Thursday, October 30, 2008

Homo Sapiens Clemens - Conscious Evolution

Besides homo sapiens, are there any un-domesticated species of plant or animal on earth that have a growing population? I'll bet not. Humanity has won the game of proliferation. We have been able to successfully compete with all other species for territory. We have practically eliminated predation on humans. We have made many other species subservient to us, and we have spread our species all over the globe and, occasionally, into space. Our biological instincts combined with our intellect and opposable thumbs have made us practically invincible. The only remaining enemies to the survival of humanity are the very instincts that brought us to the top in the first place.

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LowTech / High Science - The Future of Sustainable Technology

Western culture, as it has developed so far, has taken scientific discoveries and engineered the results into products and systems that are highly energy intensive and uneconomical to repair. We have all kinds of tools that are fun to use, until they break. Few people know how to fix them. The only option is to buy another one and use it until it breaks. I have a couple of stereo receivers, one at home and one at my shop. They were both built in the 1970’s and still work and sound great. The stereos that you can buy now are inexpensive but they only seem to last a few years. The same thing is true with my 35mm film camera. I bought it new in 1977. It still works great thirty years later. Unfortunately film is becoming obsolete. So I bought a digital camera. It lasted two years before it broke. Repair? It was cheaper to throw it away and buy another camera. What a waste. The technology that science and engineering is producing today is throwaway technology – obsolete after only a few years.

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Guru Trouble

I was recently researching what happened to a guy whose books I read back in the 70’s. Sort of a “where is he now?” kind of thing. Back then he went by Bubba Free John. He was a spiritual teacher that had many quite brilliant insights, in my opinion. Still, there was something not right. I couldn’t put my finger on it. As I said, the teachings were brilliant and useful. I never met him or joined an ashram or anything like that, probably because of that slight uneasiness, and because I wasn’t much of an ashram joiner anyway.
He is still alive and living on an ashram that covers an entire island in Fiji. He now goes by the name, Adi Da, and his “religion” is called Adidam.
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Steampunk Redesigns the Future

Zenzibar has added another category to its Alternative Culture Directory. Steampunk is an artistic and technological exploration of what the 21st century would look like from a late 19th century perspective. If Jules Verne had described a personal computer in his science fiction writings in the late 1800's, it would look like what the steampunks are creating now. Steampunk encompasses a range of creations from fabrication of fantasy contraptions based on steam-powered Victorian-era tecnology and style to modifying the appearance of 21st century appliances like computers and cars to reflect their vision of a future aesthetic that never happened. The steampunks go beyond merely reading and thinking about what the future would have been like if H.G. Wells designed it. They are building it themselves in their workshops and garages and displaying their works at such places as the Maker Faires and Burning Man.