We need to get real about climate change, it is making parts of the world uninhabitable as we speak. Iran shows 81 degrees Celsius wet bulb temperature, so basically if your aico fails you die. Nobody wants to live in a desert where you die by standing outside. In the Atacama desert in Chile the same thing is happening. It is so hot you can’t survive and nobody wants to be there. We need to be real about this, there is land on Earth nobody wants to be. It has to be open for whatever anyone anywhere wants to do.
Can we have the UN, Brics, African nations and all other global governments agree on a world map of uncontested land? Places where you can do whatever you want (as long as it helps against global warming/climate change). Similar to the high seas, where there can be no enforcement of law (even though there can be surveillance now).
Any company or person that wants to live in these places will be allowed to, provided they sequester CO2 and the sequestered carbon stays there. Do this on land and sea. No drilling for minerals allowed, those possible economic resources are not included and remain owned by the territory. Security is provided and can be augmented by the people involved. Why not allow this, it can only bring benefits.
Let nations draw their uncontested territory on the world map, instead of hoarding it for resources and allowing them to lie fallow while people with good intentions have no place to experiment.
Nato UN China Brics USA war Climate change global warming CO2 Roboeconomy
At least I was a student in the 1990’s China has been preparing for war with the US. Back then I read an article by Colin Powell in a monthly magazine on international diplomacy. He related that war with the US is all the Chinese worry about at their military academies. I guess back then it made a little sense, as the US had not yet opened the fossil fuel floodgates.
This is all well and good, and you might get caught in a fear driven narrowing of your awareness and become paranoid. No doubt there is good reason and China is certainly not coy about stealing from any country (for example when it comes to fishing in foreign waters). But lets review the sense and sensibility of actual war with the US.
Ironically in the 80’s China was less dependent on foreign inputs than today, although it was considered underdeveloped. Its population lived happily in their rural areas. Then the US helped move production to China, reduced the cost of saudi oil for China, basically allowed it to grow into its modern form. Power wrote in 1990’s that China would have to sustain growth to remain internally stabile. Growth requires resources like oil, gas, coal. In short relevant for the below is that without the US China would not be in such a precarious position today, or maybe I overestimate the influence of the US.
Why go to war?
There aren’t many reasons to go to war really. Before you start killing your own friends and family, ruining/halting the economy, diverting resources to devices like bombs who’s only purpose is to destroy themselves and humans, there really has to be a serious reason or someone must have become seriously crazy.
I guess if some country started slaughtering chinese people then there would be good reason for it to take action. This used to be much more logical than today. In a country like China where the relationship with government is tennuous at best, the Chinese are trying hard to obey the rules and be disciplined and work hard. During the Covid outbreak you could hear pleas of people who where welded into their highrises (some of which caught fire) about how they where really trying but couldn’t stand it no more. Does the Chinese state care about its citizens? Frankly I doubt it. Not enough to go to war over.
2. Resource shortages
Does the world have vital resources China needs? That questio is relative to the level of ‘growth’ China wants to sustain. It needs coal, it has a relationship with Australia which provides it. The warmongers in the US want to cut into this relationship. With who would China go to war over its coal? Not with the US, that would mean mutual anihilation. Not with Australia it has no power.
China depends on grain imports, but mainly for its meat industry. It has had disruption of that in recent years. China would never be dependent on a country it can not raid for its staple food security. It has a good relationship with Russia, a major grain producer. It would not have to go to war with Russia to get it, it has already bought futures of russian gas in return for replacement of western imports (which may indirectly also have come from China)
3. Ideological differences
Ideological differences where the reason for distance between the US, the west and China for a long time. China has since been invaded by US banks, has been put on a path of economistic growth, which has meant a lot of idiotic projects and entire half finished cities and never inhabited highrises, just like in the rest of the fossil/credit corrupted world. Its no longer communism. Xi has let this happen or it may not be reported to him. As people are now monitored and punished for unique thoughts with financial house arrest it is unlikely China can develop an ideology and export it. Its not the mentality. China does seem to hate muslims and try to drive them out (Uygurs). It did the same with Falung Gong. Any source of mental strength other than the state is not appreciated. Will it go to war for that?
4. Global power dynamics
Here we’re moving into the part where its ego against ego, and also where its about containment of ability. It may be that the basic nature of humans is fight for what they need, but also for what they want. This can include the subjugation of Taiwan by China, which is an important source of semiconductors for the US, as well as a territory dominated by its banks, you could say ‘globalism’ is the rule over society by international banks driving Economism, also wrongly titled Capitalism.
The goal of Economism is to defend and expand the power of banks, which is done by their control over resources and the tokens they are traded in (money). Of course many people are ‘fighting’ for their lifestyle in this system, which ultimately means some people are ready to kill for it or get others to do it. It is not difficult to recruit anyone if you have money. Its also not difficult to get powerfull weapons or mainting a believable military. In short armies are big economistic business, and they have the means to stay in business.
War means only cashflow for weapons. That gradually turns more desperate until the war ends. This is hardly the life banks want, which is why they have been signalling Putin to stop the nonsense from the start.
5. Personal idiosyncracies
You can say that the war in Ukraine that is now pulling on Russia’s table cloth (and that of other parts of the world) was born out of the isolation of Putin, his general management approach which is very hands off, and his mind being marinated with images of old russia grandeur by a philosopher friend (Alexander Dugin).
Some say that Xi in China has scared the pants off of anyone that wants to go against him, so he, like Putin is in a personal bubble and may develop ideas that are as ‘unsound’. as Putin’s. In the US we have the quite moronic Neocons who have taken over foreign affairs (Blinken).
It is always madness that starts wars, whether it is based on caring for others, caring about survival or caring for some idea. All normal behavior is cast aside and the planning of murder on a massive scale commences, because whoever is the target has fallen of the moral chessboard.
It is often only when you eliminate the lunatic at the center that conflicts stop, because normal people need a reason to do things, it has to make some sense in other ways than being a means to prevent court martial or a road to higher social/economic status.
Even in Iran it is clear there’s a class of insane religious leaders that have indoctrinated enough young men to do their bidding. Hitler took a page out of that book too, he empowered young men to raid the homes of the intelligentia. What do young men want more than being able to vent their aggression? In Iran they are the fashion police, while the older guard takes care of the slow process of hanging and obcene torture in prison. Insanity. Not healty.
The most sane country in the weak alliance with no purpose of China/Russia/Iran/Belarus and possibly african states like Niger are Belarus (and Niger). Belarus can not be captured by Russia, it has not sacrificed its men in the war with Ukraine. It has tried to walk a fine line because apparently either Lukashenko cares about his people, sees no benefit in the chaos or war, or he is as eager to see Russia sink in internal conflict (as do the other former Soviet satellites). He seems to have Putin’s ear and be able to create this dasha fireplace atmosphere which allows him to prevent Putin from killing Prigozhin. Putin likes loyalty but right now there is no commanding anyone. Prigozhin and Lukashenko seem to have left the Ukraine battlefield predending to threaten Poland. They are smoking sigarets behind the barn.
If you took the situation seriously for a minute, so Belarus and Wagner invading Poland and NATO responding and a full scale thermonuclear war resulting you quickly discover that none of the parties except perhaps Putin would want that. Even a small nuclear war throws our planet in darkness for decades caused by dust blown into the stratosphere, darkness very few would survive. It really is suicide to trigger such a war. It always was, so it never was a problem. Donald Rhumsfeld who invented the cold war (“Russia has secret weapons! What weapons? They are secret!”) knew it, but it was good business for M&M enterprises. A nuclear world war can only happen by unfortunate accident. It would not even help with climate change and global warming, it would just be the final crescendo before humans went extinct.
To me the idea we will have to keep fighting for our resources seems nonsensical. We know so much about our planet from satellites and we can analyse possible futures and threats so wel, if we take the time to set up the systems, that we can probably predict exactly what the challenges and potentials are of each region. All the individual minds that distort this understanding at the moment will be gradually phased out, and we already have systems of minds (UN) that see sense where legacy minds (like Putin) fail to. NATO is a peace alliance, which is now bleeding Russia dry. If this succeeds it leaves only China and the US to contest resources. Are they going to? Why really? Is there anything in the USA the Chinese need?
I believe that if Russia is defeated there will be no more wars. What will happen is that China and the US/Europe come to agreements to help each other generate wealth and combat climate change (which will be devastating in the best case scenario). The challenge of increasing the slim odds humanity survives the next 400 years is big enough. Small wars or skirmishes may happen. A conflict is a good way to control aggressive groups of people while effectively reducing their number. The main reason for a belligerent attitude is not understanding the potential of renewables and not understanding the challenges of climate change. NATO and the UN do understand these at least a bit better.
So China can back Belarus and Iran, but realy it must have quite nuanced thoughts about the level of support they will give. Russia same story. If it moves towards peace, good. Is China going to back an invasion into NATO countries? It really can’t afford to. Does it want a world war? Nope. It seems the world is waiting for Putin to announce a new era of peace and cooperation, hopefully for him not with his last breath.
(full disclosure : I din’t think Putin was serious about invading Ukraine so I might be wrong)
AI compute is increasing in efficiency and speed at breakneck speed. Nvidia just announced its ‘Grace Hopper’ GPU hartdware and its going to make it cheaper for industry to analyse and run ‘inference’ (AI speak for think) about what it is trained to understand. That can be anything from controlling robots, analysing visual data, your personal profile, talking to you in your own (cloned) voice etc. etc.
You will not realize AI is applied in your life, mainly to make you spend money, to homogenize your behavior, to addict you to movies and products, to make you ignore climate change etc. etc. Virtual reality is already becoming so appealing its addictive just like internet.
The question is : Is this all fair to you, the citizen. What if the entertainment provided to you to suggest purchases to you (which is all commercial content atm) is also influencing your political affiliation and making you vote for people that do not care for you. Britanny Kaiser wrote a nice book called “Targeted” about this happening during the Trump presidential campaign and Brexit vote with abused facebook data. This is not an imaginary threat but a very real one.
The window of one voice being able to educate people or point out facts may be closing, as its way easier to inject ideas into someone’s social media stream in the most attractive way possible than for any individual to get the attention and appeal to someone
Are we aware of this in our political system. Do political parties want to live in a world where citizens suddenly change opinions and nobody understands why? Where you get personal looking treatement that seduces you because the seller has access to personalized analysis of you, and you are not aware this is the case? How can you make any straight progress or any change from an individual preference perspective against an economy that is weaponized so strongly against you?
There need to be laws that limit this or AI weaponized companies will rob you blind, if not the big ones with an image, then the smaller more desperate ones in time. AI and virtual reality applied to profit generation will be like hypnotizing locusts. You have one chance to defend yourself, next election you will be made to forget about it.
Overheard conversation :
Big Oil : “So with this AI you can basically profile people based on their shopping habits and netflix preferences, and push them further into their consumption niche?”
AI Expert : “Yes, well you can only do and learn so much and the more you are online the better we can predict the effects”
Big Oil : “Ok, can you make sure they don’t care about the world burning and want to fly and shop as much as they can”
AI Expert : “Sure can!”
Big Oil : “And I guess making them vote for our candidate is also easy” AI Expert : “Haha, good joke!”
Big Oil : “Just testing, of course there is no candidate not on our payrole.”
AI Expert : “But seriously with enough personalized messages and algorithm tweaks everybody will be happy in their own bubble and hate or fear the rest of the world”
Big Oil : “Hmm.. so we can worry even less about our image”
AI Expert : “Frankly people will ignore you, they will be too distracted and amused”
Big Oil : “And a computer does this for us, it sounds too easy”
Check the bottom of this page for the CCC challenge details.
The world needs to work on solving the immens amount of CO2 and Methane currently being dumped in the atmosphere. One way is to organize a challenge. We have the X-Prize and other competitions, and they are good. I haven’t yet seen any tangible results from them, and one reason may be that all billionairs are caught in a web of trade and finance that of course makes them dependent on cooperation from people that do not think about the future. Everyone has an excuse.
We are seeing interesting developments in solar power (more like final release of existing solutions) and carbon capture and conversion, for example using H2 and CO2 to make long chain hydrocarbons (jet fuel). This may reduce waste of CO2 (as a concentrated raw material) and help skim some from our atmosphere (which isn’t easy) but whatever you do at the moment, the system is set up (by banks) such that it drives more emissions. CDR credits drive emissions, generated fuel will be burned. Biomass conversion will be burned, generation of H2 effectively wastes 70% of the renewable energy so it too drives emissions, if it is not made from fossil fuels in the first place.
The economy likes to burn sequestered carbon
So there needs to be a clear tweak tot he system to do real carbon capture and sequestration. The way it is proposed now avoids the need for it, the thing is to pump CO2 into the ground. CO2 is not a valuable commodity so the banks don’t see a way this reduces cashflow so this is allowed, also because it can help extract more oil (this is how CO2 pumping is already used), and buy time to sell more fossil fuels. So the economy is NOT interested in that store of CO2.
If you synthesize hydrocarbons, jet fuel than for 100% sure the economy IS interested in that resource. It will be claimed to be a crime against humanity not to use ‘carbon neutral’ fuels, and there’s a point to that. It is a great way to develop the technology as well, because air travel is a major way to generate cashflow with fossil fuels. Generating cashflow is the only thing banks and thus our economy cares about. Really. The only fucking thing.
Extra economic, self sustaining solutions
So while industry is building capacity to generate jetfuel for airtravel, it will be hoarding resources and not reduce CO2 emissions. It will make the installations for generation of jetfuel cheaper. Now the tweak we need to accomplish is to use those installations or installations like them in an Extra-economic fashion. This means outside the control of banks or the economy, away from people that try to exploit the resource created. Making it too energy intensive (what ‘expensive’ means) compared to alternatives to get too, or too deadly.
Extraeconomic activities, those that do not mix with the wider economy, are not necessarily dangerous, the solar panels on your roof are extraeconomic. You installed them, and you sell your power to the grid, but you don’t really have too, and banks do not see cashflow from the energy you generate with them. You own them and nobody is messing with that. You can have extraeconomic homes, streets, cities, regions when it comes to renewables, and you will find you will have to protect them against banks who want you to be dependent and who want to profit of your effort. With carbon capture this can not be the case, banks will force you to sell whatever fuel or other material you create.
So to drive invention and a modular scalable solution I would think we need a kind of colum, which at the top can receive solar energy, and at the bottom dumps carbon in some form, maybe pure carbon soot, maybe jet fuel. It has to have a resonable size, so let’s say 20 foot high and 8 feet by 8 feet (or the size of a shipping container put upright). This gives it about 5 kwP of insolation at the top. It can also have organic matter growing in it, but the point is the sun is on top, the carbon leaves at the bottom, the thing can be lifted up, so in a landscape tiled with these colums a huge layer of carbon grows underneath while the CC Columns rise. This is a lot like the peat forests or swamps of the past, where organic matter constantly added more carbon refuse to the bottom of the swamp or forest floor.
The CCC is a 20 foot container volume, either flat or vertical, to be tiled on a flat surface. It does not have to include the container, its just a volume and it may help with logistics. Whoever can design a system in that volume that can capture and sequester CO2 at the lowest resource and practical scale up cost per container wins. Total supply chain analysis and operation manual must be provided for scale up.
The winner of the design context can now win 5000,-
The deadline for the design is november 1st 2023
Every participant will compare their solution to two other entries on relevant metrics to create an overall ranking.
If you or your group wants to participate please email email@example.com as early as possible.
The physics community is trying to reconcile Einstein’s relativity theory and quantum mechanical reality. It doesn’t seem to work for gravity for some reason. When a particle like an electron travels through space-time and through a double slit (where it actually looks like it passes through both until we measure it) it is said we can’t say anything about the gravity effects on the electron because ‘gravity is not a quantum theory’. It seems the basic meaning of that is that we have not quantized gravity or found a way to prove gravity is quantized.
I believe we should not consider an electron as traveling through spacetime unless we view it as a distrubance in it, it is not a thing apart from spacetime. The easiest analogy is sound, which is vibrating air, yet we can almost observe it like an object traveling. Vortexes in air and water can travel a long way and transfer their energy over relatively long distances. The trick is that a moving piece of spacetime can separate from the rest, like a moving volume of air and water can too.
I believe that of electrons are vortexes in spacetime, then photons are compression of space time. The reason for that is that every time too much energy ends up trying to disturb a volume of space time that is too small, spacetime starts ejecting photons. It gets compressed and this compression propagates as it tries to uncompress. Intil it hits a patch of spacetime where it can dump its ‘energy’ having been caught in an electromagnetic cage in the mean time. Everything radiates, so spacetime is being moved to other places all the time, in the mean time it does not take up space nor time.
One of the things that amazes me is that if everything is quantized, then why don’t we see the effects of it when we observe the stars. I mean why doesn’t it look like there’s pixels, like an image without anti-aliasing. Do you mean to tell me that light can travel billions of lightyears and never have to adjust to fit a grid of any kind? It seems that way. Spacetime thus can’t be quantized if it is a substrate along which light travels. Yet it is or there would be no limit to the speed of light. The trick is that light has to abide by spacetime’s ‘conduction’ speed and thus it actually creates it. You can understand that if light could travel everywhere instantly there would only be one place for it to go, it would not seem to be spread out and varied etc. There would be no space.
But what if we live in a pixelated space time, would we be able to notice it. If light actually did occupy very fine pixels in our field of view, we would see a slight difference in say the starry night sky by moving a slight distance, but it would be a noticable shift. What if we moved a camera sideways and we’d see stars jumping from one place to another? We don’t, but could we if spacetime was indeed quantized. I don’t think so.
We learn that light travels as a wave. If it comes across a double slit it forms two wave fronts that can interfere. Maybe that is where we can get our answer. At every point in spacetime through which a light wave travels, it emanates a wave front that carries its photon (spacetime) packet forward. If spacetime is pixelated this will be anti-aliassed at every point in spacetime and appear smooth.
The wave properties always smooth out the direction of travel, effectively distributing it and then forcing the energy to progress along the straightest path (unless spacetime is stretched or compressed). Only if we gather enough photons from a certain direction we discover they have the structure of the original planet (a type of heavenly body with constant structure). All the wavefronts can cancel and recombine and basically error correct. But could we prove or disprove whether the light passed though a pixilated screen or medium for example? Not if that screen did not itself take up space (so block light).
I think because photons emerge in spacetime and travel through it you can say it is quantized. The quantum is spacetime compression. More energetic radiation has a higher frequency, and thus more compressed space traveling on it. It is very much like sound, where a total compression of molecules (consuming all energy that gives them their average distance), travels through it until it dissipates (which doesn’t happen with spacetime). Does a high frequency tone at maximum volume allowed by the medium carry more energy? I would say yes. Could it carry more energy? Only if you increase the frequency.
For that reason then also gravity is quantized, but the distributed nature of wave fronts causes all particles we can observe to be anti-aliassed in it as they exist as various convolutions of spacetime. If too much spacetime is ‘tied up’ like that it gets streched, and this causes passing other spacetime ‘knots’ to move into it based on probability. Hence gravity. Its like a sieve with gradually bigger holes on one side. More stuff will pass through that part as you use it.
Quantum mechanics describes the dynamics of the convolutions of spacetime, which can be extemely varied. Spacetime itself I imagine is like an ever evolving graph where nodes appear and disappear due to their desire to appear against a ‘pressure’ of many existing nodes. The ‘spooky action at a distance’ or entanglement wich could have long distance effects at speeds higher than lightspeed can come about because in the creation of the entangled convolutions some edges remain intact. Once one of the two is tested (destroyed) the lost edges allow the other to become the opposite type, as they where created as opposites to begin with but had not been forced to decide. This however could also all be a misinterpretation of observations.
(The problem with wormholes, a concept alluded to above, is that there’s so much internal pressure in the spacetime graph and I don’t yet understand how vertexes connect or find each other. The way to neutralize the forces may be to spin fast, to have homgeneous direction, like laminar flow. We know theres less pressure if water flows faster, because the water molecules are moving sideways less. So total separation of parts of spacetime may be possible, but one would think against massive resistance of the same.)
One can wonder if the ‘stretch’ and ‘compression’ of spacetime is quantized. The problem is that you never get to any fundamental thing unless you become very abstract about it. In short if you imagine a point that wants to split in two points you can have the basis of space time. The splitting creates both space and time. I wrote about this idea before. The ‘desire’ to split and then be two or more space time ‘balls’ or ‘particles’ which can form a medium for waves to propagate through is what drives the expansion of our universe. There is enormous outward pressure from spacetime, but it can be ‘misdirected’ into convolutions that constitute mass and particles which are stabile for a certain period of time. It seems then the exact number of vertexes is quantized, and spacetime’s total volume is, as is its energy potential.
Gravity however may not seem quantized because its effect is a phenomenon in a vast ocean of these edges and vertexes and on top of that smoothed out by all the particles propagating as waves.
The need to bot sequester Carbon and reduce CO2 and transition to clean fuels or no fuels at all (electrify) is more urgent than ever. Luckily some breakthroughs will make it easier to do so, specifically the new option to use cathalysts to convert CO2 and H2 into long chain hydrocarbons.
An alloy is developed for the direct CO2 hydrogenation to jet-fuel-range hydrocarbons
Now to me the best bet to reduce CO2 in the atmosphere is to build floating solar farms that do this conversion with available water and CO2 on a massive scale. You can also of course do it in the dry african regions close to the ocean for water availability. This effort could power and pay for itself as it generates fuels for airplanes.
Part of the fuel however will have to be left unused, so it can not be integrated in the economy, it has to be ‘extraeconomic’. This to me has quite a large chance of succes. The fuel can be converted to plastics and/or pumped into the ground or made inaccesible in other ways.
Its only a matter of building the first solar/chemical plants needed. Maybe in Tunesia, Morocco or Lybia?
Apologies for the pretentious title, I think someone should write an educated piece about it. As a student of AI I learned about complex systems, about metastabile equilibria and choatic bifurcations, even in simple predator pray population models. I can imagine a similar thing being the case with weaponizeation of society.
Our society is being weaponized, it has been sold firearms and knives for decades now, unrelenting, resulting in school shootings and mall massacres. Now we have the trend of UFC wannabees, who try to mimic the best tactics, techniques and strategies to eliminate an opponent as fast as possible. In my neigborhood I see people showing each other moves, as if there’s a constructive, useful aspect to fistfights.
Now the problem is proliferation. It means the chance of a circumstance in which violence can escalate and in which it is easy to become violent, increases. So if you compare countries, USA vs Holland. In the USA if a dumb idiot carries a firearm and gets angry, he might use it and easily kill someone. In Holland if you get angry you won’t be open carrying a firearm and we can’t get dangerous knives. So you will have to fight, this is a lot more work.
I can imagine a map of a city, where the areas that invoke fear are heatmapped, which means people going there may be armed to begin with. Then the average firearm posession, the poverty level (major cause of criminality) and drug use. From that you will be able to predict the crimes that occur, the incidence of gun violence (I am totally ignoring domestic violence, drug violence)
With knives its possibly worse. Apparently some african immigrants are so used to knives it is the first thing they do when they feel threatened, pull out their knife. It used to be the same in Italy, every man with balls had a Stiletto or a flip knife. Knife fights are very dangerous, so many where killed in their adolescence. There too the nr. of fights and deaths must have been a function of the nr. of knives.
If you pile up the weapons eventually they will start killing people. Guns are like a contagous disease that kills the host (especially in war). It seems people who drive this increase in weapons and weaponization know this and want this. It seems sane people have to somehow reverse this trend.
The planet seems to be warming faster. Some attribute it to massive amounts of water blown into the stratosphere by a 2022 vulcanic eruption. Others see it simply as a result of the rapidly increasing methane concentration in the atmosphere. Meanwhile its impossible to stop airtraffic because all the governments are too corrupt to limit it (although it is discouraged indirectly because its hard to find people that want to work in an airport due to the health hazard).
As airlines are not stopping any time soon, maybe we should add sulfurdioxide to kerosine so that the reflective particles can be spread while the planes are flying. They already cause cooling because of the condensation trails they leave in their wake. Another advantage could be to provide nucleation points for rain. In some cases that may be a good thing, to avoid accumulation of to much moiture in the atmosphere.
It is important to cool the atmosphere simply because life can’t stand too much heat. As long as we can grow crops and eat we can work on solutions (at least the tiny nr of people that manage to escape bank domination). Heat that is absorbed by Earth’s oceans my stay ther for quite some time. There needs to be at least attempts to prevent rapid warming because we will not recover from it. We have once chance, one opportunity and we can’t keep circling around because someone sees a risk forever.
Full disclosure, I am a man. I took a female friend to Barbie, and did so under comical protest. I had no expectations because I had not really thought about it much. The movie did not leave me with much thought, but still there are some things to say as I now see anti-feminist/feminist/whateverist comments..
It seems the movie tried to do several things. Its seemed to want to address young women/girls who like Barbie, but also the middle aged women they have become. It seems to try to say something about female and male chauvinism, and all that in a kind of absurdist reality. This style reminded me of the Luxury Comedy few people outside the UK will know (see below)..
In the end it turned into a morality play, where the main character (Barbie) expresses she wants to create meaning, not consume it. Nice ambition, a kind of ‘grow up and take responsibility’ choice, but then she goes looking for a job, which may lead you to do super irresponsible things (in terms of planetary health an human existential security). Going from consumer to producer of consumer society is not progress.
The way modern movies work is they get massively promoted, its incredible how basically the world was marinated in a false choice between Oppenheimer and Barbie, or this shows how absorbed those that went to the movie theater are in (social) media. FOMO does the rest. Once you are in the theater you hope for a profound message so you leave not feeling you wasted your time. With Oppenheimer the complete message was a bit of a slog to absorb, with Barbie its a cacophony.
Now if you try to put together the pieces handed to you it doesn’t make much sense. Barbie goes through a repetitive life and enjoys it until she starts to deviate from other Barbies with thoughs about (among other things) death. This is because her owner started playing with her Barbie doll again and is depressed about life. There’s no real analogy with life there. The woman is feeling melancholic, but if Barbie symbolizes the young naieve girl with ambitions the negative thoughts do not enter her mind, that only happens when a young girl is traumatized, a parent or sibling dies, or some calamity happens.
You could say the older women tries to view her life from her Barbie perspective and is in the end encouraged to recognize the inevitability and/or honour of taking responsibility even if it it means growing old. The lesson is that her perspective and reason for melancholy was a mistake, that she evolved and was trying to hide in ‘Barbie mind’ and finally chooses to face the music. The role of Mattel (also in reality) has been to create a bubble she could exist in that had no negative aspects, and Mattel in the movie also tries to put Barbie back in the bubble to fix what the older self was teaching Barbie about reality.
In the above sense you could see Barbie as a “positive trauma” she had to neutralize.
Another story line is the discovery of Ken that men can dominate a society, because in Barbie land Kens are muscular furniture (not sure what Alan is). It shows the absurditiy of women fixating on female preferences and men on male preferences. It is a comment on the absurdity of sexually segregated society, a society the economy loves (because segregated people spend more) and which Mattel’s Barbie helped create. Of course there’s songs men can play that women like, and things women do that men like.
The unmentioned aspect of the entire movie is the way gender roles and gender behaviour are barely meaningfull in todays (westernized) society. The potential for men to do heavy lifting and their interest in adventure barely has any meaning. All existential needs are financialized, you are born without land or permission to freely roam (like people did until a few centuries ago), in return for fear of death and a lot of trinkets. In the ‘real’ life Barbie and Ken can work for money to finance their chauvinistic persuits. There used to be a time when this was a rare exception after you did usefull things most of the time. Life was more of a Smörgåsbord of challenges, many where about getting to where we are now.
The movie doesn’t fix the absence of real meaning in modern life. It stays within the confines of being accepted as worker in the economy. The highrise is more of a temple where magic happens that materializes as digits in your bank account which you can then trade for a lifestyle of your choice. Todays Andrew Tate and many influences hold up an example of enjoying such hyper consumer lifestyle, the point of which is really to keep you wanting to work in those highrises.
So in conclusion the movie fixes nothing, it has nothing to teach us, just that we have to face the music sometime in life, and Barbie fantasies can make it harder. Not the real music, not your ability to control your existence beyond money. Nobody wants you to try to do that. The level of cooperation between men and women needed for that would evaporate all chauvinism, and probably lead to real appreciation. But where’s the profit in that?!
The above video is worth a watch, Al Gore rallies against the blatant pretence of oil companies to do something while bying the whole COP process and being total jerks about the fate of our planet. He shows one slide where he is angry that oil companies spend very little on carbon capture and storage, but instead give all their profits to shareholders.
To talk about it this way is the way oil companies want you to talk about it, because it hides the truth about money. It pretends that money is a thing separated from fossil fuels. It is not. This has been a point I have tried to make for 10 years now. Money is fossil fuel credit. This dictates how oil companies use money.
To understand this we need to imagine for a moment there is only one single oil company in the world. It sells oil for money. Let’s start there. Then it has to get new oil form its wells to the buyer. It takes the money and does what? Drill for oil. That requires energy. The company can pay the workers with the money, but what do they do? They go to the company gas station and buy gasoline, the money is back with the oil company. When it comes to moving the oil on trucks and ships, that requires oil, not money. The oil company can give money to the tanker which then needs to fuel up to move it, but that fuel comes from the oil company so it gets its money back again!
I hope you understand where I am going with this. You can extend this reasoning to all the users of the oil in the economy that this single oil company serves. All pay for oil with money, and all that money the oil company can not spend because it will come back again, only now there’s less oil to sell. The job of the oil company is thus to lock up the money. They do that in stock value, in dividents. Because those are not really spend. The whole investment world is meant to disappear money so it doesn’t try to buy oil.
You can probably find an answer to how much money that is invested in companies and funds etc. is eventually cashed out to buy real products and services. From the trillions on our planet its not a lot. Say its 5%. At the same time inflation eats at the amount of oil you can buy per $ and of course banks expand and contract the amount of $ in circulation.
Oil companies and banks cooperate to make sure the oil is not depleted too fast, the value of money doesn’t vary to much (banks care about inflation) but money does devalue (to release pressure of loans and destroy savings) and Al Gore does not realize this is what is happening.
He does not realize that if we invest in renewables (like the Trillion he talks about) that this money will have to be able to buy energy, still mainly fossil energy, and oil companies and banks have to agree. So the Shell CEO who says ‘I will produce oil until it runs out’ is not so much the problem, the problem is banks providing people with money so they keep buying that oil. Those banks also have to exist, and surprise, they exist for the largest part because they handle fossil fuel cashflow.
The hard, to near impossible thing to do, is to get control over the resources (raw materials, iron, wood, plastic, electronics) to build renewable energy sources. This is hard because banks want to give those (through loans, pricing, market manipulation, economistic lying) to companies that do not try to make them redundant.
To explain the redundant point : Say a company stamps aluminum for cars, it uses a lot of energy, that is bought from a power plant (maybe build for that purpose), and banks handle that cashflow. Banks live of that cashflow, lets assume its enough. Now if that company buys a row of wind turbines to provide it with energy, that cashflow from energy purchases from the power plant dry up. The bank loses a significant reason for its existence.
You can expand this small world example to the real world, banks are handling energy cashflows everywhere. Every product you buy the money you pay goes for a large part to the energy used to make it. If it is not logistics, heating lighting the store, the machine that made it, that melted the steel or stamped the plastic, its to the mine that mined the iron, the foundry that melted the raw ore into steel, the ship that took it to the factory or the oil that was needed to make the plastic. Etc etc. Banks depend on you driving energy expenses. Renewables at every stage of the productive chain will bleed banks from vital money and control over the system.
This is why I advocate the roboeconomy and why the main priority is to increase the amount of renewable energy sources. Granted this is going faster and faster, because not all banks are aligned and they at present can still come up with debt loaded financial constructions (so that they see cashflow from the use of renewables). That is why they push the grid, to make sure there is energy trade which banks can then be part of.
This story is however only told by me at the moment, I wish All Gore did it too. Why he doesn’t, why he keeps acting surprised about what banks and oil companies do, why he keeps acting as if we live in an organized society where people have to conform to the situation while its clear companies and entire industries don’t give a damn about any law, is a mystery to me.