Monday, August 15, 2011

Vinay Gupta - Infrastructure for Anarchists

audio here.

32.10 - "I think America's odds of a really, really severe political crash are massively higher than Britain's and Europe's in general, primarily because the consensus in the American population on fundamental issues is gone - they can't agree on drugs, they can't agree on guns, they can't agree on gay marriage, and the can't agree on abortion... The population is split right down the middle on all of these issues. They're unwilling to agree to differ. They're constantly using the power of the federal government to force their views on each other and the federal government is turning into this blundering beast of an institution, largely because Americans keep trying to use it to coerce each other."

37.42 - "Americans... are four or five generations out from people who came to virgin territory, set up a shack, and started growing vegetables. There's a kind of durability there...that's very, very strong in America once you get out of the city, and fully half the population lives outside the city... The willingness of the European to trust their government to take care of them against violence in situations of critical infrastructure failure is part of why Europe is likely to be more stable, but it's also really really stupid considering previous history. Why Europeans are willing to go without weapons I have no idead. When you look at the Warsaw ghetto... !! ... Why was firearms not an integral part of the reconstruction of Europe? Well, the answer is it wasn't, and fortunately we've stayed out of the gutter on this one, and I think we'll be very glad that we did, because fundamentally a disarmed society is more stable than an armed one. We all know that at some level. But at the same time, with the American model, it's not at all clear why individuals should be in a position where a government you can't trust can disarm them."

58.55 - "I think it's possible to maintain a pretty much Western standard of living on about 20-30 watts of electricity per person."

~1.00.00 - "My concern is that the governments are going to collapse before we have any kind of meaningful alternative in place... the governments that we're working with, all these systems of government were designed a hundred to 200 to 500 to 1000 years ago when change was much slower, so the speed of events has increased by a factor of 500, 1000 or 10,000, but the speed of government might have gotten faster by a factor of 5... Governments are not designed to handle this kind of rapid change environment, and the things that governments are doing are drifting further and further away from what actually needs to be done."

1.02.40 "The bottom line is that governments are enormously limited in their ability to handle the big problems, I have no hope of changing that whatsoever. I hope they continue to limp along, but if you want to understand how we're really gonna take care of this business, look at wikipedia... We're gonna solve this stuff by developing institutions that are more effective than the current institutions because they're designed for the technology platform we have now."

Appropedia - 10,000 articles on appropriate technology and sustainability.

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