Bitcoin Today - 11 Feb 2014

Sixteen ideas to save Western civilization

Idea one

Rather than funding a Darwinian triathlon that leaves thousands of people dead every year, in which those young men who are best capable of jumping fences, swimming through rivers and crossing deserts are given a ticket to paradise, we declare today that no more refugees will be given entrance into Europe. Instead, every Euro that is currently spent on providing shelter and care for refugees in Europe, will be used for refugees in their country of origin. With a guarantee that there is not a snowball's chance in hell of being granted asylum in Europe, the refugee stream to our continent will plummet. This will allow those NGO's who currently spend their money transporting people from Libya to Italy, to spend their scarce resources on helping refugees where they actually live. The cost of providing for one refugee in the Netherlands is 20 to 40 times higher than providing for the same refugee in his country of origin.
The moment we change our policy towards refugees, towards one based on rational sanity, is the moment we can start taking care of twenty to forty times as many of them. This will be necessary in the years ahead, as climate change, soil erosion and overpopulation will create a refugee crisis the likes of which humanity has never seen before. How about highly skilled refugees? You might ask. The thing is, those refugees will be the people who will be needed to rebuild the countries they fled from. If they live here, they can't help rebuild the communities that were destroyed.

Idea two

Europe is faced with a demographic crisis, as our fertility rates are very low. There are many different solutions to this, but one solution I have not heard before is as following: Let the height of our child benefits payments depend on the average age of the population of a municipality. The government should be paying people in rural communities to have children. Many of these communities have conservative Christians, who would be quite willing to have more children if they could afford to raise them. What we don't want, are child benefit payments going to overpopulated cities. What we need is for people to migrate from cities to our dying villages and for people living in those villages to have more children.
Our cities are home to our underclass, people who are unable to make something out of their life, often due to hereditary problems. Schizophrenia is twice as common in the cities for example. The people who live in cities tend to be descended from the rural peasants who were unable to make a living in the countryside. This is unfortunate, but it is the reality we have to deal with. What we want is for children to be born in the best possible conditions to guarantee a happy life. This is a conclusion I have reached, by virtue of the fact that I was born into the urban underclass myself. I want children to be born with more opportunities than I had. This tends to be very difficult to understand if you're born into a wealthy or middle class family.

Idea three

We don't just have to implement repatriation subsidies for migrants who live in Europe. In fact, we should implement broader emigration subsidies. We have more young men than young women, while Russia, Ukraine and the Baltic states have more young women than young men. The fertility rates of Europe as well as Russia would go up if we sent men to Russia. Ideally, Russian would be a language that's taught in high school here.
We also have millions of citizens in our continent, who yearn for more diversity and feel disgusted by the sight of a homogeneous European community. Europe to them is a racist monolithic continent and they worry greatly about the plight of Africans. What better way to help them achieve their dreams, than by paying them to migrate to Africa, a continent full of multicultural countries, where everyone speaks a different language and has unique customs? Everyone benefits from this. Africa desperately needs skilled people, while Southern Europe is full of young unemployed people. A gender studies, sociology or cultural anthropology degree is useless here in Europe. I'm sure it can be quite useful in Africa however.

Idea four

When it comes to income, women want to marry up, men want to marry down. If women can't find a man to marry with higher status than themselves, many simply refuse to marry and never reproduce. This is a big problem, because young women right now tend to earn more money than young men. There's a reason for this: Discrimination. White working class boys are least likely to go to university. These boys are not all stupid, but the culture they live in makes it difficult for them to succeed in life. In fact, the kind of long-term investment that college represents, is one that these boys who grew up in unpredictable insecure circumstances do not find appealing. In addition, white working class boys are not very interested in listening to long tirades about how they are guilty of everyone else's long history of suffering.
The problem we need to understand, is that education is now not used by employers as a requirement because the skills taught are relevant. No, educational requirements are used by employers to filter out dumb and unreliable people. The effect this has is to favor women over men, giving women an unfair advantage on the labor market. Neither women nor men benefit from women having an unfair advantage on the labor market. Besides the fact that a woman might not be better suited to the particular job she got by virtue of her college degree, women don't benefit from living in a society where there are no men whose salary can deliver them a similar standard of living as their own.
If we were to make it illegal to discriminate against the uneducated, we take away the unfair advantage women have over men. Certainly, we don't want uneducated people to become doctors, nuclear power plant operators or air pilots, but we really don't need people with four year college degrees to carry out mid-level office work for us. Another good measure to use is to hide the gender and name of a candidate for a position. Studies show that people prefer to hire women over men. In practice, being a good looking young woman is an enormous unfair advantage on the job market, for the simple reason that middle-aged men in management positions think with their dick.
What happens when college education can no longer be used as a status indicator by employers, is that a big part of the incentive to go to college disappears. As a result, eighteen year old boys and girls can simply apply for a white-collar job, rather than first having to spend four years studying some particular subject they'll never make practical use of again. What this means is that people are able to become mature much faster than they do today. A person aged 25 might feel ready to have children because they have been saving money for years, whereas today a 25 year old is still paying off their college debt and feel frightened by the thought of having children.

Idea five

Implement a big progressive tax on private land ownership, unless the land is covered in trees. Most of the land in Scotland is owned by a few private individuals, who just have massive herds of animals that eat the land bare. Scotland used to be covered with trees, all that's necessary for the trees to grow back is for the herds of animals to be removed. When we implement progressive taxes on land ownership, farmers who produce a lot of food with little land will find their business more profitable, while farmers who waste a lot of land will find their business to be costly. As an example, mushrooms farms use very little land, to produce a lot of food. Cattle pastures on the other hand, use a lot of land to produce hardly any food. When land ownership costs money, land can no longer be used for blind speculation. As a result, the property bubble should start to deflate. This is highly needed, because the young are now unable to buy houses because of the ridiculous prices we're dealing with. Those of us who can buy houses are afraid to do so, because prices could crash fifty percent and we would become prisoners in our own homes. If you're 65 or older, a decline in prices might suck, but you don't have a strong need to relocate anymore. Because we're unable to buy houses, we're unable to start families.

Idea six

Most of the people in our prisons have double passports. A simple wise solution would be to give prisoners a choice: Renounce your citizenship of our country, in exchange for release from prison. Let Morocco, Turkey and other countries handle these people. When these people choose to move back to their country of origin, it creates an incentive for their families to move back too. What about those prisoners who have just a single passport? Offer them a reduced sentence, depending on where they're willing to sit out their sentence. As an example, you could cut a prison sentence by 25%, if the prisoner is willing to be imprisoned in French Guyana. By the time they are released, they might simply stay there.
Another option that is very important is euthanasia. Prisoners need to have the right to choose to end their lives. Some people consider the death penalty inhumane. I consider sticking someone in a concrete box for twenty years to be far more inhumane myself. Most have no real chance of building up a meaningful life after they're released. There are actually a large number of prisoners and former prisoners who insist that the death penalty is more humane than a prison sentence, because our society treats former prisoners as second class citizens.

Idea seven

Implement a big tax on the use of our air space. Any plane that passes through our air space will have to cough up large amounts of money. This is great, because air travel has to be disincentivized. Most importantly, it increases the expenses of people who own private jets, which are a complete waste of our society's scarce resources. Currently, Americans charge roughly 30 dollar per 100 kilometer to people passing over their land surface. This is negligible. Try multiplying that rate by ten and see how much people still travel by airplane.

Idea eight

The Netherlands has the highest petrol taxes in the world. This is fantastic. The whole world needs to follow our example. Why? Because oil eventually runs out, so it's better that we prepare for it by encouraging a transitioning away from cars, rather than being caught by surprise. "But China and India!" Joe Sixpack proclaims. I don't care. Let them do what they want to do. If they want to create a big fossil fuel dependent economy, let them go ahead. By the time we run out of fossil fuels, their economies will implode. I think we similarly need a big tax on anyone who has more than a single car registered on his name.

Idea nine

Implement a constitutional amendment, requiring elected heads of state to have children. Why? Most of our political elite doesn't have children. If you don't bother to provide your own contribution to the future of our society at an individual level, why should I expect you will manage to do it at a collective level? What if our head of state is gay? He needs to find himself a wife who doesn't shave her legs, use his imagination, lie back and think of England. People used to make sacrifices for their community.
What investment in the future does a childless leader have? He's a parasite, who ultimately expects other people's children to pay for his retirement. Donald Trump is forced to listen to his daughter, who understands that climate change will prove to be a real problem. If you raised children, your interests align more closely with the interests of the next generation, who are ultimately the people who are carrying the torch of civilization forward. If physiological problems prohibit you from having children, adopted children count too. The kind of person who doesn't want to raise children is the kind of person I don't trust ruling over a country.

Idea ten

Charles Galton Darwin was probably first to propose this, but it can't be said enough: We need to make foreign aid dependent upon a nation's population control efforts. Look at this map of abortion laws to understand what's going to cause us problems in the years ahead. Countries that legalize abortion should receive priority in all of our dealings with them.

Idea eleven

We need to bring this new cold war with Russia to an end. I know, they don't allow gay pride parades. Deal with it. If the people of the world are going to have a place to live, it's going to have to be Russia. Russia, Greenland, Canada, Alaska, these are the kind of places where humans will survive a century from now. We need to be planning ahead for that future, rather than fighting each other over petty cultural differences. Why have we been fueling a bloody civil war in Syria since 2011? It's the greatest waste of human potential in recent history.

Idea twelve

We can simultaneously improve our diet, reduce climate change, heal the ocean and give most of the world's land surface back to nature. It's explained here. China, Korea and Japan produce 88% of the world's seaweed right now. Why are we, in Europe, North America and Oceania not contributing? The solutions exist to our problems, but we're not applying them.
Throw subsidies at mushrooms, seaweed and shellfish. Eventually, you'll get the public to switch their diet and you can begin abandoning most of the world's surface.

Idea thirteen

Happy societies are societies with plenty of young people and few old people. Particularly, it's important to have more young women than mature men. When the population is growing, war is common and life expectancies are low, this is easy. The fact of the matter is, that it's simply not a lot of fun to be old. In addition, old people have to be cared for by young people. We could kill all the old people, but I don't think anyone's looking forward to that.
What I would suggest instead is that we work on getting rid of aging. "What, are you suggesting immortality?" No, I'm suggesting we've got our priorities wrong. Life expectancy at age 65 was 13 years for women in 1930, 21 years in 2010. So, the average retired woman will have eight extra years of life. This is fine, but why is so much money spent on keeping people alive longer? How about we shift our priorities towards keeping people young longer? It's possible to increase the number of eggs a woman has. Dehydroepiandrosterone is effectively used to gradually increase a woman's egg count over the months, until a woman who was infertile is fertile again. This was discovered, not in a state of the art laboratory. It was discovered by a woman who had difficulty conceiving and decided to start experimenting on herself.
What kind of quality of life do you have as an 80 year old? Not a lot. What kind of quality of life do you have as a youthful looking fertile woman? Quite a lot. I know that I'm eventually going to die, so dragging it out doesn't matter much to me. If you can increase the percentage of time that I spend youthful on the other hand, I'm all ears. The best method we have to accomplish this currently seems to be the use of senolytics, substances that kill senescent cells, which are cells that have grown old and prohibit younger cells from reproducing (kind of like the babyboomers). The senescent cells do this by creating speculative housing bubble- err secreting substances that cause inflammation. Senolytics are the equivalent of a suicide bomber who only targets golf courses and cruise ships.

Idea fourteen

Why do we have massive office complexes everywhere? Most people can do their work from home. We soon won't need all the roads we have today either, because we will have self-driving cars. Self-driving cars don't need vast distances between vehicles due to our mediocre human reflexes. In addition, they can more easily share multiple passengers. We won't need all this parking space we have now either. Because people will be able to work from home and order products from home, we will need far less travel too. It's thought we can reduce the number of cars needed from 245 million, to just 2.4 million, through self-driving cars. That's not a typo, it's a 99% reduction.
Technology renders humans obsolete, we say. I think we're not thinking this through clearly enough: Technology renders technology obsolete. If we can use Bitcoin as a store of value, demand for gold declines. If demand for gold declines, we don't need gold mines. We don't need televisions anymore, we're using our computers now for that. Most people don't need a desktop computer, they can do just about everything with a smartphone or a laptop. Paper production has peaked, most of it is now used for packaging. If our population peaks, we don't need to build new houses. Colleges? You can study from home.
The city is full of space we won't need in the future. Parking garages are a thing of the past, companies will rent an office for two hours a week to hold a meetup. What are we going to do with all of that space? We can use it to grow food. A Dutch company grows mushrooms of the non-magical variety in an old swimming pool. If we grow food locally, it won't need packaging.
So what happens next? Minimalism. If we're wise we will live like Sadhus. What else will we not need? Houses. If you can work from home and video-conference your colleagues if you don't want to show up to a meeting, or receive a basic income and don't really have a formal job, why would you want to own a house? You can simply rent a house for a night through AirBnB. You don't really need to own anything. A lawnmower? There's always someone in your street who has one and you can earn money online by renting yours out. Ideally, you wouldn't even have your own clothing. At any moment, 90+% of my clothing goes unused, just like most cars go unused.
What do you think this is? Fully automated communism. What causes it? The free market. It's American free market capitalism, run by right-wing libertarians like Peter Thiel, that destroyed the taxi companies and the hotels. Some of the Silicon Valley tech startup guru's don't own anything other than a smartphone. Isn't it ironic? The Chinese and the Russians pursued communism and accidentally ended up with capitalism. We pursued capitalism and accidentally gave birth to communism.

Idea fifteen

What's the biggest problem in the Middle East today? Endless pointless violence. What causes this endless pointless violence? A small minority of men who monopolize the women and indoctrinate everyone with hateful ideologies. This is sufficient to get the young men to sign up for whatever idiotic millenarian group happens to run their town. The only reason the Middle East can function the way it does, is because everyone is sober. Alcohol and other psychoactive substances are forbidden. There's a simple reason for this. Sexual repression is difficult to sustain in a culture with access to alcohol. Alcohol makes people promiscuous, because it reduces inhibition. Psychedelics can make people promiscuous too, because psychedelics make you lose faith in authoritarian structures altogether and reduce your fear of death.
But how do you keep those substances away from people, in a world where you can order them anonymously on the internet? The government looks for heat from the light used when it wants to find indoor cannabis plants. But how will that work, when you have yeast that can produce THC? Don't even get me started on Psilocybe mushrooms, which you can grow in your own house using little other than a glass jar and some wheat bran. And what do you think happens when people can order abortion pills and euthanasia drugs off the internet? These authoritarian structures have no future. Islamist fundamentalism is a temporary blip on the radar, that will be followed by an implosion of Islam. The bloodshed of ISIS has alienated an entire generation of young Muslims, who now realize that consistently applying Islamic laws doesn't solve anything but merely makes the misery worse.
Studies show that Psilocybin mushrooms are increasingly commonly consumed, because the information on how to grow them is available everywhere. And those who take the mushrooms, report improved mental health. We haven't even begun to scratch the surface of the various substances out there and how they interact. How long do you think the taboo on cannabis will last when it becomes indisputable that use by the elderly prevents dementia? How long do you think the taboo on Salvia will last? Salvia treats opioid addiction, Americans can't afford to maintain the taboo.
What I am proposing here, is a psychedelic renaissance. Our culture is on the verge of shifting towards one where people will have no desire to dominate, but merely yearn to spread love, happiness and compassion. This is a cultural state shift, the likes of which we haven't seen in centuries. It can happen and it won't have to be limited just to the Western world. It can spread around the globe in the same manner as most of our great cultural innovations have.

Idea sixteen

When do we begin to comprehend that we're eating the wrong things? When you're staring with your microscope at the particular genes of a piece of lettuce so that you can geneticaly engineer it to be resistant against a common mold, does it never occur to you that if your crop is plagued by an endless list of pests, you might need to consider eating something else? Why do we have factory farms when the Southern United States are plagued by feral pigs? Why can't rednecks make a living selling the feral hogs they shot? Why do we eat chickens who can't walk, when our pastures are plagued by millions of geese?
"It's not cost-effective" Your government will say. And the reason it's not cost-effective is because you won't let it be cost effective. You create legislation that favors the big guy over the small guy and allow supermarket conglomerates to conquer the globe. Only big farms in England that own sufficient land can apply for farm subsidies, while small farms that make efficient use of their land can't qualify. You force people to leave their small towns and migrate to massive cities. You place subsidies on animal fodder like corn and allow people to bottom trawl the oceans and feed the fish to factory farm animals because they harvest so much fish they have no idea what to do with it. You artificially destroy oyster reefs that people use to gather wild oysters, because the oyster farmers feel threatened. It's not cost-effective because you're scared to death of what happens when it does become cost-effective!
Sunchokes grow like weeds here in the Netherlands, I grow them in a bucket as I can't plant them in my soil as they'd take over everything. And yet, our diet is built around potatoes. The average Dutch potato has residue of 36 different pesticides. People think we're innovative, but that's nonsense. We have change forced upon us, but we refuse to adapt to nature. We'd rather watch everything go to hell than to adjust to the conditions we live in. We seem to insist on having the most bland unhealthy diet imaginable, produced in the most inefficient method imaginable. Now that it's becoming difficult to sustain, we're planning on the next insanity: GMO crops. Rather than adjusting to nature, we'll come up with a crop of our own that produces its own pesticides. Whatever genetic diversity still remains in a crop is lost when the farmers switch to GMO crops. As a result, GMO crops don't solve anything, because the real problem we're dealing with is a lack of genetic diversity in our crops.
I envision a future where everyone grows his own food, not as sterile monocultures but a variety of crops grown together, while mushrooms grow in office towers and seaweed is brought in from the ocean. You'll live in a tent and travel around, following the feral pigs, deer and camels. When people tell you civilization has collapsed, you wouldn't notice the difference. You'd be too happy to care either way.
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