18 votes

Are there any major problems in society that we genuinely do not have any good solutions to?

One of the most notable aspects of political discourse today is how many of the problems we have seem to have relatively simple solutions for how consequential they are:

To reduce wealth inequality, we can use progressive taxation, antitrust, support of unionization so that poor people/workers have a large stake in their wages.

To give poorer people equal opportunity, we can use welfare initiatives like free (as in paid by taxes/free at the point of use) college, better pay for teachers and more equitable resource (as in textbooks, tables, chalk distribution for schools so poor people get more equitable education to rich people.

To reduce crime, violence and repeat sentencing we can reduce poverty (see the top question), encourage mental health initiatives and do not have cops take thatand have jail be rehabilitative rather than punitive.

To make make software less centralized and invasive, we can require Internet companies give you full, immediate disclosure of all the forms your data will be used and let people opt out of all of them, delete all their data, and also enforce antitrust when it comes to social media platforms (I.E Facebook should not own Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger and their new TikTok analogue and the first thing you should see when logging into any of them is a list of ways these companies will collect your data and let you opt out of all of them and be as anonymous as you please)

To make sure democracy is indeed representative of the people and works well, we can introduce a parliamentary system or multi-winner congressional seats and institute STV or RCV or just approval voting if you really can't have more than 1 representative for an area (the US senate is cucked)

To make more progress in stopping COVID, we can have mass testing by the government, people must take social distancing seriously and wear masks, medics need to be taken seriously and properly supplied with PPE and all that.

Given these solutions, what are large problems we have/will have that we genuinely don't have an answer to instead of just not wanting to do something about it?

A few examples that come to my mind are:

How do we get corrupion out of a government? Since the vast majority of stuff I have mentioned in this post would be done by governments and governments under extensive corruption cannot be trusted to regulate anything.

How do we regulate news outlets to be fair and objective? We can get news outlets to be publically/popularly funded instead of ad(large-corporate)-funded and enforce antitrust, but that doesn't stop bias, outright lying and sensationalism.

How do we get peple to change their minds? Evidence of everything I've mentioned in this post is more than around, but that hasn't convinced Republicans/conservatives. For some people groups, acceptance has literally been a decades-long political campaign to be recognized as normal or ok.

EDIT: 3 4 more.

How do we get people to befriend eachother and be social and tell apart those who genuinely don't want to do this and those who do but don't know how to or don't like to/aren't good at doing it in the ways usually available?

If we choose to let the population decline (see the climate change question), are we fully prepared for the consequences of having a society that will be growing older and older, perhaps indefinitely?

If we choose to not let the population decline and seek to keep birthrates at replacement level, how do we convince people to do so? If we don't/can't and start using things like artificial wombs to have children, who will take care of them? Do we make orphanages socially acceptable/valued and well-funded? Do we turn kindergartens and schools into a 24/7 institution and add in non-study things like housing and video games, and make teachers basically parents, but with many children to take care of?

If electoralism fails, what can we do to still have a voice in the world? Can we do anything?

81 comments

  1. [46]
    Flashynuff
    Link
    Climate change. Every solution you've mentioned here is ultimately still rooted in an economic status quo that relies on extraction, exploitation, and endless growth that is rapidly depleting the...

    Given these solutions, what are large problems we have/will have that we genuinely don't have an answer to instead of just not wanting to do something about it

    Climate change.

    Every solution you've mentioned here is ultimately still rooted in an economic status quo that relies on extraction, exploitation, and endless growth that is rapidly depleting the environment's resource stocks. Any climate change "solution" that does not address these fundamental systemic issues will not work.

    https://twitter.com/BuildSoil/status/1066531206542483456

    26 votes
    1. Flashynuff
      Link Parent
      This is honestly the driving force behind my politics. We must drastically restructure our society in order to survive these hard ecological limits that are fast approaching, and I would like to...

      This is honestly the driving force behind my politics. We must drastically restructure our society in order to survive these hard ecological limits that are fast approaching, and I would like to make sure that the restructuring is just and ethical. Anything else will result in mass death.

      14 votes
    2. [4]
      mrbig
      Link Parent
      The solution of course is to remove the modern notion of a growth based economy altogether.

      The solution of course is to remove the modern notion of a growth based economy altogether.

      9 votes
      1. [3]
        suspended
        Link Parent
        I don't agree with everything Derrick Jensen writes/states. However, these twenty premises are difficult to get around.

        I don't agree with everything Derrick Jensen writes/states. However, these twenty premises are difficult to get around.

        5 votes
        1. [2]
          NaraVara
          Link Parent
          Where is he pulling these from? Maybe if them just seem like argument via semantics and many others seem fairly ignorant of anthropology. Like where did he get this idea that pre-modern people...

          Where is he pulling these from? Maybe if them just seem like argument via semantics and many others seem fairly ignorant of anthropology. Like where did he get this idea that pre-modern people didn’t mine metal or damage the ecology or perpetuate large scale violence to sustain their way of life?

          3 votes
          1. suspended
            Link Parent
            They are, more than likely, his own since they are premises. I checked the book and there are no citations provided for this section of the book. If you'd like the PDF, then let me know.

            Where is he pulling these from?

            They are, more than likely, his own since they are premises. I checked the book and there are no citations provided for this section of the book. If you'd like the PDF, then let me know.

            3 votes
    3. [6]
      Wren
      Link Parent
      The closest we have to an 'easy' solution seems to be actually holding corporations to environmental standards (they're the ones producing most waste, after all) and switching everything to...

      The closest we have to an 'easy' solution seems to be actually holding corporations to environmental standards (they're the ones producing most waste, after all) and switching everything to nuclear power.

      4 votes
      1. [5]
        Flashynuff
        Link Parent
        Nuclear power is a red herring in our current system. Any nuclear plant requires a massive state apparatus along with intensive resource extraction to construct and maintain. yungneocon on Twitter...

        Nuclear power is a red herring in our current system. Any nuclear plant requires a massive state apparatus along with intensive resource extraction to construct and maintain.

        yungneocon on Twitter has some excellent threads on this topic:

        https://twitter.com/yungneocon/status/1159556588354580482?s=20

        https://twitter.com/yungneocon/status/1256727483124195336?s=20

        5 votes
        1. suspended
          Link Parent
          TerraPower's traveling wave reactor looks promising, though.

          TerraPower's traveling wave reactor looks promising, though.

          2 votes
        2. [3]
          Autoxidation
          Link Parent
          How does it compare to alternatives, like wind or solar with battery storage?

          How does it compare to alternatives, like wind or solar with battery storage?

          2 votes
          1. [2]
            Flashynuff
            Link Parent
            My understanding is that both wind and solar are far better than nuclear in terms of resources required, but the resources they require -- some of which are rare earth and costly to extract -- are...

            My understanding is that both wind and solar are far better than nuclear in terms of resources required, but the resources they require -- some of which are rare earth and costly to extract -- are still significant.

            I don't mean to be sounding like "everything is bad and we should do nothing" but it's really important that we do an honest accounting of the costs.

            2 votes
            1. Autoxidation
              Link Parent
              The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has an extensive life cycle analysis of greenhouse gases for all major power sources, and concludes nuclear has a generally lower GHG lifetime...

              The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has an extensive life cycle analysis of greenhouse gases for all major power sources, and concludes nuclear has a generally lower GHG lifetime emissions per kWh than even solar, but their analysis doesn't include potential storage like batteries.

              It is true that this analysis doesn't include other concerns (land impact, materials, etc) but I think referring to nuclear as a red herring is incorrect, at least in terms of decarbonization of our energy system. I think it's an important option to consider for both baseload power and when wind or solar aren't viable energy alternatives.

              4 votes
    4. [32]
      skybrian
      Link Parent
      I don't know, maybe sprinkling rock dust everywhere will do it? Many proposed solutions don't work out and maybe that one won't either, but I find it strange that many people apparently hope we...

      I don't know, maybe sprinkling rock dust everywhere will do it?

      Many proposed solutions don't work out and maybe that one won't either, but I find it strange that many people apparently hope we will have to do it the hard way by changing everything, which means we will probably fail. We should hope for, investigate, and try out easier fixes, while still planning for the worst.

      4 votes
      1. [31]
        Flashynuff
        Link Parent
        The issue is the land use. Current agricultural methods are one of the main drivers of climate change. This is a bandaid. This is not something we have the luxury of waiting for magical technology...

        Rock dust may hold appeal over other CO2 removal options because it doesn’t require changes to land use – such as growing energy crops for bioenergy with carbon capture and storage – and there is growing evidence that it has the side effect of boosting crop yields too, says Beerling

        The issue is the land use. Current agricultural methods are one of the main drivers of climate change. This is a bandaid.

        many people apparently hope we will have to do it the hard way by changing everything, which means we will probably fail.

        This is not something we have the luxury of waiting for magical technology that doesn't exist yet to save us. We must do the hard work of changing our society first.

        9 votes
        1. [6]
          gpl
          Link Parent
          One pessimistic response is that it is probably a better strategy to invest in exploratory "magical" technologies to save us because changing our society will take longer. Neither have guarantees...

          This is not something we have the luxury of waiting for magical technology that doesn't exist yet to save us. We must do the hard work of changing our society first.

          One pessimistic response is that it is probably a better strategy to invest in exploratory "magical" technologies to save us because changing our society will take longer. Neither have guarantees of succeeding, but if the last 3 decades of opposition are anything to go by, moonshot solutions might be the more likely salve.

          I do think public sentiment is shifting, especially among the younger generations, so maybe the coming years won't be as slow to proceed as the previous decades.

          5 votes
          1. [5]
            Flashynuff
            Link Parent
            My rebuttal would be that most of these technologies are unproven and would require insane amounts of energy and capital to implement, and would do nothing to address the other systemic ecological...

            One pessimistic response is that it is probably a better strategy to invest in exploratory "magical" technologies to save us because changing our society will take longer.

            My rebuttal would be that most of these technologies are unproven and would require insane amounts of energy and capital to implement, and would do nothing to address the other systemic ecological collapses caused by humans and may in fact worsen them. An example: covering the sky in reflective particles to reduce heat coming in. It might work, theoretically, but can you imagine how many unforeseen impacts such a massive change to our ecological parameters would have? What happens if we fuck it up and cause half of Earth's plant life to die off?

            Why is it easier to imagine the end of civilisation than the end of capitalism?

            7 votes
            1. [3]
              gpl
              Link Parent
              Definitely fair points. I do often feel that the sheer scale and time frame of the needed societal change is often underestimated in discussions of climate change. People acknowledge the hard work...

              My rebuttal would be that most of these technologies are unproven and would require insane amounts of energy and capital to implement, and would do nothing to address the other systemic ecological collapses caused by humans and may in fact worsen them.

              Definitely fair points. I do often feel that the sheer scale and time frame of the needed societal change is often underestimated in discussions of climate change. People acknowledge the hard work that lies ahead, but it feels like more than that? There is real potential for technological innovations to spur change, and like I said it's almost at the point where I'm willing to put more faith in that than political change. The issue as I see it is that climate change has to be addressed globally - it's not enough for a handful of countries (even the worst offenders) to curb and roll back emissions if the rest of the world is plowing ahead. That suggests a level of international collaboration and change that would quite literally be unprecedented, and extremely difficult to imagine. I can't really think of any similar global societal development that has been catalyzed by political movements. On the other hand, it is easier to imagine such a global shift spurred on by technological development. We've seen it even in the last few decades as computers and computer networks have radically altered the logic of the modern world. Other technological revolutions have been similarly impactful.

              To be fully transparent, these thoughts are a bit of a "devils advocate" position as I fully support the political changes that climate activists push for. I think they would meaningfully combat climate change if adopted globally, but also because I think they would make for a better, more pleasant, and more stable society. My personal dream future is represented in solarpunk, for example. I just honestly don't know if those changes are any more likely to come about quicker than an unforeseen technological development that quickly restructures society in a way that is more ecological. When the issue is so important, I do think it's important to consider this.

              3 votes
              1. [2]
                Flashynuff
                Link Parent
                Another thing to consider about technological solutions: the resources for the technology still come from somewhere, whether that's Bolivian lithium mines or Chinese factories . Historically, the...

                On the other hand, it is easier to imagine such a global shift spurred on by technological development.

                Another thing to consider about technological solutions: the resources for the technology still come from somewhere, whether that's Bolivian lithium mines or Chinese factories . Historically, the ecological costs of most technological development have been offloaded onto the world's poorest areas. Without an accompanying shift in societal structure, I don't see how a technological push to fix climate change can avoid doing the same thing.

                5 votes
                1. gpl
                  Link Parent
                  This is true, and a pretty good argument for why some restructuring of society will be required. I’m more focused on how we might best spur that restructuring, and it seems to me that such...

                  This is true, and a pretty good argument for why some restructuring of society will be required. I’m more focused on how we might best spur that restructuring, and it seems to me that such developments have historically been spurred by political changes (political revolutions leading to new ideas about society and ideals, conquests imposing new societal structures, etc) or technological changes (the agricultural revolution leading to modern civilization, industrial revolution leading to more urbanization, computers leading to today, eg). I’m arguing that the former types of changes are always local in some sense - they occur in the society undergoing revolution, or in the territory recently conquered. Politics is limited to the polis after all. The latter can be global, and often are, because technology is very hard contain within political borders. Societies produce new technology, but technology can often produce new societies as well.

                  3 votes
            2. papasquat
              Link Parent
              All large scale alternatives to capitalism are also unproven would would require insane amounts of energy and capital to implement. Virtually all the arguments you made against a dramatic...

              All large scale alternatives to capitalism are also unproven would would require insane amounts of energy and capital to implement. Virtually all the arguments you made against a dramatic technological advancement could also be made against dramatic social experiments as well.

              2 votes
        2. [24]
          skybrian
          Link Parent
          Do we have time for anything? How long would it take for a socialist revolution? Do you really think agricultural land use can be changed overnight?

          Do we have time for anything? How long would it take for a socialist revolution? Do you really think agricultural land use can be changed overnight?

          4 votes
          1. [23]
            Flashynuff
            Link Parent
            Short answer, no. It's too late to stop climate change. What we can do is adapt our society to it in a way that minimizes injustice and death. The longer we stay with capitalism, the worse it will...

            Do we have time for anything?

            Short answer, no. It's too late to stop climate change. What we can do is adapt our society to it in a way that minimizes injustice and death. The longer we stay with capitalism, the worse it will get.

            7 votes
            1. [22]
              skybrian
              Link Parent
              That's rather simplistic. Transitions matter and it's quite possible that blowing up a system will cause terrible tragedies, when a more gradual transition wouldn't. The details matter.

              That's rather simplistic. Transitions matter and it's quite possible that blowing up a system will cause terrible tragedies, when a more gradual transition wouldn't. The details matter.

              6 votes
              1. suspended
                Link Parent
                François-René de Chateaubriand

                Forests precede civilizations and deserts follow them.

                • François-René de Chateaubriand
                8 votes
              2. [20]
                Flashynuff
                Link Parent
                I don't believe I suggested we blow up the system, simply that it should be replaced entirely. That can be done gradually, but it must be done, sooner rather than later. Surely the details of our...

                I don't believe I suggested we blow up the system, simply that it should be replaced entirely. That can be done gradually, but it must be done, sooner rather than later.

                Surely the details of our current system and any technological solutions matter too?

                6 votes
                1. [6]
                  skybrian
                  Link Parent
                  I inferred from this that the sooner we get rid of capitalism, the better it will be. Implying a preference for sudden, extreme action, because sooner is better than later. I think there is such a...

                  The longer we stay with capitalism, the worse it will get.

                  I inferred from this that the sooner we get rid of capitalism, the better it will be. Implying a preference for sudden, extreme action, because sooner is better than later.

                  I think there is such a thing as too quick. But, presumably you do too? Maybe sooner could be worse, if it's done badly?

                  (But also, I don't think everything can be blamed on capitalism. There are also worse things to be avoided, like war, famine, totalitarian regimes, and so on.)

                  4 votes
                  1. [5]
                    Flashynuff
                    Link Parent
                    Sure, there definitely is a thing as too quick. I would certainly prefer it if one day everyone woke up and decided that we should all work together to change the system to something better. The...

                    Sure, there definitely is a thing as too quick. I would certainly prefer it if one day everyone woke up and decided that we should all work together to change the system to something better. The problem is that those in power -- capitalists -- have no interest in reforming the system that benefits them and have blocked most if not all significant changes. I asked the question elsewhere in this thread: when that happens, what other avenues remain?

                    war, famine, totalitarian regimes

                    Has capitalism stopped any of those things from happening? How many Middle Eastern countries has the U.S. bombed in a war for oil? How many children go hungry in the United States because they can't afford food? How many authoritarian regimes has the US installed or propped up because they were "pro-business"?

                    8 votes
                    1. [4]
                      skybrian
                      Link Parent
                      Has anything resulted in world peace or prevented all hunger? You're setting up an impossible standard, assuming it's reasonable for any single abstraction, ideology, or method can prevent all the...

                      Has anything resulted in world peace or prevented all hunger? You're setting up an impossible standard, assuming it's reasonable for any single abstraction, ideology, or method can prevent all the suffering in the world. These things have complicated causes.

                      2 votes
                      1. [3]
                        Flashynuff
                        Link Parent
                        Nothing has yet, and I don't think anything will any time soon. So if we know capitalism is unable to prevent those "worse things", why is it not ok to try a system that might cause those things?...

                        Nothing has yet, and I don't think anything will any time soon. So if we know capitalism is unable to prevent those "worse things", why is it not ok to try a system that might cause those things? I don't see how it could make things any worse.

                        4 votes
                        1. skybrian
                          Link Parent
                          I think it's fine to try new things. Ideally at small scale at first with a randomized controlled trial before expanding, but that's not always feasible. I have read enough history to know that...

                          I think it's fine to try new things. Ideally at small scale at first with a randomized controlled trial before expanding, but that's not always feasible.

                          I have read enough history to know that things could get much worse, and enough news to see that in some places things are much worse. Maybe read about Venezuela.

                          2 votes
                        2. papasquat
                          Link Parent
                          I would suggest that maybe you lack imagination then.

                          I don't see how it could make things any worse.

                          I would suggest that maybe you lack imagination then.

                2. [13]
                  NaraVara
                  Link Parent
                  Any system gets replaced entirely eventually. That’s how evolution works.

                  Any system gets replaced entirely eventually. That’s how evolution works.

                  1. [12]
                    Flashynuff
                    Link Parent
                    Yes, of course. My point is that if we do not change our current system to something more sustainable as soon as possible, ecological pressures will change the system to a system that does not...

                    Yes, of course. My point is that if we do not change our current system to something more sustainable as soon as possible, ecological pressures will change the system to a system that does not include a significant number of humans in it.

                    3 votes
                    1. [11]
                      NaraVara
                      Link Parent
                      This is command & control thinking, which tends to change systems into things that include significantly smaller numbers of humans in them. Largely because you can't centrally plan how a large,...

                      My point is that if we do not change our current system to something more sustainable as soon as possible, ecological pressures will change the system to a system that does not include a significant number of humans in it.

                      This is command & control thinking, which tends to change systems into things that include significantly smaller numbers of humans in them. Largely because you can't centrally plan how a large, complex, and organic system is going to change. You can, at best, make whatever changes are available to you on the margins and see where things go from there. I just don't think an approach of running around talking about how DOOM awaits us all without having any sort of vision for what to do about it does much besides distract the people who are actually trying to do something.

                      1 vote
                      1. [3]
                        Flashynuff
                        Link Parent
                        this is a thread about problems that don't have good solutions. I don't know why you expect me to have the all the answers on what to do beyond a broad idea. This yungneocon thread in particular...

                        this is a thread about problems that don't have good solutions. I don't know why you expect me to have the all the answers on what to do beyond a broad idea.

                        This yungneocon thread in particular has influenced a lot of my thinking on this subject: https://twitter.com/yungneocon/status/1256722561645281285?s=20

                        what's your answer then?

                        2 votes
                        1. [2]
                          NaraVara
                          Link Parent
                          That thread seems to basically be saying the same thing I am. You can't centrally plan a whole new solution from scratch. "You can, at best, make whatever changes are available to you on the...

                          That thread seems to basically be saying the same thing I am. You can't centrally plan a whole new solution from scratch. "You can, at best, make whatever changes are available to you on the margins and see where things go from there."

                          Your framing of the problem is too big and abstract. A generic statement that we need to transform all of society doesn't actually say very much in terms of what specific problems we need to address. You need to break it down into individual, solvable problems with goals you can articulate to actually move forward.

                          3 votes
                          1. Flashynuff
                            Link Parent
                            With all due respect, it doesn't seem like you've read that thread or any message I've posted. I feel that I've been very clear about what the problem is that I think has no good solution (climate...

                            With all due respect, it doesn't seem like you've read that thread or any message I've posted. I feel that I've been very clear about what the problem is that I think has no good solution (climate change), as well as the specific sub-problems that create climate change (resource exploitation/extraction and a focus on endless growth).

                            2 votes
                      2. [7]
                        Flashynuff
                        Link Parent
                        I'm unsure how this is related to what I said. If we do not change our societal system, we will run into concrete planetary boundaries which will force our societal system to change in a way that...

                        This is command & control thinking, which tends to change systems into things that include significantly smaller numbers of humans in them.

                        I'm unsure how this is related to what I said. If we do not change our societal system, we will run into concrete planetary boundaries which will force our societal system to change in a way that will kill a lot of life, people included. I personally think we ought to change our societal system before that happens.

                        1. [6]
                          NaraVara
                          Link Parent
                          People said this before basically every major productivity revolution. It's not like you hit a hard wall all of a sudden. It creeps up on you as resources become increasingly scarce and more...

                          If we do not change our societal system, we will run into concrete planetary boundaries which will force our societal system to change in a way that will kill a lot of life, people included.

                          People said this before basically every major productivity revolution. It's not like you hit a hard wall all of a sudden. It creeps up on you as resources become increasingly scarce and more expensive. The increasing scarcity spurs changes before the wall actually hits. This is why we don't talk about "peak oil" as a catastrophe anymore even though we're past the peak. We're already on track to phase it out and it's just a matter of how fast we can go with coordinated action.

                          2 votes
                          1. [5]
                            Flashynuff
                            Link Parent
                            Phase it out?? I am talking about climate change, and we are nowhere near close to phasing that out. There's a report (I think by the IPCC) that says we need to get halfway to net-zero emissions...

                            We're already on track to phase it out

                            Phase it out?? I am talking about climate change, and we are nowhere near close to phasing that out. There's a report (I think by the IPCC) that says we need to get halfway to net-zero emissions by 2030 to have a chance at keeping warming under 1.5C. That 1.5C number is really important because after that, scientists are predicting we will start to see ecological systems go completely out of control. The feedback loops that drive global warming could easily become self reinforcing. We have less than ten years to reach that goal and we are nowhere close to on track.

                            1 vote
                            1. [4]
                              NaraVara
                              Link Parent
                              Go read my post again and stop taking sentences out of context to find things you can reply to. That phrase is clearly referring to "Peak oil," the example I'm using for how long-term structural...

                              I am talking about climate change, and we are nowhere near close to phasing that out.

                              Go read my post again and stop taking sentences out of context to find things you can reply to. That phrase is clearly referring to "Peak oil," the example I'm using for how long-term structural transformations actually happen.

                              This is why we don't talk about "peak oil" as a catastrophe anymore even though we're past the peak. We're already on track to phase it out and it's just a matter of how fast we can go with coordinated action.

                              1 vote
                              1. [2]
                                Deimos
                                (edited )
                                Link Parent
                                You two are now bickering back and forth across multiple threads and both accusing each other of not even reading each other's posts, among other things. It seems very unlikely anything productive...

                                You two are now bickering back and forth across multiple threads and both accusing each other of not even reading each other's posts, among other things. It seems very unlikely anything productive is going to come out of this continuing, and it's just going to keep getting more antagonistic than it already is. Both (or at least one) of you should probably just stop trying to get the last word and move on.

                                (@Flashynuff)

                                4 votes
                              2. Flashynuff
                                Link Parent
                                Sorry, I misread. I thought you were using peak oil as a parallel to global warming and were implying that we are also on track to phase out global warming

                                Sorry, I misread. I thought you were using peak oil as a parallel to global warming and were implying that we are also on track to phase out global warming

                                1 vote
    5. Arshan
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      I agree, and I see 2 likely directions that humanity could go: We continue are current path and focus on extracting resources from space. So we mine the moon, asteroids and Mars; we return to the...

      I agree, and I see 2 likely directions that humanity could go:

      1. We continue are current path and focus on extracting resources from space. So we mine the moon, asteroids and Mars; we return to the colonial mercantilist system and artificially maintain the Earth as the capital of this new empire.

      2. We fundamentally change the structure of our society to stop optimizing for "More at any price" and move to something that acknowledges our post-scarcity society. I can't see this happening for decades, and even then, there will need to be economic catastrophes that prove the collapse of the current state capitalist system.

      4 votes
    6. Kuromantis
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      Huh. Isn't lab-grown meat a good candidate for rendering animal extraction farms outdated and aren't there quite a few alternatives to petroleum for us to invest in? While obviously animal...

      Every solution you've mentioned here is ultimately still rooted in an economic status quo that relies on extraction, exploitation, and endless growth that is rapidly depleting the environment's resource stocks. Any climate change "solution" that does not address these fundamental systemic issues will not work.

      Huh. Isn't lab-grown meat a good candidate for rendering animal extraction farms outdated and aren't there quite a few alternatives to petroleum for us to invest in? While obviously animal extraction is not the only destructive thing the agricultural industry does and going from now to post Green New deal in a matter of 10 years is not an easy feat, even if we get the leadership/congress to do it, that will at least bide us time right? Hell, we can even go to space if we're really commited to extraction, right?

      But yeah, the only seriously definitive solution I can see to Climate Change is forcibly relocating rural populations to moderately large cities or flatly outright depopulating rural areas, immediately banning petroleum and agriculture and repopulating these rural areas with trees, and unless you're an anti-conservative eliminationist, that's not a good solution to climate change.

      3 votes
  2. [7]
    tindall
    Link
    USian "conservative" politics is corporate politics. Each and every one of these solutions you present is directly contrary to short-term corporate goals. Wealth inequality is obvious: those with...

    How do we get peple to change their minds? Evidence of everything I've mentioned in this post is more than around, but that hasn't convinced Republicans/conservatives.

    USian "conservative" politics is corporate politics. Each and every one of these solutions you present is directly contrary to short-term corporate goals.

    Wealth inequality is obvious: those with wealth are those that own the corporations, so they don't want to change that.

    Poorer people having more opportunity weakens corporate hold on employees. If it's easier to live without employment, people will be more willing to demand more respect from their employers and change jobs if they don't get what they want. (This is what we see in software engineering, for instance. It's a worker's market, so despite a total lack of unionization or organization, engineers are paid very well.)

    Reducing crime makes people more willing to engage with their communities and less likely to need certain kinds of corporate services, as well as closing prisons which are hugely profitable and a wonderful source of nearly free labor.

    The software stuff, well, the companies you'd like to regulate more are some of the largest in the world.

    I'm sure you can see the parallels in the rest of your points. Yes, these solutions would be good for "the people", but not for the people who have power, so they will never be implemented so long as those people have power.

    16 votes
    1. Flashynuff
      Link Parent
      This is key. A open question to those reading: If all of these solutions are blocked by those in power, then those in power should be removed from it, right? What avenues are available to remove...

      Yes, these solutions would be good for "the people", but not for the people who have power, so they will never be implemented so long as those people have power.

      This is key. A open question to those reading: If all of these solutions are blocked by those in power, then those in power should be removed from it, right? What avenues are available to remove these people from power?

      another good question here is "what is power anyways"

      5 votes
    2. [3]
      skybrian
      Link Parent
      I think it's more complicated. Corporations aren't a monolith and it's not at all a given that they automatically support Republicans. Consider that the top five companies in the S&P 500 are tech...

      I think it's more complicated. Corporations aren't a monolith and it's not at all a given that they automatically support Republicans. Consider that the top five companies in the S&P 500 are tech giants, they are all headquartered in blue states, they all support action against climate change, they seem to be considered pretty good places to work for LGBT employees, and their employees are often pretty activist. (Though, the leadership ranges from mildly to extremely anti-union, and too much of the wrong kind of activism still gets you fired.)

      Also consider that the CEO's got called into Congress and apparently everyone there hates them.

      It seems to me that the leadership of these companies wants to be centrist. They would really prefer to sell their services to everyone without getting directly involved in politics or being perceived as the opposite side. They would like to make money running political ads for both sides. Their PACs give money to both parties so they can have influence no matter who wins. They would rather that their employees don't make things too complicated for them. Though, it doesn't seem like it's working out very well for them.

      And it also seems that Trump supporters don't particularly like many corporations? They may like American car manufacturers and Walmart, but they also think Facebook and Google are conspiring against them.

      4 votes
      1. [2]
        tindall
        Link Parent
        If by centrist you mean "pretending to be pro-status-quo or harmlessly progressive while actually trying to break down regulatory barriers in the way of further profits, as that is their only...

        It seems to me that the leadership of these companies wants to be centrist. They would really prefer to sell their services to everyone without getting directly involved in politics or being perceived as the opposite side.

        If by centrist you mean "pretending to be pro-status-quo or harmlessly progressive while actually trying to break down regulatory barriers in the way of further profits, as that is their only motive and they can be sued for not pursuing it as aggressively as possible", then absolutely.

        5 votes
        1. skybrian
          Link Parent
          The part about suing is largely a myth. Companies can get sued for a lot of things, but not because they didn't make enough money. (There are a couple of cases where companies got sued because...

          The part about suing is largely a myth. Companies can get sued for a lot of things, but not because they didn't make enough money. (There are a couple of cases where companies got sued because management said they don't care about making money for shareholders, but usually, that's not what the lawsuits are about.)

          6 votes
    3. [2]
      Kuromantis
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      To be fair, they do trumpet a lot of cultural conservative/exclusionary stuff that corporations only support because that's the only distraction that has historically worked against economic...

      USian "conservative" politics is corporate politics. Each and every one of these solutions you present is directly contrary to short-term corporate goals.

      To be fair, they do trumpet a lot of cultural conservative/exclusionary stuff that corporations only support because that's the only distraction that has historically worked against economic equality, although this is very much a technicality.

      Yes, these solutions would be good for "the people", but not for the people who have power, so they will never be implemented so long as those people have power.

      Personally, how much I agree with this is inversely proportional to how well electoralism and democracy are working, so I kind of (fully if Trump wins again) agree with you, but only because of circumstance, otherwise I would happily trust the two institutions I mentioned above with it.

      3 votes
      1. tindall
        Link Parent
        Elections are one way of removing people in power, which sometimes works. It doesn't mean that when those people are in power, they won't do the exact same thing.

        Elections are one way of removing people in power, which sometimes works. It doesn't mean that when those people are in power, they won't do the exact same thing.

        2 votes
  3. suspended
    Link
    Most people on Earth have no clue about the 400 super rich people that hold the most wealth and power. An excellent introduction is 1-pixel Wealth (I've only studied this with a desktop...

    Most people on Earth have no clue about the 400 super rich people that hold the most wealth and power. An excellent introduction is 1-pixel Wealth (I've only studied this with a desktop computer...I'm not sure if it will function properly on a smart phone).

    This is the real wealth disparity on Earth.

    It is so frightening and disgusting that I don't believe there is any solution outside of taking all of their wealth and power away by force or shutting down the entire global economy.

    16 votes
  4. post_below
    Link
    Here's one that we don't like to talk about despite having absolutely no solution for it: sexual abuse. The victim numbers are hard to believe, though likely even worse than estimates, if it...

    Here's one that we don't like to talk about despite having absolutely no solution for it: sexual abuse.

    The victim numbers are hard to believe, though likely even worse than estimates, if it hadn't been with us throughout history you could safely call it epidemic.

    I imagine any solution would need to be multifaceted and involve taking better care of people in general, but first we'd need to understand the problem better than we do.

    7 votes
  5. wervenyt
    Link
    What is the ideal balance between the rights of parents to raise their children as they like, and the level of oversight from broader society? It's easy to say "kids can't smoke cigarettes" or...

    What is the ideal balance between the rights of parents to raise their children as they like, and the level of oversight from broader society? It's easy to say "kids can't smoke cigarettes" or "parents aren't allowed to beat babies", but what about "parents cannot raise children to be narcissists", "children aren't allowed to attend religious ceremonies", or "parents must be emotionally attentive"?

    6 votes
  6. [2]
    mrbig
    Link
    Outside of my abstract problems, I have one that is certainly solvable but likely super hard: borders. Are they truly required? If not (and, in the long run, I tend to think not), how should we...

    Outside of my abstract problems, I have one that is certainly solvable but likely super hard: borders. Are they truly required? If not (and, in the long run, I tend to think not), how should we get rid of them and what other protocols should be put in place?

    5 votes
    1. Kuromantis
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      Very good question. My idealistic solution is that borders are based on language and if you speak a language you live in the nation that speaks that language and you can only immigrate to a nation...

      Very good question. My idealistic solution is that borders are based on language and if you speak a language you live in the nation that speaks that language and you can only immigrate to a nation if you speak that nation's language, but:

      • That requires a lot of relocation, not every language can have a piece of land drawn for it, most obvious example being Romani speakers, who would need to choose to become like Israel or stay in their current situation. (I'm not very informed in their situation so feel free to correct me)

      • Language is some mix of anarchy and nonsense (I.E the Arabic language*)

      • This basically turns the European nations into colonies (does Portugal want to join Brazil, Angola, Mozambique and maybe East Timor? Probably not.)

      • Some people and in some cases populations (see India, South Africa, Indonesia, most of Africa, probably Native Americans too) speak multiple languages and we need to figure out if they want to speak the local language or go to the nation where lingua franca is the native language.

      • Everyone who shares a language needs to agree on a common framework of government before uniting. (Hence, idealistic.)

      The second solution I can come up with that makes any sense is that neuralink is eventually used as a universal translator and we just unite as one world government, but that's not much better on the idealism front.

  7. [12]
    mrbig
    Link
    If love is union, and also the appreciation for the loved one, how to love without egocentrism? How to define words using other words which aren’t themselves defined by other words? How to make a...
    • If love is union, and also the appreciation for the loved one, how to love without egocentrism?
    • How to define words using other words which aren’t themselves defined by other words?
    • How to make a hole that is not defined by its absence?
    • If nothing has the property of non-existence, and only existent things have properties, is nothing existent?
    3 votes
    1. [5]
      wervenyt
      Link Parent
      Most of these read to me as poorly-formed queries, rather than unanswered ones. Holes are defined by the paradigm that creates a context surrounding them, and any hole can be turned into a spoke...

      Most of these read to me as poorly-formed queries, rather than unanswered ones. Holes are defined by the paradigm that creates a context surrounding them, and any hole can be turned into a spoke through empty space with enough recontextualization. Words are defined by their use, not by other words. Nothing is the concept of the opposite of existence, and concepts only exist in a mind, so nonexistence doesn't need to be defined except as a counter to existence.

      6 votes
      1. [4]
        mrbig
        Link Parent
        https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/holes/ https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/word-meaning/#TheWorMea
        1 vote
        1. [3]
          wervenyt
          Link Parent
          I'm familiar with these concepts, thank you. However, my main gripe with contemporary philosophy lies in an insistence on single-paradigm thinking. We think differently about different problems,...

          I'm familiar with these concepts, thank you. However, my main gripe with contemporary philosophy lies in an insistence on single-paradigm thinking. We think differently about different problems, and problems cannot be equally solved with distinct approaches. Holes can only exist in a given context, and as soon as relevant context is shifted, they either invert or disappear.

          Words might be semantically dissectable, but you can either choose to view semantics as "turtles all the way down", or as terminating where they intersect the material world, with "words as they are used".

          1 vote
          1. [2]
            mrbig
            Link Parent
            My personal take is that contemporary philosophy is highly entertaining. Take that at you will ;)

            My personal take is that contemporary philosophy is highly entertaining. Take that at you will ;)

            1 vote
            1. wervenyt
              Link Parent
              I think we agree on that then.

              I think we agree on that then.

              1 vote
    2. [4]
      wervenyt
      Link Parent
      The love question is a big one, though. It also sort of falls into the camp of relying on poorly defined phrases, but it strikes at something in particular anyway. Let's restrict love to intimate,...

      The love question is a big one, though. It also sort of falls into the camp of relying on poorly defined phrases, but it strikes at something in particular anyway. Let's restrict love to intimate, romantic love.

      If we take as a given that mutual love has the end goal of union, and that it requires appreciation in order to be considered love, and we are humans as we know us, then we have to accept love with egocentrism. Love may be union, but union does not imply destruction of the internal concept of ego, as in order for anything to be a union it must include its constituents in entirety. Love then must be an acceptance of the beloved as equal to the subject.

      2 votes
    3. [2]
      Kuromantis
      Link Parent
      Neat, although other than the love one and maybe the 2nd/dictionary one, I'm not seeing their importance if you aren't a fan of philosophy (which I admit, you very much are so you can enjoy them),...

      Neat, although other than the love one and maybe the 2nd/dictionary one, I'm not seeing their importance if you aren't a fan of philosophy (which I admit, you very much are so you can enjoy them), much less major societal problems.

      Also, why is egocentrism implied as a given in the love question?

      1. mrbig
        Link Parent
        Because if love is union you’re part of the one you love so loving them is somehow loving yourself. And some conceptions of love requires it to be voluntary—an attribute of the lover’s mind. In...

        Because if love is union you’re part of the one you love so loving them is somehow loving yourself. And some conceptions of love requires it to be voluntary—an attribute of the lover’s mind.

        In love as a union you reduce the voluntary aspect. And is it love if it’s not voluntary (for lack of a better word)?

  8. [4]
    krg
    Link
    In a socialist society, what happens to able people that don't care to contribute? Are they ostracized for not doing their part, or are their lives subsidized by the work of others? In other...

    In a socialist society, what happens to able people that don't care to contribute? Are they ostracized for not doing their part, or are their lives subsidized by the work of others?

    In other words, what's to be done about laziness?

    3 votes
    1. [3]
      wervenyt
      Link Parent
      At least in part, by relabeling what we mean by laziness. I mostly agree with that author on this issue; that laziness is an external description of various internal processes that wouldn't be...

      At least in part, by relabeling what we mean by laziness. I mostly agree with that author on this issue; that laziness is an external description of various internal processes that wouldn't be judged nearly as harshly, nor be seen as ephemerally, if understood. That doesn't solve the problem in itself, the loss of productivity from members who have capability, but it does mean that there are usually solutions. Deeper understanding of mental healthcare, increased social trust and better safety nets, and reduced friction throughout all facets of communication and action in life will likely reduce the incidence of what we call laziness drastically.

      3 votes
      1. [2]
        krg
        Link Parent
        Yea, I had a feeling there'd be some re-contextualization of thoughts on laziness in the answer, somewhere. And I'm not necessarily opposed to that... some of the time. But, let's face it... some...

        Yea, I had a feeling there'd be some re-contextualization of thoughts on laziness in the answer, somewhere. And I'm not necessarily opposed to that... some of the time.

        But, let's face it... some people are straight-up lazy and will do as little as possible, to the detriment of those around them. I've worked with such people. Hell, I've been such a person. And it wasn't because of some unseen, undiagnosed trauma. It was because I could get away with doing little, so I did little. Laziness, in my eyes. (Though, mostly, I put my best foot forward and often worked to the best of my abilities.)

        2 votes
        1. wervenyt
          Link Parent
          Part of this theory lies in the recontextualizing of your lack of desire to be productive as a problem to be solved by external factors as well. Everyone's a little lazy now and then, and it...

          Part of this theory lies in the recontextualizing of your lack of desire to be productive as a problem to be solved by external factors as well. Everyone's a little lazy now and then, and it doesn't kill the economy, but if someone is always lazy, well, lazy isn't a useful term for solving the problem. If a job doesn't feel worth doing, or is only worth doing because of the money, then it's probably not a good job for the worker, and if no workers feel it worth doing, it needs to be reexamined as a role in the first place.

          A well-ordered society, in the ideal world, would have a minimal number of occupations that everyone agrees are terrible, and those that are would be filled by those with the mental stamina to understand why it must be done, who are compensated well for their sacrifice. The phenomenon of chronically lazy workers, assuming the issues don't stem from the workers' backgrounds, is most likely driven primarily by misallocation of resources, human, capital, or otherwise.

          Someone who is always lazy at their job, however, is probably suffering from some struggle behind the scenes. It might not be called trauma, and it might not be properly classified as a mental illness, but people want to be productive if they're healthy and see a good reason to do so. Education can equip people with the knowledge to choose a post they're well-suited to. A sense that you are working because you want to gain the life experience or solve problems pushes you toward productivity, and hijacking that by making it more about working in order to live, rather than living to do good work, seems to lead to burnout in the long run.

          2 votes
  9. [4]
    nacho
    Link
    There are many good answers here already. In addition to many of those things, here are a couple off the top of my head: Stopping tax shopping. How can we organize societies so the rich/wealthy...

    There are many good answers here already. In addition to many of those things, here are a couple off the top of my head:

    • Stopping tax shopping. How can we organize societies so the rich/wealthy corporations and people don't just move to an area of low taxation? This leads to an international race to lowest taxation.
    • Enforcing international rules/regulations/treaties. WHO, WTO, All sorts of conventions. The United Nations is essentially set up such that it can't ever accomplish anything or hold countries to account.
    • When can society at large overrule a locality, whether that's a town, county, state or country? Just because a country has its "internal affairs", that doesn't mean we should let them imprison, torture, discriminate or starve thousands of their own citizens.
    • How do change those oldest constitutions that're set up to be way too hard to change? The established feedback loop seems like a catch-22 where problems can't be solved.
    • How can people start agreeing on basic indisputable facts of life to get governance back on track?
    • Generational conflicts and technology gaps within populations seem like a recipe for conflict.
    • How do we balance personal responsibility with societal cost? Obesity seems like one area that'll be important here: When do we just leave fat (And therefore unhealthy) people to deal with their own lifestyle health problems to themselves, and when should society regulate, aid and govern behaviors?
    3 votes
    1. [3]
      Akir
      Link Parent
      I'm not so sure how realistic that idea actually is. Here in California there is fairly high taxation (especially compared to the rest of the US), yet there are many businesses located here who...

      Stopping tax shopping. How can we organize societies so the rich/wealthy corporations and people don't just move to an area of low taxation? This leads to an international race to lowest taxation.

      I'm not so sure how realistic that idea actually is. Here in California there is fairly high taxation (especially compared to the rest of the US), yet there are many businesses located here who have very few discernible reasons to be here.

      2 votes
      1. [2]
        nacho
        Link Parent
        Look no further than to the competitions to host a tech company's new headquarters, or the many billionaires that end up moving countries or getting new citizenship to lower their tax burdens....

        Look no further than to the competitions to host a tech company's new headquarters, or the many billionaires that end up moving countries or getting new citizenship to lower their tax burdens.

        Other examples include Google and Facebook having billions in revenue (and billions in profits) in Europe, but paying next to no taxes there due to slick corporate configurations.


        California has population density and volume, and the resulting laborforce networking effects, it's got tech clusters in various industries, and not in the least: It's got good climate and decent public services with the possibility of aspiring to some of the best universities and sought-after employers in the world for your kids.

        1 vote
        1. Akir
          Link Parent
          I'm not saying that it doesn't happen, just that it's not actually that common. I think a much bigger problem is that we have so many tax loopholes that allow corporations and rich people to store...

          I'm not saying that it doesn't happen, just that it's not actually that common. I think a much bigger problem is that we have so many tax loopholes that allow corporations and rich people to store their money in fake overseas companies and accounts so they can't be taxed. It also has the side-effect of taking the money out of circulation, which means that it's bad for the economy.

          I haven't personally heard of any billionaires moving out of the US. And even if they did, they would still owe Uncle Sam money unless they relinquished their citizenship.

          Are you from outside of the US? Because if so, perhaps it's just a difference in perspective; things can be very different depending on what country you're looking at.

          In regards to California, you can get all of those benefits elsewhere in the country, let alone other parts of the world. Texas gets you most of that and has the benefit of much lighter taxation. AFAIK companies aren't really interested in public services, nor do they care much about the weather unless it's going to impact their business (which won't for many of them). I don't know why you're bringing up employers since we're talking about the corporations and rich people, unless you've accidentally found yourself in some circular logic somehow.

          1 vote
  10. [2]
    Pistos
    (edited )
    Link
    Trustworthy devices. From hardware, to firmware, to operating system to software, and everything in between, there are so many attack vectors for malicious compromising of a given device. In...

    Trustworthy devices.

    From hardware, to firmware, to operating system to software, and everything in between, there are so many attack vectors for malicious compromising of a given device. In today's age, we are essentially forced to trust at least some subset of this chain that brings us the devices we hold in our hands. You can mistrust these, and try to mitigate risks, but you can't deal with them all. Manufacturers, suppliers, component manufacturers, governments, OS makers, software makers, build tool (compilers, etc) makers. They're all involved, and we have no way to verify that they have all behaved in ways we find acceptable with respect to our devices.

    That's a hard problem. An even harder problem is coming up with a way that the average technolayperson can verify trustworthiness themselves. Essentially, some system, device or service that lets them check the trustworthiness of other devices. This at least limits the trust requirement to the supplier of the checking device. Their intent, their aptitude, and the chances that they just plain haven't missed something, and that they're always on top of every new threat that emerges.

    Overall, this seems nearly impossible to solve.

    3 votes
    1. Akir
      Link Parent
      It's not a solvable problem. Imagine for a moment that God himself came up with a computer and a programming language, and he wrote an example program. By nature, these are all trustworthy; we...

      It's not a solvable problem.

      Imagine for a moment that God himself came up with a computer and a programming language, and he wrote an example program. By nature, these are all trustworthy; we have absolute knowledge of everything that happens. Even so, not everyone will be able to understand the programming language and by necessity will just have to trust that the example program does what it says.

      So my thought is not that we need trustworthy devices, but we need better trust. And to do that, we must make sure that every step in the process is open for public scrutiny. The more we can verify trust, the more trustworthy it is.

      3 votes
  11. tempestoftruth
    Link
    Corruption can be addressed through streamlining of government bureaucracy. Many bureaucracies are unhelpful and can simply be eliminated, while others can be subjected to greater public scrutiny...

    Corruption can be addressed through streamlining of government bureaucracy. Many bureaucracies are unhelpful and can simply be eliminated, while others can be subjected to greater public scrutiny through direct election of their leaders and a simple recall or vote-of-no-confidence process.

    I don't think it's important to worry about what exactly news outlets are publishing; what's more important is to prevent any one company or network of media outlets from becoming dominant.

    Changing minds in order to make all of these changes happen is an active, face-to-face process that will need to involve people going out into their communities, organizing folk, creating alternative institutions that reflect these values, etc. and understanding why people believe what they do, instead of essentializing them as uncultured rubes or uneducated immigrants or whatever the stereotype may be.

    2 votes