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Technology vs. the economic crisis

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memenode's picture
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This is something I continue to be genuinely interested in. The credit fiasco that happened in USA and infected the rest of the world, bringing down some of the most powerful and oldest banks in US and some big banks in Europe too, regardless and perhaps even partly because of the just passed bail out in US and other bail outs in Europe, is according to many leading the world towards a global deep recession which some compare even to the Great Depression that started in 1929.

The difference, as I understand it, is that the last great depression was caused by deflation (contraction of money supply and sudden increase of value of the dollar) while the current depression is likely to be inflationary, that is, cased by inflation. The latter is worse because it decreases the value of the dollar while the market is contracting and also carries a threat of hyperinflation (AKA the collapse of the currency), which wouldn't be good for the world since USD is the most popular world reserve currency.

Another difference, however, is technology. From the perspective of 1929 we are living in a science fiction world. Most notably we have the internet and a green technology boom which among other things allows more and more people to generate electricity independent of the grid, by the power of sun or even wind. High tech industry is also very large, very dynamic and innovative as well, especially computer industry and the internet.

Could this make a significant difference? Or dare I ask, is it possible that technology will save us from making this economic crisis as bad as it was in 1929? For instance, businesses and individuals with some savings could invest in independent energy (solar panels) so as to cut their energy costs, be able to produce more on their own for less, thus being less affected by the crisis. You can also save on energy costs by installing the best tankless water heater to reduce electric and water usage in your home. Internet also makes people more informed about what's going on so they can prepare and adjust before the real crisis hits their part of the world, not to mention share methods of survival and prospering even in the middle of the crisis.

What do you think?

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memenode's picture
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Somewhat related, here is

Somewhat related, here is what Nat Torkington from O'Reilly Radar had to say about the effect of the depression on technology, Free Software and Open Source in particular.

I think some of his points further underscore the big difference that technology makes today against the economic turmoils. Something one of the commenters, Scott, said there is interesting: "Those in the technology industry will have the unique ability to provide the levers to keep productivity up while things are going bump around us."

Indeed, technology in fact wouldn't exist without innovation. It is all about innovation. All technology we have was a result of someone inventing a better way of doing something, a better tool. In a crisis the need for innovation is as high as ever and with the kinds of abilities we today have, so long as there is electricity and internet connection the opportunity for innovation is huge, perhaps even despite the collapse of the financial system.

Still welcoming any thoughts others might have. Don't be shy. Eye

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The effect of the depression on technology

Anything to do with innovation and technology should not have to rely on investment of money. Money should be a relic of the past, it is money that has hindered the human race from its proper course of evolution.
Without the hindrance of money the human mind would be free to create. Perhaps this depression we are now entering will at last be the time when the human race will come together and we will have The United Kingdom, instead of a United Kingdom. I am not talking about ' The New World Order ' here by the way. I am talking about A Future by Design, along the lines of the Philosopher Jacques Fresco, what a wonderful Kingdom that would be.

memenode's picture
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You sound like you watched

You sound like you watched Zeitgeist: Addendum Heatherodom. Smiling

The trouble is that they misplace the blame. So long as people are capable of valuing things there will be a market and so long as there is a market there is a currency of trade, or multiple currencies of trade, which is also known as "money". The problem is coercive monopolization of whole markets, including the currency markets.

I've commented further on this topic here: "Zeitgeist Addendum: Truth mixed with lies".

Even if you didn't watch it I think it's a relevant topic to what you're envisioning.

Also, welcome aboard. Smiling

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Technology vs. the economic crisis

Hello and thank you. Yes you are right I have seen the Zeitgeist Addendum.

However, Jacques Fresco has been around for a very long time, long before the Zeitgeist movement!!

If we cant get rid of the money thing just yet, how about all countries worldwide creating a city for inventors and scientists which would be state of the art where they could all get together and get on with what they do best. More heads are better than one, I am sure if they no longer had to find the funds for their inventions and discoveries we would be able to advance at a much faster rate and then it would mean that all these discoveries and inventions would benefit the whole world.

We are capable of such wonderful things, it seems so stupid to let money get in the way of our progress ,evolution, and our liberty.

memenode's picture
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I sympathize with much of

I sympathize with much of what Jacques Fresco presented in Zeitgeist, but I don't quite agree that the root of the problem is money. I think the problem is violence and belief in legitimate violence. Our own governments are like businesses that everyone somehow believes are right to do business by force rather than by incentive. Clearly, this justifying of business by violence leads to business interests abusing this unipolar organization for their own interests and the result is always, inevitably, corporatism. And consequences of corporatism is what the Zeitgeist movement obviously sees as very problematic, but they are short on solutions. Attack on the idea of money is completely misplaced. Isn't mass belief in legitimate violence a greater problem than people trading with each other using some sort of a currency?

If people stopped believing in violence as legitimate they'd stop believing in governments, yet would not think they need them nor would they need them. Order would simply emerge, similarly to how the Zeitgeist: Addendum presented the emergent quality of our world and universe. It is violence, not money, that is the problem.

I would support the idea of creating a free city, or even a free country, where inventiveness, science and technology could prosper to create a world much like one envisioned by the Venus Project, but we need not get rid of money and markets to do that, in fact we cannot. But we can get rid of violence.

Anyway, check out mises.com on more about the alternative economic thinking, not this mainstream economics that has our world in ruins, based on central manipulation of money and markets, regulation and debt, but economics based on sound hard money (like silver and gold) and true value. I think it has quite a bit in common with the resource based economy idea. It's not about removing money. It is about redefining money as something based in true value (resources) and not debt (which is modern money).

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Technology vs the economic crisis

Hello again,

I a firm believer in the Austrian school of economics and have always been, therefore I know what is the true value of money and I am well covered in that sense. When I mean get rid of money I am talking about the paper kind. I am a supporter of GATA and of Ron Paul.

I find it astonishing really that the whole world has been taken in by paper money.

I agree with you that violence seems to be the norm too, governments think its the only way to control the masses or to have their ideology adopted.

Although I do not follow any religion, my favourite person is that wonderful man The Dalai Llama.

memenode's picture
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Oh, then we have much more

Oh, then we have much more in common that I thought. Smiling

I am all for abolishing paper fiat money too. If paper or digital documents are to be used for anything than that's certificates of ownership, not as certificates of debt based on more certificates of debt and so on endlessly.. but yeah I think I'm preaching to the choir now. Smiling

Do you know about the Free State Project btw? http://www.freestateproject.com

I am personally a voluntaryist (believing purely in non-initiation of force), an agorist (apolitical market based means of achieving freedom, competing with the government in the markets they monopolize) and an anarcho-capitalist (a voluntaryist free market in which all forms of coercion are considered illegitimate, so government as we know it (coercive monopoly) doesn't exist and doesn't police the market).

We have an IRC channel on irc.freenode.net #libervis where we have a bunch of technology lovers and liberty lovers having chats, discussions and so on. Feel free to jump in. Smiling

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Technology vs. the depression

Hello again,

Perhaps instead of printing all this fiat money to give to the banks they could give it to the scientists and inovators involved with nanotechnologie, then, when we all have our Replicators at home we will no longer have the need for money. Eureka / I have an idea

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Indeed!

Indeed! Very Happy

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ProfMuller's picture
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Re: Technology vs. the economic crisis

I hope technology can help justice to be truly blind and that there would be no more banks that are 'too big to fail.' I also hope technology can help financial regulators stop the approval of issuance of financial instruments whose failure will produce more money for the banks at the expense of the average investor. It's like Big Blue which was created to beat human chess players, so why not create Big Blue to beat rogue traders or greedy bankers?

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