[ExI] Homelessness (was Re: Social right to have a living)

Kelly Anderson kellycoinguy at gmail.com
Thu Jun 30 18:50:29 UTC 2011

On Wed, Jun 29, 2011 at 3:35 PM, Jeff Davis <jrd1415 at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Wed, Jun 29, 2011 at 10:46 AM, Kelly Anderson
>> Ok Jeff. So what do we do about homelessness?
> I consider homelessness part of the larger problem of social and
> economic decay,

I've heard some liberals state (seriously) that the biggest mistake
mankind ever made was to come in from the rain and begin agriculture.
So according to that method of thinking, the purest, best state for
humanity would be for us ALL to be essentially homeless.

I don't state this to be provocative, but to point out that
homelessness isn't the end of the world, just the end of access to a
certain kind of civilization for those who are homeless.

I could be perfectly happy in a perpetual camp out, but DCFS would
remove my children from me if I did. Another example of the loss of
liberty we face in our home-filled society. Normal has become overly
important in the US.

> and would prefer to discuss the larger challenge of a
> new system of governance -- a rational system of governance --
> designed to address the circumstances -- social, cultural, political,
> human behavioral, and technological -- of today's world.

That sounds like a good goal. A bit much for one email :-)  but my
answer would be a system with the absolute maximum amount of freedom
possible without impinging upon the freedom of others. Lest you think
this a purely libertarian pov, I include protection of the environment
as necessary to avoid damaging others.

> If this seems like a dodge, then I defer to the practical and
> compassionate and EXPLICIT suggestions of John Grigg, who to his great
> credit, always seems to have his feet planted solidly on the ground
> (unlike moi).

I don't know exactly what you are referring to here. Could you be more explicit?

> Simply put. if you create the conditions for people to feel safe, they
> will work steadily to resolve problems both personal and societal.  If
> however, people are constantly stressed by unrelenting vulnerability
> in a ruthless social environment, then any spark can unleash the dark
> forces of barbarism.

Ok, so the core of my proposed civilization is freedom, and the core
of your proposed civilization is safety.

To quote Benjamin Franklin, the first American, "They who can give up
essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither
liberty nor safety."

I'm with Franklin on this one. If you truly believe you are smarter
than Benjamin Franklin, then I am VERY interested in what you might
have to say. He helped take us from tyranny to something that worked
very well for quite some time, in REALITY, not some ivory tower
exercise on a mailing list.

> We've had thousands of years of seeing how humans behave and how that
> gets us all in trouble.

We have accomplished great things in the last few thousand years. I
ask again, would you like to climb back up into the trees?

> Since we now have technology enabling a level
> of productivity sufficient to meet  -- AT LEAST -- everyone's BASIC
> needs, there is no longer any reason for the war of all against all.

But don't you see? We don't. If everyone's basic needs were met
without work, very soon nobody's basic needs would be met. We would
either overpopulate to the point that the whole system would collapse
into starving chaos, or we would just all stop doing things for each
other outside of our local groups and collapse into tribalism. I don't
think you can stop the basic forces of Darwinism, and that's what you
are asking to have happen. I'd love to suspend the law of gravity now
and again too. :-)

> To achieve that lasting peace, and reap the economic benefits of a
> demilitarized world -- trillions saved on weapons and an end to the
> cycle of destruction and rebuilding -- we have to find a way to
> prevent the ruling elite -- those who start and benefit from wars --
> from victimizing the rest of us with their pathology of ambition and
> power.

Now there is something that is hard to disagree with. I would love to
be able to demilitarize. The only problem with that is that everyone
has to demilitarize together, and I see no way to accomplish that.

The United States could and probably will have to unilaterally
decrease the size of their military presence around the world. There
are more US military service men protecting South Korea from North
Korea than there are protecting the US southern border from Mexican
drug lords! But getting rid of the whole enchilada only kicks the ball
down the field so far. Someone on this list recently said that 80% of
our economy could be attributed to the rule of law, well friend, that
same 80% comes from the power of the military too.

But, if you can do it, that would be swell.

Step one. Stop the western addiction to oil. That's what all the fuss
is about in the Middle East, which is the core of almost all the
world's problems these days. Something like 23 of the last 25 inter
state wars have involved at least one Islamic country. Sad.

> Can we design a system to do that?

Probably not. But perhaps with more intelligence, it can be achieved.
And I'm talking superhuman intelligence of the AGI sort.


More information about the extropy-chat mailing list