Member 2260
12 entries

Contributor to project:
Start your own revolution
Jason J. Gleeson (45)
Cape Town, ZA
Immortal since Jun 9, 2009
Uplinks: 0, Generation 3

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    From carel
    Stuck in the Neolithic
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    Social Pathology
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    Art and Science the same?
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    Jason J. Gleeson’s project
    Start your own revolution
    Catching up with the future. All major institutions in the world today are grappling to come to terms with the internet. The entertainment...
    Now playing SpaceCollective
    Where forward thinking terrestrials share ideas and information about the state of the species, their planet and the universe, living the lives of science fiction. Introduction
    Featuring Powers of Ten by Charles and Ray Eames, based on an idea by Kees Boeke.

    The London Orchard Project is a fresh initiative promoting orchards and fruit trees in London. We are working with Londoners to plant and harvest apple, pear and plum trees all over the city, and help us all to rediscover the pleasure of eating home-grown fruit. Join us and take part in the fruit tree revolution.

    Below are a series of "How to..." videos to help with orchard maintenance.

    More info -
    VIdeography by Jason Gleeson - 
    Wed, Jul 24, 2013  Permanent link

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    Culturally Invisible Super Volcanoes & Killer Asteroids (2013) - is a new full feature-length video essay by Jason Gleeson (released 18/3/2013; duration 50:26 mins). The docu/drama centres around the London Occupy Movement, groups and activists; and segues forward 100 years into the future; covering the idea of the end of the 'oligarchical principle'; a proposal for an Earth Defence System; the coming 3rd Industrial Revolution; and the idea of us humans learning to manage the solar system.

    Activists from the World Development Movement
    Ben Dyson - Positive Money
    Sara Callaway - Global Women's Strike
    Charlie Veitch - The Love Police
    Julian Assange - WikiLeaks
    N'Goni - Artist
    Ben McLeish - The Zeitgeist Movement UK
    George Barda - Greenpeace UK
    The courages people of Occupy London LSX, and the Worldwide Occupy Movement
    NASA - via the ISS Satellite Images of Earth
    And the landscapes of Sweden, Spain, Grand Canaria and England

    Music by:
    arms are blades of blue tempered steel
    More Info:
    Thu, Jun 20, 2013  Permanent link

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    Madagascar is the fourth largest island in the world and is sometimes referred to as the 8th continent as most of its biodiversity is endemic to the island.

    Nothing can prepare you for Antananarivo (or ‘Tana’ as the locals call it), the capital of Madagascar – it is like no other capital in the world. The Jacaranda trees are in full bloom, the red clay brick houses and medieval churches cover the rolling hills. Coupled with the smog, pollution of traffic and smoky fires of the brick makers - as they fire their bricks amidst the rice paddies in the valleys below. It is almost pretty and peaceful overlooking the valley below from behind the double glazed hotel window.

    The reality on the street is quite different; you must watch every step you take so you don’t fall through the man-sized holes in the pavement. Going anywhere requires endless negotiations on every level, from the taxis drivers, the zebu (water buffalo) driven carts, the street sellers, the hustlers, the beggars, the destitute elderly and their ragamuffin children, to the pickpockets and the muggers. The streets are beset with curable diseases. Any kind of town planning seems nonexistent. If you need a doctor, you have to fly to South Africa or Mauritius, as there are no real hospitals even in the capital.

    The wretched Victorian state of living on the streets of the capital, shows a country with many problems. Teenagers, young men and young women, with nothing other than their bodies to offer, come to Tana with the dream of breaking free from their rural poverty farming roots and the promise of a more western lifestyle. The most common currency here is cheap labour and prostitution. The sex tourism industry operates openly here and goes largely unchallenged.

    Madagascar gained its independence from France on the 26 June 1960, followed by years of dictators, dwindling resources and uncertain rule right up until the present. The bloody military coup d’etat early last year was masterminded by those former dictator generals - using a popular radio disc jockey to front their internationally rebuked ambitions. Accusing the ousted former president Marc Ravalomanana, and business tycoon of corruption and neglecting his presidential duties. The country has been in dangerous limbo since, rife with uncertainty, conflict and corruption. An official election has been promised for October 2010 by the Transitional President Andry Rajoelina, almost 2 years after the initial Coup.

    Two thirds of the population live below the international poverty line of US$1.25 a day. Tourism has come to a complete grinding halt. I saw no tourists for weeks at a time, outside major tourist hot spots, and even in these hotspots most hotels where completely empty.

    Coffee, vanilla, sugar cane, cloves, coconuts, cocoa, rice, cassava, beans, bananas and peanuts are the mainstay of the economy, but vanilla was Madagascar’s major export and major money earner – it producers 60% of the world’s vanilla harvest. 80% of that is used in American ice cream, while the rest is used for expensive perfumes. It is most notably used in cakes and confectionery, and was the secret ingredient in Coca Cola until recently, when Coca Cola started using artificial flavourings in 2005.

    Of all the 23 000 orchids (and counting) that have been discovered so far, vanilla is the only orchid that produces a fruit or spice – it is quite possibly the most labour intensive crop to grow. The flower has to be fertilized by hand, as there are no native bees to perform this task. The spice then grows behind the flower and this takes up to 9 months to grow and a further 6 months to dry and to cure. Vanilla was second to Saffron as the most expensive spice in the world until recently, when the prices fell from an all time high of $200-$500/ kilogram in 2004, to just $25/ kilogram today. Artificial flavours, competition from other countries, natural disasters, and perhaps greed, has killed the industry, putting an end to a once very lucrative and important crop, which made up a large part of the Madagascar GDP. The industry has now almost completely collapsed along with Madagascar’s economy.

    On the 5 hour drive inland from Sambava in the north-east of the island, to the majestic Marojejy National Park, there is no Rainforest at all, just a kind of green anaemic grassland with the occasional burnt-out, or burning, spots on the mountain sides.

    Madagascar has a massive energy crisis – most of the burning of trees are for charcoal, not a very efficient way of making charcoal, but it is less labour intensive than physically chopping the trees down and stripping the leaves. The fires burn incessantly all over the island. Less than 8% of Madagascar’s rainforests now exist.

    Illegal hunting, miners and loggers have seized the opportunity created by the political crisis to exploit Madagascar’s natural resources. Laws prohibiting the export of rosewood were repealed in January 2009, so that illegally acquired logs can be sold and exported for profit. A documented 45,000 rosewood trees, valued at US $130 million, from the north-eastern coast have already been exported to China in 2009. The logs are felled near rivers and then floated downstream by young men who gondolier the logs with long sticks. The work is treacherous and has a high death toll – rosewood trees grow up to 30 metres in height – falling between the logs is almost certain death. One charity working in the area says at least 2 young men a week loose their lives doing this work.

    A national grid is almost out of the question, given the logistics. Most villages are not connected by roads, and if they are - there are better roads on the moon. The massive success of mobile phones and mobile devices is surely the answer to solving Madagascar’s energy crisis – the key being: inexpensive mobile technologies, for these isolated communities.

    Solar power cooking technologies to solar powered batteries that can store energy efficiently for electrical appliances, charging mobile phones and operating lights. I saw a man walking with a bull’s head in one hand and a mobile phone in the other - and young people walk out of their tin shacks in the morning looking immaculate, cell phone in hand. From the every growing, Tana to Nairobi to Mumbai - these shanty towns are the cities of the future

    Mobile phones are now ubiquitous in Madagascar, and they are cheap. When travelling across the country by taxi, you know you are about to reach a town when mobiles start ringing with messages and calls. Almost everyone I met in Madagascar had a mobile phone and insisted on giving me their mobile number. Mobiles cost as little as €5, and calls are exceptionally cheap. I was able to make calls, and check my email everyday for a month with a top-up of €5.

    In the North East of the island I visit a coffee house made from tin and wood a make do till the next hurricane can steaming in and flattened everything in the area as it did almost every year. The mother was in her late teens with 3 children and in the dilapidated tin shack was a shrine of photo clippings and posters - all of the Canadian pop singer Avril Lagvine.

    Having visited Indonesia in 1995 - a time before I had even heard of email - now in 2010 Indonesia has the largest number of twitter users - although most people have never used a computer, every able body has a cell phone.

    Rice is Madagascar’s staple food product. Communities are locally-resilient, as most grow their own rice in Asian style rice paddies. Rice can be stored in a tropical climate longer than almost all other food surpluses, so if there is a bad year, there is surplus rice in storage. Communities have learnt to be resilient to the frequent hurricanes, floods and other natural disasters.

    As I flew home over the barren, red, treeless wasteland from Tana to Kenya (after a 5 weeks stay on the 8th continent), the rivers ran red into the sea, as if they where bleeding, taking with it precious Madagascan topsoil. Madagascar’s real crisis is an immediate environmental one - as they chop down, burn or sell off what few resources they have to China, or give away massive areas of coastline and land to countries like South Korea and other corporations. Unethical big businesses, rouge gangs and corrupt officials, as all rushing in to exploit the political crisis.

    Scientists and environmentalists are now urging the international community to step in and help put controls in place, by giving monetary rewards and small grants to these local communities. A reward scheme for long term planning: for protecting and restoring their own environments. A type of: bottom-up approach.

    Words, video and images by Jason Gleeson -
    All Copyrights are reserved by the author.
    Fri, Jan 18, 2013  Permanent link

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    Sometime between 1498-1500, Leonardo da Vinci invented the ball bearing via detailed drawings; at the same time he was working on his famous helicopter sketches. He must have reasoned that the propeller was going to need to spin really, really fast to lift the machine off the ground.

    He can be forgiven for not being a very good mathematician; in fact his maths was so far off on the weight-to-lift ratio, that had he known and understood the numbers involved - he probably would never have bothered with his designs.

    But Leonardo understood to allow the propeller to turn extremely fast, he would have to find a solution to the friction problem. And so he invented the ball bearing; providing detailed drawings of how a low coefficient of resistance would work. Pure genius; I believe this to be one of the greatest inventions, and without it there would have been no industrial revolution.

    A ball bearing uses balls, rollers and a lubricating substance, to significantly reduce friction and maintain separation between surfacers. As a ball turns it has a much lower coefficient of friction (drag or resistance) than two flat surfaces moving plainly against each other. The purpose of a ball bearing is to reduce the surface area and rotational friction, while efficiently supporting a load (for example: a hub, axial or shaft). The science of lubrication is complicated but basically; a lubricate thats works is a lubricate that sees to it that the two surfaces never physically touch without the microscopic amount of lubricant.

    Leonardo da Vinci is revered as a genius and luminary, even though he was very unsuccessful at anything other than his painting. Almost all of his inventions where completely impractical. His flying machines never even came close to lifting off the ground, most where in fact never even made - only conceptualised.

    He was quiet possibly the most impractical man to have ever lived; and herein is a lesson in the virtue of being impractical.

    Words, video and images by Jason Gleeson -
    All Copyrights are reserved by the author.
    Fri, Sep 21, 2012  Permanent link

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    Video: Thom Yorke (radiohead) & Robert Del Naja (massive attack) play The Bank Of Ideas, London UK.

    Occupy London reclaimed an empty building belonging to the Swiss Bank UBS, in mid November 2011 through a "direct action". DIY signs hang from the building reading, "UBS - You Owe Us", "Public Repossesion", and "You Can't Evict An Idea Who's Time Has Come".

    The building is now being used as a community centre with up to a dozen different workshops, talks, screenings, lectures each day, and includes a music recording studio and cinema. Everything is free, and debate - is encouraged.

    UBS are fighting the Occupy London team in The Royal Courts Of Justice - the legal fees for UBS have now reaching 6 figures. The London Metropolitan Police have cited the protesters as 'domestic extremists' according to a secret intelligence report. The Bank Of Ideas and the Occupy London Movement have promised, "This Is Just The Beginning".

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    What do the US Diplomatic Cables - released by WikiLeaks - reveal about the state of the African continent [country-by-country]?

    The Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir, stole $9bn of Sudan's public money, and stashed it in UK banks. The Lloyds Banking Group is name checked in the cables as one of the banks who accepted this money. Lloyds denies the allegations.

    The amount that was siphoned off by Omar al-Bashir from Sudan is almost exactly the same amount that should have gone from the North of the country to the oil rich, but severely impoverished, South of the country – making up about one tenth of Sudan's annual GDP.

    Sudan ranks as fifteenth from the bottom in the United Nation's index of the world's poorest countries. While the war in Darfur - which started in 2003 – continues.

    For a country which has no air force, spending £28m on an overpriced military air defence radar from the UK arms company BAE, would seem ludicrous – but in 2001 this is exactly what one of the poorest countries in the world did.

    BAE Systems has now been fined £500,000 plus £225,000 costs for failing to keep proper records of payments to the adviser in Tanzania.

    In 1996 - during a massive unprecedented meningitis epidemic in the north of Nigeria - the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer took the opportunity to test out their new new experimental antibiotic, drug Trovan – on children with meningitis, in a series of controversial drug trials.

    The Nigerian state and federal authorities, claimed that the children were harmed during the trial. The cables reveal how Pfizer hired private investigators to uncover dirt on Nigeria's attorney general - in an attempt to coerce him to stop his legal action against Pfizer.

    Last year, Pfizer agreed to a settlement of $75m.

    A Royal Dutch Shell top executive is accused of saying that Shell's influence has infiltrated every Nigerian ministry affecting its operations there, and had a list of names of people who where challenging Shell's interests in Nigeria. Shell has since denied these cable allegations.

    Nigeria is Africa's leading oil producer and the eighth biggest exporter in the world, accounting for 8% of US oil imports. Despite billions of dollars in oil revenue, 70% of people live below the poverty line.

    The displacement of organised crime and drug trafficking, from central South America to Africa is reason for concern, according to the US diplomat in Ghana. Latin American cartels and terror groups are now using west Africa as a drug route into Europe. As Mexico cracks down on drug cartels, these cartels are being displaced elsewhere. West Africa, and specifically Ghana, is now becoming a launch pad for the lucrative European cocaine market.

    Secretary of state for African affairs, Johnnie Carson, says that he fears "a bleak future for the Ghanaian people... Ghana is struggling with drug trafficking and increased drug use... God-fearing Ghana is becoming a user country".

    Drug cartels are flying drugs in on Boeing passenger liners on an industrial scale, with make do secrete airstrips in the North, and some Ghanain officials are getting extremely rich.

    US diplomats fear that Kenya could erupt in violence worse than that experienced after the 2008 election unless rampant government corruption is tackled. More than $1 billion in public money has recently disappeared and cannot be accounted for.

    September 2000, a memo records a meeting between Kofi Anaan and Robert Mugabe. During this meeting Kofi Anaan, on behalf of the United Nations, offered Robert Mugabe a lucrative retirement deal overseas – if he agreed to gracefully give up power. Robert Mugabe turned down this offer the following morning. The deal is believed to have included a provision of safe haven and a financial package.

    The diamond frenzy in Chiadzwa (eastern Zimbabwe) has led to hundreds and possibly thousands of homicides. The area is beset with armed gangs and militia, all fighting each other in a small diamond littered area. The illicit diamonds are then sent off to Dubai, Belgium, Israel, and South Africa, enriching many of the same old corrupt Zimbabwean elite.

    Robert Mugabe's wife and first lady, Grace Mugabe, is suing a Zimbabwean newspaper for $15m for reporting allegations released by Wikileaks that she had made "tremendous" profits in the illicit diamond trade.

    South Africa
    Government Ministers and senior officials have spent roughly 4 million USD on luxury vehicles. Although the spending is in accordance with the Ministerial Handbook and no regulations have been broken, the public outcry has been enormous.

    Ministers are entitled to a state-purchased car equivalent to the value of 70 percent of their annual salary. But if this bizarre allowance was spent by all the Governmental ministers, the total cost would come to approximately 32 million USD for 220 motor vehicles. That is enough to have built 5500 houses, 25 schools, or to pay the salaries of 1500 nurses for a year.

    In light of the global economic crisis, and the fact that many South Africans lack access to basic services such as water, sewage, electricity and garbage removal, there is a renewed public awareness and discontent over excessive government spending.

    Words, video and images by Jason Gleeson -
    All Copyrights are reserved by the author.
    Thu, Nov 24, 2011  Permanent link

    Sent to project: Start your own revolution
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    All Designs by Jacque Fresco -

    3D Modelling of Jacque’s Designs: Andrew.Buxton, Julita.Wielgat

    Words, video and images by Jason Gleeson -
    All Copyrights are reserved by the author.
    Wed, Oct 12, 2011  Permanent link
    Categories: The Venus Project
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    The Venus Project presents a bold, new direction for humanity that entails nothing less than the total redesign of our culture. More info: | |
    Sat, Feb 12, 2011  Permanent link

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    This PowerPoint file (link below) contains 36 of the more important graphs published in The Spirit Level, to help increase people's understanding of the effects of inequality on everyone.

    Wed, Aug 11, 2010  Permanent link

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    Perhaps us humans living now are more like Gulliver than ever before - with our massive foot prints while guzzling on Gaia's blood. And the Lilliputians are the more sophisticated humans of the future.
    In the latest book from the John Brockman series called: THIS WILL CHANGE EVERYTHING - Ideas that will shape the future - which is made up of a series of short essays from big thinkers. The artist Dominique Gonzalez Foerster suggests miniaturizing ourselfs so that we take up less space on a finite planet with finite resources - if we want to continue the current exponential population growth.
    Mon, Feb 15, 2010  Permanent link

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