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Old 2012-08-05, 22:41   Link #1
Sugetsu
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Culture in Decline By Peter Joseph‏ (Youtube TV Series)



Peter Joseph is working on a new project; a reality TV youtube series entitled "Culture in Decline". I thought it would be interesting for us to discuss each episode as it is released. By the tittle it should be obvious that this show discusses the shortcomings of our current social system.

This show is not an attempt to promote the Zeitgeist movement or the Venus Project. This project has a different direction, it dwells in politics and media influence.

Here is an excerpt from the Official website:

Quote:
"Peter Joseph is asking the questions and proposing the possible solutions that we should be demanding from the elected leaders of this crazy world."
The first episode was just released on July 30th. I found it quite fascinating, specially the part about the American public lacking in critical thinking skills. I believe this is the primary reason why GOP can get away with such stupidity and still remain main stream.

Quote:
This opening show addresses the coming 2012 US Presidential Election and the subject of what we perceive as "Democracy" in the world today.
Enjoy!



Website: http://www.cultureindecline.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/cultureindeclin
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/CultureinDecline
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Old 2012-08-05, 23:01   Link #2
Vexx
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Why put the question to just the leaders? What about the general population? My brain seizes up at that upper left screen (second from the left on top).

An idiot woman with a poster that reads, "I don't accept the fundamental tenets of science and I vote"...

... somewhere a monolith device weeps.
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Old 2012-08-05, 23:17   Link #3
ganbaru
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Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
An idiot woman with a poster that reads, "I don't accept the fundamental tenets of science and I vote"...

... somewhere a monolith device weeps.
Maybe they should had used much more of thoses, or more often .
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Old 2012-08-05, 23:35   Link #4
Sugetsu
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Well, there is something i didn't know, exactly at 20:00 Peter talks about how in 1988 former heads of republican and democrat parties created a private corporation posing as a non partisan organization called CPD to regulate through secret contracts what is going to be discussed in presidential debates...

Beautiful, this shows how rigged the US political system is.

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Originally Posted by Vexx View Post

... somewhere a monolith device weeps.
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Old 2012-08-06, 19:01   Link #5
DonQuigleone
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A bit too Ameri-centric. The Unites States in not the world, and many of the issues he wishes to address exist throughout the world, in places that lack the USA's "unique" quirks.

Because of that, I think his efforts are ultimately flawed.

I thought this BBC democracy, which is along similiar lines, was better.
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Old 2012-08-11, 19:18   Link #6
Ledgem
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Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post
A bit too Ameri-centric. The Unites States in not the world, and many of the issues he wishes to address exist throughout the world, in places that lack the USA's "unique" quirks.

Because of that, I think his efforts are ultimately flawed.
He's one individual, he's an American, and it seems his goal is to affect American society. To address world-wide issues would take a lot more work and expertise.

While he raises some good points, I disagreed with some other points. He seems to be arguing that changes to regulations and other laws can't work, because the system that we currently have (capitalism combined with our democracy) is inherently flawed. The problem is that society (and perhaps human nature, specifically greed) would cause any other system to be corrupted, as well. In my opinion, there's no need to dump the entire system. Regulations and laws should be adjusted to meet the state of affairs as things change. Should society's values ever change enough to support another system, then a larger change could be considered. I don't expect it to ever happen, though.

His argument about the two-party system is correct, but he falls short of addressing it properly. The answer is not to simply vote for whoever you like. As long as we have a "winner takes all" system, that approach will never work. The reason has to do with the end game of such a system. All it takes is for a few groups of people to decide that the differences between them are smaller than between the other groups. Even if they're not 100% satisfied with their candidates or laws, they have a majority that trounces everyone else. It's the principle behind the statement "united we stand, divided we fall." Form a majority, no matter how narrow, and you can shut out everyone else.

The fix to that involves overhauling the system to account for votes and opinions that make up the minority. I'm under the impression that the Australian and various European systems account for those minority votes, and as a result they have numerous "third parties" involved in the government. I don't know that we would ever be able to have a change like that, though. Many Americans are proud of their national identity. Thus, in addition to the usual fear of change, there would be resistance to emulating features of another country.
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Old 2012-08-12, 03:20   Link #7
synaesthetic
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Mathematically, as long as we have a first-past-the-post voting system, we will always end up with a two-party system.
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Old 2012-08-12, 07:07   Link #8
DonQuigleone
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ledgem View Post
He's one individual, he's an American, and it seems his goal is to affect American society. To address world-wide issues would take a lot more work and expertise.
The problem is that by being so Ameri-centric he's blinkering himself. The problems he is trying to address are not unique to the United States, by looking only at the USA he's making the false assumption that the problems in the USA are due to these USA-specific factors (All the specific issues he addressed were almost entirely unique the United States). But all the more general problems he thought solving those specific issues would solve exist outside the United States, and in fact are often worse outside the USA then in it.

If he wants to actually solve these issues, he'll need a more cosmopolitan approach. If anything, he's illustrating one of the core problems prevalent in the United States: Insularity. The average American has almost no idea what goes on in the world outside the USA, except when their government decided to invade some place. That's one of the real problems! Because of that, he, along with many other americans, has no sense of perspective.
Quote:
The fix to that involves overhauling the system to account for votes and opinions that make up the minority. I'm under the impression that the Australian and various European systems account for those minority votes, and as a result they have numerous "third parties" involved in the government. I don't know that we would ever be able to have a change like that, though. Many Americans are proud of their national identity. Thus, in addition to the usual fear of change, there would be resistance to emulating features of another country.
Aye, though in certain cases PR produces equally bad problems.

Quote:
Originally Posted by synaesthetic View Post
Mathematically, as long as we have a first-past-the-post voting system, we will always end up with a two-party system.
Generally true, but it's important to note that the UK actually has 2.5 parties (conservatives, labour, liberal democrats)
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Old 2012-08-12, 14:34   Link #9
Sugetsu
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post
If he wants to actually solve these issues, he'll need a more cosmopolitan approach. If anything, he's illustrating one of the core problems prevalent in the United States: Insularity. The average American has almost no idea what goes on in the world outside the USA, except when their government decided to invade some place. That's one of the real problems! Because of that, he, along with many other americans, has no sense of perspective.
Peter Joseph is one of the founders of the Zeitgiest movement, a world wide movement with hundreds of chapters all over the world. Accusing a person like him of being insular is quite wrong. He has traveled all over the globe, has given speeches and attended conferences in many countries. He is very aware of the globe's geopolitical system.

However, it is true that this episode was laser focused on American problems, but that was probably his intention. The episode was aimed specifically at the American 2012 elections, which without a doubt, are poised to be historic in their level of corruption.
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Old 2012-08-12, 19:53   Link #10
DonQuigleone
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Originally Posted by Sugetsu View Post
Peter Joseph is one of the founders of the Zeitgiest movement, a world wide movement with hundreds of chapters all over the world. Accusing a person like him of being insular is quite wrong. He has traveled all over the globe, has given speeches and attended conferences in many countries. He is very aware of the globe's geopolitical system.

However, it is true that this episode was laser focused on American problems, but that was probably his intention. The episode was aimed specifically at the American 2012 elections, which without a doubt, are poised to be historic in their level of corruption.
I'm only judging him on his video. The video was blinkered. Many of the problems he brought up with America's two party system are not unique to two party systems, but are fundamental problems with Democracy itself.

The origins of the problems that are besetting the world right now are global in nature, and do not strictly originate in America. The solution to the problems facing America (and the world) are not rooted in America, but in the entire global political and economic system
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Old 2012-08-12, 20:56   Link #11
risingstar3110
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Enjoyed the episode.

There 're flaws here and there (mostly in term of presentation). But let's see how the series will going on next
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Old 2012-10-01, 22:50   Link #12
Sugetsu
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Here is the second episode of the series, which just aired today:

Quote:
The topic of this show entitled "Economics 101" deals with the subject of Economic Calculation, Market Rationale and its effects, along with considerations of the Scientific Principles of Sustainability. This episode features long winded and generally insulting rhetoric, a special guest Gremlin, CID's "Man on the Street" and the return of the evil peach-suit capitalist - Peter' alter ego.

“Culture in Decline” is a satirical yet serious expression that challenges various cultural phenomena existing today which most of society seems to take for granted. Nothing is considered sacred in this Series except for a detached benchmark of fundamental logic and reason - forcing the viewer to step out of the box of “Normality” and to consider our societal practices without traditional baggage and biases. Common themes include Politics, Economics, Education, Security, Religion, Vanity, Governance, Media, Labor, Technology and other issues centric to our daily lives.



I personally loved this episode, it had a nice mixture of humor and cold hard facts.
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Old 2012-10-02, 07:45   Link #13
DonQuigleone
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He makes a lot of claims that he doesn't back up.

Personally I don't see how you can build a sustainable economy without money. When you try to build a planned economy, you end up with the Soviet Union. The market system works because it doesn't require much of a central authority.

He says that the world could function without people labouring, that's nonsense. All those sophisticated machines he points to need guys to build, design an maintain them. Why should one group work to maintain these machines to support everyone else?

He says there are enough resources to provide everyone with a good lifestyle he is wrong, there aren't enough resources to provide everyone with all the modcons of western lifestyle (and a lifestyle that is not "western" is quite intolerable in comparison).

And he also says that modern economics is built on the idea that people are "irrational", not true, it's built on the idea that we all have rational self interest.

I think Peter Joseph has a cold, cynical and most of all ill informed view of the world. Rather then reading all those economics text books, maybe he should have read a bit about engineering instead. Then he'd understand how many problems we regularly have to solve all the time. And then maybe he'd undertstand that we do, in fact, try to design for sustainability (believe it or not, people like buying sustainable products!), but that's it's really hard. Pricing is a great way to drive sustainability, because it encourages us to use that which is abundant, and avoid using that which is rare. If petroleum becomes costlier, we will design our systems to use less of it.

Now I would agree that we do need to implement more sustainability, but environmental regulations is enough to achieve that. And contrary to what you might think, our environmental regulations do work. It's just that you only hear about when they don't. Consider that we don't have lethal smogs sweeping over cities regularly killing people.

Our present economic system has lifted more people from poverty in the last century then in all the centuries before it combined. I am quite sure that the next century will achieve similar results.

If you want to talk about inequality, sure it's a problem, but not as dramatic as you might think. If you look at it in terms of the amenities and goods people can access, rather then in terms of money, western society is more equal then any other. We all have cars, houses, computers and plentiful food. In Europe everyone can access healthcare (and in the US, almost everyone). We all can fly all over the world wherever we please to holiday. If I look at Mitt Romney, what does he have materially that I do not. I suppose instead of my slightly dinky home he has 2 or 3 big homes. I suppose he has better gym membership then I do, and maybe he has a nice private jet and doesn't have to sit in the crammed seating I do. However, in absolute terms, I can do almost everything he can do. If we want to talk inequality, we both have almost the same quality of life. I would say that all but the lowest 5% of American society (IE the homeless and destitute) have a similar standard of living. We all have access to similar levels of amenities and quality of living.

If you want to talk global inequality, sure, it's a problem, but it's a problem that is slowly and steadily improving. You don't magic people out of poverty, it's a slow and painful process, but we're doing it, steadily, and more importantly, those people are lifting themselves out of poverty. We're just lending them our expertise.

In fact, a modern working class family has a better standard of living today then a medieval lord did living in his manor. That's equality.
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Old 2012-10-02, 11:07   Link #14
Jaden
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I think he's terrible at humor but still pretty good at explaining stuff. And has that well pronounced radio voice so it's not boring to listen to.
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Old 2012-10-02, 11:18   Link #15
Zakoo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post

He says there are enough resources to provide everyone with a good lifestyle he is wrong, there aren't enough resources to provide everyone with all the modcons of western lifestyle (and a lifestyle that is not "western" is quite intolerable in comparison).
No.

Earth produdes 2800 calories per human each days, by far enough to eat what your body needs.

Of course going to macdonalds makes you eat in one meal what you should have gained in 2 days.

Everybody could indeed eat at his hunger, the reasons why there are still one billon people starving lies somewhere else.
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Old 2012-10-02, 11:45   Link #16
ninryu
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Old 2012-10-02, 11:49   Link #17
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Originally Posted by Zakoo View Post
No.

Earth produdes 2800 calories per human each days, by far enough to eat what your body needs.

Of course going to macdonalds makes you eat in one meal what you should have gained in 2 days.

Everybody could indeed eat at his hunger, the reasons why there are still one billon people starving lies somewhere else.
Among other problems.....

How much of that food would you want to eat, being GMOs, industrialized livestocks, heavily poisoned stuff? Furthermore, how much do you think you can actually transport to the areas in need?
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Old 2012-10-02, 12:12   Link #18
Jaden
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Cynical rant incoming to explain why I approve of Peter Joseph:

The contemporary western world is extremely disillusioned with politics, it's fearful of positive liberty, revolutions and any attempts to change the world, perhaps rightfully so after experiencing things like nazi germany and the soviet union.

As a result, politics are no longer driven by ideals but rather with the aim of containing and minimizing the use of power. If there's an ideal, then it's one where nobody is in control but the system is capable of regulating itself. This has been achieved by using the tools of free market and democracy-machinations that sufficiently please the masses and complicate descision-making.

It's been so successful in creating a stable society that with America leading the charge, the west has been imposing the same model on the rest of the world, by force when necessary. That hasn't worked perfectly and created a number of backlashes such as political Islam and whatever it is that China is doing. But all that is going on a tangent.

My worry is that this model of western society is a sort of trap which, while seemingly stable now, may become a terrible dead end in the future. It's different from the catastrophes of socialism and dictatorship that were suffered in the 20th century, instead caused by the unsustainability of the economic model, ecological problems, and warping of human values and psychology.

So when the time comes for people to once again make revolutions and change the world, it'd be nice if they had at least some idea of what they were doing. That's where visionaries with controversial world views come in handy - the failings of the current system can be processed and futuristic ideas developed beforehand, without inciting bloody revolutions that go beyond the point of no return. As cynical as Peter sounds, I actually consider people who dream of changing the world the more positive kind of people.
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Old 2012-10-02, 12:28   Link #19
willx
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What do you consider contemporary?

The basis of checks and balances came primarily from the writings of Montesque during the 18th century. This is the basis of many forms of government around the world to create a government system of checks and balances to prevent the emergence of tyrants which would result in the necessity of the bloody revolutions you speak of.

Dreamers are nice. But they don't live in reality. Reality is cold and dark and requires hard work and an up swell of support and active participation by the populous to make step-wise changes and improvements.
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Old 2012-10-02, 12:34   Link #20
Zakoo
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Originally Posted by Sumeragi View Post
Among other problems.....

How much of that food would you want to eat, being GMOs, industrialized livestocks, heavily poisoned stuff? Furthermore, how much do you think you can actually transport to the areas in need?
Well between what I want to eat and what I eat there's a whole world. But anyway, as you said the problem will be transport.

Oil's tipping point has been crossed since 2005, it means that from now on, over the years, the production/discoveries of oil will decrease slowly, following a function some scientists long ago descripted.

If in the ten or twenty years from now on, we can't even nourish those people, then when we will begin to run out of oil it's the dead end for them. We can of course return on coal -as China is doing it- but at the heavy price of environment and cost ... No more cargo, nothing, country like Nigeria who will face a heavy demographic crisis and agriculture/food shortage are ... as good as dead.

Those are facts, I state them, but unfortunately, there is no solution for the time being, it's as if there's a common agreement between developped countries to let Africa dies slowly. Just kidding ... barely.

There's also the optimistic side, thinking that thanks to science development and especially the one on "green energy", leaving oil won't be a problem. Hmmm I would love too, but aside some miracle, fusion nuclear reaction won't be used for civil energy for ( the optimistic corroboration is for 70 years) and as for solar energy ... Well in France it's the dead end for this, I hope US, Japan and Germany will do better.
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