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The Venus Flytrap - Index (For Debate)


Updated: 2013/07/23


1 About the argument that economics is an ideology because it is self-referent: We can argue based on the same logic that modern physics is self-referent and therefore is an ideology. See 1-32~34. Also refer to Note [5]. See 1-35~42 for the reason why such arguments can't be supported.

2 About a sounder standard for distinguishing between science and ideology: See 1-25~31, 1-43~44. As soon as we apply a sounder standard, The Venus Project is not just an ideology but the most dogmatic ideology. See 1-51~54.

3 About the surprising similarity between methodology of The Venus Project and methodology of pseudo-science: See 1-62~65. 1-21~24 points out the tremendous gap between such methodology and methodology that developed modern science. Especially for similarity between Christianity and The Venus Project, see 1-86~89. Also refer to 9-58~61.

4 About the argument that environmental adjustment and education should replace law and punishment: Law and punishment exist exactly to prevent it. See 2-20~32 for consequence of the system trying to intervene in personality of individuals.

5 About the thought that religions are undesirable since they are divided and The Venus Project is desirable because it pursues unification: Almost all religions started out with the pursuit of unification. The lesson learned from the history of religious division and conflict is exactly opposite to Jacque Fresco's belief. Collectivistic attempt for unification can never permanently unify ideas. See 2-42. 6-30~32 and 7-25~28 describe a form of division brought forth by The Venus Project.
└ Affix 1: If supporters of The Venus Project wish to consistently apply their perspective, they must acknowledge the fact that The Venus Project is no long The Venus Project when it becomes divided, as divided religions are not religions. When a faction incompatible with The Venus Project that argues for different technological solutions arises during transition period of The Venus Project, they would have to go for abolition of the entire experiment instead of supporting a side. Only a few supporters of The Venus Project recognize this.

6 About spoiling of ideology in collectivistic societies: See 2-40~47. Refer to the description in 7-25~50.

7 About the argument that resources on earth are abundant enough to satisfy everyone's demand: It is mysterious as to on what grounds Jacque Fresco believes in this. He did not even conduct the most basic survey of resources and demands on earth. See 3-07~09.

8 About the argument that electric vehicles are not being commercialized because oil companies have patent on core technology: Electric vehicles are simply not being commercialized because we do not have economic feasibility for producing them yet. See 3-36~39.
└ Affix 1: Many oil companies are also energy companies, especially for large corporations like Exxon Mobil. If an oil company purchased a patent for batteries, it is probably to expand its business. If electric vehicles actually become marketable, companies will try to directly produce and sell batteries instead of trying to increase sales of oil by doing nothing. This clearly gives them greater profit.

9 About geothermal energy: Peter Joseph either completely misunderstood or intentionally distorted the point of MIT report on geothermal energy. There is no room for defense. See 3-22~27.

10 About reliability of information provided by Jacque Fresco and Peter Joseph when they talk about technology or science: For now, MIT report on geothermal energy is the one and only academic data they cited and indicated the source. In most cases, they do not reveal sources of information they cite in order to avoid verification. This is distant from engineer's behavior on technology and science. See 3-53.
└ Affix 1: Peter Joseph seems to not even read the report he is trying to cite. He mixed up the amount of geothermal energy in the United States with the amount of geothermal energy in the world. See Note [18]. This mistake is so ridiculous that we can completely distrust everything Jacque Fresco and Peter Joseph say about technology.

11 About the wide-spread error that qualify of life will be immediately improved after the revolution if The Venus Project is realistic: See 3-67~70. Unfortunately, many people support The Venus Project because of such delusion. See 3-72~73 and 6-30~32 for probably consequence of this. Also refer to Appendix D.

12 About the dictatorial provisional government to manage The Venus Project in transition period: Unlike the belief of some supporters of The Venus Project, according to The Venus Project website, there is a government in The Venus Project system during transition period. This government will make all important decisions on transportation, urban planning and production. See 4-08 and Note [22].
└ Affix 1: In fact, generation of dictatorship in planned economy is inevitable. Refer to the discussions below. Especially see the discussions on ruling by technocrats and rule of law.

13 About the argument that computer can replace the government: This argument cannot be supported. Computer is not helpful in resolving the most important problems to be faced by resource-based economy during transition period. See 4-13~17.
└ Affix 1: This argument is not only wrong in resource-based economy during transition period but also in completed resource-based economy. See 4-29 and Note [32]. The truth is that no planned economy can be sustained without a government as long as the most efficient method of production continues to change. Programs must be modified on a monthly, or perhaps daily, basis with consideration on the rate of technological development, and the government with the authority to manage such programs will become as gigantic as a mountain.
└ Affix 2: In fact, even under the assumption that technological conditions will not change, it is still doubtful whether Fresco's plan can succeed. Computer algorithm was unable to beat human beings in Chess until 1997, and it still fails to surpass human beings in Go. As of now, there is no such algorithm to which we can comfortably leave all duties of the government of the planned economy.

14 About general importance of problems in transition period when dealing with alternative economic system: Supporters of The Venus Project regard discussion on transition period as trivial. The truth is that it is not just important but most important. See 4-09~11. Failure of communism experiment gives a lesson. Completed communism has never failed. It simply was never accomplished. Looking back, discussion on it was meaningless. See 4-71.
└ Affix 1: Jacque Fresco's plan about transition period can be briefly summarized, once flashy rhetoric is removed. All decision rights are temporarily delegated to the provisional government in order to consciously manage the process of radical change. (A delegation is a delegation. What the hell does temporal delegation mean!) See 4-67 for impossibility of such plan.

15 About the argument that there is no need for politics or democracy to intervene in social design since it belongs to the field of technology and science like making an airplane: This is one of arguments most often cited by enthusiastic supporters of The Venus Project and the most glaring fallacy of Jacque Fresco. See 4-16~23. Especially see 4-20.

16 About the argument that The Venus Project is fundamentally different from communism because scientists and engineers replace politicians: This argument cannot be justified. Planned economy always meant dictatorship by professional technocrats. See 4-31~36 or 4-54 about the reason why dictatorship is destined to occur in planned economy.

17 About general impossibility of monitoring on the planners in planned economy: In planned economy, there is no method for the general public without technological capability to monitor economic planners. See 4-55~56. Explanation in 14-14 is shorter but stronger.
└ Affix 1: The role of government in market economy is to make economic subjects to comply with given rules. We can elect politicians through voting and believe that we can monitor the government because they do not require special technological ability. See the discussion on the rule of law below about more specific meaning of this.

18 About the rule of law: See 4-59~62. Jacque Fresco has completely misunderstood this concept and performed incorrect criticism. His complete ignorance about this topic is unbelievable. See Note [30]. Also refer to 4-46~48.

19 About the argument that the planners have no motivation to become corrupted without private properties: Refutation on this argument was shortly mentioned in 4-30, but it deserves to be stressed out. It is not even difficult for the planners of transition period with great power to secretly create privileges or even succeed them as hereditary. Actually, it is more difficult to prevent it. All of Fresco's attacks on politicians are better applied to his own system. See 8-54.

20 About the problem of choice: We must be able to choose what to sacrifice and what not when we cannot enjoy all things in their best quality. A system without money does not permit this choice. Liberal choice by individuals is only allowed between substitutes with identical quality. See 5-17~19.

21 About freedom of press and internet: In Fresco's system, the planners of the provisional government will completely control cultural and leisure contents. See 5-43~50 for the risk and possible consequence of this. Freedom of internet is also expected to be removed. See 5-51~53.

22 About impossibility of economic calculation in planned economy: See 6-15~25. Though this is one of the most important criticisms on economic planning, the main text did not go into details. See Socialism by Mises for a deeper discussion on this problem. Also see Human Action by the same author, especially Chapter 26.
└ Affix 1: Some people have been arguing that this problem was resolved by competitive socialism or market socialism model of Oscar Lange. Lange's system, if the planners are virtuous enough, seems to reach equilibrium under static condition. However, it is still doubtful whether it can be applied to quickly-changing dynamic economy brought forth by revolution. Hayek's criticism is still effective.
└ Affix 2: In fact, Lange's theory is educational in the exactly opposite meaning as what supporters of The Venus Project believe. It showed that there must be something similar to market price in planned economy, and no trial and error method can be applied without it. Lange's theory was the only theory supporting planned economy that was as controversially successful. Economic calculation theory to be applied to Fresco's system without money and price does not even exist now.

23 About the discussion on 'new earth': Jacque Fresco threw out a wrong question, and he provided an answer out of place. See 6-44~51. See 6-52 for a sounder question.

24 About the consequence of failure of The Venus Project experiment: Many supporters of The Venus Project treated The Venus Project experiment as a gamble in which we have nothing to lose by failing. See 7-06~10 for danger of such thought. See 7-13~60 about the specific catastrophe to be caused by failure of the experiment.
└ Affix 1: Some supporters argued that catastrophe will be prevented by the future mankind, even if the new system fails. I doubt whether this argument can be seriously accepted. Refer to Appendix D.

25 About the argument that we must test all testable systems: This is same as arguing that we should try all drugs we can eat. The problem is that failure of an experiment leads to loss of ability to conduct another experiment. Refer to 7-66~70 with the previous discussion. See the discussion below for a sounder experimental method.

26 About the proper experimental program to be employed by social engineering: Chapter 8 of the main text is about this topic. Especially see 8-13~23 for control of variables.
└ Affix 1: The point of Chapter 8 is that The Venus Project is a utopian engineering, not a utopianism. Whether The Venus Project actually pursues perfect society is entirely unrelated to whether it is a utopian engineering. See Note [52]. Refer to 8-05~08 for accurate definition of utopian engineering.
└ Affix 2: However, it is doubtful whether the argument that The Venus Project is a utopianism can easily be rejected. Dictionary definition of utopia does not require absolute perfectness. Its definition according to Wikipedia is as follows: A utopia is a community or society possessing highly desirable or perfect qualities. Anyway, The Venus Project is so unrealistic that the term utopianism is well suited. See 3-03~59.

27 About the thought that we will automatically learn how to change our system to create an environment to turn human beings virtuous, only if we know the environment in which human beings become virtuous: This has never really been seriously questioned, but it should be classified as one of the most critical prejudices we have. See 9-09~15. Especially for untenable error of Fresco, see 9-20~22. See 9-24~42 for correct scientific approach to this problem.
└ Affix 1: Recently, I realized that this subject is more important than I thought. Some supporters of The Venus Project argued that science has proven the validity of The Venus Project. This can't be true. Currently we don't even know many things about what would happen in spin glass systems which are much simpler than human societies. Science can't answer whether certain social system is able to success or not.

28 About human nature: The argument that human beings are born to be selfish is not an argument made by some people who do not know science. It is an established theory of modern genetics and socio-biology. Studies cited by Fresco are studies with lack of scientific strictness conducted by old humanities scholars such as Margaret Mead. See 9-46~53 for opinions on this topic by scientists.
└ Affix 1: Some supporters of The Venus Project argued that simply opinions recently formed by scientists are wrong. According to them, views of old humanities scholars are closer to the truth. See 9-54~61 about how such position is radically disconnected from the initial position of Jacque Fresco.
└ Affix 2: Some supporters of The Venus Project argued that socio-biology is not a proper science. However, what allows them to believe so without studying anything about it? It is nothing but the fact that socio-biology cannot coexist with their idea. Its meaning is significant. Their system is not a system in which science can verify idea. Idea will determine what proper sciences are and what are not. This is a general characteristic of collectivistic system. See 2-48~50.

29 About the argument that The Venus Project can be successful if human nature is sufficiently virtuous: The Venus Project will fail not only by our most evil nature but also by humanistic nature that we regard as precious. See 9-97~108. Also refer to 7-39~46.

30 About the argument that global energy production could have been fully replaced by renewable method if money placed into relief loan was invested in a productive cause, such as energy business: Peter Joseph sometimes shows surprising level of ignorance about economics. See 9-136~139 for the catastrophe that would occur when this measure is actually taken. 11-09~12 explains the reason why such catastrophe must occur from a more material perspective.

31 About planned obsolescence: This is an entirely incorrect argument originated from misunderstanding about market mechanism. See 9-132~135. Especially see 9-133~134 about the conspiracy theory on incandescent lamp.

32 About classification between an economy based on resources and an economy based on money: These terms are marked cases of 'ruling value syntax' defined by Jacque Fresco himself. As a classification, this is completely worthless compared to the classification of planned economy and market economy. See 9-141~165.
└ Affix 1: The term base was always used in the most idiotic way. The argument that The Venus Project should not be compared with communist experiment based on money and politics because it is based on technology and resource is nothing but a play of words. One of the following two things must occur, no matter how the term base is interpreted. 1. Communism is also based on technology and resource. 2. Communism in reality is not based on technology and resource. However, there is a great possibility that The Venus Project in reality can follow this path.
└ Affix 2: The only way to make Jacque Fresco's classification of economic systems plausible is to use classification between economy using money and economy not using money. There are two advantages to this method. 1. Since economy using money includes all economies that use money regardless of range of use, it much more accurately refers to targets Fresco is trying to point out. 2. It does not cause unnecessary errors since it does not needlessly mention resource.

33 About much better alternatives we already have over The Venus Project: See 10-13~24 about solution to unemployment problem that can be caused by mechanization. See 10-47~48 about measures we can take when scarcity of a specific good is completely removed. See 10-49~52 about measures we can take for sustainable management of resources on earth. See 10-57~63 about solutions to miscellaneous problems pointed out by Jacque Fresco.
└ Affix 1: In fact, most of problems proposed by Fresco are hollow. For instance, see 10-41~46. Even the argument that unemployment is inevitably caused by mechanization is erroneous. See 10-09~12. The essence of the main text is that we do not have to accept his alternative even if all problems proposed by Fresco do exist.
└ Affix 2: The main text did not deal with all problems of market economy. However, it is clear that any problem, as long as a moderate and progressive solution exists, cannot be a reason to select an incurable alternative like The Venus Project. Creationists always bite on the evolution theory rather than the theory of creation. The technique of clouding the issue is also used by supporters of The Venus Project. Criticism on the evolution theory does not justify the creation theory.

34 About the thought that The Venus Project is realistic if it is technologically possible: This argument was handled in details in Appendix A. The truth is that we cannot discuss practicality of something without economic consideration. See 11-05~09.

35 About tunnel-type magnetic levitation train connecting the oceans: This is one of the hollowest plans proposed by Jacque Fresco. See 11-13~25.

36 About the conspiracy theory on the Federal Reserve System: It is not a fact that the Federal Reserve System is earning profit through interest. Sound criticism mainly consists of different aspects. See Appendix C.

37 About current economic crisis: The Gaussian curve theory by Jacque Fresco is clearly useless in explaining the present economic crisis. See 12-11~13. See 12-03~10 about a more convincing explanation on the present economic crisis written from the view of free marketeer.

38 About the argument that people with improved consciousness won't neglect the system when it fails: This argument was completely confuted in Appendix D. See 14-01~20. 14-22 discloses irrational thoughts lying behind.
└ Affix 1: The fact that supporters of this argument did not realize that the same logic could be applied to the Russian Revolution in 1917 is educational. See 14-02~04. Of course, communistic society in reality was different from the society pursued by The Venus Project. However, society pursued by communism was at least similar to the society pursued by The Venus Project. Supporters of The Venus Project were confused because they neglected this. In fact, it is logically clear that only the latter can offer fair comparison.

39 About urban planning of The Venus Project: This is not just hollow but innovatively foolish. See Appendix E.

40 About other important issues: See 8-54~56 about the argument that democracy cannot function because of lobbying. (The main text neglected possibility of lobbying taking part in laws. If a codified law betrays opinions of the majority of voters, we can always reveal and criticize it.) See 2-55~58, 4-52, 7-07 and Note [45] about the argument that only technology can improve quality of life. Note [46] asks a short but important question about prejudice. Lastly about the Gaussian curve, see 9-166~173.