2/27/13 questions and discussion
1-why are we still here?2
2-what is freedom?4
3-will robots replace intimacy?3
what is freedom?
Tor: comedian Steven Colbert said when there's a gun in a house people are more likely to be shot. So we should be able to forsake our safety for freedom? I though freedom was responsibilities. We are free to do as we will and the consequences of our freedom are our responsibilities. Why do people come to the US? It's true that our first immigrants came from tyrannical places. Here we are moving towards tyranny, from what our ancestors were escaping. When my family asks me why I'm still here in the US. I tell them the reason people leave is to get away from somewhere. This is why every Norwegian has a cabin somewhere. As long as I have a cabin to go to I can stay here. We can't praise all our responsibilities and obligations. We have tried to build utopias and all have failed. The failure time was usually around 6 months. Freedom is obviously what we want and I think it's freedom FROM something. I know as an economist that the questions that define freedom come in with the creation of wealth. Justice is the number one way of creating wealth. Safety is needed to feel safe. Where people aren 't safe, people aren't free.
Mike: it's clear that those escapees from tyranny came here and quickly set up tyrannies of their own. The point: since 1945 the US has become increasingly permissive. For a variety of reasons permissiveness has increased. Laws are selectively enforced. This is all in the name of freedom. Now we seem to have run out of money which all that freedom has been riding on. Now it's starting to contract. So the main thing is the freedom to change. Freedom to me is the ability to bring about change quickly.
Art: it's everything to do with justice. Everyone is free in a just world. It's like free will, it's something each person can take. We own it, we need the courage to use it, take it. Being just and kind should enable complete freedom. Our world is crazy because those with the money aren't interested in creating anything. Instead they're just trying to make more money. Money is owned by the community, it's supposed to be a trading tool. We have citizens who have fetishized money. Those persons are the biggest obstacle to freedom. Renting is better because the things I own end up owning me/reducing my freedom.
Jon: a book I'm reading now is called "Discipline and Punish" by the french philosopher Foucault. He finds parallels between the ways we have historically treated our criminals and the ways we treat ourselves. I think he means that prisoners are the material manifestation of what we impose on ourselves psychologically; they are proof of the limits to freedom we assume for us all. Foucault studies this over time -- how our criminals are treated -- to learn about how our self-imposed responsibilities have changed.
Tor: I need to question one assumption. We now have made ourselves poor by violating basic economic assumptions. It has devolved into crisis. We are self-destructing. When government spending is restricted during depressions it always gets worse. The lessening of freedom is and will be increased.
Eric: there's a mentality of "I'm going down and I'm gonna take you with me!" I'm trying to figure out where the need to not share comes from. "Self containment"? Abundance gives us the illusion of self-containment. Busy city street intersections have likely always been busy and required extra control by those using them except now we need crazy amounts of signage/lights to encourage this.
Carol: my first thought: freedom for me? Safety! Am I now free to come and go? Justice comes in second to freedom on my list. Injustice removes opportunity. Redistribution of wealth encourages freedom.