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Old 2011-08-18, 15:05   Link #15901
Anh_Minh
I disagree with you all.
 
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by synaesthetic View Post
This is why I say we need to start heavily moving forward into space development and research, not just "some companies" but the whole country, as a nation! Government, business, engineer, scientist, student--we need the kind of fire lit under our asses we had during the Cold War.

Let's forget about arguments about capitalism vs. socialism vs. any other -ism and let's focus on the bigger issue--our nation is aimless.
I'm all for not getting trapped by an ideology, but just because you refuse to put a label on the answer doesn't mean the hard questions will go away:
- who will make the efforts?
- who will reap the benefits?
- who will make the various judgment calls? (Like, maybe you don't need healthcare as much as astronauts need a new design for their toothbrushes...)

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America has no purpose, unless you consider knocking around Third World nations as a "purpose" (I don't).
Most nations go through most of their histories without much of a purpose beyond trying not to die and maybe get some prosperity.

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We, all of us, as a nation, as a whole, need something to focus on, a goal to achieve, something to do. A massive, government-led space development initiative, with R&D farmed out to all of our wonderful aerospace firms would be economic gold. Get the ships built, get some gear up there and start bringing people up there!
Let's not fool ourselves. I'm all for space development. I believe our future, if we are to have one, lies up there.

But it is, still, a huge investment. Which may not pan out for a while. Or for the guys who go first and take all the risks, make all the effort.

Quote:
It'd create new industries and job markets overnight, and come on. Nearly everyone would fall all over themselves to be a menial laborer on a low-orbit station or space colony... if it meant we got to go to space!
I'm dubious that enthusiasm will last when people understand the cost to their health and family life. Though I guess there will be more volunteers than opening (what with all the desperate people out there, in addition to the space enthusiasts), so there is that.

Quote:
Forget "drill, baby, drill" and go with "build, build, build"... IN SPACE!
Space isn't short term enough, unlike oil.

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Originally Posted by Irenicus View Post
In the richer countries of the European Union, maybe. In America? People need two jobs to make ends meet, further exacerbating the unemployment and underemployment problem.
And yet you have more GDP / capita than we do. You guys have a problem, but it's not being insufficiently rich.

Quote:
You either give people welfare or give them jobs (and actually most people -- despite all the whining about welfare coddling and all the slander -- would rather be happier with jobs, especially substantive jobs). If you aren't willing to have welfare and you're bleeding jobs to give, it's a bit of a problem getting the cycle running again. The spice must flow, except it doesn't flow.
Looking at the bright side, keep enough people in poverty, and you'll create a lot of jobs in the security sector...
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Old 2011-08-18, 15:24   Link #15902
Vexx
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And.... the market death spirals some more....5% value lost worldwide today at the moment. Little guys get crushed since Large institutions can turn on a dime.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-14574125
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Old 2011-08-18, 17:15   Link #15903
Irenicus
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Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post
Yes, and there are plenty of people making 100,000$ with no time to themselves. If all those people choose to job share, you're doubling the skilled work force. And America is wealthier then you think. I'd actually say America is wealthier then the EU by a long shot, however it's a bit more unequally distributed. Society is in a state of flux at the moment, so there are still kinks that need to be worked out...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anh_Minh
And yet you have more GDP / capita than we do. You guys have a problem, but it's not being insufficiently rich.
I'm quite aware of that of course (though the by a long shot part is disputable).

The problem with the United States is that it is ideologically disinclined to establish, or maintain, proper social safety nets, or to reduce income disparity. And it's still bleeding jobs. Ergo, people are increasingly pressured and unhappy. Much of the job growth of recent years are of the McJob variety and they are by nature paycheck-to-paycheck level of wages, if even that.

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Originally Posted by DonQuigleone
I don't view this as a problem for government or some other centralized decision maker to solve. I think Society itself will solve it, society itself will evolve to find new and novel ways to employ people.
You have "society" solve things, you expect a darwinist process. Will the result plays out just fine in the end? Maybe, or maybe some idiot will finally push the wrong button and screw us all. Will there be a lot of pain and troubles along the way? Absolutely.

Not that I think a centralized planned economy is a good idea (we saw how that panned out), but surely you see that governments -- being, one would hope, public entities with the purpose of maintaining and improving society -- can if properly directed cushion much of the pain as society adjusts to new realities?

Economists like to make much of the elegance of the law of supply and demand but they don't like to talk about what happens to people as the market adjusts.

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The future is niche entertainment, look at the entertainment you consume, Anime. Top selling anime only sell about 50,000 copies. What will happen is a proliferation of niche entertainment, like anime. Right now, if you like a particular thing, you can't always get it. For instance, there are no new mecha anime being produced right now, that means there's untapped potential someone could be selling. Everyone has really specific things that only they and a few other people like. What you will see is more and more entertainment cropping up that caters to those people's specific and niche tastes.

*snip*
Well, yes, but how many Paradox Interactives can be sustained? Even if you play games on three monitors at once all day while listening to music and watching anime you're still going to be limited in ability to consume -- and in your ability to pay. That's the nature of entertainment; one person or a small group creates, the masses consume. There's a point where the niche becomes so small it stops being viable, unless we all start going to community theatre.
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Old 2011-08-18, 18:01   Link #15904
DonQuigleone
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Originally Posted by Irenicus View Post
Well, yes, but how many Paradox Interactives can be sustained? Even if you play games on three monitors at once all day while listening to music and watching anime you're still going to be limited in ability to consume -- and in your ability to pay. That's the nature of entertainment; one person or a small group creates, the masses consume. There's a point where the niche becomes so small it stops being viable, unless we all start going to community theatre.
You're missing my point. I only need to support one or two "Paradox Interactives", as it were. But everyone together can support millions of "Paradoxes". A company like Paradox survives off a stable base of several thousand "fans", they have a very effective operation selling to that core base and exploiting it. But that core base is very small, and it's widely spread throughout the world. In the economic models of the past Paradox couldn't exist, but now with the possibilities of internet distribution and people with time enough to search out entertainment they can. They don't need to appeal to a wide base of people to make a return.

Let's talk about something we're extremely familiar with: Anime. I recently went trawling for statistics in the anime ratings thread, and the estimate for the Anime viewing "market" was somewhere in the region of 2-8 million people in Japan, and substantially less then that actually regularly buying DVDs (top sales are 50,000, the profit point is around 5,000). That means that a group of consumers that likely don't number over 100,000 people are capable of supporting most of the Anime industry we know and love, and that's a pretty big industry. Now that 100,000 people isn't likely completely correct, but certainly 100,000 people who were completely devoted to Anime and spent all their spare cash on (overpriced) anime DVDs are capable of supporting an entire industry. So an entire industry, on the scale of Anime, could be theoretically supported by every 100,000 people. Certainly I bet you could scrounge up 100,000 hardcore nerds in the US who would buy the American Anime equivalent, if it exists (though there is stuff like Comic books). That means that there is immense growth potential in the production of cheap budgeted (and Anime is produced fairly cheaply) Niche products.

The same logic can be applied to any number of things. So long as people continue to the trend of diversifying their tastes away from One size fits all overbudgeted hollywoodesque blockbusters their is room for growth in entertainment. People just need to have the imagination to find their niche, and pander to it shamelessly! Look at Visual novels...

Not only that, but the market of actual physical entertainment (Eg the theater, musicals) isn't going to go away either. That is another growth area.

To close, Entertainment can not really be industrialised, people will always want more variety and newer current stuff. And to answer the question, I could probably support 10(or more...) paradox interactives. Paradox only releases a game at 50$ a year, and I have a hell of a lot more time then that.
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Old 2011-08-18, 20:35   Link #15905
SaintessHeart
Ehh? EEEEHHHHHH?
 
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
And.... the market death spirals some more....5% value lost worldwide today at the moment. Little guys get crushed since Large institutions can turn on a dime.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-14574125
Actually, what I am more worried about is that Big Corp might buy up the smaller rivals to consolidate market share....could lead to a potential oligopoly or monopoly to stifle SMEs from emerging.
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Old 2011-08-18, 22:21   Link #15906
ganbaru
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In nod to IBM, HP overhaul minimizes consumers
http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories...08-18-22-58-55
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Old 2011-08-18, 23:39   Link #15907
Vexx
Obey the Darkly Cute ...
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaintessHeart View Post
Actually, what I am more worried about is that Big Corp might buy up the smaller rivals to consolidate market share....could lead to a potential oligopoly or monopoly to stifle SMEs from emerging.
Heh.... not that such antics aren't happening anyway (AT&T->T-Mobile, Verizon->Sprint....)
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Old 2011-08-19, 04:16   Link #15908
Irenicus
Le fou, c'est moi
 
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post
You're missing my point. I only need to support one or two "Paradox Interactives", as it were. But everyone together can support millions of "Paradoxes". A company like Paradox survives off a stable base of several thousand "fans", they have a very effective operation selling to that core base and exploiting it. But that core base is very small, and it's widely spread throughout the world. In the economic models of the past Paradox couldn't exist, but now with the possibilities of internet distribution and people with time enough to search out entertainment they can. They don't need to appeal to a wide base of people to make a return.

Let's talk about something we're extremely familiar with: Anime. I recently went trawling for statistics in the anime ratings thread, and the estimate for the Anime viewing "market" was somewhere in the region of 2-8 million people in Japan, and substantially less then that actually regularly buying DVDs (top sales are 50,000, the profit point is around 5,000). That means that a group of consumers that likely don't number over 100,000 people are capable of supporting most of the Anime industry we know and love, and that's a pretty big industry. Now that 100,000 people isn't likely completely correct, but certainly 100,000 people who were completely devoted to Anime and spent all their spare cash on (overpriced) anime DVDs are capable of supporting an entire industry. So an entire industry, on the scale of Anime, could be theoretically supported by every 100,000 people. Certainly I bet you could scrounge up 100,000 hardcore nerds in the US who would buy the American Anime equivalent, if it exists (though there is stuff like Comic books). That means that there is immense growth potential in the production of cheap budgeted (and Anime is produced fairly cheaply) Niche products.
I'm fully aware of what you're talking about, and one of my points was that your logic ignores a certain important element in all this: it's not just that not all consumers actually pay for their entertainment consumption, not all can pay for their entertainment consumption. It is simply not the case that every theoretical 100,000 individuals' block can support a niche industry -- especially in an economy that lacks above subsistence wages for much of its population. This 100,000 is an elite of sorts, whether by being comfortably wealthy or simply through sheer devotion that led some of them prioritize the "fandom" above...subsistence.

The hierarchy of needs, in other words. People need disposable income to start being patrons of niche entertainment. The needs satisfied by the products of agriculture and manufacture takes priority for most who live relatively close to minimum wage.

The other point I had vaguely tried to note is that while the internet allows for the development of a niche beyond geographical barriers, it also allows for even more mass distribution and penetration. Everybody with an internet connection and not behind a Great Firewall somewhere can access the same variety of entertainment on a scale previously thought impossible. So once again, a single Paradox with a few dozen employees (if that) can service a species' worth of armchair Bonapartes with ease. A single anime industry based in Japan, surviving on the largesse of a relatively small and devoted fanbase, can delight a greater community with relatively little material returns to show for it.

Even if one accepts that some countries like the United States and France (another world center of comics) can develop native animation industries of comparable scale, that's still a limited amount of employment provided and they *will* cut into the business of not only their direct Japanese competitors but also other forms of entertainment in their native countries and beyond...reducing employment in those industries. And if one industry proves far superior in appeal to another, whether by accident of talent or by the zeitgeist of the age, with the accessibility of the Internet do you think a sufficiently large audience could be made loyal and content enough with inferiority and pay for it?

Therefore the assertion that the creative industries can provide mass employment on a scale needed to offset the dramatic decline of manufacturing jobs (and the hypothesis that the gradual loss of menial service jobs to technology will accelerate) -- our dispute in the first place -- is rendered even more difficult to accept.
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Old 2011-08-19, 04:31   Link #15909
SaintessHeart
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Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
Heh.... not that such antics aren't happening anyway (AT&T->T-Mobile, Verizon->Sprint....)
True, but I am worried that Big Corp might take this opportunity to buy up more with so much credit at low interest rates in their hands, and costs of almost anything just shoot up, making it harder for small businesses to survive.

Meanwhile the conker-brained Congress is tripping over their shit, and with the 2012 elections are looming, the "big people" might pump more money into the former's hands to put down anti-trust law so they could run US like how Gazprom runs Russia today.
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Old 2011-08-19, 07:08   Link #15910
Frenchie
Shougi Génération
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Join Date: Mar 2007
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Oh Jon Stewart, you are my last remaining news source. Mostly because you depict moronic behaviours in such a way that I don't necessarily want to stab myself repeatedly the way I do when watching the mainstream media.
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Old 2011-08-19, 09:35   Link #15911
ganbaru
books-eater youkai
 
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Betweem wisdom and insanity
Evacuation of foreigners planned from Tripoli
http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/...77A2Y920110819
Thoses ''foreigners'' should had enough brain to evacuate months ago.
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Old 2011-08-19, 09:57   Link #15912
DonQuigleone
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Originally Posted by Irenicus View Post
I'm fully aware of what you're talking about, and one of my points was that your logic ignores a certain important element in all this: it's not just that not all consumers actually pay for their entertainment consumption, not all can pay for their entertainment consumption. It is simply not the case that every theoretical 100,000 individuals' block can support a niche industry -- especially in an economy that lacks above subsistence wages for much of its population. This 100,000 is an elite of sorts, whether by being comfortably wealthy or simply through sheer devotion that led some of them prioritize the "fandom" above...subsistence.

The hierarchy of needs, in other words. People need disposable income to start being patrons of niche entertainment. The needs satisfied by the products of agriculture and manufacture takes priority for most who live relatively close to minimum wage.

The other point I had vaguely tried to note is that while the internet allows for the development of a niche beyond geographical barriers, it also allows for even more mass distribution and penetration. Everybody with an internet connection and not behind a Great Firewall somewhere can access the same variety of entertainment on a scale previously thought impossible. So once again, a single Paradox with a few dozen employees (if that) can service a species' worth of armchair Bonapartes with ease. A single anime industry based in Japan, surviving on the largesse of a relatively small and devoted fanbase, can delight a greater community with relatively little material returns to show for it.

Even if one accepts that some countries like the United States and France (another world center of comics) can develop native animation industries of comparable scale, that's still a limited amount of employment provided and they *will* cut into the business of not only their direct Japanese competitors but also other forms of entertainment in their native countries and beyond...reducing employment in those industries. And if one industry proves far superior in appeal to another, whether by accident of talent or by the zeitgeist of the age, with the accessibility of the Internet do you think a sufficiently large audience could be made loyal and content enough with inferiority and pay for it?

Therefore the assertion that the creative industries can provide mass employment on a scale needed to offset the dramatic decline of manufacturing jobs (and the hypothesis that the gradual loss of menial service jobs to technology will accelerate) -- our dispute in the first place -- is rendered even more difficult to accept.
Well we're getting into seperate issues now. I've done calculations on what you need to live a "decent" lifestyle at a minimum, not including extraordinary costs like healthcare or dependents, and it comes to about 15-20 thousand, give or take. Given most people manage to earn more then that (not including present circumstances, which will eventually blow over), I think most people can afford to support their fair share of luxuries, though much of it is local EG restaurants.

The main thing if we want to see a more diverse economy is that we move away from buying from "big" corporations and buy from smaller more independent ones, that means less money gets wasted on people with the big salaries, the A list stars as it were. I think things are trending that way.

But you have to understand that most goods that are bought and sold are luxuries anyway, and the premium a company gets for mass manufacturing something gradually becomes less and less, until it's basically nearly non-existant (if there's sufficient competition). The end consequence is that many more people own goods now that in previous times would have been considered luxuries.

Even the poor have lifestyles that would have been considered kingly in olden times. People should have some perspective... (not counting unemployed here of course)
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Old 2011-08-19, 11:17   Link #15913
ChainLegacy
廉頗
 
 
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Are we talking about the Western world, exclusively (Westernish Eastern countries like Japan included)? I'm just jumping in now and don't have the time to read everything, but if you're suggesting poor people worldwide are better off than at other junctions in history, I'd say you're way off. Perhaps the poor in our countries, who have gotten an indirect benefit from imperialist history, are better off.

But I could definitely make the argument in those less fortunate societies that the Europeans once exploited, the poor are worse off than at other points in history. And with population booming in said parts of the world, the squeeze for necessary resources becomes tighter and tighter.
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Old 2011-08-19, 11:42   Link #15914
DonQuigleone
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Originally Posted by ChainLegacy View Post
Are we talking about the Western world, exclusively (Westernish Eastern countries like Japan included)? I'm just jumping in now and don't have the time to read everything, but if you're suggesting poor people worldwide are better off than at other junctions in history, I'd say you're way off. Perhaps the poor in our countries, who have gotten an indirect benefit from imperialist history, are better off.

But I could definitely make the argument in those less fortunate societies that the Europeans once exploited, the poor are worse off than at other points in history. And with population booming in said parts of the world, the squeeze for necessary resources becomes tighter and tighter.
I do mostly mean Western countries, but even in non-western countries the poor are still better off then ever before, though not nessarily relatively, IE they may possess less as a proportion of the wealth of the country as a whole. About the only place i wouldn't include are particularly chaotic and deprived countries (like Somalia and other parts of Africa)

But I think people are better off now then ever before because:

* Outside of places like Somalia, people have access to suficient food, including relatively luxurious foods like Meat (previously only eaten outside special occasions by only the very wealthy).
* We all have shelter (though this hasn't changed much, if anything our houses are smaller...)
* We all have access to some form of education
* We all have access to clean water
* We all have the security of some form of police force
* We all, usually, have some role in appointing our own government
* We all have access to cheap miraculous technological items including:
1. Mobile Phones
2. Computers
3. Internet
4. Refrigerators
5. Modern Medecine (this is REALLY big, no more smallpox!)
6. And more

Now of course the poor in non-western countries don't have it quite as good, not all the poor in non-western countries will have all of those, but they'll have most of them. Don't underestimate the internet there, it single handedly provides near universal access to information that was previously only the preserve of the very wealthy, and computers/mobile phones are cheap enough now that most poorer communities can now gain access. You'd be amazed at how mobile phones in particular have proliferated.

A more difficult question is whether the poor are better off now then in 1960, in the western world probably not, but in the non-western world they are, particularly in South America, China and south east asia.
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Old 2011-08-19, 12:09   Link #15915
Jinto
Asuki-tan Kairin ↓
 
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
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Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post
Even the poor have lifestyles that would have been considered kingly in olden times. People should have some perspective... (not counting unemployed here of course)
This is why I said, an advancement in automation technologies cannot be considered evil (in one of my previous posts). The problem is, if you are very clearly at the bottom of society, you do not necessarily have a perspective (not now, and certainly not in the future if things stay as they are).
The relative wealth is what is more important for the psyche than the absolute wealth.. too much difference is equally harmful as too much equality - both extremes will decrease the personal freedom of the majority (to disregard this, results in an equaly dire situation that made the eastern socialist countries fail).
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Old 2011-08-19, 12:40   Link #15916
AnimeFan188
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Reindeer herder finds remains of baby mammoth in Russia's Arctic

"A reindeer herder in Russia's Arctic has stumbled on the prehistoric remains of a
baby woolly mammoth poking out of the permafrost, local officials said Friday.

The herder said the carcass was as perfectly preserved as the 40,000-year-old
mammoth calf Lyuba discovered in the same remote region four years ago,
authorities said, adding that an expedition had set off hoping to confirm
the "sensational" find.

"If it is true what is said about how it is preserved, this will be another sensation
of global significance," expedition leader Natalia Fyodorova said in a statement on
the Arctic Yamalo-Nenetsk region's official website."

See:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44200347...ience-science/
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Old 2011-08-19, 13:20   Link #15917
MrTerrorist
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Old 2011-08-19, 13:26   Link #15918
killer3000ad
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Israel and Gaza trade bombs and rockets
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The Israeli military bombed sites in Gaza and militants fired rockets from Gaza into Israel on Friday as tensions remained high a day after one of the worst terrorist attacks on Israelis in recent years.
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Old 2011-08-19, 13:41   Link #15919
Sugetsu
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Originally Posted by Jinto View Post
The relative wealth is what is more important for the psyche than the absolute wealth.. too much difference is equally harmful as too much equality - both extremes will decrease the personal freedom of the majority (to disregard this, results in an equaly dire situation that made the eastern socialist countries fail).
Too much equality? That doesn't make any sense. Are you saying that there has to be social stratification in order for society to be balanced? Equality is balance.

Now if you ask from a western perspective in which we are all concerned about individualism and showing off our uniqueness, such as our new custom built car, our designer clothes, our medals and other egocentric stuff like that, then yes, many people will hate having no material possessions that set apart from other individuals.

Our society is trained by the market system to feel like each individual is "unique" in this way they can boost their sales. This tactic has a huge impact in society because it is not of the main reasons why we tend to be so materialistic and superficial. This is aberrant behavior because it has a negative effect in our collective well being. We are taught that we are separated from nature and from our fellow humans, and when one's ego gets big there is very little standing in the way to tyranny.

Communism does not escape this paradigm either because while the vast majority of the people live with very limited freedoms the top lives in luxury.
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Old 2011-08-19, 13:49   Link #15920
Xellos-_^
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Originally Posted by Sugetsu View Post
Too much equality? That doesn't make any sense. Are you saying that there has to be social stratification in order for society to be balanced? Equality is balance.

Now if you ask from a western perspective in which we are all concerned about individualism and showing off our uniqueness, such as our new custom built car, our designer clothes, our medals and other egocentric stuff like that, then yes, many people will hate having no material possessions that set apart from other individuals.

Our society is trained by the market system to feel like each individual is "unique" in this way they can boost their sales. This tactic has a huge impact in society because it is not of the main reasons why we tend to be so materialistic and superficial. This is aberrant behavior because it has a negative effect in our collective well being. We are taught that we are separated from nature and from our fellow humans, and when one's ego gets big there is very little standing in the way you and tyranny.

Communism does not escape this paradigm either because while vast majority of the people live with very limited freedoms the top lives in luxury.
There is too much equality if it is mandate by the government. I am not talking about material things like clothes or cars. I am not sure if Jinto is thinking of the same thing but when i think of too much equality i am thinking Harrison Bergerson where the concept of equality goes too far.
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