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Showing posts from November, 2013

To Save the World, with P2P to a post-capitalist society

Book by Michel Bauwens, published in Belgium:

Save the world
With P2P towards a post-capitalist society

From the back cover:
Our present society is based on the absurd idea that material resources are abundant and immaterial ideas are scare. We behave as if the planet is infinite and exploit the earth in a way that endangers survival of the human species. On the other hand, we are building artificial walls around human knowledge to prevent and impede sharing as much as possible.

The peer-to-peer model of Wikipedia (knowledge), Linux (software) and Wikipspeed (design), inspired by open source, wants to turn this logic on its head. According to Michel Bauwens, the sharing economy, P2P-networks, open source, crowd sourcing, fablabs, micro-factories, hackerpsaces, the makers’ movement, urban agriculture… all new phenomena forming patterns that lead us towards a post-capitalist society, in which the market will be subsumed to the logic of the commons.

Just as feudalism developed within the womb…

A New System of Values is being Born

How does deep social change and a phase transition from one system to another start? It starts with a cultural revolution. It starts with a new system of values being born, a “transvaluation”. The feudals and the Christians did not have the same values as the elite of the Roman Empire. If you were a member of the Roman Empire work was bad, it was for the slaves, but if you were a Christian monk work was good. You were supposed to work, you were creating God’s word on earth. So feudalism was not just a continuation of the Roman empire, it was a value revolution, of course it took something over but it was really another system. This new system of common production, the commons-based peer production, is not just a continuation of capitalism, it is not just a marginal rearrangement of the furniture, it is basically a revolution in values. For us openness, sharing and commons are the core of our value system. We are still entrepreneurs but we are a different type of entrepreneurs.

What do…

You Cannot Really Make Real High Quality Products that Last Long and are Sustainable Because You Would Lose the Competitive Game

You may not believe this when you hear me talking but I have been in business for over 30 years and you know how that works. If you are in business you spend half of your money making a good new product, innovating and then you spend the other half of the money making sure that your competitors are not going to copy it, making sure that your TV breaks down after 10 years so people buy new ones. The game is rigged. You cannot really make real high quality products that last long and are sustainable because you would lose the competitive game. - Michel Bauwens

Michel Bauwens on New Age

In other ways, New Age thinking was an heir to utopian socialism. Given the difficulty of changing society in radical ways at the macro level, people began to change their own lives by abandoning blind trust in the mechanistic approaches to the human body that were espoused by Western medicine; and by leaving aside the knowledge-stuffing, rote-learning style of education they were fed in order to treat children as whole persons. These changes have made the world unrecognizable from thirty years ago.

Whatever the negative features of the neoliberal age, many institutions have become more humane, more egalitarian, more respectful, and more attuned to the whole individual. People have changed, institutions have evolved, and many small-scale communal experiments have yielded valuable learning experiences even if they have failed to change the bigger picture.  At a time when the left was disintegrating and many social gains were undone, New Age thinking provided a banner under which milli…

Private Property Rights in Land Were the Beginning of Suburban Sprawl

As Bradford wrote: ‘‘And no man now thought he could live except he had catle and a great deale of ground to keep them all, all striving to increase their stocks. By which means they were scattered all over the bay quickly and the townes in which they lived compactly till now was left very thinne.’’ You might say that private property rights in land were the beginning of suburban sprawl. - David Bollier Private property rights in land just didn't destroy nature, they also destroyed our towns. The suburban house is nothing than a ridiculous farmers house on a small lot, where lawnmowers have replaced cattle and sheep to keep the grass short. A pathetic typology loved by most people, although it represents NOTHING. It's just a tragicomical and false "countryside-feeling", as well as a tragicomical and false "urban-feeling".

Read the whole article by David Bollier:
The Fateful Choice: The Pilgrims Assign Private Property Rights in Land

Flyer: The Representative Ingroup Democracy (RID) Model

Download the flyer in English language (pdf): Can bytes save the future? The money value delusion. Download the flyer in German language (pdf): Können Bytes die Zukunft retten? Die Geldwert-Täuschung. Is it possible to design a democratic, solidary and sustainable society, stabilised by human ingroup drivers? Excerpt: “In our book «The biological human being – individuals and societies in the light of evolution» (preliminary only in Norwegian) we suggest a model for a national and global ultimate democratic economy, which can handle and execute ownership on five levels (see figure to the right). It is both about curbing the bad sides and letting the good sides thrive. There are several prerequisites in order to stabilise such an organisation, of which three are most important: A political solution to sustainability must include democratic control over production and economy.Production must be for the purpose of sustainability, not profit.Civil salaries must include all and be decided dem…

Capitalism as the Second Revolution

I think that the second revolution in human productivity is capitalism because what capitalism does, at least in theory, is that it changes the primary motive from extrinsic negative motivation, fear (if I do not work I die) to a new game whose logic is: I am exchanging something for my benefit against another benefit. I sell my labour against a wage, I sell a product and I get money. This creates a huge leap in human productivity when we shift from a situation of negative extrinsic motivation, where basically you do not work if there is no coercion, to a situation where you work because you get a benefit. - Michel BauwensThe Third Revolution

Kjernen i miljøkatastrofen

Sjelden jeg får 13 likes og ingen dislikes. Kommentaren er litt satt på spissen, men essensen er klar.

Les artikkelen her. Unge kvinner på +/- 21 år er en ekstremt ettertraktet knapphetsvare blant klodens 3,5 milliarder menn. Vi rører her ved kjernen i miljøkatastrofen, det faktum at kvinner foretrekker RESSURSSTERKE og RESSURSRIKE menn. Ja, kvinner søker også snille menn, men uten ressurser kommer dette langt ned på lista, det ses heller på som en evt. bonus.

Vi har her milliarder av menn ivrig opptatt med å utpine klodens ressurser for slik å tiltrekke seg unge kvinner, i naturen symbolisert i atlaskgartnerfuglen (Se "Det biologiske mennesket" av Terje Bongard).

Hvem som egentlig har mest skyld i at vi er i ferd med å kverke oss selv, kvinner som ønsker menn med gods og gull, eller menn som sanker alt dette godset og gullet for å tiltrekke seg kvinner, er ikke godt å si.

Uansett, faktum er at uten kvinner i verden ville vi menn satt oss rett ned rundt bålet og fordrevet d…

Barn «støpes til kopier» og blir «statens barn» i barnehage

"Studerer jeg dagens familier der barna «settes bort» i barnehager eller til dagmammaer allerede fra ettårsalderen, er jeg ikke forundret over at de mangler tilhørighet og tilknytning. Min påstand er at familien er gått i oppløsning, og at barn og unge støpes til kopier av hverandre. Det unike hos det enkelte barn files bort, de mister sitt opphav, sin identitet og sin trygghet. Jens Bjørneboe beskriver dette på en god måte i boken Jonas. «Statens barn» er blitt en realitet, og barnehagen, skolen, skolefritidsordningen og psykiatrien har overtatt foreldrenes rolle." - Per Sandberg

“Damn the Masters’ Plan!”, by Wouter Vanstiphout

Strelka Talks. "Damn the Masters' Plan!" by Wouter Vanstiphout from Strelka Institute on Vimeo.
Read more about this talk at Archiframe.
Nikos Salingaros says about this video:
Here is an excellent video linking urbanicide to modernism. Wouter still likes the modernist aesthetic look, but he clearly analyzes its destructiveness. It’s what we have been saying all along, though nobody paid any attention! Maybe the time has finally come for a change?

A Zen View

A Buddhist monk lived high in the mountains, in a small stone house. Far, far in the distance was the ocean, visible and beautiful from the mountains. But it was not visible from the monk’s house itself, nor from the approach road to the house. However, in front of the house there stood a courtyard surrounded by a thick stone wall. As one came to the house, one passed through a gate into this court, and then diagonally across the court to the front door of the house. On the far side of the courtyard there was a slit in the wall, narrow and diagonal, cut through the thickness of the wall. As a person walked across the court, at one spot, where his position lined up with the slit in the wall, for an instant, he could see the ocean. And then he was past it once again, and went into the house.

What is it that happens in this courtyard? The view of the distant sea is so restrained that it stays alive forever. Who, that has ever seen that view, can ever forget it? Its power will never fade…

På tur i Øverbymarka en novemberdag

How to handle the person who talks too much – Validate and hear from others

A common complaint about meetings is that one or two people talk too much and dominate the conversation. Not only does this make others feel resentful and unfulfilled, it can be very unproductive and inefficient for the group as a whole. It’s unproductive because the best ideas may not have found room to be shared or because the group got diverted off topic, and it’s inefficient because the whole group spends time going over and over the same ground or serving the interests of a single person.

As a meeting facilitator or group leader, how can you fix this? Validate what the person is saying and then make it about wanting to hear from others.

Check out the video for an explanation and a little demonstration.

Det enestående ved Vestens sivilisasjon (The Uniqueness of Western Civilization)

Duchesne kvantificerer sin pointe ved at henvise til den mest omfattende kulturneutrale gennemgang af menneskehedens kreativitet, og her viser det sig, at 19 ud af 20 af alle tiders største naturforskere (én japaner) er europæere, og 97 % af alle nævneværdige videnskabelige bedrifter mellem år 800 f.Kr. og 1950 skyldes europæere (og nordamerikanere). Disse forskere har naturligvis ikke ageret i et vakuum, men i et kulturelt miljø, hvor selvstændig, original virksomhed blev opmuntret, ikke straffet. Buddhisme og taoisme anså målrettet menneskelig stræben som formålsløs, og muslimerne anså gud som ubundet af faste love og hans værk som utilgængeligt for menneskelig forståelse. Kun i kristendommen var intellektet en guds gave, som det nærmest var en forpligtelse at nyttiggøre (efter at grækerne havde givet grundlaget for individets rationelle autonomi). Men intellektet fik altså vel at mærke kun energi og retning takket være den ærekære aristokratiske krigermentalitet, som indoeuropæern…

That Answer is Faith

It’s not a minor point, nor one restricted to twentieth-century French intellectuals. Shatter the shared figurations and abstractions that provide a complex literate society with its basis for collective thought and action, and you’re left with a society in fragments, where biological drives and idiosyncratic personal agendas are the only motives left, and communication between divergent subcultures becomes impossible because there aren’t enough common meanings left to make that an option. The plunge into nihilism becomes almost impossible to avoid once abstraction runs into trouble on a collective scale, furthermore, because reflection is the automatic response to the failure of a society’s abstract representations of the cosmos.  As it becomes painfully clear that the beliefs of the civil religion central to a society’s age of reason no longer correspond to the world of everyday experience, the obvious next step is to reflect on what went wrong and why, and away you go.

Religion can…

My Work on BBC for the First Time!

The Recovery of a Shareable Basis for Life

In such a discussion, it is never quite enough to critique the failings of the mainstream approach, even if it is catastrophic. One has an obligation to provide a working alternative, which illustrates a proposed path to addressing the challenge. Once we stop favoring the machine aesthetic that produces giant abstract sculptures in place of buildings, then we can turn to nature, science, and common human values for new design tools. This is what those of us who are harshly critical of the current “business as usual” — like the authors — must also surely do.

So we work on new pattern language tools, new kinds of wikis, new strategies for making more walkable neighborhoods, and new types of buildings and places that learn from the successes of old ones. We believe that the problems we humans face today are largely of our own creation, and can be resolved by us too — IF we understand the structural nature of these challenges. But we also believe that it is long past time to surrender th…

Under the Strange Ideological Radicalism of Modernism

By contrast, think of enduring historical areas in London, Paris, or Rome, for example. There, two-millennia-old architecture has been repeatedly revived very successfully, and then endured over centuries: Romanesque, Renaissance, Georgian, Victorian, and Edwardian. These buildings, most already lasting usefully for over a century or more, are much loved and still used today — indeed, they comprise some of the most expensive and sought-after real estate in the world.But under the strange ideological radicalism of Modernism, we must never, ever, build such places again! Instead we are condemned to live in a world bereft of pattern, shorn of history and humanity, left only with cold industrial objects. We are promised that someone with sufficient skill (the genius architect) has somehow made them compositionally handsome, but that hope is not enough.

Methods of architectural design — especially those that revive or re-incorporate any motifs and geometric characteristics that might have b…

Modernism is All Mental Tinker-Toy Stuff, Meant to Function for a Short While, and Then be Gone

The modernist approach to design is crude, since it depends upon a dangerous premise: the spontaneous re-invention of architecture by genius designers. Forget evolved solutions to climate, cultural needs, materials, human scale, and other inviolable constraints. Gone is the slow accumulation of adaptive responses, the patient evolutionary correction that produces resilient, complex designs. Modernism is all mental tinker-toy stuff, meant to function for a short while, and then be gone. Here we have transient and wildly expensive consumerism at its worst, played with buildings and pieces of city. The products degrade, get dirty, show their age, and become hated. - Nikos A. Salingaros

Modernism is Not Simply One Style Among Many

There is a more serious reason to critique the continued use of architectural Modernism, and its “rococo” and “Neo-Modernist” variants, as suitable foundation for design in the 21st Century. That is because Modernism is not simply one style among many, but an expression of an elaborate discourse and practical methodology for the generation of environmental structure — and which makes a totalizing claim to its exclusive legitimacy. Modernism proposes itself as a universal form-generating discipline, allowing no alternatives. In turn, this methodology relies upon an equally elaborate theory of society, of technology, and of geometry. - Nikos A. Salingaros

Valget mellom IGD (InnGruppe-Demokratiet) eller katabolisk kollaps

En innledning til mitt essay "Kapitalist-modernismen: eit fatalt feilsteg etter vegen mot ein varig sivilisasjon"

Les essayet her:

Kapitalist-modernismen: eit fatalt feilsteg etter vegen mot ein varig sivilisasjon

På et vis er overskriften til dette innlegget feil, vi kan ikke velge mellom katabolisk kollaps og IGD, da katabolisk kollaps er uunngåelig. Katabolisk kollaps vil si en gradvis kollaps av vår industrielle sivilisasjon i løpet av de neste 100-300 år, med en tilsvarende nedgang i verdens befolkning, teknologisk utvikling etc. Begrepet forfektes i dag først og fremst av bloggeren John Michael Greer. I følge Greer har vi allerede entret vår sivilisasjons undergang, hvoretter vi går inn i en ny "mørk middelalder". Trolig vil det vare flere tusen år før menneskene igjen blir i stand til å danne en ny sivilisasjon, og en ny fossilbasert sivilisasjon som vår egen vil neppe igjen se dagens lys før om 100 millioner år, men da av andre intelligente vesener som har e…

Architecture in the Age of Austerity: Leon Krier

Hi Øyvind,

Many thanks for passing along these resources! Krier is a giant, it has been some time since I've engaged with his thinking, but I've very much enjoyed watching this provocative presentation. And it links up quite well with J.A. Arnfinsen's conversation with Nikos Salingaros at

In particular, I found it interesting to come into some of these lines of thinking after having wrapped up the past month of working on this exhibition in San Diego: Good to pull into these topics now that the dust has settled a bit.

All the best,
Joseph Redwood-Martinez

The Difference between Elemental and Object Oriented Design

Read the article this comment is saxed from here. Ornament is a characteristic of one of two broad categories of design. These categories are elemental and object oriented design.

Elemental architecture is composed of expressed components, arranged according to a convention and with a gravitational logic, and typically these components are human scaled. In classicism, for instance, the elements are the entablature, the column, the cornice, and so on. These elements are arranged with the visually heaviest at the base, the visually lighter above. Arguably, Art Deco is the last dominant instance of elementalism.

Ornament is a component of elemental architecture. It is important in highlighting elements, providing visual coherence and enhancing proportions, providing light and shade to surfaces.

Post war, architectural design has become object oriented. The building is regarded primarily as a three dimensional object, a singular or ‘sculptural’ form, intended to stand in isolation, or to…

Society is Yelling in Triumph, Utterly Convinced that the Road to Imminent Ruin Will Lead Them to Paradise on Earth

Most of the rising spiral of problems we face as the industrial age approaches its end could have been prevented with a little foresight and forbearance, and even now—when most of the opportunities to avoid a really messy future have long since gone whistling down the wind—there’s still much that could be done to mitigate the worst consequences of the decline and fall of the industrial age and pass on the best achievements of the last few centuries to our descendants. Of the things that could be done to make the future less miserable than it will otherwise be, though, very few are actually being done, and those have received what effort they have only because scattered individuals and small groups out on the fringes of contemporary industrial society are putting their own time and resources into the task.

Meanwhile the billions of dollars, the vast public relations campaigns, and the lavishly supplied and funded institutional networks that could do these same things on a much larger …

The Electronic Hallucinations that Count as Wealth Today

Vico barely mentioned economics in his book, but it’s a prime example: look at the way that wealth in a dark age society means land, grain, and lumps of gold, which get replaced first by coinage, then by paper money, then by various kinds of paper that can be exchanged for paper money, and eventually by the electronic hallucinations that count as wealth today. John Michael Greer

The Rhetoric of the Civil Religion of Progress Presupposes that Every Human Being Who Lived Before the Scientific Revolution was Basically Just Plain Stupid

Now of course the transition between ages of faith and ages of reason carries a heavy load of self-serving cant these days. The rhetoric of the civil religion of progress presupposes that every human being who lived before the scientific revolution was basically just plain stupid, since otherwise they would have gotten around to noticing centuries ago that modern atheism and scientific materialism are the only reasonable explanations of the cosmos. Thus a great deal of effort has been expended over the years on creative attempts to explain why nobody before 1650 or so realized that everything they believed about the cosmos was so obviously wrong. - John Michael Greer

9 Reasons Why Green Modernist Architecture is a Myth

Read more:
A Vision for Architecture as More Than the Sum of Its Parts
9 Reasons Why Green Modernist Architecture is a Myth We can now turn to debunk the recent claim by many practitioners, alluded to previously, that modernist architecture can actually be more sustainable.

True, many modernist “high tech” architects claim that their work represents the height of so-called “green building”. Gleaming new industrial icons of sustainability (enthusiastically and imperiously claimed to be so) are sprouting like mushrooms around the globe — in many cases replacing older traditional neighborhoods, or ecologically sensitive undeveloped areas. What is the actual evidence that they are more sustainable?

A new wave of post-occupancy evidence is demonstrating remarkably poor performance by many new sustainability icons — let alone several earlier generations of standard-issue modernist resource-guzzling buildings. The problems are not superficial, but go to the essential geometry of Modernism, …

Nozomi Hayase Summarizes "The Century of the Self"

The crisis of representation and the liberation of the self
An excerpt:

* The Empty Self and Representation As a New Authority

“How have the American people lost touch with reality? What made them so vulnerable to manipulation and political and media misinformation? No doubt the corporate media played a large role in the controlling of perception, yet there is something deeper at work. The root causes of the passivity and apathy of the populace can be better understood by looking into a particular configuration of self that has emerged in Western history.

In Constructing the Self, Constructing America, psychoanalyst Phillip Cushman analyzed how in the post-WWII United States, modern industrialization broke down the traditional social bonds and restructured the reality of community. Out of this, he argues, a specific configuration of self emerged. Cushman called it “the empty self” — “the bounded, masterful self” — and described how this empty self “has specific psychological boundarie…

Cap the Grid

by Robert E. King, originally published by Post Carbon Institute/Foundation for Deep Ecology | TODAY This essay comes from the book ENERGY: Overdevelopment and the Delusion of Endless Growth. Published by the Foundation for Deep Ecology in collaboration with Watershed Media and Post Carbon Institute. Download Cap the Grid Cap the Grid

A Must Read Article by Roger Boyd: Economic Growth: A Social Pathology

Read the whole essay:
Economic Growth: A Social Pathology(at Recilience) - Economic Growth: A Social Pathology(at Humanity's Test)
Some excerpts: The theoretical and epistemological bases of mainstream economics, of which GNP is an artefact, are challenged by attempts to integrate economic and ecological considerations. These see the economy as being an open system, embedded within the closed system which is earth. In this picture the economy is reliant upon ecological sources for inputs (e.g. raw materials, soil, plants and animals, oxygen), and ecological sinks for waste product outputs (e.g. nitrogen run-off into rivers, carbon dioxide into the air). Mainstream neo-classical economics does not factor in the measurement of such things, generally treating inputs as infinite or infinitely substitutable, and the impact of waste products as unquantifiable “externalities”. As long as the economy was not large in relation to the overall ecology, such shortcomings tended not to matte…

Consciousness as Dualism

While we are looking at things from this elevated philosophical perspective, it is worth noting that there seems to be rather a limited range of basic options for the nature of consciousness. You might, for example, believe that it is some sort of magical field, a soul, that comes as an addendum to the body, like a satnav machine in a car. This is the traditional ‘ghost in the machine’ of Cartesian dualism. It is, I would guess, how most people have thought of consciousness for centuries, and how many still do. In scientific circles, however, dualism has become immensely unpopular. The problem is that no one has ever seen this field. How is it generated? More importantly, how does it interact with the ‘thinking meat’ of the brain? We see no energy transfer. We can detect no soul. Michael Hanlon

Families Made Us Human!

The evolution of human culture can be explained, not by the size of our brains, but by the quality of our relationships.
Very interesting article relevant for the new InGroup-Democracy (IGD). Read the whole article here.

A few extracts:
The point of all this is that the evolution of the family played a huge role in creating a stable, secure environment for the birth of hominin information culture. These longer, safer childhoods must have also contributed to the growth of inner-subjective head space — no doubt leading to greater representational sophistication and eventually language. And the striking feature of this new social learning is that it becomes so flexible and open-ended. SEEKING, plus an information-rich safe environment, produces curiosity about all sorts of things, and both the curiosity and the products of skill can co-evolve via natural and cultural selection. Information-rich, safe environments are highly congenial for cognitive expansion. Thus we find that, by looking…

The Paired Myths of Inevitable Progress and Inevitable Apocalypse Have in Common that Both of them Serve as Excuses for Inaction

I’ve suggested in the past that one of the things the paired myths of inevitable progress and inevitable apocalypse have in common is that both of them serve as excuses for inaction. Claim that progress is certain to save us all, or claim that some catastrophe or other is certain to doom us all, and either way you have a great justification for staying on the sofa and doing nothing. I’ve come to think, though, that the two mythologies share more in common than that. It’s true that both represent a refusal of what Joseph Campbell called the “call to adventure,” the still small voice summoning each of us to rise up in an age of crisis and decay to become the seedbearers of an age not yet born, but both mythologies also pretend to offer an escape from life, in the full, messy, intensely real sense I’ve suggested above. John Michael Greer

Good Group Tip: Direction more important than pace

In principle, moving quickly often seems like a good idea but moving quickly in
the wrong direction simply gets you to the wrong place fast. Most groups have a
high need for quick achievement. We have all heard someone say, "Enough t
alk, let's just do something!" And we have all seen groups charge off quickly and with the wrong direction.

Practical Tip: Even when under pressure to accomplish something in a hurry, resist
the temptation to achieve a quick, although shabby, result. Quality group decisions,
like anything of quality, require upfront investment. Determine your objective before
springing into action. Spend some time planning. Read the directions. Check out
the map. As Bob Dylan says, "I know my song well before I start singing."
No matter how slowly you go, if you are headed in the right direction you might
eventually get there. - Craig Freshley

Lambda, et angstskrik

Next Buddha Will Be A Collective