Over the last weekend I attended 2 conferences in NY, one was Contact (which was a great event) followed by MetaCurrency project meeting.
In both events attended a representative from OWS.
He’s been living there for the last 3 weeks and wanted to see if and how the ideas presented at the 2 conferences can help or be integrated with the OWS cause.
He shared some of his experience but to our great surprise said that his biggest problem at the moment is getting sleep!
Apparently some people are taking advantage of the freedom and openness of the OWS movement.
Homeless people, junkies and others are coming over, taking blankets, eating the food, harassing the occupiers, disturbing the peace and sleep and also interfering with the ongoing discussion and voting processes.
The bind is that the group declares openness, transparency and freedom as some of its principal of operations and decline to use any known methods of enforcing order and by that (in their view) accepting the system rules to which they object to.
I should say at this point that I support qualitative change and I would like to see OWS creating one.
Can it be that a qualitative change cannot be achieved without some quantitative one?
My view is that such a change demands a different ecology of mind, hopefully OWS and other movements would help facilitate such a change.
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There is a long ongoing discussion about the financial systems which gained even more momentum following the recent financial crisis (AKA credit crunch).
Many voices are being heard, almost all throwing terms and slogans arguing their perspective to be the ultimate one, fast to show the errors of other perspectives.
Socialism, Capitalism (neo-liberal or other), free market, taxes, risk, leveraging, hedging are just a tip of the iceberg.
Many of the arguments are directed at the system (x or y), the Banks, the government, the corporate, even certain technologies are to be blame.
I observe all these arguments with sheer amazement.
Since the beginning of humanity it was all about the human nature and never the tools.
Once human created a club to hunt a mammoth, the same club was used to hit a neighbour or a potential mate.
In my view not much has changed since then.
We have much more complex and effective tools which allows for much greater effect (positive or negative).
Capitalism and socialism are not bad ideologies, nor the Banks evil, it is human nature that drives people to be irresponsible, take un-necessary risks, value money above well being and in general behaving in a manner that is beyond and ethical standard of being.
As long as people will not take responsibility and will not hold themselves to a higher code of conduct, problems and crises will follow.
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I’ve watched last week “ Transcendent Man” - the documentary about Ray Kurzweil, his life and ideas.
For anyone who read the book “The singularity is near” or watched one of his lectures in the recent years there is not much new in the film.
While I’ve got a lot to say about Ray Kurzweil and his work (maybe in another post) I would like to focus here on technological progress and the future of humanity.
It is undeniable that technology is progressing fast, very fast actually and in many areas – genetics, robotics, information, nano technology and more.
Artificial intelligence is one of these areas and soon (depends on which prediction you want to believe) we will start seeing early versions of AIs.
There is however a different area all together where progress is definitely not happening and not much progress has been made for thousands of years and that is the human nature.
Though many humans like to think of themselves as modern and progressed, the underlying emotional system and decision making processes are pretty much working on the same principals and in the same fashion as they have been for the last few thousand years.
In my view there is a great danger here in several levels.
The first and the obvious one is having advanced technology available in the hands of people that will abuse it and/or use it in destructive fashion.
Yet the biggest danger that I foresee is that while you read these lines there are people all over the world creating machines and setting a future according to principal and views which in my eyes are not advanced and evolved enough.
How can it be otherwise if the people who design it (and humanity at large) are still dominated by emotions, rivalries and not holding a coherent and promising view of future change to human nature?
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Bank of America, Amazon, MasterCard and PayPal are some of the companies that stopped doing business with Wikileaks.
While it is quite clear that this follows ‘some’ pressure from the US government I do like to point to a more principal issue here.
I believe that it is the right of every person on the planet to have access to all services.
These services vary from physical needs like food, clean water and shelter to access to communication, commerce, freedom of speech, etc.
While I do have a personal opinion on the actions of Julian Assange and Wikileaks, there is a difference between myself as a private individual to corporate / service providers.
It is their duty to provide services to all who wants them without discrimination.
(There are some exceptions to the rule that are set by government & legal laws)
Simply put, these companies took the law into their own hands and by violating this duty and responsibility they are abusing their role.
As a private individual I’m facing now a new reality where my basic rights are threatened and can be taken from me at any moment without due process.
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