Begin The Official NelsCAST 104 Transcript: Welcome to the NelsCAST live broadcast for Wednesday July 15, 2009. This is your host Nels Lindahl broadcasting live from six thousand feet above sea level in majestically beautiful Colorado Springs, Colorado. Prepare yourself to sit back relax and absorb the sounds of spoken word philosophy. Today for the first time the NelsCAST will strive toward the completion of thirty consecutive minutes of airtime. …and now a mandatory programming reminder… the NelsCAST occurs at zero nine hundred Mountain Time every Wednesday fifty two weeks a year. The NelsCAST occurs rain or shine, so make sure to mark your calendars, subscribe to the RSS podcast feed, or download the complete NelsCAST for archival purposes. Remember, archived shows are great for NelsCAST trivia games. Please note, the official NelsCAST listener chat starts thirty minutes before the show and concludes fifteen minutes after the show. Remember callers will be welcome only after the completion of the opening monologue.
Blog Talk Radio is currently hosting the NelsCAST. Blog Talk Radio provides free live broadcasting services with podcast support to anyone with a computer, internet connection, and long distance capable phone. Technology enthusiasts interested in exploring the edge of possibility frequently advocate and participate in complete emersion within the technology experience.
Before the NelsCAST officially starts, it would be prudent to discuss questions about the rate of spoken word delivery during the show. Andy from Chicago suggests that a slower rate of delivery would benefit the program. The NelsCAST this week will address these concerns. Additionally, before the start of the program a special technology related note: The NelsCAST would like to acknowledge and thank the most excellent customer service of the increasingly knowledgeable and eternally insightful CDW Telephony (Tell uh fen ee) Department.
As a subject of interest, receiving consideration on a weekly basis, the NelsCAST focuses on a collection of notes concerning the intersection of technology and modernity. Please consider that the basis of simple interpersonal interactions between individuals living within society has started to change. At the very heart of this change, technology advances beyond the control of any single individual, government, or society. High functioning groups exist within society. Communities of purpose, place, interest, or circumstance form the formational basis of high functioning groups. Today the over the top information presentation will include discussion of several topics deemed interesting by the host and sometimes only by the host.
However, in terms of sponsorship, today the broadcast for the fourth week in a row is brought to you by the unofficial show sponsor TACOS… nothing says ultimate snacking experience like the taco.
Today the NelsCAST will not feature any scheduled guests. Guests are being considered for future broadcasts. For those long range planners listening to the show, a special live guest appearance will occur during a special two day on location show June 25th and 26th, 2010.
…and now the official NelsCAST monologue…
This special episode of the NelsCAST just might go beyond dense toward the category of treading heavy water. Regardless of the potential rhetorical density, the NelsCAST is going to deal with a topic at the heart of advancing technology. The topic under consideration represents meaningful concepts that deserve serious evaluation. Today the NelsCAST will begin to evaluate the potential of a developing functional utopia that could essentially replace modern society. To accomplish that task, today the NelsCAST will introduce six chapter length essays related to “Functional Utopia.” This discussion will start with a few thoughts from the beginning. The initial seeds of this discussion have been ruminating in the background for several years. So sit back relax and prepare to listen to a few recently formulated thoughts.
Chapter One: Functional Understanding
Individual Luddites and Luddite communities have and will continue to fear the advancing march of technology. At the very least, listeners should take to heart what the Luddites understand and make no mistakes about the potential risks of advancing technology. Beyond simplistic Luddite presumptions of rejection or shunning, technology should never dominate every interaction within society. Anybody paying attention has witnessed the significant warnings and has prior notice of technology’s advance. Within that observation, technology is nearly self aware. Individuals living within society should be aware that technology advances at the rate of technological innovation.
Utopian thinkers, speculators, and futurists have spent generations striving to realize a dream. Never forget the reality that people have long survived utilizing the principles of storage. For example, all available evidence suggests that initially hunters and gatherers stored food. Now rapid advances in technology have started to change society. Technology seems to be removing social continuity by breaking down the shared experience of intergenerational equity between generations from the past and future.
When considering the most basic ideas of what the future will hold it is impossible to dismiss the traditional ideas of utopia. Questions about the future may be necessary, but moments of resolute certainty do exist. Within questions of the future, a certain rational exists that at some point utopia requires consideration. Questions exist about what it will take to reach a utopian plateau. Within the constraints imposed by society, a utopian plateau is out of reach. Being able to accept that while striving to reach the upper bound of what is possible requires persistence. Within those considerations is a complex path to understanding the mechanisms necessary to implement a system that could create a functional utopia. This dialogue introduces questions about how a society elevates the pursuit of knowledge to move along the path toward a functional utopia.
Before identification of mechanisms for endeavoring to implement a functional utopia occurs the process of understanding what it would take to maintain those mechanisms remains unclear, the goal state of a functional utopia must be clear to achieve lasting results. It would be impossible to define the concept of functional utopia inside of a vacuum. A real world application of a theoretical functional utopian construct would be intrinsically complex. The concepts related to utopia function based on the assumptions that define the system are fluid and systemic.
There are four tenants of creating a functional utopian state within the current social environment. They are not only all related, but they are all contingent on each other in terms of interconnected compliments that are necessary to allow the complete system to work. The first tenant of the ideal functional utopian state is the idea that the control of consumption could occur throughout society. Throughout the discussion, the definition of consumption receives a strict operational definition in terms of the use of scarce resources and the utilization of those scare resources to promote sustainable use through defined limitation.
Within the second tenant is the idea of sustainable food management. This concept receives definition in terms of management that within this idea sustainable agriculture is not only a statement but also a reality that allows the population to alleviate the idea of starvation and limitation. Resolution of this concern would solve one of the more complex problems facing the planet and modern society as a whole. This idea is notably different from the first in terms of considering food supply specifically as a separate idea consumption receives operational definition to deal with the environment and consumer goods, which will receive additional discussion in more detail later on during this discussion.
Working with the ideas of sustainable consumption and agriculture it is important to have a thorough evaluation of the third tenant, which involves the management of a society’s population. This tenant receives definition explicitly as a management function without any Malthusian considerations or intentions and functionally addresses finding a place to put everyone that currently exists. This also at some points means that within the utopian structure a way of designing cities and buildings is perfected to manage space and personal welfare within that space.
Defining the fourth tenant is the most difficult due in part to basing the fourth tenant on the ability to sustain the first three tenants it is the idea of removing the question of age. This literally means the risk of disease or early death becomes non-existent and in terms of practicality, the problems of the body deteriorating are so limited that existence in practice guarantees sustained existence. This means that the third tenant becomes very important to managing the fourth. Now that the basic ideas or tenants of the functional utopian vision have received identification, they need or more to the point, they require explicit definition in painstaking detail during the course of the next four chapters.
Both the individual and the scholar attempts to understand the nature of society. This course of inquiry remains the basis of numerous philosophical questions. Within the path toward achieving a functional utopia, the risks require extensive evaluation. The idea that knowledge is the key to moving to the upper bound of what is possible allowing the possible alleviation problematic externalities and the sustainable development of society at a heightened level.
Chapter 2: Sustainable Consumption
Defining the first tenant involves explaining the process of maintaining sustainable consumption within society. This tenant remains the most complex question because the terms are not specific and thus require generalization because the mechanisms for implementation are currently not clear. Clearly defining sustainable consumption requires looking at certain problems that will help define the general goals and assumptions behind this tenant. For example, waste management is one of the largest questions facing society today and is an issue that requires tremendous amounts of study.
For example, it might be possible to use advanced physics to solve the problem, particle acceleration could separate elements then use particle deceleration to place one element into one bin and another element into another. This would remove the problem of consumption destroying the environment and destroying any possible chance of sustaining the environment. Leading to a second question of how to develop a practical set of mechanisms for creating the resources necessary to sustain the population balanced with protecting the environment. Individuals must accept the assumption that it is reasonably certain that if complete destruction of the environment occurs the society cannot exist.
To develop a functional utopia within the current society it is necessary to not only evaluate what is necessary to sustain society, but also what it will take to get to the point where the evils of consumption will not destroy the potential for progress. Worrying about the potential to expand the technology curve and develop a practical scenario for sustainable consumption balanced against the potential destruction of the environment. The ideal goal of the utopian state is that a defined control of consumption remains reasonable. Consumption requires operational definition in terms of the use of scarce resources and the utilization of current resources to promote sustainable use through controlling consumption.
Development of a consumer goods market is a natural part of a market economy however; it is not purely efficient within a utopian framework that develops independent of any negative externalities. Market conditions typically face scarcity instead of an absolute fully supplied market. Society has to find a way to manage the consumption of consumer goods and develop a system to control the amount of consumption. If everyone within the system utilizes absolute free exercise of the use of goods, the problem of absolute scarcity would raise its head. Scarcity means it is not possible to produce enough goods for everyone for free to use inside market conditions.
Chapter Three: Sustainable Agriculture
The second tenant within a functional utopia is the idea of sustainable food management. This concept can only reach definition in the strictest sense of terms as management. Within this idea is the notion of sustainable agriculture, which is not only a statement of definition but also a grim reality that without alleviating the idea of starvation the potential of the population is limited. This solves one of the more complex problems facing the planet and modern society as a whole. It is important at this point to think about what would be required to implement a mechanism to allow a perpetual supply of food.
This idea is notably different from the first tenant in terms of definition. Food specifically receives consideration in the form and context of consumption however; within this model, consumption receives operational definition to deal with the environment and consumer goods. This is a necessary distinction because to deal with food, as a regulated part of consumption is a difficult task it has to be separated for reasons of simplicity. Since food is an absolute necessity and one of the more difficult issues to manage on a worldwide basis. Food requires treatment as a separate issue because in the end it is necessary to set it as a value that is not checked in the conventional sense of other consumer goods. Setting food as a separate value has several long term implications within a functional utopia first and perhaps foremost it allows for sustaining the population while sustenance is necessary playing cards for example are not.
Sustainable agriculture requires management on a different system of mechanisms for implementation while it is necessary to consider the environment and the first tenant of functional utopia. To be purely functional sustainable agriculture becomes more important to allowing a utopia to exist. Fortunately, of all the aspects of a functional utopia this tenant is close to becoming reality. Thinkers and scientists are learning every day how to implement farming techniques that do not damage the environment while still yield enough food to sustain the population. This is an area of interest where a sizeable amount of research and attention needs to focus on how close this tenant is to fulfillment.
Managing this tenant is the most complex part of the entire system because how do you set up a mechanism to feed the entire planet and do it in a functional efficient way that preserves social equity and still is practical. Between the first and second tenants of functional utopia, the greatest potential for short term gain in moving toward a utopian state. Sustainable agriculture is clearly one potential path that an individual has to travel to realize the goals of a functional utopia and in practical terms is the path to begin walking as soon as possible to utilize knowledge to achieve the stated goals.
Chapter Four: Managing Population
Realizing the first two tenants of functional utopia are moving toward sustainable consumption and agriculture drives the need for the third tenant of managing population. Without the establishment of working mechanisms to figure out how to deal with the potential population explosion, it could be the end of the potentially functional utopia. Working with the ideas of sustainable consumption and agriculture it is important to have the third tenant be successful, which involves a strategy for population management.
This tenant requires explicit definition as a management function and revolves around finding a place to put everyone that currently exists. The mechanisms for implementation require a design meant to achieve this complexity and require a fair amount of planning to be successful. This also at some point means that within the utopian structure a way of designing cities and buildings is perfected to manage space and personal welfare within that space. However how do you weight the different needs of the population and keep the population itself from destroying the possibility of a functional utopia? Being able to answer that question will define one of the more challenging parts of achieving the potential goal sate of a functional utopia. Movement toward this goal state is possible and achievable through planning and gaining more knowledge about the system.
Chapter Five: Managing Age
Defining the fourth tenant is the most difficult part of explaining this potential scenario. Achieving the fourth tenant relies on the ability to sustain the first three tenants it is the idea of removing the question of age. This involves being able to alleviate disease and physiological ailments so that any member of society can potentially survive as long as they want to. Being able to figure out how to remove ageing as a problem within society will substantially increases the ability to acquire knowledge and use it for the purposes of moving toward a functional utopia. While this is one of the hardest goals to achieve, it is one of the most practical in terms of being able to make significant technological advantages to enable the other tenants.
This literally means the risk of disease or early death becomes non-existent and in terms of practicality, the problems of the body deteriorating are so limited that existence remains practically guaranteed indefinitely expanding the need for the third tenant exponentially. Managing age is a difficult question because without disease epidemics or the problems associated with current health care changes the dynamics of the current social and political systems significantly.
Chapter Six: Understanding Mechanisms
Since it is not possible to know, the exact way implementation of each tenant will occur the quest for knowledge is currently about defining the mechanisms. That makes the pursuit of knowledge the basis of expansion and thus knowledge becomes the base of not only progress but also power. To create a functional utopia the basis of knowledge acquisition requires predication on the assumption that it is possible to move forward and that moving forward is a necessary and proper purpose for the best and brightest within society.
Externalities exist infinitely to stand in the way of complete progress along the bounds of rational choice and logic, which could at any time cause society to take a step back from moving toward a functional utopia. This makes the mechanisms used to reach the goal state not only a priority topic of discussion, but also recognizing that the issues require additional explicit explanation within the current knowledge base. A very basic assumption develops here related to the idea that moving toward a potential functional utopia is beneficial. This may seem simplistic but without this assumption, it would be impossible to progress at an accelerated rate or to comprehend the potential of what is possible if all of the goals are accomplished.
Technology is the main mechanism of progress and is the basis of designing a system to allow the implementation of a functional utopia. Debate occurs related to the assumption that perhaps technology would be the means to destroying society and in this glimpse into the banality of technology. It is possible to assume that technology is a mechanism that has two potential paths for the future. One potential path exists if a functional utopia achieves enough progress to keep consumption from destroying the potential for actions to sustain society.
Now the broadcast will turn to the phone lines… There are no current callers. The contingency plan for this broadcast will now involve reading weblog posts…
…and now, a special additional topic for the NelsCAST… The philosophical underview: Indeed, society faces a very normative game. Do we live within a society facing the end of logical empiricism? Has all that ever was the scientific method been established without any degree of lingering understanding? Society now stands to test the limits of current empirical theory. To move forward to test the system, should members of society not inventory all of the known and accepted empirical theory? At best, no new theory will ever be generally accepted throughout society. At worse society will only gradually reject all currently accepted empirically tested theory. Resolving logical empiricism requires combating the devolving nature of intellectual exchange.
Now the broadcast will turn to the phone lines… Caller? [Transcription Error] The caller is no longer on air…
…and now, a special additional topic for the NelsCAST… The topic today will involve Yelp; yes, YELP DOT COM a website that provides a forum for consumers to share reviews of various capitalist enterprises and other locations or events. I have started using the Yelp service. Somehow writing short reviews is somewhat addictive. The service allows people to post photographs. Yelp tracks the number of reviews and photos someone contributes. Yelp also provides recognition for the first person to review something. I could see how the accumulation of recognition could be addictive.
Special thanks go out to the legions of NelsCAST listeners. All guests and callers appearing on today’s NelsCAST deserve some congratulations. This has been the zero nine hundred Mountain Time zone NelsCAST for Wednesday July 15, 2009. This is your host Nels Lindahl signing off from six thousand feet above sea level in Colorado Springs, Colorado.