Hackers ethic for the world after collapse

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Hackers ethics for the world after collapse by Vesna Manojlovic

for Nature Bats Last https://guymcpherson.com

January 2014

Contents

Introduction

In the summer of 2013, two coincidences changed the course of my life — I read “The Story of B” by Daniel Quinn, and I met Guy McPherson.

After reading “The Story of B”, and devouring all the other books by Daniel Quinn within the same month (Ishmael, My Ishmael and Beyond Civilization)
(1), I woke up to the recognition that there is a name for the problem I was intuitively aware of — the Culture of Takers. While I am inevitably part of that culture myself, since I am living in the Western Civilization, on the other hand I am a hacker: part of counter-cultural movement that is hackers community and hackerspaces. Because of that, I could notice the similarities between the hackers ethics and “tribal cultures” (or Leavers, as Daniel Quinn called them).

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I met Guy McPherson at the hackers conference “Observe Hack Make”
(2) in Holland. Guy’s talk about Near Term Extinction immediately made me cry, while I said goodbye to everyone who I love in this world… and afterwards made me curious and energetic: curious to learn more, and eager to contribute. I started reading this blog, and got informed, comforted, terrified and inspired.

From the five stages of grief, I skipped denial and anger, quickly allowed depression to turn into sadness, and currently I am in the bargaining phase where I think there is still “something to be done”. I trust that there will will be a collapse, several stages of it, but if the life on Earth and human species survive, I want to contribute to the new future.

This is my contribution: I want to explore the connection between the hackers ethics and myths for the third millennium; I want to connect the climate activists, doom-sayers and those going beyond civilization with my own hackers tribes — and back.

Hackers conferences

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If you were never exposed to a group of hikers or their culture, the best place to start is an outdoors conference. Out of ten major ones in Europe, I’ve been to eight: starting in 1997, every two summers I was on a camp in Holland, or in Germany. These are week-long camping events, organized by thousands of individuals that agree to cooperate with each other on the completely voluntary, un-institutionalized, ad-hock bases. Everyone is a participant, there are no visitors. The contributions are made in voluntary work, sharing knowledge by giving presentations and workshops, minding children, and making art and music together. We organize ourselves in villages… we sleep in tents… we eat together… and it all looks like a big tribal gathering. With lots of electricity & Internet.

Smaller but more frequent events are conventions and congresses. Most famous American hackers congresses are Defcon and H.O.P.E., altho they have much narrower focus on computer security. The biggest and the oldest in Europe are the CCC congresses, organised once a year in Germany (December 2013 was the 30th edition). Apart form hardware and software hacking, the topics are human rights, freedom, innovation, impact of new technology on the society, activism and alternative lifestyles, art and creativity, and utopia.

I am inviting you to find the next event close to you and to take part!

Hackers ethics

What kind of creature can you expect to meet on the hackers conference?

One of the main characteristics of hackers is that they do not like to be fitted into a stereotype, so it is quite difficult to describe them!

My definition of a hacker is “someone who finds creative new ways to put to use what is around her”.

If you check Wikipedia
(3), you will find five values: Sharing, Openness, Decentralization, Free access to computers, World Improvement.

I will first cover those values that overlap between hackers and “Leavers” (tribal) communities.

Life-affirming values within Hackers ethics

Sharing

The value of sharing, for example, is expressed in Free Software movement, where hackers are mixed with programmers. Also, sharing of knowledge is one of the main goals of exploration that hackers undertake, sometimes disregarding conventional laws. Sharing is directly opposite to consumerism, because it focuses on contribution and participation, rather then on consumption. Sharing mentality fosters values other then amassing of material wealth. Most hackers work for not-for-profit, non-commercial organizations. Prestige is granted to those who contribute and share the most – of their knowledge, contacts, contributions. Sharing also fosters close relationships, based on common interests and activities, rather then on power or hierarchy. Embracing sharing as a value reveals beliefs in altruistic human nature and abundance mentality. Sharing can be seen as a reflection of empathy: if I recognize that you have the same needs as me, then I will share what I have and what I know with you.

Here is the similarity between tribal values and hackers values: “when food is scarce – share it” vs “when information is scarce – share it”.

Openness

Openness is often expressed as “information wants to be free”, and is sought after in the activities such as whistle-blowing. Hackers are taking part in anti-trademark and anti-Intelectual-Property movements, where they mix with activists, and were instrumental in WikiLeaks. Hackers community might look like not really welcoming to outsiders, however, it is at the same time egalitarian and meritocratic, so those who are genuinely interested in contributing are accepted. Openness also means being open-minded to new ideas, but also very critical and questioning of authority. Most hackers are generalists rather then specialists – they know a little bit (and sometimes A LOT) about everything. Hackers are supporting diversity and have understanding for other minority groups and subcultures, since we are also outside of the mainstream culture. Again, empathy is needed to be truly open and accepting of others – ideas, solutions, differences.

(pro-tip: do not mix “Open Source” with “Free Software” when talking to real die-hard hackers! These are loaded terms and will lead to a night-long discussion about the differences and advantages of one or the other…)

Decentralization

Decentralization is a principle that opposes hierarchies, authorities and dogmas. Decentralization relies on self-sufficiency and cooperation. Decentralization means horizontal structures. Hackers favourite decision-making process is based on consensus building, since most hackers collectives are self-organized volunteering communities.

It could be said that the original Internet was built by hackers, and todays decentralization is one of the principles that is leading hackers to work on the new models for the networking in the future, since “The Spynet” is not fulfilling their goals any more. These emerging networks are so new that they do not have a name yet, and I wrote about them in my essay last year [link]. Sometimes they are called Darknet, or Community-Based-Wireless-Mesh. They are based on principles of abundance, cooperation and peer-to-peer decentralization.

In addition to that — hackers are very playful! For example, we do not see programming as tedious work but as a challenge and an opportunity to solve problems. Some can play computer games or board games for incredible amounts of time! (I’m personally not a gaming type of hacker). We play with technology, we play with rules, we play with systems…

Unsustainable values within Hacker ethic

Free Access to Computers

Aren’t hackers part of the problem, rather then part of the solution, you might ask? Indeed, is it not these geeks who are inventing and demanding more and more newer and newer gadgets, without regard to destruction of the environment that the production of this equipment is causing, nor considering the pollution due to the disposal of the old equipment?! Is it not the Internet, the playground for hackers, that is using more and more energy for all the data-centers, satellites, under-sea cables and antennas?

Yes, you are partially right to think so.

However, the material side of consumerism is underlying this behavior, and consumerism is a characteristic of Takers culture in general, not only of the geeks. This is something that we all will have to leave behind, when the energy and raw material shortages will bring global economy and even industrial civilization to collapse. But being resourceful and creative, being able to repair and reuse old technology could be the contribution that hackers can make, even in those conditions.

“Free access to computers” represents broader value then just demanding more gadgets: in its core is an egalitarian principle. It is not limited to the computers as such, but to anything that can teach you how the world works: tools, data, information, knowledge.

Nowadays, some hackers are aware of the need for sustainability, and are working on the solutions within their sphere of influence (4). Challenge is to expand on this knowledge, and to consider how this principle can work out in the society after the collapse.

World Improvement

There are two approaches in the hackers community to the world improvement: purely technological, and political. Most hackerspaces tend to be apolitical, and deliberately ignoring real-world consequences of the technologies they are exploring, as opposed to to hacklabs, that were/are connected with anarchist and squatting movements (5).

On the other hand, socially aware and politically active hackers are more famous: WikiLeaks, Pirate Parties, Maning, Snowden and other whistleblowers, Aaron Swartz…

In the context of collapse, techno-positivism is the biggest downside of the hackers mentality. Hackers worship science and technology. They still believe in the techno-fix. Althou hotly atheistic, they do not recognise in themselves strong belief in the powers of “progress” and “growth”. When confronted with the facts about climate change, overpopulation, crisis … majority of them shuts down and quotes science fiction solutions.

But, they might be able to come to the same conclusion through the scientific proof and mathematical models: for example, it was Albert Barlett, Professor in Nuclear Physics who was teaching about the exponential growth, suastainability, renevable resources and the fact that natural laws also apply to humans. Screenshots below are from his famous presentation
(6).

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Hackerspaces

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If you are curious to see how all these values work in action, come visit a local hackerspace! There is one in every major city and there are rural communities that have them too. They have existed for decennia (one of the oldest ones in C-Base in Berlin), being situated in squatted houses, info-cafes, communes.. but the name became popular about 10 years ago, and the concept is as varied as the hackers scene. Sometimes they are known under a different name: maker-space, hacklab, fablab…
but they also have different philosophies
(5).

I have been part of the hackerspaces before they were even called that way  ;-) With a group of friends we had a “Hangout” in Amsterdam, around 1998-2001, and at the same time I was taking part in a hack-lab in the squatted places called ASCII. Currently I am part of Amsterdam Hackerspace Technologia Incognita, that exists since 2011. Whenever I travel I visit other hackerspaces in Europe. By now I toured about dozen of them. I always feel like home, even if I don’t know anyone — but often I meet people that I already met at conferences and camps — it is a close-knit community.

Each hackerspace is a community-operated physical places, where like-minder people can meet and work together, share resources (tools, space, infrastructure) and knowledge. This leads to exchange of ideas, and innovation: sharing the same space allows for interactions we can not anticipate. Sharing, Openness and Decentralization are the values, again. From the practical point of few, what mostly happens at the hackerspace is: electronics, workshops, woodwork, cooking, 3D printing, soldering, sewing, making music, giving lectures, teaching kids, exchanging books, making quad-copters, programming, hackathons, laser-cutting…

There are similarities between tribes and hackerspaces: “Tribe is a form of organisation that works equally well for all members” — and the same goes for the hackerspace! For example, there are no bosses, no kings. There are no imposed laws, only rules that were tested and proven to work. “Tribal wealth is the energy that tribal members give each other in order to keep the tribe going” — exactly the same happens in the hackerspace! Money is of no importance, expenses are shared and there are no profits; projects keep on going because of people who invest their energy, interest, knowledge and enthusiasm, and are proud of the results of their work.

Check out http://hackerspaces.org (7) for the location and activities of the hackerspace near you. I do hope you like it and become a member, and contribute!

Connections

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If there will be any future for the humans on the Earth after the collapse of civilization, they will need new myths, new culture, new ways of thinking, new ways being, in order not to repeat the same mistakes we made. One possible story can be based on the hackers ethics. The new world can learn about Playfulness, Sharing, Openness and Decentralization from the hackers.

In my opinion, hackers need to learn more about Empathy, being part of Nature (rather then “fixing” it), and Spiritual Connection.

Personally, Life has already taught me that all we can do is to love, that openness also means courage to be vulnerable, and that death is part of life (8).

My new learning goals are: to be inspired by beauty of Nature, to accept that the laws that guide the creation of that beauty also govern the fate of humans. To relax my skepticism of spirituality, soften my atheism, and I sometimes can let myself feel that All is One. I can broaden my feeling of belonging to a hackers movement, to belonging to the Community of Life on this living planet.

For all of us to learn from each other, we need more contact between thinkers and doers; between philosophers and geeks. New collaborations between programers, artists and farmers, anarchists and politicians, atheists and yogis, activists and scientists and, yes, hackers and poets.

These new connections are going to produce unexpected results.

Open questions

What do you think are the next steps?

How do you suggest that hackers can contribute to your activities?

Will you be curious to take part in hackerspaces and hackers conferences?

I am looking forward to your comments and suggestions! That will make me create a better picture of the ways you find that this newfound movement can contribute to the world after collapse. With your input, I will be able to contribute back to the hackers community and create new connections.

Collections of Links

References

Writers Bio

Vesna Manojlovic lives in Amsterdam, Netherlands for 15 years, and is originally from Belgrade, Yugoslavia. Vesna is a mother of three, a hacker and a Community Builder. By education Electrical Engineer, by choice lover, lecturer and gypsy, by name Goddess of Spring. Home page: http://becha.home.xs4all.nl/

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McPherson’s latest for The Next Step was posted 28 December 2013. It’s here.

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The latest ad under the CLASSIFIEDS tab:

The Gathering Inn, Hancock, VT

…..a comfortable “doomstead” away from home or perhaps a temporary home on your collapse journey. Maybe you will join our community permanently. Spend some time in the solitude and sacred beauty of the Green Mountains and the White River and engage in conversation with other awake members of the human species who are preparing for NTE.

We are a gathering place for those who want to share and learn to develop lives of purpose and deep fulfillment in the midst of NTE. Find us online at http://www.gatheringinnvt.com

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Please limit yourself to two posts daily. More comments are welcome at the NBL Forum.

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Support our friend OzMan as he literally walks away. Click here for more information.

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The Next Step: Living Courageously in a World of Transition, a 14-day seminar, 12-25 March 2014, Izabal, Guatemala, Central America.

The Next Step: Living Courageously in a World of Transition, a 7-day seminar, 24-31 May 2014, Moho Creek, Belize, Central America.

The Next Step: Living Courageously in a World of Transition, a 14-day seminar, 12-25 June 2014, Izabal, Guatemala, Central America.

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Going Dark is available from the publisher here, from Amazon here, from Amazon on Kindle here, from Barnes & Noble on Nook here, and as a Google e-book here. Going Dark was reviewed by Carolyn Baker at Speaking Truth to Power and by several readers at Amazon. An excerpt follows, but first I will attempt to defuse the trolls: As with my other books, Going Dark will lose money even before I start giving away copies.

Addressing the issue of peak oil while also controlling emissions of carbon dioxide, and therefore reducing the prospect of “runaway greenhouse” on planet Earth, represented a challenge we failed to overcome. Peak oil and the attendant collapse of industrial civilization failed to mitigate in time the effects of runaway greenhouse, nuclear Armageddon, and environmental decay. In the short run, having passed the world oil peak leads to imminent disaster for civilization and those who depend upon it. In the slightly longer run, the other crises on the list lead to human extinction.

If you’re looking for a personal response to the converging crises in which we’re immersed, you could do worse than recognizing reality. And then, let go. Revel in the uniqueness that is the human experience. Acknowledge the wonder of your life, part of which — admittedly, the last part — is your death.

Again I invoke the wisdom of George Carlin: “When you’re born into this world, you’re given a ticket to the freak show. If you’re born in America you get a front row seat.”

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Comments 55

  • Cowgirl Apocalypse Haiku #96

    Lone-wolf hacker has
    awakened into red-pilled,
    Zionista geek.

  • It’s miles to heaven…..

    And the creature in the sky
    There’s a hole in the sky
    And if the ground’s not cold
    we are all going to burn
    and I’ll get my turn to……

    The Pixies: Monkey Gone to Heaven http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XycBLF6kWuY

  • My favorite lines from The Matrix:

    Neo: “You’re Trinity?…I thought you were a guy.”

    Trinity: “Most guys do.”

    @Vesna: Thanks for an inspiring glimpse into your world, and a new way (for me) to think about hacking. What a revelation to this dirt-loving, luddite poet! You go girl!!

  • “What do you think are the next steps?”

    hack in and shut off all the lights. globally. please.

    “How do you suggest that hackers can contribute to your activities?”

    shut off all the lights. globally. please.

  • Sorry to overpost, but I meant “Zionista” in a humanist liberation context (as in the Matrix’s fictional, or Bob Marley’s prophesied, Zion)-
    NOT the right-wing term “Zionist.” My apologies to anyone offended by my choice of words.

  • Vesna,

    No wonder you’re a lover. Who wouldn’t love you? How beautifully you write, with a depth of English literacy that most native English speakers could envy.

    “For all of us to learn from each other, we need more contact between thinkers and doers; between philosophers and geeks. New collaborations between programers, artists and farmers, anarchists and politicians, atheists and yogis, activists and scientists and, yes, hackers and poets.”

    This is where I’ve found my thoughts going recently. A philosophy of NTE requires a dramatic shift toward cross-discipline and convergence. I offer that it also requires (as you agree) generalists, but also simplification and populist-orientation of language.

    Just as Martin Luther King Jr could talk about Schopenhauer and Aristotle and have simple black folks sway to his every word, we need a way to talk about complex things in understandable terms. That undoubtedly requires poetry.

    I differ with you in one thing: while you presented your stasis in the “bargaining” stage in a wisely diplomatic (apologetic?) manner, I hope YOU don’t believe what you said. I don’t see why anybody should apologize for doing the sensible things that are good for life. So what if you don’t succeed? Why is it bargaining to try?

    Thanks again for this inspiring article which plunges me into a (possible) future where tribal and hacker ethics intersect.

  • “I’ll be available until I am assassinated to answer questions.”

    Jacob Applebaum

    http://www.scmagazine.com.au/News/368562,dell-others-named-in-nsa-spying-program.aspx

  • Pay particularly close attention starting at 5:35

  • @ FKling

    It’s not HARD EVIDENCE is it, it’s anecdote, no different to accounts of people who’ve seen Big Foots or Lake Monsters or the Virgin Mary or very many other anomalies. Any leap to take that as convincing evidence for aliens is scientifically unwarranted. Your belief is no different to a religious conviction or faith in the miraculous.

    Nevermind, soon everyone will have one of these from the ultra evil Google and then we shall know who is telling lies. Or Google will.

    From Naked Capitalism comments, on their Applebaum thread today

    In November, Google’s Motorola Mobility division has filed an application with the US Patent and Trademark Office for a “system and method” to tattoo a mobile-device microphone with lie-detector circuitry onto your throat.

    http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-bool.html&r=1&f=G&l=50&co1=AND&d=PG01&s1=20130297301.PGNR.&OS=DN/20130297301&RS=DN/20130297301

    The “Coupling an Electronic Skin Tattoo to a Mobile Communication Device” contains an embedded microphone and hooks up to your mobile device, enabling wireless communication. That tattoo could have several functions, but the most intriguing is the lie-detection. The patent explains: “Optionally, the electronic skin tattoo 200 can further include a galvanic skin response detector to detect skin resistance of a user. It is contemplated that a user that may be nervous or engaging in speaking falsehoods may exhibit different galvanic skin response than a more confident, truth telling individual.”

  • Uvlfogi says, ” Your belief is no different to a religious conviction or faith in the miraculous.”

    Hmmmm………should I defer to the advice of an anonymous misanthropic crank with no self-admitted lifetime accomplishments who exists thanks to the generosity of the British welfare system, or the expert opinion and analysis of a world renown Nobel and Pulitzer Prize winning researcher of the Harvard Medical School, Dr. John Mack.

    I need to think about this before I answer- yeah right.

  • From central Florida on New Year’s Eve… greetings and salutations to all the brilliant folks who peruse and post on NBL, those come and gone, those still here, and those yet to come along… May you all find 14 as at least as interesting as 13.

    Meanwhile, here, at the moment, I’m hearing blasts from various shotguns, AK47’s and a few ‘toy’ cannons. Its a New Year’s Eve tradition in the deep south. I’m not sure what direction they’re shooting, and most of them aren’t either. Many enjoy doing their gunpowder under the influence of alcohol so up ends up seeming like a dam good way to point. The problems occur when those pieces of lead inevitably come back down. Could be anywhere. The acceleration during the return to Earth induces fatal velocities. I think this phenomenon lends credence to recent reports that about 43% of right wing voters ‘believe’ in evolution. I’d give the 57% remainder a grade of 43 on their report card and/or intelligence quotient.

    http://grab-media.com/premium-videos/5222044

    Wishing all of us a complete new year… who knows? Maybe humans will live another 365 days to ponder their evolution and play killer video games. The 73,000 other species who will go extinct in 2014 won’t see 365 more days on Mother Earth beneath Sun and Moon and Stars. Let’s bow our shameful heads for our failure of dominion and sing a mournful requiem for their innocent hearts. Amen. We all know what the witty ones have said about our Karma: “Its everywhere we’re going to be.” Look out for the heavy metal fallout, see y’all next year.

  • @ FKling

    I was not offering you any ADVICE, Friedrich, I was explaining something to you which you do not have the intellectual capacity to understand, so far, but which, one day, you yet may grasp. Who knows ?

    You are impressed by Nobel Prizes ? Hahaha. Look, I don’t care what you believe, you are entitled to believe whatever you choose. The point is about SCIENCE and how SCIENCE establishes and verifies the nature of aspects of reality. Anecdote, however interesting it may be, is insufficient. I have nothing against Mack’s investigation. But it does not establish YOUR aliens, does it. All it is, is a record of weirdness, like the children who encounter the Virgin Mary or similar.

    How do we explain these phenomena ? We do not have any adequate, agreed, theoretical basis, either amongst scientists or amongst the general public. But that’s the case in MANY areas.

    Fortean Times has zillions of reports of anomalous and bizarre occurrences from all around the world all down through the ages.
    We can speculate, we can hypothesise, we can argue. But we can go no further without HARD EVIDENCE. That is what YOU do not have. YOU are happy to base your beliefs on anecdote. But I am NOT.

    http://www.forteantimes.com/front_website/themag/about.php

  • The Internet is sustained by the grid, and in its present form will not outlast the grid on the way down the Olduvai gorge:

    The Cloud begins with Coal

    On the way to NTE, one option may be packet radio, the transmission of data packets wirelessly, often using ham radio frequencies. This will necessarily severely constrain bandwidth, but could allow communication beyond voice and simple Morse code. The system can be sustained at a very low-tech level by using glass-blowing skills to fabricate very miniature (and therefore less power intensive) diodes for radio transmitters and radio receivers.

    From the practical point of few, what mostly happens at the hackerspace is: …

    Glass-blowing technology in the fabrication of miniature diodes, packet radio and ham radio will not be considered until the collapse of industrial civilisation bites them in their derrière.

    feel that All is One.

    Doesn’t work when the “I” is felt to be real. As long as there is an “I”, there will be a “not-I”, and the “All is One” will be relegated to the “not-I”.

  • Both of these have been on NBL, but in the present context bear repeating:

    What are the Internet’s dependencies?

    The Olduvai Theory – Heading into the Gorge

    And to dispel sanguinity about the prospects for fossil fuels:

    7 things everyone knows about energy that just ain’t so (2013 Edition)

    And the same for alternative energy:

    The Alternative Energy Matrix

  • For the New Year, may the wind be at all your backs.

    @ RD

    All is the I.

    I very much like your radio transmission idea. Not excited about blowing glass, however (as will be the case for most people…if one cares about most people).

    If hackers could facilitate this… There could be a business that is absolutely minimalist as to client costs. Local networks would supply this technology (or something similarly appealing) at costs so low as to possibly survive collapse?

    If banks are still around, one way they could survive would be to create special accounts that enable us to pay the “hackers,” say, $5 per month. That way, the businesses have reliable income. Distribution would be by ingenious means–bicycle, weather permitting; pedestrian travel, etc.

    @ Vesna

    “The world we have created is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.” Albert Einstein.

    Thanks for that.

  • Good news! We can all kick back and relax for several more years:

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/dec/31/planet-will-warm-4c-2100-climate

    To be fair, the Guardian isn’t going to print an article telling their readers they are doomed and that their best option right now is to start attacking bankers, banks, high-level government drones, and all the rest of the guilty bastards who have led us to the brink.

    On the other hand there is this at the end of the article: “Rises in global average temperatures of [at least 4C by 2100] will have profound impacts on the world and the economies of many countries if we don’t urgently start to curb our emissions.”

    That’s right. NTE means economies will be harmed in many countries. Perhaps even at the local level! Just think of it, boys and girls, runaway global warming might very well ruin your savings account! Pretty spooky, eh?

    Happy New Year!

  • Vesna’a short axiomatic statement tells us much ; “… and the fact that natural laws also apply to humans.”

    On this “science” blog we can observe those who agree & those who don’t.

    Forty years ago William Ophuls said; “Nature’s laws must become our own ,if we wish to survive.”

    Today, we are experiencing the complete failure to abide by the natural laws that the best of humankind have discovered.

    NATURE BATS LAST …

    Euclid & Galileo, Newton, Maxwell, Boltzmann, Planck, Einstein, Soddy, Feynman & their respectful heirs … all about to go POOF!

    —–

    Denise, may I suggest; “Zionist/Zionism are basic “historical” terms.

    You have incorrectly defined a critically important term; ” … the right-wing term ‘Zionist.'”

    Any political wings that we attach to Zionist/Zionism are our own.

    In its early stages Zionism was the MOST left wing political term in the political lexicon, complete with kibbutzim.

    Zionism is the most fundamentalist “religious” label on the planet.

    Fanatic & terrorist can readily be applied also.

    A thorough grasp of Zionism is mandatory in understanding the Zionist/Israeli land theft & genocide against the indigenous Palestinian People.

    Israeli murder & mayhem in the Middle East is all about ZIONISM & the so called “chosen people” of Israel SUCCESSFULLY stealing the Palestinian’s ancestral homeland.

    Israeli marketing of Zionism is exemplified by the blockbuster propaganda movie, “EXODUS.”

    Steven Spielberg is the quintessential modern Zionist marketeer with his fictional & maliciously fraudulent movies about Holocaust gas chambers for innocent Jews.

    The gas chamber “schtick” was devised to “justify” the Israeli land theft in Palestine.

    There are at least 240 Holocaust museums in every corner of the world – spreading the fraudulent Zionist gas chamber hoax.

    Today, Zionism is synonymous with the incessant Israel refrain; “THIS LAND IS MINE.”

    Israel will lie, cheat, bamboozle, distort, & murder to advance their foul genocidal Zionist plans.

    The “cultured” Zionist Israelis have 2 million captive & suffering innocent Palestinians in their largely onknown GAZA CONCENTRATION CAMP.

    Gaza is the largest concentration camp/prison in existence.

  • @Gerald Spezio: Thanks for your comments on Zionism. My haiku was based on the film, The Matrix, of which I was reminded by Vesla’s essay. I believe the term Zion, as used in The Matrix, may have been loosely based on the Rastafari, or possibly the American slave, use of the term (from Wikipedia):

    Usage by the Rastafari movement:

    In the Rastafari movement, “Zion” stands for a utopian place of unity, peace and freedom, as opposed to “Babylon”, the oppressing and exploiting system of the materialistic modern world and a place of evil. It proclaims Zion, as reference to Ethiopia, the original birthplace of humankind, and from the beginning of the movement calls to repatriation to Zion, the Promised Land and Heaven on Earth. Some Rastafari believe themselves to represent the real Children of Israel in modern times, and their goal is to repatriate to Ethiopia, or to Zion.

    “I say fly away home to Zion, fly away home…One bright morning when my work is over, man will fly away home…”
    —Rastaman Chant , The Wailers

    Rastafari reggae is peppered with references to Zion; among the best-known examples are the Bob Marley songs “Zion Train”, “Iron Lion Zion”, the Bunny Wailer song “Rastaman” …

    Anti-slavery symbolism (caps mine for emphasis):

    The Jewish longing for Zion, starting with the deportation and enslavement of Jews during the Babylonian captivity, was adopted as a metaphor by Christian Black slaves in the United States, and after the Civil War by blacks who were still oppressed. THUS, ZION SYMBOLIZES A LONGING BY WANDERING PEOPLES FOR A SAFE HOMELAND. This could be an actual place such as Ethiopia for Rastafarians or Israel for some of the Igbos in Nigeria for example. FOR OTHERS, IT HAS TAKEN ON A MORE SPIRITUAL MEANING—A SAFE SPIRITUAL HOMELAND, LIKE IN HEAVEN, OR A KIND OF PEACE OF MIND IN ONE’S PRESENT LIFE.

    Fwiw, I support the Palestinians’ right to a safe physical and spiritual homeland. Gaza is an abomination.

  • Dear ones, I wish you all a peaceful new year. Love, Lidia

    I recently came across this quote from Rainer Maria Rilke:
    “…and now we welcome the new year, full of things that have never been.”

    Mr. BelleIslander, thanks for your thoughts and concerns expressed over at the forum. I’ll respond more in depth when I have access to a real keyboard.

    —-
    As for the blog topic above, it’s so orthogonal to my thinking that I have a hard time reacting to it.

    This jumped out at me, though:
    “It could be said that the original Internet was built by hackers…”
    You could say that, but it would be wrong. The internet was built by and for the DoD.

    I’m glad these folks are experimenting with different social dynamics, but I see the computers as being, quite frankly, ridiculous, as they will be rendered unusable in even the mildest of actual social/industrial disturbances.

  • @ ulvfugl

    How do we explain these phenomena ? We do not have any adequate, agreed, theoretical basis, either amongst scientists or amongst the general public.

    We can’t explain high weirdness. That’s why it’s best to be agnostic (as you know) and to have a sense of humour. Charles Fort’s take on alien abductions is that we are being “fished for.” It’s as plausible as any other explanation, and goes some way to explaining the inexplicable aloofness of beings who have travelled, apparently, all the way from Zeta Reticuli.

    Favourite UFO book: Ufology Considered as an Evolving System of Paranoia, by Martin Kottmeyer.

  • I just started an NBL member forum for posting educational resource materials and discussion re patriarchy. I am not planning to be there constantly, its a space for everyone.

  • “Glass-blowing technology in the fabrication of miniature diodes, packet radio and ham radio will not be considered until the collapse of industrial civilisation bites them in their derrière. ”

    You are mistaken:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EzyXMEpq4qw

    people build tubes in their workshops right now. The thing is packet radio and tubes may not be a good mix since a serious amount of logic may be needed to perform packet processing. I had to deal with an RTTY transceiver while in the army (Germany 1995) that still used punched tape and tubes, this is more the combination that has manageable complexity when tubes are involved.

    Interesting to see that F. Kling dug up the Dr. Mack video. This always reminds me of our difficulty to deal with rare events of some extraordinary character. Science says no, but astrophysics still exists. Well okay, they don’t have to rely on people as much as the UFO guys, also we have a star just 150million km away to play with, so maybe UFO experiences fit mainly into psychology’s realm.

  • @ Martin

    Thank you for your wisdom.

    I googled Kottmeyer, and realised that I had read about his ideas before, but had forgotten – I take only a passing interest in the area – but it lead me to many fascinating pages which have absorbed my attention. I think the single line which sums up the whole matter succinctly is this one :

    “We have met the aliens, and they are us!”

    Maybe not all of us, though…

    You might like this page. I have visited this tree several times in my life. Someone has celebrated it with some music based on the sounds that crows make.

    http://larkfall.wordpress.com/2013/07/12/angelystor/

  • Perhaps some of you will come with me on another quick egocentric ramble…

    On the long road north to nowhere sits a tower and the 4th floor office where I sat through long summer days daydreaming I was elsewhere, skinny dipping under a waterfall with some peaceful hippy friends. Now I’m elsewhere, but this isn’t the dream I ordered so long ago. That government department of environmental conservation moved on too, after I left. Now its just another bland office tower. I went back to take a look, so I know… I also went back to look for the young hippies… but they didn’t wait for me by that sparkling brook… they’ve all vanished from those clear waters taking their echoes and ghosts, and all those summers with them. Not a shred of faded tie-dye remains. Even the sweet water there joined the sea. Now I’m walking under a techno drizzle of bits of disjointed data of the broken Earth. In hindsight… dam hindsight… I conserved the wrong environment for my memories. Well… 5 sevenths anyway, I was one of those hippies on those warm weekends, following the trail blazed with tie-dye. And yes, I guess I’m gone now too, and I’m not waiting for anyone. There are places I’ve yet to be… before my last drops of sweet water join the sea.

  • THE ALIANS CAME IN BUSINESS SUITS by Rod Mac Donald

    “The aliens came in business suits, that’s why nobody knew
    perfect haircuts looking smooth, just like me and you
    they looked so much like they belonged, nobody looked their way
    The aliens came in business suits, business suits, business suits
    The aliens came in business suits
    it was a fateful day

    The aliens came in business suits, we thought they were our friends
    short haircuts, white shirts and ties, the women and the men
    they said “Business is our business”, that’s how they defined their ground
    The aliens came in business suits, business suits, business suits
    The aliens came in business suits
    and took no money down

    The aliens came in business suits they elected one of their own
    nobody voted for him but everybody took him home
    well, he did look good on camera, had a kind of handsome face
    The aliens came in business suits, business suits, business suits
    The aliens came in business suits
    and took every parking space

    The aliens came in business suits and they invented megatons
    they divided the whole world up in half and to each half they gave one
    and they said “You better watch yourselves or there’ll be nothing left but bugs”
    The aliens came in business suits, business suits, business suits
    The aliens came in business suits
    it was like some ugly drug

    The aliens came in business suits and they fooled us all the while
    they gave each of us an ID card and put our faces in a file
    well, they looked so much like they belonged, no one raised a fuss
    The aliens came in business suits, business suits, business suits
    The aliens came in business suits
    the aliens were us”

    Happy New Year!

  • Thanks for sharing a ‘hacker’ perspective Vesna.

    I was thinking about hackers yesterday and wondering why such a harsh label was applied to them and then I was thinking that perhaps prying was a better word. This all very nascent and borderline subconscious musing. Then lo and behold here you are, a hacker giving testament to your trade right on NBL. 🙂 Well that happebs to me a lot. And now I am going to really ponder a word that can birth a sense of absolute value in my mind regarding this group of people. Does anyone know why the word hacker is used because I imagine great finesse and genius in this group so what gives here?

    Dragons?

  • Kirk Hamilton; The actual suits on the SUITS as empirical data?

    Fancy & expensive suits are mandatory for The Suits when “practicing” law & bankstering – the most foul & corrupt of the “HELPING” professions.

    “HAVE YOU BEEN INJURED – LET US HELP YOU!

    “DO YOU NEED MONEY – LET US LOAN YOU SOME!

    Degree(s) of being sartorially suited is a tool for comparison of degrees of corruption.

    The degree bamboozle, then, can be directly correlated with the degree of suited-ness.

    Many judges require “three pieces” on men as THE courtly uniform.

    O.J. Simpsom & his lawyerfish wore expensive suits when playing courtroom.

    Literary types just love to dress up.

    Post-modernism is dressing up one’s brain.

    Routinely dealing with real things in the real world of physics to plumbing leaves less time & energy for foppish dress.

    Einstein often wore a loose sweatshirt, as do many physicists/mathematicians.

    Obama, Biden, Romney, Christie, Abbott, Hillary & Kerry are Suits & must wear the proper suit.

    The Pope always wears the same strange but proper suit.

    You can tell much about a person from their suit/no-suit.

    One simple triumph for the enlightened is not owning a suit or a jacket or a tie.

  • Happy New Year Everyone!

    Hackers? Loved the movie with Angelina Jolie. My favorite line from the movie is: “Of all the things I’ve lost I miss my mind the most” – movie character Emmanuel Goldstein quoting Ozzy Osbourne. Some apparently want to keep the technology going via wireless so they may somehow preserve their hierarchal position on the trash heap of humanity. Good luck with that man. Hacker ethics? Time and again ethics fly out the window when money is involved.

    Went for an invigorating walkabout/hike yesterday in the sunny, crisp winter air. The temps were hovering around 18° F. / -8° C. and the wind was out of the northwest at around 16 knots. Ha, ha, ha. Crisp and snowing today. Roasting some Betula lenta and Quercus rubra in the wood stove presently. Nice.

    Here is a web page with some images and brief descriptions of the hike/walkabout. One observes the most detail whilst walking versus other modes of transportation. A stand of Quercus prinus was observed at the highest elevation. Ain’t Nature grand? So if you find yourself glued to your gluteus maximus watching a flickering screen and wiling away the hours please try to get outside more. The exercise and fresh air will do your body good.

    So there you have it. A post with only two hyperlinks.

  • Ulvfugl,

    Thank you for the yew tree. Happily, the tree lives not too far from me.

  • Wow thanks for your article Vesna!
    It strongly resonates with me and my current work. You might want to check out our prepage at http://www.openstate.cc
    We´re in the mids of fundraising and hope to realize our first camp in summer this year. Best from Berlin and thanks again for your work,
    Dominik

  • Denise

    Thanks for this attention to Rastafari and the use of Zion. What you say is accurate to my knowledge.

    I once told a Jewish friend about the Rastafari “connection” to Israel, which she interpreted as Gentiles usurping Jewish culture. But I doubt that Jahweh is as much concerned about blood lines as about spiritual ones, as about righteousness. The real usurpers, then, could be the Israeli right wing.

    And something I wonder if Robin Data has looked into. More often than not, Rastafari eschew the term “me,” using “I” in its place. They generally do the same with the word “you,” which becomes “I” or “the I.” Likewise, “we” is converted to “I and I.” Of course, nothing is totally pure, and all kinds of linguistic “infractions” occur and are widely accepted.

    I have questions over whether the term “I” only applies to people, or whether it is ever considered for animals and other forms of life, etc. And also, what conclusions can one draw about Rastafari (which is highly decentralized and variegated) and patriarchy.

    @ ogarder

    Lucky you. You not only can feed yourself and many others; you live in a shockingly beautiful place! 🙂

  • I’ve been collecting Kindles to load with 3 GB of practical information that I’ve collected over the years, information that may only last as long as the mean life of a disk drive.

    Why Kindles? Their charge — and thus their batteries — last hundreds of times longer than tablets with lit screens, because they require no electricity to display a page of black-and-white text. They only consume electricity when you turn the page.

    I once had this info on InfoArk.org, but leeches slowed down my Internet connection so much that I had to take it down and make it “by request only.” This was only a year ago, and I have received only ONE request — from a radio amateur asking for a document for a specific bit of radio gear!

    This experience shows me that people are, in general, more interested in hoarding information than using it. This seems antithetical to the hacker ethic of sharing, so I stopped sharing.

    Radio amateurs once provided communications when no one else could — hurricanes, tornadoes, other disasters. Perhaps their technology will prevail a bit longer than smart phones and tablets.

    If anyone wants a Kindle loaded with InfoArk.org, let me know. For now, I think shipping those around via postal vehicles makes more sense than shipping IP packets around via coal-powered server farms.

  • Hi Vesna –

    My general outlook on ‘hackers’ is they have been a positive presence on the net forever. I mean the old reverse engineers like Favia and many folks who dared to bring down pay-walls in so many spots – and so many other selfless souls.

    I also see the ‘hacker’ community as being comprised of a large proportion of folks with shaggy jeans and shiny badges – IOW the ‘hacker’ community has lots of cops because of it’s potential (I guess) – like patriot movements – 8 fbi for every patriot 🙂

    “What do you think are the next steps?”

    Community-Based-Wireless-Mesh or other forms of networks out of central control.

    “How do you suggest that hackers can contribute to your activities?”

    Send lawyers, guns, and money.

    “Will you be curious to take part in hackerspaces and hackers conferences?”

    No. I don’t foresee my curiosity carrying me much further than whats on the net.

    Thanks for your contribution. Stay safe.

  • @ Martin

    Thank you for the yew tree.

    You’re most welcome. My suggestion to anyone prone to the sort of neurasthenic paranoia that Kottmeyer theorises would be a remedial direction of attention toward venerable yew trees, which, imho, would supply numerous stabilising benefits.

    It is said that they exude certain fumes into the air within their vicinity which are conducive to therapeutic visions and elevated states of mind.

    Of course, you don’t need to be paranoid at all to do this, in fact, I’d regard it as symbolic of true health and sanity if a person had made a pilgrimage to all of these trees. I have visited some, but alas, not all, and will never complete my tour.

    The one at the church near here is said to exude blood when cut… sorry, I was trying to make a connection to ‘hacking’, and my weary and decrepit brain came up with that, as a last ditch effort before it collapses into sleep, hacked off limbs bleed I suppose… and now I’ll enjoy dreams of trees fighting with swords, no doubt…

    http://www.ancient-yew.org/userfiles/file/Shropshire%20for%20CFGA.pdf

    http://www.ancient-yew.org/s.php/oldest-yews-in-each-county/2/44

  • I posted this comment at coic already, but i’m interested in what somebody here may think. It may be a bit off topic, but a particular thought has been bothering me and i can’t ignore it any longer. If it sounds foolish, share your view with me please, because everyone i know is convinced i’m crazy for believing that near-term extinction is a reality. Another perspective would be helpful here. I’m making it a point to be more tolerant of others’ views, and will try to offer only constructive criticism, if the need arises, from now on.

    I’ve been convinced that the power structures which are killing, polluting, and dominating everything on the globe were worth subverting in any way. But recently i’ve had doubts…

    If the current worldwide economic paradigm is destroyed, aren’t we doomed as well? It’s eating me up… accepting the thought of supporting the machine as possibly the most realistic way to prolong any life on our planet. But hear me out.

    I was wondering (and i have very little knowledge of these things) that if a “student loan bubble”, or for that matter, any jolt to the global economy resulted in its collapse, wouldn’t almost all life as we know it end because nuclear reactors around the globe don’t have long-term back-up power supplies? Wouldn’t economic collapse alone result in a dead planet due to hundreds of nuclear meltdowns?

    Capitalism is going to fail, probably soon, and as much as i dislike it’s fundamental evils, i’ve begun to wonder if the only way to stall the end of life on earth is to hope that the shitty economic train we’re on continues chugging as far as possible down the track.

    IF WE CAN’T BEAT EM… IS THE ONLY HOPE FOR PROLONGING LIFE ON EARTH TO JOIN THEM, AND HOPE FOR A SHIFT TO A BETTER ECONOMIC MODEL?

    I’m all for economic alternatives, but the global power elite are very good at subverting any potential threat to their regime. I’m trying to be logical about all of this, and from what i know about it, the current surveillance/neo-feudal state would be impossible to change.

    I guess it would be cool to hear a wiser person’s perspective. Thanks everyone… i have a lot to learn, so i’m asking questions and testing the waters. I hope 2014 is a good year for all of you. Over and outtt

  • Wireless communication as in ham radio is important enough in disaster situations that even the former Soviet Union encouraged the hobby. With the coming super-disaster(s) it may help to alleviate some suffering.

    Vacuum tubes are not (yet) made by hackers. They can be made by early 1900s technology including actual glass-blowing, using materials and parts made by local blacksmiths, glass-blowers, etc.: they can be miniaturised to the size of a grain of rice.

    Clothes serve to maintain body heat and protect from the environment. They also serve a social function, even in “primitive” communities. There is a saying in Indian languages to the effect “eat according to one’s own preference, wear according to others’ preference”. Pleasing in appearance is an accessory to pleasing in speech and demeanour.

    Neckties evolved from clothing accessories such as scarves that helped to keep warm. In their present form, neckties can help to keep out draughts, even if they are not lobster-bibs.

  • Vesna: thanks for your contribution and great explanation of the whole hacker ‘thing’ (it’s so far out of my league I can’t even imagine how to go about doing the things you people take for granted).

    Meanwhile, it looks as if the nuclear problem has got about a 6 decades old jump on us. With Fukushima and Chernobyl and the atomic bomb tests all over the world, the toxic radiation has been and is continuing to be added to the atmosphere DAILY. So while I was out shoveling the 8″ of snow we just got, I was probably breathing in some of this cancer-causing material. Our children are breathing it too. So don’t be surprised by the skyrocketing cancer rates, genetic mutations in plants and deformed kids being born in the coming years.

    Nuclear Waste Sits on Ocean Floor

    U.S. Has Few Answers on How to Handle Atomic Waste It Dumped in the Sea

    By John R. Emshwiller and Dionne Searcey
    Dec. 31, 2013 11:10 a.m. ET

    More than four decades after the U.S. halted a controversial ocean dumping program, the country is facing a mostly forgotten Cold War legacy in its waters: tens of thousands of steel drums of atomic waste.

    From 1946 to 1970, federal records show, 55-gallon drums and other containers of nuclear waste were pitched into the Atlantic and Pacific at dozens of sites off California, Massachusetts and a handful of other states. Much of the trash came from government-related work, ranging from mildly contaminated lab coats to waste from the country’s effort to build nuclear weapons.

    Federal officials have long maintained that, despite some leakage from containers, there isn’t evidence of damage to the wider ocean environment or threats to public health through contamination of seafood. But a Wall Street Journal review of decades of federal and other records found unanswered questions about a dumping program once labeled “seriously substandard” by a senior Environmental Protection Agency official:

    How many dump sites are there? Over the years, federal estimates have ranged from 29 to more than 60.

    How much of various types of radioisotopes are in the waste containers? While some isotopes are short-lived, others remain radioactive for hundreds or thousands of years.

    Has evidence of radioactive contamination in fish been adequately pursued? A 1983 California law calling for fish testing and annual reports on a major dump site off San Francisco produced just one state report, in 1991, even though that study found fish contamination and recommended follow-up research.

    Where are all the containers—whose numbers top 110,000, by one federal count—on the sea floor, even at known dump sites? For instance, an estimated 47,000 containers lie at the site near San Francisco. Though there were three designated dump areas for the containers, “many were not dropped on target,” according to a 2010 report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which called the waste site a “potentially significant resource threat.”

    Much of the site—about 50 miles west of San Francisco, near the Farallon Islands—is within a national marine sanctuary that the federal government describes as “a globally significant” ecosystem “that supports abundant wildlife and valuable fisheries.” Only about 15% of an estimated 540 square miles of sea floor containing the barrels, at depths from 300 to over 6,000 feet, has been evaluated, the NOAA report said.

    In a recent response to questions, NOAA said it wants to further study the dump site but lacks the funds. Representatives of federal agencies recently contacted reiterated that the evidence collected over the years shows that the dump sites aren’t posing any threat to the environment or the public.

    Concerned about the Farallon site, the California legislature passed the 1983 law calling for fish sampling in the area, where commercial fishing occurs. A spokeswoman for the California Department of Public Health said the law only required reports as funds were available, and they haven’t been since 1991. Plus, she said, researchers “didn’t find anything in the first survey.”

    “I would beg to differ,” Thomas Suchanek, the principal investigator and lead author of the 1991 study, said recently. The study found americium, a radioactive decay product of plutonium, in some fish samples from the site as well as a comparison area about 60 miles away. The report calculated that plutonium in underwater sediment at the dump site was up to about 1,000 times normal background levels.

    Regularly eating such contaminated fish, about a pound a week, could expose a person to up to 18.5 millirems of additional radiation a year, the report said. A chest X-ray typically gives about 2 to 10 millirems, while the average American gets about 300 millirems a year from natural background radiation.

    While an occasional meal of such fish wouldn’t be a worry, “I wouldn’t want to eat it as a steady diet,” said Dr. Suchanek. Current scientific thinking holds that even small doses of additional radiation can over time raise cancer risk by a small amount.

    The California health department, in a written response to questions from the Journal, said continued monitoring of the dump should be a federal responsibility. The agency also provided a 1990 document from a now-defunct state advisory board saying the fish tested “do not appear to have a significant level of radioactivity.”

    A 2001 federal study of part of the Farallon dump site found indications of leakage from barrels, but only “very low levels” of radioactive contamination in sediment samples. The Food and Drug Administration said that in 1990 it found traces of plutonium in fish samples from the site but at levels well within safety standards.

    Questions about the sites stem partly from the government’s approach to discarding the waste. Early on, waste drums were simply “taken out to a convenient location and put overboard,” said a 1956 report from the now-defunct Atomic Energy Commission. “Little administrative or technical control of those operations was required or exercised.” Estimates of the radioactivity amounts in the containers “could be off as much as a factor of 10,” the document said, adding “little is known of the fate of radioisotopes added to the sea.”

    Commercial fishermen have at times hauled up waste containers from various parts of Massachusetts Bay, home to a dump site. Frank Mirarchi, a 70-year-old retired commercial fisherman, said his catches occasionally included nuclear junk containers. After one such discovery, Mr. Mirarchi said government officials checked him and his crew for radiation but didn’t find problems.

    Early government survey efforts had difficulty finding the dumps. One 1980 report by an EPA official noted that in 11,000 underwater photos taken in the early 1960s during dump surveys in the Atlantic and Pacific, no photo captured a single waste drum.

    Years after it started, the federal government began having second thoughts about the ocean dumping, as did other countries over their own programs. A 1970 report from the federal Council on Environmental Quality recommended no further ocean dumping except as a last resort. That same year, ocean dumping off the U.S. coasts effectively ended. (In the 1990s, the U.S. signed on to an international compact banning the practice.)

    [there’s more, and you should read it if you’re at all interested]

  • My first comment failed to show up. Here’s another one.

    http://www.desdemonadespair.net/2014/01/50-doomiest-images-of-2013.html

    2013 served up some of the most spectacular doom imagery yet, as historic flooding and wildfire events proliferated globally. Poachers continued to drive megafauna, like elephants and rhinos, to extinction, providing plenty of heartbreaking pictures. Loggers razed ever more forest habitat, slaughtering wildlife wholesale and leaving a only few traumatized survivors for us to witness in photographs.

    Humans continued to strip mine the oceans of all edible life, carelessly discarding tons of biomass with no commercial value. Occasionally, there’s a photo of slaughtered marine wildlife laying on a beach or piling up in a factory somewhere.

    And as usual, gods and religions failed to deliver salvation from record-breaking extreme weather events, so we saw more photos of religious icons gazing impassively across scenes of devastation.

  • Thanks to Vesna for this very close look to a usually hidden world to common people.

    While I was reading this essay written by a hacker, some thoughts came back to my mind, something already in my head before. I am referring to a perception that I see has become a characteristic of this modern society, full of very complex systems that require specific knowledge just to be properly operated. I am referring to the apparent power of the trained users. The power of the technicians.
    Like we have forgotten that the law of nature is the basis for a sustainable life, we have also forgotten that the ability that may help us to handle a changing planet is ingenuity. I do not mean that ingenuity will save us from climate change, but that whatever we will need in a very different future will have to come from ingenuity, because new times will require new solutions. The solutions will not come from technicians trained in the operation of some devices already existing, because those equipments will render unusable with the collapse of our society.
    From the technology point of view, modern society is (roughly) composed by 94% of users, 5% of makers, and 1% of inventors.
    From the totality of users, maybe some 10% are highly trained users, like hackers, that know very well how to operate, repair and adapt systems and mechanisms that today have become part of our daily life. But they are users in the end.
    Makers are people that know how to transform ideas in concrete solutions. They handle the skills required to transform materials.
    But in the end, ALL the technology we have today, the root of our power as society, comes from that tiny remaining 1%, the creators/inventors. They are the only ones with the capacity to create new solutions, for a new world. Gifted people, able to create out of nothing, new devices and solutions, with the technology and materials available.
    My conclusion is that hackers will be totally nude without internet, so, all the surprising capabilities they have today, will be useless.
    Today we over value computers. Because down to the very practical future needs, all we need to design new (less sophisticated) systems, is no more than a hand calculator, and at most an HP41 programmable calculator. And ideas, combined with some specific knowledge about physics.
    As in a new future society the practical power will be in the people able to create new things, to be operated under new conditions, with new materials, the today´s “free software movement”, will hardly become the “free invention movement”. At most within a tribe, but not free to everyone. Because that technology will provide a better condition to survive.
    It seems to me that Vesna and the rests of her community of hackers, fail to see the real-real world we are about to see and live. Maybe too much “computer world” yet.
    But, to become conscious about NTE, or at least about the collapse of our society, better later than never.
    While reading Vesna´s essay, I felt very much like hearing and reading something about the hippie movement of the sixties. Too idealistic.
    But the will to become aware that see in Vesna is very important, is the needed starting point for a real and practical change.
    In the very end, I can see that to become a tribes society (if so) in a post modern society era, is a very different process than going the other way around.

  • With thanks to Vesna Manojlovic for her contribution, I’ve posted a new guest essay. It’s by Vincent Kelley, and it’s here.

  • Because down to the very practical future needs, all we need to design new (less sophisticated) systems, is no more than a hand calculator, and at most an HP41 programmable calculator.

    Slide rule. Was it John Michael Greer who enjoined us to buy one and learn how to use it? I took his advice and bought one at a second-hand market for £5. It is ancient but in good condition. It is made of box wood and celluloid. ‘”UNIQUE” UNIVERSAL II SLIDE RULE. MADE IN ENGLAND,’ reads the legend. Complete with reticule.

    To my surprise and delight it turned out to be very easy to work.

  • thanks for posting my first (admittedly, LONG) comment

  • @TotallySerial

    I don’t know if anyone has gotten back to you on your question, but yes, the machine. It has become so big, we cannot change it from within. Like Michael C. Ruppert says, ‘until you change the way money works, you change nothing’, and I am no expert in these areas, but I don’t think a student loan bubble is going to upset capitalism. Instead of waiting for the current paradigm to be upset, one can start small, personally, locally, creating new economic models outside of, or inside of, the current over-riding one. But generally, this topic has been hashed out in great detail. Just read some of the archives and I bet you will find many a conversation/dispute over this. Personally, I’m in alignment with NTHE and am betting on mother nature, who is currently warming up at home plate, so I don’t put too much energy into worrying about economic paradigms. They will be demolished or not. Maybe someone can point you to info on gift economies and such, which some here practice along with permaculture. Good luck.

  • Seem to be having ‘extreme weather events’ every day here

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-25583295

    Look at this, most of the country is covered in flood warnings

    http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/homeandleisure/floods/142151.aspx

    And the forecast for the future is more storms and rain..

  • Mother Nature is going “Nya, mya, nya” as she sends record-breaking blasts of cold air down from the arctic. Below zero F. (Sorry, I’ve lost my ability to transfer celsious to Farenhite & back again)

    When I was younger & we had cold waves like this, the media would be full of advice to seek shelter & shelters would be opened for those who lost their heating, & the sick & aged. Today – nothing. Just a constant recitation of the latest temps. What about the homeless? The Salvation Army is overflowing. They used to tell us to check on our neighbors. The Weather Channel is full of record breaking stats. But it & the local media offer not a word on shelter for the homeless. Or those who lost their utilities becuse of late payments.

    We & our neighbors all have wood burning stoves. The local woods are (were) full of dead ash trees. My sons are busy cutting wood. They will give it to those whose supply has run out. I don’t know what poor people who live in the cities can do.

  • WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange Calls on Computer Hackers to Unite Against NSA Surveillance – YouTube

    Published on Dec 31, 2013

    http://www.democracynow.org – WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange addressed a major gathering of computer experts Monday at the Chaos Communication Congress in Hamburg, Germany, calling on them to join forces in resisting government intrusions on internet freedom and privacy. We play highlights from Assange’s speech, as well as the one given by Sarah Harrison, the WikiLeaks member who accompanied Edward Snowden to Russia. We also hear from independent journalist and security expert Jacob Appelbaum, who reveals a spying tool used by the National Security Agency known as a “portable continuous wave generator.” The remote-controlled device works in tandem with tiny electronic implants to bounce invisible waves of energy off keyboards and monitors to see what is being typed. It works even if the target computer is not connected to the Internet.

  • Seem to be having ‘extreme weather events’ every day here

    I was just noticing. Stay safe!

  • Thank you for the nice words Dominik, TIAA, Denise, Artleads, TomS and others! If you want to stay in touch, please email me at BECHA at xs4all dot nl . I will follow your community via Guy’s blog — thank you for sharing your wisdom and experiences! I hope to see you somewhere… Vesna

  • @ Vesna- Cheers!

    #96 revised

    Lone wolf hacker has
    evolved into a red-pilled
    geek freedom-fighter.

  • Thanks Vesna !

    This should go here

    We’re in the middle of an epic battle for power in cyberspace. On one side are the traditional, organized, institutional powers such as governments and large multinational corporations. On the other are the distributed and nimble: grassroots movements, dissident groups, hackers and criminals. Initially, the Internet empowered the second side. It gave them a place to coordinate and communicate efficiently, and made them seem unbeatable. But now, the more traditional institutional powers are winning, and winning big. How these two side fare in the long term, and the fate of the rest of us who don’t fall into either group, is an open question — and one vitally important to the future of the Internet.

    http://mashable.com/2013/10/24/power-on-the-internet/

  • @ Vesna

    Are you still there? Julian Assange talks of this being the last free generation. We’ll have to get control of the Internet, or suffer a hell hole of a dystopia. Strikes me that, even if not directly through the Internet, there should be no action that isn’t organizational action. We either organize in whatever level possible, or bring on dystopia. What do you think?

    “We’re in the middle of an epic battle for power in cyberspace. On one side are the traditional, organized, institutional powers such as governments and large multinational corporations. On the other are the distributed and nimble: grassroots movements, dissident groups, hackers and criminals. Initially, the Internet empowered the second side. It gave them a place to coordinate and communicate efficiently, and made them seem unbeatable. But now, the more traditional institutional powers are winning, and winning big. How these two side fare in the long term, and the fate of the rest of us who don’t fall into either group, is an open question — and one vitally important to the future of the Internet.

    http://mashable.com/2013/10/24/power-on-the-internet/