Seems like I only do link-dumps these days. About twice a month or so. To be fair, the micro-cottage-industrialist thing has gotten to be so busy, that I can’t keep up with that, let alone this.
So here we are.
Israel is committing mass-murder in Gaza, and failing hand-over-fist to cover it up. They attempted (it has been supposed) to stop the flood of horrifying images and simple humanity coming out via social media by bombing the power-station (that powers the sanitation for 1.8 million people), but that hasn’t stopped it. Other Arab states are sitting in cowardly silence, because if there’s one thing that’s a bigger threat to them than Israel, it’s Politicised Islam. Weaponised Religion. And Hamas is that. Meanwhile in the North, photos of pol pot style mass-executions are being published by the perpetrators… a politicised islamic force that has taken an absolutely massive chunk of Iraq, with stated aims of setting up a medieval style caliphate over the whole of the Middle-East and North Africa.
It’s a massive fuckup, and our “leaders” caused it.
The thing about social media, is “them” becomes “us”.
So here we are.
Everything is looking decidedly fucked up… so the rest of this post, is about Reasons To Be Cheerful, 123.
1) The average age of Fox News viewers is 75. CNN, 68.
Television has become a force for (the maintenance of) evil, but it’s audience numbers are going over a cliff… which in a way saddens me, because that’s my parent’s demographic, but it does at least appear that this particular hegemony of insanity has about 10 years left.
2) Electric car sales are doubling every year.
If that trend continues, ALL new cars bought will be electric in 11 years.
Now – I don’t imagine for a second that some sort of s-curve isn’t going to kick in – but something else to consider… my local garage was so fed up with people bitching about petrol-prices that they put an infographic “where does your money go”, on the counter. Their margins are terrible – and if the turnover halves, then I can see the whole infrastructure becoming untenable. I think the expense of maintaining oil infrastructure in the face of falling market-share is going to accelerate this. “Petrol” will become a boutique item.
The upshot being, that investor money could well start fleeing from oil in a manner resembling a bubble-burst… as they piss trillions up the wall on “oil-searches” that will need uncompetitive prices to justify themselves.
All of the fuckups that we can see headed this way, are a race between “stuff running out” and “technology providing a fix first”. It looks to me like peak-oil might fall on the right side of this tech-race.
It looks like an encrypted P2P mesh network.
But it’s been crippled (for ‘legal’ reasons) to make it a cellphone interfaced walky talky rather than a mesh-network. It’s also been crippled by patents, so will likely fail – but the Gaza situation (in fact any disaster situation, including mass-spying by governments) makes a hacked version of this a ‘must-have’ part of any resilience toolkit.
I’d guess that this has already been done in an arduino sort of way – but the key to this stuff is (critical) mass-uptake, and that means good UXP (The Skype of Mesh Networks). Which is what this one is about.
My vision for mesh-networking is “Pipe-Tapping-Protocol”… named after POWs communicating with each other by tapping morse-code on pipes. Basically it’s a layer in the communication stack that can interpret signals over any medium… whether it’s radio, or laser-flashing, code embedded in images, or audio… DNA. Anything that can transmit data is readable. Tapping on pipes.
This is the most interesting thing I’ve seen recently. It hasn’t launched yet… but it’s a crypto-currency, where instead of “mining” by caning your CPU to perform a meaningless task, you do it by storing other people’s files in a distributed P2P cloud.
The Internets need distributed P2P clouds… we’ve kindof got them in the shape of Bittorrent – but to directly pay people in a crypto-currency to contribute… that’s something new, and it has the potential to solidify what has hitherto been kindof flakey. This looks to me like distributed Dropbox, backed by individual commercial incentives.
Don’t know whether the amount of return will become vanishingly small as the number of participants grow… but it’s still a far better idea than simply burning CPU cycles.
6) Interview with one of the DarkWallet guys
Which I kindof like, because he lives in a squat-network… and we need more of that. We badly need to end the housing market. I used to live in squats in London back in the early 1990s… but I was under the impression that the worthless cunts running England now have made that illegal. Meantime in the US 1 in 7 houses are empty, because banks.
As to DarkWallet – what it is, is what I always thought bitcoin was – an untraceable currency – so in terms of “wow, this is revolutionary” – to my uninformed ears, I thought bitcoin already was. Apparently not… but you know… kudos for making it so.
I have serious misgivings about that Cory guy (the other 1/2 of DarkWallet). He’s pretending to be something he’s not – though to be fair, the way he’s behaving is rapidly turning him into the thing he’s pretending to be, whether he winds up liking it or not – but I think the moral foundations of where he’s coming from are deeply suspect. There’s zero empathy or compassion in there, and you’ve got to have that. Punk is not enough.
7) Old Phones turned into Forest Sentinals
What I like about this isn’t the “microhouse” part (there are millions of those, squeezed into the cracks between land-owner’s greed)… what’s cool is that it is “in a “community” on Peterborough St. Her house sits on land shared by a few normal-sized homes without dividing fences, and the community is run by a trust.”
And she’s a freelancer, with about 4 different jobs, some for money, some what she cares about.
This is the future I think. No “Jobs”, just networks of sub-contractors, and a mix of money/fun/meaningful “work”, which is possible because being a slave to the property market stops being a pre-req for life.
We never really wanted “jobs” in the first place. Back at the start of the Industrial revolution when people were being forced off the land – forced from “selling things we grew/made”, into “selling our time” everyone knew that this was a type of slavery. This knowledge has been excised from our world-views… probably because of Television, and the New Deal… but it’s still true.
I’m turning 50 this month – and I’ve had a “job” for about 3 years total in my entire life. The rest of the time I’ve been a freelancer or a contractor or an odd-job-doer or an entrepreneur. Full unemployment has been fairly rare. Having a boss is fucking infantalising. Fuck that. It’s unnatural. The downside to “not playing the game” is precarity… but everyone’s precarious these days, because The Rich still want the rent, but no longer need the labour.
So we need to design living systems that interpret “The Rich” as damage, and route around them.
9) Open Source Biotech Plasmids
This is interesting, because bio-tech is the core of a massively disruptive and empowering revolution in materials science. DNA is a replicator. It has (therefore) bigger energy-making potential than solar-electric, although chances are it will be able to do that too. It brings the same zero marginal costs dynamic that we’ve seen in software, to material production… and materials in this sense includes semtex and LSD, as well as more useful stuff like milk or spider-silk.
So here we (almost) are.
You don’t need to be a rocket appliance to see the way it’s all going. If (within the context of ‘living a happy life’) energy is free, materials are free, labour is free, information is free… how do we pay the overheads that The Male Primate Dominance Hierarchy (ie: rich old wankers) impose on us?
There are such things as natural monopolies. Natural scarcities that cannot (for mathematical reasons) be eliminated – but we really need to eliminate all artificial scarcities. Artificial scarcities must be recognised as counter-humanity, and done away with. Not just taxed… done away with completely. Sometimes this will involve a fight, sometimes it’s just a matter of routing. Top of the list is land. We need to figure out how to do The Napster of Land. “Somewhere to live” cannot be contingent on paying someone who is already rich. That is a really really bad way of organising ourselves – it’s the root of all evil. It’s the source of the currency/slavery/conquest triad, which is still as active to day as it was 2000 years ago. We need to end it.
We need :
– a Napster of Land
– a Napster of Self-Defense (and no, it’s not “even more handguns”)
– a Napster of Materials
– a Napster of Energy
– a Napster of Group Decision-Making
– a Napster of Transport
– a Napster of Knowledge
– a Napster of Banking
And that’s just to start with. We need to identify all monopolies, natural or otherwise, and create their Napster equivalent. We’ve already got a couple of the things above… and a lot more are in the pipeline.
So that’s something to do over the weekend. Think of it as being a bit like going and fighting the Fascists in Spain in the 1930s. Let us know how you get on.
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