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  1. #431
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    I think that an argument could be made that it's self-centered and wasteful for everyone to own their own vehicle, regardless of what kind it is. I mean, think about the amount of petroleum we're using up to drive the cars, to manufacture the cars, to manufacture the tires... etc, for each individual. Not to mention insurance, maintenance, the cost of fuel... when you add all that up, you realize that we would all be a lot better off if the government had taken control early on, and insisted on building out a mass transit infrastructure, rather than this chaotic, congested mess of traffic and highways where everyone has their own personal car.

    Think how many fewer resources we would be wasting if that had happened. Think how much slower pollution would have been. But no, everyone cared more about that feeling of freedom and convenience in the moment, over considering the future or the good of the many. And pretty soon, it's going to catch up with us, and we're all going to be paying the HUGE price for over 100 years of the "convenience and freedom" of having a car. It's not even as if people drove fuel efficient cars... most of them drive gas guzzling SUVs and trucks.

    What I find amusing, that we have 40-page debates on TASTE, but no one seriously questions the whole idea of car ownership as a positive thing. I mean, granted that the way things are now, a lot of people can't practically get by without them. It's a necessary evil for those people. I can see how INTJs might think, "Well, if I'm going to have to drive a car, it might as well be the best performing." But a lot of people who don't really need them insist on having them anyway. As far as I'm concerned, that's the real problem, and it wasn't INTJs who created it (at least not primarily)...

  2. #432
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    ^ Interesting that you say this Athenian, cuz the whole time I would have been open to this line of argumentation, and, just yesterday, I thought to myself, interesting that nobody has brought up this line of argumentation, cuz, if they were to, I would have to say something along the lines of, "Yeah, I've more or less always agreed with that, but, well, whatcha gunna do?" I mean, I agree with you that it's almost all for the "convenience and freedom" of owning a car, which, personally, being from Southern California, is not only necessary (as you pointed out), but thoroughly enjoyable (for me and others like me, at least). But, realize, when all of this was getting rolling, there wasn't really a good understanding of the (potential) negative externalities, and, even now, we really still aren't completely aware of them.

  3. #433
    Filthy Apes! Kalach's Avatar
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    Well, the thing about environmental concern is, mere reduction of pollution is mostly uninteresting. But technology that eliminates waste gases and whatnot... that'd be cool. Reduction is an ongoing management question whereas elimination is breakthrough science and super-cool engineering.

    People vs Things, I guess.



    I haven't driven in a long while, but my first car was a Morris Mini-Minor--owned by my grandmother, driven by me, a raincoat with wheels. I Googled "classic mini":

    Bellison uncorked a flood of horrible profanity, which, translated, meant, "This is extremely unusual."

    Boy meets Grr

  4. #434
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    Quote Originally Posted by Not_Me View Post
    My position remained consistent.
    No, it did not.

    You started off by saying it was irrational to buy nice cars, and that men do it to get a feeling of superiority over other men.

    You are now backing up on that first point; over the latter, you have still shown no proof or evidence whatsoever, nor will you be able to.

    Perhaps you are so concerned with other men that you care about these things you've mentioned; but that doesn't mean all men do.

    This has already been gone over a number of times, so you're really just ignoring what has already been written.

    It's all quite a shame, cuz I'd genuinely thought you'd turned the corner and decided to take the path of integrity by just admitting that you were wrong, and being done with it (my girlfriend can to attest to this; she's sitting right next to me, and we were both pleasantly surprised by the path we [apparently wrongly] thought you had decided to take).

    Quote Originally Posted by Not_Me View Post
    I'm surprised that some were offended, since T's tend to favor logic over emotion when making decisions.
    We were offended because your argument was illogical.

  5. #435
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kalach View Post
    Well, the thing about environmental concern is, mere reduction of pollution is mostly uninteresting. But technology that eliminates waste gases and whatnot... that'd be cool. Reduction is an ongoing management question whereas elimination is breakthrough science and super-cool engineering.

    People vs Things, I guess.
    Yeah, I've been thinking this as well.

    I'm afraid we may get to the point where, if all this global warming stuff turns out to be true, that we might have to engage in climate engineering.

    The problem is, what government body is going to be in charge of such an endeavor (the UN?), and how high is the chance we just end up making things worse?

  6. #436
    Filthy Apes! Kalach's Avatar
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    Oh man, climate engineering...

    I am reminded of a possibly apocryphal story out of the Manhattan Project: when they first tried an experiment to produce a critical mass reaction, they had guys standing around with buckets of reaction-dampening stuff, ready to pour over the experiment if it got out of control.

    So I'd pretty much go with, yeah, climate engineering will happen. No one will take official responsibility for it, though. The big, rich-enough countries with some kind of vested interest will do something. China or the US. Probably China. But not for another twenty or so years.

    /wild extrapolation of minimal knowledge.




    The interesting thing: China is very, very rapidly degrading its own country, to the recognisable extent of, say, recently restricting the number of cars that can be bought and driven in Beijing even though car production is one of the big businesses; and what's more, China has little or no background technology to waste time with, yet the country is getting richer, so they're well placed to start work on environmental tech like you wouldn't believe. Yet the country can't do science for shit. The number of scientific patents China holds will rise quickly over the coming years, but not in breakthrough technology. More like incremental developments on gene tech for food. But..........

    Or not. I don't really know.
    Bellison uncorked a flood of horrible profanity, which, translated, meant, "This is extremely unusual."

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  7. #437
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kalach View Post
    Oh man, climate engineering...

    I am reminded of a possibly apocryphal story out of the Manhattan Project: when they first tried an experiment to produce a critical mass reaction, they had guys standing around with buckets of reaction-dampening stuff, ready to pour over the experiment if it got out of control.

    So I'd pretty much go with, yeah, climate engineering will happen. No one will take official responsibility for it, though. The big, rich-enough countries with some kind of vested interest will do something. China or the US. Probably China. But not for another twenty or so years.

    /wild extrapolation of minimal knowledge.
    Well, they already started with the Beijing Olympics...

    They've been practicing that cloud destruction stuff for decades, I believe (not that that's even close to what would be needed for the circumstance we're talking about...).

    Quote Originally Posted by Kalach View Post
    The interesting thing: China is very, very rapidly degrading its own country, to the recognisable extent of, say, recently restricting the number of cars that can be bought and driven in Beijing even though car production is one of the big businesses; and what's more, China has little or no background technology to waste time with, yet the country is getting richer, so they're well placed to start work on environmental tech like you wouldn't believe. Yet the country can't do science for shit. The number of scientific patents China holds will rise quickly over the coming years, but not in breakthrough technology. More like incremental developments on gene tech for food. But..........

    Or not. I don't really know.
    Interesting perspective...

    Why do you think they're so shit at science?

    I've figured their time in the sun was just coming...

  8. #438
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zarathustra View Post
    ^ Interesting that you say this Athenian, cuz the whole time I would have been open to this line of argumentation, and, just yesterday, I thought to myself, interesting that nobody has brought up this line of argumentation, cuz, if they were to, I would have to say something along the lines of, "Yeah, I've more or less always agreed with that, but, well, whatcha gunna do?" I mean, I agree with you that it's almost all for the "convenience and freedom" of owning a car, which, personally, being from Southern California, is not only necessary (as you pointed out), but thoroughly enjoyable (for me and others like me, at least). But, realize, when all of this was getting rolling, there wasn't really a good understanding of the (potential) negative externalities, and, even now, we really still aren't completely aware of them.
    That's true, we weren't aware of a lot of them when we started out. But we've been aware of many of them for several years, and have done little about them.

    I think that government intervention is the only way we're going to get people to give up their cars now. As you say, it's pleasurable for many people, and let's face it... most people are more interested in what feels good to them, than in what's best for everyone in the long run. Especially since most people believe that the pollution and resource problems won't affect them in their lifetime.

    My idea is this:

    1. Over the course of the next ten/twenty years, the government tries to roll out mass transportation in all cities above a certain size, and make those cities reasonably navigable without cars.

    2. After those ten/twenty years, they put additional taxes on car ownership for people who live in urban areas with adequate public transportation.

    3. Five years after step two, there is a complete ban on driving personal cars in aforementioned urban areas. People who live in rural areas that don't have access to this are still allowed to have cars, but they must meet strict emission standards.

    4. As smaller towns grow, they reach the point where adequate public transportation is implemented, and the same pattern of cars being heavily taxed and then banned is followed. The areas in which people are allowed to own cars slowly shrink, and become limited to less and less inhabited areas. By this point, since most people live in the cities, the number of cars remaining is no longer a problem.

    The problem is, the people are never going to go for this plan. It has to be implemented from the top down... and America just isn't very good at doing that, as a democracy.

  9. #439
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    And what about the cows? Make everyone vegetarians, too?

    Personally, I'm rather happy that we have problems implementing things like this.

    Some other major countries do not, and they are not places where I'd prefer to live.

    I think your plan sounds ok, but, just off the top of my head, I can see a number of problems with it.

    When it would actually be implemented, I'm sure those problems would only be magnified tenfold.

    That being said, the lesson of the 20th century (market economy > command economy), is currently in a bit of a crisis.

    Over the next several decades, even in the US, there will likely be increased experimentation with increased levels of government control/intervention in the economy.

    Right now, though, I don't think there's any room at all in the local, state, or federal budgets to overhaul the transportation system in the way you've recommended.

    Furthermore, the system you propounded would almost certainly eliminate lower-income peoples from car-ownership, while the rich would still have full access.

    The question becomes: "Is all this really worth the potential costs of not doing it?"

    Personally, I don't really know that it is...

  10. #440
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zarathustra View Post
    And what about the cows? Make everyone vegetarians, too?
    Well, that wouldn't serve any purpose... meat actually delivers more nutrition than vegetables. But I see your point. You see the scenario as though it were being implemented because of someone's personal values (like the belief that eating meat is wrong), rather than because it makes better use of our limited resources and cuts down on pollution. I don't agree that that's the case, but I will say that this should not be done because of anyone's values, but only because of the problems with continuing to do things the way we've done them.

    If you disagree that there are problems with the way things are being done and have been done that must be addressed, and can explain why you believe this to be the case... then I will admit that my idea is wrong in principle, because it is founded on the assumption that what we are doing currently is unsustainable and ultimately bad for everyone.
    Personally, I'm rather happy that we have problems implementing things like this.

    Some other major countries do not, and they are not places where I'd prefer to live.
    Yes, it may make you happy. But it's not good for the long term. That's the entire problem with democracy... people are driven to do things that are destructive and wasteful in the long-term, because they bring happiness in the present. I think that eventually, people will look back and say that those other major countries were like the ant, and America was like the grasshopper.
    I think your plan sounds ok, but, just off the top of my head, I can see a number of problems with it.

    When it would actually be implemented, I'm sure those problems would only be magnified tenfold.
    You are probably right. I haven't thought out the details of the plan, I just created an outline for how we might go about getting rid of cars, if we were to do it. In reality, the best we can probably hope for is that they'll finally get all the older cars off the road, and insist that all cars meet current emissions standards. And maybe increase taxes on them. But that's about as far as they'll go, and while that might make a small dent in pollution, it won't be enough.
    That being said, the lesson of the 20th century (market economy > command economy), is currently in a bit of a crisis.

    Over the next several decades, even in the US, there will likely be increased experimentation with increased levels of government control/intervention in the economy.
    I'm really not surprised. I think that ultimately, the current US model will be found to be terribly ineffective and wasteful. It will likely be found that a primarily market economy with significant government oversight is the best way to go. Neither system in pure form is adequate, and we know this from experience. The first country to realize this and create such an economy... will have a major advantage, and possibly even become a world leader.

    Right now, though, I don't think there's any room at all in the local, state, or federal budgets to overhaul the transportation system in the way you've recommended.
    Perhaps not, but it should still be done as soon as possible. In fact, it should have been done a long time ago. Things cannot be allowed to continue on the way they've been going indefinitely (according to my current understanding of the issue), because it's ultimately unsustainable and possibly suicidal.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zarathustra View Post
    Furthermore, the system you propounded would almost certainly eliminate lower-income peoples from car-ownership, while the rich would still have full access.

    The question becomes: "Is all this really worth the potential costs of not doing it?"

    Personally, I don't really know that it is...
    This is true. I'm sure that would be the case, but... ultimately, it still serves the purpose because there are fewer wealthy people than low-income people. It will be upsetting to the lower-income people to see the rich continuing to drive around, though. As oil becomes more scarce, however, I think that market forces would naturally force us towards similar situations (where the wealthy drive, and the rest of us don't), but without the benefit of foresight or good public transportation systems to replace cars that people can no longer afford.

    But still, I don't see a way around it that doesn't involve a solution similar to this. If one is possible, it would obviously be preferable.

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