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How would you change the world? - Ed's journal
How would you change the world?
I subject I was discussing with zaitan. How would you change the 'system'. The established order.

What would be your idea of utopia?. And how would you implement it.

Imagine, that in some shock occurance, you are made Emperor of the world. All defer to your will, and all will accept your wishes as law.

What do you change?

You see, the thought occurs that in this country we have a parliment. If you are elected, you get a paycheck. If you are not though, you don't.

This basically means that you've got to be financially secure in some way to run for government, which nicely cuts out a large segment of the population.
Would you change that demographic, and how?

Do you see the ideal society as more communist or capitalist than it is? Remembering for every fair system you implement, there will be those who do not play fair, and who abuse it.

We discussed, you see, the idea of 'career' politicians. Paid to compete and run for government. It's be great. A new age where everyone can try and do the job, and bring fresh ideas. But we couldn't think how to do it. If you offer a grant to anyone who stands in an election, then you will get people standing just to get the grant.

One way or another, despite their idiosyncrascies, the 'established' political systems have lasted quite well. Is this due to an ongoing cycle of corruption, or is it simply that it really is the 'least worst' system?

It's the usual problem, of power corrupting. It'd start simply. You'd get some support standing for election. And then you'd owe 'em a favour. So maybe you'd see some good stuff go their way. Look out for you and your own, and then the others.

Problem is, I can't see a way out. Giving all the power and decision making authority to one man would be ideal, but only if that one man is one you can trust to do the right thing for all. So instead you split the crown amongst many, they fight over the issues, and gradually pull in different directions.

So just imagine, that tomorrow you were made president, prime minister, king, queen or otherwise major authority figure.

What would _you_ do with it?
19 comments or Leave a comment
warmage From: warmage Date: November 9th, 2004 01:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
If I were made President tomorrow, I would fight and fight and fight (assuming I can't simply decree) for line-item veto. This is a power the POTUS does not have, although nearly every Governor does. Then there's no question about where me and my interests lie. If I want to pass the pork, I don't redact that paragraph. If I want to sling some shit back to the lower house, one BIG RED X on that measure.

Then someone could report on exactly what I passed and I could comment on my philosophy and my reasons for passing or denying certain elements. I would be more able to thwart my opponents and my antitheses, and equally able to support my compatriots, whatever the feather.

Without these, you see what the US Code has become: "Sneak it in somewhere in the middle and you'll get your law/money/special interest catered."
warmage From: warmage Date: November 9th, 2004 01:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
More deeply, we need to abolish money, egocentricity, and probably religion. All religious zealotry will be met in exactly the same way, though I don't think you could build prisons fast enough, and mass graves are never looked upon with glee.

If you want to get holy, do it in privacy. If you want to march the streets singing praises to your deity, you'll need a permit. Want to go door to door? You'll have to identify yourself as a domestic missionary immediately. You will be punished if you do not heed the wisehs of those you can't convert; go away or get put away.

Want money? Sorry, we're going back to the barter-credit system. A pint of milk for a pound of sugar, work given for work earned. No more cash, and federalized banking will be put back into force. You have an account with Uncle Sam's Bank, just like everyone else. The Bank of USG will be able to lower taxes because the commodities market won't go away, it's all credit-driven already, and the USG will become a very large investment banker...

xarrion From: xarrion Date: November 9th, 2004 02:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
First act? Massive fines or exile for casual lawbreakers & assholes:- littering, knowingly smoking in no-smoking areas, Running red lights, Parking on double-yellows in anything short of an emergency, benefit fraud. Probably death sentences for the first two :D. Slightly less strict, but greater enforcement of: People who park between two spaces, vandalism, wearing baseball caps in school.

Pull out of other countries until our own is more sorted. Ban or lock up animal rights activists under the Terrorism Act.

Compulsory national ID, with strict privacy/data protection laws. Allow free downloading and distributing of music, including funding of new talent.

More serious answers when I'm not tired ;)
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sobrique From: sobrique Date: November 10th, 2004 01:38 am (UTC) (Link)
You see, it would involve a completely equal distibution of wealth. Now, say we'd fixed all the problems about bring that about & making it sustainable (that's assuming those are surmountable. Not convinced that they are). The populace Just Wouldn't accept it. A lot of people seem to need to feel superiour to others.

By 'need for superiority' I don't agree. I _do_ think that in order for people to work for a living they have to be able to see some advantage in it. So in a situation where you have a completely equal distribution of wealth, you also have a completely equal distribution of work. E.G. none at all.

After all, why should you work hard for a living if there is no positive incentive to do so?

We already have people 'professionally unemployed' - that are just living on benefits, having 15 children, and insisting they've got a right to live.

For many, that's not seen as a fair or good way to live. But if you were to divvy up the income of the country equally, then you can bet you'd see an awful lot more of it, and gradually we'd slip into poverty en-mass because the minority will end up supporting the majority.
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sobrique From: sobrique Date: November 10th, 2004 08:51 am (UTC) (Link)
So, back to the original question then. If you were handed power, what would you do with it?
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sobrique From: sobrique Date: November 10th, 2004 03:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
So essentially, you'd let someone else do it?
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sobrique From: sobrique Date: November 11th, 2004 12:34 am (UTC) (Link)
Now what was that someone was saying about giving Liberals a bad name? :)
jorune From: jorune Date: November 10th, 2004 02:01 am (UTC) (Link)
What a bunch of pinko hippy commie nonsense, this is the sort of idiocy that makes 'Liberal' a swearword.

What we want is liberty and individuality not an overpowerful state and conformity.

Inequality is natural, just accept it and move on.

What we need is to move towards equality of opportunity so everyone can be the best that they can be. The main factors stopping people are their beliefs.
'I can't do it'
'I'm cannot be bothered'
'They won't let me'
'I have X big personal problems so I can't do it'

We need to fix people's attitudes. So with X trillion research budget I create a device which akin to the CP concept of Simstim/Simsticks i.e. VR. The software for the device is the key element. The first piece of software is a honey trap. It allows you to have Sex with your ideal partner, unlimited use. Full contact, All body types, ages (18+). It would sell for a nominal amount. Getting the planet laid would be a good start.

Explicitly within the software would be code that would rewire a person's beliefs. So if you ran the sex software after 3-5 uses you could change a person, enable that person; upgrade their experiences and ability.

To become a good lover can someone a few attempts and others a lifetime. With this software we can let people know what it is to please someone sexually, know what it is right or wrong in a legal framework, and understand their inner emotions. As it allows risk free sex people will rush to consume it, thereby self-programming themselves. We can do the same with the Body to resolve anorexia and body image problems. The software would react to each person in an individual way, as we are all individuals. The key concepts would be the same but their expression is left to the person.

The beliefs instilled for the legal framework could be described as:

'If I attack some sexually I will be commiting a crime.' Obvious of course but it will carry the realisation of what this entails, the sick sensation of fear, conviction, imprisonment, life on an offenders list. If they still want to commit the crime then they will not be stopped. With any such implanted belief there will always be a choice for an alternative.

Theoretically this software could be extending to many areas. If you want a new job or to try out something safely first, pop in a simstick and try it out. Through this we can expand people’s horizons dramatically and allow them to follow their dreams. I’m not advocating this as I haven’t thought through all the social and cultural consequences.

As a second major action with the X trillion research budget I will create nanites that act as internal medical regulators. The first target would have to be control of the menstrual cycle. PMS would be a thing of the past as the nanites would control/absorb/resolve any mood swings/pain/discharge. They would act to monitor the appearance of disease and other maladies.

This measure would ensure a dramatic increase in productivity with all the concomitant benefits for the economy, the nation and the individual. We would all get richer.

These measures are aimed at fixing women because Women are broken. A significant proportion of them suffers from major medical/psychological issues. These measures would go some way to fixing them. As it improves their lives so it would improve the lives of the men and children who live with them.

These measures are an increase in liberty and opportunity for all not just the favoured few. We are enabling the nation; we are raising the nation up to a higher existence not pulling it down to a lowest common denominator.

I pledge to you today that this nation, shall under God, have a new birth of freedom and that government of the people, by the people, and for the people, shall not vanish from the earth.
jorune From: jorune Date: November 10th, 2004 02:04 am (UTC) (Link)
As an addition, which I forgot to put in the original comment, once you installed all the beliefs encoded in the software there is a final belief that weans you off the simstick. Naturally because you have acquired an understanding of women/men/your choice you now realise that they don't want to be second choice to a simstick.
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jorune From: jorune Date: November 10th, 2004 09:34 am (UTC) (Link)
The point is that the idea of completely equal distribution of wealth is only possible in a star trek universe where there are replicators and therefore there are no barriers to production and everyone can be supplied with limitless wealth.

Beyond that everyone has their own opinion as to their preferred level of wealth. Would you force wealth onto those who want no wealth? i.e. Nuns, Monks, Hermits, certain poets and artists. What about those working in the Black Economy who do not report their earnings? They would appear to be poor and therefore receive more than others.

The approach you advocate has been tried many times in many cultures and it has always failed due to human nature and the power of those beliefs.

Possible? Not in this time and culture. Nice? Only if it does not restrict personal choice.

'Simsticks as dope, people will avoid them.' Think of your perfect partner, so wonderful and special that they are the number 1 choice out of 6 billion people. You can experience that for £20 (£10 Player, £10 Software). It would be an overnight sensation, every media outlet in the entire world would talk about it. It would achieve more positive publicity than anything else. The social pressure to try it would be overwhelming. Within the first 6 months of its release, 30-40% of the sexually active population would have used it. It would become an essential part of life with many people refusing to date anyone who hadn't done it. Within 2 years it was reach 70-80% of the population. Within 3 years 80-90%. The pressure would not come from the govt but from the people.

I am not here to dictate people's reactions but to make them aware of their choices. They can then follow their moral codes, naturally I would recommend the tenets of Judeo-Christianity-Islam. I believe in a person's right to choose and implanting a forced reaction would be a very dangerous precedent. Democracy and Diversity not Demagoguery and Dictatorship.

You may view my statement as sexist, that's your choice. I see it as an observation of a longer life.

Consider this exercise in this manner: the more you intervene the worse it gets. Life should be a self sustaining development, set your ground rules and let it go. My approach aims to adjust some basic mechanics and then let it go. I would ask for Liberty myself from an imaginary overlord I can give no less to any of my subjects.
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jorune From: jorune Date: November 11th, 2004 01:07 am (UTC) (Link)
I put it to you that the approach has been tried, in communes and kibbutz's, each time it gets beyond a small size of people the model breaks down. Shall we refine your initial comment for equal distribution amongst people who are happy with equal distribution? This is the one key concepts of a commune that everyone makes a choice for equal distribution.

There's a big difference between watching and doing. Then there will be a qualitative difference between those who have and those who have not. A critical factor.

Humanity is not too selfish and inconsiderate, this is why we have moved from tribalism-feudalism-monarchy to a system where the views of ordinary people are heard. That is real and continuing social progress.

It is through the software that negative behaviours are modified and potentially improved.

If you want to say Men are Broken, then it's fine by me.

sobrique From: sobrique Date: November 10th, 2004 03:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
jorune From: jorune Date: November 11th, 2004 01:09 am (UTC) (Link)
If I didn't want to post then I wouldn't have read it.

19 comments or Leave a comment