Monday, August 10, 2015

Through the looking glass

It is useful to understand that we have a mental map of our body and senses and that this can sometimes become dislocated from our body and senses. It is interesting to note the specificity of shifts in language comprehension after a stroke. Pronouns, abstract nouns. It is interesting that sometimes our sense of self expands our internal sphere of influence beyond our capacity to have real effect, and that at other times our sense of self can be fragmented, on timeshare, or defers to external input. But none of this means that there is no self.

My response to seeing that we have an adaptive, procedural agency over time is to think of mothers, parents and the aggregate self which is initiated and then adjusted over time like a relational cell division. It makes me think of relationships between a horse and rider, farmer and their dog, indigenous communities and their ecologies. And the regular habit of our economic self in a working life.

I think this procedural adaptive self offers opportunities to rethink our sphere of influence in constructive ways. Instead of relinquishing self in the face of confining and destructive isolating economic structures we can repurpose and customise our map of the living world, develop new habits, new senses and literacies, and use them to engineer different social capacity and flavours of participation.

At the same time I think that pathogenic views of ecology are just another humancentric ranking of value which does not have useful meaning in terms of broadening our sense of responsibility to other species. Ecologies are constructed from the bottom up. Neglecting the small and uncuddly from our value system will undermine the possibility of sustaining the sentient and cuddly. If we give respect to all life and aim for healthy life in all dimensions then all species benefit. Being humane could be a practical love of life as a whole system. We have lost 50% of species and need to treasure those we have left as living beings, evolved knowledge, and as participants in integrated ecosystems.

So in response to Metzinger's Being Noone
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mthDxnFXs9k

I think that the observations of the mind in context are interesting but that the speculation about noneself sounds unrelated to the observation. More like the kind of preconceived idea that someone might have if they had a political interest in systems for avoiding responsibility?

We live in an era when the USA can brag about torture and illegal war. When destruction, violence, war seems to be a first course of action, and where economics, media, are oppositional and divisive. It does not surprise me that some are looking for ways to distance themselves from responsibility as participants within these systems. But being noone will not help us find a way forward. A passive aggressive path to a reality where noone can be born on a dead planet.

Finding ourselves as points of decision in a network of senses and conversations might help us to think of the self more broadly and socially, and to include future generations in our thinking about our sphere of influence. To be able to imagine and apply an economics which recognises the universal self in ecosystems and communities. And understands growth systemically?

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Anthropocene - selfie on a dying planet

Human species celebrates ability to terraform a living planet into a dead one.
Calls for more self interested politics.

Rather than changing the destructive economic logic we use to destroy the planet, the linked paper suggests that social sciences and politics be engaged to further artificially contrive ecological systems in order to serve individual preferences.

Hope we are the only species in the Universe to think this is a win.

Sunday, June 07, 2015

transport for fun and function

Fuels

Catalina

Adaptive renewable aircraft
  • Catalina, plane, boat, able to carry people and freight?
    model catalina
     
  • What could we make these from to make them renewable and light?
    Bamboo? Hemp? Carbon based?
    Other designs?



Solar vehicles
  • Solar challenge has helped to inspire projects like the cruiser class Sunswift which will be a road registrable solar vehicle.   
Electric vehicles
Land yachts
  • We currently use land yachts for fun, sport, racing.
  • In China in the 1600s they had land yachts which carried 28 people.

Hybrid road rail


http://www.ctsblog.net/2015/02/road-rail-trucks-railroad-right-of-way.html http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bogie

If we are freighting smaller volumes of higher value materials to more diffuse locations we could do with transport which can make use of rail corridors but also branch into road systems.

Friday, June 05, 2015

Capitalism is the enemy of democracy

Capitalism is the enemy of democracy because it generates an opposing force which grows in concentration of wealth and power until democracy can no longer function.

It is a sociopathic structure.
Hence TPP, TPIP, austerity, fracking, war, refugees, homelessness, prison for profit, etc. Money is opposed to society, opposed to ecologies.
Which is the real obstacle; people and ecology, or the value system?

Capitalism will collapse because it tries to simplify and control all of the living systems, because it is designed for conflict, because it does not value life. Noone survives ongoing climate change.

It is a 'lemming suicide'.
Rendezvous with destiny

So we push ourselves over the cliff?
Or design something healthier?


Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Bulldust. We need ecologically embedded economics - discuss

I have read the report: “World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2015 The New Global Context” It is not helpful. It is bulldust.

WEF and Capitalism

I believe that the WEF has already heard suggestions that capitalism is dead. Why are the articles proposing business as usual? Capitalism is designed to concentrate wealth regardless of systemic health and stability. It is a kind of anarchy. We are seeing the results in extinctions, poisoned ecologies, broken communities due to war, corruption and austerity. Capitalism is the enemy of democracy.

If inertia means that the current economic direction suits some people that is a concern. Capitalism is extractive rather than reciprocal. It is broken. Industries which are specifically extractive include mining especially fracking, weapons trade and war, current finance, gmo crops and pesticides.

I see inertia in two forms:
  • Business as usual: Industries and individuals who do not recognise that capitalism and extractive fenced models will break the planet. (Including for rich people).
  • Same but worse: Businesses, individuals who want to transition back to something corporate-feudal where the extractive model is carried through to its endgame; extinction of most species, controlled resources including water; war, division; a society without the smarts to try anything more sensible. This model has the same structural flaws as the business as usual approach because it uses the same underlying destructive principle. 

WEF and Climate

We have not stopped increasing CO2 let alone started to work on negative values for emissions which would be needed to shift things at all. Responses to climate have not got us to a point where the CO2 and temperature impacts are reversed. and yet the report looks to be running business as usual ? Oil? Gas? Seriously?

An alternative to capitalism

There is some fiction in this blog I have written about the end of capitalism:
If this site is not available I am happy to share the stories wherever.

Addressing climate change, First steps

Peace

  • Peace.
  • Action on war crimes, torture, whistleblowers. 
  • Ban on war trade
  • Close Guantanamo.
  • Do not train more people in war.
  • Rebuild. Reframe so that we can be is inclusive and not polarised.
  • What is the purpose of black ops sites around the world if our intention is to have a time of peace?
  • Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Tibet, Palestine, Ukraine, Nigeria may want constructive help to shift to peace. Reframe culture so that it is inclusive and not polarised.
  • Resolve refugee issues at source if we can. Work constructively with communities. We will have climate refugees/migrants. Becoming a refugee could happen to any of us. Prison is not a solution. No death at sea. Shared responsibility for relocating refugees. Where could there skills be useful? Where could they learn skills that might be useful back at home? Where do we need people? What capacity do we have where? 
  • Change our armies to echo groups like Engineers without Borders, Médecins Sans Frontières, Permaculture gardeners without borders [Greening the desert] Function to serve communities, stabilise ecologies. 
  • Companies and people who have profited from war and weaponry. Need to pay tax held in trust by the diffuse victims to heal regions which have been fraught by facilitating universities which recognise and rebuild, reframe local culture and without conflict, medicine, etc. (without profit)
  • Faith organisations engaged in war need to restructure their purpose and investment for peace. There needs to be a cost for those entities involved in violence, prejudice, or destruction. They are responsible for impact in the same way as other organisations and people. Faith needs to be about peace. (This is clumsily worded. False flag issues.)

Income

  • Cancel debt.
  • Shift all people to a living wage. All on the same wage. All safe. Freed to achieve change.

Industry

  • Stop business as usual.
  • All industry is not for profit excepting that which works to improve healthy ecology and stabilise endangered species. This work means that profit is earned for the person in the moment through generating the wealth and health of the Earth's living systems for the future.
  • Businesses could be self owned or cooperatively run so that people can see upwards into the organisation and its products and impacts so that they can choose to participate in something safe and perhaps profitable. Businesses can make decisions to sustain employment and reduce rents through effective use of ecologies.
  • Communities and businesses loan their space from the Earth Bank where the ecological impact of their industry impacts the interest they pay on their use of the space/resources/people. The opportunity cost of using the land and resources in a way which takes from the ecology is taken into account such that businesses which manage to practice effectively while retaining biodiversity and healthy living systems pay a lower rent.
  • Audit any past activities and businesses that we do still need for their CO2, ecological and social impact. Do they need to be reconfigured to function in a low impact distributed, renewable, safe way.
  • No planned obsolescence. If it costs resources to make something its value needs to be evident in the way it lasts. Make things as they are needed. Preferably where they are needed. So that they can be maintained locally
  • Economists, finance people, lawyers, miners, military, some farmers, some engineers, need retraining. All of us need some retraining?
  • Bioremediation – where an oil spill or Chernobyl or Fukushima is caused the businesses involved in the damage are dissolved and their assets put in a trust fund to contribute to short term and long term bioremediation and health services where necessary. People involved also pay an ongoing tax for their contribution to the damage. eg. Chernobyl the impact is infinite to the families with genetic disruption – the debt would be taxed for life. 
  • How much of the nuclear waste could be safely reprocessed?

Atmosphere

  • We need to use fuel which is at least carbon neutral but preferably carbon negative in the short term. Does Blue Diesel work? If it does work how do we make it in a way which is as simple and distributed as possible so that it can be transitioned to as soon as possible. Other possibilities?
  • Ban on logging and felling in existing systems. Reforestation of complex forest systems. Planting
  • Stop mining. Particularly no gas, no oil, no coal.
    • Ban fracking permanently
    • What can we recycle? What materials do we really need in a new context which is designed around renewable materials which are not contended and do not generate conflict?

Species

  • Stop fishing.
    • Feed communities which rely on fishing currently. (Farmed freshwater fish may be safe?)
  • Species at risk immediately. How can we look after them until things stabilise? This would often involve stabilising human communities through helping them in partnership with the species.
  • If people hunt or poach endangered species they pay tax until that species is no longer endangered. If the animal becomes extinct they pay tax for life.
  • Ways to look after traditional breed diversity like draught horses, old poultry breeds etc?
  • How do we look after species we do not eat or need at this current point in time? They are still a part of our real wealth and living bank.

Health and community

  • Static population or falling population. We will need to plan for an older average population. With love and respect.
  • Fukushima, Chernobyl community health, bioremediation.
  • Support for communities impacted by natural disasters Nepal, Philippines
    • Fix at source approach to refugees. Work with communities at the source of refugees. What can constructively be done?
  • Constructive response to crime. Violent systems such as USA police need to be demilitarised and resolved.
  • We need ecologically embedded social planning which plans for space for indigenous species, locally hosted species, agriculture, ourselves, our activities and social infrastructure. Future plans.
  • Diversity in our communities. Different perspectives is a strength in a time of change. Culture, age, faith, gender, skills, abilities.

Culture

  • Change entertainment and media. Violence is not entertainment. We have, more interesting stories to tell. We need journalists, musicians, film makers, authors, poets, dancers, artists, all the arts to explore citizen stories. 
  • Sport can help to bring people together and make new connections.

Homes

  • If you are living in a home you own it.
  • If you currently own more than one, pick one.
  • If you need a home there will be some available or built.
  • We will all pay 'rent' to the Earth Bank for the opportunity cost of the house/space we take up. This means that if we have space we need to make good use of it. Grow food, grow indigenous species, increase biomass and photosynthesis. These 'ecological services' will reduce the rent. It might be interesting to see if underground homes are useful because they do not have a surface footprint?
  • We might decide to build the cities in the deserts and to revive the arable land under current cities now that we have the means to do infrastructure which can handle the separation by ecological system. This could also reduce rent.

Use our time and skills to implement a healthy system:

Food

Agriculture needs to adapt quickly because it requires time to grow things differently. It needs to change while we still eat. We can improve the farming models we have for soil health, bees, richness of species?
  • Plant breeds can not be owned, restricted, but sources are recognised. Local varieties adapted to different climates will be useful.
  • Moratorium on gmo. They currently are designed to be asystemic and destructive, can generate cancerous compounds and species sterility/extinction.
  • Free range, organic, polyculture, permaculture.
  • Reorient for locavore food systems.
  • Integrate indigenous species. Space also needs to be provided for indigenous species if there is insufficient capacity in agricultural space to keep them stable.
  • We can secure food locally by augmenting with community gardens, food forests, our own gardens.
  • Address the CO2 and extractive economics of current food systems.
  • Cruelty – shift to free range because rent would be high on caged animal farming due to quality of life.
  • Find ways to make sure we are all fed and that local produce is used first. Surplus for crises.

Invest

  • We can each invest a share in a project, research, business whatever. We need investment to be one share one vote. Only projects which heal the ecological systems and species generate any profit. Projects can only attract the number of funds/shares they need to do the job. Perhaps Kickstarter models would be useful. Local communities have first choice on joining local for profit projects. Other projects are tackled not for profit.
  • Drop fences such as patents, paywalls on science data.
  • Shift investment from spending on spying to designing technologies for a new mode of working where we are not structurally set up for conflict. Less need to know what each other care about if it is not all designed for win:lose.

Tools we need

  • We need to understand communities of species, both agricultural and 'wild'. Can we use a wikipedia model helped by scientists with specific species knowledge to collect data on what we have.
  • We need bottom up transparent cooperative businesses where people can see whether the ecological and social impact of the organisation is sound. If we have a system with no limited liability we need to be able to see what we are buying into. We need tools to see that. We need 5 views through our activities? re ecology, social context, organisation, team/project family/personal?
  • Current project manageent tools/methods(Agile) echo the reductive model of capitalism and are blinkered from their wider impact, are linear, value the wrong kind of costs for the new contexts.
  • Scala Naturae Relational ecological database accessible including for traditional people in ways that make sense for them. Perhaps by mobile phone? Or there could be ways to contribute art, paintings, stories, about ecology. Illustrations of species, of combinations of species. Card game of species families and interrelationships. Posters, tshirts. Take an interest in one or a few species and help with looking after them and their data. Wear the tshirt. Online offline resilience/redundancy. Fidelity for local experience and broader systemic planning, statistics and trends.

Education

Education, free, accessible, experimental, participative. MOOCs are a great start but there are many communities which do not have bandwidth. There are skills which are not best taught through a mediated medium. We need education in making things. We need to experiment with the limits of renewable materials and to design machinery and tools for working with them in ways which are low impact, adaptive, flexible and safe. We need stories, art of all kinds and creative opportunities to explore a new mode of being both individually and socially.

Some ecological systems which need help

  • Plastic gyres
  • Pacific Islands, Barrier Reef
  • Dead spots in the rivers and oceans, Fracked landscapes
  • Fukushima, Chernobyl community health, bioremediation?

Assets we have

  • Life is persistent. In some places these assets remain:
    • Forests for oxygen and CO2 absorbtion.
    • The species we have left, pollinators, old breeds, 'wildlife',
    • Living integrated ecologies.
    • Safe water,
    • Living soil.
  • People
    • Older people who know how to make things.
    • Younger people who are hopeful and happy to try new things.
    • Families and community interconnectivity
    • Science and scientists who care.
    • Disabled people. Support their health, participation, empowerment.
    • Us
  • Systems
    • Universities. Education needs to be free, lifelong, diverse, try different things, experiment, shared, locally specific species education, learn indigenous patterns, seasons, stories.
    • Libraries. Need to be free and have the space and tools to give the best access to all our knowledge.
    • Internet. accessible, net neutral, searchable, safe.
    • Democracy
    • Ways to share and negotiate ideas.
  • Cultures
    • Cultural diversity especially with experience of 'fenceless' constructive work and living sustainably within stable ecologies.
    • Indigenous communities with knowledge of their ecologies. Listen. Ensure they have ongoing connection to traditional land and serve to help them secure and live traditional systems of understanding the land. Some indigenous people do not choose this context. Some still have that knowledge. Whatever we can do to facilitate that in a way which serves them rather than controls them is useful.
    • The Culture and Traditional Authority of Indigenous People and the Development Paradigm 
    • Elinor Ostrom's work on managing commons
      [Elinor Ostrom on Water] 
    • Open innovation communities and shared experiments.
    • Faiths which are at root about caring for each other.

Risks

  • Inertia:
    • Business as usual: Industries and individuals who do not recognise that capitalism and extractive fenced models will break the planet. (Including for rich people).
    • Same but worse: Businesses, individuals who want to transition back to something corporate-feudal where the extractive model is carried through to its endgame; extinction of most species, controlled resources including water; war, division; a society without the smarts to try anything more sensible. There is no reason to believe that this model would have a higher probability of survival than the business as usual approach because it uses the same underlying destructive principle. Proponents are likely to come from the extractive industries because that is what they know.
  • Population growth will devalue the lives of all people and make it impossible to sustain human rights and quality of life. We need stability, degrowth.
  • Our brains have been practicing the old way of thinking for a long time. NLP can offer ways to adapt and reshape our brains for a more experimental, collaborative and essentially happy, healed, way of life. We need to be able to take on change. Personally as well as systemically.
  • We need interfaith peace and respect including for atheists. 
  • We need all cultures/faiths/people to respect women and children and to enable their full opportunity and participation, empowerment. 
  • We need birth control.
  • Where science and faith differ we need to be able to work with the science and not lose faith.
  • Challenges of transition, testing new systems.
    eg. How to manage profit so that it does not encourage people to break places to earn money to fix them? 
  • How will the system accommodate change?
  • The climate may already be in inverted freefall. We need to move quickly.

Draft timeline

Now

  • Peace. Address warcrimes. Stop war trade. Rebuild. Reframe.
  • Cancel debt.
  • Basic income
  • No homeless, Check on people who may be out of the loop, do they need support?
  • Secure indigenous communities in their homelands. Listen. Empower them.
  • Refugees are us. Resolve refugee issues at source if we can. Work constructively with communities. Shared responsibility for refugees.
  • Stop mining. Particularly all fracking, coal, gas, oil.
  • How does recycling best suit our new needs.
  • Stop logging, start planting
  • Stop fishing unless farmed freshwater sustainable systems.
  • Support fishing communities while they shift to working on renewing sea grass forests, clearing water etc.
  • Stop poaching. Work on constructive local economy.
  • Audit species and secure habitats.
  • Safe water for ecologies and for humanity embedded in the landscape, not in plastic bottles.
  • Locavore as possible
  • No plastic. Start on the gyres.
  • Test blue diesel and distribute/adapt vehicles as quickly as possible.
  • Design ecologically embedded social planning. (EESP)
  • Stop manufacture of all except essential to improving/sustaining ecology and human life.
  • Shift to a not for profit mode for those industries that continue. Just in time production might be ok for some things to stop us making things we do not need.
  • Speculative arts including fiction, drama, film, music, dance, using the rich possibilities of real places, communities, ecologies. What is possible?

Six months

  • WEF progress meeting.
  • What are the sticking points.
  • How do we look we are going tre end of year goal?
  • We are finding new ways to have fun and create and invent without breaking our context.

One year

  • Develop new tools for manufacture and digital tools for choosing good projects to participate in. Ways to contribute..
  • Test EESP. Use real situations and refine the system as it is tried in different communities. It needs to be discursive but the principles need to hold firm.
  • New materials, rowing bamboo, hemp, other renewable materials, carbon fibre?
  • New skills to work with local materials and serve local communities.
  • Retooling for new local industries.
  • Identify and adjust existing businesses that can adapt to the new pattern making things we currently need.
  • Continue work on river systems and other polluted spaces.
  • First permaculture systems with food forests and swales are developing and rehabilitating desert, salty landscapes. Transition monocultures.
  • Identify optimal populations of human society in different regions in order to sustain ecologies with healthy populations of all species. Negotiate how to get there. People may have to move around to get us into a useful pattern.

Two years

  • Emissions equilibrium.
  • Moving to negative CO2 balance.
  • Population is starting to stabilise.
  • Agriculture is serving current needs and has capacity for crisis.
  • Congruent sustainable systems
  • Surveying to see how we are impacting climate and choosing a best fit strategy.

    Tuesday, May 26, 2015

    stock market crash

    We didn't notice when it finally came undone. It had been so long since their pyramid scheme economy had had anything to offer us. They had been selling 'unique opportunities' to be a part of their elite haven. But the bubble city was broken enough. We could see that the same limiting system could only become more broken. It would be an elaborate coffin, Giza. Even the folks wedded to warfare looked for alternatives.

    Apparently it came last week. We were planting. Autumn. The swales had settled with the rain. Old wooden furniture, fabrics, bones and prunings were buried under soil. Corridors of green, languid curving byways for water. The groundcovers were starting to come up.

    We worked in teams, planting from cuttings and prunings. It was a joy to be out under the blue now that the heat was out of the sky. The world looked hopeful after rain.

    We shared lunch, and planned the next suburb to tackle. Took out two thirds of the buildings and uncovered the soil underneath. It was dead and still, but we bedded it down with straw and manure. Built it up and left it for a year. We would come back and check for metals and pesticide residues. The dirt under the houses was usually not too bad. The areas which were most difficult were planted with a range of trees, to see what would cope.

    After lunch the last of them came. Some still carried weapons but not as if they were the answer. They were still angry and frightened but seemed to settle down as they were given something practical to do. Something to learn.

    We wore shirts with our chosen totem species on. Some embroidered, some painted or drawn. It was a way to celebrate the possibilities of each new species we found we could grow. Old customs perhaps, but a way to celebrate our individuality and our interdependence. A release from coloured factions.

    One group was doing a scrap run. Motors and wiring from old whitegoods were handy. We had plenty of power so now we were looking for materials for new engineering projects. Tools and milling equipment. Smoother ways to process food and fibres. Experimenting with conductive materials and ways to consume CO2; as fuel, in plantings, lichens, algaes.

    Thursday, May 21, 2015

    Manifest destiny

    Their initial response to climate change was predictable.
    They had great plans. They would own and control life.
    Make life simple enough to keep in a bubble.
    They could use mining, military, money, monoculture. Extract value.
    They would try to shut down anything they didn't own.

    They would start with a great homogenisation.
    Break down their own societies by reducing culture to stories of war and violence.
    Repurpose democracies with money and systemic corruption for a claustrophobic feudalism where only the species, people, ideas they owned would be safe.
    Limit education to basic unquestioning competition for narrower and narrower definitions of participation.

    They would make war on other communities with different perspectives, from indigenous communities to world faiths. Anything they could use to muster conflict. They could field armies against themselves and feed whole generations into them. Juggle profit.

    And so the communities and natural systems were breaking. Are still breaking. But Earth has always been larger than human mayhem.

    The bubble cities were dependent on few gmo crops, which were dependent on chemicals, cannibal cage farmed livestock, manufactured meats and processes that were precarious and contended. They were sustained by the destruction of forests. They fought amongst each other. Their crops did not adapt to shifting climate. Genetic splicing caused carcinogenic compounds in foods. The fracked groundwater was no tastier out of plastic bottles. Bees died. People who had been trained not to question found it hard to find the systemic causes for crop failure and tried to answer it with more poisons.

    If you can only answer the world's dynamic challenges with answers you own the Earth will answer the anomaly with all of the power of a living system.
    Their bubble cities were invaded by consequences like sandcastles on a beach. Something they could not war against.

    The bubble city people learned and left. They moved like a river.

    From the local city they came to us. We divided the first groups and sent them to different communities to learn. After that we needed another plan. We turned them around with water and short term food. Seeds to plant and people to show them what to do next.

    At the edge of the city they were watched by the guards. They dug swales, planted for nitrogen, planted for food and materials, planted for pollinators, and tried a first planting of the local indigenous species.

    It became a rhythm. People began to focus on specific tasks or species. They worked in teams and tried different combinations. The first crops were peas and buckwheat.

    It was cold at night in the tents. But people slept close. They started to talk. To tell stories.

    People still in the city were hungry. Looting. The guards and the people recognised the fear in each other's eyes. They allowed the gardeners back in. People moved back and forth. Trying the new polyculture patterns in the city. Looking for ways to make tools.

    Our communities were more diffuse. Following landscape needs. Our communities worked to contribute ecological services to the Earth. And to feed and manage ourselves. We shared ideas and seeds, adapted technologies for materials which were not contended. No single points of failure, no need for war. We drafted an economics for stability. One which was designed to fit within the living systems, to be reciprocal, healthy.