Saturday, January 28, 2012

Private Versus Public?

As Ronald Reagan famously exemplified in his January 1981 inaugural speech, "In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problems; government is the problem." the private/public debate has raged unabated.

For those in the States, the notion that private companies are by definition more efficient than their public counterparts almost goes without saying and as a result the overriding trend over the last thirty-plus years has been the inexorable shift toward the private end of the spectrum.

Regardless of how one might personally feel about the merits or demerits of either path (there is no shortage of evidence to sling depending on one's persuasion) are we actually doing each other a disservice by boiling such a complex topic – as how to most efficiently & fairly manage our societies' resources – into such a simplistic duality? By doing so are we without even knowing it putting on subconscious blinders that prevent us from seeing deeper relationships and alternate frameworks that might otherwise allow us to zero in and solve the myriad of societal ills that plague us today?

With those questions in mind, Economic Professor Emeritus Richard Wolff on his January 14th weekly radio program on WBAI New York, offers up a host of fresh perspectives and food for thought on the private/public discussion we've been having all these years and of greater import brings to the fray valuable tools to add to our "make-the-world-a-better-place utility belts."™

Richard Wolff – Economic Update – WBAI – January 14th, 2012

NOTE: If your browser is not picking up the audio player above here is the mp3.

P.S. If you haven't yet seen Wolff's presentation, "Capitalism Hits the Fan" definitely do so when you can carve away an hour or two. His summation of how we arrived at our current economic predicament is the most revealing and comprehensible I have come across.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Case Against Competition

Competition: The precious life-blood and driving fuel that makes the world go round! ...or so we have been told.

For those of us who happen to find ourselves within the borders of the U.S. – or in those nations strongly influenced by American values – this mantra is one that is so fundamental to our way of thinking it goes almost without question. Our schools, universities, sports, games, businesses, economic system and even quite often our personal relationships are interwoven with this ruling ideology. Competition it seems makes up our very nature.

Is this really the case though?

Well... this next video (audio actually) by Alfie Kohn may spin your world upside-down – or perhaps right–side-up depending on your persuasion – by offering a powerful counterpoint to this institutionalized notion. Kohn raises a host of unorthodox questions, the latest scientific evidence and reveals many of the unforeseen costs associated with living in the manner we do today. Of greater import, Kohn opens to us new and empowering alternatives to relate to one another that may very well open the door to greater abundance and collective happiness. Doesn't that sound nice? :)

Alfie Kohn – The Case Against Competition

Very much related to this topic see The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Domo Arigato, Mr. ASIMO

Robotic technology is exponentially gaining ground and is now at the cusp of fundamentally redefining the very fabric of society. With this incredible new capability the option of freeing humanity from the clutches of menial, laborious & dangerous labor is now no longer science fiction, but an engineering reality.

If you haven't yet seen Honda's 2011 incarnation of ASIMO you are in for a big treat! My jaw hit the floor with what this little guy is already capable of. Can't imagine what ASIMO will be doing five and ten years from now as his systems continue to advance along with Moore's Law, but guaranteed we're in for more surprises!

Living With Robots

An 8 minute mini-documentary on ASIMO and robots in general.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Understanding Money

Where does money come from? Who creates money? How do they? Why do they?

If you don't know the answers to these questions you owe it to yourself, your family and community to do so since peeking behind the Monetary Wizard's curtain is a key step in breaking his spell and ending his rule over us all.

Fortunately, revealing the shenanigans within is not as hard as you might think. These videos are an eye opener!

The Collapse of The American Dream Explained in Animation

Zeitgeist Addendum – Money Mechanics

This excerpt from the Documentary, "Zeitgeist Addendum" is the best overview of the money creation process I have found on the web.

Part 1:

Part 2:

... and at the closing of this video's mention of "Economic Hitmen" feel free to watch this documentary to learn more.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Legos For Life

Remember playing Legos as a kid??? I sure do!!! Memories of building dump trucks, tractors, buildings and anything else the imagination could conjure up occupied more hours than I could count.

Well the folks at Open Source Ecology are taking that same zeal for constructive creativity and literally fabricating the building blocks so entire villages, towns & cities can be erected from the grassroots up and with the core goal of doing so in an ecologically sustainable manner.

What's even better, all of these vital and freeing technologies will come for the amazingly low price of.... FREE! That's right! No fees, copyrights, patents, profits or any other human-invented economic barriers to get in the way of making the world a much better place for all of us across the globe to live & thrive in.

Global Village Construction Set

TED – Marcin Jakubowski – Open-Sourced Blueprints for Civilization

Practical Post Scarcity – Open Source Solutions

Open Source Ecology – Enterprise Plan

For more of the wonders Open Source is bringing us see Jay Bradner.