Advances in technology may save us from ourselves


Thanks to technologies which have developed extensively in the past few years–like blogs and YouTube; I have the privilege of passing along interesting and even useful links such as the one below.

Vertical Axis Wind Turbine (VAWT) Designs

Along with good general information for anyone looking to take advantage of wind energy, there is also a link to the following video:

It’s About Time

Seven years ago, I graduated from a well-respected state school with a B.S. in engineering.  My goal had originally been to design cars, but after reading Lee Iacocca’s autobiography and studying the methods of the “big three” versus their competitors…I decided that green energy would be a much better option.

The plan after graduation was to build myself a career in an emerging green, or ‘clean’ energy technology.  So I took a job selling electronics and started to study things like wind, solar, biofuels. and what I now refer to as living structures.  A living structure collects energy via solar and wind technologies which have been incorporated into the design, and either stores the energy on premises or feeds it into the grid for future use and/or profit…

The problem was, none of the various emerging technologies looked all that promising.  Solar and wind had too many downsides; biofuels seemed to be using at least the same amount of energy that was created, and the forests destroyed to make this possible were not even taken into account.

Nuclear is hugely expensive, absurdly dangerous and produces tons of extremely toxic waste which we have no way to reasonably dispose of.  And I’m sorry, but hiding it inside a mountain while praying that nothing happens is not a responsible solution.  It is a slap in the face–or possibly an  ugly death sentence–to our future generations.

My point is that things looked pretty bleak at first.  However, as time progressed and my ability to access high-value information increased I began to notice that there are actually groundbreaking technologies creeping up from all corners of the globe.

The false perceptions due to the fading influence of old power structures (i.e., corporate media giants) will inevitably be overtaken by the social and information revolutions currently under way. So, as I’m sure lots of people have said: “it’s about time.”

Long before the days of blogging, news feeds and the like; my personal god was the daily newspaper.  Growing up, my parents always had a newspaper on the table in the mornings.  Reading that paper every day got me in the habit of wanting to keep up on the news.  Although I did my best to avoid reading anything of literary value or required for school, I became obsessed with the ‘news.’

(It is also worth noting that I delivered said newspaper to 160 houses every morning, even during the long and cold Montana winters…And if you still think that what FOX and CNN broadcast is actually news, look up the word Infotainment.)

Nowadays I can scan headlines from all over the world in seconds, and search for any topic with ease.  For example, thanks again to the internet and its related communication tools I recently found out that President Obama has asked Congress to send him legislation reigning in the credit card companies by month’s end.

If this had happened ten years ago (and I’m not saying it didn’t), there is almost no chance I would have heard one word about it.  At least not while legislation is still pending.  I also would not have the following quote, taken from the above article:

“Americans know that they have a responsibility to live within their means and pay what they owe,” Obama said in his weekly radio and Internet address Saturday. “But they also have a right to not get ripped off by the sudden rate hikes, unfair penalties and hidden fees that have become all too common.”

What’s touted as a “credit cardholder’s Bill of Rights” is now being discussed in Washington and, according to another related article:

Economic advisor Lawrence Summers told “Meet the Press” that “We need to do things to stop the marketing of credit in ways that addict people to it.”

Sadly, the proposed legislation does little to combat the overall problems.    A few of the unfair penalties and sudden rate hikes are addressed, as are a number of other blatant abuses; but there is still nothing to stop them from charging 30% or more interest on balances accrued under much lower rates, like 10, 5 or 0% APR.  So, then what about the President’s complaint and request of Congress which I mentioned at the beginning?

Either we have somehow elected a lame-duck president, or Congress feels beholden to other interests–which do not appear to be in line with the welfare of the citizens who elected them.

Crazy Is as Crazy Does

The famed inventor, Nikola Tesla once said: “The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly.  One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.”  Part of the general thesis of this paper is that practically all of us frequently exhibit insane behavior.  Often we have no idea it is happening because we have been brought up to view this as acceptable behavior; but it is happening nonetheless.

According to the history which I was taught in school, Mr. Tesla’s biggest contribution to society was the Tesla coil and he was most likely insane when he died broke at the age of 86.  But I was also lucky enough to have a physics teacher with a personal interest in Tesla’s inventions, which likely  contributed to my interest in him many years later.

What my public schooling neglected to mention was that Dr. Tesla also invented the AC motor, radio and television transmission; even wireless power.  He is rumored to have displayed the use of wireless power in the 1930s by powering a car–with an electric motor and no battery–at speeds up to 90 mph.  The reporters reportedly (?) accused him of black magic and made a farce of the event.

Despite his great hopes for a world powered by wireless–and therefore extremely efficient–energy, he eventually gave up and shut down the demonstration.  According to what has now become an underground legend, he died before completing his research or publishing any further papers.  Thanks to the now infamous excuse of a ‘threat to national security,’ our government seized all of Tesla’s research and documents upon his death.

They eventually released what was claimed to be everything, however ‘they’ also like to pretend the ionospheric heater in Alaska (HAARP) is a benign research tool for scientists–instead of being part of the strangest and most secretive branch of our ever-expanding military industrial complex ever to be exposed widely in public circles.

And therein lies the crux of the problem:  It has now become glaringly apparent to anyone who is paying attention that our government and major media outlets are lying about and/or ignoring the ugly facts which our tax dollars have helped to create.

Luckily, these major institutions of a failed 20th century pseudo-empire will soon be forced to capitulate to reason–and, perhaps more so, to technology.

No More Lies

With a newly elected president calling for greater transparency in government, there has never been a better time to hold our leaders accountable for the promises they make.

Transparency and our government have sadly not gotten along very well in the past.  However, thanks largely to technologies pioneered by Nikola Tesla, we now have the ability to hold our elected officials and “news” outlets accountable for their actions.  The internet has come to save us from ourselves, but only if we are willing to take a good look in the mirror.

In the past decade, marijuana use has roughly doubled according to some estimates.  Despite our best efforts, we cannot stop the flow of drugs–we can arrest traffickers and kill growers, but the demand requires that someone always take their place. Yet, what if we no longer needed to traffic marijuana or other plant-based ‘drugs’?  Better still, what if it was no longer such a profitable business because people could easily grow their own?  Well, whether anyone approves or not, those days are finally here.

Thanks to technologies such as LEDs  and aeroponics, anyone with a bit of capital can grow any plant they want, anywhere they want.  And with almost no chance of getting caught (if for some reason the plant you choose to grow is currently illegal…)

The movie, “Rat Race” is a comedy about how far people will go and what they will do when a large amount of money is at stake. Many of the antics appear over the top–but when compared to the real stories which regularly make the news, they are conservative and lame. Bernie Madoff, Jack Abromoff, Enron, Fannie, Freddy, Lehman Brothers and a growing list of other examples prove how easily greed can undermine progress.  Yet their crimes are still somehow pale in comparison to those of ‘terrorists’ and others who benefit from the current black market.

In our current society, there is little doubt (in my mind anyway) that money is seen as an all-powerful god.  And we are the countless minions begging for its sweet, blissful mercy. We are taught to want what the elite have, even as we bemoan the system which they have built on our willing backs.

In many of our own minds, success is still judged on the false criteria implanted by these tragic fools.   Individuals who are obsessed with accumulating money and power are mentally ill, which is ironically something that their high-priced psychiatrist may have already told many of them.  This is not to say that all successful people are mentally ill, which is clearly not the case; but it’s usually pretty easy to spot the ones who are addicted to power.

For instance, does anyone really think that Dick Cheney is happy and lives a full, rewarding life?  And yet, this bitter old man–who happens to be guilty of many war crimes and heavily invested in the prison industry–is widely seen as a pillar of success.

Our new President is also not immune to this lust for money.  He recently declared that “The United States is the Saudi Arabia of coal, although we have our own home-grown problems in terms of dealing with a cheap energy source that creates a bit carbon footprint.”  Therefore, his only issues are the money it brings in and the best way to tax it; just like a typical politician.

Once again, where is the change we were promised?  And how do we actually hold our leaders accountable for said promises?  Perhaps most importantly, how long can we afford to wait–or is that even a reasonable question anymore?

With the ongoing economic meltdown threatening to turn into a full blown depression (whatever that means), many people are beginning to reconsider their long-term investments and future security. Gas prices are low today, but could easily be skyrocketing in the coming months–or as soon those setting the price feel we can endure the rising cost without breaking the entire system (yet again.)

Food is still readily available for most at a (somewhat) reasonable rate, but there is rising concern that a global famine is imminent. All, or at least most, of the systems around us which have been established to supply our everyday needs rely on unstable resources (including oil, degrading soil and extremely cheap, inhumane labor.) This all may sound frightening, but it is also the perfect opportunity for a truly positive and profound change. As John Lennon once said: “there are no problems, only solutions.”

It has also been stated that 3% of the population grows all the food for the other 97% of people living in the United States. On average, the food we consume travels 1700 miles “from farm to fork.”  Most of our produce comes from California and Florida while corn and grains are harvested throughout the midwestern plains, but recently more and more of our produce, grains and even meats are coming from South America or Africa. It is easy to attribute much of this to the ( hideous) push for E85, but there are many other contributing factors such as the Acai berry from Brazil which is currently all the rage in health circles.

We are very effective consumers, just as we have been groomed to be; but our appetite is now destroying what’s left of the rain forests–which function as the planet’s lungs, our best pharmacy and much more. Not only are we cutting down the rain forests, we are mismanaging and destroying forests throughout the continental United States. Lumber has been crucial to most ‘western’ construction for hundreds of years, but never have we figured out a way to make it sustainable–or even terribly profitable for all but a few.

Unfortunately, the loss of forests to croplands and ever-increasing world population are not the extent of our problems being created by our current methods. Much of the deforested land starts off fertile, yet will be worthless after less than a decade of typical use.  Our current methods of commercial farming are unsustainable (and therefore suicidal), but sadly they pale in comparison to so-called ‘meat production.’  Which, incidentally, is now being blamed for the spread of so-called swine flu.

WHO takes a page from Michael Crichton Novel

“The problem, he and other critics of CAFO pollutants stress, is not just normal pig waste, but waste combined with staggering volumes of antibiotics and toxic chemicals used by Smithfield Foods and similar industrial CAFO operations to maximize ‘efficiency.’

Tietz notes, ‘A lot of pig shit is one thing; a lot of highly toxic pig shit is another. The excrement of Smithfield hogs is hardly even pig shit: On a continuum of pollutants, it is probably closer to radioactive waste than to organic manure. The reason it is so toxic is Smithfield’s efficiency. The company produces 6 billion pounds of packaged pork each year. That’s a remarkable achievement, a prolificacy unimagined only two decades ago, and the only way to do it is to raise pigs in astonishing, unprecedented concentrations.’11

The degrees of concentration in the Smithfield Foods vertically integrated pig meat concentrations have little to do with traditional hog farming. In facilities now spread around the world, Smithfield’s pigs live by the hundreds or thousands in warehouse-like barns, in rows of wall-to-wall pens. Sows are artificially inseminated and fed and delivered of their piglets in cages so small they cannot turn around.

As Tietz notes, ‘Forty fully grown 250-pound male hogs often occupy a pen the size of a tiny apartment. They trample each other to death. There is no sunlight, straw, fresh air or earth. The floors are slatted to allow excrement to fall into a catchment pit under the pens, but many things besides excrement can wind up in the pits: afterbirths, piglets accidentally crushed by their mothers, old batteries, broken bottles of insecticide, antibiotic syringes, stillborn pigs — anything small enough to fit through the foot-wide pipes that drain the pits. The pipes remain closed until enough sewage accumulates in the pits to create good expulsion pressure; then the pipes are opened and everything bursts out into a large holding pond.’12″

But, as this article hopefully demonstrates, our culture is undergoing fundamental technological changes which are bound to have a much wider and more beneficial impact than expected.  For a perfect example, consider the rumors of a new approach to drug education and abuse treatment.

Here is what the Latin American Commission on Drugs and Democracy concluded last year after more than a year of discussions among 17 former and present Latin American leaders:  Toward a Paradigm Shift

And if you want to see what happens when an FBI Director is forced to display his ignorance of reality, check out the following clip:

For more information and tools for activism, please visit http://www.SchoolsNotPrisons.com

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: