“…insight, vision, moments of revelation. During those rare moments something overtakes the man and he becomes the tool of a greater Force; the servant of, willing or unwilling depending on his degree of awakeness. The photograph, then, is a message more than a mirror, and the mans a messenger who happens to be a photographer.”
Minor White

Oligarchy of Programmers?

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A twitter interaction with Pietro led to him sharing with me the following video:


I do think that bitcoin as an amazing technological innovation (that may give birth to other valuable inventions), but I also believe it is, for now, a useless one. If to embrace the metaphor from the video – bitcoin is like the invention of the engine. However the engine itself is a useless thing to anyone but engineers who understand and can work with engines. And engineers can speak passionately about what can be done with this engine but that doesn’t make the engine anymore useful. For an engine to become useful someone must transform it into something non-engineers can use – a car, a boat, a tractor, a plane, a drill, whatever. Doing that is way outside the skillset of engineers.

For all the wonderful things described in the video to come to life there is a huge road of end-user product development ahead. Who is going to do that?

Open Source Developers? Though I am a big fan of and live almost entirely with open-source software there is one thing that open-source, as a community, fails to do – and that is to create end-user products. The amazing proliferation of Linux is not as an end-user product but as an engine developed by engineers for other engineers. So I do not see the open-source community being able to deliver the promised future in the video.

Venture Capitalists? So far most (if not all) of the developments that have given public awareness and rise to bitcoin have been made by people with parasitic vested interests – to exploit bitcoin for profit. Their entire mentality (from business models to code) is closed and is a parasite on top of the open system. Given the generic abilities of the bitcoin system – there is nothing to prevent parasites from attaching themselves to it. If you are engineer involved in bitcoin you can get along (have a wallet) without help from anyone else. But everyone else is going to have to through the parasites to gain acces … and the parasites are going bring with them fees … but more importantly exploitation … they are going to bring with them the same faulty mentalities that have brought us to where we are. That is a change that takes more then technology.

Either way – bitcoin is going to both feed an already vast digital divide and move power from finance geeks to  software geeks.

What is amazing to me is how, in the most practical way, bitcoin has almost zero relevancy to my actual day-to-day life. Granted I do not live a typical life, but my life is at a kind of middle-ground between those living in the comforts and delusions of technology and those who will either go to sleep hungry today or slave through the day for their food. Zero relevance. That itself is a problem, but a bigger problem is that the makers of this technology cannot see it.

Posted in AltEco, Intake, Intellect Run Amok, Open Source, outside, Tech Stuff | You are welcome to read 1 comment and to add yours

Chris Hedges – The Pathology of the Rich

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Chris Hedges seems to bring together the ideas of This Civilization is Already Dead and the Charitable Industrial Complex – describing how the lives of the very rich nurture deep misperceptions which have been dominating and shaping the world we live in.

via CC Magazine

Posted in Business, Intake, outside | You are welcome to read 1 comment and to add yours

Charles Eisenstein & Polly Higgins in Olso – November 2013

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A fresh conversation between Charles Eisenstein and Polly Higgins. Having heard them before the talk itself feels like a repeat but the audience questions (almost an hour) brought some new, interesting and fresh things to the surface. I first read about Polly Higgins and her ecocide work in Permaculture one or two years ago. It’s great to feel it maturing into a word that is better known and can be used fluently in conversation.

 

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This Civilization is Already Dead

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“…

Now, when I look into our future — into the Anthropocene — I see water rising up to wash out lower Manhattan. I see food riots, hurricanes, and climate refugees. I see 82nd Airborne soldiers shooting looters. I see grid failure, wrecked harbors, Fukushima waste, and plagues. I see Baghdad. I see the Rockaways. I see a strange, precarious world.

Our new home.

The biggest problem we face is a philosophical one: understanding that this civilization is already dead. The sooner we confront this problem, and the sooner we realize there’s nothing we can do to save ourselves, the sooner we can get down to the hard work of adapting, with mortal humility, to our new reality.”

source: Learning How to Die in the Anthropocene

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Peter Buffett on the Charitable Industrial Complex

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“It’s time for philanthropy to be held accountable. Not only to the people they intend to help, but also to the public. When big philanthropic dollars come in, government feels less obliged to spend money towards issues like poverty, hunger, or education. At the same time, government’s weakened when an affluent class parks its assets in tax shelters and deploys its huge wealth to push its own interests.”

source

article mentioned in the interview The Charitable Industrial Complex @ The New York Times

Posted in AltEco, Business, Intake, outside | You are welcome to add your comment