Home « Forum « Story Discussion and Feedback

Forum: Story Discussion and Feedback

A Perfect World

tjcase

I have blasted through the first 4 chapters of Mr. Steiner's story and have a couple of questions.

When does the story start to be told?
Are all 19+ chapters a dissertation of societal woes?
With a whole lot of praise and voting this to be a great story....I would like to get to the story part.

Maybe i am missing something.....

TJ

Replies:   Grant  BlinkReader  sejintenej
Grant

@tjcase

Are all 19+ chapters a dissertation of societal woes?

No, but it's a part of the story.

BlinkReader

@tjcase

It's worth it's word in gold.
So just keep reading.

And it's not to bad to read some "dissertation of societal woes", especially when there is more than just a little pinch of salt in it :D

Crumbly Writer

@BlinkReader

And it's not to bad to read some "dissertation of societal woes", especially when there is more than just a little pinch of salt in it :D


Describing an imperfect world is probably better than creating a fully dysfunctional world. At least it's less depressing.

Ernest Bywater

@BlinkReader

It's worth it's word in gold.
So just keep reading.


I'll look at it when it's finished, and not before.

Replies:   John Demille
John Demille

@Ernest Bywater

I'll look at it when it's finished, and not before.


The book 'A perfect world' by Al Steiner has been complete for 12 years now.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@John Demille

The book 'A perfect world' by Al Steiner has been complete for 12 years now.


Sorry, I was misled by the OP comments, I thought it was still being posted. Since I read most of Al's stuff, I now have to wonder if there was some reason I've not read it yet, or if I'm suffering from Old Timer's or an Out of Memory problem.

tjcase

Now through 8 Chapters.

I am coming to believe that I would understand and comprehend a reptilian race from another galaxy more than I would the Mars civilization in this story.

Even for science fiction, it is so far fetched to believe human nature could change that quickly.

A person is smart, people are dumb. Which we have 2000+ years history to go on.

I guess I just haven't been able to "buy" into it yet.

Doesn't mean I won't continue. I have only stopped reading a handful of the couple hundred stories I have read here.

Replies:   tppm  Not_a_ID
tppm

@tjcase

A person is smart, people are dumb. Which we have 2000+ years history to go on.


It says it right there in the title, this is set in A Perfect World. In that world people would be smart too, and moral to boot. In the real world people are dumb and amoral.

Replies:   richardshagrin
richardshagrin

@tppm

In the real world people are dumb and amoral.


I am glad I don't live in your real world.

Replies:   BlinkReader  tppm
BlinkReader

@richardshagrin

Huhh..
Are we speaking about really good story or what?

It must be there is lot of wind we are calling Foehn in Swiss :(

Not_a_ID

@tjcase


Even for science fiction, it is so far fetched to believe human nature could change that quickly.

A person is smart, people are dumb. Which we have 2000+ years history to go on.

I guess I just haven't been able to "buy" into it yet.


With sufficient levels of technology and automation, such as, say Star Trek TNG level. The surrounding infrastructure should be able to mask not insignificant portions of any perceived income inequality so long as they live somewhere that support infrastructure can reach.

When you're able to provide someone the means to live a very comfortable life, even if they choose to produce absolutely nothing, without imposing on others in any significant way, the largesse of such capable societies tends to increase accordingly. With or without forceful outside intervention.

But that also tends to assume a system that also isn't closed(finite) in any meaningful way. Once scarcity becomes a factor the gloves come off.

An earth without viable commercial access to space at a lower-middle class level(for at least inbound goods) is a world of scarcity, as all goods have a production constraint of being able to be made on earth, using only materials obtained on earth.

Arguably an Earth with a (for all intents and purposes) near infinite supply of power could potentially be an alternate option short of space mining and colonization, as the cheap energy can be used to recycle materials that wouldn't otherwise be considered viable for recycling due to energy in versus value of product out.

Although real estate/materials science becomes an issue, even if we hit peak population this century like demographers have started to predict. As we would still be looking for ways to put more people in less space, while also optimizing our ability to feed them. Plentiful energy being nice in this case, as you can build giant multilevel indoor farming operations operating almost entirely on artificial lighting. (Already being done on various scales) Being indoors is helpful too, as you can better control for insects, blights, fungi, molds, etc.) Space farming is an option too, albeit with a much higher initial startup cost for various reasons.

Replies:   Not_a_ID
Not_a_ID

@Not_a_ID

An earth without viable commercial access to space at a lower-middle class level(for at least inbound goods) is a world of scarcity, as all goods have a production constraint of being able to be made on earth, using only materials obtained on earth.


Yes, I'm responding to myself, as this is a digression point. This actually goes back to a guy from Britain called Malthus from whom we get "Malthusian Thought" which was a key element in a lot of political thought in the 19th century. The Communists and Socialists in particular went all in on his construct of a closed finite system which they believed to be incapable of (comfortably) supporting a population much larger than they had at the time without a drastic decrease in the quality of life for everyone. Since then the world's population has increased by a multiple of 5 at the least, and the quality of life for much of the world has improved significantly at the same time. Even the worst off are typically doing better than their counterparts were 150 years ago(with the exception of people in some refugee camps, or in areas where warfare has reduced the area to less than existed even then; but their lot being worse isn't a factor of scarcity as the 19th century thinkers understood it).

Much of the premise of Communism is that right now is the pinnacle of anything/everything. Never mind "right now" of 5 years ago was the pinnacle then, same for 50 years ago, or even 100 years ago. We're not supposed to become more efficient, we're not supposed to create new markets or alternative solutions. All we will ever have is what we have right now. As such, it is fundamentally unfair for someone to take advantage of resources someone else can't also use. Things need to be communalized, centralised, and shared between everyone "for the benefit of all," and the sooner that happens the better for everyone.
(This also is the rationalization behind initiatives for population controls, eugenics programs, etc during the 20th century and to a lesser extent the present day(well, nobody has seriously pushed Eugenics as eugenics since the 1950's). If we're facing an eminent extreme scarcity situation, we want humanity to prioritise those resources for the best specimens of humanity possible, do we not?)

In case it's not clear, I'm being sarcastic or otherwise employing some degree of satire in some of the above comments. I don't hold to the idea of scarcity being anything approaching a crisis level concern in the next few decades unless we totally screw the pooch on things by breaking the global economy in the pursuit of Social Agendas, Corporate Fiefdoms, or some kind of Religious Theocracy.

Replies:   Grant
Grant

@Not_a_ID

I don't hold to the idea of scarcity being anything approaching a crisis level concern in the next few decades

Water, arable land?

Not_a_ID

@Grant

Water is the only real question mark, but only because that ties back to energy. Energy being needed to pump it. Energy being needed to purify it, and resources needed to create the infrastructure for pumping the water there in the first place.

As to food, there is a lot of arable land in Africa as well as some other locations. The problem is infrastructure and political stability in those areas, as well as economic viability at present.

Western Nations can still ship their stuff there over thousands of miles, and sell it for a profit at a price below what it would cost them to grow it locally. It is part of the reason Africa and other parts of the 3rd world are stuck in the economic doldrums. When you get down to it, the heart of every national economy is agriculture. Without, few other things happen.

The first world managed to basically run the farmers in the third world out of business, under the guise of government funded "foreign aid" in decades past as you're can't compete with virtually free, and even when the subsidy ends, they're still undercutting you. (Basically every dirty, scummy tactic many big box stores get accused of in small towns, only carried out as foreign policy and no ridiculous price hike at the end... Well, at least until the Ethanol bubble hit) Throw in the other issues they already were dealing with before that, and it's no small wonder the 3rd world keeps getting hammered.

Dominions Son

@Grant

Water, arable land?


Water? Nope. More than half the surface of the earth is covered in water. Besides which, there are very few uses for water that actually destroy it. Given sufficient energy, distillation will purify even the dirtiest water.

Arable land? Nope, The US government is paying farmers not to farm.

Replies:   Grant
Grant

@Dominions Son

Water? Nope. More than half the surface of the earth is covered in water.

Can't drink most of it.

Besides which, there are very few uses for water that actually destroy it.

Just make it unsuitable for drinking or even use on crops.

Given sufficient energy, distillation will purify even the dirtiest water.

And it takes large amounts of energy to produce even small amounts of drinkable water.

Arable land? Nope, The US government is paying farmers not to farm.

One small part of the world.
And given the water issues there many areas that have been used for farming won't be of use in the not to distant future.

Replies:   Not_a_ID  Not_a_ID
richardshagrin

"the heart of every national economy is agriculture."

Except for places like Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries who mostly produce oil and terrorists.

Replies:   BlinkReader  Not_a_ID
BlinkReader

@richardshagrin

"Oil and terrorists"

- It's mindset of 11-13'th century christianity with their crusades.

Saudi Muslims have reached that level just now...
And are trying to export it across the globe

And stupid americans are still eating every bullshit saudis are selling them :(

If you ask what is country we closer to hell most hate - it's still not old good USA (we are just terrified of their stupidity) - it's Saudi Arabia and I'm not shiite :(

sejintenej

@tjcase

A perfect World is part of a series. IMHO it is a necessary introduction to "Greenies" and the rest. What I will opine is that the index of The Universe/A perfect World is not in an ideal order but OTOH it wouldn't make sense to start with the Chinese invasion (for example).

Yes, there are comments about societal woes throughout (just wait until you read about the woes of Martian police) but .....

Not_a_ID
Updated:

@richardshagrin


"the heart of every national economy is agriculture."

Except for places like Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries who mostly produce oil and terrorists.


Eventually the natural resources are extracted and depleted. Generally speaking farming is renewable, although topsoil depletion is possible too, it can be managed in most cases.

Other things may surpass agribusiness for a time, but they too shall pass in time. It all ultimately comes to where the food comes from. Although the energy sector itself is becoming important in its own right due to its rather tightly interwoven and unavoidable relationship with agriculture.

You cannot have a (post)industrial scale society without large scale agriculture to feed the workers and managers.

You cannot have an industrial scale agriculture sector without a large scale energy sector to provide the mechanical means of harvesting and delivering crops.

Problem currently being aside from limited methane recovery at some farms, and other biofuels that create other issues(diverting food supplies to fuel instead) most of those energy sources are petrol. I'm pretty sure we're going to innovate our way out, possibly with some tech we can't quite wrap our minds around currently. Possibly even so for experts in that field right now.

After all, that is a large part of the 20th century. Sure, someone in 1935 might get the basic idea of a computer, but the what and how of the things computers and electronics allowed is another matter. Hell, the transistor was a little over 10 years in their future, the integrated circuit chip even further out on the horizon. Here we are are not quite 70 years after the invention of the transistor, and our IC Chip design guys are trying to find ways around the problem of electrons being too big for what they'd prefer to do(make things even smaller). That's a far cry from when debugging the EINIAC actually consisted of checking for insects having introduced themselves among all those vacuum tubes.

Edit because "Hell" didn't exist in my android device's Autocomplete dictionary.

Not_a_ID

@Grant

And it takes large amounts of energy to produce even small amounts of drinkable water.


And perhaps most ironically, producing energy seems to be where most drinkable water ends up being consumed(as steam) in the United States. Which also indicates there are massively huge inefficiencies that currently exist in the system we presently have. That steam they're blowing out the stack is nearly pure water, so not only is it wasted potentially drinkable water, it's also wasted energy.

Just the current markets for both water and energy makes those inefficiencies acceptable for industry today, as the projected costs for recapture of either or both is higher than the returns they'd get for doing so.

The moment that plant operator decides its going to be profitable for them to pursue recapture of those "waste" streams, they'll be all over it as soon as they can get financed to do so. Until then it's a slow burn as we spiral towards where that point is reached.

There are plenty of things that can already be done about what we know is coming. Indeed, there are things already being done in that respect. A lot of the argument today is over what should be done right now about them, should the transition be enforced/imposed now, or allowed to occur in a more natural(market driven) way.

The issue is imposing it right now locks in today's approach at the possible cost of tomorrow's solution. It denies the market it's chance to experiment and learn through trial and error in places like California and Arizona where the water shortages are something everyone is keenly aware of, and where the market is already exploring alternatives because it now is in their financial interest to do so if they desire to continue operations there.

ustourist

@Grant

Arable land is no longer a necessity for certain types of farming as it can actually be more economic to grow vegetables and/or fish in multi level container systems using hydroponics or aquaponics. Water is still necessary, but brownfield or urban land is suitable. This is a growing and profitable industry and isn't impacted by adverse weather, location, or seasonal considerations.

Replies:   Not_a_ID  sejintenej
Not_a_ID

@Grant

And given the water issues there many areas that have been used for farming won't be of use in the not to distant future.


Won't be of use, or not cost effective to use?

Also the Aral sea area would be an example of an anomaly but also a (bad) example of what's possible when resources are thrown at something. Although that regions early story had a lot in common with the Great Plains, or even California, Idaho, and Washington for that matter.

A semiarid region was found to have plentiful supplies of freshwater nearby in the form of rivers. After seeing what had been done in the U.S., the Soviets wanted the same thing. So they build a massive irrigation project that turned previously unused land into highly productive farm land.

Several decades later, and those massive water diversions has basically drained a large body of water by depriving it of water to make up for losses from evaporation and other uses.

But you also continue to ignore things like Africa. The continent as a whole is under developed, modern irrigation is virtually nonexistent across large tracts of area that could easily be adapted to that use. Of course, doing so would upset all kinds of environmental types who do not want modern farming/irrigation practices brought to any new parts of Africa at any kind of significant scale.

If Joe Biden is a reliable source on the matter, the Obama Admin is in that camp, because modern Ag generates lots of greenhouse gasses, so we can't have them feeding themselves, better to keep exporting food from the USA.

You also ignore the market side in the U.S. there are ways to make agriculture less water intensive. You erect barriers to prevent the water from escaping into the atmosphere. So even if you don't go the warehouse route and provide all light by artificial means. There still is the greenhouse option, or maybe some venture capital types will pursue some of those giant geodesic domes for the purpose of growing crops within as a proof of concept/safety before trying to enclose an actual city under one.

It's just a question of what someone decides is either economically viable with current capabilities, or otherwise worth taking a gamble on(or worth the effort to simply explore). But I wouldn't be surprised to start seeing some very large greenhouses being built in the next ten years, built to such a scale that a large combine can operate inside safely.

The other side of glassing in a field is seasons start to become less relevant to what grows inside, even the length of the day is less of an issue when you can "create your own daylight" so far as the plants are concerned if the days prove too short. You also no longer have as large of a concern about early freezes, and stronger defenses against other crop maladies. Which isn't to mention rain when the farmer doesn't want it becomes a laughable problem if the field is indoors, as it will only "rain" when the farmer wants it to.

I'd actually be surprised if at least a handful of orchards or vineyards in California aren't under glass(or glass alternative) in the next 15 years.

Replies:   Grant
Not_a_ID

@ustourist

Arable land is no longer a necessity for certain types of farming as it can actually be more economic to grow vegetables and/or fish in multi level container systems using hydroponics or aquaponics. Water is still necessary, but brownfield or urban land is suitable. This is a growing and profitable industry and isn't impacted by adverse weather, location, or seasonal considerations.


This is the big one, the example I found memorable was lettuce. It's probably one of the easiest ones to grow this way, and the only issue is the USDA in that respect. The days of cabbage being grown in large farms to be loaded up and shipped around to 5 or 6 different places before turning up in your store may be numbered.

It may be grown (literally) "upstairs" or across town, and your "fresh lettuce" goes from several days since removal from the field, to mere hours or the day before. It also cuts out all of the expenses incurred shipping the stuff all over the place before getting to the store, which is the biggest part in making it financially viable. The farm can still grow it at a lower cost, but once shipping gets factored in.....

Grant

@Not_a_ID

Of course, doing so would upset all kinds of environmental types who do not want modern farming/irrigation practices brought to any new parts of Africa at any kind of significant scale.

And your example of the Aral sea is a good example of why not.
If a single government system is unable to develop an irrigation based farming system without destroying an entire ecosystem, what hope for multiple countries that are barely able to govern themselves?

Here in Australia we have several irrigation systems that struggle due to the area involved coming under multiple local & state jurisdictions, and a lack of water. And as we are now seeing once you allocate water to a commercial entity, it's very difficult to take it back when more water has been allocated than is actually available.

Farming in the industrialised world has already become technologically dependant, and hydroponics are very likely the next step. Making it even more technologically dependant, requiring different industries to provide the necessary equipment & chemicals than the present industries.

Large greenhouse covered areas already exist, and over time I can see them getting bigger. And with the development of tougher glass/plastics & at better prices that will increase their uptake (hail storms & intense supercell storms have a tendency to destroy the houses as well as the crops).

sejintenej
Updated:

@ustourist


Arable land is no longer a necessity for certain types of farming as it can actually be more economic to grow vegetables and/or fish in multi level container systems using hydroponics or aquaponics. Water is still necessary, but brownfield or urban land is suitable. This is a growing and profitable industry and isn't impacted by adverse weather, location, or seasonal considerations.


Hydroponics is a more rapid and effective way of growing crops but it has drawbacks which might make it difficult to use in places like California. Whilst supplying nutrients to the plants the liquid is also picking up "nasties" from them which have an adverse effect. Although the strength of nutrients in the solution can be monitored and controlled the solution has a limited life perhaps 2 or 3 weeks but current thinking is that one week is most economically effective. What do you do with the used nutrient? dump it in rivers? let the nasties build up in the soil where you dump it?

Also hydroponics is not the answer for some crops - the 20foot parsnip was grown hydroponically but was not really suitable as a foodstuff!

Replies:   richardshagrin  Not_a_ID
tppm

@richardshagrin

Individuals can be, and are, smart or dumb and moral or immoral, in any and every combination, but groups are nearly always dumb and amoral (and that includes boards of directors and legislatures).

Replies:   richardshagrin
richardshagrin

@sejintenej

Parsnips of any size are not really suitable as a foodstuff.

richardshagrin

@tppm

How big a group is needed for dumb and amoral to apply? The Supreme Court is nine justices. If that meets the group definition, a lot of decisions are explained.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son
Updated:

@richardshagrin

I have heard it said in business circles that the intelligence of a committee is roughly equal to the average intelligence of the individual committee members divided by the number of committee members.

Senate = 100 members

House of Representatives = 435 members

ETA:
For the more mathematically inclined, the intelligence of a committee of size N = (IQ1 + IQ2 + ... IQN)/N^2

So, consider the US Congress.

assume average intelligence for all members (I know that's a stretch)

Senate IQ = (100^2)/(100^2) = 1
HR IQ = (100*435)/(435^2) = 0.22
Congress total IQ = (100*535)/(535^2)= 0.18

Not_a_ID

@sejintenej

Hydroponics is a more rapid and effective way of growing crops but it has drawbacks which might make it difficult to use in places like California. Whilst supplying nutrients to the plants the liquid is also picking up "nasties" from them which have an adverse effect. Although the strength of nutrients in the solution can be monitored and controlled the solution has a limited life perhaps 2 or 3 weeks but current thinking is that one week is most economically effective. What do you do with the used nutrient? dump it in rivers? let the nasties build up in the soil where you dump it?


Would need to know a bit more about the "nastys" as you call them. Is there something particularly different about them compared to normal agricultural wastewater? Do they have some kind of commercial value, it might make trying to recover them a worthwhile endeavor.

Another consideration is an indoor growing environment, even a greenhouse, is going to want some degree of climate control. Now aside from rather large constructions that can take advantage of the chimney effect in a beneficial way, at least in theory, that means an active cooling or heating system, if not both.

I recall hearing about a community library in California that found a novel solution to offsetting their energy use during peak electricity use hours with regards to cooling their library. They created a large holding tank full of water. At night during off peak hours(cheaper electricity) they'd run their heat pumps(during the coolest time of the day, best efficiency for cooling) and freeze the water in the holding tank. Then during the course of the day the building heat pumps would transfer their heat to the giant block of ice they created the night before.

Now the fun thing here, and the reason to need to know more about the "nastys" in the water is some may begin to freeze before the water does. If the "nasty" is biological in nature, it's possible either (near) freezing or (near) boiling the water may be enough. Likewise others may only freeze well before the water does(or boil off/evaporate on the other end), so perhaps incorporating the facility's heat exchangers into the water system in some (multi-staged) manner (not much unlike an oil bypass filter for engines) could help address some of the issues involved?

There are many ways to skin an animal, no one way is best, as some of it comes down to personal preference. If someone decides they can make money doing something, and they find the financial backing needed to achieve it, well then it's obviously done at that point(having achieved the goal) and they have a pattern for others to follow. It then is simply a matter of people knowing about it, and their belief that using the method in question makes sense for their particular application.

Like with the hydroponic water getting polluted by nastys over time. They still have use for the water if it could be cleaned up enough for reuse. They probably still have use for much of what is in the water, if it can be recovered without significant amounts of "the undesirable" contents. The only question is, can those two aims be achieved at a cost comparable to simply bringing in more fresh water, and more nutrients from outside sources?

With current practices I'm given to believe the answer is no to both. So it's cheaper to dump the old water as waste, and start with a fresh batch once more. But then, water still remains fairly cheap and reasonably plentiful in most of the world, so it's hard to compete against outside of certain regions of the world. Once it becomes scarce somewhere and it ceases to be cheap, that will be when finding options for recycling it as much as possible will get pushed. As I keep bringing up, California is already near that point, so is parts of Australia, and a few other places as well in the developed world. So it is getting attention already, albeit it remains a fairly small market at present, but as more regions start to feel the pinch, that market will grow.

It isn't like somebody suddenly flipping a switch tomorrow and everybody is going to die of thirst next week otherwise.

It's going to be progressive situation, it will slowly worsen over time, time in which alternatives will be pursued, and solutions that probably already exist on paper will start to be built out as the precondition of perceived need and risk versus reward is reached.

Some solutions will work, others won't. Some will only slightly improve the situation while some may dramatically improve it. Some will be spectacular failures. That is the nature of invention. We certainly are not in immediate danger of water shortages to the level of it endangering global civilization, although we do have that prospect in the decades ahead.

Of course, that's another thing, the horizon on the day of reckoning also seems to keep moving out. Funny thing that. I'm pretty sure I could dig out some old National Geographic articles about how we were likely to be facing widespread shortages of drinking water, and possibly have already seen our first wars fought over water rights.... all by the then far off year 2015. There may be even older ones out there giving even earlier time frames, but I don't have recollection of reading them, probably because they were before my time.

Meanwhile our overall water use has continued to grow considerably, but also more efficient in many ways, agriculture today uses far less water to irrigate than they did even 30 years ago for the same or even better yield. (Incidentally the cessation of flood irrigation on many crops seems to have led to plummeting water levels in some aquifer systems, as those water inputs had become included in the water budget used for granting water rights to others... oops) We now use less water to flush the toilet, so on and so forth.

Yes, we've benefited from actions taken decades earlier in regards to conservation and reduction of water use, and most of the easier things have been done now. But that isn't to say more cannot and will not happen.

Once again, they haven't been done yet because they aren't as easy to do, and there wasn't a compelling need at the time. That's changing now.

Replies:   sejintenej
sejintenej

@Not_a_ID

Not_a_ID

I am not going to quote a long well argued contribution but refer to para numbers.
1 and 4. I suspect that the nasties (as I called them) are chemical. I know simply that it has long been known that eventually they stop growth and that commercial experts have found the best economic answer is to change the solution after one week. (I wrote "commercial" because they must use the minimum amount of nutrient solution whereas amateurs can use far more which would dilute the problem.
As to freezing / boiling I have to imagine it is a bit like rechargeable batteries wearing out. An idea worth checking out. (UK speak - nothing to do with hotels or death)

para 2 Hydroponics was used in lowland India in 1948 and in Abu Dhabi (the Gulf) in 1952 or 1954. Temperature control is understood. Where I live it gets up to 50°C yet greenhouses are used successfully

para 3 (freezing water with surplus electricity) A not dissimilar concept is used in Wales. In early morning when demand is low water is pumped from a lake in the valley up to a reservoir at the top of a nearby mountain. It is used for hydroelectricity during periods of high demand

para 7 California is a known example of a problematic water supply versus high demand for foodstuffs. Plants need plenty of sunlight - think Atacama, Texas, Sahara, Gobi, Australia. They need water - think Canada, Northern Europe, Tundra, Southern South America.
I will now shoot myself in the foot - the Sahara actually covers huge quantities of water (as Ghadaffi exploited)but it is not economic nor too physically safe to get it

Penultimate two clauses; you might think we have done a lot to cut back on water usage but have we? In WWII our desert troops were limited to a litre of water a day for washing, drinking and all other uses - how many litres went down your loo today? Doctors now reckon we need two litres a day but did fit fighting troops need less?

Dominions Son refers to the intelligence of committees (we say they keep the minutes and waste the hours). How competent are they at actually getting water usage to the absolute bare bones minimum?

Replies:   Not_a_ID
Not_a_ID

@sejintenej

Penultimate two clauses; you might think we have done a lot to cut back on water usage but have we? In WWII our desert troops were limited to a litre of water a day for washing, drinking and all other uses - how many litres went down your loo today? Doctors now reckon we need two litres a day but did fit fighting troops need less?

Dominions Son refers to the intelligence of committees (we say they keep the minutes and waste the hours). How competent are they at actually getting water usage to the absolute bare bones minimum?

The fighting troops did with less by being unsanitary savages. They'll do the same thing today. Water is for drinking first, anything else is optional. If that means not bathing for weeks, well, then they won't be bathing for a few weeks.

When working in the field sanitation also becomes much more basic. Need to relieve you bladder? Find somewhere discrete and let it flow. If it's number 2 that's calling, dig hole first, then bury it. No additional water required. If they're in a more fixed position and likely to remain for awhile, they'll dig a latrine, but it still is little more than an open trench with some rudimentary provisions for privacy. (Modern day troops will cheat a little by bringing wet wipes and maybe some hand sanitizer as well. But personal hygiene can still get very primitive in the field.)

I'll give a free market booster answer here as it's apt. I don't trust any committee to make any decision particularly well, unless given to them as a fait accompli, in which case they're not actually deciding anything, just acknowledging the decision was already made by someone else.

What I do trust is the ability of an open market to find a solution that is best for that market when left to its own devices.

That being said, there are things that have to be watched for, like people who will do lasting and significant long term harm to one market in pursuit of short term gains in another. Which has the additional challenge of defining "lasting and significant long term harm" in a manner most would agree to.

Replies:   sejintenej
sejintenej
Updated:

@Not_a_ID


What I do trust is the ability of an open market to find a solution that is best for that market when left to its own devices.


I agree with you wholeheartedly solely because of the terminal six words.

You know and I know that those in power will never allow anything which is not under their control and so the market can never be free of their influence. Therefore the solution the market finds is that which is best for those in power, not best for the market nor for those whom the people in power are supposed to represent.

I might conceivably be wrong but it is my understanding that in the US senators are allowed to use insider knowledge in making stock market investments but it is illegal for others to do so.

After hearing a host of true but highly misleading statements by UK politicians about the EU I know I am right not to believe anything they say

Back to Top