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Utopia Talk / Politics / America first should mean Mexico too
Habebe
Member
Tue May 19 19:57:19
If I've said it once, Ive said it a thousand times.

We hear all of this talk about becoming less dependant on China for a multitude of reasons.

Some things we can just go ahead and produce here in the states, but very few things realistically since our labor costs are high, and then mostly in the South.

However Mexico is perfect. They have an increasingly skilled workforce.They also are a young nation in the sense that the average age is like 28.( maybe median, I forget) plus they have cheaper labor than China.

Distance, for the US they are literally right there, they can ship to either US coast and while ships are cheapernto transport at some point we need land shipping, Kansas doesn't have many ports.

The only issue the US has with Mexico is that many of there poor immigrate here in large numbers, too large to adequately accomadate.

Well, whats the best way to stop that? It's not a wall its cooperating with Mexico to get better jobs in Mexico, at which point we wouldn't care about too many immigrants and they wouldnt be flocking here as much anyway.

On the world stage, it would be nice from US perspective if Mexico had more sway. We share most of the same values.

Plus we are the number one trading partner with Mexico and vica versa, so a wealthier Mexico will likely lead to a wealthier US since they will buy more shit from us.

This is one of those instances where I disagree with Trumps policy. I'd rather invest in Mexico than build a wall.

Now its not a silver bullet. Mexico jas many issues from.ganh violence, to infrastructure and a need for more educated workers and the population is only at 125 million, which still though is pretty large.
Habebe
Member
Tue May 19 20:00:59
Canada is great too, but not much room for growth.
Dakyron
Member
Wed May 20 00:01:20
People leave Mexico because it is a violent, misogynistic shithole where you could be killed or raped at will in 2/3rds of the country with little or no recourse or chance of ever catching your attackers.

Mexicans already make more than Chinese. Average wage in Mexico is like $12K a year, almost double that of China.

The problem with Mexico is its shitty, incompetent, and corrupt government. One that makes the US look like the perfect democracy.
Habebe
Member
Wed May 20 00:17:50
Mexico just increased its minimum wage again to $6.53/day.

Now specifically in regards to manufacturing this the most recent data I could find.

In 2018, manufacturing labor costs in China were estimated to be 5.51 U.S. dollars per hour. This is compared to an estimated 4.45 U.S. dollars per hour in Mexico, and 2.73 U.S. dollars in Vietnam.

http://www...per-hour-china-vietnam-mexico/
Habebe
Member
Wed May 20 02:31:48
I mean for the cost of the wall we could build the NAFTA superhighway that Republican* Governor Rick Perry wanted back in the day.
jergul
large member
Wed May 20 04:23:33
China produces 1.3 million new engineers each year. Nuff said.
Habebe
Member
Wed May 20 04:27:54
Amd with all those engineers you would think they would have some great new tech or products that they created themselves....but they seem to suck at genuine innovation.
jergul
large member
Wed May 20 04:36:13
Habebe
They have tons of that. Which is why the US is trying to block innovation by embargoing key technologies to one high profile company in particular.

All we are watching is China and India reverting back to their historical roles as being the only truly relevant countries on the planet. India is not far behind with 1 million engineering graduates a year.

Its been a nice 300 year hiatus.
Habebe
Member
Wed May 20 04:47:09
Umm, even XI calls chimese lack of innovation chinas " Achilles heel"

The US is simply playing hardball bsck with them after they played hardball with US firms like Facebook and Google.

"This is mainly reflected in the lack of strength in innovation ability, which is the 'Achilles heel' of this lug of an economy of ours."_ XI jinping
Habebe
Member
Wed May 20 04:50:28
Also if Huawei is the great innovator of China be my guest and buy a ZTE. I'll stick with my Korean Samsung's .
jergul
large member
Wed May 20 05:47:46
Habebe
*Shrug* The US still controls key patents. For as long as that will last.

It is incidentally an inherently good thing that ideas are global. There is something inherently wrong with blocking access to consumer grade technology.
Habebe
Member
Wed May 20 05:59:08
Meh, anyway back MMGA.

Make Mexico Great Again.
jergul
large member
Wed May 20 08:02:12
Habebe
Mexico has far more trade with you on a per capita basis than China does. Mexico is great again.

Paramount
Member
Wed May 20 09:27:35
” I'll stick with my Korean Samsung's ”

I only have American stuff. iPhone, iPad, iMac, Macbook Pro etc.
Seb
Member
Wed May 20 10:07:24
Everyone I know working in Chinese coastal cities describe them as living in the future.

Bare in mind anything innovated in China isn't immediately available or even visible.

Western media for aesthetic reasons present the world in ways that we intuitively understand. Hence yellow filters to allow viewer to immediately to know they are in Afghanistan or Mexico etc.

Chinese and South East Asian media and news is not in English, and therefore inaccessible to Western audiences, so you don't come across it often.

And in terms of products, the brand names are not known so often considered "cheap crap" even when innovative. There may also be issues in that Chinese products built for the Chinese market use OEM products which Western ip owners will not allow to be placed into products that would compete and canibalise their own domestic market. That's the legitimate reason China has often demanded tech transfer: we get to do innovative stuff with your products but can't ship them to the rotw.

The last ten years, China has put some amazing stuff on their domestic market. We just don't get to see it, unless you know to look for it (look for obscure blogs by hyper early adopters, or Western expats living in China).

As Gibson says, the future is here, but not evenly distributed. Increasingly there are bits of the future distributed over Chinese coastal cities.


Seb
Member
Wed May 20 10:09:38
Paramount:

All built by Foxconn. Apple owns the design, but only foxconn knows how to assemble the product that reliably.

You may recall that the models they produced when they started to diversify their supply chain were notably lower quality.
Paramount
Member
Wed May 20 10:15:41
Yes, I have noticed the quality drop.
The Children
Member
Wed May 20 10:32:37
hababy is piss sour poor yankee who think usa is the only place of innovation.

just like usa warmongering.

with all those yearly invasions, russians made a good joke about u guys.

the joke goes as this. when is the last time u actually won something?

lol
Habebe
Member
Wed May 20 11:04:22
So China has actually great innovative breakthrough products, they're just super secret.
jergul
large member
Wed May 20 11:10:30
Ignorance of the outside world does not infer that other countries are secretive habebe.
jergul
large member
Wed May 20 11:17:26
China is currently less than 2 years behind South Korea in semi-conductor development. That is 5 years into its 10 year plan of reaching semiconductor self-sufficiency.

The company leading the development was one of the very few that continued to operate as normal in wuhan during the covid-19 outbreak there.

All Trump is doing is forcing China into a full blown "Fast Follower" strategy for critical components.

Why? Because he thinks it will help his reelection campaign.
Dakyron
Member
Wed May 20 11:20:24
China is basically the old USSR. Sure, they have some good technology, but out in the provinces their people are still living like its the 16th century, eating tiger penis to cure cancer and shitting in buckets.
jergul
large member
Wed May 20 11:28:26
Daky
Not so much any more. Things change. Think of it as a transition from the 1930s dustbowl to the 1950s suburbia. It only took 20 years.
Habebe
Member
Wed May 20 11:33:04
Jergul can dream, I won't burst his bubble in this thread as its not really about China.
The Children
Member
Wed May 20 11:43:25
no but the america has the greatest innovative breakthroughs that ur so eager to continue gloatin about...

if ur nation so great, then why r u peoples so obsessed with china.

u was sold a dream a lie.

nottin u believed in the last 50 years turned out 2 be true. thats why ur so pissy angry.

u was sold a lie.

jergul
large member
Wed May 20 11:55:09
Habebe
It is about China unless you want to adopt a 1920s level of consumption. Its primary advatage is that of scale.

Saying Mexico can pick up the slack Trump is trying to create is as relevant as saying Maine can pick up the slack.

Habebe
Member
Wed May 20 12:27:56
But its.not.

Im not saying Mexico will entirley replace China for pur manufacturing needs.

1. We still trade plenty with China.

2. The US in the coming years will likely reduce its trade with China, especially in certain areas such as strategic goods.

3. Mexico would be a great option both economically and strategically in doing that.

4. Other nations will also be important in shifting trade such as India and Vietnam.
Seb
Member
Wed May 20 12:39:16
Habebe:

It's not secret. It's just that the West is often quite parochial. It's not like you look at this written in Chinese script right?

The thing is, when you make and assemble things, you tend to gain the insights needed for incremental and adjacent possible.

Dakyron:

The population of the coastal provinces with European average GDP/capita in ppp is about 400m.

It's all very well saying that they have 600m peasant attached, but at the end of the day, that's pretty much the same economic heft as the US or the EU.

If they were all at EU level, China would have greater heft than the US and EU combined.
Seb
Member
Wed May 20 12:45:18
Cultivating secondary manufacturing hubs is a good strategy. It needs to be more than Mexico and it will take time for it to reach the quality of China. But it would require preferential trade relations and a concerted industrial policy to prevent those hubs ending up much like another china. In the interim, prices will likely be higher and quality lower as China isn't running on low labor cost now, but more economies of scale, cluster effects and aquired skills and know how.

Unfortunately China clocked this weakness a decade ago, and has already started developing basic heavy industry where labor costs are key advantage with a view to making sure the next wave of cheap manufacturers are effectively Chinese clients.

Chinese leadership has had very strong strategy.

We will see though if Xi's centralisation of power and cult of personality undermines that capability. Ex pat friends there believe so.

Sadly the US political system has done something similar in terms of self lobotomising.
Dakyron
Member
Wed May 20 14:32:38
PPP is a horrifically stupid way to measure economic clout, but I digress.

Mexico is already a huge manufacturing hub the for United States, so no need to cultivate anything. If you really wanted absolute dirt cheap labor, you could probably go with Haiti or Jamaica.
Pillz
Member
Wed May 20 14:35:14
Lol @ Haiti.

Seriously? Frankly Cuba looks appealing. Corporate contracts with the Cuban state.
Dakyron
Member
Wed May 20 14:38:47
Minimum wage in Haiti is like $5 a day. Cuba it is $9 a month.

So yeah, I guess if you don't mind dealing with Castro, Cuba would be the way to go. I think a few extra bucks a few(literally) would be worth dealing with a more friendly government.
jergul
large member
Wed May 20 15:39:35
habebe
If you just mean more integration in whatever the fuck you are calling Nafta now, then sure.
Pillz
Member
Wed May 20 16:15:35
Haiti has a government?
Dakyron
Member
Wed May 20 16:35:38
"Haiti has a government? "

Exactly, US corporations could do whatever they want there without interference, other than the occasional protection money to a local gang.

jergul - That would be the USMCA
Seb
Member
Wed May 20 18:11:24
Dakyron:

Depends. If China builds a lot of the world's high tech gadgets, and they cost a lot less because they are using OEM components unbranded; what that means is Western customers are paying a fortune to Apple etc for what's essentially brand premium.

But the Chinese demand still drives the economies of scale that make the manufacture of our consumer goods viable. So the idea we can simply "onshore" our manufacturing base by using tariffs to ring fence domestic demand doesn't really work.


China is left with its high tech manufacturing cluster, it's large internal demand, and ability to export globally. The West is left trying to rebuild and scale out that manufacture which will need to pay off investment costs, plus be hampered by the lack of consolidation, skills and know-how etc. that will hit quality.

In the rotw, China looks better placed to take the market share.

So PPP is quite relevant in that respect.
jergul
large member
Thu May 21 01:12:56
Another aspect of Chinese development is the precision production of low tech stuff. I just bought a pair of extendible Nordic walking poles. Remarkably high quality at 40 bucks.

I suspect the equivalent pair would have cost 250 dollars a decade ago.

And yes, I know, it seems gay. But here is the technique: Pretend you are stabbing someone you dislike every step (die jergul - die jergul - die jergul - die jergul). It gives a better upper body workout than cross country skiing if you thow the stab sort of the same way you would a punch (with your weight behind it).

A 40 minute walk was - tiring. The extendible poles held up fine.
Habebe
Member
Thu May 21 03:05:24
Seb, "Cultivating secondary manufacturing hubs is a good strategy. It needs to be more than Mexico"

Definitley agree. And at the end of the day we will still trade a lot with China.

But my point about trading less with was actually 2ndary. My main argument is that this a good chance in using our decreas ed trade with China to bolster Mexicos position as a world power.

A strong Mexico is good for the US in many ways.This just gives us a good oppurtunity to help m them instead of building a wall.
Seb
Member
Thu May 21 03:06:41
Jergul:

That's what I mean by quality. Increase of precision in large production runs, while reducing defects etc.

This stuff depends not on cheap labour but acquired know-how and skills.

China getting in early to sponsor manufacturing hubs around things that do not require precision and tolerate higher levels of defects in third countries I think is, in part at least, a deliberate strategy to ensure that the next wave of heavy industry based developmentof the kind that they benefited from is distributed and so will not generate the clusters that support a smooth transition into higher elements of the value chain. They don't want a competitor to the South East Asian network they sit at the centre of.
Nimatzo
iChihuaha
Thu May 21 04:26:30
”Living in the future”

Sure, if that future is polluted, filthy, corrupt and dystopian. People do well to not discount China, but the idea that they are living in some future, coastal or otherwise, let alone a future worthy of emulation is not something I would sign under. I am saying that as some one with alot of professional insight into Chinese manufacturing sites and practices. They might be going places, but they ain’t there yet.

And I know this part is lost in the discussion, but China is still an authoritarian piece of shit dictatorship with a culture that idolizes a central Authority (capital letter). No one in their right mind should talk in such a way to convey anything remotely close to the sentiment of actually wanting China to dominated any part of the world, least of all the part YOU live in. Futuristic coastal cities notwithstanding.

Let’s get real fellas.
jergul
large member
Thu May 21 05:38:59
Nimi
China has state of the art manufacturing facilities in addition to dystopic Stalinist type units.

I agree on authoritariansim, but also think that democracy scales poorly beyond a population of say 100 million.

But I think that is to a large extent a function of population age.

Democracy is viable everywhere for as long as revolutionaries are mostly using walkers.
Nimatzo
iChihuaha
Thu May 21 07:06:18
"but also think that democracy scales poorly beyond a population of say 100 million."

A week ago or so in agreement to something you wrote I said, any bright future includes more sovereignty for smaller entities. Poor scaling is probably a fundamental issue we are not getting around any time soon. That is not a seed that has in any meaningful form taken root in China. The concept of "Tianxia" (all under heaven), while in not exclusive to China historically, is still the substrate for leadership and foreign aspirations. Many countries aspire for hegemony, we may say, but the devil is in the details.

The political culture and dynamics of the USA (muh states rights), whatever faults it may have, is completely different.

My view on this is much like the W admin when they were asked about invading Iran, in that a "natural" regime change was far more likely in Iran than Iraq. For the USA it is a planned event every 4 years, not so much in China.

I try to keep that in mind, when I find myself on the opposite side of the Trumpicans. To what extent do I want to help the Trumpicans unravel things further, when the next chance for regime change is in 5 months?
Seb
Member
Thu May 21 10:34:40
Nim:

A colloquialism referring to the tech and associated practices that are increasingly common there.

The issue was around "can China innovate", not "is it a pluralistic free state with an excellent environment".
Seb
Member
Thu May 21 10:43:03
Whether we want it to dominate or not, the truth of the matter is that have a clear strategy to do so and the West has a range of strategies ranging from "throw out toys out of the pram" at one end "try to build fortress Europe" in the middle and "give me that sweet sweet chinese investment" at the other. None of these are really effective.

And that's the reality fellah!
Nimatzo
iChihuaha
Thu May 21 12:11:15
Seb
Given how pluralism and freedom are unimportant for innovation, I can totally see your point. Are you ready to give up on this trope? I’m not, I am convinced they are vital. Or wait, you have convinced me that authoritarian China has shown us we can innovate without pluralism and freedom!

I don’t believe consumer gadgets are a good proxy for ”innovative”, especially since almost all of it is researched and developed elsewhere. I do however believe it is important ”whether we want it or not”. What motivates people is a good predictor for their future behavior.
Seb
Member
Thu May 21 16:15:04
Nim:

I'm not convinced pluralism and freedom are as necessary for innovation as to prevent China's brand of authoritarian oligarchy to thrive.

After all, much of the industrial revolution occurred under similar oligarchical plutocracies.

"don’t believe consumer gadgets are a good proxy for ”innovative""

Well, great, that's fine, but then you are changing the subject matter which was originally around China's role in global supply chains.

"especially since almost all of it is researched and developed elsewhere."
Consumer gadgets are patents on patents. However China has been moving up the supply chain. The reason Huawei is being targeted is that it's 5G tech is better and cheaper and earlier to market than Western tech. Who are they copying? Martians?

This complacent idea that China is Innovation free reminds me of British attitudes to the US, which was similarly seen as a copy cat nation. The first light bulb was invented in the UK. Edisson stole design, replaced the carbon filament with tungsten, and while the British tech was superior (carbon filaments don't burn out), Edisons was cheaper to mass produce, and his production line was more skilled in gretting a good vacuum fit.

These kinds of innovations - incremental improvement, design tweaks and optimisation for production - this is where China is excelling. If they have a problem doing research (they don't, my expact friends are well published scientists who realised they could get in the post-grad treadmill with a hope of a meagre salary and buying a home by 40 in the UK, or be gauranteed a research group and cutting edge equipment and their own supercomputer in China), then they'll be simply buying people in the West to do it.

Didn't really matter who does the research as long as they own the IP and they produce the stuff.

They are also starting to clean up in AI too.

You want a liberal democratic dominated world. So do I.

We don't get that by trying to convince ourselves that we are Greeks and intellectually superior even as the Romans build an empire around us.

jergul
large member
Thu May 21 16:23:58
I pin my hopes on a grey revolution. As populations grow older, the stability China desires could as easily come from expanded voting as not.

I think this is a universal truth we have yet to see manifest.

It would still be "managed democracy", but it is hard to see how any country with 100ds of millions of people can have anything but manufactured popular participation.
Seb
Member
Thu May 21 18:54:06
Jergul:

Xi doesn't bode well for this.

China is undergoing a political transition even as the economic transformation architected by Deng and his successors comes to fruition. The future success of the political system emerging now shouldn't be judged by the success of the political system that engineered and oversaw the last 40 years of triumphs.

That said, China's strategic gameplay is good and even the centralisation of power under xi won't necessarily destroy that. And much of it is embedded in state owned companies. Watch though, for putinesque interference in these. That will be a big sign of a decline in Chinese


Seb
Member
Thu May 21 18:54:12
Gameplay
Nimatzo
iChihuaha
Fri May 22 11:47:44
Seb
Yes, innovations were even made before the industrial revolution, but here and now China is not outpacing the west. You do not find China on any of the lists that keeps track of ”innovation”. Which I thought was the subject and not supply chains. The supply chains are very much dominated by the Chinese who build the stuff other people design.

In what way has China innovated supply chains? They apply western and Japanese manifacturing philosophies together with a relaxed approach to workplace environment and workplace hazards.

Edison
I get what you want to say, but you picked the one ”inventor” who did not invent much of anything. Who made his name being a ruthless businessman that employeed an army of engineers and tried to ruin the real inventor of his time, Nikola Tesla. Or so the story goes. A real asshole by many accounts. And the comparison is between two, relative to China, close cultural relatives.

Everything in the world can not be reduced to what you Brits experienced. This is a worn out analysis of yours and all it does is give me water on the mill e.g ”you think people behave like atoms”. You don’t, but it is a lazy analysis.

5G
Yes, Huaiwei invested more money early in developing a generation of communication tech, that was _already_ on the roadmap. Great business move.

This is a good distinction to make. There is one form of innovation that occurs in a system created by others and there is the kind of innovation that creates new systems. That can only happen when people are allowed to question them. The first approach works great when innovation can be planned according to a road map, while you leave it up to others to find the roads and draw the maps.

To find the roads and draw the maps, you need an environment and culture that allows for the questioning of norms and synthesis of outlandish ideas.

I will concede this and I have mentioned it before. In the area genetics of intelligence, most of that research is now being conducted in Asia (Japan and China) precisely because western academic norms have made it almost impossible to even talk about them.

And there are probably more areas in which Chinese authoritarianism and conformism isn’t an obstacle for innovation and they can steal people to come work for them. That isn’t the problem, the problem is you are almost making a compelling argument. China can innovate and because they do have an authoritarian rule they can plan things without election cycles and mobilize their entire 1.4 billion to all work towards the same goal, like a hive. Meanwhile we can’t tell ass from hand.

”liberal and democratic”

Ok, but you sound a little gloomy. That is what ”triggered” me.
Seb
Member
Fri May 22 13:53:14
Nim:

I didn't mention Tesla. Tesla did not invent the lightbulb. So I don't think you get what I'm saying at all. Swan invented the lightbulb. Eddison copied it, but by tweaking the design to improve cost effective production, and being able to make them en mass, he "invented the light bulb". And of course America, despite starting as a copy cat nation full of entrepreneurs whose great success was to be able to read the patent publications of European countries and produce the same at bigger scale to a bigger market was able to innovate just fine once they had a skilled workforce used to seeing how these were put together.

The same was said about Japan: they copy. Their immediate post war experience was just churning out at better precision at lower price points the products that had been the preserve of Western companies. Ball barings and the like.

Then, after a few decades, you got the likes of Sony.

You want lazy analysis? Lazy analysis is "design and creativity require free minds, and totalitarianism uniformaly crushes that, and in any case production line workers are all stupid automata and their foreman and the engineers that design the production lines are incapable of developing insight".

That's lazy. And what has been said about every country climbing up the value chain, and it has always been wrong. No country has stayed a simply mass producer.

but hey, if that's the straw you want to cling to, be my guest.


Seb
Member
Fri May 22 14:01:05
"his is a good distinction to make. There is one form of innovation that occurs in a system created by others and there is the kind of innovation that creates new systems."

What you are describing is the adjacent possible vs creative leaps. I mentioned it earlier.

The thing is, for the purposes of the original conversation, moving into the adjacent possible is more important.

However, even in terms of the creation of new systems, incredibly repressive regimes have managed to do this.

As I've pointed out, I know a few academics who have gone to work in China. They are allowed to think freely, ask questions, do thing differently etc. These are academics, they aren't going to go somewhere which doesn't let them do that.

What they are not allowed to do is *talk* about how *politics* might be different.

This really doesn't stop much in the way of technological progress, radical or not.

And if you are plugged into cutting edge physics and turning that into technology, you'd notice that China is doing some pretty amazing stuff there too.

The idea it's a nation of factory workers churning out cheap crap or clones of western products and who are not allowed to think is, well, a lazy stereotype.

Seb
Member
Fri May 22 14:01:52
"Ok, but you sound a little gloomy. That is what ”triggered” me."

There is a lot to be gloomy about. The west is fucking it up enormously.
Nimatzo
iChihuaha
Tue May 26 07:01:41
Seb
>>I didn't mention Tesla<<

You did not, I mentioned him, as a contemporary innovative genius to Edison. I made a case that Edison was not that innovative. I also said this reductionist view of yours has limits. Having said that, USA, Europe and Japan (after ww2) these were/are all free and democratic societies both in absolute terms and relative to others at the time. The examples are not contradicting what I am saying.

>>What they are not allowed to do is *talk* about how *politics* might be different.<<

Ok and taken at face value, that is the death of something I value for which you are making a compelling case i.e “The future will be dominated by China and our liberal and democratic systems are facilitating the process”. After all these systems gave us Brexit and the unraveling of decades of Atlantic alliance by Agent Orange. It seems then that the kind of stability provided by the “Chinese system” makes the western democratic process look like a chaotic roller coaster of retardation.

>>and totalitarianism uniformaly crushes that<<

I have no idea what this means. See my previous post with regards to the genetics of intelligence and my first post “China may be going places, but they ain’t there yet”, to calibrate.

>>However, even in terms of the creation of new systems, incredibly repressive regimes have managed to do this.<<

History is full of it, but which process, or system will reliably churn out “innovations” in 2020 and going forward. We are far removed from the context of Victorian Britain or the Abbasid dynasty and the many contributions they made to the sciences.

>>The idea it's a nation of factory workers churning out cheap crap or clones of western products and who are not allowed to think is, well, a lazy stereotype.<<

It’s a conviction that a liberal and democratic basis for a society has effects beyond the first order analysis of “we just can’t talk about politics everything else is great and futuristic” ergo China will dominate us. It’s the idea that if you can’t talk about how to best govern your nation it will have consequences that are not limited to governance because governance is a systematic effect i.e it effects everyone and everything. It’s not trivial.
Seb
Member
Tue May 26 07:24:43
Nim:

"I made a case that Edison was not that innovative."

Whether it was Edison himself or not in the example I gave, the point is that the innovations he or his firm made may appear small - much of the kind the incremental and ancillary stuff that China now does - but make the difference between a niche technically superior product and one that is a far more viable mainstream product.

Did Edison (or indeed, one of his employees) invent the lightbulb? No. He stole it. Did the innovations that he, or one of his employees, do in the margins around vaccum pumps and tweaking the filament design turn it into a far more superior product that could could be sold at the right price point to change the world?

Yes he did.

Innovations in these adjacent possible areas matter hugely, and while creative leaps are lovely, much in terms of what drives progress is these smaller steps from bespoke through to utility that matter. Particularly as overall progress is based on that whole cycle of industrialisation of products and ancillary practices from bespoke to commodity/utility that future products then build on.

Much of the rapid progress in the last 100 years has been in the speed up of that cycle, and dominance of the future will not be around the coming up with novel concepts, but the rapid industrialisation of them.

Seb
Member
Tue May 26 07:40:31
Nim:

"It seems then that the kind of stability provided by the “Chinese system” makes the western democratic process look like a chaotic roller coaster of retardation."

Yes, and in part that is because we have allowed the political actors to hack the mechanisms of democracy (or optimise) to the point that it no longer functions as a mechanism for reaching sensible decisions on a societal scale. Chief of which being weaponisation of small differences via culture wars that lead to excessively emotional/tribal voting patterns. Democracy no longer functions as a "wise crowd", and we turbocharged populism with Brexit and Trump, Orban etc. This of course is nothing new. We had a wave of this in the early 20th century, and the populists so far are careful to avoid actually re-writing the system, but they are functioning in much the same way as they did initially.

Functionally, I'm not sure the UK or the US can be said to really be in a traditional liberal democratic system right now. The structures are still there, but the way political actors are behaving and other actors and institutions within it are behaving is far more typical of populist oligarchies in the run-up to a transition away from traditional liberal democracy. That, of course, does not mean we will have a dictatorship.

And indeed, this phenomenon (along with the EU's tendency to fail to act collectively or strategically due to the narcissism of petty differences) is largely why we are not in a position to do much about China right now.

My views on China's success should be seen as observational, not normative. I think they are doing very well, I think they are building up a heck of a lot of political, economic, and military power; and COVID aside have been doing pretty well on soft power too.

Meanwhile, the west has been busy dividing itself into every small pieces while our elites focus on acquiring power largely for the sake of it, pursuing insane ideological dogmas for the sake of them without regard to the wider outcomes, and random totemic issues to mobilise the electorate.

Failure to appreciate that our global wealth, status and power were hard earned and carefully husbanded, not bestowed by God; and that we are in danger of pissing it away for ever is a hard message, but one that needs to be heard.

And trying to address it with naive strategies that do not recognise that the balance of power has already swung a considerable distance won't work either. Trying to imagine somehow we can shut China out of world trade looks more likely to be a spectacular act of self harm that will damage the west more than it would China, over anything more than a decade.
Nimatzo
iChihuaha
Wed May 27 04:30:51
Seb
"allowed the political actors to hack the mechanisms of democracy (or optimise) to the point that it no longer functions as a mechanism for reaching sensible decisions on a societal scale."

We don't think that different at the heart of it. I also believe we are trying to solve things that the system were never intended for, the poor scaling of our intuitions and the purpose of the institutions. I would probably add, the deconstruction of grand narratives. What is the purpose of your life in the west? Self-actualization apparently, a form of individualism that breaks individuals into atoms. There is little room to be 1 spoke/cog in some grander thing, that's lame.

I think I am more extreme than you in this regard, I think the systems that produce these results, they are going to implode. The hacking as you put is an infestation that goes deep and the results of bad incentives and inherent systematic flaws. There is no adjacent improvements to be had. What worries me is the theory that there is no leap to make as far as governance model, this is it.

I started this by saying "No one in their right mind should talk in such a way to convey anything remotely close to the sentiment of actually wanting China to dominated any part of the world, least of all the part YOU live in."

That is where I jumped in. At times when you and Jergul are having this conversation with our Murican friends, that is what it sounds like. If I were to read it charitably, it sounds like you are trying to scare our Americans friends straight with hey "China is pretty great, get your shit together". If I am not charitable, it sounds like you prefer China over the USA. I am a charitable person though.

I don't believe China will dominate us, least because they are innovative. However I also don't believe the path that the current US admin has beaten will lead anywhere good. China won't dominate us, but for sure we are in no position to dominate or bully China, that is over regardless and it was inevitable. We can however exacerbate the situation, in fact right now "we" are. Maybe that is a close enough alignment of our positions, in as far as, this is not a good path to be on.

There are many things to be gloomy about, but regime change as a planned event is something to be optimistic about. I don't want to be complicit, even as a small cog in the grand machinery that is attempting to unravel everything.
jergul
large member
Wed May 27 07:13:55
Nimi
My fundamental principles are the ones I have always held. The internal affairs of a State are its own.

Its not my preferred model. I would have preferred a global government managing the macros (security, social and economic equality) base on a Charter of some sort.

Your charitable view is the correct one. The current world order gives the US a lot of cultural, economic, military and political influence.

The US has to march to our drummer to some extent for that influence to be warranted.

The alternative is not China taking its place, its a multipolar world where countries are in better control of their own destiny.

So, yes, I am trying to scare the Americans straight.
Seb
Member
Wed May 27 08:25:17
Nim:

China is doing well though. This is not the same thing as saying I'd want to live there. It is getting richer at a fantastic clip, it's leaders have implemented a strategy that our leaders are simply incapable of conceiving of in any organised collective way, let alone responding to. Their people are growing richer at an incredible rate. And above all they are accumulating wealth and power while actively undermining Western Frameworks and institutions (which the West is doing anyway).

We can copy some of the things they do well (like industrial strategy for a start) without copying their governance system.
Seb
Member
Wed May 27 08:26:33
Jergul:

"The alternative is not China taking its place, its a multipolar world where countries are in better control of their own destiny."

I wouldn't be so sure. I think that's a very real prospect actually.
jergul
large member
Wed May 27 09:54:19
Seb
I don't think so.

http://www...ikonok/vilag_nepessege_en.html
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