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Wed Jan 9, 2013, 02:37 PM

The Market and Mother Nature

Amidst several discussion I was having with people regarding population, I was made aware of this article. I thought you might it interesting. I'd like to add something to what is said, as it seems like the more likely solution to the problems mentioned in the piece. It seems we could solve two problems with one effort by reducing the size of our absolutely insanely massive military.


http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/09/opinion/friedman-the-market-and-mother-nature.html?emc=eta1&_r=0


Indeed, we are actually taunting the two most powerful and merciless forces on the planet, the market and Mother Nature, at the same time. We’re essentially saying to both of them: “Hey, what’ve you got, baby? No interest rate rises? A little bitty temperature increase? That’s all you’ve got?” I just hope we get our act together before the market and Mother Nature each show us what they’ve got.

I am struck by how many liberals insist on reducing carbon emissions immediately, but, on the deficit, say there is no urgency because no interest rates rises are in sight. And I am struck by how many conservatives insist we must reduce the deficit immediately, but, on climate, say there is no urgency because, so far, temperature rise has been slight. (Although 2012 was the hottest year on record in the continental U.S.) One reason interest rates are so low is that they are being suppressed by the Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing. That won’t last. As for the climate, well, “Mother Nature doesn’t do quantitative easing,” said Harvey. Beware of nonlinear moves in both.

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Response to Gregorian (Original post)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 03:14 PM

1. We can survive (bail out) the market. We go against Mother Nature at our peril.


When we have the technology to survive, as a species, in space,
and have sustainable colonies on other planets or other moons,
we might, and I say might, be able to thumb our nose at Mother Nature.

Until then, we better listen to Mother Nature.
She can always start over with the ants or the cockroaches.



Who am I kidding. When we have the technology to survive in space,
the Earth will wage war with the colonies in space.

The colonies in space won't have the manpower to wage a conventional war with the Earth.

The colonies in space will, in self defense, in order to survive,
have no choice but to develop and release a plague on the Earth,
killing all humans on the Earth.

Mankind is doomed. if Mother Nature doesn't end us, we will end ourselves.

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Response to RickFromMN (Reply #1)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 03:34 PM

2. We are Mother Nature

 

It's strange how some people think, that we are separate from nature, outside and over nature.

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Response to tama (Reply #2)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 08:14 AM

7. I hate to disagree with you. We are not Mother Nature. We are not indispensable.


We are, at most, a part of nature during this period in time.

Nature existed long before we were around, and will exist long after we are gone.

I am one of those fools who believes life can and does exist on other worlds.
Sadly, I shall not live long enough to see my belief confirmed.

My reference to Mother Nature is a reference to the Earth.
You would have, perhaps, been happier if I said Mother Earth.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mother_Nature

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Response to RickFromMN (Reply #7)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 08:29 AM

9. I can't express the relation in English

 

In our language object can have partitive case expressing participatory inclusive relation.

We are Mother Nature (in participatory, included sense). Much more clumsy in English, and the definite accusative object of English makes nature sound like an external thing that you point at... you could say "We belong to Mother Nature", but still clumsy and too much ownership connotation...

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Response to tama (Reply #9)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 07:58 PM

10. You have a much better understanding of English and English is my native (and sadly) only language!


I agree with you now that I understand.

Learning another language, while possible, would be difficult for me. I am getting old and senile.

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Response to tama (Reply #9)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 08:10 PM

11. I usually say it this way

 

"We are a part of the natural world, not apart from it."

It's less anthropomorphic as well...

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Response to GliderGuider (Reply #11)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 04:37 AM

12. Ollaan luontoa

 

Last edited Fri Jan 11, 2013, 05:10 AM - Edit history (1)

ollaan:


(...)
"However, in the middle of the interpretation, I was embarrassed by my inability to provie a translation of a single, apparently harmless expression, "ollaan." In standardized grammatical terms we are expected to say that this is the passive form from the infinite olla, similarly, olla is supposed to be the Finnish counterpart of the English "to be." The problem is that there is no obvious active sentence from which ollaan can be derived; there is no topicalization of the object of a respective active construction; there is neither grammatical nor logical subject in ollaan, there in no person, or number, let alone gender. It would almost completely betray its meaning to offer "one is" as a translation of this kind of amorphously primitive way of being. There is no "one" present in ollaan because being one presupposes unity and identity. Yet there is a vaguely collective sense alluded: whatever is there is not necessarily alone. But it is not quite right to say that there is "one" who shares ollaan with some other "ones." Rather, the impression is that when we are in the mode of Ollaan we are there pre-individually, before the processes of individuation apply.


Untranslatable uniqueness

If I claim that it is impossible to translate ollaan into English, I claim quite a lot. You might protest by saying, for example, that actually I have been quite succesful in explaining what ollaan means [...]. Thanks for the compliment but what I have been developing here is not quite what we mean by "translation." My interpretation is too long and unique to be a translation. Actually, it is indefinitely long because it is unfinished, and will probably always remain so. Unlike a genuine translation, it is also irrepeatable and irreversible. Probably no one else will - or would even like to - produce anything identical, and assuming that the will appeared, there wouldn't be any common method to do that either.
Now you may concede and say: "All right, a good poem can be quite unique and untranlatable. But what is "unique" supposed to mean here? How unique can a poem be? Also a computer program can be unique in the obvious sense that, take any relatively complex program and, most probably, no other program is syntactically or semantically identical with it."
Yes, yes. But that is not what I mean by uniqueness. If we use here the word "program" in the standard way then a finite computer program is never genuinely unique because its semantic content [...] can always be expressed comprehensively in any other programming language whose expressive power is that of a Turing machine. Therefore such uniqueness which a computer program can reach is not what I am looking for.
Unique happens only once. It cannot be repeated and we cannot return to it. No relation of identity, not even self-identity, applies to it. Now the big question is, of course, can meanings ever be that unique - and still, in some sense, be meanings.
Consider native cultures. Native cultures seem to be unique if compared with other cultures, native or not. The uniqueness of native cultures originates form the peculiar gamelike interaction which such cultures are bound to develop with their respective ecological niche. Meaningul social games of a native community, linguistic games included, are saturated with such unique ecological knowledge which makes living in the natural environment feasible. But the uniqueness of the games from where meaning arises doesn't srop at the environmental or communal level. It flows down to the neural events which are active during the games. In other words, also the related brain events of the players are unique. We assume here that, in order to be a member in a community or player in a social game, one (sic) doesn't have to satisfy any classical individuation or separability conditions.
The unique meaning view can be developed to the ultimate stage where we have to say that a player of a communal game can never mean by (what we conventionally call) one "word" one and the same thing twice; actually, he cannot mean one and the same thing even once (I will not attempt to tranlate the preceding idea into an ametaphysical language). Obviously, if this holds then language is not primarily a medium for the transportation of ideas, concepts and propositions form one person to another. Actually, tere is not even much point in saying that language needs persons or subjects to arise, because personhood and subjectivity require processes where persons and subjects are individuated, and individuation requires that identity is available. Therefore, persons or individual are never uniquo or the originators of the unique. Uniqueness precedes personhood and individuality, and originates from native or national experience.
(...)

- Pauli Pylkkö in New Directions in Cognitive Science - Proceedings of the International Symposium, Saariselkä, 4-9 August 1995, Lapland, finland

luontoa:
Partitive case of luonto, which is derived from verb luoda, 'to create". Luonto does not refer only to perceptions of external senses, as the traditional canonical beginning of transformative and creative incantations of Finnish "shamans" and "knowers" begins with invocation of luonto: Nouse luontoni lovesta (...).




PS: http://www.democraticunderground.com/11512605#post13

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Response to RickFromMN (Reply #1)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 03:46 PM

3. Markets are anchored to the biophysical world.

 

That is why pretending that we can infinitely grow and just throw money at economic problems forever is a fantasy; once you hit a hard, real-world bottleneck (like declining per capita available energy) you have a stumbling behemoth that is too dependent to find a workaround (as it evolved dependence instead of resilience from past support).

I think that climate change is going to throw so many monkey wrenches into the machine that we will start hitting some serious points of diminishing returns in the economy (one obvious area is food production). It may all unravel at once

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Response to NoOneMan (Reply #3)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 06:46 PM

4. "Markets" exist only in our heads.

If humans were motivated to behave the same way we now behave by space aliens controlling us with green laser beams from the ninth dimension, the adverse consequence would be exactly the same as those we blame on "The Market."

"The Market" is EXACTLY the same as any other human religion. People will do crazy destructive and self-destructive things for other religions too.

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Response to hunter (Reply #4)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 03:58 AM

5. Excellent points ...

 

... and, furthermore, when someone is raised in an isolated cult with irrational & destructive
standards, they will be so totally immersed in it that not only do they see nothing wrong with
their way of life, they will actively strive to make their own behaviour "the best" by those lights
and exceed past records of depravity & excess.

That is the state that most politicians, board members, "expert economists" and their ilk
have reached over the last generation: total tunnel-vision with regard to both the real, physical
cost of their activities and the obscene levels of self-indulgent greed that they value as "good".
The course that has been set and is being deliberately followed by the "fraction of 1%" who
steer the ship of the modern world is insane according to the thinking of rational humans
but the plans of the former have rendered the latter powerless to do anything other than watch
in horror.

Time to hit the reset button.

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Response to Nihil (Reply #5)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 08:22 AM

8. The purpose of a military is for personal security and to defend and/or obtain property rights.


It's amazing how big a military we have.

We have a lot of property rights to defend.

We have a lot of property still to obtain.
Was Iraqi oil one of the reasons we had the Iraq war?

Who are we afraid of? What are we afraid of? Why are we so afraid?

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Response to NoOneMan (Reply #3)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 08:03 AM

6. There is no real-world bottleneck, except what we artificially create, as witnessed by what happens


during times of World War.

We are quite capable of fixing markets, or throwing out markets and starting over.

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Response to Gregorian (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 07:46 PM

13. It's hard to put an actuarial value on natural resources.

For instance, what is the value of the Pacific Ocean? What is the replacement cost?
I submit it is priceless. It is far more valuable to future generations than the reduction or increase of any imaginary monetary debt. If we are truly concerned about debt, environmental debt is the only one that truly matters to the future.
We're in bad shape, everyone invested in the stock market is profiting from not only killing our natural world, but are the financial backers of every climate change denier. And yet some of them still believe themselves to be opposed to climate change. That is a real disconnect from reality and until it is addressed, nothing will change, except of course, the lives of every critter on the planet, for the worse, because of them.

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Response to Gregorian (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 08:43 PM

14. Given that it's Friedman, I'd guess the next six to 12 months will be critical in climate policy . .

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