unaware of: technology is always a double sided sword. I bet you that Henry Ford didn't think that cars would actually become a huge problem for our eco system. I bet you that coal miners didn't think that they would be responsible for thousands of deaths because of CO poisoning. I can bet you that inventors of CFCs didn't think they would pulverize the Ozone layer.

Those people all introduced their technology and expected it to solve problems and BAM, it created problems that were UNPREDICTABLE.

So this Venus Project is simply unable to predict the down sides of their work and they won't be until they put it into life. But when they do, it's gonna be too late then.
ocalhoun
c'tair wrote:

Like, what the hell? First of all, where is any human dignity in all of that? If the AI decides that 100 people must die because it will mean a more 'efficient' system, isn't that denying basic human rights to people?

Well, that depends on how you define 'efficient'.
Normally, 'efficient' is trying to accomplish some goal(s) while minimizing the use of some resource(s).
For example, trying to produce AC power while consuming as little DC power as possible.
Or, trying to finish a building project while consuming as little time and money as possible.

In your example of the machine killing off people, what are the goal(s), and what are the resource(s) being consumed?


If the machine is programmed to accept efficiency as making the most people as happy as possible while consuming the fewest resources, it might work just fine.
c'tair
ocalhoun wrote:
c'tair wrote:

Like, what the hell? First of all, where is any human dignity in all of that? If the AI decides that 100 people must die because it will mean a more 'efficient' system, isn't that denying basic human rights to people?

Well, that depends on how you define 'efficient'.
Normally, 'efficient' is trying to accomplish some goal(s) while minimizing the use of some resource(s).
For example, trying to produce AC power while consuming as little DC power as possible.
Or, trying to finish a building project while consuming as little time and money as possible.

In your example of the machine killing off people, what are the goal(s), and what are the resource(s) being consumed?


If the machine is programmed to accept efficiency as making the most people as happy as possible while consuming the fewest resources, it might work just fine.


And treating people as 'resources' doesn't rob them of any dignity? That's what I was aiming at - in order for an efficient society people must be turned into gears for a big machine. Look at how people are treated now - they are enouraged to not form any human-human relationships since their coworkers may get replaced any day (like parts in a machine), you don't chose where you live, you live where you can find work (like parts in a machine). I could really go on and on but the point is that giving the reign over people to a machine bent on efficiency and hoping for any sort of benevolence would be like giving a crazy man a box of dynamite.

Plus, notice what I wrote about predictions and technology earlier - even if they predict that a benevolent AI will rule justly and efficiently, how can we ever be sure that it won't turn into a complete dystopia? People had big dreams since the dawn of time, like I said earlier, I really don't think Henry Ford thought that his invention would destroy the atmosphere and wildlife like it does today - no, he only thought of the benefits it would give people but he was blind to what the price would be. Same thing will happen with the Venus project - they have all these predictions and dreams and it's easy to know that something will go terribly wrong and will probably inflict huge harm on the people.

In addition - the Venus Project doesn't seem to be anywhere near getting off the ground. So what, if it has believers and members if they aren't doing anything to further the completion of their project?
ocalhoun
c'tair wrote:

in order for an efficient society people must be turned into gears for a big machine.

Again, you fail to define 'efficient'.
Here, you seem to be defining it as producing the most goods/services given the resources (people).
With this definition of efficiency, you do get a computer that rules like a particularly evil communist dictator.
But, redefine 'efficient' as making the most people the happiest while using the fewest resources (materials and time), then your clockwork dictator becomes much more benevolent.
Quote:

Look at how people are treated now - they are enouraged to not form any human-human relationships since their coworkers may get replaced any day (like parts in a machine), you don't chose where you live, you live where you can find work (like parts in a machine).


As you point out there, we can already be looked at as parts of a machine. This view is not altogether invalid, especially if you care about the happiness of the 'parts'.

Take the example of a country's military, sometimes referred to -- people included -- as a 'war machine'. The soldiers in it are 'cogs in the machine' -- but that particular type of cog works much better when its morale is high, so the machine has other parts dedicated to making sure these cogs are kept as happy as possible, given that you're sending them off to kill and be killed.
The 'war machine's definition of efficiency is achieving the objective given to it while incurring the least damage to itself and its owner. Even without the happiness of the parts being an explicit objective, it still does so because it works better this way.
Imagine what it could do if making all the cogs happy was it's objective.

*edited for correct punctuation*
mk12327
ocalhoun wrote:
eday2010 wrote:
have it not contain any people at all.


Now there's utopia! ^.^

Thankfully, living where I do, I can escape to places like that on a regular basis.


Somehow your post just reminds me of the story of Christopher McCandless (Into the Wild). Real cool.
gandalfthegrey
While I like the idea of the Venus Project, I am concerned that the followers of the Zeitgeist Movement are falling into a cult like mindset as if the Venus Project is the solution to all that is wrong with the world. That Zeitgeist Movement logo doesn't help.
mk12327
gandalfthegrey wrote:
While I like the idea of the Venus Project, I am concerned that the followers of the Zeitgeist Movement are falling into a cult like mindset as if the Venus Project is the solution to all that is wrong with the world. That Zeitgeist Movement logo doesn't help.


Haha... somehow it seems so much directed at me... =X Maybe it is time i reconsider the image at my signature... lol...
uzeed
c'tair wrote:
Well, I've read up more on this subject and I'm actually shocked and scared.
They believe that everything must be made super effiecient, ideally everything would be ruled by a computer and people wouldn't have to work because they would be replaced by machines.

Like, what the hell? First of all, where is any human dignity in all of that? If the AI decides that 100 people must die because it will mean a more 'efficient' system, isn't that denying basic human rights to people?

Also I must point out one huge flaw that they seem completely unaware of: technology is always a double sided sword. I bet you that Henry Ford didn't think that cars would actually become a huge problem for our eco system. I bet you that coal miners didn't think that they would be responsible for thousands of deaths because of CO poisoning. I can bet you that inventors of CFCs didn't think they would pulverize the Ozone layer.

Those people all introduced their technology and expected it to solve problems and BAM, it created problems that were UNPREDICTABLE.

So this Venus Project is simply unable to predict the down sides of their work and they won't be until they put it into life. But when they do, it's gonna be too late then.


Can buildings stand in other planets?
ocalhoun
uzeed wrote:


Can buildings stand in other planets?

Why wouldn't they?
mshafiq
ocalhoun wrote:
uzeed wrote:


Can buildings stand in other planets?

Why wouldn't they?

No, they will sit.
.... just kidding

By the way I thought to make a city whose residents will be nice people only.
This was my thought when I was not a mature person.

Now I know it is almost impossible....
ocalhoun
mshafiq wrote:

By the way I thought to make a city whose residents will be nice people only.
This was my thought when I was not a mature person.

Now I know it is almost impossible....

Sadly, even if you did, it would sooner or later get pillaged and burned by the city full of the leftover mean people.
Deboracco
Zeitgeist may be approved by some and frowned upon by others. The fact is that the way we inhabit the planet are in decline.
The end for me is people talking bad and be looking to see if it will work out the objectives of the zeitgeist, and sitting in front of TV, deluding themselves that has a decent life. The Zeitgeist Movement has members in several countries I do not consider this bit.
gandalfthegrey
I agree, that many people waste too much time behind the television and are generally apathetic; it however is a logical fallacy to conclude being active with the Zeitgeist movement is therefore a solution.

There are organized Communists in every country in the world. There are more members of new religious movements and sects, such as Bahai, Jehovah's Witnesses, or even Scientology than there are members of Zeitgeist movement. Having 'followers' in many countries is again not a valid reason for joining or supporting something.

What most Zeitgeist followers fail to realize is that there are many other organizations and movements that have advocated for some of things it does. Organizations and movements that are much more organized and have a much longer history. The Zeitgeist Movement is a phenomenon that will fade in time because of its lack of clear direction and lack of organization on the ground. It could have worked had the filmmaker been better prepared to deal with the deluge of support, or had it had a clearer vision (instead of jumbling so many causes together, in what may as well be a sort of religion or anti-religion).
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