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I don't understand war.

by pergradus
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mheslep
#37
Nov26-11, 03:25 PM
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Quote Quote by Pythagorean View Post
We have a researcher here, David Newman, that looks at the US power grid as a complex system (he worked on the monumental east coast power failure) and that's essentially the problem. Too many nodes in the current power distribution scheme.
Is that the same David Newman who made a career out of Y2K "dire consequences" at Columbia?
http://www.summitconnects.com/Summit...ts/VOLUME3.HTM
Pythagorean
#38
Nov27-11, 12:03 AM
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Quote Quote by mheslep View Post
Is that the same David Newman who made a career out of Y2K "dire consequences" at Columbia?
http://www.summitconnects.com/Summit...ts/VOLUME3.HTM
Definitely not
LaurieAG
#39
Nov27-11, 01:38 AM
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Quote Quote by mheslep View Post
Can you imagine a stock market crash that would "take out civilization"? Really? Does this mean you equate economic depressions with the end of civilization, an actual return to barbarism?
If banning the more toxic aspects of derivatives and severely regulating what's left to return market stability is an actual return to barbarism then most people would be all for it. The problem is equating the era of unregulated derivatives to some sort of civilisation, maybe a new way of life for those who benefit but it is immoral that the rest of us barbarians cannot share in the benefits of this new civilisation even though we pay for it.
PatrickPowers
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Nov27-11, 06:46 AM
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Quote Quote by pergradus View Post
I was just reading about Remembrance day on Wiki and saw the figure that nearly 90 million people were killed in WWII and WWI... and I just can't understand how such things are possible.

How is it that people are tricked into throwing their lives away, or slaughtering their fellow man for the sake of some politician's political goals? That's what all war comes down to, money and politics, and I don't understand why people are so eager to die and kill so some guy in a suit in the capitol can profit from it all...

There must be something fundamental about the human psyche that draws men to battle, and somewhere along the lines they go from normal people to monsters. Can someone explain?

Sure.

For a long time war was the best way to get rich quick. Make weapons, learn how to use them. March in, steal everything you can, then threaten to do it again unless they pay you every year. As recently as 1810 or so the French government was funded largely by loot and tribute. Nations were on the gold standard, so if you conquered a country you forced them to give you all of their gold. The political things were usually thin excuses. People generally went to war to get rich.

There were exceptions. World War I happened for no particular reason other than tradition and resentments left over from previous wars. Everyone thought that it was inevitable, so it was.

This continued until modern weapons made war too expensive, ending with nuclear weapons. Then you had wars of national liberation, fortunately not too bad because WWII caused colonialism to collapse without too much bloodshed. But of course colonialism was all about money too. Once the AK47 became common colonialism wasn't profitable anymore. The people were able to defend themselves.

We are left with wars over territory, such as Israel, Somalia, and Rwanda. Then there was Afghanistan which was a rare political war, and Iraq which was for control of the oil supply. Then the Iran/Iraq war, which I don't understand.

When ants go to war its about territory, so it is basically economic. They need the territory to gather food.
PatrickPowers
#41
Nov27-11, 06:52 AM
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Quote Quote by jackmell View Post
Yes. It's biology: survival of the fittest. That is our inheritence. Strip all the politics, all the social values, mores, laws, customs, religion from man and you're left with raw Darwinism that very much still controls his behavior and is always seething right below the surface of social conformity, ready in a instant to erupt and exude violence in an effort to protect his genes for promulgation to the next generation.

You have been misinformed into thinking man is some holy creature above the animals. This is wrong. He is very much still an animal and bound to the same laws of Natural Selection. So when he is confronted by a challenge, a disagreement, a threat to his survival or reproductive success, his Darwinist inheritance will compell him to fight if he is capable of doing so.

Thank goodness someone is mining the store by willing to fight to the death and by doing so impart strong, healthy and favorable traits to the gene pool.

And I can't imagine any real Biologist in this forum disagreeing with me.
I have a degree in biology and say that cooperation is generally the superior strategy.

I haven't even seen a fist fight for the last thirty years, so your view of reality seems melodramatic and unrealistic.
mheslep
#42
Nov27-11, 11:08 AM
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These homicide rates below include times of war.

Figure 2: Long-term homicide rates per 100,000 population in Scandinavia and England, North and South. Calculated from Manuel Eisner, "Modernization, Self-Control and Lethal Violence: The Long-Term Dynamics of European Homicide Rates in Theoretical Perspective," British Journal of Criminology 41 (2001): 618–638.


http://www.historycooperative.org/jo...monkkonen.html


Here are war deaths alone from the 1940's.
Ryan_m_b
#43
Nov27-11, 11:13 AM
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Quote Quote by mheslep View Post
Can you imagine a stock market crash that would "take out civilization"? Really? Does this mean you equate economic depressions with the end of civilization, an actual return to barbarism?
No and I don't think I did. Rather, if a significantly sized critical node was disrupted there would be huge knock on effects in the world economy, this becomes highly dangerous when it causes a perfect storm of disasters. Like if the worldwide food distribution system was disrupted, unemployment soars in most countries and so on. What you get is widespread civil disturbance as well as famine, infrastructure damage and a nightmare of a mess to sort out before you start climbing back towards a prosperous society again.
mheslep
#44
Nov27-11, 12:36 PM
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Quote Quote by Ryan_m_b View Post
... if a significantly sized critical node was disrupted there would be huge knock on effects in the world economy, this becomes highly dangerous when it causes a perfect storm of disasters. Like if the worldwide food distribution system was disrupted, unemployment soars in most countries and so on. What you get is widespread civil disturbance as well as famine, infrastructure damage and a nightmare of a mess to sort out before you start climbing back towards a prosperous society again.
Ok, that's possible, but I don't see anything quantifying how "critical" a food supply node might be, nor how fragile are the backups or alternative paths. For instance, is there a single historical instance of famine caused by (edit: the failure of) worldwide food distribution?
Ryan_m_b
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Nov27-11, 12:51 PM
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Quote Quote by mheslep View Post
Ok, that's possible, but I don't see anything quantifying how "critical" a food supply node might be, nor how fragile are the backups or alternative paths. For instance, is there a single historical instance of famine caused by worldwide food distribution?
To flip that question on its head is there a significant period of history involving worldwide food distribution? Or a global economy? I'm not saying yes or no either way because I haven't done much research into it but a global economy is an unprecedented thing. It's difficult to model it on the basis of what has come before, even with global empires with immense trade the situation does not resemble that seen of today with so few entities representing significant avenues for revenue to flow through.
Pythagorean
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Nov27-11, 10:49 PM
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Alaska has built whole communities that rely on long-distance outside shipping. If flights freeze for just a week or two, some towns would have issues. A large majority of people in big cities don't know how to get food besides at a store, and those stores depend on shipping and transit. Shipping and transit depends on many circumstances (that's logistics!) that become even more apparent with weather in rural settings (many towns only have one bush plane delivery a week). Our grocery stores here were just finally enforced to expand their stores to ~6 weeks of supplies (was ~3 weeks before). And people who can afford to will start panicking and hording long before that 6 weeks is up, bringing the effective supply cache down for the average towny.

If petro stopped flowing in Alaska in the winter (the railroad tracks and the pipeline break at the same time) we would have a serious problem with heating most people's homes. We would have a long time to wait for people to drive or boat up oil from the lower 48. Think Canada would help us out?

Of course, I'm not talking about the fall of civilization, but this a lot of people suffering from growing dependent on a small number of nodes in a system. If you have a lot of redundant nodes backing each other up (like the internet) than you're very difficult to take down.


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