Monthly Archives: June 2014

Free Clean Green Energy Globally – let’s have a bit of that then

It all started when Grandpa sent through an news article he received from a friend.  His friend was excited because he'd found a news article online that talked about breakthrough technology.  He said this in his email (my emphasis in red):

Hi All

Greetings from Clunes – Graeme is busy getting the marinade ready for the chicken and beef for tomorrow night’s meal  and June has gone to Ballarat to play the recorder in a recorder band.

Looking  forward to catching  up tomorrow.

Attached is a momentous news item. It has the potential to wind down the fossil fuel industry. Watch the opposition/resistance to implement these inventions!.


[name witheld :-]

Click here to open the article Renewables changing the nature of power and check out the details yourself.

Ok- so let's presume for a moment that this might be true.  So, there's some scientists at Harvard and MIT (real human beings) that understand how this technology could work for humanity in a meaningful way.  Who owns these ideas?  Harvard and MIT?  The human beings whose brains continued the work of their scientific forbears?  The forbears – do they own the ideas?  What about a rich First World corporation – can they own the ideas? Or do these ideas really belong to the Commons – the collection of all human knowledge used for the benefit of all human beings – not just a bunch of rich fellows already having a totally awesome life with the benefits that come with unlimited funds.

I understand that business has an imperative to deliver innovation and service to their customers.  Science and technology provides a total, rounded solution to all global resource issues.  We are "hitting the straps" about now with our human endevour and so it becomes a choice – do we keep doing this dumb shit we're doing or do we open up the patent office – or better still take Elon Musk's lead – to expose the ideas that will form the new global paradigm?  No brainer.

Here is Paul Gilding's encouragement for those in the positions of organisations of influence:

Global Energy Market's Moment of Truth

Ideas stick better when they’re shared – the end of the Patent Era

Wow!  Elon Musk.  Good for him to follow this train of thought and make his conclusions about the open source movement and the sharing of ideas for the common good.  The abberation of these ideas is a blip in our evolutionary tale – not an innate human condition.  Share we must.  And we do.

New Scientist – Why electric car maker Tesla has torn up its patents – 14:27 16 June 2014 by Will Oremus

That article was written in response to Elon Musk's blog post on 12 June 2014.

All Our Patent Are Belong To You

I particularly like this quote:

"After Zip2, when I realized that receiving a patent really just meant that you bought a lottery ticket to a lawsuit, I avoided them whenever possible."


And then, enter the hyperloop – another awesome open source project from Elon Musk:

Hyperloop – Wikipedia entry


Here's a really good recent doco on Elon Musk – although the thought crossed my mind that maybe humanity should be feeding the starving people on Earth first – before heading to Mars.

Utopia – John Pilger’s incredible and recent look at our First Australian’s plight

Click here to watch John Pilger's awesome doco 'Utopia' (SBS Video on demand – free 1:50:22)  And luckily for us there are some great comments at the bottom of that piece to balance out the argument some more.  Worth scanning.

Gee whiz that is a powerful piece of work.  For me, I love the historical aspect and the human story of what happened.  Of course, the real story played out way before any of us alive today can remember.  It's an oral history – the First Australians experience of being invaded has been recorded as an oral history from these past centuries (in some locations in Australia a lot less!) and in more recent times scatttered photographs and writing.  These histories are now being documented and corroborated to give us, at the very least, an overall approximation of the shameful neglect of beautiful and culturally rich peoples who were doing just fine before we got here.  There was no need for the Indigenous Australians to be "civilised" and our western ideas about a "good life" need not necessarily have been correct – for everyone.  Of course, in retrospect we can evaluate our beliefs in a contextual way and see that our white forbears thought they were doing the right thing, after a fashion.  I'm sure there were people with the best intentions to somehow save what they saw as a hard life – little did they realise the aboriginal people were actually having a pretty nice life on this land – hunting, gathering and sharing their stories with their children as they had done for many thousands of years – 50 thousand years by some accounts.

The UK sent some of its more compromised citizens to the colonies to work and build its then idea of its place in the world as an imperial power.  I guess that was the done thing in those days… set off in ships to find new resources – food, plants, spices, textiles, land, slaves, etc.  I think life for the convicts in their homeland was bad enough but to be sent away from their families to the other side of the world would have no doubt added to their already traumatic life.  Those early days would have been extremely confrontational and quite frightening for both the Indigenous Australians and the newcomers.

The only real contribution of Rudd's government was to actually say sorry. I was really glad when that happened… it was getting a little awkward.  Sorry for what?  Well, in my mind it's better than not saying sorry.  It's a damn good start.  Just because we ourselves in these generations alive now weren't there and didn't see what happened I think we can safely say the evidence is in – that the Indigenous Australians were deeply affected and are still living with the effects of the invasion all these generations later.  I hear the rhetoric often that these people should get up, brush themselves off and get on with it.  Get a job and start acting like the rest of us?  Get a house and aspire to the same crap we're aspiring to – unsustainable consumption, materialism with perpetual waste and broken familial and community bonds (individualism – 'every man for himself').  Well, there's a hole in the bucket dear Liza.

So, what's the solution?  What needs to happen next?  Crikey – I don't think it's easy at all to figure out what happens next.  I guess we could start with sharing and helping a bit more than what we do.  As in John Pilger's doco you can see they're not happy with their lot – and indeed why should they be?  A third of Indigenous Australia will die before they reach 45.  WTF.  Seriously?  In one of the wealthiest and most propsperous countries in the world we have a minority group (3% population) of our own First People living treacherous (health / eduation outcomes) lives.  I've heard people say that they should stop drinking and get a job.  I've seen the drinking and I know for sure no one would choose that life.  Seriously.  Who would say – hey I want to live an Authentic Alcoholic's life?  I want to die young from renal and liver failure.  I want to be in pain and suffer with the burden of failure for my community, my family and my self.  I don't think so.  I think the issues we see in our aborginal communities are of neglect to offer appropriate resources and support.  To ask them how they want to live and build their image of themselves and their culture in 2014 – not build a bunch of square boxes and demand assimilation.  Our country is rich enough to do the right thing in this case – to right the wrongs of our ancestors.

I'm not sure I understand the funding arrangements but I can assure you this.  The funding that we are paying via our taxes isn't always hitting the ground.  The people who are working in Indigenous programs are moving fast and working hard to find solutions for their community issues.  So what's going wrong?

A couple of days ago (5 June) this piece this the news:

Warren Mundine puts Indigenous council offside with suggestion of extra $600 million in savings to portfolio

System Design

One of the biggest challenges we face is the system design for the Resource Economy.  This is the system that will replace the outdated Monetary System – so says Peter Joseph (as mentored by Jacque Fresco and Roxanne Meadows – where's her Wikipedia page?  Crikey – give the woman some credit too :- )– and I believe him.  In my mind the challenge is aligning  this Resource Economy with a suitable social structure – humans are part of the Resource Economy as skilled specialists and so is money allocated as a resource as we transit to the new system.

So, the design is two fold… I'm sure this base is in the idea of sustainability… thanks to all the brilliant breakthrough work people are doing all around the world on that idea!  Sustainability is about ensuring our systems are in balance with our physical environment.  Our physical environment includes us humans – dang what happened over the past thousands of years that we've forgotten that basic fact.  I'm guessing scarcity of food, shelter, water, etc set in around some earlier human cultures and our behavior and feelings about our world began to change.  Of course, this change is so slow and organic that it takes so many generations for the change to happen and as each generation documents it's existence through its art and artifacts (yes, science is art :- ) the picture of the truth changes as our experience of life does.  And the victors get to write their version of history… ahem with their perspective.  But, as we know there is always other sides to the same story.

So, back to humans being part of nature… if we take that as fact then we must also understand we are "one mob" – out of Africa millions of years ago – this is pretty long but worth definitely worth watching to get that idea secured in your heart:

Social Structure

This is a tricky one… Russell Brand describes communism as "just sharing" and I'm sure he's got a great point.  There is a lot of grumbling around communism because distilled, it caused more harm than good in the end.  We don't have to throw the baby out with the bath water on these great ideas!  You know, they had their time and we tried them out.  We can take the good bits and move on with the next idea.  I've done some reading on Deep Democracy and I think that sounds pretty good.  Basically we all have time in the future to discuss issues at length and come up with creative solutions because we collaborate rather than trying to OWN ideas.  It's quite a strange idea to think that we can indeed own anything because at the end of the day our forebears over millions of years developed who and what we are right now, as you read this.  Each new scientific discovery (we even had scientific discoveries back then :- ) have lead to the ideas that govern our world.

Meritocracy is another idea that is described in the TED talk below.  I did a bit of a search and there was some critics but idealism doesn't hurt in the planning stage.  Visionaries are the ones that challenge the norm.  I find Eric X. Li inspirational as he relates his own life (his story) to the development of a new idea / social order.  The only thing I don't like is the graphical representation of the system because it's got a pinnacle and I think some people would think that they can buy those positions.  In actual fact the shape is more Venn diagram where our human resources are developed according to the child's strengths, ie. their individual talent / passion / interest  and provide a society to nurture their creative nature – the way a life should be.  At the moment we're raising our children into a corporatocracy monoculture.  Stamping them out one after one with some crap-idea-mould that serves only a few.  We are so ready to make this change – no one needs to get left behind.  We have the technology now to move on it.  The challenge is transition.  I think we need to figure out a loose medium to long term structure to get the short term aligned correctly.

Here is another interesting paper on Meritocracy:

Meritocracy Is a Good Thing

Daniel A. Bell is Zhiyuan chair professor at Jiaotong University (Shanghai) and professor of political 
theory and director of the center for international and comparative political theory at Tsinghua 
University (Beijing). He is the co-editor (with Fan Ruiping) of Jiang Qing’s “A Confucian Constitutional 
Order” (Princeton University Press, 2012). 


 Resource Management

We haven't spent much time on this idea yet other than to have watched just about everything Peter Joseph has done – movies and interviews – and trust that he has it in hand.  His credentials are good to go on the money market, resource market and sustainable systems.