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Barry Davies    #15729
Auckland    New Zealand     Posted: Thursday, December 25, 2008 at 6:53:0 CST (GMT -6:00)

It's not a human construction. It's a taker construction which follows from the taker (FALSE) first principle: "The world was made for us and we were made to conquer and rule it."

This year's Christmas message from the president of IRAN said it explicitly: "The Almighty created the universe for humanity."

Steven Earl Salmony    #15728
Chapel Hill    NC USA     Posted: Tuesday, December 23, 2008 at 12:50:0 CST (GMT -6:00)

Does anyone have the feeling that our communication, here now and elsewhere in other moments, appears to be convoluted and confused because many too many of us do not yet recognize that the family of humanity literally lives within a modern version of an ancient edifice, the Tower of Babel? The new leviathan-like, distinctly human construction is not made of stone, but instead built out as a "house of cards". This colossal, artificially designed structure is noticeably pyramidal in shape, organized as a patently unsustainable pyramid scheme, and named the global political economy.

For the people who are the primary beneficiaries of such a scheme, the global economy is effectively an object of idolatry. Nothing else really matters to them. These people are the self-proclaimed Masters of the Universe among us. They could not care less about the natural world, life as we know it for the children and future generations, the integrity of Earth. You can readily recognize the idolaters as the leading, self-righteous elders of my "Not So GREAT GREED GRAB Generation". Endlessly consuming and hoarding resources as well as power-mongering are regarded as religious rituals.

Any thoughts?

Steven Earl Salmony AWAREness Campaign on The Human Population, established 2001 http://sustainabilityscience.org/content.html?contentid=1176

Chris    #15727
Edmonds    WA USA     Posted: Monday, December 22, 2008 at 19:3:0 CST (GMT -6:00)

Speaking of solar power, this engineer proposes we turn our existing roads and parking lots into photovoltaic solar panels. He says just the area covered by roads and parking lots in the USA alone is exposed to sufficient solar energy input to supply the entire world's electrical needs. link

Barry Davies    #15726
Auckland    New Zealand     Posted: Friday, December 19, 2008 at 11:31:0 CST (GMT -6:00)

Speaking of economists and politicians and the media...

***************************** DESIGNED FOR FAILURE AND PAIN *****************************

Overwhelmingly, I see daily on the BBC and in other media that success in the economy is defined as always having a positive growth rate, and things are set up so that the inevitable contractions are very painful, and the experts and powers that be don't seem to realize that there is anything wrong with defining economic success in this way.

I saw Professor Krugman sitting at a table with other Nobel prize winners on a BBC program called 'Nobel Minds'. He seemed only to talk about the fact that we have more economic knowledge than we did back in the time of the great depression. None of the scientists challenged him about the exponential growth problem. I have sent him my argument, but have not received a reply yet - and I probably will not. As a nobody, I have little hope of being heard. I have also sent my argument to my favorite living mathematician. Again without response. I have sent it to an eminent legal authority on sustainability in the environment. No response. I have legally recorded it with my attorney. He has his angels mixed up and thinks I'm talking about them dancing on the heads of pins. It's the millions and billions and trillions of years that he could not consider. The lack of expert response does give me pause, but I also recall that a clock maker, not an astronomer, solved the longitude problem during the 18th century, and it took King and parliament to give him his full reward. The Astronomer Royal was clinging to the idea that a watch could not be better for the determination of longitude than the lunar distance method for finding Greenwich Time. Also, at a mathematical conference a few years ago, I recall hearing that a high school mathematics teacher proved an important theorem, but he was not given credit initially because the establishment thought his methods were dubious. The establishment did not accept his proof until he was later vindicated - by members of the establishment. Although my argument is nothing compared to the two examples just described, I will persist because the numbers seem good.

I recently saw and heard, on BBC World, the leader of the socialists in Greece saying that we can grow the economy exponentially. His remark went unchallenged.

Steven Earl Salmony    #15725
Chapel Hill    NC USA     Posted: Thursday, December 18, 2008 at 6:51:0 CST (GMT -6:00)

How hubris, corruption and greed resulted in the colossal collapse of the global economy.

In a world in which too many politicians are posers; too many economists are deluded; too many business powerbrokers with great wealth are con artists, gamblers and cheats; and too many of their absurdly enriched minions/’talking heads’ in the mainstream media parrot whatsoever serves political convenience and economic expediency, truth about global climate change is buried amid cascading disinformation and anti-information developed from a `tool box’ of pernicious rhetorical devices.

Steven Earl Salmony AWAREness Campaign on the Human Population, established 2001 http://sustainabilityscience.org/content.html?contentid=1176

Solar Panels    #15724
London    UK     Posted: Monday, December 15, 2008 at 9:27:0 CST (GMT -6:00)

Very nice website, here's what I think...

The sun radiates an immense amount of energy to the Earth. If it could all be tapped, the amount of solar radiation that reaches the globe every half hour would be enough to meet worldwide energy consumption requirements for an entire year.

Why not make a positive use of this energy using Solar Panels and save on energy that harms our planet?

Barry Davies    #15723
Auckland    New Zealand     Posted: Saturday, December 13, 2008 at 12:43:0 CST (GMT -6:00)

I think one problem with the economy is a^y, with y growing possibly and a^y growing impossibly.

I recently saw and heard, on BBC World, the leader of the socialists in Greece saying that we can grow the economy exponentially.

Warren Buffett is WB.

In my dream, DQ talks to WB who knocks heads in academia and Washington and CNBC ... about the problem of exponential growth. But it is necessary to be clear. I mean the compounding of interest: Let p be the annual interest rate in percentage points, let f be the compounding period as a fraction of a year, let n be the number of years, let x0 be the initial amount, and let x be the final amount. Then x=x0(1+pf/100)^(n/f). Let the quantity in parenthesis after x0 be replaced by 'a' and let the improper fraction n/f be replaced by y. Then we get the final amount by multiplying the initial amount by a^y. Mathematically, we can say that a^y increases without bound as y increases without bound. One problem with the economy is that possible growth in the number of compounding periods, y, yields impossible growth in the final amount, and No Body is talking about this.

The model for our economy is a bursting bubble. The model should be our lungs. FURTHERMORE, the model should be sustainable for at least as far into the future as species whose names begin with 'homo' have been here in the past. After all, we are smarter than those primitive ones, aren't we? We can last longer than they did, can't we?

Mitchell Smith    #15722
Toronto    On Canada     Posted: Friday, December 12, 2008 at 8:35:0 CST (GMT -6:00)

Thank you Daniel!

You have opened my eyes to a whole new world!

I think quite highly of you and your ideas..

Cant thank you enough, my friend..

Sincerely, Mitchell

destry    #15721
newark    DE USA     Posted: Wednesday, December 10, 2008 at 15:31:0 CST (GMT -6:00)


"Holy friggin' poop this is the closest thing to My Ishmael i've ever seen on film." That was what i kept thinking....once i finally got it. At first i thought it was literally the stupidist, most reductionist, misrepresentation of reality to come out of hollywood, ever. Which is saying a lot. But then i realized that it was imitating our way of viewing things, on purpose.

A dripping allegory/satire, Happy Feet represents us back to ourselves and takes us on an adventure to meet ourselves.....from a truly different point of view.

I went to Portland recently and finally thought to go visit Rimsky's (Rimsky-Korsakoffee House is mentioned as an example of a "tribal" business in Beyond Civilization). A girl who'd been told me "Go use the bathroom when you're there," and i thought "Ookay." I won't spoil it for you by describing it, i'll just say this. If you wish to flip your shit upside down and see what it's like to really see, DIFFERENTLY....then you know where to go for a pee. Note my ishmael tag on the door. Complete with little poem.

You got a friend wants to get into ishmaelian thinking? Maybe like a jump-start, that doesn't involve reading? Or are you yourself a big fan of movies?

Watch "The Matrix" and think "Culture As Matrix" (and read the quinn Q & A comment about it). Watch "V for Vendetta" and think "Decentralized, Leaderless Revolution" (and help me figure out if the wachowskis ripped off "B" in addition to ishmael). And finally... no, wait. NOT finally, watch Happy Feet, and remember that the penguin's perceptions are meant to ape ours. The main character Mumble is practically an allegorical figure for ishmaelian thinker/explorers, and the perceptual experience he encounters upon finding his destination is unsettling to say the least. Remember Quinn's old thumbnail review of Jensen's A LANGUAGE OLDER THAN WORDS from his reading list? Something about freezing or cracking up the ice in your soul?

The trick to this movie is pure fucking brilliance: they double-use the entire cast in a two-sided symbology i can barely wrap my head around. This wacky penguin society of theirs imitates us and sends us a message from a very different voice, all at the same time. Don't forget that Mumble, too, still represents one of US when he gets where he's going.

If we wish to survive we're going to have to metaphorically visit some alien territory, and come back dragging artifacts for others to see. We must help ourselves, but we're going to need guidance from the environment. The world speaks a language that's been gibberish to us for nearly ten thousand years.....but it is still translatable. And still trying to get through.

Barry Davies    #15719
Auckland    New Zealand     Posted: Tuesday, December 9, 2008 at 8:6:0 CST (GMT -6:00)

For the present economy, I'm sure any talk of millions & billions & trillions of ... years, instead of dollars, must seem so absurd that it can be dismissed without a second or first thought. However, please consider my conjecture with analysis after the asterisks. Just to be complete, I have posted, after the ampersands, the original argument that persuaded me that my conjecture might be true.



"Zero is the only AVERAGE [*] growth rate that is physically possible for the economy from now to EVERY point in the future."


Every average growth rate greater than zero has associated with it a set of unreachable times. Since this set of unreachable times is bounded below by the reachable times, it must have a greatest lower bound (GLB). All times before this GLB are reachable. All times after the GLB are unreachable. Therefore it seems that the GLB would be the onset time for ... recession, collapse, or extinction. The 'good' news is that we can have higher and higher average growth rates if we make the GLB closer and closer to the present.

I am very glad Mr. Obama won the election. But he is talking about 'sustained long term economic growth'. If I am right, then he has acquired the delusion of all the financial, economic, and political experts who can't see the most fundamental truth because they are just too clever. As Carly Fiorina said recently on the BBC's Hard Talk program, there needs to be more diversity in the board room - so there will be less resistance to change, and so that more points of view will be heard. We've got it in the White House now, but we need the phsycial sciences and mathematicians in the economic discussion. Just imagine the USA lasting indefinitely into the future. The average yield on the US Treasuries between now and the far future will be forced to zero. Something will have to give, and it won't be the physical law that says we can't put an unlimited amount of orange juice into an 8-ounce glass.

[*] We can vary both the compounding period and growth rate and still compute an average growth rate for any number of years with any desired compounding period - say sixty days or one year. We just let x be the final 'amount' in the equation x=x0(1+pf/100)^(n/f), [where x0 is the initial amount, p is the growth rate, f is the compounding period as a fraction of a year (e.g. I used f=1/6 for 60 days), and n is the number of years] and solve for p: p=(100/f)((x/x0)^(f/n)-1).


Scientists tell us that our sun will die in a few billion years, and that all the energy in our universe will be used up many many trillions of years later. However, they speculate that we will survive and that we will become sufficiently advanced to escape to other stars and even to another universe. But what sort of economic system enabled us to survive so long? Under our current system, we might ask what the average growth rate might have been. I decided to look at the 130,000 Australian dollars I have in New York - making 7% (September 2008) for 60 days. Of course the interest rate changes at each maturity. However, after any number of roll overs, I can look back and calculate an average interest rate which would have produced the same result with no change in the rate at roll over. This point is the key to the argument, because it can be applied to growth of any kind.

I decided to look at the following average returns expressed in basis points: 700, 100, 10, 1, and one millionth. I might call the last interest rate a 'micro' basis point. I assume each of these as an average return with compounding at 60 days rolled over for each of the following number of years: 100, 500, 1000, one million, one billion, and the number of years it would take my dollars to fill up the universe (which I assume to be a cube the edge of which is 10 billion light years in length) - and with each dollar assumed to be the size of a hydrogen atom (which I assume to be a cube the edge of which is one tenth of a billionth of a meter in length). I take this last amount of time to be the absolute definition of when the rate of return becomes unsustainable. I wanted to attach an image which shows the numbers, and the Mathematica notebook that did the calculations. I don't have a public web site to post them to, but here are the main points: (1) 700 basis points is very clearly unsustainable even at 500 years. (2) 10 basis points seem clearly sustainable for a millennium, but FORGET ABOUT a million years, because it takes less than three hundred thousand years to fill up the universe with my money. (3) Even one basis point is obviously unsustainable for a million years. (4) The good news, however, is that a micro basis point seems sustainable for times that are roughly as long as the life time of our sun. (5) The bad news is that scientists say that our universe will last much much longer than a few trillion years, and - even at a micro basis point - the universe will fill up with my money in less than three trillion years. It seems to be a physical law - the big bang bubble. It seems that average growth rates greater than zero will always produce bubbles. The only thing that will grow perpetually will be the grief we come to.

Steven Earl Salmony    #15718
Chapel Hill    NC USA     Posted: Tuesday, December 9, 2008 at 7:48:0 CST (GMT -6:00)

On the need for scientific education regarding the human overpopulation of Earth in these early years of Century XXI...........

Dear Friends,

I want to at least try to gain your quick help. I'm not sure if you've heard, but yesterday the "AWAREness Campaign on the Human Population" submitted an idea for how we think the Obama Administration could change America. It's called "Ideas for Change in America."

I've submitted an idea and wanted to see if you could vote for it. The title is: Accepting human limits and Earth's limitations. You can read and vote for the idea by clicking on the following link:


The top 10 ideas are going to be presented to the Obama Administration on Inauguration Day and will be supported by a national lobbying campaign run by Change.org, MySpace, and more than a dozen leading nonprofits after the Inauguration. So each idea has a real chance at becoming policy.


Sincerely yours,


Steven Earl Salmony AWAREness Campaign on the Human Population, established 2001 http://sustainabilityscience.org/content.html?contentid=1176

Steven Earl Salmony    #15717
Chapel Hill    NC USA     Posted: Monday, December 8, 2008 at 6:59:0 CST (GMT -6:00)


I find it irresistible not to at least take a moment to wonder aloud about what Galileo is doing tonight. My hope would be that the great man is resting in peace and that his head is not spinning in his grave. How, now, can Galileo possibly find peace when so many top-rank scientists refuse to speak out clearly, loudly and often regarding whatsoever they believe to be true about the distinctly human-induced, global predicament presented to the family of humanity in our time by certain unbridled "overgrowth" activities of the human species from which global challenges visibly issue now and loom ominously on the far horizon?

Where are the thousands of scientists who have a responsibility to stand up with those who developed virtual mountains of good scientific research regarding overconsumption, overproduction and overpopulation activities of the human species that are now overspreading and threatening to engulf the Earth.

Perhaps there is something in the great and everlasting work of many silent scientists that will give Galileo a moment of peace in our time.

What would the world we inhabit look like if scientists like Galileo adopted a code of silence, speaking only about scientific evidence which was politically convenient, economically expedient, religiously condoned and socially correct?

Nathan    #15716
Edmonton    AB Canada     Posted: Sunday, December 7, 2008 at 16:24:0 CST (GMT -6:00)

Barry: About your calculations - lol!

zot lynn: About the most intelligent life form - I think that perception among humans that humans are the most intelligent life form is based on a simple fallacy, i.e. we test other animals for signs of human intelligence, and of course we get the predictable result - what would be better at human intelligence than a human? Non-human life forms must (of course) exhibit non-human, or alien intelligence, and I doubt that even the most imaginative among us could begin to guess at what forms of intelligence actually exist right here on earth. Kinda exciting to think about.

I think it's worth considering the hierarchy of intelligence of the Dagara of West Africa. Human beings are on the bottom. Why? Because humans are the most dependent on language in order to communicate. Animals are next to humans, because although they don't use formal language, they still use signals, gestures, (forms of representation) for communication. Plants are the most intelligent of all, because they use no representation, and so can interact with meaning directly.

Having said all that, I think it's hilarious and awesome that cetaceans might actually be more intelligent than humans in a couple of the dimensions of intelligence that humans (or takers anyway) most value, i.e. brain size and complexity, and sophisticated language.

Peace everyone, and I hope I don't come across as tiresome or preachy here, believe me, my wordiness is a function of my enthusiasm!


Steven Earl Salmony    #15715
Chapel Hill    NC USA     Posted: Saturday, December 6, 2008 at 6:26:0 CST (GMT -6:00)

Dear Friends,

The global, human-induced predicament visible in our time to the family of humanity makes one thing clear: people with eyes to see, ears to hear and no speech impediments have got to speak out loudly, clearly and often now. Silence, the greatest power the rich and powerful possess, cannot be allowed to prevail. The reckless way a few people with wealth and power maintain a "golden" silence, one that protects their greed, gluttony and hoarding, is dangerous and cannot longer be endured because a good enough future for our children and coming generations is being mortgaged and threatened by these leading elders in my not-so-great generation.

Regardless of whether or not other human beings choose to accept the "answers" to one question, I believe we must ask ourselves, "Can we teach one another to live within limits?"

It is necessary, I suppose, for human beings to recognize and affirm human limits


and Earth's limitations


To do otherwise and, by so doing, choose willfully and foolishly to ignore the practical requirements of biophysical reality runs the risk of putting life as we know it and our planetary home as a fit place for human habitation in peril, even in these early years of Century XXI.

Steven Earl Salmony AWAREness Campaign on The Human Population, established 2001 http://sustainabilityscience.org/content.html?contentid=1176

Barry Davies    #15714
Auckland    New Zealand     Posted: Friday, December 5, 2008 at 20:29:0 CST (GMT -6:00)


I remember that Ishmael spoke in terms of millions of years. So I hope the calculations I did recently may find a more friendly reception here than elsewhere.

To model growth in the economy, I compounded my 130,000 aussie dollars at various interest rates (with a 60 day compounding period) for several different times. The longest time was a billion years.

Of course the interest rate changes each 60 days, but, after any number of roll overs, I can look back and calculate an average rate that would produce the same result with no change in the rate at roll over.

To keep the amount of money from exploding to physically impossible amounts for the one billion year period, I found that the AVERAGE interest rate needed to be as small as about one millionth of a basis point.

I concluded that zero is the only average growth rate that is physically possible for the economy from now to EVERY point in the future.

Now, whenever I watch a science program about the life time of the sun - which has about 5 billion years left, the scientists always seem to presume that we will survive until then. And they speculate that we will be advanced enough to escape to another star.

Certainly, that civilization will structure its economy so that it has a zero average growth rate - probably over short periods. It would be an economy that works like our lungs - expanding and contracting effortlessly and painlessly.

On the other hand, what would it be like if our lungs worked like our economy? The pain of exhaling would be excruciating.

So why should we wait for our descendants to make the transformation? It certainly is a difficult problem. But, still, two DQ quotes come to my mind. (1) "We must continue doing more next year of what didn't work last year." And (2) "We must continue doing what we are doing even if it kills us."


Post Script: Actually, the longest time I calculated was 2.3 trillion years. That was the amount of time it took my money (at the interest rate of one millionth of a basis point) to grow to about 10^107 (1 with 107 zeros after it). This is approximately the maximum number of hydrogen atoms that could fit into a cube with an edge of 10 billion light years. This is what convinced me that even a millionth of a basis point would be too great a growth rate to last indefinitely. That's because those scientists said our universe will last much longer than 2.3 trillion years. But they still speculated we would still be here and escape to another universe when this one dies.

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