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TRUE PUBLIC SERVANTS

By Pete Moore On December 2nd, 2019

Brrrrr chilly this morning.

I turned the key in the motor. It started up, all good. Probably done it a couple of thousand times in that car. Revved it a little and then scraped the ice off the windows. Job done, off I went; engine running, injectors injecting, pumps pumping, hoses and flywheels all working, lights on, radio on, heaters blowing. And I thought how brilliant engineers, electricians, materials scientists and all the rest are. These heroes, the magicians, they are true public servants.

When was the last time you pondered the miracle of water from the turn of a tap, or heat and light from the flick of a switch? Capitalism and markets generate the wealth that pays for civilised living, but engineers design and build it. Almost all humans who ever lived couldn’t conceive of the things they have done. And we take it all for granted, only noticing on the rare occasions that something doesn’t work.

49 Responses to “TRUE PUBLIC SERVANTS”

  1. and as you got into that marvel of science and engineering did you contemplate how good OIL has made your life…?

    Every piece of plastic and rubber in that car is made from OIL. Oil fuels it, keeps it running and every engineer, electrician, materials scientists and all the rest all owe their jobs to OIL….

  2. If you’ve sent an email or used the web today, thank the evil US and European governments who did so much of the essential research.

  3. Never mind all that stuff. Where would we be without walls?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BVxOb8-d7Ic

  4. that was good

  5. Capitalism is a wow obv as it’s how countries proper through markets and trade . But the bigger wow is communism because that’s the theory of how to spend the money that capitalism makes for the common good . Much more interesting a proposition.

  6. Communism doesn’t work.

    It’s Angels on the head of a pin / Dungeons and Dragons malarkey.

    Best to focus on stuff that works in a non ideological fashion.

  7. Paul.

    That Dara O’Briain clip was really funny mate thanks.

    I reckon I could explain computers, electricity, the internet and fridges from a scientific and technical point of understanding. But Perhaps I’m in the minority. I certainly am here on ATW. 😁

  8. Phantom.

    Communism doesn’t work.

    I’m not sure how you come to that conclusion Phantom.

  9. Exhibit A

    The entire history of Communism, from Lenin/Stalin to Castro to North Korea

  10. as an either/or communism doesn’t work
    but all modern countries function with both systems in play

  11. There are no aspects of ” communism ” in an successful nation

    Socialism in the proper dose is good for any society and for capitalism itself

    Communism delivers rags and repression, as in North Korea and Cuba and

  12. I’m not sure how you come to that conclusion Phantom.

    100 million murdered in the 20th-Century, millions more reduced to poverty, starvation and a desperation to escape from communism is quite a bit of evidence.

  13. Communism kills, just look at the commie NHS.

    All successful economies include elements of both capitalism and communism, communism light, socialism.

  14. There would be very few highly successful business leaders who would not endorse some socialist policies.

    But that’s not communism.

    Communism is an evil, socialism can work great with a successful capitalist economy.

  15. I would argue that what was experienced in the “entire history of Communism, from Lenin/Stalin to Castro to North Korea” was not actually Communism. I would go one further than that and also argue that Communism is likely not actually possible.

    In its truest sense Communism is the presence of a classless, egalitarian society based on the notion that from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs. You put in what you can, you take out what you need. Marxist theory is that to get to that you need to overthrow capitalism and then transition to Communism. The problem with the “entire history of Communism, from Lenin/Stalin to Castro to North Korea” was that they never got past the transition phase of things. They were stuck in eternal revolution, the dictatorship of the proletariat. Now they likely never could get to that because the concept would likely go completely against human behaviour. And so the dictatorship of the proletariat, or more correctly the dictatorship of politically organised of the proletariat, would continue endlessly.

  16. Communism goes against human nature.

    You will at best always wind up with what you had in the USSR where some workers said ” you pretend to pay us, and we pretend to work ”

    Who decides what one’s abilities are?
    Who decides what one’s needs are?
    Who decides whether to throw capital at the next highly disruptive marvel, the next smart phone, the next Amazon, the next Uber? Those things would never be funded under a communist state precisely because they are so disruptive.

    Communism is a fetish. There is no science to any of it. Marx pointed out some deep flaws in naked capitalism, and some of those have been well addressed, and the rest should be addressed as soon as possible.

    But there should be no more talk about a good communist society where there are freedoms, because that is a complete impossibility, as much as cold heat, dry water, or meat based vegetarianism.

  17. The desire of a person to get rich by means of creating and selling great services or products is not a bad thing. It’s one of the best things that any of our societies have.

    The only way to stop that that is by oppression. Of the entire society, not only oppressing the rich guy or the guy who wishes to be rich some day.

  18. Phantom.

    Exhibit A

    The entire history of Communism, from Lenin/Stalin to Castro to North Korea

    Just because many communist countries have failed, does not mean that communism can never work. There were plenty of capitalist countries that have failed also.
    North Korea is also classed as a democratic people’s Republic, but I’d say it’s more of a dictatorship.

    Sorry, but exhibit A is inadmissible as evidence.

  19. All communist nations have been failed states and/or dictatorships.

    The success that China has had over the past decades have come from injections of capitalism.

    But it is still a complete dictatorship, where there are no rights.

  20. And I thought how brilliant engineers, electricians, materials scientists and all the rest are. These heroes, the magicians, they are true public servants.

    White men – who made the modern world. But they are now viewed as ‘out-of-date’…..

    https://vigilantcitizen.com/moviesandtv/this-review-of-ford-v-ferrari-reflects-the-absurdity-of-movie-critics-today/

    This review of the movie “Ford v Ferrari” (which is about the auto industry in the 1960s) frowned on the fact that it mostly featured “straight white men”. It also called the entire auto industry a “patriarchal wasteland”. This is the sad state of “movie critics” today.

    Childless white women – as useless and wasteful as white men are useful and constructive

  21. If Elon Musk invents great electric cars, then more power to him.

    Let him get rich doing so.

    Why would anyone have a problem with that.

  22. Every piece of plastic and rubber in that car is made from OIL. Oil fuels it, keeps it running and every engineer, electrician, materials scientists and all the rest all owe their jobs to OIL….

    Our stone age ancestors would have said the same about stone, until they discovered how to work copper and tin ores. The age of fossil fuels is ending for the same reason but with the added urgency of carbon emissions being reduced to zero asap. Electric vehicles will replace internal combustion much faster than the petrol-heads realise.

  23. Communism/Socialism/Fascism always lead to Tyranny

  24. Socialist policies in the right doses don’t lead to any tyranny at all.

    If there were no socialist policies, capitalism will be so cruel that it will be overthrown.

    Finland Iceland and Japan have socialist elements to their economies, but none of them are tyrannies of any kind.

  25. Let us know when it ends…..

    Every Electric Car is powered by Fossil Fuel generated Electricity…..

    Breakthroughs happen all the time, but so far nothing has been developed to replace Oil/LNG/Coal. Solar isn’t there wind is a joke fusion failed what have you got ?

  26. We are at Day One.

    Stand by.

    Fifty years from now, or even ten, people will burst out laughing when they speak of the fact that saving horse and buggy technology like coal was seen as a good thing by some in the 2016 election.

  27. Safety nets are good business, but not when it equals more than the state budget.

  28. I hope that prediction is correct Phantom

  29. The best chance we have to find a good alternative is to keep pushing space travel and colonization. No other field has benefited mankind as the space programs.

  30. We don’t have good safety nets on health care.

    If there is a possibility that people are put into poverty because someone in the family gets sick, there is by definition no safety net.

    If people avoid seeing a doctor for preventative care due to cost, there is no safety net.

    Some states do a decent jobs, others do next to nothing.

    We are a super expensive, super complicated mess in this area.

    There are no good safety nets, there never have been, there never can be until there is a decent floor for all citizens and legal residents.

  31. There has been extremely impressive progress on renewables.

    https://arstechnica.com/science/2019/08/wind-power-prices-now-lower-than-the-cost-of-natural-gas/

  32. As a victim of the very circumstances you describe I still disagree.

    My loss of everything was bad planning on my part. It is no one else responsibility to take care of my needs.

    I was the one who failed to plan properly, why should others be forced to carry me ?

  33. Patrick Van Roy,

    Every Electric Car is powered by Fossil Fuel generated Electricity…..

    That’s not true Patrick.
    a fair amount of electricity comes from nuclear and renewables.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_energy_consumption
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Renewable_energy_in_the_United_Kingdom

  34. Every Electric Car is powered by Fossil Fuel generated Electricity…..

    No, the UK is already generating 30% of its electricity from renewables and the same trend is apparent in the USA despite Trump’s efforts to stymie wind and solar power and subsidise coal. Solar is already cheaper than coal in the sunbelt states, without subsidy. But you knew that of course.

  35. No individual person / family should be expected to make all the correct decisions in this area.

    Anyone we know can be healthy as a horse for the next ten years, or they can get very sick for the next ten years as of tomorrow.

    It is entirely impossible for the individual to prepare for what may come.

    Unregulated industry won’t make it possible for them to do so, nor should the medical profession be expected to do this on its own.

    This is an area where government has a proper role. One which can lower costs and provide more security for everyone. And make it easier for employers too, BTW.

  36. What the rest of you do is insignificant. 18% of the grid is nuclear and renewables in the US.

    and Nuclear is the most damaging powersource to the planet that exists.

  37. I agree that nuclear is a dead end. Wasteful, dangerous, polluting and expensive.

  38. good for you Peter. Most on yourside push it, but the waste created by it is the most destructive substance for life that we have created and stays lethal for millions of years.

  39. It is no one else responsibility to take care of my needs.

    I was the one who failed to plan properly, why should others be forced to carry me ?

    I disagree. I’d argue that if you’re forced to pay a % of your earnings to the Governemnt then the Government has a responsibility to provide a return on your investment should you fall on harder times.

  40. Without government involvement, the health care company could have dropped you like a hot potato after your annual policy expired, and no other health care company would write you the next year at any affordable price.

    It has happened a million times.

    Health care ain’t buying a five pound bags of red potatoes at Tescos

  41. Patrick Van Roy

    but the waste created by it is the most destructive substance for life that we have created

    No it isn’t.

    Comparisons between toxic substances are not straightforward. The effect of plutonium inhalation would be to increase the probability of a cancer developing in several years time, whilst most other strong toxins lead to more immediate death. Best comparisons indicate that, gram for gram, toxins such as ricin, some snake venoms, cyanide, and even caffeine are significantly more toxic than plutonium.

    Patrick Van Roy

    and stays lethal for millions of years.

    No it doesn’t.

    The radioactivity of nuclear waste naturally decays, and has a finite radiotoxic lifetime. Within a period of 1,000-10,000 years, the radioactivity of HLW decays to that of the originally mined ore. Its hazard then depends on how concentrated it is. By comparison, other industrial wastes (e.g. heavy metals, such as cadmium and mercury) remain hazardous indefinitely.

    https://www.world-nuclear.org/information-library/nuclear-fuel-cycle/nuclear-wastes/radioactive-wastes-myths-and-realities.aspx
    http://ecolo.org/documents/documents_in_english/plutonium-bernard-cohen.html

    If you’re still worried about radioactivity Patrick, then you really should be going after the coal power stations, because that produces more radioactive waste, than the nuclear industry.

    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/coal-ash-is-more-radioactive-than-nuclear-waste/

    Patrick. Did you get anywhere on providing evidence for your repeated claim that the Earth has frozen over thousands of times?

  42. Coal and oil plants would have killed vastly more people worldwide than nuclear power plants ever did, via air and water pollution

    Nuclear waste from power plants can be contained, and it almost always is contained AFAIK

  43. “And I thought how brilliant engineers, electricians, materials scientists and all the rest are. These heroes, the magicians, they are true public servants.” This is dreamland stuff. Many of the professionals you reference worked for governments, educational institutions, non-profits, etc. and were not capitalists. The capitalists are the people who rob what those professionals invented or developed and hawk it to the public.

    It is true that we enjoy many benefits from science and technology. But, it is not true such benefits were invented or developed by capitalists whose purpose is mostly to make money by using what others invented or developed.

  44. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tim_Berners-Lee

  45. Petrochemicals are used for many parts of vehicles and that will probably continue for a good while. But eventually oil will be replaced as an energy source by electricity derived from a variety of methods mentioned above. Oil is bad for the environment and expensive to extract. Electricity is the most widely distributed energy source. It will take time to replace oil but I would place a big bet on its future.

  46. Every car company in the world is betting big on electric vehicles, and on autonomous tech

    The future will be very interesting

  47. I’m betting on anti-matter and teleportation…..

  48. Phantom,

    Coal and oil plants would have killed vastly more people worldwide than nuclear power plants ever did, via air and water pollution

    Absolutely spot-on Phantom, and that’s demonstrably proven. Whilst nuclear accidents get all the attention, the millions of deaths worldwide from pollution produced by burning fossil fuels seems to be pretty much brushed under the carpet.

    Nuclear waste from power plants can be contained, and it almost always is contained AFAIK

    I’m not saying the nuclear industry is squeaky clean when it comes to cleaning up it’s waste, it’s not. But it is a lot better these days. And it’s certainly a lot better when compared to the dangerous waste produced by fossil fuels.

  49. Phantom,

    Every car company in the world is betting big on electric vehicles, and on autonomous tech

    While your there mate put a big bet on for me. I’m good for it. I’ll pay you back.

    Patrick Van Roy,

    I’m betting on anti-matter and teleportation…..

    Can you afford to lose that much money Patrick?

    When you think about it, teleportation isn’t actually what you think it is.
    A teleporter is a machine that violently destroys your original body, and then produces an exact copy somewhere else.

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