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Social Rebirth
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    From Sean Hurley
    We Are Not The 99% We Are...
    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.
    Money, or any abstract medium of exchange, by its very nature creates a stratified society based primarily on purchasing power generating structural violence in our very social model, we are in direct competition with each other in the job market and there is a give take battle between the employee looking to get a higher wage and the employer balancing wages against profitability. There is no equality for our species in a sliding scale of pay rates that have a direct impact on quality of life and access to goods and services. If we continue to operate our society based on the need to earn to pay to live, then as a direct result what we are saying is that every human needs a form of employment to prove their worth. The result of this is a continually exasperated version of what we have now, poverty, fraud, theft, the list goes on. Currently there are not enough employment roles available to provide everyone with a job, a direct result of this in our current system is that due to under and unemployment a growing number of people are looked down upon for being reliant on a social safety net. Or they are simply ignored left on the street relying on the charity of others in the hope of sustaining their lives, which is hardly living and is better referred to as existing.

    Even if by some miracle we could find a way to generate enough employment roles to allow everyone to have a job, the results would be a near insane level of both production and consumption that would be required to maintain those levels of employment. The environmental degradation resulting from the required resource waste to maintain those production levels, would leave our future generations little to no hope of having an environment that could support even the most modest subsistence. With “full employment” there is still not equality in “pay” so we continue to find our society experiencing all the symptoms that come with social stratification, including the continued reinforcement of a values disorder that has the majority in a race to the bottom in a vain effort to accumulate the most stuff, and have the most power. Not only is it basically retarded, it is totally unsustainable on any and every level.

    Our “wants” are generated by our distorted values that are programmed into us through marketing in an attempt to keep our current system of anti-economics limping along, our “needs” are serviced but only to the degree that is profitable; this is evident in the reactions to the inability to sell food in our free market system. Everything in our world is produced with a limited life span, far below that which we are capable of, in order to keep everyone buying, buying, buying. That is how you keep billions of people employed, create mountains of complete and utter shit, while selling the notion to the masses that if you just work a little harder you too can rise to the top of the pyramid and have it all. Whatever “having it all” is supposed to mean. Our social malaise has gotten so bad that individuals actually buy into the idea that money can create comfort and happiness, while disregarding the fact that suffering creates fear, creates hate, creates violence. Thus making comfort and happiness something increasingly difficult to obtain in a world of continually exasperated levels of suffering.

    Now while again it is true that we live on a planet of finite resources, we are most certainly capable of creating abundance. In today’s world we produce enough food to feed every single human on the planet, our problem is with distribution not production. If we stop and look around our society, taking stock of what we see, it becomes clear that scarcity is being manufactured in order to drive profits, maintain the status quo and our outmoded economic system. As an example of this look at phones, how many companies on our planet produce a version of a telephone and of that, how vast is the product range of each company? The point here is that as opposed to producing a stratified range of made to break products, we could produce high quality equipment in abundance that made use of intelligent design principals, allowing for ease of upgrade, repair, aesthetic manipulation and and to be as near to 100% recyclable.

    We have options, we could consider altering our system of economics to come into line with the natural laws of our planet and to remain flexible enough to change with and as our understandings of the world we are living in progress. The idea of altering our economy is not unrealistic, what is unrealistic is to imagine that our current antiquated economy that demands near infinite production on a finite planet is not only sustainable but is the best system we can currently muster as a species. I am not sure I have ever heard anything more utopian. It must also be understood that every aspect of our current social design is complicit in reinforcing our current economic system. Making surface changes to our type of money or how it is created fails to deal with serious issues like stratification, inequality, resource use/waste, unemployment, underemployment and poverty to name a few. As a result it is not simply our economy that must be altered, but every aspect of our social structure must be reviewed and upgraded to reinforce equality and sustainability.

    Now of course we will not have a new type of economy overnight or any time soon, that has a whole lot to do with our distorted values and ingrained social conditioning. Selling money reforms as any type of solution is failing to look at the bigger picture and understanding the interconnected nature of our social issues. In saying that transition away from money is going to include changes to how money works in our society, allowing people to redefine how they see and what money means to them, facilitating an overall change in our values system as a species. There is a very interesting concept being talked about that has the potential to bring about this change, it is called the basic income. The basic income is an income unconditionally granted to all on an individual basis, without means test or work requirement. It is a form of minimum income guarantee that differs from those that now exist in various European countries in three important ways:

    • it is being paid to individuals rather than households;

    • it is paid irrespective of any income from other sources;

    • it is paid without requiring the performance of any work or the willingness to accept a job if offered.

    You can find out more about “The Basic Income” at

    The predisposition to support the current system and by default the status quo is ingrained in us all our lives through our social conditioning and is exactly what the powers that be would be jubilant seeing being reinforced.

    In a social model in which children die as a result of not having their most basic needs meet, we can be sure of one thing. We have serious structural issues that require addressing.

    Thu, Aug 29, 2013  Permanent link
    Categories: money
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    It has become an almost main stream view that it is us, the ninety-nine percent, vs. them, the one percent, and while on the surface that would very much appear to be the case if we should be bothered to take a closer look at the situation it becomes evident that is in fact not the case.

    Now clearly we have an international banking cartel bent on controlling our political system, large global corporations that buy their way into the political arena pulling the strings of our so called elected representatives, treating us like little more than cattle with low paying unsatisfying jobs, selling us made to break garbage with little to no concern for us or our environment. To the so called one percent it is all about profit, power and control, you will get no argument from me on that front.

    However I would suggest that those labelled the one percent are actually part of the one hundred percent and only exhibiting behaviours that our social model has very effectively reinforced and rewarded them for their entire lives.

    If you beat a dog then that environment of abuse teaches the dog to be abusive, and humans are no different, think about it. We are raised and educated to compete with each other, to get the best marks at school, rewarded with scholarships and better paying jobs. The one who can best regurgitate the mind numbing crap we are taught through our adolescence gets the highest marks, is showered with awards, gets the scholarships to prestigious schools and ends up in the high paying job. Not that there are all that many jobs, never mind high paying jobs, floating around these days.

    How many times during our educational process are we encouraged to question society, when is it that our educators question us about the relevance of our very social design? While we can identify criminal behaviour the ability to understand what it is that causes people to act in a particular way can for the most part be lost to us. Why are so many people self medicating with drugs like alcohol, cannabis, or heroin, is it recreational escapism and if so, what is it that people are trying to escape from? Why is it that those that are the most violent have a past history of abuse in their childhoods, yet in general this is seen as nothing more than a handy excuse? Why is it that we do not want to try and understand the science and try to begin to figure out how to go about breaking the cycle and what doing so may require?

    We would appear to be so preoccupied with placing blame that we do not have the time or desire to look beneath the surface to figure out where all this aberrant behaviour stems from. It is just lock them up, it is such an easy solution, no need to investigate the impacts of our social environment on our intellectual, emotional and physical development, we can just put these bad people in jail and get on with our shopping.

    Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.
    Mark Twain

    It is not the one percent we should be harping on about but in fact the system that generates a one percent in the first place. It has become socially acceptable to hate on these people as if they are in fact less than people, like they are somehow all that is wrong with our society and if we could just lock these people up and throw away the key then everything would be all better. Yet what we would appear to completely fail to understand is that even if we locked up all the corrupt people in the world there would be new people ready to step into their place immediately, being just as indoctrinated into this system as their predecessors.

    No matter how enticing it may be to point our fingers and blame someone if we fail to address the social root cause, which is the social structure that reinforces and rewards this type of behaviour with giant houses, fast cars, private jets and extravagant salaries, then we will be doomed to relive the entire situation.

    It is not the people that are the problem, it is the system and we are all victims of that system, even the one percent. Growing up many have dreams of becoming movie or rock stars, driving expensive cars or just generally having loads of money, then as time goes by and we find we are not stars, are driving used cars and are scrapping buy trying to repay massive debts we start to question the fairness of the system. Even still we do not question the validity of the system itself, rather we pontiff about how fair it is and think that it could be fixed with this reform or that. While the few that do experience a degree of “success”, if that is what we want to call it, are then subject to media scrutiny, are consumed by a desire to have more property, more power, more money, as this is what this system generates. The false needs and desires for more.

    Then of course we get the statement that this evil one percent is not going to just lay down and let us change society without a fight, like we have somehow not realized that of the seven plus billion people on this planet, the one percent represents something like seventy million people. When was it concluded that over 6,930,000,000 people had to ask permission of 70,000,000 people to do a dam thing. Our biggest problem is not this nefarious one percent; it is ourselves, our failure to be able to identify what the root cause problems that are manifesting all these symptoms are. Not understanding how it is that our social environment reinforces and rewards the aberrant behaviour of the few and leaves us feeling powerless to change anything.

    We have all the power, if we can stop bickering over pointless superficial crap and unite under the common understanding that our real problem is an outdated system and not each other. Do the so called one percent have to be on board, no of course not, but nor do they need to be banished or ostracised. They are only doing what has been taught to them and reinforced by society at large after all.

    We are not the ninety-nine percent we are the one hundred percent, united we stand, divided, well look around this is what divided has gotten us so far.

    We are all products of our environment and until we understand that and make the fundamental changes that are required to our very social design, then nothing of substance is going to change and we will continue to find ourselves in this self perpetuating feedback loop that manifests all the symptoms we tend to misdiagnose as problems.

    It’s not that they are “bad” people, or anything like that. This is what this system has created. Simultaneously, let’s remember that the market system requires constant problems. In order for the public interest and consumption to be maintained, problems in cultural influence is required. The more problems there are, the better the economy, generally speaking. In this system it is inherently “good” for cars to break down. It is “good” for people to get cancer. It is “good” for computers to become quickly obsolete. Why? More money. To put it into a sentence: Change, abundance, sustainability and efficiency are the enemies of the profit structure. Progressive advancements in science and technology, which can resolve problems of inefficiency and scarcity once and for all, are in effect making the prior establishment’s servicing of those problems obsolete. Therefore, in a monetary system, corporations are not just in competition with other corporations; they are actually in competition with progress itself.
    Peter Joseph
    Sat, Nov 24, 2012  Permanent link

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    We live on a finite planet, that is to say the natural resources on our planet are limited or have bounds; all the water on our planet in either solid or liquid form is the same water that has been here for millions of years, the very water that spawned life on this planet is the same water that we drink to maintain life today. Should we pollute that water and continue to degrade marshes and wetlands we will find rather quickly that there is no magical source of new clean fresh water to aid in sustaining life as we know it.

    Oil a substance that has taken millions of years for our planet to produce is being consumed at an obscene rate and this captured and condensed sunlight is currently far more important to us as a species than many may understand. You see it is not just our transportation machines or plastics that require oil, but in fact everything we produce on our planet in one way or another currently requires the use of oil; the resources we harvest from the planet are gathered using machines that run on oil, they are transported using machines that use oil, processed using machines that use still more oil, transported again to shops where we use further oil to travel too in our auto-mobiles. The machines we use are produced using oil, the food we eat relies on oil based fertilisers, if there is one substance, apart from clean fresh water, that we cannot currently live without should we hope to continue to support the growing population of seven billion of our brothers and sisters on our planet it is oil.

    Yet we waste it, we continue to operate antiquated technology such as the combustion engine, we produce what appears to be an endless amount of materialistic garbage to sell each other and generate all manner of excuses to continue the consumption cycle in order to sustain our unsustainable anti-economy, profits have trumped ecology and that is to our detriment.

    We are cutting down about 400 football fields of rainforest every hour, destroying natural habitats and damaging the water shed, these rainforests are being clear cut to make way for coffee plantations, for spice farms and to grow grain for cattle. Fertilisers and pesticides are running down streams into our oceans harming marine life and causing harmful algae blooms, we are producing ever growing mountains of garbage through the production of substandard products that are designed to be thrown away in order to perpetuate the consumption cycle. We are filling the air we breathe with toxins such as mercury, sulphates, ozone and carbon.

    We desperately cling to the notion that climate change is purely natural and that as a species we are having no impact on our biosphere, more inclined to give credence to the Rush Limbaughs of the world than to try and understand that which empirical science is trying to explain to us. Having been lied to so much, for so long, by governments and corporations that we can no longer even accept that which is plainly obvious as natural truth on our planet, instead working diligently to discredit the many environmentalists and scientists that are pleading with us to change, so disillusioned by our social order that we think it is all about money and the concentration of power.

    However it will not continue, not indefinitely, it can’t, quite simply apart from change nothing can. The only constant on our planet is change and that change is going to come in one of two forms. Either we will drive ourselves to near extinction based on our current anti-economic consumption model that will leave us with dwindling resources and a filthy polluted biosphere, or we will ourselves change our views of the world and the way in which we operate as a society.

    No one can say with any amount of certainty what it will be that will drive social change for our collective species, all we can be certain of is that change is going to come. There will come a time that either our natural environment will demonstrate to us, or that we will begin to conjointly understand that consumption for the sake of consumption is both unsustainable and retarded in an environment of finite resources.

    This demonstration, or understanding, will be the driving force that will enable us to communicate and consider in relation to what is and what is not socially and environmentally sustainable for us and life in general on our planet. From this place it will be that we come to understand that money, or the abstraction of labour for purchasing power, is dangerous both from and environmental and social standpoint. That global equality cannot be bought and sold in an open market that if there is suffering on one part of our planet then inevitably there is suffering on all parts of our planet. That sustainability is not a corporate buzz word but a choice and way of life that is in no way connected to our current model of growth for the sake of growth, or consumption for the sake of consumption.

    At this time both the benefits of a resource based economy and the detrimental aspects of our monetary anti-economy will become self evident. It will not become a difficult “leap of faith” for us as a society to put in place and try a new economic model, but a natural progression from this thing to that.

    It is not a matter of if we will ever have a resource based economy, but rather when will we implement the sanity of a resource based economy.

    Of that you can be certain.

    The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.
    Albert Einstein

    Tue, Nov 20, 2012  Permanent link
    Categories: Resource, Economy
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    Population growth is not the driving factor of our infinite growth economic model, profit is. In our current economic system money is the measure of business success and that measure is completely decouple from our natural world, the only way to generate monetary profit in this system is to have something to sell and for that item to have a limited life span or be superseded in order to perpetuate the need for continual consumption.

    “A shift is necessary toward lifestyles less geared to environmental damaging consumption patterns.”
    Maurice Strong

    So long as we run our society based on this type of antiquated economic model population levels will be a serious issue, however I would suggest to alleviate the perceived problem of global overpopulation will require that we scrutinise our current social system very closely and identify what it reinforces. We currently produce enough food to feed every human being on the planet yet our method of distributing that food through a monetary market means that there are extremely high levels of unnecessary hunger and malnutrition. There are also technical solutions such as vertical farming that could be implemented with greater efficiency if we were not so concerned with profitability and financial cost.

    We already grow enough food for 10 billion people and still can’t end hunger.

    This can become difficult to understand due in most part to heavy social indoctrination that confines thinking into one fixed frame of reference. Consider our current resource use, if we have fifty different types of product X ranging from cheap manufacture and limited durability all the way through to high level manufacture and durability there is clearly a certain level of resource waste in the production of the sub standard models. If we were to only produce the product with the highest level of durability coupled with ease of maintenance and the ability to upgrade and or recycle clearly there would be a massive reduction in resource use. If we take the time to look and consider what it is we are producing it quickly becomes apparent that we are wasting resources at an astonishing rate for little more than financial profits.

    “Only after the last tree has been cut down…the last river has been poisoned…the last fish caught, only then will you find that money cannot be eaten."
    Cree Indian Prophesy

    The solution to reaching our current population limit is not to allocate resources to people but rather to make more intelligent use of our finite resources. Intelligent design coupled with efficient distribution leave us with an abundance of resources and elevates the current standard of living for everyone to a level enjoyed currently but only the elite few.

    Consider an island with three hundred inhabitants, and enough resources to sustain them for fifty years under current social practices. If those resources were to be consumed in the manor that developed countries make use of resources now then the population of that island would have to be maintained at three hundred or near too, where as if those same resources were used intelligently placing greater importance on sustainability and intelligent design then those same resources would both last longer and allow for population growth.

    Our current economic model is going to force us into a position of having to consider these issues and rethinking what is and what is not important, without an environment that can sustain human life there will be no profit.

    “We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if mankind is to survive."
    Albert Einstein

    Tue, Oct 16, 2012  Permanent link

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    Economic inequality, diminishing global resources, environmental degradation, biodiversity loss the list of global societal issues is extensive and while there are both corporations and individuals that are complicit in exasperating these symptoms, it should be understood that neither are the root cause.

    While we can identify examples of these symptoms it is less well understood that it is our economy that is causing and reinforcing them.

    The first thing we should look at is the word “economy”- thrifty management; frugality in the expenditure or consumption of money, materials, etc. to avoid waste. Coming from the Greek word oikonomos “management of a household” from oikos “house” + nomos “managing” hence “managing of the household”.

    Understanding the origin of the word economy and its definition we can see that the “economy” of today is in fact anything but and could be more accurately considered an anti-economy. Seeing as the reality of our current economical system is one of consumption for the sake of consumption to sustain continual growth, which is demonstrated when global economic “recovery” is seen as a return to growth.

    “These are important steps toward the ultimate goal—lasting stability and growth, shared stability and growth. Achieving that goal will require coordinated action to break the main chains of this crisis: weak sovereigns, weak banks, and weak growth.”
    Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund

    Partnership & Recovery—The Shared Path to Global Stability & Growth

    The life blood of our economic model is money and the chief measure of success from the confines of this system is monetary profits, regardless of how those profits are generated or at what environmental/ human cost. If there is profit to be had the environmental or human impacts are marginalised if they are considered at all.

    Monsanto ranked 234 on the fortune 500 list for 2011, generated a profit of over $1.1 billion in 2010 and disregards all warning signs and hard evidence that the use of Roundup herbicide is damaging soil, is contaminating groundwater with a carcinogenic chemical it contains called glyphosate and even in low doses is killing human kidney cells.

    Dow chemical pocketed over $2.3 billion in profits in 2010 and refuses to add to the $470 million compensation paid out in 1989 for the 1984 Bhopal disaster, one of the world’s worst-ever industrial catastrophes. In 2001 Union Carbide liable for the disaster was purchased by Dow Chemical, who has done little to improve the situation in the disaster-stricken zone. According to estimates, 500,000 people are still suffering from illnesses developed after the tragedy, including cancer, blindness and various birth defects. Union Carbide Corporation is a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Dow Chemical Company and with a criminal case against Union Carbide far from resolved Dow Chemical is of the opinion that it has no responsibility to clean up the Union Carbide facility. Dow “never owned or operated the Bhopal plant site and Dow did not inherit any liabilities of Union Carbide Corp.”. It appears you can purchase a mess and then walk clean away from it, leaving it as someone else’s problem to clean up.

    We are losing global forests at a rate of 36 football fields per minute; cattle ranching have been the primary driver of deforestation in the Amazon Basin since the 1960’s, in Latin America 65% of deforestation has been due to ranching/pasture. Between 1990 and 2000 80% of deforestation in South America was a result of clearing land for large scale agriculture and pasture and for the same period was responsible for 17% of deforestation in Central America.

    Cattle ranchers and agribusiness form a powerful lobby in Brazil, especially at the state level. Many of the country’s most influential politicians are linked to the industry, resulting in the congress voting to relax laws which are protecting the Amazon from deforestation.

    Private prison companies are generating massive profits; the United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world with well over 3% of the population, more than seven million people, under a form of supervision. This however is not just a profitable business model in the U.S.A. with companies like the GEO Group providing prison services in the U.S., Australia, South Africa and Britain. For the 2011 year the GEO Group had total revenue in excess of $1.6 billion, with imprisonment being such a lucrative business it is unlikely that the social determinants of criminal behaviour will ever be seriously addressed by any government.

    While it is easy to find examples of this type of aberrant behaviour of corporations and politicians the solutions are rather more difficult for many to comprehend. It is not simply a matter of dismantling the offending corporation or removing corrupt politicians, for when the economic system rewards this conduct a new company or politician will spring up overnight to fill the void left and continue with this same disposition.

    If it is profitable to cut down acres and acres of trees then in and economical system that promotes profitability what exactly do we expect will happen? Nowhere in our current economic model is there an allowance for the health and well being of our environment, while it is our environment that allows us to live on this planet the economic drive for profit is not concerned with the consequences of degrading that environment.

    Unfortunately it may take us reaching a social precipice in order to generate the kind of global community concern and understanding that is needed to investigate the foundational elements of our current economy, which will facilitate the structural changes needed to secure a sustainable future for our species.

    Wed, Sep 26, 2012  Permanent link

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    Human technology today is outstanding, mind-boggling almost beyond comprehension; we have advanced so quickly in such a short space of time that most of us are unaware of our true capabilities. While we have automated assembly lines that make the production line of Henry Ford look like child’s play, very few of us are aware of the additive manufacturing evolution that is about to make production lines, automated or not, completely redundant. Even glass, something we are surrounded by every day, is no longer simply a translucent barrier between us and the natural elements but a medium of communication capable of storing data and displaying information or media at our whim. Electrical power generation through the means of burning fuel or damming water is an antiquated model that has been superseded by nano technology that not only converts sunlight into energy anywhere but without the need of an electrical power grid. Thinking computers are transforming the responsibility of humans controlling a vehicle from point A to point B into a relaxing computer controlled journey.

    This is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to our advancing technology and they are by no means pie in the sky dreams of the future, these technologies are a reality now. The fact that you have not heard about them should not come as any great surprise, the last thing the elite with their vested interests in this social paradigm want is for us to be aware of our expanding capabilities, for that may cause too many to start asking the obvious questions, what exactly is the point of what we are doing and what are we going to do when there are not enough jobs to go around? There is nothing on our planet that is not being altered in one way or the other by our advanced technological ability and as we begin to leave the curve on the exponential growth chart, the only thing we can be certain of is that the future will change very dramatically for most if not all of us.

    Technology is a tool not a solution.

    Yet as advanced as we become, it is not solely technology that will improve our lives or condemn us to a continued existence as little more than slaves, for technology is neither good nor bad and it is not an all encompassing solution to our human problems, any more than it is responsible for any of our social ills. The propensity toward pointing fingers at our technological advancements is a scapegoat for the individual that does not want to look further into our social operation to identify where things may be going wrong, or indeed right on a fundamental level.

    Of all the social injustices in our world none of them, not a single one, will be overcome by advancing technology alone just as no social problems will arise of the same making. Technology is not going to consider our consumption based society for us, it is not going to make us feel the impacts we are having on our biosphere or produce a society that refuses to go to war with each other, these things some technologies may better enable us to understand and communicate about but in the end we as human beings will have to contemplate these issues ourselves.

    If we were technically capable of producing food through the additive manufacturing process that in and of itself would not rectify the problem of starvation or malnutrition, indeed if we were to continue to operate in our current social order even with that ability, food would still be very much out of reach of those who needed it most and in all likelihood the number of people who found themselves in a position of poverty would increase as jobs melted away. Just as a technical solution that allowed us to pump oil out of previously unattainable locations, while solving potential oil scarcity, would in fact have a negative retro action in regards to environmental sustainability on our planet. The idea that technology will solve our problems ranks right up there with the idea that we must reduce our population or face ecological disaster. Neither of these ideologies dares to investigate our social organization with any amount of thoroughness or scrutiny but rather chooses it be left to be dealt with at a later time.

    There is going to be no way to avoid the inevitability of having to address our social modus de operandi and so there shouldn’t be, it must be a fundamental part of our intellectual growth as a species to address and hold ourselves accountable for the social methods used in both our past and present. It will allow us to all be better for it and to make wiser decisions as a species moving forward together. The mantra of make the best of your current situation is no longer good enough as it will condemn our prodigy to having to deal with issues we choose to treat as taboo or simply ignore. The reality is we do not have the luxury of time to take in regards to this subject, unlike any other time in our history we find ourselves at a crossroads, deal with the underlying fundamental social issues that are manifesting all the inequalities and environmental symptoms we find ourselves facing or suffer the undeniable forthcoming ecological and social disasters. There are solutions but we have no more time for procrastination or dreams of these issues working themselves out without our intervention.

    The time to stand up and point out the nudity of the emperor is upon us, future generations will exist or not by the decisions we make now.

    Wed, Sep 12, 2012  Permanent link
    Categories: technology, society
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    The internal combustion engine has been with us for a very long time, since 1680 to be exact, when a Dutch physicist, Christian Huygens, designed an engine that would be driven by gunpowder. Twenty-seven years later Francois Isaac de Rivaz from Switzerland designed and built a car for his combustion engine that was fueled by a mixture of oxygen and hydrogen. His design proved to be very unsuccessful. Samuel Brown, an English engineer, adapted an old steam engine to burn gas in 1824, thirty-four years later Jean Joseph Étienne Lenoir invented a electric spark-ignition internal combustion engine fueled by coal gas. In 1873 an American engineer by the name of George Brayton, developed an unsuccessful two-stroke kerosene engine, considered the first safe and practical oil engine. By 1876 the first successful two-stroke engine was invented by Sir Dougald Clerk, and 1885 saw Gottlieb Daimler invent what was is considered the prototype of the modern gas engine. On the 29th of January 1886 Karl Benz received the first patent for a gas-fueled car.

    The First commercial car production began in 1889 by Panhard & Levassor and was followed closely by Peugeot in 1891. It would be another 17 years before Henry Ford would revolutionise the car industry, in October of 1908, through mass production techniques that would move the auto-mobile away from being a luxury item, and make it essential transportation for the ordinary man.

    There was a time when the electric engine was the engine of choice for auto-mobiles, in 1897 a fleet of New York city taxies built by the Electric Carriage and Wagon Company were the first commercial E.V. (Electric Vehicle) application. During 1899 and 1900, electric cars outsold all other types of cars. They were clean, quiet, easy to start and were marketed as the best car for women.
    The E.V.s were successful into the 1920s and production peaked in 1912. The short range of the electric vehicle would help to bring about its demise in the 1920s. Better road networks that connected cities required longer range than the battery vehicles could provide. Texas crude oil brought a reduction to the price of gas, making it affordable to the average consumer, the invention of the electric starter in 1912 replaced the old hand crank, and the mass production of the Ford Company reduced the cost of gas powered vehicles. In 1912 an E.V. was selling for $1750, while its gas powered counterpart was a more affordable $650.

    While the fundamental downfall of the E.V. in the early 1900s was due to inadequate battery life, resulting in less than desirable range for the vehicles, what we have been left with is an extremely high dependency as a society on fossil fuels and oil in particular. The last 100 years however have seen profound innovations in both electrical storage and generation with research and development in, but not limited to wind power, solar energy, geothermal energy, wave power and tidal power. While all of these forms of energy production have clear advantages to burning fossil fuels, they also have their downfalls.

    Wind turbines of course rely on wind to generate power and wind fluctuates in strength, meaning there will be times when the turbine produces no energy. Each generator can produce the same amount of noise as a family car travelling at 70 km/h.

    Solar power needs sunlight, so of course during the night no power is produced. Solar cells create D.C. power that needs to be converted to A.C. power costing energy for the conversion. Silan gas, used to deliver silicon molecules to a surface, explodes on contact with air and has been involved in 1o deaths in the last 20 years in the solar cell production industry.

    Geothermal plants need a location that offers suitable hot rocks at an easy to drill to depth without having rock that is too difficult to drill through above. Locations may temporarily run out of steam, this can last for several months and means the plant is producing no energy during this time. Hazardous gases and minerals can be released, such as hydrogen sulphide, arsenic, mercury and ammonia.

    Wave power that would generate 1000 M.W. of electricity would require just over 20 K.M. of coastline in a high energy wave area, such as the Pacific Northwest. It can disturb or disrupt marine life. There is great variety in the strength of waves over a year, month, day and this makes it difficult to predict how much energy a wave power plant can produce.

    Tidal power has a considerable effect on the ecosystem, such as increased levels of pollution, decreased levels of salinity in the basin and increased levels of sediment, due to decreased levels of water volume exchange between the basin and sea. Power is only generated when tides flow in or out of the basin.

    None of these technologies are capable of decreasing our growing need for fossil fuels to power our transportation. In order to reduce our dependence on crude oil significantly will require either serious advancements in our battery storage capabilities, or a dramatic new technological innovation. That innovation may have just arrived.

    Carbon Nanotubes

    In 1991 a Japanese scientist, Sumio Iijima, discovered carbon nanotubes, cylindrical structures with a diameter of as little as 1 nm and lengths up to several centimetres. They are the strongest known material, are pliable not brittle, and are used to strengthen composite materials. They also have outstanding electrical properties, being 1000 times more conductive than copper wire. Mark Bissett, from Flinders University’s School of Chemical and Physical Sciences using carbon nanotubes has created a transparent solar cell that can be sprayed onto windows.

    "When light shines on the cell, electrons are generated within the carbon nanotubes and these can be used to power electrical devices, it's basically like tinting the windows except they're able to produce electricity, and considering office buildings don't have a lot of roof space for solar panels, it makes sense to utilize the many windows they do have instead."
    Dr Bissett

    Now think of the implications, not only cars that run on what is essentially free energy from sunlight, but on a social level in general, no longer needing large centralized power companies, no longer needing large power grids. Just free, clean, renewable energy from nothing more than sunlight.

    While you are thinking about that, consider this. What happens to employment, or more to the point unemployment? With this type of technology in place, how many people will find themselves in a position of having no job? Employees of power generation companies, electrical distribution companies, petroleum companies, the combustion engine industry, the battery industry, and every single company and industry that services those industries almost completely gone not to mention the incredible reduction in our need for oil. As a direct result of this kind of mass unemployment, how will our economic model, which is based entirely on exchanging labour for purchasing power in order to consume products to keep everyone employed, survive? How can it continue?

    It cannot.

    We as a society will be forced to make fundamental changes to the way we operate. We will be forced to identify what is and what is not important, forced to acknowledge the redundancy of our current modus operandi. We have the technology and understandings of our natural world that will enable us to lead free, healthy lives. To allow us to invest time and energy into the things that matter, our families, our friends, and each other.

    Buckle you seatbelts ladies and gentlemen,
    things are about to get very interesting.

    Fri, Aug 24, 2012  Permanent link

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    Money is nothing more than a term which represents an abstract form of exchange of labour for purchasing power. This article will not investigate interest, loans, debt or the creation of money. For in reality money could be gold, silver, match sticks or pine nuts. Here we will concentrate on the direct result of defining a value to labour to use in exchange for purchasing power.

    While it may be offered that the abstraction (money) simply allows for delayed trade to take place, such as;

    • Human x has some chocolate.

    • Human y wants some chocolate and has a chicken farm but at the time has no eggs to trade.

    • So human y offers an abstraction so that s/he can have some chocolate and when eggs are available human x can trade in the accepted abstraction in return for some eggs.

    What we are actually seeing here is little more than what can be considered as the natural progression from barter to a more refined system of economics. For the idea of exchanging goods or services directly as a system of economics (barter) is still in and of itself an abstraction of the exchange of labour for purchasing power. For through the exchange of an egg, or eggs, for some chocolate what is being agreed upon is that the consumption of labour to secure the eggs is in equilibrium with the labour required to procure the chocolate. As an example while it may be agreed that two eggs are a suitable exchange for some chocolate, those two same eggs would not be sufficient in exchange for a house as the expressions of labour are not in equilibrium for that exchange. No matter what is used to define the value of labour, the fundamental ramifications remain the same.

    • An employer must have a product or service to produce or distribute in order to turn a profit.

    • An employee must take part in the production, distribution, or peddling of a product or service in order that the employer turn a profit, and can in turn pay the employee in exchange for labour.

    • Both the employer and employee must take part in the consumption of goods and services as consumers in order to perpetuate the entire system.

    Due to this model of exchange the very products that are manufactured are strategically produced to sustain this form of economics. As it is a requirement that nothing produced outlasts the need for continual consumption. Even the most cursory of searches can identify a multitude of items that are either poorly manufactured, designed to break/fail within a given time frame, or that have small aesthetic changes made to them over time resulting in a need or desire to have that item replaced. For in this economic system it simply would not do to produce goods that would last, could be easily upgraded, or could have the external aesthetic manipulated with ease. As this would place insurmountable strain on the consumption model and would lead inevitably to ever growing levels of unemployment. For any decreasing need for consumption translates directly into a decreasing need for production and as an inevitable result a reduction in humans employed creating a situation of poverty due to nothing more than the inability to exchange labour for purchasing power.

    Stratification of not only the general population, but also of products is a direct result of the use of such an abstraction. As the value equated to labour changes in regards to a multitude of factors such as, complexity, technical and or physical skill sets, and of course abundance or scarcity of the labour pool to point out a few. As a result in order to allow for consumption of goods and services to continue, we as a species must produce a stratified range of products that will encourage all economic levels of our society to take part in the process of continual consumption that is required to sustain the system. This range of value for labour not only creates massive economic disparity, but also means that in order to have lower cost products for those of lesser socio-economic means to be able to purchase they must be made cheaper. This can be accomplished by use of poor materials, a reduction or complete disregard of employee working conditions, and or using off shore factories in countries where employees are paid next to nothing for a days work.

    Human trafficking in Nike’s sweatshop factory in Malaysia

    As a society becomes increasingly technologically advanced and employment opportunities are replaced through machine automation it becomes evident that a growing number of the population will have their purchasing power reduced resulting in increasing strain on the consumption model. As consumption slows further jobs are lost through a reduction in the need for production, resulting in a vicious circle of continual loss of purchasing power to the general populace.

    Worldwide unemployment

    There is also the insidious reckless waste of our planetary resources that goes hand in hand with the need to sustain the consume throw it away, consume throw it away economic environment we have all been so heavily indoctrinated into.

    We have generated a multiplicity of product duplication. Some may be missing certain features in order to keep cost down, yet all of them use almost identical resources in the production process.
    All of them will almost certainly fail or be outdated within the next ten to fifteen years. None of them will be capable of being easily upgraded, or having faulty parts simply removed and replaced. Instead when the time comes and the product either fails or is outmoded, it will just be thrown away.

    Thrown away….? Like these objects simply disappear into some great empty void never to be seen again. Unfortunately this is not the case; these products fill landfills, end up in our oceans, and create piles of toxic e-waste.

    E-waste hell

    We have reached a point as a species that implores us to ask the hard questions about the economic environment we have created. No politician is going to seriously address the issues that arise due to the exchange of labour for purchasing power. It is up to us together, as one unified species to stand up and find solutions to endless waste, the misuse of finite resources, social stratification, disparity, war, needless pollution, and cyclical consumption.

    Whether we like it or not the future of our species demands that we outgrow this outmoded, antiquated way of living and find a way to work together, for our mutual benefit. We have both the technological ability and the scientific understandings to create a new social model, but do we have the will and intellectual tenacity to think beyond our primitive reptilian brain?

    It is up to us, the future is now.

    Social Rebirth

    Sat, Aug 11, 2012  Permanent link
    Categories: Barter, Debt, Money, Slavery
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