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Heroes Community > Other Side of the Monitor > Thread: Earth Day
Thread: Earth Day This thread is 8 pages long: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 · «PREV / NEXT»
mvassilev
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posted April 29, 2014 01:31 AM

"The system" tells me what to do? How does it do that? What did I buy because of "the system"?
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artu
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posted April 29, 2014 01:45 AM
Edited by artu at 01:46, 29 Apr 2014.

Simple example, I got an iPad 1 which isnt even 10 years old. Cant update it beyond iOS 5 and most new apps wont install into it. So now I also have an iPad 4 and while I was at it, I got the 128 GB version which was of course more expensive. It's not like they put a gun to your head. It's that the constant message of the medium(s) is to spend more, to buy more and that it's the easiest and only way to feel good about yourself. Now, when it comes to what they desire, people are not as rational as you think, they can be motivated pretty blindly into wanting more and more. Go to documantery thread and find Century of The Self, it's something you should watch, dont be turned off by parts about Freud, it's essentially about consumerism.

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mvassilev
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posted April 29, 2014 01:52 AM

You got an iPad, they won't upgrade it, but you want new stuff, and that's somehow a plot on their part? Obviously they want you to buy their stuff, that's why they make it, but it's not like they're tricking you into buying it, you're the one who wants it.
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OhforfSake
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posted April 29, 2014 01:55 AM

That's like if they took advantage of someone being hungry and you said it's not their fault you get hungry..
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mvassilev
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posted April 29, 2014 01:56 AM

So, they'd be right?
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artu
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posted April 29, 2014 02:05 AM

Thank you very much for clearing that out, but we're not talking about a conspiracy theory here, we're talking about social norms and tendencies and the way they effect everybody. Look at older people for example, they glue broken vases, sew damaged clothes. Nobody does that anymore, they just buy a new one. Or look at the old fridges that work for 50 years and the new ones that are built to last 10 years. Nobody complains because they buy a "better" version in 10 years anyway.

Also, in capitalism, what you consume determines your social statue, in high school, the boy with the cool car gets the girls etc etc... These are things people are grown into, they are surrounded by a mentality which naturally determines the way they value things, it's not as simple as "you dont want it dont buy it" So, please dont let "the fan boy of the free market" in you, drag you to shallow conclusions again.

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OhforfSake
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posted April 29, 2014 02:06 AM

I think that while we're not forced to really do anything in society or more generally throughout our existence, we're born with cravings in various forms which makes us do stuff. One of the major goals by advertisements are to take advantages of these cravings, but where the line goes is difficult to say.

It's acceptable to create an environment of peer pressure, where a person has to buy new stuff, or he won't be able to be part of his social sphere.

It's not acceptable to.. e.g. write contracts with someone underage.

So it's somewhat of a gray zone. Just look at the internet and win XP. You buy an OS, you are not told at some point in time, there'll no longer be support on the OS, and it can be potentially dangerous to use the internet. I don't think you're even told there'll be regular updates which will make your computer shut down and close all the stuff you were working on should you happen to be afk for a few hours, unless you already knew this and had changed the settings.

It's not those who deliver the OS who're responsible for how safe it's to use the internet.. in principle (that's my opinion), on the other hand, people USE the internet, we all know that.
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mvassilev
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posted April 29, 2014 02:26 AM

artu, sure, social norms have changed, but who's to say that gluing old stuff together is better than buying new stuff? If people don't want to do it, and they don't have to, great! There's nothing virtuous about fixing old stuff.
Quote:
in capitalism, what you consume determines your social statue, in high school, the boy with the cool car gets the girls etc etc..
You've been watching too many Hollywood movies. In real life, while these status hierarchies exist to a certain degree, they're easy to opt out of.
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artu
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posted April 29, 2014 02:41 AM

There doesnt have to be anything virtuous about fixing old stuff, it's about creating virtual desires and needs to constanly increase your market share which can not go on forever. The thread is about earth and its resources, remember?

And capitalism doesnt only exist in US. Sure, the system creates some buffer zones, You can be a bohemian artist, a respected professor in the university and in such cases, your income does not determine your social status directly.  But most of the time, your monetary situation dtermines what kind of neighborhood you live in, how you'll be treated when you are sick in the hospital, what kind of lawyer you can afford if you commit a crime (so probably the degree of punishment you'll have), even how you'll be treated in a restaurant. If you are not aware of that you live in dreamland.

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fred79
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posted April 29, 2014 02:47 AM
Edited by fred79 at 02:48, 29 Apr 2014.

artu said:
The thread is about earth and its resources, remember?


no it's not. it's a thread discussing how human beings interact with their environment(the positive and negative effects they can have on it), and if environmentalists actually cause any sort of positive change to the impact human beings have on it.

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artu
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posted April 29, 2014 02:51 AM

Those are not exclusive, there is a strong relevance between the two.

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mvassilev
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posted April 29, 2014 02:54 AM

artu said:
There doesnt have to be anything virtuous about fixing old stuff, it's about creating virtual desires and needs to constanly increase your market share which can not go on forever. The thread is about earth and its resources, remember?
Capitalism is about free markets, voluntary association, etc, etc, I've said it a million times. It has nothing to do with virtual desires (whatever those are) or about increasing your market share.
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artu
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posted April 29, 2014 03:01 AM

Sure, that's why people pay billion dollars to advertise products on the TV for 10 seconds and those commercials are based on subliminal, irrational messages like "if you use this brand of coffee, you are cool and sexy."

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mvassilev
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posted April 29, 2014 03:12 AM

If buying the product makes people feel cool or sexy, I don't see the problem.
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artu
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posted April 29, 2014 03:14 AM

Yes, you clearly dont.

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Fauch
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posted April 29, 2014 04:14 AM
Edited by Fauch at 04:17, 29 Apr 2014.

Quote:
What are real needs according to you?


I do not think in particular about what you can buy, it's quite subjective indeed. it's more about what we do that benefits us, and what's only maintening the system but without giving any benefits (at least to 99.9% of people, since maintening the system is a huge benefit in itself for a few people).

mvassilev said:
"The system" tells me what to do? How does it do that? What did I buy because of "the system"?


again, it's not only about what you buy, it's about the way you live. the way you have been taught to live at school or at work for example. most people seem to conform.

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Locksley
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posted April 29, 2014 10:48 AM
Edited by Locksley at 10:52, 29 Apr 2014.

Fauch said:
she doesn't sound much like an environmentalist to me. not much more than the average person. like many of us, she probably has some concerns about ecology, she probably thinks that nature is more beautiful than concrete, but from what I understand, having fun is a higher priority for her. she somehow sounds like a product of the system, like your politicians who are concerned about ecology, but will take the direction that economy dictates them because it's easier.
I thought something similar. Many have concerns and big words, but when it comes to action we often do whatís fun and easy in a short time perspective.

Or, we try to make the system better by working inside it and end up applying the methods of MAXIMUM GARDENING Ė we saved this one olive tree, say we did the best job imaginable, and donít see what damage our gardening methods do.



mvassilev said:
You got an iPad, they won't upgrade it, but you want new stuff, and that's somehow a plot on their part? Obviously they want you to buy their stuff, that's why they make it, but it's not like they're tricking you into buying it, you're the one who wants it.
Iíve heard many times that mobile phones are built to last 2 years, after that the following things happen:

- battery becomes really bad, but is difficult/expensive/impossible to replace
- the phone looks worn out
- the technology inside it is worn out
- no new replacement parts are made
- the guarantee time ends
- thereís constantly advertisement campaigns and special offers around, making it easy to buy a new phone

That looks like a plot to make people buy.

Perhaps the extremely fast technological development makes a short phone life time necessary or we would just throw away well functioning phones, while at the same time the constant phone buying is driving the development of smart phones and iPads, which are useful. But anyway, today and even more so tomorrow it would be possible to build phones that last for for example 4 years to cut resource use by 50 % and rely more on mending things and releasing software updates. If the company needs the same amount of money they could increase prices, itís reasonable that a better product costs more.

artu said:
Thank you very much for clearing that out, but we're not talking about a conspiracy theory here, we're talking about social norms and tendencies and the way they effect everybody. Look at older people for example, they glue broken vases, sew damaged clothes. Nobody does that anymore, they just buy a new one. Or look at the old fridges that work for 50 years and the new ones that are built to last 10 years. Nobody complains because they buy a "better" version in 10 years anyway.

Also, in capitalism, what you consume determines your social statue, in high school, the boy with the cool car gets the girls etc etc... These are things people are grown into, they are surrounded by a mentality which naturally determines the way they value things, it's not as simple as "you dont want it dont buy it" So, please dont let "the fan boy of the free market" in you, drag you to shallow conclusions again.
Good points.

Except that those ozone layer damaging freons in those very energy consuming old fridges is a reason to buy a new fridge. The international prohibition on freons and the very quick technology change that followed is a good example of how itís possible to solve other problems.

mvassilev said:
artu, sure, social norms have changed, but who's to say that gluing old stuff together is better than buying new stuff? If people don't want to do it, and they don't have to, great! There's nothing virtuous about fixing old stuff.
Quote:
in capitalism, what you consume determines your social statue, in high school, the boy with the cool car gets the girls etc etc..
You've been watching too many Hollywood movies. In real life, while these status hierarchies exist to a certain degree, they're easy to opt out of.
I think that itís funnier to buy something new than to mend old stuff, especially if I can afford it and itís possible to recycle old and/or broken things.

But I donít think itís ďeasy to opt out ofĒ status hierarchies, itís like Fauch said:
Fauch said:
it's not only about what you buy, it's about the way you live. the way you have been taught to live at school or at work for example. most people seem to conform.
Weíre social beings and want to agree with or have a working relation to our parents, friends, teachers, colleagues, employers, partners and kids. We want to be like our idols. We are influenced and limited Ė directly and indirectly Ė by all these persons as well as by media, experts, politicians and laws, organizations AND companies. Much of any personís wish list, including what he or she wants to buy, is a result of the social situation.

Companies know this and work a lot with branding, sponsoring and CSR. They analyze the market, and work hard to start trends that spread in the target group, perhaps even to other groups. They try to adapt to trends they see and lead the potential customers to themselves. They guard their good reputation and their relations to their current customers.

Comparing costs of a product on a free market to make a rational choice is interesting when you have a need but the process for defining that need isnít always rational.




Finally, another Ylvis video illustrating how itís working!

Can anyone find the hidden product placement in this video about not being happy despite havŪng all the high status things, about finding a deeper meaning?



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Locksley
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posted April 29, 2014 05:58 PM
Edited by Locksley at 18:05, 29 Apr 2014.

Locksley said:
Comparing costs of a product on a free market to make a rational choice is interesting when you have a need but the process for defining that need isnít always rational.


I've been thinking on this during the day and drew the conclusion that there are two ways politicians can solve the environmental problems within the system. (I'm basically back in the first two posts I wrote.)


A - Financial and legal support to green technology (and other green solutions), so that they can compete with our current technology. Then the rational customers buy the cheaper green technology.

B - Campaigns for changing the customers views and attitudes, i.e. to start trends among social beings that don't always rationally analyse Everything (having a rational message and rational arguments helps a lot though).


I think that strategy B has been most successful so far, people everywhere are concerned about the environment and want to do things that good for the environment.

Strategy A is not succesful yet. That's a bad thing because strategy A is about changing (within) the system to offering green technology (and other green solutions) so that customers can do what they want to do.

Has strategy A any potential to be successful?

I think or more accurately hope so. Researchers are developing many green things and there's a wide spread will to support those things.

On the other hand there's much talk about costs and risk of lower profits which means that many banks, companies and states doesn't give as much support as they can. Perhaps talking about "solving the environmental problems" in economical terms, as investments, avoiding bankruptcy, or as insurance fees will give stronger support for strategy A?

If that would work then I think it's good news that according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change the costs aren't impossible to pay.


And if that doesn't work, what can be done? Is there another better system?

Is the current system's inherent focus on profit ASAP so strong that it's impossible for policymakers, bankers and company leaders to replace our current technology?

- If it's so, when did it become like this? Humans have always invested in and developed new technologies.

Is the core of the problem not bad technology, but that the current system stimulates (over)consumption, which would mean that not even green technology can solve environmental problems?

- If it's so, isn't recycling a solution? It's already possible to recycle or extract energy from almost all waste. Some countries are very good at it, for example Sweden, which manages to take care of everything that's collected except for one percent in one way or another. Much of that 1 % consists of ceramics, porcelain and window glass.

Is sustainable development possible with recycling and green technology?

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Fauch
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posted April 29, 2014 07:53 PM

Locksley said:

A - Financial and legal support to green technology (and other green solutions), so that they can compete with our current technology. Then the rational customers buy the cheaper green technology.


if you are thinking about subventions, for example, it is provided that they get invested, which isn't that likely.


Quote:
Has strategy A any potential to be successful?

not much. moreover companies get more and more financial and legal support for about anything they want. more regulation would be better.


Quote:
On the other hand there's much talk about costs and risk of lower profits which means that many banks, companies and states doesn't give as much support as they can. Perhaps talking about "solving the environmental problems" in economical terms, as investments, avoiding bankruptcy, or as insurance fees will give stronger support for strategy A?

as long as it includes giving more money and more liberty to companies, I think you are good... but you don't know what they are going to do with it...


Quote:

Is the current system's inherent focus on profit ASAP so strong that it's impossible for policymakers, bankers and company leaders to replace our current technology?

it's not only profit, it's the debt, that's where it's great (in a way...) because it's not only about greed, but about the morale imperative to repay a debt. a debt which is a debt on the money we use. basically, we have to pay (with money) for all the money circulating in the economy, and interest rates make that we actually have to pay more than all the money available in the economy, which is why national debts skyrocket everywhere.

Quote:
- If it's so, when did it become like this? Humans have always invested in and developed new technologies.

I don't know, it probably has to do with maintaining a power and usually the system that supports it. George Orwell and Noam Chomsky about war : our productivity always increases, and war is the way to negate this, to destroy surplus of production that may increase too much the comfort of popular classe. basically that is a way to keep them poor enough to force them to work, even though they don't consume what they produce. that way you keep control over people and prevent democracy from happening since people are too busy surviving to organize themselves politically.

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fred79
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posted April 29, 2014 08:16 PM

Locksley said:


- If it's so, isn't recycling a solution? It's already possible to recycle or extract energy from almost all waste. Some countries are very good at it, for example Sweden, which manages to take care of everything that's collected except for one percent in one way or another. Much of that 1 % consists of ceramics, porcelain and window glass.

Is sustainable development possible with recycling and green technology?


i would say so, as long as overpopulation doesn't become a further issue. germany, for example, wastes very little, and recycles much more than the u.s.  it's a beautiful country; very clean, with very clean air. i have mentioned before in this forum, how the rest of the world could learn a lesson or two, from the germans. i'm happy to hear that there are other countries doing the same.

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