There's No Tomorrow (Make sure you watch ALL of this video)

This is a long watch, but do watch it. Its illuminating, thought provoking, and sums things up really really well.

It must be screened at every school. They're the ones who'll have to face it. They're the ones who'll need to discard everything we've taught them to be true and right and relearn, rediscover, experiment. All the while burdened with a terrible terrible legacy that we would have left them with.

The energy, oil economy decided everything, and the monetary system that encouraged growth, has needed more and more and more of it. The bacteria-in-the-bottle analogy is chilling.

Growth (as currently pursued) indeed is a huge problem - its a brave thing to call that one out in the current madness for it as the panacea that can bring democracy, solve hunger, provide for all and solve anything at all. 

Alternative energy, conservation, recycling - these are all twigs we're trying to use to try and hold against the ground to stop the bus hurtling rapidly towards the cliff. Nothing will "solve" it unless we relook at - or are forced to relook at - how we continue to live, and how many of us do. 

Our lack of acknowledgement, our inability to understand and react appropriately to this fundamental truth is apalling, scary and frustrating. 

There's no way of continuing the current way we live and hope technology will solve it enough so we can get away without having to do anything.

Thankfully, the movie does suggest a few fixes, and they're all tough. I don't see many willing or able to adapt to live the better life, and we'll eventually do when forced to.

  • Question growth, globalization : they're pure bad as practised, NOT good.
  • Walk, cycle more since you'll have to. Drive less. Way lesser.
  • Buy less. Please. Everything,
  • Buy local, seasonal, unpackaged.
  • Fight fears and imagined inconveniences - the big ones haven't hit yet.
  • Doing "more physical work" is NOT a bad thing.
  • Get out of banking/globalized currency - its tough but make a start
    • A few ideas 
      • Potlucks to substitute restaurants
      • Barter skills and services
      • Co-operate for manpower needs, don't always buy it
      • Use everything longer
      • Optimize the hell out of everything
      • Slower, less commercial forms of entertainment
      • Grow some food
  • Learn more about the land, growing food, water
    • We've lost half the topsoil in the last couple of 100 years!
    • We've completely lost any understanding of the carrying capacity of a place
  • Learn more about building homes from stuff around you
  • Re-invest in community - time and effort, not money

The current financial economy and monetary system are indeed a ponzi scheme. Frustrating that we're so wedded to it and almost powerless to fiind a way out.

Sometimes I think our faith in technology is a mere betrayal of our conceit, but it might just be the stupid-filter masquerading as smartness and intelligence. Our total lack of ability to connect the dots is apalling.

Or maybe we're just too scared to ask questions, change lifestyles that deviate from the marketed/accepted status quo.

2048, I'd say, is the new doomsday. In less dramatic ways but figuratively, yes. I'll probably die before that but in a terrible state of mind.

We're soooooo screwed. Sorry, kids, that we couldn;t see this, couldn't behave ourselves and were too weak to improve things in the face of the instant pleasure.


Technology, Education, Innovation and All That

I was having a discussion, online, with someone who's opinions I have huge respect for.

It is sad that machines and automation are seen as a sign of indulgence or decadence. Machines are a great big social welfare mechanism. If machines are not used as tools, weaker or meeker people of society get used as tools. I'd rather have a society where people build machines which in turn work for the society, than people becoming machines or compromise on their individuality for the sake of survival.

It was a good point of view, one that viewed automation, technology as a deliverer of improved standards of living, democracy, equity. And yes, it can do all of that. But my instinct said that it could be used exactly in the opposite way as well, and much of industrial history has been about that!

Got me thinking.

If, in the last couple of centuries, innovations, education and technology have gotten us here, they must share the responsibility of our current state. Yes, they're all tools and finally what we do with the tools matters, but it remains true that certian tools have made certain behaviours easier.

We have more *things*. We have a better shot at fighting disease in a short term way. We're overall eating unhealthier food, and breathing worse air, and its likely have a much higher incidence of cancer and the like than earlier. Land, the oceans and fresh water sources are more polluted, and access to these is limited to way fewer than ever before. Monetary systems dictate the value of effort and produce, not represent them, and as a result, economic power has shifted and more and more have lesser and lesser time for everything, despite appliances which "save time". Something's not right.

I believe that the "why" and "what" of education needs a massive overhaul, but for now will restrict myself to technology.

Technology does liberate the individual. But I suspect this is truer in regions of low population density and attendant prosperity and plentifulness - where freeing up one's time/effort enables more production and pursuit of higher level goals and desires. In a high population density area, it becomes a tool in the hands of those who have access to capital and technology, and exploitation follows. Case in point - the workers in manufacturing are more educated and skilled today than a couple of decades ago, but relatively make much lesser because organizations have used automation to not only reduce the overall need for humans, but use it as a bargaining tool as well. There's no "fair".

Technology also dumbs down the workforce, moves innovation and "research" into labs and organized pusuit of the same. As an example, farming was very human dependent and there was a continuous effort in improving techniques, experimentation that varied with geography, crops, changing weather patterns and farmers not only built up knowledge, but continuously added to it. The same went for farmer driven seed improvement. The knowledge was owned by the community, and evolved all the time. 

Machines and technology, from the user's pov, "freeze" knowledge at a specific level at a specific time. The next iteration/improvement then needs to come from "the lab" (Monsanto's seeds are a good example). Farming thus becomes more menial and we start justifying lower and lower returns because its not a "knowledge enabled industry". 

(I just got back from a village where everyone has a job and very fertile fields next to a river lie untilled.)

Its not that technology, or education itself is to blame. Its what we do with it, and use it for. But its undeniable that overall, its not necessarily been a positive force. Its moved value to a few, reduced practical innovation, helped the same few control the innovation and over-exploit a few resources to their advantage. We need a serious rethink of all these for a more sustainable, a more holistic and fundamentally democratic, equitable and stable society. 

This ain't really working too well.



More of What?

18 hours a day are no more enough

You wish you had twenty eight.

Two hands seem like a limitation.


For consecutive years of growth

And comfort beyond your 22 year old dreams

At 40 is a mere stepping stone 

To bigger things



Of the same?

That could take care of 15 of you and never needs to?


Or of time?

And of sane lives and happy faces around you.

That you might have not caused, but did not disrupt either?


Of little important things

That make your live your debt to the future a little

Not just in preparation of securing it against unknown yet terrible fears?


Of unimportant meetings

Of unproductive investments into unfocused relationships with random people

That in the end count not because they work out for you

But because they happened.


Maybe you have a meaning, or a purpose

Maybe you don't


But just the chasing of 

The next adjective, noun that starts to own you and the meaning

Because it appreared on the horizon

And took complete control of you


Is that it?


Each time your real estate yields more, or a technology investment helps cut costs, or you figure out an alternative source to source cheaper, remember its very often a win-lose game, and you're standing a little taller on someone's shoulders.

Keep in mind the reason the entire cycle of economy works (should work?) within the scope of society. Its aim was never to maximize a few variables for a few, but provide a good distribution across multiple variables for many.

The store next door shut because it couldn't afford the rentals anymore, not because it ran out of customers. Another store that had employed 7 earlier now makes do with 3, and worse service, again thanks to rentals. A whole set of professions suffers despite better education, skills, productivity, service levels, more demand because there's automation and laxer rules to keep profitability high for industry to maximize return on capital.

Some might say I'm turning socialist in thought, but its merely a reaction. And ironically, its happening as I get more into business.


I act differently

React too

Think, decide, explain.

Speak, perceive, analyze.

Eat, pray, work.

Chase, relax, succumb.

All differently.

From you.

Don't judge me for it.

Don't suspect.

Don't question intentions and motivations.

Trust, instead.

And speak with the faith in your voice. Freely.

That's the only way forward.


Poisoned air


Rivers, lakes, wells

(Perhaps even dried)

Poisoned lives

And minds

Time traded in

And so smiles

Simplicity and faith

And connections

With all and things around

For a little money

The idea of safety and security

Within suspicious walls and fences

Which multiply fear



Progress, development and prosperity abound.


The inspiration for this one: Where do you draw the line?


How To Look At Travel

a step from you
a step from me
and we'll make it a dance.

a smile cherished
some notes exchanged
friendships forged in a glance.

the new explored
the old adored

time brings with it that chance

a question answered
answers questioned
as you slip into a trance

Wrote this for Linger - thats what we hope people do when they come over.