Why can't we be prepared for problems?

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Kurosaki

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Apr 6, 2019
I ask this question . Not to be a smartass or anything . Why can't we ever be prepared for problems ? It always comes with we never have enough. There's a shortage or something like that . Just once I'd like to turn on the news and hear we have everything we need to handle this. The healthcare workers and people who keep the country running are doing a excellent job and when this is over deserve a raise!



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Ted_MxM

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Nov 5, 2019
In America, the money system is built to funnel money upwards. The echelon that are the recipients don't need public services. Thus, the systems that support thre general public are underfunded. Kim K hiring firemen to protect just her home is a small example of a huge problem. No billionaires were stranded on their roofs for days after Katrina because levies weren't updated with taxpayer money.

It's basically the fundamental architecture of US economic theory, whether or not the ones running it will admit it.

Italy just started a basic income. They already have an utter collapse of civilization because of too big a distance between rich and poor in their history. Clutching pearls and wailing about Socialism killing anyone doesn't undo the fall of Rome. Taxes were too high, spending went mostly to the military (expanding didn't help the commoners), and the rich (of course) abandoned the cities taking slave labor with them, so everyone else could rot and wait for the barbarians. Today in oligarchies, it's fires, medicine, and PPE.
 

humon

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The first thing I should point out is that the problems your society is prepared for will rarely ever come to your attention. The problems you hear about are only the oopsie cases where something went wrong. You will never turn on the news and hear that everything's fine, because everything being fine is not newsworthy. That said, it's still a good question why the problems we have now were allowed to happen. Yes, China lied and people died, but why was anyone stupid enough to believe China in the first place? Why did the world allow China to appoint an Ethiopian revolutionary with no medical degree to the head of the WHO?

Ted is right about corruption. It's the Matthew principle: To those who have everything, more will be given; from those who have nothing, everything will be taken away. It plays out according to the Pareto principle: In anything you want to measure, you'll find that a square root of the subjects account for half of the thing you're measuring. For example, a square root of the population will own half the wealth (and a square root will also produce half the wealth, these two groups overlapping a lot but not being necessarily the same). The cause of this phenomenon seems to be game theory.

Life is a tug-of-war between two competing motivations: advancing your own personal interests, and advancing the interests of your group. When individuals compete, the selfish ones have a large advantage over the altruistic ones. But when groups compete, the groups that have a larger altruistic majority will demolish groups made up of mostly selfish people. This is the reason organized religions survive for thousands of years, and it's also the reason why empires and corrupt institutions collapse or are forced to reform when they become too decadent. It's the reason so many CEOs are psychopaths, and why so many politicians are lying sacks of shit: they were better at competing as individuals. When they become too numerous within their organization, it all crumbles, because by then people have stopped helping each other.

This is the basis of the metaphor of Sodom in the bible, where God wants to destroy it because everyone in there is selfish and wicked, and Abraham tries to find out how many good people it would take for the city to not be destroyed. The answer is of course ambiguous, but the point is that even a small minority of good people can save a selfish society from collapse if they act in the right way.

Many of the problems in the world are the result of centralization of power. The reason is that when you centralize power, you create a larger institution that is so much more difficult to manage, and also a bigger honeypot for the worst individuals in society to gravitate towards. In a small organization, people can watch each other carefully, and when a bad actor appears, they can quickly recognize that person and shut him out of the organization. You see this in small companies where the jerks tend to not last very long; they either get fired, or they quit and go somewhere else. But in a big corporation, the jerks get promoted, because all the official indicators show that he's doing a good job. Imagine then what happens in an organization that governs an entire country. And then imagine an organization that is meant to moderate the interaction between all of the countries of the world.

So in short, the advice I want to give to people everywhere is to resist the concentration of power wherever you see it happening, and to put more trust in smaller and more local organizations than you would put in larger and broader ones. Always pay attention to the problems that are developing in the world, because the signs are usually there for those who look (though they are easily lost among all the noise of our complex world). And never depend on a higher power structure like a government to protect you, except in the cases where you don't have the resources to protect yourself.
 
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One factor could be that there are many disaster scenarios that could affect the country in many ways. Besides the fact countries (the US is notorious but they're not the only one) mismanage their money and resources, I don't know how economically feasible it would be to be totally prepared such that if any of the scenarios occurred, that it would be handled in a totally ideal way. That's assuming everyone can agree what that ideal way is.

I believe organizations, as entities, take on the average characteristics of the people within them. Overall, human "flaws" are things like greed, aggression, high time preference, tribalism, and desire for power, so a government - regardless of the organization; monarchy, dictatorship, republic, etc. - is inevitably going to embody them to some extent, depending on the level of pathological malevolence present. The only way to get around human flaws in government is probably rule by pragmatic AI which has its own problems (ex. like robot cars deciding which types of pedestrians to run over, vs. a person acting fairly randomly), and I'm not looking forward to find out what those are.

It's a macrocosm of how, individually, most people are woefully unprepared for disasters because of their own imperfect natures. Why? Because that shit's expensive, not particularly fun, and if most people don't have the willpower to strictly purchase all their preparedness necessities before they spend a single penny on shit like intoxicants, entertainment, travel, takeout, makeup, cars, gambling, vacations, clothing, haircuts, boats, houses, surgery, sex, tattoos, children*, pets, guns, bags and shoes, gadgets, etc. why would anyone expect them to do better as a group just because they meet in a fancy building, wearing suits?

(*I'm not anti-children, but being honest, they typically don't put people in a better financial state)

If the government is inevitably incompetent in some capacity, why insist on giving them more control?

"Well Blahblah Republic has XYZ"

Ok, maybe they have XYZ but omnipresent human incompetence is making the Blahblah Republic fucked up in ABC. Who decides whether ABC or XYZ is more important when 49.9% of the people believe in one and 50.1% believe in the other? Surely there's a case to be made for both, so why not give individuals more control over their lives rather than centralizing the power and causing a tyranny of the majority? Ultimately, government opinions are just a glorified "someone's opinion".

tl;dr: people are fancy monkeys, and decentralization gives individuals more control over their lives, because fucking up your own life (as you will inevitably do in some way or another) is preferable to the government fucking up your life without your consent
 
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humon

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Jan 3, 2019
Location
Canada
I recently watched a series of videos with this guy, Shmuck Burger, where he pretty much says the same things I said, but in more detail and better articulated. I highly recommend. I'll start with part 4, which was uploaded recently, and is about the pandemic, and I'll link the other three parts beneath it.


Part 1

Part 2

Part 3, with a different guy, Wheal
 

Nailkaiser

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Jan 23, 2019
Not everyone can be a prepper, it takes a lot of time, resources and requires a very stable business since ultimately you will need to get out of major cities, or should I say going off the grid or at the very least go into small towns and communities where local authorities have very minimal to no presence.

Also you will need to be very knowledgeable and skillful when it comes to survival matter since you will inevitably need to learn what the system hide and did not taught you like learning to survive without using money and learning how to feed yourself with meals that did not came from grocery stores.
 

humon

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Jan 3, 2019
Location
Canada
Now Smuck Burger is on the Portal, and Eric's preface monologue is about exactly this topic of institutional preparedness undermined by corruption. Four minutes in and I am already giddy :D

 
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