spudit on May 06, 2011, 08:20:31 am
We all do it and the EFT verse being as open and different as it is seems a natural place for it. So in hopes of taking some pressure off more specific threads like ZAP, why not here.

I hear talk of everything from monarchies to specialized isolated towns as refuges for one philosophy or another, to what we in the West know too well today in all its many flavors, to what is shown in the strip.

Abstract, I bet a guy or gal could..., talk is great stuff, a fine foundation. But the societal structure someone will build someday has to be far from abstract. I'd argue it exists today and that each of us can grow our own. Start small, you, your family, your neighbors, church or community group. Is anyone familiar with Gulching?

Talk of grand top down structuring has to stay talk, too damned big. Small scale grass roots though, we can do now; it has been done. I'd argue that the LDS groups represent a thriving culture within a culture to some extent socially, ecconomically, ethiclly independent. Sure they look and act like the rest, but what else are they? The more obvious Amish and other Plain Folk too. And it's not just for the religous either, all them pot smokin hippies buy, sell, work, interact within their own circles too.

Hell, look at the folks here now, what a range of views, lifestyles, locations, philosophies EFT has attracted.

Back now to lurking.

« Last Edit: May 06, 2011, 08:23:51 am by spudit »
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mellyrn on May 06, 2011, 12:35:03 pm
I'd never heard the term gulching before.  I like it.  And while I'm not an urban creature myself, I can imagine how to do it even within a city.  Hmm.

Am reading a very interesting book, Seeing Like a State.  Author points out the apparently universal human tendency to try to simplify the environment into something controllable (this guy does not say so, but the very ability to categorize does that).  When we tried to apply this to forestry, our first-generation results were spectacularly good (well, Germany's was, which became the gold standard) -- and the second-generation results led us to try desperately to restore at least some complexity.  He is going to make the case that top-down social-engineering projects -- some of which he describes as such abysmal failures that the word "fiasco" is far too friendly -- fail for much that same reason:  the elimination of subtle complexities we either don't notice or don't understand.

spudit on May 06, 2011, 04:51:41 pm
I heard it said once, he can't tell a forest from a tree farm.

Large scale top down social engineering is beyond the resources of us little guys and gals. It has certainly been done by the big boys, Lincoln, LBJ, Stalin, that German fella in the 40's, Mao and his horrible wife. We know how those turned out.

No, my social engineering project consists of me, the dog and the boat, ready to float any time. It's all I can do but I can do it. There is a community round these parts which could use us, has what we need, on and on. That engine pulling cargo mast is no accident. We all have valuable assets, skills, opportunities, people on our teams.

The second part has to come from the bottom up, it consists of knowing what you need and want, your priorities. Yours, not as imposed by Uncle Joe as part of revitalizing the Ukraine or LBJ "fixing" urban neighborhoods. Only you can know what matters to you, what is worth the bother, to you.

On my last boat I did my damndest to keep to a 12 amps a day at 12 volts power habit, what I knew the solar panels produced on a dark day. It worked for me but if someone imposed it on a person against their will, not nice That's the thing about top down, the broad brush one size fits all or else bit.

Urban gulching means working around those folks who are "there to help you", but the sheer density of potential partners, co-conspiritors, friends, customers, pick one, is staggering. My long outgrown home town of Chicago has 10,000 people per square mile including one hell of a lot of industry, railyards, roads and parks where damned few live. That's 100 times denser than the lower 48 on average. It can be done.
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ContraryGuy on May 17, 2011, 11:20:17 am
I'd never heard the term gulching before.  I like it.  And while I'm not an urban creature myself, I can imagine how to do it even within a city.  Hmm.

"Gulching" refers to the idea first presented in 'Atlas Shrugged,' where all of the smart people and the inventors and thinkers and all of the 'we're so much superior than the common sheeple' go and live together in a gated community where they form a Mutual Admiration Society.

Of course gulching doesnt work in the real world.  Did you ever notice that the people in Atlas Shrugged didnt invite any farmers or cooks or janitors to live with them?

Sure all of the creative people went 'on strike', but when they retreated to Galts Gulch how did they eat?  How did they manage hygiene?

Anyone who says that they "gulch" or are "going Galt" are the most ignorant and naive people this country has ever produced.

ContraryGuy on May 17, 2011, 11:27:44 am
I heard it said once, he can't tell a forest from a tree farm.

Large scale top down social engineering is beyond the resources of us little guys and gals. It has certainly been done by the big boys, Lincoln, LBJ, Stalin, that German fella in the 40's, Mao and his horrible wife. We know how those turned out.

No, my social engineering project consists of me, the dog and the boat, ready to float any time. It's all I can do but I can do it. There is a community round these parts which could use us, has what we need, on and on. That engine pulling cargo mast is no accident. We all have valuable assets, skills, opportunities, people on our teams.

The second part has to come from the bottom up, it consists of knowing what you need and want, your priorities. Yours, not as imposed by Uncle Joe as part of revitalizing the Ukraine or LBJ "fixing" urban neighborhoods. Only you can know what matters to you, what is worth the bother, to you.

On my last boat I did my damndest to keep to a 12 amps a day at 12 volts power habit, what I knew the solar panels produced on a dark day. It worked for me but if someone imposed it on a person against their will, not nice That's the thing about top down, the broad brush one size fits all or else bit.

Urban gulching means working around those folks who are "there to help you", but the sheer density of potential partners, co-conspiritors, friends, customers, pick one, is staggering. My long outgrown home town of Chicago has 10,000 people per square mile including one hell of a lot of industry, railyards, roads and parks where damned few live. That's 100 times denser than the lower 48 on average. It can be done.

Urban Gulching is a fancy, political name for working with your friends and neighbors to make your little part of the world better and more livable.

It is used by people who want the benefits of urban life and the amenities and all the nice things that come from having a friendly community around them but who want to avoid any words that smack of "liberalism" or "lefty" or, God forbid, "hippie".

So, these people use references from Atlas Shrugged and other places to sound "sophisticated" and to make themselves feel superior to the common rabble who just use plain language.

Hypocrisy of the Elite goes both ways.

spudit on May 17, 2011, 10:15:32 pm
You are confused CG, don't confuse the book and reality. You have read the book? I believe Claire Wolfe originated or at least popularized the term we use today.

In reality gulching is hard to do 100% but you can come close. Step one simplify your needs. Yes, one really can live without cable, or a TV at all. Minimize and simplify as much as you can, network, do favors, it will develop. I see it done all over, not by name but done regardless. Ever help a buddy move? On a partial level, I am doing it now.  Like ZAP, this sort of thing is part of the framework of a decent society. 
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MacFall on May 18, 2011, 03:59:08 pm
I'm thinking maybe he didn't actually read the book, since in the book it was clear that the Prime Movers were willing to take on rudimentary tasks in Galt's Gulch, rather than sacrifice the fruits of their expertise to the Looters. Ayn Rand even wrote herself in as a fish seller.

I'm no Randroid. There is plenty in Rand's work, and in Atlas in particular, that I'm willing to criticize. But it sure does bug me when people criticize problems that weren't actually there. And on this, CG completely missed the point of the whole book.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2011, 04:00:53 pm by MacFall »
Government is not, as is often believed, a "necessary evil". Rather, it is a plain evil of such power that it has been able to convince people of its necessity.

Tucci78 on May 18, 2011, 05:15:43 pm
I'm thinking maybe he didn't actually read the book, since in the book it was clear that the Prime Movers were willing to take on rudimentary tasks in Galt's Gulch, rather than sacrifice the fruits of their expertise to the Looters. Ayn Rand even wrote herself in as a fish seller.

I'm no Randroid. There is plenty in Rand's work, and in Atlas in particular, that I'm willing to criticize. But it sure does bug me when people criticize problems that weren't actually there. And on this, CG completely missed the point of the whole book.

Yup. From Part III ("A is A"), Chapter 1 ("Atlantis") of Atlas Shrugged:

Quote
Ahead of them, she saw a wooden pier projecting into the water of the lake. A young woman lay stretched on the sun-flooded planks, watching a battery of fishing rods. She glanced up at the sound of the car, then leaped to her feet in a single swift movement, a shade too swift, and ran to the road. She wore slacks, rolled above the knees of her bare legs, she had dark, disheveled hair and large eyes. Galt waved to her.

"Hello, John! When did you get in?" she called.

"This morning," he answered, smiling and driving on.

Dagny jerked her head to look back and saw the glance with which the young woman stood looking after Galt. And even though hopelessness, serenely accepted, was part of the worship in that glance, she experienced a feeling she had never known before: a stab of jealousy.

"Who is that?" she asked.

"Our best fishwife. She provides the fish for Hammond's grocery market."

"What else is she?"

"You've noticed that there's a 'what else' for every one of us here? She's a writer. The kind of writer who wouldn't be published outside. She believes that when one deals with words, one deals with the mind."
"I is a great believer in peaceful settlements," Jik-jik assured him. "Ain't nobody as peaceful as a dead trouble-maker."
-- Keith Laumer, Retief's War (1966)

spudit on May 19, 2011, 09:25:55 am
Even I noticed a mistake in AS and me a fan.

Rand was raised in Russia so she identified the white barked trees growing alongside the tracks in the Rockies as birches, as they would have been in the Urals. No, silly woman, they were aspens.

Clearly that shows the entire 1,800 page book is pure BS.  ;D
« Last Edit: May 19, 2011, 09:28:08 am by spudit »
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Tucci78 on May 19, 2011, 03:53:06 pm
Even I noticed a mistake in AS, and me a fan.

Rand was raised in Russia so she identified the white barked trees growing alongside the tracks in the Rockies as birches, as they would have been in the Urals. No, silly woman, they were aspens.

Clearly that shows the entire 1,800 page book is pure BS.

I've always been unable to call myself a Rand fan. I've never liked her fiction, and only got into it after reading through just about all of the expostulatory prose (essays and speeches) she'd written in the last several decades of her life, subscribing to The Objectivist and The Objectivist Forum, much of her content in those organs later collected for publication in book form.  

I thought she was a helluvan essayist, but her work as a novelist just plain sucked.

I got the feeling early on (and have absolutely no reason to doubt it now) that Mrs. O'Connor had a definite itch in her pants for the male characters she painted as "heroic," and in the section I'd quoted from Atlas Shrugged (above) she certainly lets it show.

On the premise that every writer who ever put narration and dialect into words has at one time or another whacked up (you should pardon the expression) some pornography for his/her own amusement, and battened it down within that secret compartment in the locked trunk to which every writer consigns her/his really unsellable "stinkeroos," I've long wondered what kinds of "pant-pant-pant!" sadomasochistic fantasies little Alisa used to scribble about her personal schtuppery with Hank Rearden and Howard Roarke and Francisco d'Anconia and especially John Galt.

It's not that I'd ever want to read it except for the kind of insight into disease that you get from working your way through an autopsy.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2011, 04:22:01 pm by Tucci78 »
"I is a great believer in peaceful settlements," Jik-jik assured him. "Ain't nobody as peaceful as a dead trouble-maker."
-- Keith Laumer, Retief's War (1966)

Emote Control on May 29, 2011, 04:30:01 am
I heard it said once, he can't tell a forest from a tree farm.

Large scale top down social engineering is beyond the resources of us little guys and gals. It has certainly been done by the big boys, Lincoln, LBJ, Stalin, that German fella in the 40's, Mao and his horrible wife. We know how those turned out.


Lincoln was of a sort with Stalin and Mao and Hitler!?!  Are you kidding me?  The American Civil War was many things, but not a social engineering experiment.

On another note, I think one has to distinguish between social engineering carried out top-down in one big step, by force, to eliminate all evil and social engineering that works piecemeal to identify specific ills in a society and works to eliminate them.  (This distinction is due to Karl Popper, but it is one I agree with).  Collective Farms are an example of the first, the campaign against drunken driving in the US is the second.

J Thomas on May 29, 2011, 06:39:38 am
I heard it said once, he can't tell a forest from a tree farm.

Large scale top down social engineering is beyond the resources of us little guys and gals. It has certainly been done by the big boys, Lincoln, LBJ, Stalin, that German fella in the 40's, Mao and his horrible wife. We know how those turned out.

Lincoln was of a sort with Stalin and Mao and Hitler!?!  Are you kidding me?  The American Civil War was many things, but not a social engineering experiment.


I tend to agree. The civil war may have been a social engineering experiment, but I see no reason to think that Lincoln actually planned it. More like he was riding a tiger and holding on as hard as he could. Similarly with LBJ, who wanted a social engineering experiment but couldn't get Congress to fund it. Oh, and Mao, he couldn't stay on top unless there was lots of turbulence to keep anybody else from consolidating control out from under him. Come to think of it, that applies to Stalin too. And Hitler? He had so many crises he could hardly match one off against another.. He authorised a lot of social engineering but it may have been mostly that he didn't think he had much choice but to sign off on them, and he didn't have time to think about them.

Maybe for a large scale social engineering program to actually work, you need most of the population to agree to it ahead of time and enthusiasticly try it out. Maybe it takes so much consensus that it seems conservative.

Quote
On another note, I think one has to distinguish between social engineering carried out top-down in one big step, by force, to eliminate all evil and social engineering that works piecemeal to identify specific ills in a society and works to eliminate them.  (This distinction is due to Karl Popper, but it is one I agree with).  Collective Farms are an example of the first, the campaign against drunken driving in the US is the second.

I'd say the important difference is not whether it's top-down or by force or piecemeal. The most important difference is whether the people who are trying to make it happen are actually right about the problem, and right about the solution. Or not.

Since we are surrounded by people who use fake statistics and fake reasoning to try to create astroturf supporting their positions, it's very hard to get a consensus unless there's already a consensus. People prefer to believe what they already believe -- unless they see immediate personal value in changing their beliefs to something more palatable. It's hard to tell which social change to support given the number of despicable liars around.

Given that it's hard to be sure what to do, is it any wonder that many people prefer that social engineering be allowed only when it is utterly ineffective?

So if the campaign against drunk driving had been restricted entirely to campaigners going around to bars and trying to peacefully persuade drunks to voluntarily stop driving, then it would have been OK. But instead we used government force to coerce drunks, when many drunks in fact claimed they drove better drunk than sober because they had more practice.

They would have come up with lots of stupid but reasonable-sounding reasons why it was better to let them drive drunk, except they were too disorganised and lacked funding. It's a predictable problem for a lobby organised around a bunch of drunks....

Emote Control on May 29, 2011, 09:45:10 am



So if the campaign against drunk driving had been restricted entirely to campaigners going around to bars and trying to peacefully persuade drunks to voluntarily stop driving, then it would have been OK. But instead we used government force to coerce drunks, when many drunks in fact claimed they drove better drunk than sober because they had more practice.

They would have come up with lots of stupid but reasonable-sounding reasons why it was better to let them drive drunk, except they were too disorganised and lacked funding. It's a predictable problem for a lobby organised around a bunch of drunks....


It's not an issue of "would have" -- they do!  See:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wTtT5_rk3hI&feature=related 

On another level, I would also disagree with the statement that they "used government force to coerce drunks".  Yes, the states made drunk driving illegal -- but they don't hold people down to prevent them from entering cars, they charge them with a crime.  That's different.  And while I will agree that governments are often involved in things they shouldn't be, I think they should be involved in preventing car accidents that kill people.  In fact, it is hard to come up with a more legitimate use of government resources then preventing innocent people from dying.

sam on May 29, 2011, 06:19:35 pm
Lincoln was of a sort with Stalin and Mao and Hitler!?!  Are you kidding me?  The American Civil War was many things, but not a social engineering experiment.

Before the civil war, the Unites States was plural, after the civil war, singular.

That was gigantic, and disastrous, change.

On another note, I think one has to distinguish between social engineering carried out top-down in one big step, by force, to eliminate all evil and social engineering that works piecemeal to identify specific ills in a society and works to eliminate them.  (This distinction is due to Karl Popper, but it is one I agree with).  Collective Farms are an example of the first, the campaign against drunken driving in the US is the second.

Prohibiting slavery was the latter, but centralizing all power in the central government was the former.

Emote Control on May 29, 2011, 08:23:54 pm
Lincoln was of a sort with Stalin and Mao and Hitler!?!  Are you kidding me?  The American Civil War was many things, but not a social engineering experiment.

Before the civil war, the Unites States was plural, after the civil war, singular.

That was gigantic, and disastrous, change.

What does that even mean?

On another note, I think one has to distinguish between social engineering carried out top-down in one big step, by force, to eliminate all evil and social engineering that works piecemeal to identify specific ills in a society and works to eliminate them.  (This distinction is due to Karl Popper, but it is one I agree with).  Collective Farms are an example of the first, the campaign against drunken driving in the US is the second.

Quote
Prohibiting slavery was the latter, but centralizing all power in the central government was the former.

If you think that all power is actually centralized in the central government, you have clearly spent your life living in a different country than I have.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2011, 10:16:46 pm by Emote Control »

 

anything