I read The Techno-Optimist Manifesto so you don’t have to

There’s a growing realization I have, that one of the main effects that wealth and technology have is their ability to shield the mind from reality. Opulence is an insulator. More than anything, opulence makes you feel invulnerable. In Uganda, men prey for rain. They understand that they are tied to their environment and its well-being.

This doesn’t really exist in the modern world. You don’t feel tied to your region. I would encourage you to ask people, why they live where they live. Ask someone: Why do you live in Rotterdam? Why do you live in St. Louis? Why do you live in Maastricht? Why do you live in Memphis? You’ll receive answers like:

“Well because I want to study engineering”

“Because I work at an auto manufacturing plant”

“Because my parents moved here”

I can almost guarantee you there’s one thing nobody will say: Because there’s a river. And yet that’s probably why you live where you live. All the answers you will give come back to that point. Your grandfather moved to Chicago to work at a steel mill? Oh cool. So why is the steel mill there? BECAUSE THERE’S A MASSIVE RIVER LEADING TO NEW ORLEANS, ALLOWING YOU TO SHIP HEAVY GOODS ACROSS THE COUNTRY AT A FRACTION OF THE COST OF TRANSPORTING THEM BY ROAD OR RAIL.

And everything else you’re doing, only exists by the grace of these industries. You don’t work at the steel mill in Chicago, but at a university in Chicago? Well congratulations, you’re even further removed from actual physical reality, making you even more blind.

If you see the coal brought in by boat, or the finished product leave by boat, you might at least once in your entire life remember why you live where you live. But if your job consists of explaining to a bunch of 18 year olds why everything is racist, sexist and/or homophobic, you are permanently protected from understanding how you ended up there. Your entire reality is social, so you end up understanding nothing.

A lot of people have this back to the land fantasy. It’s easy to discover this, when you point out how harmful SUVs are. You’ll discover numerous Americans who insist they need one, to drive back and forth to their permaculture farm somewhere in bumfuck nowhere. In reality, we would be better off with people moving “back to the water” instead of “back to the land”.

I think it is this isolation from the reality of nature, that makes it so difficult for most people to accept that environmental problems are real problems. You can get people in Uganda to understand that climate change is a real problem. You can’t get most Western men to understand it, because technology serves to completely insulate them from reality. When things go wrong, there’s supposed to always be a technological solution for them. The scariest idea to them, is the idea that there are just certain limits you’ll need to respect.

Because billionaires in the United States tend to get rich by embracing technological progress, they tend to feel personally attacked by the idea that technological progress is running into hard limits and is increasingly unable to make life better for the majority of our population. It’s similar to trying to explain the energy problem that Bitcoin has, to someone who became rich through Bitcoin.

There are some billionaires who seem at least somewhat aware of this problem. Ted Turner is notorious for warning about the overpopulation problem. Bill Gates is pretty worried too. He realizes it’s going to take a long time, to solve the climate problem. Hence he wants to block the sun, which angers low IQ low status white males, who would prefer to die in their mobile homes when their air conditioning stops working.

But others are less worried. Others are worried, about our worries. That includes Marc Andreessen. So before I start off reviewing the manifesto he wrote, I want to point out how Andreessen became rich. Andreessen has worked for tech companies for a long time, but in 2009 he founded Andreessen Horowitz with his longtime business partner Ben Horowitz. He started out investing in various software companies.

These companies, as you may know, can reach ridiculous valuations. What Andreessen Horowitz do, is that they enter bubbles before they form. This is why they’re so enthusiastic about cryptocurrency. They invested in Ripple, in Coinbase, in cryptokitties, even in various obscure cryptocurrencies. The advantage this has is that they’re then rewarded with tokens, which they’re legally allowed to dump onto low status white males who fall for these swindles, as these are not securities.

This is basically the Andreessen Horowitz strategy: Ignite a forest fire and then sell it as a heat generating machine. High status white males like Andreessen set up businesses that sell shovels and then they wait for low status white males to go dig for gold. But this business is coming to an end, as low status white males are now stuck with credit card debt and have no money left to buy fake shovels and fake Internet gold from high status white males like Andreessen.

You know the situation is dire, because in the past when you used to point out that these are all scams, a low status white male would immediately appear from thin air, who would argue that every cryptocurrency is a scam, except for his own variety of fake internet money. These days you don’t even really see those types anymore.

So these dudes are in trouble. They don’t make money by funding things that people use. They make their money by investing in things before the dumb herd is able to invest in them. They don’t really care what they invest in, as long as the dumb herd shows up afterwards. But that dumb herd is running out of money.

I think this is some important context to the manifesto. You have a billionaire who moves onto increasingly more speculative ventures, pouring money into them in anticipation of the LSWMs who will show up later to inflate the value of those ventures. I think this man is trying to convince himself that his investments still make the world a better place.

So now onto the manifesto. Starting out with the good, the manifesto makes me feel less cringe. It isn’t any better or worse than something I would write for this blog while home alone on a Friday night. Example:

We believe that we are, have been, and will always be the masters of technology, not mastered by technology. Victim mentality is a curse in every domain of life, including in our relationship with technology – both unnecessary and self-defeating. We are not victims, we are conquerors.

We believe in nature, but we also believe in overcoming nature. We are not primitives, cowering in fear of the lightning bolt. We are the apex predator; the lightning works for us.

You can be a fifty-something year old billionaire and still just write like an angsty objectivist teenage boy.

We all know by now, that when someone writes a book to debunk an idea, it’s because she fears the idea is true. And similarly, when someone writes a manifesto, it’s intended to convince himself of an attitude towards life he no longer believes in. If Ted Kaczynski really believed life in his cabin in Montana was idyllic, he wouldn’t spend his days blowing people up and writing his manifesto.

Let us look at the Techno-Optimist Manifesto again. I had expected it to be somewhat nuanced, to incorporate and then reject the critiques of eternal growth many smart people with far less money have already offered. Consider:

We believe energy should be in an upward spiral. Energy is the foundational engine of our civilization. The more energy we have, the more people we can have, and the better everyone’s lives can be. We should raise everyone to the energy consumption level we have, then increase our energy 1,000x, then raise everyone else’s energy 1,000x as well.

The European Union has reduction in energy use as one of its official goals, because we already know this can’t work. Energy is ultimately heat. When we use more energy, we warm up our environment. That’s one of the reasons cities are warmer than the countryside.

After about 400 years of perpetual growth in energy consumption at 2.3% a year, the Earth’s surface would reach boiling point. This is just basic stuff you would expect people to know, but he either doesn’t know it, or he’s just sticking his fingers in his ears like a toddler and going “LALALALA I CAN’T HEAR YOU”, because he goes on to say:

We believe energy need not expand to the detriment of the natural environment. We have the silver bullet for virtually unlimited zero-emissions energy today – nuclear fission. In 1973, President Richard Nixon called for Project Independence, the construction of 1,000 nuclear power plants by the year 2000, to achieve complete US energy independence. Nixon was right; we didn’t build the plants then, but we can now, anytime we decide we want to.

The mysterious thing about the techno-optimists is that whenever they see us not doing what they want to do, they assume it must be because we just don’t want it. They never think to themselves “well, perhaps it wasn’t possible after all”.

Consider the nuclear delirium, the insanity that right wingers are peddling now that they’re ever so slowly coming to terms with the fact that yes, we’re rapidly making most of the planet inhospitable to human civilization. Now they have a solution: The whole thing could work, if we simply built nuclear power plants!

This is not a new solution, mind you, nor is the delirious optimism new. In the 70’s the Dutch prime minister sold all our natural gas for pennies, because they assumed it would be worthless and left in the ground as we would soon all be using nuclear energy instead. Today we’re stuck with the hangover from the naive optimism of our parents and grandparents.

There isn’t really a place on Earth, where we see what these people want to have. Not in communist China, not in Japan, not in the former Soviet Union, not in the US of A, not in South Korea, not in Taiwan, there’s no place on Earth that runs on nuclear. The sole exception you could argue is France, but that country depends on the rest of Europe to export and import its electricity, because their reactors have to shut down in summer when the rivers get too warm.

The reason it didn’t happen of course is because you run into scaling problems everywhere. It takes time and experienced crews to build these reactors, the reactors themselves depend on rare minerals, you need special locations near a source of water, away from dense cities and not at risk of war or natural disasters and then eventually you need to figure out a location to dump the waste. The reason the United States didn’t build those 1,000 reactors before the year 2000 is because it can’t.

But the biggest problem, is a problem I already touched on at the start of this post: Water. Everything ultimately depends on water.

What does a nuclear reactor do? It releases heat by splitting atoms, which we then use to generate movement in water and thereby ultimately produce electricity. This releases huge amounts of new heat you’ll need to leave somewhere.

Humans feel very powerful and in control, when they split the atom. But what do you do with the heat that you produce? Where do you leave it? Well, for 95% of all nuclear power generated we decide to cool our reactors with water.

So, we dump that heat into our water supply. If you warm up the water next to your shore, you’re going to produce toxic algae blooms, because the water stops mixing properly and you reduce the influx of oxygen. That means the fish in that environment eat toxic algae, causing the build up of domoic acid. This causes brain damage. Take a look at this:

A rash of attacks by seals on humans in South Africa has been blamed on brain damage caused by diseased fish.

A “red tide” of toxic algae, boosted by climate change, has found its way into South Africa’s seal population through the fish they eat.

That’s caused a mass die-off of seals – but those that remain have become unusually aggressive.

Can nuclear energy reduce our CO2 emissions? Probably. But we want to reduce our CO2 emissions, because we want less heat in our environment. If we build nuclear energy power plants, we move from increasing global warming, to increasing local warming. That’s not better, that’s worse.

Around 95% of all nuclear power generation uses water as a coolant. There are alternatives, there are a handful of gas cooled nuclear reactors. But if you want to have a nuclear meltdown, the best way to achieve it is probably to use an obscure type of reactor with a coolant that just disappears into the atmosphere as soon as something breaks. And it’s inevitably more expensive too.

A nuclear power plant is allowed to dump water into our seas and our rivers, that is up to six degree warmer than the water it took in. Do you think I want to cause six degree of local warming in my local water, to reduce global warming by less than 0.01 degree Celsius? That is suicidal.

And more importantly it doesn’t work either. Nuclear energy is intermittent energy. When the local water gets too warm, you can’t dump your water back into the environment. Sweden had to shut down one of its nuclear reactors in the summer of 2018, because the water got too warm. Climate change has the nasty habit of making proposed climate change solutions obsolete.

If the water is getting too warm for Swedish nuclear reactors in 2018, what do you think will happen to Dutch nuclear reactors that we want to start building today, that won’t become operational in 2030? They will cease offering any electricity during summer at all!

But these people don’t want to hear this, because they’re invested in the myth of mankind mastering nature. Not the individual man making it through the merciless Alaskan winter or anything like that mind you. These are not genuine rugged individualists, they are collectivists at heart, like most people. The autists and schizoids, the natural individualists, are rare creatures indeed.

No, Mankind is going to master nature, colonize other planets without atmospheres and figure out some way not to die of space radiation while doing so. So in the Techno-Optimist Manifesto we find Andreessen arguing that “the ultimate mission of technology is to advance life both on Earth and in the stars”.

Note that these people are also never really interested in a consolation price. They don’t speak of building floating cities on the ocean. They don’t speak of colonizing Antarctica. They’re not interesting in building domed underwater cities on the bottom of the ocean floor.

These are all vastly more cost-effective and realistic scenarios than colonizing Mars, or worse, places outside our solar system. It something goes wrong, you can send assistance within hours, instead of months. You have an atmosphere protecting you from harmful radiation. There would be a meaningful economic purpose to pursue.

But nobody is volunteering for this. Nobody is volunteering to live in a city 4000 meter beneath sea level. Nobody is pushing governments to let them build a city in Antarctica. Even the simplest possible option, a floating city, has hardly anyone genuinely interested. When you have 10,000 people living on a floating city, that is self-sufficient in food production, you can begin to think about more ambitious projects.

Keep in mind, these are all opportunities that would have a realistic chance to achieve what the Mars colonization enthusiasts claim to pursue: Protect humanity from extinction. When by 2100, most of the world gets too hot for human survival from time to time, we will still be right in the middle of the release of various greenhouse gasses from natural ecosystems.

What would probably help humanity survive by then, is if we had functional cities in Antarctica, floating cities on the ocean that could be moved to the North Pole or deep underwater cities shielded against above-ground temperatures (and against nuclear fallout). Those would all increase our survival chances as a species. Oceanic cities near the North Pole would even have an additional benefit: They would repair our climate by reflecting sunlight.

Colonies on Mars don’t have any of these benefits. They would inevitably just be an economic drain on planet Earth, unless you think a colony of 400 settlers on Mars would just 3D print their own CT scanners, dialysis machines, the rare earth minerals that go into such machines, antibiotics, pesticides (assuming they don’t just keep importing all food), baby milk powder, tetanus vaccines, radioactive iodine when someone gets sick, birth control pills and anything else humans need eventually. We’re able to have our standard of living, because we live around billions of other people who can deliver us anything we need, most of it within hours.

The actual reason the richest man on the planet wants to colonize Mars of course, is because reality doesn’t matter anymore for making money, as we don’t live in a society that punishes failure. We reward people who show us an image of success. In such a society, you become rich by telling people what they want to hear. You package people’s hopes and dreams and sell them back to them at inflated prices.

The reason this annoys me so much is because there are a handful of people out there who do accept that limits to growth are real and are working on solutions that could allow us to have something resembling a future. These solutions are humble and the people who propose them don’t have loud mouths, so you never hear about them, while the billions continue to flow to guys like Andreessen and Musk, who promise you a future on Mars.

It’s possible to grow seaweed in the ocean, ship it to shore by sailboat, dry it on land, burn it in a thermal power plant and then sequester the CO2 underground. This is a way to sequester CO2. It’s also possible to mine olivine, disperse it on beaches and let the mineral sequester CO2 for us. It’s even possible to bring the air to very low temperatures, until you eventually have frozen CO2, which you can then bury somewhere. A plant built for this purpose on Antarctica would be most cost-effective.

But again, there’s no true interest in ambitious projects. There’s a crisis of meaning, which people like Musk and Andreessen jump into with increasingly ridiculous ideas and visions for the future.

To a large degree, Andreessen’s success can be traced to him saying “Fuck ESG”. In the manifesto he makes this explicit. He writes:

Our present society has been subjected to a mass demoralization campaign for six decades – against technology and against life – under varying names like “existential risk”, “sustainability”, “ESG”, “Sustainable Development Goals”, “social responsibility”, “stakeholder capitalism”, “Precautionary Principle”, “trust and safety”, “tech ethics”, “risk management”, “de-growth”, “the limits of growth”.

If everyone else managing large sums of money is worried about making sure they don’t make the planet uninhabitable while adding another zero, but you decide not to worry about that, you have a strategic advantage. But when you use that strategic advantage, you want to justify it to yourself.

And so, you come to believe in “overcoming nature”, rather than in respecting nature’s boundaries. This doesn’t work. It just makes the eventual terms of surrender worse. If people had understood this simple principle, they would not have done something so stupid as attempting to vaccinate the whole world against a rapidly mutating SARS virus either.

But sadly, the Andreessens of this world don’t understand this. This means they are setting mankind up for just one possible outcome: Unconditional surrender.

22 Comments

  1. > They don’t speak of building floating cities on the ocean. They don’t speak of colonizing Antarctica. They’re not interesting in building domed underwater cities on the bottom of the ocean floor. These are all vastly more cost-effective and realistic scenarios than colonizing Mars, or worse, places outside our solar system.

    I actually have a document in my archive I termed, “summary tenets of not being a fucking retard,” which includes a lot of principles to apply to not total fuck up everything you touch. The two that come up most often for me and those around me are the Pareto principle, and a principle of incremental, i.e., to always make changes and improvements gradually rather than rapid, because failure to do so always leads to trouble.

    The two types of trouble it inevitably leads to are, something breaks for lack of time to adapt, or you speed past warning signs why a thing is retarded in the first place, signs that the place you’re trying to go to is just a bad idea.

    Usually I get into the latter point arguing with ketogenic diet advocates, who routinely insist that completely removing carbohydrates from your diet causes maximum leanness, however accidentally leaving even a few grams in causes standard american fatness, in a kind of bimodal outcome distribution: 0-99% carbohydrate reduction = 0% benefit, 100% carbohydrate reduction = 100% benefit.

    This model clearly violates the dose-response kind of thing I would generally expect to see from things that are actually real: a little bit is good, more is better, and a ton is great. Real world example: reducing saturated fat in the diet. Everything from small to extreme changes helps cholesterol readings in a dose response relationship.

    This “cities on mars” shit is a textbook example of violation of this principle. If being able to inhabit presently inhospitable locations is good, shouldn’t building cities on the oceans, under the oceans, at the poles, and in the deepest driest deserts show us some kind of benefit here and now? By doing that, shouldn’t we be able to extract resources and perform industries we presently can’t, for a clear net benefit?

    Well, we would if the underlying idea were any good. If it were a good idea then floating libertarian cities would be a viable economic endeavor TODAY, and then taking it to orbital cities and space cities would just be that much better for us.

    I continually argue that most of what is wrong with the world today is not even spiritual, it’s philosophical: even the smartest and most capable aryans on earth appear to at their core be mentally disorganized dumbasses building worldviews on shifting seas of unchecked assumptions. Prozak was correct in his talk of narrow intelligences, excellent in their lane but dangerously retarded outside of it.

    I’d argue that the primary driver of my unfeigned interest in being able to take on the wilderness solo and win, is the desire to be able to survive by means that are not dependent on the performance of philosophically retarded “high functioning morons.”

    • Yeah you’re right, these are all good points.

      Most of the time, if your goal is good, you should start seeing results from moving in its direction.

    • >Prozak was correct in his talk of narrow intelligences, excellent in their lane but dangerously retarded outside of it.

      I think a major issue with democracy is not just that stupid people get just as much of a voice as smart people, but also that some intelligent people just don’t have any business dictating policy or social mores.

      This only has so much to do with what you were saying, but since it’s been on my mind, this is why–despite not having a problem with wishing death on my enemies,
      or theoretically with killing them –I’m not actually a Total Libtard Death guy. I think that intelligence can be split into “thinking” intelligence and “feeling” intelligence (many subcategories of each of course, but those as the general distinctions), and while not mutually exclusive, I find them to be somewhat at odds with one another. Artists are worse off for being too “thinking,” yet being a “feeling” type of person isn’t likely to lead to a particularly well-grounded perspective regarding politics, philosophy, etc. Ideally they would be kept around to create, but wouldn’t bother themselves with matters out of their scope, while a rational governmental/priestly class dictates political and social mores. Finding out the creator of something I recently found and liked was trans didn’t bother me since I’d PREFER my artists be disturbed individuals, I just wish that we had the structures in place to protect people like him from themselves; allowing people like him to dictate their own morals and customs just results in them snowballing more and more destructive behavior.

      • This is why I am an outright feudalist – not in the sense of picking a random daddy figure to be our unconditional dictator, but in the sense of unlimited private property rights plus unlimited social darwinism, such that a man’s estate is the absolute extent of his ability to enforce any rules, and how large a given man’s estate will become is going to be a function of his good judgment.

        The only reason I would have to listen to the rules of, say, Pelosi, would be if her estate grew so much relative to the others that I had no practical choice but to work for her and live in her slave barracks.

        Democracy is slavery to an unnatural universal order. I want to RETVRN to a historically normal method of human tribal organization.

        • How would you imagine modern feudalism? Medieval feudalism worked because cities were small and poor, and kings couldn’t form centralized governments or enforce their will locally due to the military technology of the time (Castles). As-soon as things changed, the cities grew, and cannons made castles obsolete; feudalism was conquered by the centralized state.

          I doubt a ragtag force of militias, PMCs, warrior aristocrats, and other feudal forces could hold against a modern centralized army. You could say everyone just pays taxes to pay for a modern army, with everything else being decentralized; but then you’re giving the monopoly on violence to a central government; and that will inevitably end up chipping at individual freedom and giving power to bureaucratic types. As romantic and appealing as feudalism is, I see it as similar to primitivism. The only way for primitivsim to survive is for everyone to be primitive; same deal with feudalism. Any group that chooses the dominant strategy will conquer those that don’t.

    • How not to be a fucking retard: “I know that I know nothing.”

      While dose-response relationships are pretty good evidence of causation, they aren’t the end of the story. Look up thalidomide: you only get the horrible birth defects if the fetus is exposed on specific days (at least in rabbit models); before and after no problem. There are likely many phase-transition like phenomena in biological systems. I’m not defending keto diets in particular, but your arrogance works against your stated goal of not being a fucking retard. Just because you are expecting something doesn’t mean the universe has to deliver.

  2. > You can be a fifty-something year old billionaire and still just write like an angsty objectivist teenage boy.

    I haven’t even finished your essay but this made me LOL

    (former angsty objectivist teenage boy here)

  3. “They invested in Ripple, in Coinbase, in cryptokitties, even in various obscure cryptocurrencies. The advantage this has is that they’re then rewarded with tokens, which they’re legally allowed to dump onto low status white males who fall for these swindles, as these are not securities.”

    Therein lies the problem. Many financial commentators are arguing that these crypto “assets” are in fact unregistered securities (they fail the Howie test) which is highly illegal and that Gary Gensler and the SEC are doing a terrible job by not shutting them down which inevitably sadly led to huge numbers of LSWMs who lost their entire life savings in 2022 when Terra/Luna, Celsius and FTX/Alameda all blew up. Some of the stories I read on Twitter in the immediate aftermath were heartbreaking, especially considering that it all could have been avoided had the financial regulators done their job correctly. Those Silicon Valley and Wall Street fraudsters who pushed these crypto scams on unsuspecting customers are pure scum.

    “It’s similar to trying to explain the energy problem that Bitcoin has, to someone who became rich through Bitcoin.”

    Yeah, some of the rationale used to defend Bitcoin’s energy use is “interesting”, to put it mildly:

    https://twitter.com/maxkeiser/status/1644740343475347456?t=_NofBkSoo_1zhLqqmcu9-g&s=19

    Great post BTW.

  4. So… what you are saying… ahh… is that most of the Billionaire class are normies that are more delusional and psycho than typical and want to justify how shitty they are so they can sleep better at night? Billions must stir fry! It’s like a giant psycho-normie machine that will end us all if it’s not ended… lmfao

  5. Maybe most humans want it warmer.
    Something ecopessimists like you can’t understand.

    In other news, the warmest snow and frost since thousands of years (according to ARD) is blocking our streets this weekend. Something almost all weather experts in the 90ies explained on national TV will almost never happen in the future and they were almost right. So I almost come to the conclusion they know almost nothing.

      • Ikr. James Inhofe once brought a snowball to the floor of the U.S. Senate after it snowed in D.C. to demonstrate blah blah. But he was known as one of the stupidest members of that body (and think about what that entails). Then I see eugyppius snarking the same thing yesterday and I give up.

      • That’s not what I said. That is the reaction I read all over the Internet (yes even on gemini) and you fell into the trap too.

        There is no warm snow. Snow falls because of specific atmospheric conditions, of which none have anything to do with the yearly average temperature. It can snow in Florida. It can in Libanon.
        What the ARD is spreading in Germany is scientifically-painted misleading nonsense. On top of that, they don’t explain anything. This winter the polar vortex could crash, for it did not a few years now (a pattern quite like el nino). If it does, we’ll have -10°C over WEEKS and then a sudden lovely spring.

        Do you think the weather service would explain why that is and that the recurrant warming of the upper stratosphere is to blame and this could mean that while the year all over is getting hotter, the polar vortex problem makes Jan/February colder and possibly dangerously colder? No.

        And that’s why populists get elected. It is their own smugness which brings them down.

  6. I never understood why people focused so much on space when there’s Antarctica right fucking there, but what you say makes sense. I think people deep down absolutely hate this mechanistic nightmare we’ve enslaved ourselves with; which is why no one cares to actually save it. We focus on trite fantasies of sci-fi space colonization rather than actually taking rational steps to save our civilization because we don’t actually want to save our civilization. The fantasies of Star Trek are just a sedative we consume to distract ourselves from the fact everything is falling apart and we like it that way.

  7. “In 2022, Andreessen advocated against the construction of 131 multifamily housing units in their affluent Atherton, California town. In a letter, Andreessen and his wife wrote that they opposed permitting more than one house on a single acre of land. Andreessen’s comments sparked criticisms of hypocrisy, as he had previously argued for increased housing supply, in particular in California.”

    Ah. The more people the better… except when it’s in Marc Andreessen’s neighborhood. I wonder if there’s more exceptions specifically for Marc Andreessen in Marc Andreessen’s worldview?

  8. Water, yes, it all begins and ends with water. . .

    There’s nothing quite like water to make you start appreciating that you’re living on a finite, interconnected, ‘Spaceship Earth’.

    The river may replenish, but it’s not a magic pudding that can infinitely regrow slices as each slice gets taken along its route. Take too many slices, and there won’t be enough flow left at the mouth to stop it from silting up and choking out.

    There’s no substitute for water either. If there’s not enough to go around, then you will end up with winners and losers. You want to irrigate over here? Then you have to extract water from the river over there, which means less for other users and the environment downstream.

    There are limits to how far the whole system’s limitations can be gamed. You may, for example, try to improve efficiency by introducing a new technology like pipes rather than irrigation ditches, only to discover that you’ve reduced the amount of water that once leaked out of the ditches into the environment, so one of the players in the system has still suffered a loss despite an apparent gain by another.

    And not only can you not have your pudding and eat it too, if you dump pollution in the river upstream, then it will flow downstream, and you find that there’s no such place as ‘away’ for your problems either.

    And of course, you must also work with the flow of water rather than against it, or it will wreck your efforts. And in the end, given enough time, it will wash them all away anyhow.

  9. Excellent summary, and debunking of the manifesto. Art.
    I also enjoyed comments such as on the importance of water, and the need for gradual changes.

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The patients in the mental ward have had their daily dose of xanax and calmed down it seems, so most of your comments should be automatically posted again. Try not to annoy me with your low IQ low status white male theories about the Nazi gas chambers being fake or CO2 being harmless plant food and we can all get along. Have fun!

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