Currency Design Tool8 comments
category picture26 Nov 2004
Here's a link to the current version of a Currency Design Tool.

Some complemetary currencies are not in any way tied to national or international currencies. So we're creating "protective walls" in case the bigger currencies are damaged in any way.

This tool looks like a Weapon of Mass Construction to me.

It needs to be developed further along the lines Andrius and others are envisioning, and there's need to translate, apply, spread ... and use.

I'm extremely happy to see this growing this way. What other things do we need?  More >

 Someone who knows ...0 comments
category picture24 Nov 2004
How to cook, how to grow food, how to make things with her hands, how to help others.

She's poor, right?

Yes, maybe, under certain circumstances. But not under all circumstances. And circumstances do change.

I had a conversation with an "ecologist". Not liked it. There must be other kinds of "ecologists".

A few hours later I had a conversation with an arquitect. She might be ready to share ideas under an open license such as "primarily public domain". Local, constructive ideas.

I need to learn how to do certain things. It may well be useless if the world changes too dramatically for the worse - or for the best - because in either case my how-to knowledge would be useless. But I don't mind - rather, I want to know some "basic" things. Even if I never need them.

 beyond civilization3 comments
category picture23 Nov 2004
Krystle writes a monthly newsletter. It's a good format for reflection: not too frequent and keeps me waiting for it.

The current issue has to do with the sources of energy. My summary: It looks like oil is doomed and alternative sources are not enough and corporations are not interested in creating a varied diet - they'd rather keep the "one size fits all".

I'm not sure if my summary is correct. Or rather, I'm quite sure it is not correct. :-)

But I'm deeply interested in travelling "beyond civilization" (as Daniel Quinn of Ishmael fame puts it). That place beyond civilization would need to be something like this:

- low energy
- varied
- fun

I guess I'll have to dig deeper in this!  More >

 blogging as a 'tool of mass change'0 comments
picture21 Nov 2004
Just imagine to be real: at some point in time, we'll start turning to and similar things "en masse".

So how do we do the turning? Blogging about it!

Conversion via conversation.  More >

 Edward Cherlin: simputers, poverty, profit0 comments
category picture21 Nov 2004
Edward Cherlin describes himself as a "simputer evangelist".

We can get computers and communications into 2 million villages and a number of other places, such as refugee camps, and use them to create sustainable economic growth. It will take years to get even one computer into each community that needs it, years more to put in lots of computers everywhere, and decades to go through the development process. So of course we need to start today.

Here's the plan.

He writes about the low requirements of energy for the simputer - not taking building it into account!

Sounds nice, and also links to Erradicating poverty through profit. He says something to the effect of "when corporations see the market, they'll come in a rush".

All of this sounds to me, increasingly, like "the firefox way". I.e.: there's a need, an alternative product is grown, an escape-path is offered ... and taken!

Usually people only see the "taken!" part.

A few are at the "an alternative product is grown" part.

We bloggers are at the "we told you first" and at the "you should know each other" part. Enzymes, anyone?

 ... Our catalog of synergies ...3 comments
category picture19 Nov 2004
There are quite a few things, good and bad and intriguing, which, each in itself, seem to work by positive feedback loops.

They also help each other to thrive and meta-multiply. It's a bit like fireworks out of control, with firecrackers lighting each other up. That's what they call "synergies".

We can attempt to make a list of things that reinforce each other. What I see from here could be improved on, I'm sure. But, anyway, this is what I currently see:

- free software
- blogs
- open space
- new currencies
- sustainability research
- Bush (yes, he's a great motivator for "us")
- oil shortage (same reason)
- ...

What else should I add? Can you help me?

I'm sure the list can't possibly become complete.

But it may not be a matter of making a full, comprehensive list of "things that help each other grow". It's also a matter of creating links between such things where the existing links are weak. Just as an example, at cyfranogi they are using free software.

There's something else that might arise from our list. Maybe by looking at the "map of links" we can try and find new possible synergies. An obvious (not so new) one would be to make community currencies work very well for sustainability purposes. Focus on that specific spot. Zoom in and look for huge benefits. Get creative about it.

We can, of course, also take what's just global right now and make it local (and contagious) and so more powerful.

What else can we do? How do we get to do it?

Yes, we can step back and look at the whole picture of synergies. How could we make this list a workable, good-looking, memetically useful thing?

Thanks for your precious contributions!  More >

 A better story to be in1 comment
category picture18 Nov 2004
That's what Daniel Quinn suggests in "Beyond Civilization": we badly need a better story to be in.

One of the threads of that story has to do with "money". I've been asking the folks at cyfranogi for a simple story of how things happen when people create a community currency. I hope to see it created (by us).

A story, a plot, a sequence of expected (and unexpected) actions, is quite compelling. We may be very much "story animals". I've heard a mother explaining her daughters how to cook a dish, and it was a story, an almost musical one. A sequence with sense and suspense.

So we may need to switch off the tv and create better stories to be in. Could you congregate your parish (so to speak) around some hipothetical fire, and just create a story? "How did we survive the Dark Ages?" Or maybe the story must be timeless ... "How do people become people?" Or they can be small. "How to open a schoolyard."

Let's blog along.  More >

 solar engines at night3 comments
category picture15 Nov 2004
Via OneVillage fundation's newsletter.

Sterling engines are interesting. I don't understand the mechanics of it, but it is said to work well, and solar energy can be used at night. Most building material can be local.

Fabbers can be used in conjunction with all this.

Who should we be contacting regarding this?  More >

 Wow, Knoppix! (and MSL)0 comments
category picture14 Nov 2004
Just logging in from a Pentium IV, using Knoppix 3.7. It recognises eth0 and provides nice defaults for everything, and I can ... it just works! (I can even listen to "Practice of Peace" audio files, with Audacity!)

It's good if I only want to surf the web, read webmail and do IRC.

I'll want to finish setting up a simple infrastructure if I want to work with the Minciu Sodas Laboratory.

That's something I'll want to give some more thinking to: the infrastructure. My current Pentium I is not exactly a speed-beast. I may get myself a Pentium II, second-hand. I just want the basic speed to have Firefox, Thunderbird, Xchat/irssi, vim/vimoutliner, Python, a PDF reader, some basic drawing software, backups (preferably to CD so I may listen to audio files) ... Not much, but certainly I don't get a reasonable speed with a Pentium I (64 megs RAM) - and I have tried!

So why not use the Pentium IV then? Well, it's needed for some ultra-sensitive stuff that we need at home, that's why :(. In a couple of months (I hope January or February 2005) I'll be able to "free" the Pentium IV, but until then I'm stuck with the Pentium I. I wish things could go faster in this regard, but no way.

And I do want to work in lots of MSL stuff. Andrius has set up a Spanish wiki and I want to contribute to the Table of Content (TOC) thing, both with Franz Nahrada and with Rick Nelson. I think that is going to be useful work. We're going to have to learn to deal with wikispam - every wiki in the world will have to, I guess.

Thing is, PeakOil has kept me a bit desperate these few days. I can't be sure if there's more to what they say waiting. I mean, maybe there's some better source of energy waiting down the line. But I doubt it.

And it really makes me a bit angry to see how people react to the whole issue: in my biased sample, they either ignore the problem, or they just dress in black and complain. Of course, it's most unpolite of me to just come up to a friend and ask them "what do you think about oil not being available soon?". But I'm used to being able to change "modes" while thinking. And "dark mood thinking" is just not useful now. My opinion, anyway!

So, yes, the Pentium IV does work with Knoppix 3.7 - that's good.

 Elements for change0 comments
category picture12 Nov 2004
A couple of messages in the OSLIST (Open Space Technology, Harrison Owen) make me think that we really have the required "elements for change" in the World.

We have people. Lots of us. Each one almost insignificant. A bit like ants, aren't we?

We have this increasing ability to communicate. Sometimes it's deep interpersonal communication. More often it's just an "I need food", "I have food" sort of thing.

We have the internet, and open source/free software. And a growing "array" (a disorderly one) of cooperation methods and resources.

We have brains that can change from within. Ants can't do that as far as I know, but we can. My grandmother learns new gossip and phone numbers every day, so her brain does change.

Some of us even have a vision. One that we can share, or rather, that begs sharing. Mine has a mixture of fear and curiosity.

We're asking for a huge change, of course, so it's not easy. It will take time, and we don't have lots of time. We have rigid structures and also rigid ideas.

Not long ago, in Ming's blog, there was a bit of talk about "low tech revolution": things that don't need high, yet underdeveloped technology to work. I think Open Space is such a thing. Conversations, good old conversations, may also be such a thing.

What else do we need?

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