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I respect what he did but I certainly won't do so. He said 'money is illusion' - okay it's true, but I guess you can stop yourself from being illuded by money? Money can be put into good uses. For me, he's just escaping from the society, or he feels that the today's society just doesn't fit him. But I think one should understand that the world is both filled with good and bad, and can't be perfect. If he's happy with this way, I don't see why not. The good thing is that he doesn't need to bear the stress from the society, just be himself; the cost is he eats trash, leftovers - what he thinks he's sort of embracing the nature. I don't think he should stay in the community where he is now. He should probably back to a society which has 'primitive' life of hunting and stuff. I don't mean this in a bad way, it's just another form of lifestyle which never happens in the States.

In terms of economic benefit, he's definitely good because he helps clear the waste in the society, though he isn't contributing anything but to be honest, it doesn't matter because he's not taking anything that would have good alternative uses for the society. He uses the road and library - don't a problem because they are public goods and gonna be provided anyway, even without him.

He is right about materialism and greed. But he certainly misses the point that money has helped a lot of people, it's just that it has been misused. No matter what, he's just escaping and it's fine because so far, no one knows how to solve this problem and might never can be solved because the desire of human being wanting more always exist, regardless of our consciousness, leading to many problems like inequality.

However, I still think he's not doing any good to this world because he's not helping others with his effort. It is the good of this world that make our lives worth existing. He might enjoy the indulgence of this kind of life, but I think it is extremely humilating that when his lifestyle is described as 'Christ-like' and said he's connected to the principles of the many great religions. In fact, many of the religion emphasizes the need for self-sacrifical love for people, and he's apparently missing this point. He should overcome the hardship and make an effort to help people like what Jesus Christ or Mother Teresa did.

Seriously, I wish him luck and not to be a man who grew old and regretted that he didn't do anything for this world. Well, maybe his intetion is good, but in a wrong, very wrong way!
 

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Yeah, I don't think his approach is good policy. It's just interesting to see somebody willing to put their money where there mouth is... or not...
 

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Yeah, I don't think his approach is good policy. It's just interesting to see somebody willing to put their money where there mouth is... or not...
You're right. Sorry I sounded really angry in the reply but these kind of people just drives me mad!! It certainly is an abuse of intelligence.
 

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I once saw a thing where a woman cleaned out her entire pantry, starting with no food, then went on a quest to eat for a dollar a day. She was doing it bc she said she was tired of hearing people complain that eating healthy food was super expensive.

Except she lives within walking distance of many grocery stores that have bulk bins where she could buy 30 cents' worth of grains, and she only ate two meals a day, she lived alone and had plenty of time to shop and she rolled leftfover cash over to the next day.

And I could eat on less than a dollar a day and eat three meals a day if all I ate was junk like ramen noodles. So her experiment, and subsequent argument that "EVERYONE can afford to eat healthy food," was suspect. I suppose this is just tangential, but it irked me that she was condescending to poor people living in food deserts telling them why their lifestyle is untenable because "look what I can do!"

Also, I find freeganism amusing. My freegan friends have a co-op where they share stuff they got from dumpsters and other sources of discarded stuff. But someone had to buy it first; it's just recycling. It was still produced.

That is all.
 
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I once saw a thing where a woman cleaned out her entire pantry, starting with no food, then went on a quest to eat for a dollar a day. She was doing it bc she said she was tired of hearing people complain that eating healthy food was super expensive.

Except she lives within walking distance of many grocery stores that have bulk bins where she could buy 30 cents' worth of grains, and she only ate two meals a day, she lived alone and had plenty of time to shop and she rolled leftfover cash over to the next day.

And I could eat on less than a dollar a day and eat three meals a day if all I ate was junk like ramen noodles. So her experiment, and subsequent argument that "EVERYONE can afford to eat healthy food," was suspect. I suppose this is just tangential, but it irked me that she was condescending to poor people living in food deserts telling them why their lifestyle is untenable because "look what I can do!"

Also, I find freeganism amusing. My freegan friends have a co-op where they share stuff they got from dumpsters and other sources of discarded stuff. But someone had to buy it first; it's just recycling. It was still produced.

That is all.
Hmm. I'm not a Marx scholar, but the importance Marxists place on "social production" annoys me. I think a better ideal to chase after is *human* production - the kind of production you do purely as a means of self-actualization and self-expression. It seems to me that the true revolutionary class hasn't been the proletariat, but the professional class, and the professional class comes close to this idea of human production. Human production is when you're somewhat surprised that somebody is actually paying you to have this much fun. "Social production" seems to be just a form of alienated labor where the process of alienation happens because of guilt rather than a need to eat.

I'm not sure what kind of "human consumption" to pair up with this "human production" though. I do know that it needs to be natural and effortless, if not luxurious, though. Information piracy might be a good model (especially if the original source of that information was human production). Maybe also hunting and gathering - it's been said that hunter gatherers could collect a week's worth of food and other materials with 8 hours worth of work. Such societies have no *word* for "work." For physical goods, the best model for human consumption I can come up with is freeganism, but I don't think that'll work.

Another factor in this utopian dream of mine is the idea of mechanized labor. Rousseau said that a free democratic society might have to be based on a slave economy, since the labor of government would consume so much of a free citizen's time. (He would call our current government an elected aristocracy, I think, rather than a democracy.) Interestingly enough, in terms of calories expended, the average American has 8 electro-mechanical "slaves" working for them. And the labor those machines perform is completely unalienated - they were created to do those tasks, and their natures are completely suited to it.
 

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Hmm. I'm not a Marx scholar, but the importance Marxists place on "social production" annoys me. I think a better ideal to chase after is *human* production - the kind of production you do purely as a means of self-actualization and self-expression. It seems to me that the true revolutionary class hasn't been the proletariat, but the professional class, and the professional class comes close to this idea of human production. Human production is when you're somewhat surprised that somebody is actually paying you to have this much fun. "Social production" seems to be just a form of alienated labor where the process of alienation happens because of guilt rather than a need to eat.

I'm not sure what kind of "human consumption" to pair up with this "human production" though. I do know that it needs to be natural and effortless, if not luxurious, though. Information piracy might be a good model (especially if the original source of that information was human production). Maybe also hunting and gathering - it's been said that hunter gatherers could collect a week's worth of food and other materials with 8 hours worth of work. Such societies have no *word* for "work." For physical goods, the best model for human consumption I can come up with is freeganism, but I don't think that'll work.

Another factor in this utopian dream of mine is the idea of mechanized labor. Rousseau said that a free democratic society might have to be based on a slave economy, since the labor of government would consume so much of a free citizen's time. (He would call our current government an elected aristocracy, I think, rather than a democracy.) Interestingly enough, in terms of calories expended, the average American has 8 electro-mechanical "slaves" working for them. And the labor those machines perform is completely unalienated - they were created to do those tasks, and their natures are completely suited to it.
Perhaps the problem is that there IS no model for "human consumption" of the product of "human production." so people get paid to do something so fun but the work itself is the end of the process. Ideally perhaps this consumption would feed back into the productive side,so whatever product comes out (say, scholarship) would be consumed, digested and then further human production would take it into account and build on it. But now we just have human warehouses full of unconnected product with no consumers--a bunch of talkers with no one to listen or care what's said. And our digital devices just store it all in the hopes that someday, somewhere, someone will WANT to access it. This makes us frustrated and leaves us wondering if our efforts are futile, if we're reaching anyone. And thus we are alienated from everyone else by virtue of our work, which we own. So, human alienation.
 

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Perhaps the problem is that there IS no model for "human consumption" of the product of "human production." so people get paid to do something so fun but the work itself is the end of the process. Ideally perhaps this consumption would feed back into the productive side,so whatever product comes out (say, scholarship) would be consumed, digested and then further human production would take it into account and build on it. But now we just have human warehouses full of unconnected product with no consumers--a bunch of talkers with no one to listen or care what's said. And our digital devices just store it all in the hopes that someday, somewhere, someone will WANT to access it. This makes us frustrated and leaves us wondering if our efforts are futile, if we're reaching anyone. And thus we are alienated from everyone else by virtue of our work, which we own. So, human alienation.
So, a problem of distribution. Which is relatively easy to handle with information - just look at this site. How many man-hours of work does this site represent?

The problem most artists face is obscurity, not piracy. And there is that move within academia against money-walled journals. So how do we go about a human distribution system for physical goods?
 

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Distribution is one-half of the equation. But imagine people standing out distributing free pizza coupons and only 1% of the people who receive them actually redeem them. Distribution is necessary, but also we must encourage consumption of human product.

To build upon your PerC analogy, this site DOES represent an impressive product. Are the most interesting threads the ones in which people only respond for themselves (produce), or the ones in which people produce responses, which other people read and then actively respond to? The response to previous posters, thus creating a conversation, elevates the thread into something (forgive the Bakhtinian language) truly dialogic in nature.

There is also a limit on the threads where people do not interact with other posts, but simply respond for themselves. The limit is the number of people who are on the forum--if everyone answers the OP question for themselves alone. For a conversation thread in which people engage in commentary about the posts as the question is answere, and raise new ones, the possibilities are limitless.
 
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Distribution is one-half of the equation. But imagine people standing out distributing free pizza coupons and only 1% of the people who receive them actually redeem them. Distribution is necessary, but also we must encourage consumption of human product.

To build upon your PerC analogy, this site DOES represent an impressive product. Are the most interesting threads the ones in which people only respond for themselves (produce), or the ones in which people produce responses, which other people read and then actively respond to? The response to previous posters, thus creating a conversation, elevates the thread into something (forgive the Bakhtinian language) truly dialogic in nature.

There is also a limit on the threads where people do not interact with other posts, but simply respond for themselves. The limit is the number of people who are on the forum--if everyone answers the OP question for themselves alone. For a conversation thread in which people engage in commentary about the posts as the question is answere, and raise new ones, the possibilities are limitless.
Heh, so there *is* a social element to human production. But it can't just be guilt, or a 'gift' based transaction. The producer has to get some sort of pleasant feedback as well.
 

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That guy is very much like I want to be. I have nothing but respect for him.
 
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Heh, so there *is* a social element to human production. But it can't just be guilt, or a 'gift' based transaction. The producer has to get some sort of pleasant feedback as well.
The pleasant feedback may BE that someone wants to consume their product. In academia, there is a database that keeps track of how many times your online articles get looked up and how many articles are published that cite your work. Many scholars are highly gratified by that....admittedly, myself included.

What else do yout think could be an example of pleasant feedback?

Edit: thinking about this some more, that can't be All, because I write articles and pursue information I never intend to publish--I.e., "produce" anything with. So the productive value can't always be material. Thoughts?
 

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I so admire his courage; I wish I could do what he is doing.

I think he's doing much good by giving people something to think
about, even if it does seem crazy and extreme. But sometimes you
need to go to the opposite extreme from a system that's lost the
plot.
 

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The pleasant feedback may BE that someone wants to consume their product. In academia, there is a database that keeps track of how many times your online articles get looked up and how many articles are published that cite your work. Many scholars are highly gratified by that....admittedly, myself included.

What else do yout think could be an example of pleasant feedback?
That would certainly be a big one :) I' haven't published yet, but I'm certainly looking forward to one day being cited. I remember reading "Nickel and Dimed," and how the author talked about how the workers at Walmart actually *love* helping their customers. The problem is that the management understaffs them, gives them too much work to do. So one of the main stressors for the workers is that they can't give each customer the attention they think the customer deserves. There's a huge difference between being allowed to help your customers, and being forced to be a customer-screwing retail machine.

I remember hanging out in a book store once, and another customer asked me for advice. I was a lot more enthusiastic about this 'job' than the usual staff were :)
 

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That would certainly be a big one :) I' haven't published yet, but I'm certainly looking forward to one day being cited. I remember reading "Nickel and Dimed," and how the author talked about how the workers at Walmart actually *love* helping their customers. The problem is that the management understaffs them, gives them too much work to do. So one of the main stressors for the workers is that they can't give each customer the attention they think the customer deserves. There's a huge difference between being allowed to help your customers, and being forced to be a customer-screwing retail machine.

I remember hanging out in a book store once, and another customer asked me for advice. I was a lot more enthusiastic about this 'job' than the usual staff were :)
You're in philosophy of science, is that correct?
 

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One of the biggest problems I see with a "gift" economy is that the consumer doesn't have the freedom or the power to get what they really want - turning down a gift hurts the gift-givers feelings. But the feedback loop would solve that problem... So what's keeping us from meeting people's needs in just that way? Why does it cost so much to volunteer? (And it *does* cost to volunteer...)
 

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Edit: thinking about this some more, that can't be All, because I write articles and pursue information I never intend to publish--I.e., "produce" anything with. So the productive value can't always be material. Thoughts?
Hmm. Well, for me, first setting pen to page (or fingers to keyboard) is the hardest part. But I do constantly noodle over things in my head that will probably never see the light of day. I guess that they're like seeds, that might be good, but are just not worth the cost of raising them to maturity. I would agree that the pleasure of human production isn't strictly just social. It might be that the social aspect is a way of seeing how you're progressing in your skills, how your work is advancing.
 
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