Ronin of the Spirit

Because reality is beautiful.

One hundred four slaves and counting

giant freakin’ hamster wheel

Ok, so I was paying my electric bill today. Now, you might expect that this is where I complain about how the evil electric company is charging me usurious rates and how unfair it is. I don’t do that, because I am not a freaking commie. I don’t think the answer to any “unfairness” is my life is more involvement from my nurturing federal government.

However, Marxism made some valid points about capitalist excess. Despite what certain economist tell us, consumption is not intrinsically ethical, and more importantly, consuming for the sake of consuming is not virtuous, but evil. I believe in the free market, reigned in by responsibility of each individual participating. Plants, animals, and resources disappear to make room for my fat butt; I’d better consume thoughtfully.

So, anyway, I noticed my electric bill is 20KWH a day. So quick math yields that that is 26 HP hours. One human power is about 1/4 of horsepower if they don’t mind sweating a bit. So, I use 104 man hours a day. To support my lifestyle takes 104 slaves a day.

Now, I am pretty viciously pragmatic pro-capitalist. I believe in what many consider a truly out there level of laissez-faire Objectivism. If slavery takes place between consenting adults and is not removed from market forces (i.e. you can’t stop your slaves from learning to read, for instance), I really don’t give a rat’s tail if there is slavery out there. It’s going to be there anyway. Escorts may be private contractors, but typical street corner whores are not. They are slaves who belong to their pimp. Some people will always be willing to enter slavery and others always willing to be master over others. Making these things illegal does not prevent them; it only makes it harder to offer the victims even a modicum of legal protection. Far better for it to be legal and legislated. So, the 104 slaves isn’t what bothers me.

What bothers me is that I am not getting my 104 slaves worth. I pay for these 104 man hours of energy. Well, if I had 3 slaves, I wouldn’t even need electricity. I wouldn’t need a fridge for instance, as I’d have no reason to store food. My slave could get a day’s worth of food every morning because he has nothing better to do than cook and cooking related tasks all day anyway. I could cook everything with a wood stove and have slave wander around town all day picking up discarded wood to burn all day. I have access to the power of a 104 slaves, and yet, I still have to go to the downstairs bathroom to get toilet paper when I run out. Totally unacceptable.

Now, my point here is not that slavery is good. Despite what I said about thinking that slavery should be legal and regulated, I wouldn’t keep slaves. (Smoking is legal and regulated, I don’t do that either.) I hate slavery, I think it destroys the slave from the inside out and the master from the outside in. My point is that I am not getting nearly enough help around the house for the amount of power I am purchasing.

Case in point my fridge. My fridge uses around 7.2 Kwh a day, or 9.65 HP hours (calculator here), which is 38.62 man hours. So to keep my milk cold, and my leftovers chilled, 39 people would have to be slaving away for for an hour each. That’s retarded. This is one of the reasons I want a Sunfrost. It uses 3.35 man hours a day. My foot print on the earth is 104 slaves a day. I could cut that by 40% just by getting a better fridge.

My personal consumptive goal is for my house to use no more than 72 man hours a day. (That 1 man hour per person.) Which is 18 hp, which 13 KW hours a day. I could happily go under that, but thats my goal. Which, of course, I can’t meet in this apartment.

Anyway, I hope this has been instructive for everyone. The slave math is really easy: Kilowatt hours X 1.34 = HP. HP X 4 = Man power. Pull out last month’s electric bill and see how many slaves are running in the giant hamster wheel to keep your lights on.

March 31, 2008 Posted by | Ecology, Government, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment