“How easy it is to follow our thoughts instead of our senses.”
Frank Herbert

Children of Dune

Thoughts on the Philippines

n

Disclaimer: as I, who have retreated to soft rolling hills in north-eastern Romania,  was watching this video I was having breakfast. I found two ducks eggs this morning (after many months with no duck eggs) and made an omlet from them, with dried mushrooms and cheese. I also made a lovely fall salad of spinach, salad leaves, cabbage, carrot and onion.

source: DemocracyNow

As I was listening, despite the warm omlet, cold shivers traveled through my spine and abdomen.

It IS too late. There is nothing we can do to change the short and mid-term effects of global warming. All we can do, especially those of us who are most vulnerable, is hold on tight and find shelter. Anything we do manage to do in the near future may have effects on future generations … though I have my doubts about our capacity as a human species to do much right now. Sandy didn’t put a dent in American consumerism. Chinese walking with breathing-masks didn’t put a dent in Chinese real-estate development. What can we expect the cry of the Philipphines to do when it too will quickly fade from public awareness? Consciousness will eventually shift, there is no doubt in my mind about that … just as there is no doubt that it will take many more typhoons and deaths for that to happen.

The brutal irony of this situation is that the most constructive thing in terms of overall ecological health is the devastating storm itself. That is the planet healing. That is our planetary ecological system responding to the current ecological stresses, moving energy, trying to restore a healthier balance in the ecosystem. Such storms and anomalies will continue until the planetary ecology is healed and there is nothing we can (nor should) do to stop it. We can however learn from it. We can, though it will continue to come with a devastating price, learn to embrace it, to appreciate it and to reshape our lives with it.

We have been building up to these stormy times for a long long time. It is a storm we have unleashed. It would be naive and foolish and wasteful to even think that we can stop it. This is us, as a species, learning that fire burns by reaching into the fire. Now comes the burning sensation. I have faith in human nature. We will learn not to reach into the fire. Our wounds will heal and we will have earned scars of wisdom … but that is a long and gradual journey that can only grow from the present, not change it.

George Carlin was right when he said “The planet is fine, the people are fucked”:

Closing thought (also inspired by the words of the Philippines representative): Skiing season is starting and is the only sport I enjoy watching (used to enjoy doing it too). I would love to see this Skiing season take a huge hit due to a boycott of the coming Russian winter olympics. The Russian olympics are a rare opportunity to come together around nature (arctic drilling), human rights (sheesh the list is long), gay rights, civil rights, balances of power in government, etc. It is way more important to me that we come together in values then we do in sports. Boycotting Russia is an opportunity for valuable unification – a simultaneous disintegration and re-integration. It is hard for me to understand or accept how there can be any athletes that are actually willing to participate in this event.

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

Apple’s Embodied Energy

n

Apple is apparently just ahead of getting a new campus approved with a huge unified “ecological” round building surrounded by green park spaces.

I couldn’t watch the entire video because I got nauseated by the superficial sweet-covering and false-hubris of the Apple real-estate guy who sounds like a hyped up … well … real estate agent.

I am assuming that maybe (just maybe) the completed campus will behave ecologically. But what is not mentioned at all (and is often ignored when people talk about ecology is embodied energy – the energy that has gone and will go into making the new campus – this includes everything from the pollution costs by people travelling to meetings in the design process through to the manufacturing of all the raw materials and transporting them to the site.

One good example of embodied energy in the presentation is the trees. Trees have already been grown for Apple so that they me planted in mature form on the campus. Each such tree is already heavily loaded with embodied energy due to the fact that it is being grown inside containers and not inside the earth. Each such tree will have to be transported to the site – this includes heavy machinery for loading/offloading/transportation/planting. An alternative, given California’s super convenient climate, would have been to plant a seed on site not to mention a whole range of solutions between that simple act and the strategy Apple has chosen. Ecology and sustainability are long-form and do not sit well with immediate gratification.

And that’s just the trees. The presenter mentions that every single detail, in the spirit of Apple’s approach to design, has been considered and tailored – the way the rounded glass is manufactured and the sprinklers. I can’t begin to fathom the overall embodied energy that will go into creating this thing and reshaping its environment. I don’t think anyone can. But that (as embodied energy often does) pulls the rug out from under the feet of “ecological” claims. And probably in 20 years or so (way before any ecological returns can be made on the embodied energy invested in it) this building will go out of style and be replaced by another fashionable and of course “even more ecological” building.

Why is this happening? What makes this possible? Do you own an Apple product? How many? Have you considered the embodied energy of those devices? Have you considered the unquantifiable embodied energy represented by the quality of life of the slaves who made them?

This potential ecological tragedy is a huge joint venture that goes way beyond Steve Jobs, Apple, their architect and the city council of Cupertino.

source: Raymond Pirouz

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

“The Internet” breaking free of USA control

n

two things:

  1. something good coming out of all that NSA mass spying?
  2. is there really a single “root server” which controls DNS?

” … Right now, the Internet is governed by a set of organizations with diverging responsibilities. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) helps assign domain names and top-level domains (the letters, like “.com” or “.org,” that come after the dot). Two other groups develop the standards for how information is shared and displayed through the Internet and on the web. And five regional Internet address registries assign IP addresses to Internet-connected devices.

… In the 1990s, the U.S. government found itself in control of the servers which controlled the domain name system behind the burgeoning web. For a number of reasons, it didn’t want to entirely retain this power, and it sought a way to delegate it. So the government—the Clinton administration, at the time—privatized control of the “root” DNS servers in a non-profit body called ICANN, which would administer domain names. This happened in 1998; since then, ICANN has operated the system. Since then, too, its power and independence has grown, and the U.S. reaffirmed its delegation of the DNS to ICANN while insisting it could step in in case of emergency.

Most recently, in September 2009, the U.S. and ICANN agreed on an “Affirmation of Commitments” The U.S. permitted the corporation more independence, but retained its power to take over the root server in an emergency.

… So when the Uruguay statement mentions “accelerating the globalization of ICANN,” it’s essentially reopening negotiations which ended four years ago. Moreover, the statement frames ICANN’s independence as an eventual, unavoidable end to history. Talk about “accelerating” something, and you’re suggesting its an incontrovertible process.

… The NSA leaks, says Froomkin, have “become a way for a lot of different agendas to meet.” …

… So this statement is tied to the NSA. But it’s not entirely provoked by the NSA. Rather, it lets countries (with their own spying services) and companies (who often want more freedom on the web) complain about the U.S.’s small corner of Internet oversight, and possibly find a reason to re-negotiate with the country.”

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

Li Fi

n

… as in Wi-Fi just with light … how cool is that? At first read it seemed kind of ridiculous but I quickly warmed up to the idea:

“A one-watt LED light bulb would be enough to provide net connectivity to four computers, researchers say …

Visible light is part of the electromagnetic spectrum and 10,000 times bigger than the radio spectrum, affording potentially unlimited capacity.

But there are drawbacks: block the light and you block the signal …

the technology was still in its infancy and needed further developments in microchip design and optical communication controls before it could go mass market.”

source

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

From hurt to sick

n

After leaving abruptly Andreea went into a series of very hectic and busy days … 3 consecutive births that aligned perfectly one after another but left her without sleep for 3 or 4 days.

I was slowly recollecting myself … and for the most part getting better

Then the day before yesterday, just past 13:00 Levente appears. He came to check on me Andreea had been trying to reach me from the previous evening and for some reason (!?) my phone wasn’t ringing.

A couple of night before that Andreea dreamt I had died … we don’t take our dreams literally and not too seriously … but we do pay attention to them and let them, if possible, assimilate …

When she couldnt’ reach me she panicked, for real … and so called Ildi and Levente and asked them to check on me

Andreea and I spoke, everything was fine …

I went outside to move my body a bit … some light physical work, and to my surprise came back with rough breathing

Later that evening we spoke and Andreea said she felt her anxiety leave … and given our connection … it may have passed on to me

Practiced at rough breathing … I waited it out slowly, patiently and it passed … and was replaced by a resurrection of my sensitive throat … with more intensity.

Since then I have drifted into illness … weak, soar throat, congested … though to my surprise not too distracted …

Taking natural stuff to support my body and riding it out.

time and again surprised by the intensity and depth of the connection Andreea and I have …

a demanding relationship

Posted in Fragments, inside | You are welcome to add your comment