Thursday, December 9, 2010

Status Quo vs Wikileaks, Status Quo vs Common Good

The cause of recurring errors should be looked for in the system and not in the people, Deming said. Poverty is a recurring error (ok, this is mine).

He may have used different words, but his ideas were as clear as this. To get some context, you should understand Deming started pointing this out after Taylorism had already concluded that workers (many of whom were probably immigrants at the time who had trouble communicating in English) were stupid and needed to be told how to avoid errors and do a better job, and to be paid extra to work hard because.. -ironic mode on- of course, they were lazy too -ironic mode off/-.

Capitalism, suffers from the same basic belief. That we are essentially bad, as western religions teach as (you shouldn't have bitten that apple), and we need a carrot in front of our noses to push society forward. A system propelled by the dream of reaching the joys of excess, failing to see the problem of unlimited accumulation of wealth (ever saw a bank account overflow and drop even a penny onto others?..). The idea crumbles when confronted with the unmet basic needs of the many (“The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one”.. thank you Mr Spock).
And its stupidity (not Spoks, capitalism stupidity) seems unmatchable when confronted with some plain facts.
So when I read that the first private spacecraft, SpaceX's Falcon 9, has finally reached orbit, I cannot help to hear that voice in the back of my head that says: "So what?.. Haven't humanity already reached the moon?". Sure, by a capitalist system, that currently is suffering a bit.

There are some things that from my point of view should belong to humanity as a whole. For example, knowledge. Knowledge should be freely shared to allow humanity to move forward as a whole.
If we were able to reach the moon almost 50 years ago, imagine where we could be now if that knowledge would had been shared. Imagine how faster research to cure illnesses could move forward if there was full collaboration between lab researchers instead of the need of isolation to prevent the loss of an strategic advantage that could turn into profit.

The value of life clashes against consumerism, and yet we accept if. Or most of us do. And from inaction we support the status quo. And when common good collides with profits it hardly wins, because common good is not an objective of the system nor of the those in power.

On the other side no communist system has been able to escape from becoming some sort of dictatorship, just falling behind, or finishing in a combination of both, that just exploits its people almost as slaves (hello China). And more moderate socialist states seem mere puppets of a financial system that makes them roll over their alleged ideals.
Alternative ideas for better systems exist, but have not yet proven that they could work, nor that they could prevent the problem of becoming another form of dictatorship (or technocracy..).

And yet, under any of these systems, we tend to say nothing when faced by problems. Maybe because deep inside we believe we must also be partially guilty of that latest bust of the financial/economic bubble. Sometimes just turning into disbelief of the systems we live under.

So when the status quo, in this case democratic governments (please tell me who voted for a war against wikileaks?), forget about their high ideals of freedom, free speech and free press, to attack an organization that just doesn't play for their best interest because it can bring to light facts that can turn the masses against them, we can't allow ourselves to not say anything.
When we notice that governments worldwide seem to converge into increasingly policed states and human rights fall behind, we can't indulge ourselves with the luxury of inaction.

Please sign the Wikileaks petition.

To access Wikileaks just do a search in any search engine for "wikileaks mirror" or search for related articles.
Here you have one list (wikileaks has lost its domain and this page could be lost in the fire of the ongoing cyber war):

Friday, October 15, 2010

New Zeitgeist movie coming

The Zeitgeist movement and his global coordinator Peter Joseph, who was also the producer of the previous two Zeitgeist films, are preparing for the simultaneous release, in over 60 countries and in more than 20 languages, of a new movie/documentary called "Zeitgeist: Moving forward".
With a launch scheduled for early 2011 , this new movie/documentary promises to explore the controversial subject of the need to transition from the current global monetary socio-economic system to a resource based and scientifically-lead one (that probably Socrates would approve).
With a trailer that gives a preview of more emotionally engaging and thought provoking imagery that will string along with facts about current social problems and ideas on how to resolve them -in line with the Zeitgeist style-, this promises to be an interesting addition to the saga. And one that followers and those interested in a good documentary will certainly welcome.

Zeitgeist: Moving Forward | Official Trailer

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

For the people who live oblivious to the future

An excellent video from sociologist David Harley, that points out the problems with the current system based on profits from which our world suffers an endless sucession of crisis after crisis and growing inequality.

Don't miss it if you have 10 minutes to spare before you have to run after your next profit.. :p

David Harley - The Crises of Capitalism Animated

Monday, May 10, 2010

Memristors and the future of computing

A non-volatile, fast, cheap, low-consuming, long-lasting and highly-scalable memory.
Think about those conditions for a moment and you'll immediately understand that those would be the ideal features that a computer designer could dream of.
That, in a nutshell, is what memristors promise for the future of computers.
None of the memory devices used today in computers can combine all of those in a single device.
That's why computers today have at least a hard disk, non volatile, but slow (in relation); and a RAM memory, volatile, but faster and more expensive (in relation).
Add to that the possibility of in-memory processing an essentially you are describing a human brain. And guess what.. memristors could do just that.
So, what is a memristor?.. Essentially you can think of it as a resistance that can be set to a value, or state, and it stays that way, remembering it.. A resistance with memory. An essentially passive electronic component predicted by L. Chua many years ago.

If you want to know more about them and about some of the people who are making this a reality, spend some time watching this video:

Thursday, May 6, 2010

People die thanks to a new economic crisis

The inevitable succession of bubbles of economic growth followed by their implosion into crisis that the monetary and financial system produces (by its need of endless economic growth that is impossible to sustain in the long run without unlimited resources..) shows its bad side again killing 3, including a pregnant woman.

This has happened so many times.. remember the .com bubble?... the big depression in the US?.. the tequila effect?.. the Asia crisis?.. Argentina in 2001?..

How the hell can't we think of a better alternative?...

Do we really prefer to just condemn ourselves and our future to live with this failed system and suffer this again and again?

May be there could be better alternatives out there..

And the irony is that they will probably get "helped" by increasing their debt ! LOL

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Social Pathology, ZM and Collapse documentary

If you would like to learn about what effects the monetary system has on societies please don't miss this awesome presentation about Social Pathology from Peter Joseph of the ZM:

You may also be interested in seeing the "Collapse" documentary, that clearly explains how a monetary and financial system requires infinite growth, which is impossible in the long run even without considering that resources -are- finite. And that this creates an infinite succession of bubbles of growth followed by crisis, which in turn increase inequality and poverty, feeding the growing plutonomies:

And if you care to know more about the Zeitgeist movement read this excellent article on it:

Some key points:
  • "It takes a different value system if you wish to change the world"
  • "Communism is still just another system with banks and social stratification"
  • "Our present model of society cannot sustain itself"
  • "20% of the American population controls 85% of the money. Also mentioning that the Walton family (of Wal-Mart) owns $90 billion while the lower 40% of America own $95 billion."
  • "Resource preservation is equal to human survival, and all the social ideologies that currently exist are inadequate because they don't address resources as a part of their fundamental principals."
  • "Automated labor would be perfected on a mass scale, something frowned upon in capitalism because it is equated with job loss and unemployment. Fresco insists eliminating all mundane jobs that insult human capacity when they can instead be relegated to machines that will act more precisely and productively."
  • "As idealistic as this may sound, keep in mind that there is currently enough food to feed everyone in the world, but not enough money to pay for it. One billion people (one-sixth of the world) are starving, yet American's throw out approximately 40% of their purchased food."
  • "Fresco says that in a world where everything is supplied, the majority of today's crimes would be non-existent, as they are primarily related to obtaining money and property, or born of social inequality."
  • "In a monetary society, Joseph points out, obsolescence is encouraged, as the shorter lifespan a product has, the more profit it generates in the long-term. Excess waste is built into the system, which flourishes from disposability and inefficiency. In a monetary system, Joseph says, change, abundance, sustainability, and efficiency are the enemies of profit. He goes on to add, "Corporations are not in competition with other corporations but with progress itself."
Or check out some excellent art on the subject:

And don't forget the fact that the only motive that powers the monetary system is self-interest. And you cannot expect that to care for how our world ends up.
We cannot accept not thinking of better alternatives.

So the question becomes: Where's the 100th monkey? :)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Magnetic monopoles at room temperature

Magnets have two poles. One north and one south pole. Different poles attract each other, and equal poles repel each other. No matter how you cut a magnet, you always end up with two poles in each piece.
But scientists have longed theorized that magnetic monopoles (just a north or a south pole) should be possible, since in electricity, doing a parallel with electric charges, you can have for example a single negative charge, an electron, or a positive charge, a proton.
Some time ago scientists produced the first "monopole-like" nano structures at freezing temperatures.
Now scientists from London have created the first magnetic monopoles at room temperature.

You can read more about this on the related news page of the Imperial College of London.
Or watch a video from the scientists involved explaining it here.

Monday, March 29, 2010

The dark side of the iPad

Apple's iPad, soon to be released to the public, may be seen as the latest new toy everyone would love to play with at this moment. But, as the Kindle from Amazon, it paves the way to the definitive move away from the printed reading -a decaying business- and into the digital era for books, newspapers, magazines, etc.
If you consider for a second that this may make Apple one of the biggest channels of distribution for written content, as it happened with music with iTunes, you may start to see how a company that arbitrary decides what gets published or not could be not so great. If they are already pushing (or threatening?..) magazines to change their format if they want to get on the iPad, what would stop them from arbitrary (Steve Jobs way..) influencing tomorrow what news is distributed or what political books are included or not..
Many say that famous old add featuring Apple as a force for freedom against big brother has now very little to do with the current ways of the company..

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Curing aging

Longer life expectancy comes along with more aging related diseases. Extending quality of life and reaching for immortality is a dream that has been around since humans became aware of their own mortality.
Nobody sees death as a good thing. All adults start, eventually, to experience and suffer the effects of aging. But a frontal direct approach to finding "a cure" is not even consider as an option by most scientist that simply see this as an impossible task, or not as an actual problem (or resolvable problem).
But science is advancing at an increasing speed in this field, and although significant results have arguably not been reached yet, many things seem more possible now than ever before.
With this in mind, a gathering of great minds has been put together to accomplish just that, a full frontal attack on the problem with a team of interdisciplinary experts. Following the example of what was done to reach the goal of creating the first atomic bomb in project Manhattan.
The Manhattan Beach Project is the name of this new project, and the results from it are already very exciting.
See for example this presentation where a new technology that can turn back the clock of aging on individual cells is explained:

More information:

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Printing buildings

Turn the printer on. Click the print button. And you have a house.
Yeah, right.. I would say. We are not accustom to seeing 3d printers, nor any kind of printer that can't be placed over your desktop.
Well, this guy seems to think that is not such a crazy idea. Take a look at some of the pictures of his printer and you'll immediately see what I mean...

3d printing technology has great potential. From allowing astronauts to build safe buildings with little work, to empowering on demand on site fabrication of goods. And this is just an example of the things that could come out of it.

More about the artist:

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Z-day main event to be broadcast live from New York

Find it on the z-day page:

Or watch the live stream (around an hour to go before it starts) from right here:

Free Webcam Chat at Ustream

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Artificial photosynthesis to produce hydrogen

"The dream of filling your car's fuel tank with tap water" has probably been mentioned enough to become a cliche.. But this tech could, supposedly, produce hydrogen from water using a catalyst and sun light in a very cheap way.

As with many other promising technologies, we will have to wait and see if it pans out:

Friday, January 15, 2010

Veni, vidi, fodi. (I came, I saw, I dug)

Having never been built to survive Martian arctic winter (& the weight of all that CO2 ice), a signal is, alas, unlikely.
This is what the twitter MarsPhoenix page says, but still, next Monday the orbiter will pass over the Mars Phoenix lander and attempt to listen to any signal it may still be sending after all.

If that doesn't work it may send some radio signals to it around March to try to "wake it up".

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Vox populi: scientists are crap nowadays.. :(

After reading the following first comment under this article:
"Before men get too impressed with themselves, lead author Jennifer Hughes offers some words of caution: Just because the Y chromosome, which determines gender, is evolving at a speedy rate it doesn't necessarily mean men themselves are more evolved." can you argue with a scientific statement like that? Excuse me while I extricate my tongue from my cheek. And, "A few years ago some researchers even suggested the Y chromosome was shrinking so that in 50.000 years it would just disappear--and so would men." Once again, and as usual so called scientists can't keep their personal prejudices and political agenda from determining the result of their research. Just like the supposed mother of all mankind originating in Africa. You really can't believe a single word out of the mouth of scientists today. The same goes for AGW. Absolutely pathetic, the contagion of politics in science is a real sickness.

I was wondering...... Could the problem be that scientists just don't understand the scientific method?...

Talking with a friend that should fall in the scientist category I also often wonder.. how could opinion be raised above the scientific method by scientist?...

It seems to happen.. and result in negative reactions.

I still trust scientists in general, but they could definitely use some PR advice..

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Google's superphone made by htc is here to challenge the iPhone

Although it appeared on stage with a crappy sci-fi movie name, Google's Nexus One is already cracking the floor under Apple's iPhone ruling domain.
The first thing that Google got right is its integration with the web. If you are a web addict, like most people nowadays, and you would like to for example check your facebook while listening to pandora or blip, then you'll probably want a Nexus, because you just can't do that on the iPhone.
A second thing is it stylish look.
In contrast, the iPhone responsiveness is still better, it still responds faster. But that's something that will probably evolve in the new phone along with the possibilities Android brings. From listening to mp3 (and not just to private format apple owned music), capturing pictures with its 5 megapixels camera and tweeting them, following a 3d map, or writing a message or email using just your voice.. A lot of interesting stuff could come with it.
Although hopefully the next one will have a better name, and some more Google bleeding-edge-tech spice.