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Venus Project eco city

New world system documentary
by Roxanne Meadows about Jacques Fresco's Venus Project


As many of you know on my Relate4ver video blog I choose countryside nature over living in the city. Still what do you think about this man's vision?

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The market rations scarce resources through the price mechanism

...what you are suggesting (however much you try to avoid using this language) is that some entity representing "society" have the power to ration scarce resources, if this entity (in its ultimate benevolence and wisdom?) decides the market isn't rationing it "correctly."

less people would waste it in the balloons that currently waste 85% of the consumption of today

Value is subjective. Using helium for party balloons is not a waste from the perspective of the people using it for that purpose, and that's the only perspective that matters. You're implying that its a waste either objectively or from some other perspective: e.g. that of the central planners, who in their wisdom know what helium should really be used for.

IF that still fails to work, then other means can be DISCUSSED before any sort of mandate as you infer would be considered.

Having investigated many many global resources required by society, I can say that it would be virtually impossible to reach that last stage in any resource.

And regarding how to get this whole process in place, there's already a plan underway to do so. Rest assured, it doesn't step on any liberties (it actually restores them), it doesn't rely on government in any way, it fights inequality and it does all this via the free market. Still want to discount it every time this subject comes up?

I'm confused. If you're not talking about centrally planning resource allocation; if you're talking about letting the market allocate resources - then just what does the Venus Project call for? What is actually being proposed: be specific please.

"Alas! I believe in the virtue of birds. And it only takes a feather for me to die laughing."

A comment

I actually liked the video, I commented above. Many of the problems they outlined are real and need to be corrected. If you look at the problems you can see government stands in the way of the solutions and also contributes to them. Two good examples:

The video outlines the environmental responsible use of water. In flood zones government subsidizes building, these areas should be allowed to naturally flood and be used as irrigation for food production. Spending billions of dollars in resources rebuilding every year, while damaging the environment by not working with the water cycle is irresponsible. All the polluted runoff winds up in the ocean or stagnating rather than being naturally recycled by the wetlands.

Government subsiding and regulating agriculture, which encourages large corporate farms that depend on GMOs and chemicals for production while waging a war on small producers and organic farms. Can't have a garden in your front yard but its OK to let tons of chemical runoff into the lakes and streams if your a corporate farm.

You've outlined just two of the many problems

we face. Water is a huge one but take heart, it's being fixed very soon. Later this year, hopefully, we will begin to get new water treatment plants that take in all garbage (sewage, trash, landfill, lawn waste) and gasify it to make electricity at extreme efficiencies. The good side of this is that it takes tons of water which gets purified in the process at very high rates. I don't think it currently scales down to towns smaller than 20,000 people but that's a start.

Regarding ag, the aquaponic movement will be taking off very soon to the point that a 6' cube of space indoors will provide 90% of the variety (in 150% quantity) and 100% of the fish/shrimp with virtually no cost to the homeowner. When this process gets automated to the point that the average soccer-mom (no offense) feels comfy with it, we will see a major change in the direction food travels around the world.

Businesses that currently do farming will soon begin to see the benefits of permaculture where their profits can soar by 1-2 orders of magnitude. With land yields of 2-20 times current, this will kill off the corn and soybean industries and free up a major slice of our arable land. The main effect to watch in this is that it will switch farming from being a 'seller's market' to being a 'buyer's market'. In other words, food abundance will go into a runaway state as opposed to our current system of food shortage running away.

Speaking of Permaculture

Did you see my post on the aquaponic system in Bangladesh?

If we are to maintain the population we have, and its more than doable, major changes need to be made. It's not that complicated. I was just channel surfing and a statistic came out that we waste more than half of the 4.4 billion tons of the food we produce! That food is going into landfills.

We need to be in sync with nature and tie into the natural systems of the ecology. What ever happened to the old school way of the past, composting and the family victory garden? I guess they replaced it with GMOs and bridge cards.
I'm a RP conservative and an environmentalist, I'm frustrated that conservatives have abandoned this issue to the Democrats who do nothing other than look to government for solutions.

I don't think the current corporate farms will be able to adapt to a permaculture model. IMO we need more small farms, local producers and less regulations to allow the small producer to sell local.

I agree

Corporate farms will definitely be replaced with smaller, locally ran ones. The only crops I see as needing them is corn (much smaller scale), wheat, cows, hogs and bison. The rest will or should be taken care of by individuals who can easily profit from raising much more than they need.

Love the linked video. I'll post more on there but I just wanted to say that these are the types of systems that we will be heading towards... just as long as we consider utilizing today's high tech to make them work. No one in the 1st world countries will want that system next to the neighborhood park. With technology, we can scale it down to the point that it essentially becomes landscape for each individual home. Of course this wouldn't work on 1/8th of an acre but it is being worked on for homes that only have half an acre. Very interesting, beautiful and self maintaining stuff. Best of all, like you said, it's virtually free to gain all these goods and services.

On the cow and bison front... There is a tiny movement growing (pun intended) that uses miscanthus grass to feed cows, bison and some pigs. This grass is amazing. It re-seeds itself and grows 10 foot tall for each of 3 harvests per year. It grows so thick that people can use it as a fence by simply harvesting adjacent rows at the right times. Even harvesting it down to heights of 1-2 foot, it remains nutrient and CO2 neutral to grow. Talk about a great solution, 'eh?

If these systems became ubiquitous across the US, our farm land needs would be cut to about 20% of what they currently are. Of course, that doesn't account for stopping the raising of crops which are used to enslave other poor countries. Just think of how that would change the global resource playing field.

This is not a new idea, its much like how an agrarian society

would function, but with technology added. In our society people are so detached from the environment and the natural order of things it's sad. Diseases that were virtually unknown 100 years ago are common, we live such a sterile life style most people don't mind eating all the chemical additives in foods, but freak out at any contact with the natural bacteria common to the ecosystem ie.(Raw Milk) We want vegetables and produce that's visually flawless, but don't care what it tastes like or what chemicals or GM seeds were used to produce it.

My uncle, a WWII vet read the "Have More Plan" back in the 1940s http://www.motherearthnews.com/modern-homesteading/homestead... He bought 5 very fertile arable acres with a stream running through it and built a house himself. I spent many summers there as a kid, I remember his huge garden, fishing and the few farm animals. He retired early, all the work was done by hand and only much later did he get a power mower and rototiller.

Very true.

Everyone should read Mother Earth News!

Now just imagine all that being done by enough very simple automation that it only took one person about 10 minutes per day to maintain that whole farm. Then imagine the cost of all this 'equipment' was such that you could pay it off in 2-3 years with the same money you currently spend on those items.

Personally, I'm going a bit larger scale. I'm working on getting 160 acres that has 95 acres of forest and pretty strong stream. The plan is to put in a livestock pond, a small orchard, raise a couple of whatever meat we want plus chickens, wheat and then integrate that with everything else growing aquaponically. The dairy aspect is the only aspect we're staying away from. Couple all this with energy from CSP solar (my business), a digester and/or a gasifier. (We'll see how things go) If things go well, we'd like to hire in someone to do a Permaculture on the remaining land.

All in all, for the goods we get out of it, it all should pay for itself in about 4 years. After that, it's play time!

We have common interests, go for it, great investment

I have 45 acres that I lease to an organic farm http://www.grassfieldscheese.com/
Their Dad was organic before most people knew what organic was. The boys have the farm now and they continue to rotationally graze: intensively graze a section, then move the animals to another electric fence section to let the land recover. (picture a checker board). The land is put in a semi permanent pasture of a select combination of grasses, clovers, and alfalfa that were selected over decades to be the most productive for the land and zone. As the cattle and swine graze they fertilize the land, building the soil. Its a cool system, natural and fully sustainable.

Love it

Their site looks like quite the operation. I'm not going that into the business side of the food stuff because I'll be more focused on energy systems. One thing I did notice that I could suggest might be to have them consider trying some miscanthus grass. From what I hear, it's awesome stuff in its yield and soil support. ...not to mention the volume of quality grass available for feed.

Venus Project = Utopian Socialism


"Alas! I believe in the virtue of birds. And it only takes a feather for me to die laughing."

Bad assumption

There are other ways, if you care to listen.

The Optimizer...

What optimizes resource gathering, processing, manufacture and distribution is ---> the free market unhindered by central control.

Whoever does it the most efficiently wins because they can offer the product or service at the lowest price.

If the 20th century teaches us anything it is the massive failure and inefficiency of centralized planning and centralized economics. That is the whole message of Austrian economics.

Central control viciously suppresses innovation, prevents natural price discovery and quickly becomes weighed down with fraud, bribery and favoritism (fascism).

In a Venus Project type scenario the central planners would choose resources and service providers that would give them the most bribe money, not the most efficient and innovative. Persistent innovators who refuse to accept bribes would be hunted down and eliminated as "enemies of the People".

~wobbles but doesn't fall down~

If you really investigate them deeply

you'd find that they don't want to plan anything. They only suggest that for brevity in discussion. They are always hoping that external innovation will take command of the situation. This is said many times and even hinted at in the video.

You're correct that central planning has screwed things over recently. IMHO, central "planning" should only be used under the dire case of a very critical natural resource that has no replenishment process is about to be depleted. I give the case of helium elsewhere in these comments. What I also suggest is that much of the 90% of it wasted on party balloons would not be used if it was publicly known that it was so critical to the medical and other industries.

If you read my other comments here, you'll find exactly how easy this whole system is to achieve if we actually promoted free market principles to their ultimate end.

"external innovation will take command of the situation"

And what does that mean?

"Alas! I believe in the virtue of birds. And it only takes a feather for me to die laughing."

That someone outside their group or outside the government

will invent something to fix the problem.

Take clean water. This is a problem on many parts of the globe. I know of a new technology coming to market this year that takes sewage, trash and organic waste, turns it into electricity AND its by-product is to take massive amounts of dirty water and purify it.

This innovation is unknown to them but they are counting on it or something similar to eventually solve the water problem.

The same scenario exists for every other problem we have. People count on it being fixed by some new technology and they are correct because that tech is coming.

When a given problem is solved, there will no longer be a reason to control or limit it like before. With everything solved this way, there's no reason for any type of control which is virtually the libertarian / minarchist / anarchist position (depending on other factors).

The problem now is that THEY don't see these technologies as already here so THEY advocate enough control to handle the shortage and outsiders like you see that control as some bad form of 'ism'. What must be done is just to view EVERYTHING they say as coming from private effort. That puts a different spin on it.