[ExI] A Nobel laureate and climate change

Dennis May dennislmay at yahoo.com
Sat Sep 17 15:40:21 UTC 2011

In a time of less government interference inventors, entrepreneurs, and industrialists
like Edison and others required large capital they personally controlled to create
and test their visions.  Publicly traded corporations often have CEO's changing
jobs every few years - only looking at the bottom line for themselves.  The board
of directors are often composed of people with a similar outlook.
With less interference innovators would feel more inclined to risk their own
capital to see their innovations created.  Many of these visions are very expensive.
The innovator has largely been relegated to low level employee with control
of capital in the hands of nameless faceless bureaucracies - whether government
or corporate.
Those wanting to see amazing advances for the future need to stop vilifying
the rich.  Innovators who get to keep their money to expand their ability to
innovate represent the kind of positive feedback required for the critical mass
to innovate a technological culture.  Redistribution is the wet blanket thrown
on the fire of innovation.
$50 million will let you build a small plant - it will not leave you money to
operate.  If you want real innovation you need to leave the rich alone so that
individual innovators can collect capital in the hundreds of millions and many
billions of dollars so their visions can grow before they are smothered.
You want AI - leave innovators alone to gather the sums required to get it
going.  The examples of redistribution stifling innovation are countless and
sickening.  Government picking winners and losers is redistribution - killing
more and more innovation the more it is tried.
Dennis May
From: Stefano Vaj <stefano.vaj at gmail.com>
To: ExI chat list <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org>
Sent: Saturday, September 17, 2011 8:23 AM
Subject: Re: [ExI] A Nobel laureate and climate change

On 17 September 2011 03:53, Tomasz Rola <rtomek at ceti.pl> wrote:

Sounds like the rich have no children. And if they have, they don't really
>love them. Because, obviously, they only love money?
Contrary to common wisdom, I suspect that people do not really care about money. This is a distorted mirage generated by the mercantilistic one-dimensionalism of late western culture, which had no course anywhere before the Europe of the XIX century.

What they invariably crave is power, status, and growth in those areas, and "work" is simply the name in each given age of the activities they perform to this end rather than for the pleasure of it. Even today, beyond a relatively low threshold (50 million USD?) nothing you do can really change much of the quantity or quality of your food or comfort or medical care or sexual partners, but money continue to matter simply as a mean to keep the scores in the competition *for the above*, the specific function of money having become irrelevant. Conversely, a lot of people want to become a president of the US or a catholic bishop even though an equivalent effort could secure them a higher-revenue position.

This is why all the literature floating around about the "end of jobs" sounds ridiculous to me. Peasants largely stopped tolling in the fields and knights from riding their horses around the country to administer justice  with the advent of the industrial revolution, they did not stop to compete at an individual and collective (read "class", "firm", "sector", "nation", "ethnical group", "corporation", etc.) level for all that.

Stefano Vaj

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