Dare To Share is our clear and present challenge

Have philosophical discussions about politics, law, and government.
Featured Article: Definition of Freedom - What Freedom Means to Me
gad-fly
Posts: 177
Joined: October 23rd, 2019, 4:48 pm

Dare To Share is our clear and present challenge

Post by gad-fly » January 21st, 2020, 12:45 am

With the world’s increasing population coupled with increasing affluence, it would appear there is no way but for more and more consumption of the earth’s resources before their natural replenishment. This was fine until now, when we are shocked to realize that we have already reached the critical point beyond which the earth, with pollution, can only supply less clean water, less farm land, and so on. To safeguard our environment against further damage, I would suggest that the practice of SHARING may be the most viable, feasible, and least painful approach to overcome the seemingly insurmountable debacle.

Suppose each home must have a dining room. The number of dining rooms and homes being the same, the total space set for dining alone would be an enormous demand, pushing aside space for wilderness, forest, grassland, and so on. In practice, the dining room may only be used sparingly, say a few times every year. Most of the time, breakfast, lunch, and dinner take place in the kitchen. What if the dining room is turned communal, to be shared by several families in the same building? In the context that idle facility is wasted facility, the idea of SHARING is very much a clear and present concern: clear in its simplicity and freedom from entanglement; present because we are running out of time before the earth once damaged would take a long time to recover. With all things being equal, the alternative can only be that some home would have to endure having no dining room. The same argument may apply to backyard/garden, guest room, entertainment area, roof to gaze at the stars, bicycle, car ridership, beach-house, cottage, and so on. In this respect, the communal facility can be co-owned, like staircase and lift in an apartment building, without anyone deprived of its necessary usage. It would appear to be a win-win situation.

There is a catch, though. What if more than one family require the use of the dining room at the same time, like during Christmas? Compromise is the only resort, perhaps settled by drawing lots or following the first-come-first-served rule. Thus sharing a facility is never as good as private ownership, aside from the benefit of cost sharing. Do you dare take the risk of sharing a common facility if you can afford not to? Some may look at it from another angle. The saving from commonly building and maintaining a swimming pool jointly with neighbors can be spent on holiday abroad, art, expensive wine, or caviar. Why not? Still others may take it as a small price to pay for the health of Mother Earth.

It would be tempting to blame those against sharing as selfish or egoistic, or even to penalize them with higher taxation, but such would be unfair. Each lifestyle should be given due respect, especially if someone can afford it, is prepared to pay for it, and has set a very high priority on his own privacy.

User avatar
Terrapin Station
Posts: 1391
Joined: August 23rd, 2016, 3:00 pm
Favorite Philosopher: Bertrand Russell and WVO Quine
Location: NYC Man

Re: Dare To Share is our clear and present challenge

Post by Terrapin Station » January 21st, 2020, 10:20 am

With real estate, we could build much more compactly/densely than we currently build, it would just take better design and planning, including the way amenities (restaurants, grocery stores, government services), public transportation, etc. are designed.

By far the majority of residential real estate on the Earth is taken up by sprawling suburbs, which are horribly designed and which are inconvenient for going about one's business without a car.

Sprawling suburbs were motivated by the growing automobile industry and by the fact that building a massive highway system helped put tons of people to work after WWII. But they're impractical in many ways. They were a bad move to make for many reasons. We should get rid of sprawling suburbs. And we should have much more densely populated cities, with very different design than present to get rid of hassles and minimize the psychological impact of having to deal with huge populations (for example, it would be possible to design cities with no need for personal vehicles and with continually running public transportation so that you never need to ride a crowded subway, bus, etc.) And then we could have farms and lots of wilderness outside of cities. And perhaps some select more rural residential areas that are not farms, but those would need to be kept in check.

gad-fly
Posts: 177
Joined: October 23rd, 2019, 4:48 pm

Re: Dare To Share is our clear and present challenge

Post by gad-fly » January 21st, 2020, 5:05 pm

Terrapin Station:
Your points are taken. Have you any comment on the "Dare To Share" challenge?

User avatar
LuckyR
Moderator
Posts: 3971
Joined: January 18th, 2015, 1:16 am

Re: Dare To Share is our clear and present challenge

Post by LuckyR » January 22nd, 2020, 2:14 am

Tech is making ideas like ride sharing, car sharing and airbnb possible. The gig economy is based on having multiple uses for single items. Even eBay contributes to this. Of course tech enables it, but income inequality drives it.
"As usual... it depends."

User avatar
h_k_s
Posts: 998
Joined: November 25th, 2018, 12:09 pm
Favorite Philosopher: Aristotle
Location: Rocky Mountains

Re: Dare To Share is our clear and present challenge

Post by h_k_s » January 23rd, 2020, 10:29 am

gad-fly wrote:
January 21st, 2020, 12:45 am
With the world’s increasing population coupled with increasing affluence, it would appear there is no way but for more and more consumption of the earth’s resources before their natural replenishment. This was fine until now, when we are shocked to realize that we have already reached the critical point beyond which the earth, with pollution, can only supply less clean water, less farm land, and so on. To safeguard our environment against further damage, I would suggest that the practice of SHARING may be the most viable, feasible, and least painful approach to overcome the seemingly insurmountable debacle.

Suppose each home must have a dining room. The number of dining rooms and homes being the same, the total space set for dining alone would be an enormous demand, pushing aside space for wilderness, forest, grassland, and so on. In practice, the dining room may only be used sparingly, say a few times every year. Most of the time, breakfast, lunch, and dinner take place in the kitchen. What if the dining room is turned communal, to be shared by several families in the same building? In the context that idle facility is wasted facility, the idea of SHARING is very much a clear and present concern: clear in its simplicity and freedom from entanglement; present because we are running out of time before the earth once damaged would take a long time to recover. With all things being equal, the alternative can only be that some home would have to endure having no dining room. The same argument may apply to backyard/garden, guest room, entertainment area, roof to gaze at the stars, bicycle, car ridership, beach-house, cottage, and so on. In this respect, the communal facility can be co-owned, like staircase and lift in an apartment building, without anyone deprived of its necessary usage. It would appear to be a win-win situation.

There is a catch, though. What if more than one family require the use of the dining room at the same time, like during Christmas? Compromise is the only resort, perhaps settled by drawing lots or following the first-come-first-served rule. Thus sharing a facility is never as good as private ownership, aside from the benefit of cost sharing. Do you dare take the risk of sharing a common facility if you can afford not to? Some may look at it from another angle. The saving from commonly building and maintaining a swimming pool jointly with neighbors can be spent on holiday abroad, art, expensive wine, or caviar. Why not? Still others may take it as a small price to pay for the health of Mother Earth.

It would be tempting to blame those against sharing as selfish or egoistic, or even to penalize them with higher taxation, but such would be unfair. Each lifestyle should be given due respect, especially if someone can afford it, is prepared to pay for it, and has set a very high priority on his own privacy.
As the climate warms, "more farmland" will open-up with Canada and Siberia warming.

So that problem is solving itself, and possibly also solving all the other problems that go with it.

User avatar
Pattern-chaser
Posts: 382
Joined: September 22nd, 2019, 5:17 am
Favorite Philosopher: Cratylus
Location: England

Re: Dare To Share is our clear and present challenge

Post by Pattern-chaser » January 23rd, 2020, 11:52 am

gad-fly wrote:
January 21st, 2020, 12:45 am
To safeguard our environment against further damage, I would suggest that the practice of SHARING may be the most viable, feasible, and least painful approach to overcome the seemingly insurmountable debacle.
We must learn to consume out of need, not greed. We must learn to consume less; much less. Recycling is nowhere near enough; we need to cut down our cycling. We need to recognise the things we can do without, and are prepared to give up. There is a long list to pick from. Which will we give up, and which can we not bear to let go?
  • internet?
  • Money/profit?
  • fashion and cosmetics?
  • Personal transport (cars etc)?
  • Fossil fuels (oil, coal, gas, which give us plastics and industrial chemicals)?
  • Air travel?
  • Logging???
I'm sure there are loads more to add there.
Pattern-chaser

"Who cares, wins"

gad-fly
Posts: 177
Joined: October 23rd, 2019, 4:48 pm

Re: Dare To Share is our clear and present challenge

Post by gad-fly » January 23rd, 2020, 3:23 pm

I shall not give up any on Pattern-chaser's list, but I can share some.

User avatar
LuckyR
Moderator
Posts: 3971
Joined: January 18th, 2015, 1:16 am

Re: Dare To Share is our clear and present challenge

Post by LuckyR » January 23rd, 2020, 5:15 pm

Pattern-chaser wrote:
January 23rd, 2020, 11:52 am
gad-fly wrote:
January 21st, 2020, 12:45 am
To safeguard our environment against further damage, I would suggest that the practice of SHARING may be the most viable, feasible, and least painful approach to overcome the seemingly insurmountable debacle.
We must learn to consume out of need, not greed. We must learn to consume less; much less. Recycling is nowhere near enough; we need to cut down our cycling. We need to recognise the things we can do without, and are prepared to give up. There is a long list to pick from. Which will we give up, and which can we not bear to let go?
  • internet?
  • Money/profit?
  • fashion and cosmetics?
  • Personal transport (cars etc)?
  • Fossil fuels (oil, coal, gas, which give us plastics and industrial chemicals)?
  • Air travel?
  • Logging???
I'm sure there are loads more to add there.
It depends whether the growth in consumerism or the size of consumerism is felt to be the problem. Growth is from new wealth in 2nd and 3rd world countries, whereas the size of the problem is a first world issue.
"As usual... it depends."

User avatar
chewybrian
Posts: 575
Joined: May 9th, 2018, 7:17 pm
Favorite Philosopher: Epictetus
Location: Florida man

Re: Dare To Share is our clear and present challenge

Post by chewybrian » January 23rd, 2020, 8:41 pm

Pattern-chaser wrote:
January 23rd, 2020, 11:52 am
gad-fly wrote:
January 21st, 2020, 12:45 am
To safeguard our environment against further damage, I would suggest that the practice of SHARING may be the most viable, feasible, and least painful approach to overcome the seemingly insurmountable debacle.
We must learn to consume out of need, not greed. We must learn to consume less; much less. Recycling is nowhere near enough; we need to cut down our cycling. We need to recognise the things we can do without, and are prepared to give up. There is a long list to pick from. Which will we give up, and which can we not bear to let go?
  • internet?
  • Money/profit?
  • fashion and cosmetics?
  • Personal transport (cars etc)?
  • Fossil fuels (oil, coal, gas, which give us plastics and industrial chemicals)?
  • Air travel?
  • Logging???
I'm sure there are loads more to add there.
I think are some relatively painless steps we could take. Stop subsidizing consumption through artificially cheap gas, for one. If people had to pay at the pump, instead of paying much of the cost of driving with taxes already removed before they see their pay, then they would be able to make rational choices based on real costs. If gas was $9.50 a gallon, but the other $7 a gallon was left back in your take-home pay, many of us would decide to drive less in various ways. If you had a few hundred more dollars in your pay each month, would you rush out to find a way to drive more until you burned it all up, or might you not have some other priorities for your cash?

At least some of us would build smaller lots, live closer to city centers and to our jobs, even cycle or take public transportation more often. Things would be different, and that difference would bring us to a real market-driven model of transportation instead of the twisted, wasteful mess we have now. We should rarely be anxious to subsidize anything, but certainly not consumption and waste.

For one more, charge a tax on wasteful packaging. Many consumer items have more packaging than needed, simply to fool the consumer into thinking they are getting more than they are getting. You might need some water in the can of green beans, but not 3 times as much water as green beans! We are paying for the extra steel in the bigger can, and the extra water, and the cost of shipping the extra weight, all for no gain. Either have the company, or the consumer, pay extra tax to buy something with excess packaging, or just make a law against wasteful packaging.

I don't know that we have the stomach to make the hard choices you describe, as we don't even seem to have the stomach for these rather painless and sensible options.
"If determinism holds, then past events have conspired to cause me to hold this view--it is out of my control. Either I am right about free will, or it is not my fault that I am wrong."

User avatar
Pattern-chaser
Posts: 382
Joined: September 22nd, 2019, 5:17 am
Favorite Philosopher: Cratylus
Location: England

Re: Dare To Share is our clear and present challenge

Post by Pattern-chaser » January 24th, 2020, 10:05 am

chewybrian wrote:
January 23rd, 2020, 8:41 pm
I don't know that we have the stomach to make the hard choices you describe, as we don't even seem to have the stomach for these rather painless and sensible options.
Yes, depressing, isn't it? 😧

LuckyR wrote:
January 23rd, 2020, 5:15 pm
It depends whether the growth in consumerism or the size of consumerism is felt to be the problem.
The problem is not consumerism, it's consumption. We tread too heavily across the world; we need to learn to share, as this topic suggests.

1. We need to recognise what the world can spare, then

2. we need to recognise our fair share of what can be spared (other creatures need to live too), then

3. we need to find a way to live by consuming our fair share of what can be spared, or less.

Achieving the above seems vanishingly unlikely to me. But to die of greed, an avoidable fate, seems wasteful to me. 😥
Pattern-chaser

"Who cares, wins"

User avatar
LuckyR
Moderator
Posts: 3971
Joined: January 18th, 2015, 1:16 am

Re: Dare To Share is our clear and present challenge

Post by LuckyR » January 24th, 2020, 12:19 pm

Pattern-chaser wrote:
January 24th, 2020, 10:05 am
chewybrian wrote:
January 23rd, 2020, 8:41 pm
I don't know that we have the stomach to make the hard choices you describe, as we don't even seem to have the stomach for these rather painless and sensible options.
Yes, depressing, isn't it? 😧

LuckyR wrote:
January 23rd, 2020, 5:15 pm
It depends whether the growth in consumerism or the size of consumerism is felt to be the problem.
The problem is not consumerism, it's consumption. We tread too heavily across the world; we need to learn to share, as this topic suggests.

1. We need to recognise what the world can spare, then

2. we need to recognise our fair share of what can be spared (other creatures need to live too), then

3. we need to find a way to live by consuming our fair share of what can be spared, or less.

Achieving the above seems vanishingly unlikely to me. But to die of greed, an avoidable fate, seems wasteful to me. 😥
I disagree. Every organism on the planet consumes. What you describing is not the natural consumption of biologic processes, rather the social distortion of the Modern Era that incentivizes large populations to consume far beyond their need (consumerism).
"As usual... it depends."

gad-fly
Posts: 177
Joined: October 23rd, 2019, 4:48 pm

Re: Dare To Share is our clear and present challenge

Post by gad-fly » January 24th, 2020, 1:18 pm

Consumer Theory in Economics suggests that a consumer's welfare, termed utility, increases with increasing consumption. Limit his budget line to $10 on fruits, and he may buy 5 oranges and 5 apples, or 6 and 4, depending on each consumer's utility function. Increase his budget line to $15, and he will buy and consume more fruits for the simple reason that he would feel better, or having attained a higher utility. Restrict his fruit budget line to $10, and the extra $5 will be shifted to consumption on other goods, to increase his utility.

Apparently, increase in population will necessarily increase the total volume of consumption. More people around the table, and more bread must be provided to feed everyone.

How do we deal with the problem, then, with increasing population and increasing affluence, after we have identified it, and have concluded that something must be done to slow down, stop, or even reverse the trend of ever-increasing consumption? How? If someone wants to eat an apple, you cannot expect him to have the same satisfaction eating a half in the process of sharing it with another person. But some goods can be shared without loss of utility. Instead of each having a private swimming pool in his backyard, two neighbors can share one. In the process, the consumption of swimming pool as a good would be reduced by one. Not only that, but at the same time he can increase his utility with that saving in his pocket. Put it this way. You want to buy a good at price 2X. Another like you comes along. The two of you decided to share, with each paying X. Market-wise, only one good will be consumed. Utility-wise, each of you will be better off.

User avatar
Pattern-chaser
Posts: 382
Joined: September 22nd, 2019, 5:17 am
Favorite Philosopher: Cratylus
Location: England

Re: Dare To Share is our clear and present challenge

Post by Pattern-chaser » January 24th, 2020, 3:34 pm

LuckyR wrote:
January 24th, 2020, 12:19 pm
Pattern-chaser wrote:
January 24th, 2020, 10:05 am


Yes, depressing, isn't it? 😧




The problem is not consumerism, it's consumption. We tread too heavily across the world; we need to learn to share, as this topic suggests.

1. We need to recognise what the world can spare, then

2. we need to recognise our fair share of what can be spared (other creatures need to live too), then

3. we need to find a way to live by consuming our fair share of what can be spared, or less.

Achieving the above seems vanishingly unlikely to me. But to die of greed, an avoidable fate, seems wasteful to me. 😥
I disagree.
What with?
LuckyR wrote:
January 24th, 2020, 12:19 pm
Every organism on the planet consumes.
Agreed, which is also in accord with what I said.
LuckyR wrote:
January 24th, 2020, 12:19 pm
What you describing is not the natural consumption of biologic processes, rather the social distortion of the Modern Era that incentivizes large populations to consume far beyond their need (consumerism).
Yes, "consumerism" is the economic idea/concept/etc that is behind the problem. But the problem is not the idea, it's the practice of the idea. Consumption is the problem. And in this case, also as you say, we consume far beyonbd simple need.

I can't see where we disagree. 🤔
Pattern-chaser

"Who cares, wins"

User avatar
Pattern-chaser
Posts: 382
Joined: September 22nd, 2019, 5:17 am
Favorite Philosopher: Cratylus
Location: England

Re: Dare To Share is our clear and present challenge

Post by Pattern-chaser » January 25th, 2020, 1:27 pm

LuckyR wrote:
January 24th, 2020, 12:19 pm
Every organism on the planet consumes.
Yes, that's the issue here. Every organism must consume, and "every organism" is a helluva lot of organisms. This is the basis for what I said here:
Pattern-chaser wrote:
January 24th, 2020, 10:05 am
We tread too heavily across the world; we need to learn to share.

1. We need to recognise what the world can spare, then

2. we need to recognise our fair share of what can be spared (other creatures need to live too), then

3. we need to find a way to live by consuming our fair share of what can be spared, or less.
Because everything consumes, everything must not consume more than it needs, or the resources will run out. The issue is not that humans consume - we must all do that, as we just agreed - it's that humans consume hugely more than they need, and thereby consume resources needed by other organisms, and later, by ourselves and our descendants too. Greed not need can no longer be tolerated (if we assume the world and its creatures are something worth safeguarding).
Pattern-chaser

"Who cares, wins"

gad-fly
Posts: 177
Joined: October 23rd, 2019, 4:48 pm

Re: Dare To Share is our clear and present challenge

Post by gad-fly » January 27th, 2020, 12:23 am

As stated in my Jan 24 post, it is futile to preach against consumption, to impose restriction, or to ban some consumption. A consumer will maximize his utility (lifestyle satisfaction) by consuming as many goods and services as he can afford in his budget. This Consumer Theory is subconscious on every consumer's mind. The bundle of goods available to him means that higher price or restricted supply on Good X will only lead to more demand on Good Y. It is bad public administration policy to ban a good even if it is considered bad, like alcohol or cigarette, unless it is evil. We can learn a lesson from the Prohibition of Alcohol in 1930's United States. To encourage savings helps only to a limited extent, since the savings must eventually be translated as the consumption of future goods. In a nutshell, what is left in a consumer's pocket would remain neutral on his utility until it is spent.

Lately, a gap appears to have opened on the jammed door of the consumption debacle. Instead of every cyclist owning the bicycle he is on, why not have them sharing the pool of fewer bicycles? An idle bicycle is one we can afford to do without, and hence is wasteful. Instead of 100 families each owning a swimming pool, why not have them sharing a swimming pool, and in the process reducing from 100 pools to one? The argument for: all they need is a pool of water to swim in. The argument against: no privacy. Dare we face the challenge? It can be a win-win situation. Apart from reduced consumption, more money in a consumer's pocket would allow him to attain higher utility.

Post Reply