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How To Get There 16/02/20

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, February 16th, 2020 - 11 comments
Categories: Deep stuff - Tags:

 

This post is a place for positive discussion of the future.

An Open Mike for ideas, solutions and the discussion of the possible.

The Big Picture, rather than a snapshot of the day’s goings on. Topics rather than topical.

We’d like to think it’s success will be measured in the quality of comments rather than the quantity.

So have at it!

Let us know what you think …

11 comments on “How To Get There 16/02/20 ”

  1. Dennis Frank 1

    I was impressed by seeing this on ONE News last night: https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/meet-kiwi-reckons-hes-picked-up-15-tonnes-rubbish-beaches?auto=6132775336001

    What an excellent role model this relatively young baldy is providing! "His obsession with cleaning up the country, in particular its coastlines, formed a little over a year ago when he began cleaning up the beach near his home in Westport."

    "I'd start wandering the beach for a couple of hours after work in the evening and would find myself filling up two buckets," he told 1 NEWS.

    "That's when he made the decision to pack his life into a self-contained solar-powered unit on the back of a trailer, and travel the country picking up and recycling litter. Fast forward 14 months and Des reckons he's collected 15 tonnes of rubbish."

    His example provides a healthy antidote to the normal behaviour of mainstreamers – who have been chucking plastic out car windows for as long as anyone can remember.

  2. WeTheBleeple 2

    A massive die off of mussels in Northland this week is said to be due to heat. Climate change has harsh realities, one of them being the kaimoana of many communities who rely on it for nutrition is under threat. Mussels are filtering organisms that purify water while growing from the particulates they capture in the water column. Their ecological significance is considerable as they provide both nutrition and habit for larger and smaller organisms respectively.

    So what can we do about this? Not a lot bar turn the entire shebang around by actually reducing CO2 instead of talking about reducing CO2.

    One option is mussel farming. Floating mussel farms can be moved out deeper as shore water temperatures rise seasonally, and then brought in closer to shore as they drop again. A second option is to search for higher temperature adapted mussel populations (if they exist) to bring in spat from. A third option is to seek alternate filter feeders that are adapted to higher temperatures.

    There's a lot to be said about the ecologically restorative nature of mussels, which once covered the floor of the hauraki gulf. Ongoing restoration efforts have largely failed except in the vicinity of mussel farms where spat is taking on the floor of the ocean. Mussels beget mussels. This feedback loop will be reversed where mussels are dying off. Less filtration (mussels) means more polluted waters.

    The brave new world is upon us. Those who can adapt stand a good chance. We need now to act in real time. Dithering is no longer an option.

  3. Dennis Frank 3

    We need to learn a better way of solving social problems. That’s because relying on elected representatives is a failed strategy. So collective strategising to make humanity resilient and the economy sustainable has to come from the people. Fortunately, we are born as social organisms.

    “In essence, despite our feeling that we are singular, unified agents, we are more like hive minds unto ourselves, our brains abuzz with multiple, often conflicting plans and interests that must be managed. To Dr. Thomas Seeley, a professor of neurobiology at Cornell University, the “hive mind” is more than just a metaphor. In a recent paper in Science, Seeley and his colleagues describe a potential deep parallel between how brains and bee swarms come to a decision. With no central planner or decider, both brains and bee hives can resolve their inner differences to commit to single courses of action.” https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/you-have-a-hive-mind/

    Dr. Sarah Rose Cavanagh is a psychologist and author of Hivemind: The New Science of Tribalism in Our Divided World (2019). In her preface she tells us she wrote the outline of the book in 2015, pre-Brexit, pre-Trump, so she was prescient. There’s the wisdom of the crowd, but historically we’ve sometimes seen the madness of crowds: “hysterical contagions are rare, but vivid instances of emotions and ideas diffusing from one body to another, one mind to another, are not. We are by nature deeply social animals.” However, “we don’t synchronise with all members of humanity equally; we preferentially harmonise with people who are close to us by birth, location, and shared culture”.

    She includes her “hivemind reading list”, to round out her frequent citation of research findings. “To unite all this research on our hypersocial, groupish natures, I use the metaphor of hivemind. It is not my metaphor – the notion of a hivemind, a group sort of consciousness and/or collective body of knowledge, has long been discussed in both academic settings and in common parlance.”

    The hivemind is “critical in shaping our perception of the world, in building our consensus reality” because “what we know and feel is not determined in a vacuum of independent experiences and decisions but rather is shaped by the collective. Our synchronicity means that ideas and fashions and ways of interpreting the world have their own sort of life outside the individual people who contribute to it, something 18th to 19th-century German philosophers called the zeitgeist, or the spirit of the times.”

    The culture of individualism liberated us from collectivist monoculture and orthodoxy after the 1950s, but lately anomie due to the atomising effect has been inducing a turning point, in which the pendulum of mass culture has started to swing back again. “As Johann Hari writes in his book Lost Connections, “The internet was born into a world where many people had already lost their sense of connection to each other… our obsessive use of social media is an attempt to fill a hole, a great hollowing, that took place before anyone had a smartphone.”” More on this later…

    • JO 3.1

      'We need to learn a better way…'

      There are signs, track markers and good guides for our mountainous problems – one is Jim Shultz, author of 'A Liberal in Trump Land' (link below)

      Shultz started the Democracy Center when he and his wife returned to the US after nine years in Bolivia. The organisation 'works to foster a more vibrant local and global democracy' by supporting nonprofits, student organizers, and other civil society groups. “It kills me to see good activist energy go to waste. We began in San Francisco in 1992 and over nearly thirty years now the Democracy Center has supported activists on five continents, from immigrant activists in California to public health activists in apartheid South Africa.”
      (New York Review of Books newsletter)

      https://www.democracycenter.org/

      https://www.nybooks.com/daily/2020/02/13/a-liberal-in-trump-land/

      I have come to believe that the operative metaphor of our time may be the old Indian parable of the three blind men and the elephant. One grabs its tail and says it’s a snake. Another grabs a leg and pronounces it to be like a thick tree. The third touches its side and declares it to be a giant boulder. Each has hold of one part, but none the whole truth.

      That is really the lesson I have learned in my strange two and a half years in Trump Land: to listen to the people who come to the elephant from a different perspective. There are reasons that people think what they think and feel what they feel, and if we ever hope to find common ground and actually work together toward solving the huge problems we face as a nation, it will not be because we beat those on the other side, but because we find a way to hear them—and be heard by them in return.

      • Gosman 3.1.1

        If the Democracy Center started in 1992 how could it have supported public health activists in Apartheid South Africa? The Apartheid laws were repealed in 1991.

  4. greywarshark 4

    I thought this morning that economics is virtually sudoku and cryptic crosswords, mixed. But there are two or more answers for each part of the problem presented, so complexity mounts and lead to poor results.

    The answer could be to work from looking at requirements in the system with flow-on effects to match the size and cost of the proposed project, and then look at the outcomes and work out how best to get them. I think this is a bottom-up approach, and the present one is a top-down one which tends to be idealised in its conception and prescribes the outcomes to those which are acceptable to the planners and organisers. But the people affected may have entirely different needs and so the people have to work at understanding what is good for them as a group and how the project fits into the wider polity.

    Too much narrowness of thinking at present, and we haven't much time to prepare for harder times. Meanwhile the comfortably off float off in their little personal bubbles of family, friends, holidays and things to buy with the money they can still earn. They expect other people to make the 'right' things happen and will never acknowledge the labour and life sacrifices that others have made that has enhanced life for the broad population. Weird – there is something missing in our template for raising children and the thinking of adults lacks time for reflection and commitment to their village or town.

    Someone who has impressed by many who have shallow thinking – Jordan Peterson is himself a driven, sick man but with a charismatic ability to feed others' mythologies. The desire of the 'masses' to draw on his energy and explanations that match their own, means they are virtually sucking up the man's strength and he needs to break from the incessant round of interviews and meetings and television fame, and being put into a coma ensures that!

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/family/life/meet-petersons-controversial-family-plagued-health/

    So all the best for you that look to the future and present and ensure completion of progressive action ideas which probably won't come from old-time Labourites. We had our chance in 1970-1980 for Labour to take us up, and then spread the gospel of plateauing, steady improvement as she goes, but once we got near the high point, the leaders could see glittering prizes ahead, and abandoned the cause. Now those who are old mostly aim to live as near 100 as they can, in as much comfort and security as possible, and ensure their wheelchairs are pushed to the front of the queue of needy people.

    A community without a regularly beating heart; it is activated by a spasm of shock to give thought and assistance to tragedy victims that hit the headlines. If not in the headlines for at least two days, the matter is forgotten while the chat is all about politicians with orange or yellow hair, like clowns and whether house prices are still rising. Are we selling our blood yet as a profitable industry? The moneyed people will come for all that they can get profit from, in stages.

  5. Dennis Frank 5

    [continued from #3]

    The interface between the individual psyche and the group mind derives from one’s sense of self, which originates in a cultural context. Identity is family-defined initially, then expressed by the individual personality, and seen by that person as self-image. Then we must go even further.

    “The term looking glass self was created by American sociologist Charles Horton Cooley in 1902, and introduced into his work Human Nature and the Social Order. It is described as our reflection of how we think we appear to others. To further explain would be how oneself imagines how others view him/her… Cooley takes into account three steps when using "the looking glass self". Step one is how one imagines one looks to other people. Step two is how one imagines the judgment of others based on how one thinks they view them. Step three is how one thinks of how the person views them based on their previous judgments.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Looking-glass_self

    So there is an organic reflexivity in the functional development of personal identity. We have been induced to consider ourselves self-created by the culture of individualism, but that discounts how nature forms us. We are co-created. The author of Hivemind declares that you are “formed by and intermingled with all of the other people who populate your cultural wing of the human hive.”

    She writes “Cooley argued that influence from our social others “enters into our system of thought as a matter of course, and affects our conduct as surely as water affects the growth of a plant” and called this socially-formed identity the looking-glass self. In large part, we source our identity from the reflection our social others hold up to us.” This organic theory of the process of self-creation has been neglected for an entire century. That’s due to holism being deemed too hard, and reductionism becoming the popular way out for lazy intellectuals. Obviously we emerge in a social context, and we evolve and live our entire lives in social ecosystems, so seeing ourselves as essentially isolated is incorrect.

    To steer us onto a better path to our collective future, we need to become proactive in learning how to influence social alchemy with skill, to generate suitable win/win outcomes. Leaving the binary frame of representative democracy behind is an essential first step. Then it’s a question of how to use different groups as collective role-models, via co-design.

    There will be a process of experiment; learning from trial and error in small groups will be the best method to start with. Teams work best when challenged by a specific task, so to develop a culture of collaboration the purpose of solving a particular political or social problem must be defined and allocated. When teamwork engages the task, brainstorming and lateral-thinking become the process for producing the desired result.

  6. greywarshark 6

    I've been listening to the Beatles lately. As one listener says 'Were these great musicians or what?'

    Apart from the lovely acapella 'Because' there is this, We Can Work It Out (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qyclqo_AV2M

    They have voiced the two ends of the emotional see-saw I and others feel about our efforts to make change and save important parts of our culture and world.

    In We Can Work It Out, Paul did the first half, I did the middle eight. But you've got Paul writing, 'We can work it out, we can work it out' – real optimistic, y'know, and me impatient, 'Life is very short and there's no time for fussing and fighting my friend'." (John Lennon)

    'We Can Work It Out' became The Beatles' sixth single in a row to top the US charts. At the time, no other band had achieved such success. The track took over 11 hours to perfect – up to this point, that was the longest period The Beatles had spent in the studio on a single song.

    Help! (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Q_ZzBGPdqE

  7. Dennis Frank 7

    "Researchers have successfully grown dates from 2000-year-old seeds recovered from an ancient fortress and caves in the Middle East. The find reveals how ancient farmers were selectively breeding dates from around the region, and it could give clues to how dates can survive for millennia." https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/02/dead-sea-dates-grown-2000-year-old-seeds

    "The researchers soaked 34 of the most promising specimens in warm water and liquid fertilizer, and then planted them in sterile potting soil. Six seeds germinated and sprouted into seedlings that would eventually become date palms. The successful seeds were all several centimeters long, 30% larger than modern date seeds, suggesting dates that were significantly larger than modern varieties."

    "To verify that the seeds were ancient—and not more recent specimens deposited amid archaeological artifacts by burrowing animals, for example—the team carbon dated seed shell fragments clinging to the roots after the seeds had successfully sprouted."

    "Initial genetic analysis of the plants grown from the ancient seeds suggests farmers in the region were growing dates that mixed traits from around the ancient world. The result, according to classical writers like Galen, Strabo, and Herodotus, was a large, sweet, shelf-stable fruit that was a prized treat throughout the Roman world. After the collapse of the Roman empire and the Arab conquest of the region, Judean date farming declined. By the time of the Crusades, around 1000 C.E., the area’s date plantations were no more."

    "Although an older grass seed was successfully germinated after millennia frozen in Siberian permafrost, these dates are some of the oldest plants ever successfully germinated. That’s because DNA and RNA usually fragment over time into tiny pieces."

    “For these seeds to germinate, the DNA had to be intact, which goes against a lot of what we know about DNA preservation,” says University of York archaeogeneticist Nathan Wales, who was not involved with the study. “It’s not out of the question that there is some really cool biological system at work that preserves DNA [in dates].”

    Sallon says the unusual conditions around the Dead Sea probably helped. “Low altitude, heat, dry conditions—all of those could affect the longevity of the embryo,” she says.

  8. greywarshark 8

    How to make good change in society. This is a useful link.

    (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xp0O2vi8DX4

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