back to article More Human: Designing a World Where People Come First

There are two interesting sides to Steve Hilton, the former political advisor once called “Cameron’s Brain”. One is a kind of Holy Fool, who in Government asked questions nobody else dare ask. How come today we need half a million civil servants, when the British Empire was run with just 4,000 from Somerset House? Why do we …

  1. The Dude

    God save us from such people. Won't someone think of the children?

    1. T. F. M. Reader Silver badge

      God save us from such people. Won't someone think of the children contraceptives?


  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The only way to fix unfixable social systems are to rip them up and start from scratch.

    We can all dream about remaking society into something worthy of our race's hopes and dreams but very few people dare even talk about them because most don't really realise that there are alternatives.

    Most of the alternatives that most people can conceive of are just more of the same of what we have had before, all with the same obvious flaws, and have some element of pitting ourselves against each other.

    True real alternatives are few and far between but anyone interesting in thinking really big and differently listen to the lectures of Jacques Fresco and his Venus Project.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      we've tried that

      Jesus, Mohammed, Hitler and Lenin all had brilliant ideas for fixing society. When someone comes up with such ideas the prognosis isn't good. Evolution not revolution may not be an exciting slogan, but I think it's the less lethal option.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: we've tried that

        and you see evolution taking us, gently, steadily into the heaven on earth? I can't see that :(

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: we've tried that

          "and you see evolution taking us, gently, steadily into the heaven on earth?"

          Don't know where you get that idea, he just said "less lethal".

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: we've tried that

        > Jesus, Mohammed, Hitler and Lenin all had brilliant ideas for fixing society.

        Well yes, but they were all demonstrably bollocks.

        Karl Marx had a lot of "interesting" ideas, but ultimately even he admitted that they would never work.

        And all of those ideas are trapped in the sphere of what we know. They are all just different varieties of political and economic systems, different ways of having lords and masters and ultimately all doomed to fail.

        I seriously would suggest looking into the ideas of Fresco. This is no crackpot idealist. He is talking about the technological logical extension of what we have now but taking technology to its logical conclusion. The barrier that we have to transitioning to this system is the current incumbent which assumes that there is scarcity. Nearly everything that we do and think is based on a worldview that is rapidly diverging from how things really are.

        We have so many ways of producing abundant forms of energy. The barrier to achieving this? Technology? No: economic "cost".

        We have plenty of land for living on. Why do we have conflicts over land? Stupidity.

        There is far more food than is needed to feed everyone on the planet. Is the barrier to this technology or the will of the populous? No. Politics.

        Our current social and political systems were formed when there was scarcity and most work had to be done by people. We are long past that point. So why do we have long-since defunct economic systems based on scarcity? It's idiotic. Why do you think we have so much litigation over copyright and patents these days and a gradual historic departure from making money from labour? Because labour is becoming obsolete.

        The future is bleak ladies and gentlemen unless we can really sort out the kind of future that we want and manage to get over ourselves long enough to implement it.

        1. fruitoftheloon

          @Skelband: Re: we've tried that


          Many thanks for your most interesting comments, methinks you may be onto something; there is much food for tbought...

          Have one on me.



          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @Skelband: we've tried that

            I was watching Fresco's interview with Larry King in 1974 (lots of examples on youtube).

            Some of his ideas were clearly whack, like using nuclear waste for heating. His views have changed as knowledge has evolved. It's kinda weird though seeing how far ahead of his time he was even then.

            He foresaw (like many others of course) the scale of unemployment that would be (and should be) caused by mechanisation. What we should be doing is mechanising *everything* that we don't want to do, thus leaving us eventually free to do what we really want.

            There isn't an answer to everything, but if society can get to a stage where people need not work just to live, then that's a start and people really don't need that much. Somewhere to live, food, clean water, sanitary facilities and access to information and education. Everything else is just extra.

            The main objections we see to this kind of scenario is "if people didn't have to work, wouldn't they just get really lazy and do nothing?". The evidence of what we see today is that so many people do charity work or they volunteer their time for worthwhile causes, the free software movement being one example. If we have enough people willing to do the little that needs to be done, then everyone else can just enjoy their leisure. They could enrich themselves with education, travel, exploration. These are all worthwhile pastimes. We just have to get out of the mindset that those that don't "work" are shirkers.

            The other side of the coin is that the vast majority of the "work" that is done these days is a total waste of time. Bureaucrats pushing paper around, anything involved with the movement of money is really just pointless time wasting and if you think about it, that's a large proportion of what people do today. It's work constructed to give people employment. Government, law, finance, anything involving "business".

      3. Turtle

        @ Arnaut the lessRe: we've tried that

        "Jesus, Mohammed, Hitler and Lenin"

        Apparently you aren't aware of the difference between Jesus on the one hand, and Mohammed, Hitler, and Lenin on the other.

        It's this: Jesus never aspired to personal political power, the others did.

        1. Notas Badoff

          "I see what you did there"

          Making statements that use guilt by association, <sarcasm><selfReferential><godwin>like Hitler did?</godwin></selfReferential></sarcasm>

        2. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Turtle


      Jacques Fresco strikes me as a cult leader who never managed to successfully found a cult.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: @skelband

        > Jacques Fresco strikes me as a cult leader who never managed to successfully found a cult.

        Weird, because Fresco keeps saying "Don't believe what I'm saying. Think for yourself."

        One of his most important "mantras" if you will, is that we are ultimately shaped and restricted by our culture, including himself. He neither claims to have a perfect plan for the future, and thinks that the idea of a "utopia" is a nonsense. He promises nothing but an idea that we can reshape our future and our culture by applying technology to the practical problems of living.

        Strange cult that. However, he does have a large and growing following for these ideas and is largely aligned with the Zeitgeist movement's aims, although I see that they have parted ways from a partnership that they did used to have.

        1. Turtle

          Re: @skelband

          "Strange cult that."

          Evidently you don't know how cults work.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @skelband

            > Evidently you don't know how cults work.

            Perhaps you could enlighten us then.

  3. skeptical i

    scribble dribble paper

    re: did you know Post-It notes are “the global medium of design thinking”? Wha'? It's not the cocktail napkin or beer coaster? Since when?

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022