Sunday, February 26, 2012

Structural Peace or Structural War


Is war natural? Is war inevitable? Is the tendency for war hard-wired into our "human nature"? Are we inherently territorial and aggressive? Is there a "war gene"? Is war a result of "evil"? What forces drive us toward war? What systems of belief perpetuate war? What institutions & economic arrangements require war for their very survival? Which profit? How do cultures & nation states indoctrinate their citizenry to acquiesce to, participate in, take the lives of others and lay down their own lives to meet war's ends?


Is the possibility of world peace nothing more than a fantasy? Are the differences between us so great that peace will always lie outside of our grasp?  Will the drive to obtain & secure scarce resources continually thwart our efforts to come to peaceful resolutions? If mutually beneficial arrangements are a possibility what institutions, environmental frameworks and values can we adopt that can steer us toward peaceful coexistence?

Lots of annoying brain-bending questions, huh?

For those who are horrified by the sad realities of war and humanity's long relationship with it and also for those who are awakening to the realization that given our exponentially increasing weapon technologies if we do not deeply grapple with such questions and upgrade our personal & societal values in a manner that allow us to responsibly manage such vast power the possibility for catastrophe becomes almost a certainty.

With the aspiration to pull back from such perilous trends, Peter Joseph of The Zeitgeist Movement in this next lecture titled, '"Defining Peace" – Economics, The State and War' jumps head first into these critical questions, zeroing in on the root causal mechanisms that underly & feed the myriad of conflicts we see around us today as well as explores new territory & perspectives that in-turn reveal a host of vital new tools for reengineering our world in a manner where lasting peace finally has a chance to take hold. Now that's something to get excited about!

Peter Joseph – Defining Peace – Tel Aviv, Israel – Feb 6th 2012

In the pursuit of peace the wise words of Howard Zinn cannot go unheeded.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Great Disruption

We are between a rock and a hard place.

We've been shopping, eating, building, paving, driving, flying, reproducing, hoarding, trading, polluting, wasting, cutting and dumping with unfettered fervor and with little regard of the long-term consequences of our actions.

Up to this point we've managed to keep the wheels spinning by borrowing from our past – more specifically by rapidly burning our way through the oil, coal & gas reserves formed glacially over tens of millions of years and by pushing the Earth's natural systems well past their carrying capacity.

Simultaneously, since we operate within an economic system that is hard-wired to require never-ending growth, as a result of our debt-based currency & banking systems, we've leveraged ourselves to the hilt and borrowed against our futures, our children's and children's children's futures to such an extend that quite literally the whole of the remaining planet's resources and all those future generations have no hope of actually paying the IOUs we have created.

Yes, this is a grim post! :-P

Grim as it is, this very serious predicament by no means spells our doom, but quite the contrary is a calling to the whole of humanity to outgrow our divisive adolescence and rise in unison to tackle the planetary-wide problems that are well within our collective capacity to resolve. If the motto, "United We Stand, Divided We Fall" ever rang more true it certainly does so today.

This next podcast & video potently make the case that we are at the end of an era and must fundamentally rewrite our economic operating systems if we expect to survive & flourish in the new emerging realities now inescapably before us...

The Great Disruption

Paul Gilding, Professor, Cambridge University Program for Sustainable Leadership
Richard Heinberg, Senior Fellow, Post Carbon Institute

NOTE: If the audio player above isn't showing up in your browser here is the mp3.

There's No Tomorrow

P.S. For more on Peak Resources I highly recommend Chris Martenson's Crash Course website.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

How to Live on Mars is How to Live on Earth

Though we are still many decades away from sending humans to Mars let alone establishing colonies, scientists & engineers are already well underway developing the technical groundwork and systems to successfully allow humans to one day survive and flourish in alien environments like those of our red neighbor.

That is all well and good, but looking from the terrestrial rock our feet are planted on today, such work might seem at best a pointless exercise or worse a dangerous & wasteful distraction when taking in the global scope of environmental degradation, climate disruption, poverty, war and the looming energy crisis which confronts humanity in the very present here and now. Yikes!

Well, as counterintuitive as it may seem on the surface it turns out the kinds of problems future Martian colonists will have to tackle are actually not so different than those we collectively face today on Spaceship Earth, so learning how to live in the Great Beyond brings to us a plethora of very practical and much needed solutions to overcoming the many stumbling blocks down here where it counts.

To that end, this next presentation from Douglass Mallette ~ CEO of Cybernated Farm Systems, former Space Shuttle Systems Engineer and author of "Turning Point: How Space Exploration and Development Will Determine the Rise or Fall of Humanity" ~ reveals for us the host of life-enhancing knowledge the Space Sciences continue to give us. More importantly, Mallette in this talk brings to the table new socio-economic strategies based on our latest scientific wisdom that if collectively adopted offers up the hope of restoring ecological equilibrium to the planet while simultaneously increasing the wellbeing of all.

Douglas Mallette Lecture at Blindern, in Oslo, Norway

P.S. Very much related to Mallette's current Cybernated Farm Systems company are these amazing food production technologies.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Print Me a Road!

Here is another technological marvel rising up from the drawing boards over at Volvo:

Volvo FENIX Asphalt Paver

The only superfluous and awkward part of this amazing machine's design is that container up top where the human goes. With driverless technologies now at the cusp of automating vehicle transportation (see NPR story below) forcing some poor person to sit in there bored out of their mind makes little sense. Let the poor person be with his/her family!

At this point FENIX is only a concept, but is yet another example of the myriad of technologies right over the horizon that will be automating away the vast proportion of jobs across the planet.

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

...FENIX will print your driveway and these folks will print you a house!