This Thing you Cannot Cheat on

With their inventiveness, perhaps not always very healthy and constructive, human beings have managed to cheat on many things: on the amount of gold they possessed, covering for example lead with a thin gold leaf ; on gasoline to which water can be added at the risk of having to clean the carburetor; on the ground beef that can be substituted for skin, beet juice, crushed bones and fat without giving it the proper taste, but this substitute can still be passed on to poor people who have never before eaten real steak … However, there is one thing on which it will probably never be possible to cheat, it is with energy. We can cheat on energy sources (e.g. gasoline), but not on energy itself. With a vehicle of given weight, shape and engine, you always need the same amount of fuel to bring it from point A to point B. A particular human being must always spend the same amount of energy to climb to the top of a mountain or to climb the stairs of a specific skyscraper, as long as it retains the same body weight and clothing. If they are only provided with half of the energy required, they can move roughly only half the distance (depending in particular on the relief, the strength of the contrary wind, obstacles on the course, etc. that may be different between the first and second half of the trip).

Man or a machine always needs a certain amount of energy to accomplish a given action or job. This quantity is invariable as long as one and the other do not change. There may, of course, be slight variations in the opposite case. If the Man starts to grow up to twice his initial weight, he will need twice the amount of original energy to now perform the same escalation. Nevertheless, one can always evaluate quite accurately, by the science of mechanics (solids and fluids), the quantity of energy necessary to realize such action. In particular, the man will always need the same amount of Calories in the form of solid or liquid food and the machine always the same amount of joules or kilowatt-hours (one kilowatt-hour equals 3.6 megajoules) in the form of electricity, gasoline or other fuel, depending on the nature of its engine.

Oh! Of course, there are machines and human beings that seem more efficient than others to perform a given task, such as sorting papers, sweeping a room, walking or rolling a distance of ten kilometers. There are a few reasons for this:

  • the performance of their “engine” (its efficiency in converting the energy source into pure energy);
  • the power of the same engine (thanks in particular to the quality and quantity of the muscles or metals used, as the case may be), that is to say its ability to perform the same work in a shorter or longer time – a machine half as powerful as other needs twice the time to do it, with equal energy expenditure;
  • the effectiveness of the working method that can be used, and actually used, by humans or by the machine, knowing that certain methods, for example for sorting, take much more time than others;
  • at least in the case of Man, his eventual laziness that may stretch him more or less considerably the length of treatment of the task.

However, in each case, regardless of the performance and power of the engine, the efficiency of the method and the extent of laziness, it is still possible to assess with a fairly good accuracy how much energy necessary to carry out a given action or job. And productivity is the result of the combination of performance, power, efficiency and possible laziness. The machines have several advantages: they cannot, in principle, be lazy; they are more powerful and generally have better energy efficiency than humans. The only area where they can still be outclassed by the latter is about the method. Moreover, if they are well built, the machines are less likely to fail than human beings get sick (or pregnant). It is then easy to understand why some world elites eager for treasures or control of the Earth are increasingly seeking to replace their human slaves with machines, especially robots (which can perform complex tasks with the best preprogrammed methods), or why they want to “increase” or improve them by turning them into cyborgs (half-men, half-machines). We also understand why they also seek to fully control the sexual reproduction of human beings (especially to avoid the duration of pregnancy).

Having determined a measurable thing on which man cannot cheat—energy—, for what could it be used in practice? Well, as a means of exchange or balancing of works and services, instead of the various current forms of money that allow all to cheat and especially to speculate. One cannot speculate with the value of energy either: a Calorie will always be a Calorie; a joule will always be a joule, and a kilowatt-hour will always be a kilowatt-hour. On the contrary, the value of an ounce of gold fluctuates according to the planetary casinos that are the stock exchanges, the value of a ton of wheat also, and the value of a painting of master painting varies according to the human affectivity and greed. One can speculate on the value of a source of energy, but not on the energy itself.

As long as human society is not able to function fully under the direction of selfless giving, human beings will more or less feel the need to receive something in return for their rendered work and services. Yet we could very well conceive of a functional society on the basis of giving instead of money exchange and barter. In the meantime, the form of money on which we cannot cheat is energy. One kilowatt-hour of work can be exchanged for another job or service that requires the same energy expenditure. Of course, as mentioned above, some human beings will take much longer to do this work, as well as machines. However, the inequality will come only from their different abilities and their possible laziness more or less pronounced. And it is up to all people to seek better methods. On the other hand, the productivity and altruism of certain human beings are such that they can produce and give enough for many. Thus, being generally better off by nature, they can help the most handicapped, and retain for their own use (as regards the exchange of works, services and material goods) only a fraction of their own production. Oh ! Of course, such a socio-economic model can only work with a minimal and indispensable dose of maturity, collective responsibility and a sense of sharing. But the question is whether we want to continue living on the basis of current exploitation patterns (of Earth and the billions of slaves of the global elite) or if we want to build a healthier world.

As long as the Earth is home to psychopaths and other sociopaths, and individualism and selfishness will dominate a sizable portion of individuals, no organized system will be perfect, but all types of human organizations will require effort and vigilance. Nevertheless, if humanity becomes capable of passing from its current adolescence to adulthood, then globally it will be able to avoid propelling psychopaths to the head of the groups, but on the contrary will deprive them of all power of decision and control over destiny of nations and individuals. In such a context, if it still feels the need to go through a kind of currency to ensure trade, then the one that seems most likely to greatly reduce the risks of speculation and cheating should be based directly on energy, and no longer on material resources, even as noble as gold, except possibly to the extent that we translate them into energetic equivalents. It would then remain in the latter case to determine whether the equivalence would be for example that of the energy required to extract such quantity of gold from a mine or other gold sources, or that of the E = mc2 relationship between energy and matter.

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