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"If you take France for example, completely emptying rural area would mean leaving a lot of historical and cultural heritage to rot which would be significant loss"

 

Agriculture much?

The last person who attempted to reorganize a country ended up killing 60 million people. For what it's worth.

 

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25 minutes ago, Oedipus Wreckx-n-Effect said:

"If you take France for example, completely emptying rural area would mean leaving a lot of historical and cultural heritage to rot which would be significant loss"

  

Agriculture much?

The last person who attempted to reorganize a country ended up killing 60 million people. For what it's worth.

 

 

Wasn't really thinking about agriculture, with the yields we have nowadays we can have a high output while being at an historical low on cultivated area. You can just cultivate the area around the city and moving them as it expand.

I was more thinking about historical buildings, nice little postcard villages, old churches that kind of thing.

 

Attempting a large scale reorganization in a democratic society is indeed pretty much impossible without stopping being a liberal democracy.

As I said urbanization is an ongoing process anyway so we can only encourage it while making sure that the growing urban area are well though out.

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1 minute ago, Alzoc said:

 

Wasn't really thinking about agriculture, with the yields we have nowadays we can have a high output while being at an historical low on cultivated area.

I was more thinking about historical buildings, nice little postcard villages that kind of thing.

 

Attempting a large scale reorganization in a democratic society is indeed pretty much impossible without stopping being a liberal democracy.

As I said urbanization is an ongoing process and we can only encourage it while making sure that the growing urban area are well though out.

 

I question why we should even be encouraging it in the first place.

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Simply because the higher the density of population is, the more efficient it is to sustain a set number of people.

It mostly comes from economy of scale.

 

That is if the objective we are talking about is to make room for a growing population while the resources are shrinking.

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4 minutes ago, Alzoc said:

Simply because the higher the density of population is, the more efficient it is to sustain a set number of people.

That is if the objective is to make room for a growing population while the resources are shrinking.

 

I'm gonna go out on a limb and say you've never farmed large scale before. 

 

Tomatoes in your back yard are like solar panels on your roof. It's nifty and I support it but it's does not scale well at all. 

 

Also, what's with you Europeans and need to "sustain a set number of people"? By force if necessary, eh? ;)

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29 minutes ago, Oedipus Wreckx-n-Effect said:

I'm gonna go out on a limb and say you've never farmed large scale before.

 

No indeed^^

 

29 minutes ago, Oedipus Wreckx-n-Effect said:

Tomatoes in your back yard are like solar panels on your roof. It's nifty and I support it but it's does not scale well at all. 

 

Wasn't talking about those urban farms utopia that I agree won't scale well.

I was more thinking of having a sort of large agricultural ring around each urban area which can provide for a (hopefully significant) fraction of the needs of it's attached metropolitan area, instead of having it scattered all around the place (though it may be possible to do that if we manage to have largely automatized agriculture idk)

 

29 minutes ago, Oedipus Wreckx-n-Effect said:

Also, what's with you Europeans and need to "sustain a set number of people"? By force if necessary, eh?

 

Well population projections indicate that we will have about 10 billions Humans on the planet by the mid-century.

Most of those people won't have access to our level of life and we have no moral right to deny it to them should they strive for it.

To achieve that they'll need to spend energy:

 

electricity-consumption-hdi.png

 

The graph above is just an example but you can literally take any kind of energy consumption per capita on abscissa and any development indicator (literacy rate, lifespan, etc) on ordinate and you'll see the same pattern:

A sharp increase as soon as you start spending some energy and then a plateau meaning that any supplementary energy you'll spend is just wasted (bar for a few case where the environment is just too harsh and you have to compensate).

 

Now the people who haven't reached the plateau yet are much more numerous than us so when they'll get there the worldwide need for energy will have exploded, hence why we need to use energy as efficiently as possible if we want to avoid conflict for as long as possible.

 

There is no way to know exactly how bad a global scale war for energy would be but there is also no guarantee that our liberal societies would survive it (I don't fancy living in a world resembling the way China is nowadays).

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There is no certainty on what will happen exactly, but that the energy demand will be growing while having to deal with rarefaction/increase of price of resources is a given.

So might as well start thinking about taking mitigation actions, the hard part is finding a balance between how much must be done and the social acceptability of those changes.

 

Since we don't really know when things will start getting too hot (although it's getting hotter every year) the question is where to place the cursor.

Too much radical changes and you end up with a "green" authoritarian society, too much procrastinations and we'll burn ourselves more than we needed to.

 

I personally like to think that our generation ought to pile up as much small cushions as possible in front of us so that when we'll hit the wall it will hurt the least possible.

 

One thing is certain we'll need much more energy and in particular electricity.

Nuclear and hydro being the only one able to supply large amount of electricity with a minimal impact on the environment.

Though they obviously won't be enough so there is also a need to optimize the yield and reduce the impact of both gas and coal power-plant (thinking that we could get rid of fossil fuel in this century is nothing but a pipe dream).

That's why I lobby for nuclear energy through the SFEN (French Society for Nuclear Energy) (and that's pretty much my sole associative engagement).

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Again. I don't get the panacea of moving all of the peons into mega-city hellholes. Because if things really do go pear-shaped, being in a dystopian mega-city hellhole is the last place any rational individual would want to be. 

 

That was certainly one of the things we took into consideration when we moved to the Palouse.

 

Rather than forcing people to become - and stay - dependent on a single centralized authority to collect and distribute resources, seems to me the smarter tactic is for folks - and society - to diversify their skillsets and zipcodes where they're residing. 

 

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https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2018-10-04/the-big-hack-how-china-used-a-tiny-chip-to-infiltrate-america-s-top-companies

Quote

   Nested on the servers’ motherboards, the testers found a tiny microchip, not much bigger than a grain of rice, that wasn’t part of the boards’ original design. Amazon reported the discovery to U.S. authorities, sending a shudder through the intelligence community. Elemental’s servers could be found in Department of Defense data centers, the CIA’s drone operations, and the onboard networks of Navy warships. And Elemental was just one of hundreds of Supermicro customers.

   During the ensuing top-secret probe, which remains open more than three years later, investigators determined that the chips allowed the attackers to create a stealth doorway into any network that included the altered machines. Multiple people familiar with the matter say investigators found that the chips had been inserted at factories run by manufacturing subcontractors in China.

 

 

Quote

#China Used a Tiny Chip to Infiltrate #US Companies - The attack by Chinese spies reached almost 30 U.S. companies by compromising America’s technology supply chain, according to extensive interviews with government and corporate sources.

 

 

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The PRC appears to have disappeared the Director of Interpol: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/oct/05/french-investigate-after-interpol-chief-meng-hongwei-goes-missing-china

 

Quote

French police sources and justice officials said Meng’s wife, who lives with him and their children in Lyon, south-east France, where the global organisation for police cooperation is based, reported him missing on Friday.

He was last seen leaving for China from Interpol’s headquarters on 29 September, a judicial source close to the investigation Agence-France Presse. “He did not disappear in France,” the source added.

 

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This may be the largest mass breach of an intelligence service in recent history. 305 individuals registered their car to the same address as Aleksei Morenets, one of the four accused GRU officers.

https://www.bellingcat.com/news/2018/10/04/305-car-registrations-may-point-massive-gru-security-breach/

 

DiLsw3eUEAANPYJ.jpg

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   A poll by the Public Opinion Foundation (FOM) showed that if elections to the State Duma were held next Sunday, United Russia would have gained 31% of the vote. This is the lowest figure since 2008, when FOM began to conduct research, according to the foundation's website.

 

   Since July, after the government announced about raising the retirement age, the rating of the party in power fell from 40% to 35% and fluctuated at the level of 34-35%. Before the rе-joining with the Crimea, in 2013, 39% of citizens expressed readiness to vote for United Russia, the maximum was in 2015 - 55%.

   Today, 14% of Russians are ready to cast their votes for the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, as many as for the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia: their ratings rose from 9% in June. Only 4% of voters are ready to vote for Fair Russia, 2% would like to damage the ballot, 15% found it difficult to answer, and 14% admitted that they would ignore the elections.

 

   Last week Vladimir Putin’s rating fell from 47% to 45%, in May it was 64%. Those who were ready to vote for the LDPR leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky and the Communists who represented the last election Pavel Grudinin did not significantly increase: they would vote for 10% of those polled. The remaining candidates participating in March 2018 would still not receive more than 1%.

 

   On October 3, Prime Minister, Chairman of United Russia Dmitry Medvedev urged party members to learn a lesson from the loss of United Russia candidates in gubernatorial elections in a number of regions. "This is normal, this is democracy, but for the party it is a certain lesson. It needs to be properly learned and in the future to try to regain the positions that the party lost." Said the head of government at a meeting of the United Russia commission monitoring the implementation of the electoral program party.

/.../

 

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Oh shit, that's not good. Largest oil refinery in Canada is on fire. Irving Oil admitting to a major incident and the local hospital has declared a 'Code Orange' which is preparing for a mass casualty incident.

 

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/explosion-fire-saint-john-oil-refinery-1.4854460

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5 hours ago, Belesarius said:

Oh shit, that's not good. Largest oil refinery in Canada is on fire. Irving Oil admitting to a major incident and the local hospital has declared a 'Code Orange' which is preparing for a mass casualty incident.

 

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/explosion-fire-saint-john-oil-refinery-1.4854460

5 injured, none critical, all already discharged from hospital.  Explosion and fire were caused by a malfunctioning diesel treating unit that removes sulfur from diesel.

 

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On 10/7/2018 at 4:15 PM, Belesarius said:

More on the limo crash

 

Limo had failed a safety inspection before the crash and should not have been on the road apparently

 

Cuomo has sent in the Staties and siezed all of the vehicles from the company.

 

The driver for the Limo did not have the correct license

 

Federal records show the company has undergone five inspections and had four vehicles pulled from service in the last two years.

 

 

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I actually worked at a limo/towncar company several years ago after I gave the middle finger to the Seattle Weekly for the first time. So most of the work was doing towncar stuff, airport to hotel/business meetings. But we did some limo stuff too. Drove around a hoopty stretch Chrysler 300 with mirrors on it the size of postage stamps. Stressed me out knowing that I had the lives of a dozen people (either high school prom or bachelorette parties) behind me frolicking around without seatbelts while I was trying to avoid getting us all killed in the pouring down rain by crazy motorists/semi drivers/bus drivers while not murdering some idiot on a bike.

 

Frankly, given the sort of folks who operate towncar services, and the slim profit margins vs cost of maintenance, I'm surprised there haven't been more deaths like this. 

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On 10/5/2018 at 6:59 AM, Donward said:

Again. I don't get the panacea of moving all of the peons into mega-city hellholes. Because if things really do go pear-shaped, being in a dystopian mega-city hellhole is the last place any rational individual would want to be. 

 

That was certainly one of the things we took into consideration when we moved to the Palouse.

 

Rather than forcing people to become - and stay - dependent on a single centralized authority to collect and distribute resources, seems to me the smarter tactic is for folks - and society - to diversify their skillsets and zipcodes where they're residing. 

 

I think you two are seeing this thing from opposite ends.

 

For the individual it is of course better (in terms of being more self-sufficient, having more options etc) to live on a large plot of land out in the country. But from a top-down "we need to use the minimum amount of resources to sustain the maximum amount of people" point of view sticking all your people close together is just inherently more efficient.

 

I'd bring in a third issue, though: I think places like the UK, EU and Japan are already unsustainably overpopulated as it is, and rely on less overstretched ecologies (initially their colonies, then third-world agricultural zones and the US) to support them. I think importing the mojority of your calories and your population refusing to grow are clear signs of this. Worse yet, it is already known by agronomists that nearly all our agriculturally useful land is already under cultivation and that modern industrial farming eats up land over time through soil erosion, compaction, salt accumulation etc. We've reached the end of what fertilizer and bug spray can do, and GMOs are very limited both ITO what they're allowed to do and what they can accomplish on the more food for less input front (thermodynamics is a harsh mistress and all).

 

My prediction for the next 100 years of food is a slow decline in the amount of meat consumed per capita (as meat gets more expensive) and a slow relative increase in the consumption of carbohydrates and alternate/recycled protein sources. All our diets will basically become more peasant-ish thanks to brute economics. On the plus side, though, obesity will become a self-solving problem.

 

At the same time, I think that the levelling-off of population growth and concurrent development of compensatory technologies gives us a chance to enter a stable k-strategy eecological equilibrium over the next few centuries. This will be very difficult, but is infinitely preferable to a hard collapse scenario.

 

I don't see the development of other technologies affecting this too much, with the sole exception of some sort of cheap energy source (fusion on a flatbed, basically) allowing us to effectively make more farmland underground or in the ocean.

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