Talk:Technocracy movement/Archive 1

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Please read before editing

Do not cite articles written by Technocracy to 'validate' any 'facts' Technocrats come up with.

For example, the statement things that cost a lot do not actually take that much energy to produce should not be referenced to an article on Energy Accounting. You need a primary source of original research for a statement as controversial as this one. Technocrats surely may believe this statement, but where is the research supporting it?

Until we get the mess that's here properly cited, how about we don't add any more logs to the dwindling fire? Let's keep the article concise and encyclopedic. If you want to attract more members, all you need is a link to your website.

154.5.41.198 05:00, 8 May 2006 (UTC)

Q is constant?

So they posit a monotonically increasing population but supply only a constant number of units?! Boy, that's gonna get ugly fast. Surely I misunderstood.

I mean, OF COURSE if you have an increasing worker population that doesn't have increasing needs, you will have unlimited, magical wealth from nowhere. The gain in this case comes from the magical trick of being able to increase work with no increasing demand, not from some management technique. But that's not a clever idea, that's just wishful thinking, right?

Can someone please explain to me how this works? This is probably just something I'm not reading or understanding correctly. Note that I understand that increasing technology can increase supply per person, I just don't see how increasing population alone could do that. That is, I don't see why the "n" variable isn't also included on the right-hand side of the equation and thus factored out, making q the "units per capita".

Furthermore, has this system ever been tried? Even on a small, local, experimental scale? If so I'd like to know about it.

Feel free to remove this whole comment if you want. I'm just hoping for some answers here. Xezlec 18:14, 1 April 2006 (UTC)

Who put that equation in anyway? I've never seen it on a technocracy site before. C. Nelson

User:Trfs added it. It's from M. King Hubbert's article "Man-Hours and Distribution", which used to be on Technocracy Inc.'s website but was deleted. You can still see it from archive.org [1] Goplat 05:20, 3 April 2006 (UTC)
You need to cite that since it appears controversial. I would link to something better than an archice.org cache. I personally don't think it adds to the article and should be removed. 154.5.41.198


It's my understanding that for the purposes of this equation, q is essentially proportional to n. Thus, in the equation, q could be replaced by kn (where k=q/n, or the amount of demand per person, which should be constant) and since there is now an n on both sides of the equation, they cancel out, leaving l=km. In other words, n and q can both essentially be ignored, being replaced by a proportionality constant. What is left indicates that l is directly proportional to m, which was obvious in the first place anyway.

Fact Checks And Sources

The section Labour utilization: shortening of the work day should either be removed or fit in to the article in some way. I am unfamiliar with the specifics of the formula given, so I cannot verify it, but I do know that the shortening of the work week to four, four-hour days is a central part of the Technocratic philosophy. The paragraph should be verified and expanded. Right now I'm leaning towards removing it.

Actually, for an organization that preaches science, you certainly aren't doing a very good job of citing any sources in the article. You should at least be mentioning the TTSD, but preferably any studies done by the Technical Alliance at the time.154.5.41.198 16:59, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

Alrighty, let's see if we can get some sources for these 'facts' that comes from outside technocracy:

" In the 1920's, less than 4% of North American production in foodstuffs, housing and manufactured goods was done by humans; the majority of the work, in a scientific sense, was being done by machines."

"increasingly huge amounts of debt, which began to increase exponentially after 1930 (according to some, ever since the Bank of England was founded). This debt includes the national debt, mortgages (see global debt), long term debt, credit debt, and the growing stock market; all things that would have caused severe inflation in the old world economies where products were naturally scarce" - Is this really raises in debt owed, or just in money tokens. There is a difference.

Economic shift to service sector

It's a well known fact that the US economy has shifted from manufacturing to service sector jobs. Here's one state [2]. Just look in an economics textbook. The real question is whether this trend is due to mechanization/automation... or outsourcing. Somewhere I read an article that China isn't creating jobs as fast as we're exporting... C. Nelson

Was Russell a Technocrat??

I just finished reading "In Praise of Idleness" (1935), an essay by Bertrand Russell in which he pushes for a 4 hour workday due to technological advancement in production (I added a link to the essay in the article). I immediately thought of Technocracy. This essay was published (written?) in 1935, which makes me think that either he influenced or was influenced by the Technocratic movement. Does anyone know anything about this? Wikipedia brown 04:32, 23 December 2005 (UTC)

Russell was active in the Fabian socialist movement. His political thought was certainly very sympathetic to many technocratic ideas, but was generally more abstract than any ideology. Roads to Freedom makes patent his political promiscuity: Russell was willing to support any movement that would tend to push history towards human freedom, humane social relations, and the rational satisfaction of human needs. (Although when nuclear war was concerned, he seemed to prefer social injustice to complete ruin). On the other hand, Russell was deeply skeptical of technology and science in its influence on human society and culture. The Scientific Outlook was his vision of a scientific dystopia—one which incorporates much of technocracy. (For the uninitiated: it is somewhat similar to Brave New World). Although the technocratic elements are not necessarily portrayed in a negative light, they are not left blameless for the resulting society. All in all, it seems hard to imagine that book could be the work of an enthusiastic technocrat. —Αναρχία 06:39, 27 January 2007 (UTC)

"social movement"?

Under social movement I imagine something with hundreds of thousands or millions of supporters, while the article gives feeling of small group of people. Shouldn't word "group" be used instead? Pavel Vozenilek 00:21, 17 May 2005 (UTC)

Good point. As of now, the group has few active members, at least compared to their glory days in the 30's. Their website says that have members (people that pay $ each yaer) in about every state, and the West coast has had some events as well as a picnic in Canada, but this is the extent of what I know. It's far from being a recognizable NGO. I chose movement because the group has a series of goals (in terms of educating the populace, albeit a very small percentage) and is moving towards the objective of establishing technocracy, though their success so far is negligable. In the past few years, due to the internet, the group has been growing, though slowly. Time will tell if the group will once again fade or continue to grow. It was, however, definately a movement during the depression, with (so they claim) hundreds of thousands of followers, and video evidence at least a thousand gathered in one spot. C. Nelson 21:14, July 30, 2005 (UTC)

NPOV (2005.12.23)

This article is obviously written by the subject. I added the tag because the Technocratic movement is largely in the past and should be documented as such. The movement was huge back in the 20's and 30's, but now only a couple hundred (at best) members remain, with most well into retirement. Sad but true, it's not so much a 'movement' anymore, but more a small collection of the educated elderly of society discussing the problems with the world.

While the intent of the authors is noble, this should not take the form of a recruitment page and should accurately portray the technocratic movement as being largley extinct, save for a handful of members.

(C. Nelson, your comments above under the 'social movement' heading should be migrated over to the article as they are much more representational of the movement than what is currently present in the article.)

Notability and Position within society

Hi,

I found this article through the M. King Hubbert page, and it's raised some questions in my mind. The article, and the organization's web site, don't seem to give me much information to judge whether the organization is notable, and how it's related to larger social movements. Do we know the number of members, or budget? Do we have evidence that the Technocratic movement has been part of a larger dialogue on these energy and economic issues -- have representatives been involved in court cases, published results in mainstream academia, been invited in large conferences, etc.?

This article seems to do a very good job of communicating the philosophical views of the movement, I just want to make sure that the movement is described accurately and neutrally.

-- Creidieki 03:27, 31 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Problem with links

Looks like now that Technocracy points to Technocratic movement, there are a bunch of pages that refer negatively to "technocractic" ideas (meaning the bureaucratic form of it, not the movement we all know and love) linking to this page, which definitely gives readers the wrong idea. Does someone need to look at each such page linking to this one and fix it to point to Technocracy (bureaucratic)?

Wikipedia brown 18:18, 5 April 2006 (UTC)

Good idea. Here's a list of links to the technocratic movement article

~ C. Nelson

Since the bureaucratic 'governmental' form of a technocracy is more common than the movement, I have modified Technocracy back to the disambiguation page. 154.5.41.198 08:14, 9 April 2006 (UTC)

Sociological theory

Reading about this movement put me very much in mind of the positivism of Saint-Simon and Comte. I'm somewhat surprised there is no discussion of this in the article. 86.136.88.200 14:37, 7 April 2006 (UTC)

Merge with Technocracy Incorporated

I fail to see a substantial difference between the two articles. Furthermore, the fuzzy line between them only confuses readers. You even have a picture of the Technocracy Incorporated sign as the first image. Let's clean everything up (again) and cite some bloody sources. 154.5.41.198 08:35, 9 April 2006 (UTC)

Major Cleanup (2006.04.17)

  • The section on Urbanates was cleaned up, leaving out some of the more obvious 'pie-in-the-sky' thought. This seems like it was thought up recently by a few members. Please see my notes below on POV and citing sources.
  • Areas needing citation have been noted.
  • Reference to zero-growth has been added, but should be expanded upon.
  • The section on the division of social and technical decision was removed because it contributed very little and is covered better by other areas in the article (e.g. energy accounting)
  • The criticisms section was cleaned up. No longer is it a giant straw man. The best replies to the objections remain and were cleaned up. A lot of POV was removed as well.
    • I take note of the fact that you did not seem to notice how the vast majority of the criticisms are completely uncited. -- Nikodemos 03:30, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

Overall:

  • The article still needs to address central ideas of conservation, zero-growth, and overpopulation.
  • When adding content, please watch your POV and make sure it doesn't sound like a blatent attempt at recruitment.
  • Please do not add anything unless you can properly cite it. Technocracy is a scientific organization, but you technocrats adding stuff here are doing so in true blind, zealot fashion, without respect for the rules of Wikipedia.

154.5.41.198 22:11, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

Yet another topic on referencing

Someone added information to the criticism section that people will work cause they want to, etc. To reference this, they simply created a link to the TTSD.

DO NOT DO THIS

This is not referencing. Firstly, you do not note the page. Secondly, the TTSD is not a scientific, legitimately accepted, validated publication. Right on the front page it says it was compiled and edited by Technocracy's volunteer membership.

I moved the link to the bottom of the article, but look, references need to go to credible sources. Where is the original research on Technocracy?

154.5.41.198 06:04, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

Point well-taken. However, in the criticism section, the source is there to show that this is indeed what Technocrats say (not necessarily asserting that they are right or not in their beliefs). Therefore, TTCD is a fine reference, since it is a major document in Technocracy. Think about it this way: if you're talking about Christianity, you might cite a source for some Christian beliefs as the Bible, or some passages from that book. I do agree with you that I should've cited a page though. What's the best way to do this?
Also, I think you're entirely correct that it would be great to have some original research on Technocracy. However, not much of it actually exists, as Technocracy has been a "dead" movement for the last 60-odd years. No one has done a rational critique of Technocracy since it faded into obscurity around the mid-1930s. In other words, all that exists now are people who believe in Technocracy, but I challenge you to find two people who fully understand the movement and yet are critics of it such that they have rational counterarguments to each of its assertions. This unfortunately makes it exceedingly difficult to cite sources for much of the material on this page.
Don't get me wrong, I'd really like to see more sources too. I hope we can work together to improve this page, but I think it'll take methodical edits, and more importantly, patience.
68.40.50.73 06:00, 25 April 2006 (UTC)
Geez, you are absolutely right. I must have been too tired to think that it was referencing something Technocrats actually say. Sorry about that. I would put the reference next to the word "believe" in that paragraph then. You can reference whatever page it shows up on. I'm not aware off the top of my head as have not read the TTSD in ages.
Secondly, I really would like to try and dig up any research done on Technocracy or by Technocracy. I think the quality of the page suffers if it contains endless "Technocrats believe", "they argue", etc. This is why I sliced out so many of the extraneous plans of the organization; I think the article is struggling to be more like an encyclopedic entry than another pamphlet or TTSD. One day when I have some free time I'll scour the net looking for some third-party material.
154.5.41.198 05:10, 30 April 2006 (UTC)

Removed section on labour utilization

This section was difficult to read and it did not fit in with the rest of the article. Although it did appear to be sourced, it was from a web-caching site.

It would be nice if this article focused on the broader aspects of the movement and didn't strive to be another TTSD.

I think that the basic principles of the movement are finally starting to be fleshed out, and the fat needs to be cut. Explaining mathematical equations in an encyclopedic article about a social movement is precisely fat.

154.5.41.198 06:14, 23 April 2006 (UTC)


Utopian movement & influence on reality

The article is interesting, at least for me that didn't know anything about this movement. However, it exclusively focuses on the more or less utopic propositions that it has, and doesn't say anything about members or influence it had on real history. You may compare with the French Groupe X-Crise, which was also created in the 1930s by students from the engineer Ecole Polytechnique, and shared similar utopic views; however, it had a very real influence on French society, especially during the Vichy regime & after World War II, when economic planification was instaured by Charles de Gaulle. Did this "technocratic movement" really so marginal that it had no real effects? Probably not - a section about this would be nice. Tazmaniacs 20:38, 7 May 2006 (UTC)

I would think that because Technocracy Incorporated has always had a policy of not getting involved in today's politics or economics, that it had little influence on the policies of the nations of North America.
By the way, as far as I know there is little or no relation between the French Technocrats and the North American Technocracy movement, so I have removed those links you put in the article.
Unless you can find evidence that they are directly related then the comparison shouldn't be in the article.
P.S. I have reinstated the section on Urbanates, as it is a perfectly legitimate part of the article.
--Hibernian 11:04, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
Although I understand why you may not want to include Auguste Comte's positivism in the main text, it definitely belongs in the "see also" section, as does the Groupe X-Crise. Why? Because Comte is the philosopher who invented technocracy, and that the Technocratic movement totally follows his ideology. It seems that "technocracy" is kind of a rare word in English, but it is quite common in French because of these reasons. Although I guess that you will probably found some direct or indirect influence to Comte's philosophy in the member or another one (as another, different example - unrelated with the technocracy, see the game theory that is linked to Cournot which himself is linked to Comte), I don't think that you need to prove that the guys had read Comte to state that this ideology is grounded in Comte's positivism. This is why it justifies at least a link in the "see also" (as a minimal, weak argument, I'll add: just for the sake of curiosity). The actual problem mainly is that the current positivism article is very weak. Now, concerning the Groupe X-Crise, your removal in the "see also" is even less justifiable: they are both technocratic movements, they both share the same ideas, and they were both born in the 1920s-30s. If you don't take that into account, you're missing an important part of the evolution of modern politics and the implication of scientists & engineers in governments. It is not a coïncidence that these two groups were created in the same period (and the delay between them is easily explainable, as the States was in advance on France at this time). Tazmaniacs 13:26, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
Ok I admit I know very little about the French Technocrats, however from what I do know about both movements they seem to have few actual similarities. As I can see they have quite different philosophies and ways of doing things. The Only thing they really have in common is that they are both called "Technocrats", however, Technocracy Inc. would not give that name to the French movements.
As far as I have heard there was never any direct contact between the two groups and no sharing of ideas, the French movement seems to be more of a socialist movement. You have just described that the French Technocrats wanted to put Scientists and engineers in government, but that is strictly opposed by Technocracy inc., they believe in the complete elimination of "Government" and the State, and certainly politicians.
I've got nothing against writing fine articles about the French Technocrats but we cannot link the two as they are not actually linked. (as far as I know).
What I'll do is talk to some people at the Technocracy Forums at http://www.technocracy.ca/, and ask them if there is any connection between the two groups. (Actually it would be good if you could go and Ask them as you seem to know allot about the French movement).
--Hibernian 14:25, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
X-Crise wasn't socialist, that's for sure. However, when X-Crise, in majority formed of students from l'Ecole Polytechnique elite engineer school, want to "enter the government", this means they want to replace the politics - as does the TEchnocracy Mv. Actually, all technocrats movements want to replace the government; as I've told you, this is the basis of Auguste Comte's positivism and then of the Comte de Saint-Simon (a disciple of Auguste Comte, that created a movement called "saint-simonisme" during the French Second Empire). To go quickly, the common & important point of all technocrats movement, beyond eventual differences, is that they all support science & they all believe that there is no need for politicians as scientifics & engineers are sufficient to lead society. Beside, Auguste Comte is also one of the founder of modern utopian movement, & Technocracy is definitely an utopian movement (it's "technate" seems to be more or less related with Fourier's phalanstères). I think you really need to take into account that such movements don't just grow out of nowhere one day; they have past history, and Comte is a major influence on utopian movements like that. Of course, its "grand-children" don't share exactly the same values, because they live in different contexts, so they can split. But I assure you that there is no big difference. Apart of this important one: it seems that the Technocracy Inc. hasn't been important enough to strongly influence the US history, while X-Crise did. But that's another story... I look up for more about X-Crise if you want. Tazmaniacs 18:57, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
Well like I said I don't know much about these other movements or people, my best advice to you would be for you to go to the Technocracy Forums here http://www.technocracy.ca/index.php?name=PNphpBB2&file=index . I'm sure someone there will have knowledge of the stuff you are talking about, and I'm sure they would be interested to discuss it (especially the European members of the Forum).
--Hibernian 21:47, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
I'll have a look when I have a minute. Thanks, Tazmaniacs 22:10, 8 May 2006 (UTC)

I checked out this Positivism thing and it has no correlation or links whatsoever to the Technocracy movement, whether historical, or ideological. Technocracy's roots come solidly and solely from the works of J. Willard Gibbs, a *physicist*. Technocracy has no connections with any philosophical movement or ideas. I highly suggest that this reference be removed immediately. I'd do it myself but I don't want to be accused of being in a revision war. Does anyone agree? --Kolzene 09:44, 1 June 2006 (UTC)

Section on Urbantes & proposed merge

Why is this here? It is not referenced, it was not part of the original movement, it is not in the literature, and it already has its own article. I'm going to remove it for the third time.

154.5.41.198 22:33, 8 May 2006 (UTC)

It is here because it is an integral part of Technocracy's plan, and thus it is entirely legitimate to have it here.
I Don’t know what you consider "in the literature", but information on Urbanates is all over the Internet and every Technocrat knows about them.
And the references are in the Urbanate article itself.
Therefore I would contend that it deserves to be left in the article.
--Hibernian 23:10, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose merge. [Urbanate]]s is more than just a little stub, and this article is already quite big enough. However, according to Wikipedia:Manual of style, a resume was included here, as it is wrong to assume one knows what an "urbanate" is simply because he is reading this page. Tazmaniacs 14:28, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose merge. Merging it is a bad idea. Yes the entry here is a trimmed down version of the main article, however the Urbanate section on this page is only about 1/4 the size of the article. If it is merged, a large amount of information will be lost. I see no reason why it can't have its own article. Also allot more information can be added to the Urbanate article (it's quite a large topic), so just having a section on this page wouldn’t be enough.

Criticisms

The problem of evolutionary psychology. Many critics believe that the entire Technocratic system relies on the notion that human want is finite.

What the heck is this supposed to mean? This is yet another strawman from the technocrat camp. Why don't you add some citations and references instead of garbage like this?

Actually I think that sentence was written by someone criticising Technocracy, so I'm not sure what you mean by calling it a "strawman from the technocrat camp".
--Hibernian 02:15, 30 May 2006 (UTC)
It was originally by an anon and was one big paragraph criticising Technocracy (in a pretty weak way, the author apparently believes in the pseudoscience that says humans evolved to be evil). This was then cut down to the first sentence only and responded to by Kolzene Goplat 20:18, 30 May 2006 (UTC)

It could be argued that technocracy runs against modern economic schools of thought... all of which believe in the infinitude of human wants which create scarcity. Technocracy is, by definition, a society of abundance. Abundance, and technocracy, cannot exist if human wants are infinite. C. Nelson 05:50, 31 May 2006 (UTC)

Hey, that is a much better wording of the criticism than current :) I understand now. 154.5.41.198 06:13, 31 May 2006 (UTC)
Hmm, not exactly, that may be a better form of the argument put forward, but the argument itself is meaningless, as Kolzene already pointed out, the concept of Ownership in a Technocratic society of Abundance is quite different to that of a scarcity state. You see it doesn't matter how much Human Wants there are (even if they are Infinite), the only thing that matters is how much you can actually physically consume. Because you cannot just "own" things in a Technate, you can only "use" things (and as much as you want).
--Hibernian 17:55, 31 May 2006 (UTC)
Exactly. Consider this example: In a Price System anyone can "own" any number of cars, boats, planes; whatever they can afford. However, there is only so much they can actually _use_ them. A person only has 24 hours in a day to spend travelling, or anything else for that matter, and when they do they take away time from other things. Thus, Technocracy says that while human "want" may (or not) be infinite, the "ability to physically consume" *is* limited. What Technocracy can produce in abundance are those things that are consumable in limited amounts, and thus production can meet and/or exceed consumption.
--Kolzene 09:33, 1 June 2006 (UTC)

The future?

Technocratic born years before the actual energetic crisis. In this time a oil barrel cost nothing but today energy take a important role of the society, and this role will grown with the time.

How much power will earn the technocrats?.


I don't quite understand what you're saying. Can you be a bit more clear? --Hibernian 23:03, 26 September 2006 (UTC)

Technocracy Handbook

What is this "Technocracy Handbook"? I've never heard of it. 70.168.202.175 was the one that added it. Does anyone know about this? --Kolzene 08:12, 10 November 2006 (UTC)

Diamonds

I just wanna point out that the mention of diamonds under "naturally scarce things" is more than slightly humorous, considering that diamonds have for at least 50 years been a perfect example of a commodity that is artificially scarce. AVTuna 23:45, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

Technocracy = the end of politics

Technocracy is not only a zero growth socio-economic system and the end of money - technocracy is also the end of politics, and this fact is not really present in the article although it is of fundamental importance for the nature of the technocratic system. Technocracy means that there are no politicians, political parties, political/religious/ethnic lobbies and movements that can influence the system in any shape or form - this also means no domestic politics and no foreign policy either (translated: no foreign wars for a technate!). This apolitical nature of technocracy should be properly explained and inserted into the article.--FreedonNadd 08:41, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

So insert it!—Αναρχία 03:07, 27 January 2007 (UTC)
Yes you may be right to a certain extent, after looking through the article again, there does seem to be a lack of info on that aspect of Technocracy's plan. However you are wrong to say there would be no domestic politics in a Technate, there would of-course be all the political and opinion based argumentation by people as there ever has been, a Technate would not change that. What would change is the fact that politics and opinions would not shape the government, because the Technate would make decisions and laws purely on the grounds of science, in order to achieve the Technate’s objective of providing a High standard of living. It is also inaccurate to say a Technate would have no foreign policy, after all every nation has to adopt some policy regarding the rest of the World, right? The Technate's diplomatic relations would be handled by the Foreign relations sequence (or some such), and the Technate would likely have treaties with other nations on various matters. Even though (by definition) a Technate must be self-sufficient in everything to exist, that does not preclude the possibility of a limited amount of trade with other countries (if only for cultural artefacts that can't be produced in the Technate). It's also not quite true to say there could never be any "foreign wars" for a Technate, it is true that the Technate's armed forces would be used only for self-defence, but if some nation attacked the Technate, then it would defend itself by all necessary means, which could potentially involve attacking that country back. There is also nothing in Technocracy literature (that I've seen) that would preclude things like UN peacekeeping missions in foreign countries and the like. A more accurate thing to say would be that a Technate would never wage a war of aggression (as there would be absolutely no need to) and it would never start a war and would certainly attempt to avoid them in general. --Hibernian 04:20, 27 January 2007 (UTC)

Huxley's Brave New World

Is Aldous Huxley's Brave New World a fictional example of a kind of technocratic society? Perhaps a "technocracy gone bad"? Wooster (talk) 13:50, 3 April 2007 (UTC)