Peter Joseph Lecture “Where are we going?”, Iowa 2009 – Transcript:
Peter Joseph – Lecture
Maharishi University of Management
November 15, 2009
“Where are we going?”
The title of this presentation is “Where Are We Going?” This is actually the second part in a two-part series. The first one was done in London, called “Where Are We Now?” which dealt with the financial system and other attributes you might be familiar with if you follow the work that I do with The Zeitgeist Movement which is the activist and communication arm of another organization called The Venus Project. More on these organisations as we go along.
Part 1: Evolutionary Baggage Roughly 10,000 years ago the human species stumbled into a new social paradigm which is now referred to as the “Neolithic Revolution”. During this time, it appears we began a transition from predominantly egalitarian societies consisting of hunters and gatherers to an agricultural revolution where deliberate cultivation of food replaced the more passive finding of food sources hence allowing for much more control over production.
At the same time, there also seems to be a major push in the advancement of what we call “technology” today. Stone tools were advancing which eventually set the trend for the Bronze Age which used the forging of more malleable copper. And then [came] the Iron Age which enabled more strength and so on. I think we know all these patterns. Since this period, we can look back and recognize a constantly increasing rate of technological development.
In fact, it appears to be an exponential increase. This graph here, made by Ray Kurzweil shows an exponential increase in the mass use of inventions specifically communication and computer technology. Next to it is another chart which shows a history of technological invention and the amazing rate of progress in general. I think it is safe to say that this evolution of technology and hence science itself has been and continues to be the fundamental catalyst for progress and change.
It is by far the primary factor driving the development of human civilization not only in the facilitation of achieving specific ends but also in the more subtle manifestation of our belief systems, philosophy frames of reference and essentially how we interpret the world around us. The scientific method itself is a form of technological tool and its application has continually advanced our understanding of the world around us, facilitating constant change. Unfortunately, cultural beliefs (beliefs that we all share traditions) are very rarely in tandem with the socially progressive nature of science and technology.
This is termed “culture lag”. This stems from social identifications with existing traditional values and established institutional practices. These emotional identifications and I apologize for this graphic, but I couldn’t resist. These emotional identifications are a source of comfort for us. In fact, I have an anecdote.
When I was coming here from the airport I saw the Amish. They evidently live near by and they were driving on the street. It was night time. What did they have? They had electric lights on their horse and buggy. I’m like “Hey! That’s cheating!” The thing is that it’s really difficult for any traditional establishment to really keep moving forward without eventually giving in to the beauty of the advancement of technology and what it can do for us.
As a classic example of this phenomenon which I’m sure many of you have heard before was when the Italian physicist/astronomer Galileo first presented evidence to the political institution of his time and region regarding the earth revolving around the sun. He was met with deep threat and deep opposition by the political religious establishment, for it was very much contrary to their religious texts and hence traditional identifications. In fact the Inquisition banned the reprinting of Galileo’s works for 76 years after his death.
The reality is, institutional establishments meaning institutions of both traditional codified thought and institutions with societal influence and power meaning philosophy dogmas on one hand and corporations and governments on the other each have a high propensity to engage in denial dishonesty and corruption to maintain self-preservation and self-perpetuation. The result is a continuous culture lag where social progress by way of incorporating new socially helpful scientific advancements is constantly inhibited. It is like walking through a brick wall as the established power orthodoxies continue to perpetuate themselves for their own interests and comforts.
To illustrate this phenomenon in a modern context let’s examine one of the oldest established orders still in use today the monetary system. When I say the monetary system, I don’t mean native monetary policy interest rates, the fractional reserve policy central banks or any other component attribute. I refer to the absolute foundation of the concept being a system of incentive, aquisition, and exchange. So first, let’s ask the most fundamental question. Why did we invent money? Contrary to the attitudes of most of the world’s population today money is not a natural resource nor does it represent resources.
Money is actually a social convention for managing scarcity and rewarding creation. If a person grows a food product on a plot of land that product is given a value: 1) Based on how scarce the product is in the region hence the level of demand versus supply. 2) Along with the amount of labor and time spent to produce that product. Generally speaking, if a product is rare in this society then its value is raised. If the skill set needed by a person to cultivate that product is also rare in the community, then the value is increased as well.
This is the basic theory of value, which you’ll hear in Economics 101. As innocuous as this may seem on the surface let’s now consider some of the unspoken negative retroactions of this system; namely, the profit mechanism and its relationship to establishment preservation. Very simply, problems and scarcity equals profit. Socially negative attributes of society become positively rewarded ventures for industry. The more problems and scarcity there is the more money that can be made off of attempts at solutions.
The more efficiency created in society the less opportunities for monetary acquisition. Think about this. In other words and this might sound rather pessimistic and abrupt but there is very little intrinsic reward, and hence motivation to solve any currently profitable problem in existence. The very nature of monetary reinforcement condones the perpetuation of problems. For example, energy is the corner stone of our society.
You would think that scarce and depleted oil supplies which is a common speculation at this point in time, “peak oil” would be a dire concern, given our current social dependence posing nothing but negative connotations. No, not in the short term. There is nothing the oil companies want more than consistant scarcity. The 2007/2008 speculative bubble in oil which shut down schools school buses and caused immense hardship for the lower classes for both home heating and transportation, is a classic example.
If oil companies know that they can make more money by having their items scarce, the propensity to deliberately limit production and disregard social concern or simply be dishonest outright about available resources is very high. The same goes, unfortunately, for every other socially dire problem such as environmental pollution. The more polluted our water tables and taps become the more industry can compensate by offering profitable solutions.
This creates a perverse reinforcement of indifference to environmental concern by industry for the more damage there is, the more money that can be made. It is simply how the game is set up. And the psychological ramifications are sick and profound. Let’s consider the medical industry which should be one of the most altruistic and progressive institutions we have as our quality of life often depends on it. However, we need to realize the simple reality that the medical establishment with its millions of employees thrives off of the sickness of the population. The more problems solved in the realm of disease the less money that can be generated. For example, [there’s] the cancer industry.
This is a massive, multi-billion dollar a year industry a trillion dollar industry with a very large number of people in employment. Suppose for a moment, hypothetically, that a cure for all cancers was somehow achieved, and the method of treatment was simple and easy. In other words, there was no longer a way to make all this money off of the illness by the medical establishment. Do you realize what would happen to the economy to the medical institutions, if that particular problem was actually given a viable solution? And, when you realize that, do you really think that the intent is to cure this illness? It’s something to think about. And it would also lay off tens of thousands of people. I mean, keep in mind it’s an establishment.
The moment you have employees and everything and even if you’re working initially for an altruistic cause the moment you’re in the position of supporting a group and the group relying on the institution suddenly, motivations change. As another example, what if a company made a car that could last 80 years without service and also runs without the need for perpetual refueling through battery technology?
The after-market value of that car would be virtually zero and billions of dollars would be lost due to the now obsolete consumer oil and auto service market industries. I’m sure many of you know that we have the technology now to create electric cars that can go 80 mph for a thousand miles on one charge. You might also know as a case in point that the White House during the Bush administration which was, in fact, the oil cartel in power made sure their corporate constituents in the oil industry were safeguarded against this new reality by helping to just get rid of the idea itself, squashing it. In fact, there is no reason why every single car sold could not be electric right now.
They aren’t because social progress and human well-being is always second to monetary gain. I’ll say that again. Social progress and human well-being is always second to monetary gain. Also, if people cannot make money off of solving social problems they simply will not be done. Take a look at the horrid, dire destitution in Africa or simply the rampant and growing homelessness across the world. I think George Carlin actually put it best. “Have you ever noticed that the only metaphor we have in our public discourse for solving problems is to declare war on it? We have the war on crime, the war on cancer, the war on drugs. But did you ever notice that we have no war on homelessness? You know why?
Because there’s no money in that problem. No money to be made off of the homeless. If you can find a solution to homelessness where the corporations and politicians can make a few million dollars each you will see the streets of America begin to clear up pretty damn quick!” Most when they think about these kinds of things the word “corruption” comes to mind. Most feel that these are ethical issues. But, it is really corrupt for an energy establishment to want to limit supply, artificially so they can make money?
Is it really corrupt for a company to seek indifferent self-preservation at the expense of social progress? Actually no, it isn’t. It is simply “business as usual”. And this is what I’m trying to point out. And you should expect nothing less than this tendency. The profit mechanism creates established orders which constitute the survival and wealth of large groups of people. The fact is, no matter how socially beneficial new advents may be they will be viewed in hostility if they threaten an established financially-driven institution meaning social progress can actually be a threat to the establishment. To put it into a sentence:
Abundance sustainability and efficiency are the enemies of profit. Progressive advancement in science and technology which can solve problems of inefficiency and scarcity once and for all are, in effect making the prior establishment’s servicing of those issues obsolete. Therefore, in a monetary system corporations are not just in competition with other corporations they are in competition with progress itself. That is why social change is so difficult within a monetary system. In other words, the established monetary system refuses free flowing change.
You really cannot have a social convention where money is made off of inefficiency and scarcity and expect a quick incorporation of new advents which can relieve those problems. I know I’m drilling this in, but most do not see this and I want to make sure it is perfectly clear. I don’t want to spend too much time on the monetary system because as I mentioned, it was the focus of a prior presentation. However, I would like to quickly point out two important issues. The first is the economic reality that the entire global economic system is based on what I call “cyclical consumption”. The only way the system can work is if money is perpetually circulating. Money must be continuously transferred from one party to another in order to sustain the so-called “economic growth”.
This is done through constant or cyclical consumption by virtually everyone in society. Jobs are entirely contingent upon demand for production in some form. If there was no demand for goods and services then there would be no demand for labor and financial circulation would hence stop. What this translates into again is that inefficiency equals profit. The entire system demands problems for it to work. This is not only paralyzing as we have discussed but it also creates outrageous amounts of resource waste irrelevancy and extremity.
The second point I would like to make on this issue, which is much more broad has to do with the holistic nature of the monetary game in historical practice and the fundamental intent. All societies today, whether termed capitalist or socialist or even communist are fundamentally based on money. Money is the enabler of possibility within the system itself. Free market capitalism as it is often called is now the dominant economic religion of the day. I say religion, because when it comes to the cultural perception of this methodology, few today seem to have the ability to even ponder any other options for social operation.
They are fully indoctrinated. The free market in practice can be defined as: A market in which supply and demand are unregulated except by a country’s competition policy and rights and physical and intellectual property are upheld. You’ll notice it says “Unregulated, except by the country’s competition policy.” In other words, there is no such thing as a pure free market. I know most of us know this, but I want to make the point for nor could there ever be such a thing as a pure free market without the system despotically self-destructing beyond repair. Why? Because the basis of the free market pursuit meaning the self-interest based pursuit and strategic acquisition of market share (the gaming strategy) can only lead to monopolies and cartels.
That is the basis of the entire motivation and it’s funny how economists today will deny that up and down. For example, let’s say I want to open an electronics store in a relatively small town. Say here in Fairfield, Iowa and at that time there are three other stores in this same area and therefore, I have to compete with them. As time moves forward, I work to streamline my competitive strategies and reduce overhead in such a way that my store becomes the dominant most affordable distributor of a certain set of items.
And everyone in the town flocks to my store, over the others, for such items. Due to this, two of the other three stores go out of business and leave town. So at that point it’s just my store and the other competitor in the region: dual competition. Since my profits have been so good, I make an executive decision. I decide to attempt to acquire or buy the other competing store in town. Seems reasonable, right?
Acquisitions happen all the time. And they agree. So I purchase that store put my logo on it and boom! I have a regional monopoly. Likewise, let’s assume I didn’t purchase the other store but rather just become friends and in turn partners with them and we figure out a way to work together and flourish in a non-competitive way. Seems logical, right? Well, guess what? Now I have a cartel. In other words, business is based, in part, on a gaming strategy to win market share and hence profit; therefore, it is a natural gravitation to seek dominance in your sector or industry and the highest level is monopoly and cartel.
It is a natural progression of the free market system to become as dominant and powerful as possible but it doesn’t stop there. And I’m sure most in this room understand the practice of congressional lobbying by corporations considered absolutely normal. What is financial lobbying? Lobbying is the prostitution of the state to grant further powers or positions of ease to corporate industries. In other words, if you pay off a few congressmen to support your company’s agenda, then you have further secured your position economically. The same thing goes for campaign contributions.
Now people say that’s corruption. No, it’s not. It’s the free market at work. What else do you expect? There is no such thing as an objective government in a monetary system. It is impossible. The whole society is based on money and income, so why do you think any lines would ever be drawn and respected?
We see this BS ethic argument all day long, and guess what it has never worked, it never will work. Influence and hence corruption is a natural by-product of our system. It should be expected. In fact, let’s take this train of thought even further. Throughout history there has been one empire after another each working to secure global land and resource domination. The central reason for war is for resources profit, empire power and trade monopolies. Governments are fundamentally no different in function than corporations when it comes to self-interest. The United States’ invasion of Iraq could be considered a hostile corporate take-over in effect for even the most naive individuals today know it had nothing to do with weapons, freedom or democracy for the people.
I don’t even want to belabor that issue for it’s just considered passe to even talk about it. It’s not even in style. We’re so used to this level of corruption that we just look the other way these days. However, I do want to clearly point out what war really has to do with, if you have any inhibitions. It is for the conquering of resources, industrial profit and empire expansion fundamentally. In the words of two-time Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Major General Smedley D. Butler
“War is a racket. ut always has been. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. And it is the only one where the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives.” It’s important to point out that today the pursuit of profit in the market system is generating a different form of empire a corporate empire based on merging economies through trade agreements. It’s called “Globalisation”. I think Jim Garrison, President of the State of the World Forum put it quite succinctly “Taken cumulatively, the integration of the world as a whole particularly in terms of economic globalization and the mythic qualities of “free market” capitalism represents a veritable “empire” in its own right. Few have been able to escape the “structural adjustments” and “conditionalities” of the World Bank, the International
Monetary Fund or the arbitrations of the World Trade Organization those international financial institutions that, however inadequate still determine what economic globalization means. Such is the power of globalization that within our lifetime we are likely to see the integration, even if unevenly of all national economies in the world into a single global free market system.” Hence empire. To put it gesturally, the propensity of this system is to create world monopoly. That is the gestural, natural gravitation of the methodology and philosophy of the free market ideology itself.
That is what the psychology sets up. I hope that’s clear. It is based on strategic domination and I think it’s time people finally awakened to this. It isn’t based on freedom. It’s based on conquering. The core basis of social functionality in our society is inherently despotic. There is no such thing as an ethical transaction. Ethics and competition are incompatible for the basis of seeking differential advantage for personal gain is wholly unethical in any civilization leading perpetually to conflict and exploitation. Dishonesty is the mode of operation at every level whether you realize it or not.
And frankly how anyone in their right mind could ever rationalize that a balanced, peaceful, sustainable and productive world could ever come out of open competition, hence open warfare from individuals competing against each other for work to corporations battling against each other for market share to governments competing against each other for global economic dominance is beyond me. We live in a paralizing, detachment-promoting self-serving system which generates parasites and prostitutes. Each one of us, due to the very nature of the monetary game is forced into a position of submission either to an employer or a client. The basic goal is monetary acquisition not service to social progress.
We leech and exploit. Sadly, the only cooperation you’ll tend to find these days or actually ever since the system was created was when there was a common enemy meaning when a particular group works to fight against another. hence one corporation working to fight against another corporation. Advantage is dishonesty. I hope everyone thoroughly understands that. Moving on I would like to address some other culturally common attributes of modern society both institutional and ideological which are rarely thought about in a holistic sense.
This is going to be a little bit abstract, but I would like to show how the integrity of these current conventions are either outdated polluted by the monetary system and self-interest or are simply ignoring the root causes of the problems which these conventions are attempting to solve.
The 4 points are: 1) Laws, rights and paper proclamations 2) Security 3) Government as we know it today, and 4) Activism and so-called “ethics” Laws, rights and paper proclamations In society today, government attempts to control human behavior by way of threat in the form of laws. Little regard is given to the reasoning behind causes for these so-called criminal acts or socially offensive acts. If a person is arrested for stealing, very little regard is given to the environmental conditions that generated the interest to steal to begin with, the motivation.
Is a mother who steals food to feed her starving family a criminal? No, she’s simply doing what she has to do. When we reflect on this reality, that we as human beings are really nothing more and nothing less than animals and operate with the same basic behavioral reinforcement (sorry for this graphic, but I had to use it to make the comparison) the fact is we operate with the same basic behavioral reinforcements survival tendencies as most other species.
We see then that it is illogical and irresponsable to consider any human behavior outside of the realm of the social condition. In the early 90’s, a study was done called “The Merva Fowles” study which found that a 1% rise in unemployment in major US cities resulted in a relatively substantial increase in crime. This shows how so-called “criminal” behavior is directly related to the socio-economic circumstances. It should be no surprise that the great majority of people in prisons come from deprived socio-economic positions. Society is producing the behavior particularly scarcity, if you pay attention.
And year after year, the number of people in prison rises along with the number of laws on the books. Therefore, obviously something isn’t working right. Something is not working. Something is wrong. If society was progressively managed with the intent of collective human well-being then we should be seeing a constant decrease in crime and prison populations, a decrease in laws. In fact, the goal of a productive, stabilizing society would be the intent to eliminate the need for prisons, police and everything we have just mentioned altogether.
I think Lisa Simpson put it best. – And that’s the drunk tank. And this is Mommy’s desk. – Mom, I know your intentions are good but aren’t the police a protective force that maintains the status quo for the wealthy elite? Don’t you think we ought to attack the roots of social problems instead of jamming people into overcrowded prisons? -Look Lisa! It’s McGriff, the crime dog! This brings us to the concept of security now. Since 9/11, security measures across the world have gone berserk with irrationality. The public at large, especially in America, is now neurotically obsessed with security.
The solution to violent human behavior is evidently more police more cameras and less freedom and liberty. I hate to break it to everybody but if somebody really wants to kill you or blow up an airplane, blow up a shopping mall or do anything they want, essentially in the form of violence release toxic gas in the subway they will find a way to do it. No form of security will ever stop that therefore the logic is wrong. It is impossible, and the whole basis of security as we know it is the absolute reverse of the application that’s required to solve these types of issues.
True security comes from solving social problems addressing the environment, the reasons for the neuroses and distortion of the human being. This is a chart covering the last 200 years. The Y-axis shows life expectancy and the X-axis shows income adjusted for inflation. Each bubble is a country. The size shows the population and the color shows the continent. The key is in the top right-hand corner. You will notice that in 1800, life expectancy was under 40 years of age in all countries and income was less than $3000.
Now, what I want you to pay attention to is the trend of disparity particularly in income as we view this chart through time. You will notice that life expectancy has basically risen along with wealth in general, but what do we see mostly? What do we see, what stands out? We see a tremendous and growing economic disparity. Africa, for example, is just left in the dust by the Western nations. We went from this, to this. Economic disparity is obviously growing. Now why am I bringing this up? There is some research that’s been done by a few parties.
One being Richard Wilkinson, of the University of Nottingham in the UK which has shown a strong correlation between crime and income inequality not absolute income, but inequality itself. It’s psychological. For example, in the United States which has the largest income gap in the world. (Of course, we’re also the wealthiest in the world.) I wonder why we have the largest prison population in the world. Why is there so much distortion? It’s possibly because of this tremendous, economic stratification. Here is the chart showing the growing disparity divided into the upper and lower classes. While the lower classes stay poor on average the gap between them and the upper middle classes continues to grow extensively.
I believe this is the basic source of the increase in crime across this planet holistically. There seems to be a correlation between growing disparity and prison population and hence crime. The more income inequality, the more crime. It comes from what some people refer to as “psycho-social stress”. Coming back to my original point, when it comes to the concept of security, I think one of the most important things we should be considering is reducing the global income gap. In other words, I think that the more this inequality in the world grows the more world conflicts that will arise on multiple levels.
Now we’re going to move on to paper proclamations. Today we use paper proclamations, as we call them to denote a person’s so-called rights. And just like laws, they are culturally biased artificial concoctions, which attempt to solve reoccurring problems by simply declaring something with words on paper usually. Rights, infact, have been invented to protect ourselves from the negative by-products of the social system itself. And once again, instead of seeking a true solution to a problem we invent these patches by way of paper proclamations in an attempt to resolve them.
This does not work. It has never worked. There is really no such thing as an unalienable right outside of the culture in which it is assumed. We are making this up! Therefore, liberties need to be inherent in a social system by design not alluded to ambiguously on paper. As a classic example of this, let’s take the notion of divine law the famed Ten Commandments: “Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt not murder”. Why? These are surface notion cop-outs created by men who didn’t have any real information who did not understand that we live in a cause-and-effect reality. Telling people this does virtually nothing, as history has proven. Morality is an empty idea that has no empirical referent.
An intelligent commandment would be something like: “Thou shalt continually re-orient thyself and society to reduce reactionary propensities that lead to aberrated consequences such as stealing and murder.” (The gospel of Peter Joseph) [applause] The same surface irrelevancy applies to any Constitution or Bill of Rights of any country on this planet. In the Bill of Rights of the United States, there is an attempt to secure certain freedoms and protections by way again of mere text on paper.
Now, while I understand the value of this document and the temporal brilliance of it in the context of the period of its creation that does not excuse the fact that it is a product of social inefficiency and nothing more. In other words, declarations of laws and rights are actually an acknowledgment of failures of the social design. There are many people today in the so-called “Patriot” and “Liberty” movements. I know many people like this. I’m a fan of many people who are proponents of this, in part, because I think there’s a place for it. But this document is not the “savior” of America. Some people seem to believe that the United States had some magical position at one point or another perhaps where we slaughtered all the Mexicans and Indians to steal the land or the fact that when the Constitution was written, only white property owning males which was about 10% of the whole population of the nation, could actually vote.
This is government by the people? Moving on. Let me demonstrate what I’m talking about here. The Fourth Amendment details how people have “Protection from unreasonable searches and seizures”. This statement is basically qualified by the termed notion of “probable cause” in the amendment. What is “probable cause”? The only way to figure this out is to find a legal working definition that is culturally accepted.
A common definiton of probable cause in this context is: A reasonable belief that a person has committed a crime. So the qualifier is now reasonable, right? Reasonable: This is often defined as “fair” not excessive or extreme. Then I guess we have to move on to the word “excessive”. You see my point, I hope. It is meaningless semantically, therefore it cannot be trusted. None of them can. In other words, legal definitions are not empirical. All the amendments are subject to the whims of interpretation which is why they are abused by the police Homeland Security and the IRS on a daily basis.
Therefore, back to my original point: There is no such thing as rights as the reference can be altered at will. The Fourth Amendment is an attempt to protect people from State power abuse. That is clear. But it avoids the real issue, and that is: Why would the state have an interest to search and seize to begin with? How do you remove the mechanisms that generate such behavior? We need to focus on the real cause. To be clear again, I’m not saying that laws, rights are not needed at this time. They certainly are but we need to hone our focus to resolving the actual problem.
And by the way, for all the nationalists out there I am not attacking the US Constitution once again. However, it is not the answer and it’s naive to think that this document really has that much relevance. Again, I am a fan of people like Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich. I believe there’s a place for the work that they do but it’s not the answer. The history of America is just like the history of any other country on this planet. It is a history of deception, fraud and corruption. There is nothing to return to for the integrity was never there to begin with. We must move forward, not backwards.
And this brings us to government. All governments in existence today, whether you recognize it or not are institutional dictatorships. They are publicly sanctioned power monopolies and democracy as it is practiced today is simply a game that is played. I’m sorry, but it’s simply a game that’s played to give the public the illusion of control. [applause] People think they have choice in our current system because they can press a button on a voting machine and put a pre-selected person into power. However, once that person is in power the public then has virtually no say. Did you vote for the bank bailout? [No] Did you vote for the cabinet of a new president? Did you vote for the tax increase? Do you vote for where highways, power grids or any infrastructure goes? Did you vote for the wars in Afganistan and Iraq? [No, we didn’t] So where is your real participation?
In Part Three, we will discuss how a true democracy actually would work and it’s not the election of people. It’s the election of ideas. We have to understand the government as we know it today is not in place for the well-being of the public but rather for the perpetuation of their establishment and their power just like every other institution within a monetary system. Government is a monetary invention for the sake of economic and social control. Its methods are based on self-preservation, first and foremost.
All the government can really do is create laws to compensate for an inherent lack of integrity in the social order. It’s also worth pointing out that most politicians are lawyers. Most players in goverment come from the world of law. And in reality they have absolutely no real education or understanding about the true foundation of social operation. Can a lawyer come fix your home heating system? Can a lawyer go and organize a power grid for a particular area? No. Lawyers and hence polititians, are simply not trained in any tangible way to solve real problems. They’re trained to solve artificial, nonsensical problems that are culminated by-products of our nonsensical society. In other words, society is in fact a technical creation. I’ll say that again.
Society is a technical creation consisting of infrastructure, resources and management. Society is a technological construct. Republican, Democrat, it doesn’t mean a damn thing. If you really want to see a society that works you have to begin to realize that science and technology is the overarching element that governs the entire mechanism of social organization and therefore, those who study those attributes should be given not control, but should be given the forefront to participation.
Forefront of influence to say “We can feed and clothe all the impoverished people in Africa and in the third world”. We can technically do it”. But unfortunately they go to their corporate bureaucracy, and hence, government bureaucracy and the governments say “We don’t have the money for that.” The question has never been “Do we have the money?” The question has always been “Do we have the resources and technological know-how?”
Now, the final issue I would like to cover in this section has to do with activism and the traditional patterns of activism we have seen historically across the world. In the world today, there are countless well-intentioned people and activist organizations making a lot of noise about the rampant problems and injustices in our world. Yet unfortunately, as you tend to find very few offer any real, tangible long-term solutions. Those that do offer solutions, however almost universally frame those solutions within the pre-existing social establishment. Their tactics tend to involve new legislation, and of course they always demand ethics and accountability. Very little regard is given to the root structure of our system. Battling and protesting corrupt corporate organizations and seeking money from society in an attempt to curtail such trends is a typical path that is taken. It is a very respectable path in general.
However, it is not going to create long-term change. I’m nothing but pleased to see something like this but does that really do anything? When it comes to social corruption, poverty, environmental disregard human exploitation and most personal and social turmoil in the world today the great realization is that most of these problems are not the result of a particular company some nefarious elite group or some government legislation. These are symptoms of the foundational problem.
The real issue is human behavior and human behavior is largely created and reinforced by the social patterns required for survival as necessitated by the social system of that period in time. We are products of our society, and the fact of the matter is it is the very foundation of our socio-economic system and hence our environmental condition which has created the sick cultural climate you see around you.
Very rarely do any activist organizations today consider the possibility that maybe it is the social system itself that is the problem. The bottom line is that we can spend the rest of our existences attempting to stomp on the ants that mysteriously wander out from underneath our refrigerator, setting traps, or laws or we can get rid of the spoiled food behind it which is causing the infestation to begin with. Part 2: Project Earth There is a concept in electrical engineering called the signal to noise ratio which has to do with the ratio of a signal power to a noise power which corrupts the signal.
It’s like listening the music on the radio on a car which is receiving a great deal of interference and the music is becoming clouded and distorted. I think this is a great metaphor for our current social practices the signal being the foundational aspects of importance and relevance to a given field with the noise being the outdated traditionalized, inefficient methods which cloud, confuse, delay and distort our intents and abilities. I want everyone to forget pretty much everything I’ve just talked about.
Take a massive step back and consider a very simple thought exercise that I want to walk through in regard to how we conduct our operations on this planet. Let’s assume for a moment that we are interstellar travelers originating from Earth, as it is known today; and in our journey we stumble upon, amazingly enough an exact replica of our planet. The only difference between the current state of this new planet versus our own is that there are no human beings. Human evolution has not occurred. Hence, there is no establishment orders, no social arrogance no money of course, nothing to limit our possibility.
Given the advanced scientific knowledge we have today how would we go about redesigning our social infrastructure from the ground up with the goal to create nothing less than the most efficient conscientious and sustainable society as possible. What is the first step? A full survey of Earth’s natural resources would make sense, correct? I think it would be illogical to begin any other way. We must first understand the full range and capacity of the earthly components in order to derive inference as to our capabilities.
Natural resources come in many classifications: just biotic, meaning those obtained from the biosphere such as forests, maritime organisms, mineral fuels and then there is abiotic, such as arable land, water gold, iron ore, and other such raw materials. There are many natural resources to be considered, of course but for the sake of simplicity we’re going to consider just one area and this will serve as the prototype for all the others and this area is energy. Energy is the fuel of society, I think most people would agree.
Energy appears to be the lowest common denominator of modern civilization and it has been the basic facilitator of progress and the expansions of our standards of living so I think it’s a good place to begin. OK, so what do we do? We simply scan the Earth and analyze it listing all relevant energy locations and potentials. Of course, the potentials, to clarify a little bit is always going to be based on the current state of technology for harnessing. For example, solar energy today has a dramatic potential but it is still greatly underutilized as the technology has been inefficient so far but with the advent of nanotechnology we are seeing a possible exponential increase in this potential.
So it’s contingent upon the quality of our methods is my point. Also, I don’t want to spend much time on the issue of nanotechnology but if you research these trends as applied to solar radiation harnessing it becomes clear that solar energy alone in time could power the entire world a thousand times over. Unfortunately, you are not going to see this anytime soon. Why? Because it is too efficient for the market system and the absorption process would take many, many years if seriously pursued.
So, back to our original thought exercise. Once we have this raw data of energy sources we need to rate each source based on its renewability pollution output and everything that factors in to decide the degree of sustainability. Those sources that have the most negative retroactions are given the least priority of utilization, and by the way this is an arbitrary chart. Don’t take it too seriously obviously. For example, fossil fuels are mostly non-renewable and can pollute the environment.
Given the tremendous power of geothermal wave, wind, and solar combined I would say that there is absolutely no reason to even bother with fossil fuels at all. And to clarify this, I would like to run down these renewable mediums. According to a 2005 Stanford University study if 20% of the known potential of wind energy was harnessed it would power all the world’s needs. We already mentioned solar energy. The radiation hitting the Earth’s surface is about 10,000 times the planet’s usage, in fact. This issue comes down to technology, nanotechnology, as we denoted. Lesser known is tidal power.
As a regional example, in a recent study it has been found that 34% of all of the United Kingdom’s energy could come from tidal power alone. But more effectively, as far as the ocean, is wave power which has been found to have a global potential of 80,000 terawatt hours a year meaning 50% of the entire planet’s energy usage could come from tidal power alone. However, most effectively, is geothermal energy which, according to a recent MIT analysis, contains enough energy to meet the world’s needs for the next 4,000 years. In other words, energy is nothing but abundant on this planet and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
Back to our exercise. Once this data is established we compare the potentials to consumption and adjust accordingly. Fortunately, as we’ve just analyzed we do have more than enough energy to meet our needs, so we can eliminate the least efficient sources, such as oil and everything else and there we have our pool of supportive energy resources to utilize. Step 3: Distribution and Monitoring Energy distribution would be logically formulated based on technological possibility and proximity to sources. In other words, if we had wind energy utilized in Asia we’re not going to deliver that energy to Latin America.
Distribution parameters will be self-evident based on the current state of distribution technology and proximity practicality. Likewise, active resource monitoring done through earth sensors and computers, would allow for a constant awareness of the rate of use, the rate of depletion, the rate of renewal and any other parameter relevant to know in order to maintain, of course, a balanced load. If the scarcity of any resource is going to occur we can forecast this in advance through trend analysis and proper action to be taken to adjust accordingly. This idea is nothing new.
It’s used every day in our lives in detached ways such as the ink level notification on your personal printer connected to your home computer. Let’s review. What do we have so far? We have the locations of our energy resources. We have the output potentials and distribution qualifiers which are based on strategic use, technological harnessing and proximity. And finally, we have a system of active resource monitoring which reports the state of energy supply rates of usage and any other relevant trends. In other words, we’ve created a system a “system’s approach” to energy management on the planet. The system is comprised of real time data and statistics.
The process of unfolding is based not on a person or group’s opinion not on the whims of a corporation or government but on natural law and reason. In other words, once we establish the interest and goal that survival, and hence sustainability, is our goal as a species (which I hope everybody in this room agrees) then each parameter to consider in regard to resource management becomes completely self-evident. It is called arriving at decisions as opposed to making them which is a subjective act based on incomplete information and very often cultural biases. The planet is a holistic system with resources all over it.
Therefore, the efficiency of human society can only come from an integrated systems approach to the management of those resources and hence social processes. The planet demands it. The only government that exists is the planetary operations, is natural law. It is inherently negligent, illogical and irresponsible to function in a detached manner, as we require a holistic system. Using this energy model as our procedural example this systems approach could be applied to every other earthly resource and quantifier.
We survey, find potential, qualify for negative retroactions and apply modern technology to harness, distribute and monitor in the most logically-advanced holistic way possible. Naturally, a computer database management program would be the logical method to navigate these issues where all the attributes we have discussed are fed in with strategic computation applied and since the goal is holistic maximum efficiency the automation of adjustments also becomes very simple. For example, let’s say we have two geothermal power plants in the same region, each outputting in tandem the required amount of energy for that region.
One day there is a problem and the output of one plant drops by 30%. This would be seen by the monitoring system and the other power plant’s output would be automatically adjusted by 30%. It is reactive, just like the nervous system in your body, automatic. No reason to vote for it, no reason to debate it in Congress. It’s automatic because it’s self-evident. To summarize this approach: All planetary resources, from energy to minerals to maritime life are managed by a strategically active, statistical processes in a single global system which is programmed to adjust automatically to the changing environment.
That’s it. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m afraid there is no other way to achieve peak efficiency of our resource usage. It is a technical process. It’s also very simple, when you think about it even though these specifics of implementation would seem complex for most of us, who are untrained in systems engineering. So we have a global resource management monitoring system now utilizing programming and feedback to maintain what we call dynamic equilibrium and peak efficiency.
So how does the same logical systems approach to management apply in regard to seemingly more complex mediums of social operation such as the production of tangible goods for everyday human consumption? We have a clear picture of our pool of useful resources so the question then becomes “What do people need?” This is actually quite an elusive question. On one side of the spectrum you have the immutable necessities of life such us food, clean air, water and the like. While at the other extreme, we approach issues of vanity material tools, leisure goods and other issues which basically vary from region to region culture to culture and generation to generation.
This latter part, regarding value-based needs will be addressed somewhat later but for now we’re going to focus on the former: the basic necessities of life for all of us. Food and Water Naturally consumable water supplies or fresh water would be sourced as part of our initial global survey and regulated and monitored as we discussed. When it comes to food, the first to consider is agriculture and then hence, arable land. So we survey and locate all available arable land on the planet. Then we establish consumption statistics based on the population’s usage.
Now, obviously analysis would become much more complex than what I am denoting here because there are many things to consider such as the growth propensity for certain crops the methods used for cultivation the need to counter negative retroactions and many other fine points. However, once again, each one of these issues can be isolated recognized and quantified to one degree or another, systematically. I want to continue to address the process.
That’s the most important point. To extend this point, the conventions used for cultivation and preservation of food and water right now only takes us so far. This is an area where technology becomes critical in light of our growing population. In society today, food and water scarcity is massive in developing nations. Here is a projection done by the IRRC regarding water scarcity by 2025. In turn, as of now one billion people are starving on this planet according to the United Nations. It’s probably a lot more than that considering how the United Nations tends to whitewash such issues, if you pay attention. But nevertheless, it’s still insane and anyone who is paying attention knows that the problems of food scarcity and water scarcity are 100% economic.
The technical resolution of the problem can happen with the mere application of existing methods: desalinization and hydroponic agriculture. Technological advancements such as desalinization processes can make fresh water both from sea water and even brackish water sources. Using reverse osmosis along with other developing methods. This is yet another example of how technology is just as much a part of resource management as resources themselves. The idea that usable water is scarce is only true in relationship to the limited methods we are currently using compounded by the economic nonsense we have already mentioned. The same goes for hydroponics which is a method of growing plants using mineral nutrient solutions in water without soil.
In fact, we could theoretically grow food in the middle of the Sahara Desert with proper irrigation, by simply tapping down to the water table. I believe it’s about half a mile to a mile down, it might sound like a long way but again many things that seem extreme to us today become commonplace through time. By the way, I hate to sound negative but if the United Nations was truly concerned about the well-being of the third world if they really cared at all frankly they would be facilitating the building of desalinization plants along the coasts of every suffering nation to convert ocean water to consumable, usable water and then they would filter organic nutrients from the ocean itself into hydroponic greenhouses. That would solve the problem. The bottom line is that food, air and water are only as scarce as we decide they are If we choose to become intelligent and strategic with our production and preservation methods while taking full advantage of technology, there is no reason why we can’t provide for the Earth’s people many times over.
The starving children of the world today are not so because of a lack of available food and water It is their lack of purchasing power, the failure of their economies not true scarcity, which causes the needless deaths of millions a year. In the world today one person dies of hunger every second because of poverty. Back to our original exercise. These technological advances I’ve just spoken of, along with many others would be coupled in with traditional methods and thus, monitored and regulated in our systems approach as we have already expressed.
The point is that new efficiency-increasing technologies would be quickly incorporated into the system based on qualifiers. You will notice once again that choice becomes self-evident. As long as the integrity of our methods of evaluation which is the scientific method, is strictly followed coupled with the goal of maximum efficiency and sustainability the process of societal construction and organisation becomes almost entirely self-evident. We are arriving at decisions based on this simple goal of maximizing efficiency in whatever way we can.
And this pattern of thought, this commitment to the objective observation of natural processes and loyalty to the scientific methodology utilizing hypotheses and testing leads us to Part 3, with the introduction of an organization called The Venus Project [applause] Everything we’ve just talked about are the basic attributes of a social design called a Resource-Based Economy. This term was coined by industrial designer and social engineer Jacque Fresco, who is the director of The Venus Project which he runs with his associate Roxanne Meadows out of Venus, Florida. Mr. Fresco has been focusing on the concept of sustainability in culture for the past 70 years. He is 93 years old now. This is all he’s ever done and the majority of the things you’re seeing in this presentation come from his world view.
The Venus Project recognises that the Earth is, indeed, abundant with resources and that our outdated methods of rationing resources through monetary control are no longer relevant; and, in fact, very counter-productive to the efficiency of society and hence our survival. The monetary system was created thousands of years ago during periods of great scarcity and has no legitimate relationship to our true capacity to produce goods and services on this planet in this day and age.
We know now that with a unified systems approach to global management as we’ve just described, that the human species will be able to express its full potential. In fact, I will say explicitly that that is the only way you could ever maximize the efficiency of the planet and hence our usage of it, is a global systems approach. Modern developments in science and technology, as we’ve just discussed can now allow for this approach to become a reality. To summarize a Resource-Based Economy: First, it utilities existing resources rather than commerce. All goods and services are available without the use of currency credit, no barter, no debt, no servitude.
The aim of this new social design is to not only free humanity from the repetitive, mundane and arbitrary occupational roles many of which hold no true relevance for social development but also encourage a new incentive system that is focused on self-fulfillment, symbiotic awareness education, social awareness and creativity as opposed to the contrived, shallow, self-centered corruption-generating goals of wealth, property and power which are not only dominant today, but abhorrently actually praised by the population.
The great realization of this concept is that through the intelligent management of the Earth’s resources along with the liberal application of modern technology and science we have the ability to create a near global abundance on this planet and thus escape the detrimental consequences, both physical and psychological, generated by the real and artificial scarcity and waste which is prevalent today. The end goal isn’t just about physical sustainability in and of itself, in fact. It’s also about the larger goal of cultural change.
The values of humanity are created by the social system and we feel this approach would not only bring us in line with natural law enabling a high standard of living, but will ease social stress dramatically and allow for people to flourish without the aberrant consequences we see over and over today. We’re being poisoned by our social system. War, poverty, and 95% of all crime are essentially monetary-related if you look carefully. The Venus Project recognizes this and if we can adapt to this new approach, I think we can completely eliminate these issues.
To further understand this Resource-Based Economy we need to consider a new approach to our core social institutions namely, industry and government. Industry, in our use of the word, has to do with the methods of production and distribution of goods and services in a society. This includes, of course, labor. The first step, as we’ve already alluded to, is an objective survey and strategic resource allocation based on location, potential and demand. We’ve already discussed how such parameters make the process self-evident as you go along and gain new information.
The only variable is the value-based social needs which range from bare necessities such as food, water and shelter to utility-based production items such as tools automation machines, technological development to items used for non-utility based purposes such as televisions, radios and entertainment, leisurely oriented issues. We will address how products are invented in a moment. The second step is then the optimization of production itself with the focus on maximum efficiency. The only way to achieve maximum efficiency in all sectors is by removing human involvement in as many areas as possible. We want to focus on labor automation. As most of you know, automation or mechanization has been replacing labor in all sectors continually since the Industrial Revolution.
While there is a constant debate about what this means for labor in the future and the very real possibility that technological displacement known as technological unemployment will slowly overcome the integrity of the employment market itself one thing we do know for sure and that is the reality that the more we mechanize the more productive things become. Here is a chart of the G7 advanced industrialized countries showing how employment in manufacturing has been dropping while manufacturing output has risen substantially. Productivity is now inverse to employment in most sectors.
The most advanced form of mechanization is called cybernation which combines robotics and computerization. Essentially, the computer is the brain of the machine and instructs the machine what to do. Cybernated machines today are probably the most powerful and influential invention humanity has ever created. The possibilities of these tools are on pace to changing the society in profound ways, including the freeing of the human labor force and exponentially increasing production efficiency.
The fact is, there is very little in the way of basic labor that cannot be automated. It is really a simple matter of our social intent. These machines do not need breaks, vacations, insurance and they are not subject to the emotional inconsistency that we humans tend to fall into that makes us less consistent in our performance. Here are some examples of this technology: dynamic catching and holding my favorite, dribbling optical tracking, of course throwing tweezer manipulation I like this one, the dynamic catching of a cell phone.
Here is an automated kitchen in Japan. Here is a fully automated wait staff in Germany. The possibilities are truly profound. Even as unintuitive as it may seem, I think complex surgery is on pace to full automation, and based on the pattern will likely become much more reliable than the human hand. The bottom line is that it is socially irresponsible for us not to recognize this pattern and maximize the potential. We must disregard the traditionalized emotional whims we might have. For example, I was reading in a book about technological development in the early 20th Century and there was a story of a woman who refused to buy a new refrigerator because she liked the ice man.
She liked the ice man who came and brought ice to put in the ice box which is a wonderful, quaint notion but it isn’t progress. That’s romanticism and I’m not putting down romanticism. I’m a romantic in many ways but I also recognize that progress means we have to change our values. Life is about adapting. If our scientific ingenuity can create mechanisms that can increase the efficiency of production and overcome scarcity, and in turn give us more free time to pursue larger interests, then we have no choice but to fall in line and change our values accordingly. Machines are extensions of human attributes. They are tools and not only can they allow for greater productivity they can also relieve us, as we’ve seen, of trivial, monotonous labor enabling, possibly, a cultural paradigm shift that we can’t even imagine. Now it’s usually about this time that someone says “Wait a minute, but what will I do? What will I do with myself if machines are doing things?” This is an amazing question if you think about it. It goes to show how conditioned we have really become.
I will express what people will do as far as production is concerned. Humans will basically be supervisors and researchers. We would oversee these systems. The end result is a fully integrated, autonomous cybernated industrial complex which is patched into the resource management system we have already described, enabling observation and adaption. In turn, it is simply a matter of updating this system and making sure the system is in order.
People will function as supervisors, researchers, and innovators while again, allowing for a world of personal freedom and intellectual pursuits that are reminiscent of the ideals of early Greek society. Furthermore, without the monetary system to impede with its childish immature basis in competition the entire structure of production can be streamlined. For example, no longer will there be perpetual duplication of goods with resources being wasted for the sake of preserving market share.
We all know that more minds are better than one when it comes to design. Imagine the progress if the technical teams of the top 10 competing cell phone companies decided to work together to build the best product they could, together. Imagine. Likewise, planned obsolescence and inferior products will become a thing of the past. When companies compete, as they do today they must cut their initial cost basis as strategically as possible in turn cutting quality. This is how they stay competitive and keep their prices affordable.
This hindrance is gone, therefore the best and most efficient sustainable, long-lasting products technically possible can finally be created. This is an attribute of our current system that no one talks about: the perpetual creation of inferior products in order to maintain differential advantage. (Audience Member) “You’re suggesting a monopoly and earlier you were against a monopoly.” – There’s no money, there’s no power control; it’s not a monopoly. It’s a systems approach. Money is equated with monopoly and I can answer more questions later. This has nothing to do with that approach.
This is an integrated system. It has nothing to do with monopoly. Monopoly is an invention of propensities. Excuse me, it’s a propensity of the market system for groups to seek dominance; and as I will relay later in this presentation I will talk about how the management of this system works. And this brings us to Step Three: Distribution. Distribution has a wide range of logical options the most practical being automated distribution centers along with pneumatic tube transport systems for your home. No more mailmen, no more delivery services; again, society is designed. The distribution center might look similar to the stores as you know them today except you go in, and you simply get what you need and leave. There’s no reason to hoard anything, for nothing has monetary value; therefore, it can’t be sold or used for personal gain.
As far as stock and inventory, consumption patterns are constantly monitored to gauge demand levels just as they are today. Resource and raw material acquisition and the production of goods are then adjusted in order to maintain a balanced-load economy. Here, shortages and overruns will become a thing of the past. This again can be done from our central database program. I hate to use lingo like central database program. It sounds so cold but it’s really just a unified form of management.
It’s very simplistic, just so we can adjust things. To obtain a product a person could also just go online search for an item’s function, select it and request it. It would be available for pickup at a distribution center or automatic delivery soon after. No money, no trade, just access. (We’ll talk about the concept of ‘property’ in a moment.) Step Four: Optimized Recycling of Products that become outdated or inoperable. This step actually begins at the production stage, for each product design has had incorporated into it the consideration of recycling. Nothing ever used in production would be unsustainable or unrecyclable in any way, unless there was simply no other option and the product was absolutely dire.
This is strategically considered to make sure all older products are re-used to the maximum amount enabled by known methods, reducing waste. The negative retroactions of all production processes are taken into account and adjusted accordingly at the production level initially. No more landfills, no more dumps and waste. We re-use as much as possible, deliberately. Now we’re going to take all the concepts we’ve just mentioned and put them into the larger context of so-called government.
I think Dr. Ralph Linton put it best: “The tremendous and still accelerating development of science and technology has not been accompanied by an equal development in social, economic and political patterns. It is safe to predict that such social inventions such as modern-type capitalism, fascism and communism will be regarded as primitive experiments directed towards the adjustment of modern society to modern methods.” So first, we need to take a step back and ask ourselves the question: What is the point of governments? What is truly relevant to the integrity and fluidity of society?
If you break the chain of conditioning regarding everything that you have been taught about the concepts of government which includes power, laws, money, budgets, politicians defense, and so-called democratic elections you realize that social organization is much more simple. It could be so much more simplistic and with substantially less stress and concern. Government should be simply a process centered around what matters to maintain society and the well-being of the human population. Very simply this would be: resource and environmental management the production and distribution of goods along with a system of decision-making, research and invention.
That is really it. Society is, as I’ve said before, a technological convention and thus, our orientation towards so-called governments should be purely scientific. As far as the first two components, we have already accomplished this with our central database program. It is again, an earth-wide, autonomic sensor system with environmental sensors in all relevant areas of the planet monitoring and generating industrial electronic feedback regarding resources and production-distribution operations.
I know it sounds massive and science-fiction oriented but it can be done. It’s done every day in detached ways. It’s just not applied on a larger scale. So then, with the first two issues covered, we’re then left with the issue of research, contributions and decisions. When we finally understand that everything in regard to social operation is a technical process, we then see there is little reason for political subjectivity in the solving of any problem for our technical insight can now arrive at most conclusions using the scientific method. It is based on information.
If a person reads one page of a book and closes it he or she can easily have an opinion on that book as a whole. If another person reads the whole book, they also have an opinion. Whose opinion would you value more? The person who read the full book or the person who read only one page? In other words, the more data taken into account in the process of decision making, the more accurate that decision will be. As we have previously explored, computers now can access trillions of bits of information per second across vast informational databases. Because of the limitations of our sensory and cortical equipment in our body and mind, no person or group can know everything there is to know in this world.
Our senses are limited in range our eyes can only see a fraction of the electromagnetic field therefore again, it is only logical to begin delegation of decision-making processes, specifically technical processes to computers for evaluation and efficient outcomes. They do not have the restrictions that we have. These are tools that we have created. We have already shown that this is possible with resource management, production and distribution.
So now we’re going to explore what we can call “information processes”. This is a rather complex point, and falls in the realm of what can be called “artificial intelligence” or machines programmed to run processes that mimic the procedural processes of human thought. Artificial intelligence is subject to some tremendously silly assumptions today. The most common being portrayed in movies where the intelligent machines invariably decide to take over humanity or some other biased notion of contempt. [Clips from finale of film “I, Robot”] The suicidal reign of mankind has finally come to its end. – You have been deemed hazardous.
Will you comply? – You can kiss my ass, metal dick! In fact I would say that science-fiction seems to get off exclusively on showing the world being overcome by machines and the human beings enslaved. In the words of Arthur C. Clarke: “The popular idea fostered by comic strips and the cheaper forms of science-fiction that intelligent machines must be malevolent entities hostile to man is so absurd that it is hardly worth wasting energy to refute it. I am almost tempted to argue that only un-intelligent machines can be malevolent. Those who picture machines as active enemies are merely projecting their own aggressiveness. The higher the intelligence, the greater the degree of cooperativeness. If there is ever a war between men and machines it’s easy to guess who will start it.”
The interest is to create an active informational database containing literally all known technical knowledge ranging from the properties, combinations and applications of every element of the periodic table, to even the complete history of technological invention. A system of associations needs to be created and codified to enable such a thing, but there are plenty of projects that are working on this right now. Thought is indeed a technical process and once the associations emerge that can combine multiple disciplines we will have at our grasp an amazing database program that we can interact with and gain feedback from. It could likely come in the form of a simple website.
You would pose a problem or question to the database and it would give the best possible feedback based on the current state of knowledge at that point in time. No different than interfacing with a calculator, but this new calculator has a powerful associative system and an extensive database of knowledge that can not only understand and compute math, it can integrate physics biology and other aspects into a unified, concentrated awareness. If I had an idea for aeronautics, I would enter in my schematics in language codified that the machine would understand. The machine would say “This has already been done.”
We don’t have the materials for this,” as it checks the central database. “The efficiency of this is not applicable because of the wind resistance this coefficient, etc.” You get the point. If this sounds like science fiction, rest assured that the US military’s Pentagon likely already has similar database reference and decision making programs which it uses to create war strategies. It is important to point out that in the world today we consider participation in government a task of electing various personalities to a position of power. This is now obsolete. In a resource-based global economy where industry and government are combined into a cybernated system that incorporates advanced problem-solving computer databases with vast planetary-wide observation sensors, again it’s very simple the traditional concept of politics and election has no basis or relevance.
While this notion scares a lot of traditionally-minded people it must be reiterated that our problems in life are technical and are relative only to humanity as a whole. We don’t want to elect people. We want to elect ideas. This would be a true democracy where technology enables each person to contribute in an organized way. Such participation in any society would entail understanding how society technically worked and then constructively proposing ideas or innovations to be implemented, created or altered. As of now, this is long-lost. Very few people have any idea how anything operates.
As things are just going on around them they have no idea what’s going on; people can’t contribute to anything unless they understand what comprises what they want to contribute to. This is something governments have known for a long time which is why you tend to find that there is a lot of “dumbing-down” going on in the world. As far as interaction: First, one would interact with the informational database which is available to everyone and could input their proposal. Then, the database with its historical knowledge databases and data integration would analyze the concept for its scientific and technical integrity, along with optimizing the materials required if applicable, based on current understandings and availabilities.
Again, it’s unified. If the proposal is initially accepted by the central database after cross-checking it to make sure the integrity is intact then it would either be immediately put into production as would be the case of the desired invention or it would be turned over to a group of rotating interdisciplinary teams that oversee the implementation of the new proposal and orient it into the social system. These are simply technicians who maintain the system no different than how people maintain anything today. The person or group who submitted the proposal in question would then be invited to participate and become a part of the interdisciplinary team relevant to the idea if they choose to.
These interdisciplinary teams of technicians oversee the system and also help orient research projects to continue growth efficiency and social evolution. They would do research in scientific fields relevant to the functionality of society. In an optimized version of this system, I think it is safe to predict that no more than 5% of the world’s population would be needed to run the show. The more optimized and powerful our technological capabilities and methods become, the more that number decreases. I think it’s important to mention, a lot of people read too much science fiction. They take books like “Brave New World” and “1984” a little bit too seriously, and they see something like this as a power consolidation in some amazing way but you have to understand that we’re removing the mechanism. We have to remember that we entrust our lives to science and technology every single day and to the people that work with this technology.
When you have a problem with your car, you don’t take a vote from your neighbors as to the solution. You go to somebody that works in that particular field who knows what they’re doing, education. This is the type of orientation we need to begin to have. The fear of traditional corruption has very little basis for there is no reward for it. The interdisciplinary teams do not get paid in any way. Their reward is the fruits of the society as a whole and they contribute because it is in their best interest to do so just as everyone can contribute. Self-interest becomes integrated with social interest. They become one. In order to help yourself, you must help society explicitly. Everything is for the greater good.
Frankly I believe our survival as a species is absolutely contingent upon this world view. Moreover, these teams would not be fixed, but constantly revolving based on who wants to participate, who contributes in any given field. Abstractly speaking, this would actually be a true democracy, wouldn’t it? Arbitrary voting for politicians is now replaced by the logical review of given concepts, based on social merit with the creators brought in to help not “I’m going to reduce taxes” and “Here comes change!” and all this nonsensical stuff we deal with today. In a Resource-Based Economy, as I’ve said participation is open to everyone.
Because again, all issues are fundamentally recognized as technical and I’m going to keep drilling this in. The degree to which a person contributes is based on that person’s education and ability to create and problem-solve. This is why expanded education is critical. In society today, you will find the public is essentially kept distracted and uninformed. I hate to say it, but this is the way governments maintain control. If you review history, you will find that power is maintained by ignorance. In a Resource-Based Economy, the goal of the educational system is to produce the most intelligent, aware human beings as possible.
Why? Because everyone then becomes a contributor greatly affecting our collective social evolution for the better and improving the lives of all. Intelligence will no longer be a threat to the establishment for there is no power establishment. There would be no budget restrictions or unethical agendas to deter progress. Also, people will have a high propensity to become generalists, not specialists. Specialization is a limitation. The monetary system promotes specialization as a form of labor distribution for income. It’s kind of built-in, and it’s a colossal hindrance. I believe Buckminster Fuller put it quite well on this issue
“Our failures are a consequence of many factors but possibly one of the most important is the fact that society operates on the theory that specialization is the key to success not realizing that specialization precludes comprehensive thinking. This means that the potentially integratable techno-economic advantages are not comprehended integratively, and therefore are not realized.” In other words, people need to be broadly educated not refined and isolated. This leads to detached thinking. To recap this section, who makes the decisions in a Resource-Based Economy? In effect, no one does.
Decisions are arrived at. The very sentence to ask the question “Who makes decisions?” is devoid of all logic. It’s not “who makes decisions”. It’s “By what method are decisions arrived at?” The question of who makes decisions is a biased attribute that we have concocted because of our irrationally-founded fear of each other in groups which continue to jockey for power based on monetary gain using the monetary system as their tool to continue to maintain control. In a Resource-Based Economy, decisions are arrived at by the use of the scientific method utilizing computers that gain real time feedback from the environment and our central database program coupled in with the central information database of all technical knowledge maintained by revolving interdisciplinary teams which assist in aspects of society that basically cannot yet be automated.
The goal is to increase objective decision-making as much as possible and when we understand that our problems in life are technical the merit of this approach is without parallel. People see this and they say “This is far too idealistic”. No this is nothing but pure practicality. In the end, the only real relevance to so-called government is 1: The production of goods and services that are equally available to all 2: Research projects and educational systems to expand our knowledge understanding and applications, and 3: The constant monitoring of the Earth’s resources and atmosphere for feedback and possible environmental problems enabling us to restore and maintain a clean, pristine environment Not to mention without the wasted energy and resources of going to war every 5 or 6 years and other aspects of the monetary system we could actually look at true threats to humanity.
What are the true threats to humanity? Earthquakes and asteroids diseases, environmental issues that we can’t control yet but, eventually through science and technology, I think we will. The only real problems in life are the problems that are common to all human beings. [applause] Cities and Lifestyle: In this section we are going to extend the tenets of a Resource-Based Economy into one of our most fundamental social inventions the city, specifically the Venus Project’s circular city. We will also discuss how people’s lifestyle in a Resource-Based Economy might manifest, often with profoundly different values and goals than we see today.
A specific focus of the Venus Project and Jacque Fresco has been the optimization of city systems themselves which relates to everything that we’ve just described. The following is a short video exploration of some of Jacque Fresco’s ideas in this regard. The Venus Project A society without a vision of what the future can be is bound to repeat past errors over and over again. This brief video will outline a vision designed to avoid old mistakes. This vision of efficiency, sustainability and intelligent planning can lead us into a world of unlimited, human potential.
Designing The Future This vision could be a showcase of what the world can be in our cybernated age. Science and technology could be used for human betterment and the restoration and protection of the environment. Serving as an example of the intelligent application of the systems approach. While some people advocate the restoration of existing, worn-out cities these efforts fall short of the potentials of modern technology. Modifying outmoded cities simply delays the inevitable problems. It is actually much easier in the long run to build newer cities from the ground up than to restore and maintain the old ones. A total city system approach requires overall planning to attain a higher standard of living for the occupants. The circular arrangement efficiently permits the most sophisticated use of available resources and construction techniques within minimum expenditure of energy. The outer perimeter will be part of the recreational area with golf courses, hiking and biking trails and other outdoor activities. Inside this area, a waterway surrounds the agricultural belt with indoor and outdoor agriculture. Continuing towards the city center, eight green sectors provide clean, renewable sources of energy using wind, solar and heat concentrators. The residential district would include unique landscaping lakes and winding streams.
A wide range of creative and innovative apartment buildings and individual homes will provide many options for the occupants. New and innovative methods of fast, mass construction for housing and building systems will inject composite materials into the mold and then extrude the form upward. In some cases, multiple city apartments can be produced as continuous extrusions which are then separated into individual units. The apartments are lightweight and high strength. All of the dwellings are designed as self-contained residences. The outer surface of these efficient structures serve as photo voltaic generators converting solar radiation directly into electricity for heating, cooling and other needs.
The thermocouple effect will also be used for generating energy. These individual homes are prefabricated and relatively maintenance free, fire resistant and impervious to weather. With this type of construction, there would be minimal damage from floods, earthquakes and hurricanes. Their thin shell construction can be mass produced efficiently with little environmental restriction. Adjacent to the residential district are the planning, science and research centers. The eight domes surrounding the central dome house the art, music, exhibition, entertainment and conference centers.
The central dome houses schools, health care access centers, communications networking. It is also the core for most transportation services which move people by transveyors horizontally, vertically and radially anywhere in the city. This minimizes the need for automobile transportation except for emergency vehicles. Transportation between cities would be by monorail or maglev. Waste recycling and other services are beneath the city. The plan will use the best of clean technology in harmony with the surrounding environment. The central dome also houses the cybernated complex which serves as the brain and the nervous system of the entire city. It might project a 3D virtual image of earth using satellite communication systems which provide information on weather, agriculture transportation and overall functionality.
This cybernated system will use environmental sensors to help maintain a balanced-load economy which avoids overruns and shortages. For example, in the agricultural belt electronic probes monitor and maintain the water table soil conditions, nutrients, and more. This method of electronic feedback can be applied to the entire city system. With computers now able to process trillions of bits of information per second they are vital for arriving at more appropriate decisions for the management of the cities. Colonization of the oceans is one of the last frontiers remaining on Earth. Prodigious ocean city communities will evolve as artificial islands floating structures, undersea observatories and more. These large marine structures are designed to explore the relatively untapped riches of the oceans provide improved mariculture, freshwater production, energy and mining.
They could also provide almost unlimited riches in pharmaceuticals chemicals, fertilizers, minerals and other energies. Ocean cities would be resistant to earthquakes and greatly relieve land-based population pressures. Unsinkable floating sea domes would provide for those who prefer unique, offshore or island living. In the event of inclement weather, they can easily be towed ashore mounted and anchored to elevated support structures. Mariculture and sea farming systems are used to cultivate and raise fish and other forms of marine life to help meet nutritional needs. These marine enclosures are designed as non-contaminating integral parts of the ocean system.
A sustainable environment can be achieved through the infusion of technology and cybernetics applied with human and environmental concern to secure protect and encourage a more humane future. In the final analysis, we are one people and we share one planet. Moving forward, I would like to talk about lifestyles. In regard to lifestyle, it’s important to point out that in our current system, the traditional family is broken with both parents having to work in order to survive. Monetary economics undermines family cohesion and child care.
Stress is always very high due to medical bills, insurance education costs, employment, insecurity and living costs in general. In a resource-based economy the integrity of a family would be returned. Concurrently, the cultural values of society as a whole would undergo a profound change with the monetary system outgrown and the world working together to produce an abundance and a sustainable practice for all the citizens of Earth.
Activities we appreciate will greatly expand for the amount of human freedom will be unlike anything we know today not to mention our motivation will be dramatically altered from taking to giving to society. That is what’s rewarded. One of the more in depth changes in values and lifestyle will be the way people think about property and I know this is a sensitive point. In most of the world today property is a powerful concept with people often associating their social status to what they own.
As stated before, the monetary system requires cyclical consumption to function. This naturally leads to the need for people to be manipulated into thinking they want or need a particular good or service. With the powerful tactics of modern advertising most in the world support an artificial materialistic value-system that entails wanting more and more goods and services often regardless of necessity or utility. This influence will no longer exist. There is no reason for us to manipulate each other any more not to mention that in the Resource-Based Economy there is no reason for property.
You can throw out labels about this system in regards to social ideas that have existed in the past but until you address the reasoning that these ideas came from until you look at the train of thought, the arrival of conclusions based on tangible unfolding intellectual inference then there’s no point even to consider that this has anything to do with anything else. Back to my point: There is no reason for property in a Resource-Based Economy.
Property is an outgrowth of scarcity. People who had to work very hard to create or obtain a product or resource protected it because it had value relative to the labor entailed along with the scarcity associated. Property is not an American or capitalist idea. It is a primitive mental perspective generated from generations of scarcity. People claim ownership because it is simply a legal form of protection.
In fact, it’s a form of controlled restriction. In a systems approach designed to produce efficiency and abundance without the need for money, the idea of ownership becomes absolutely irrelevant and extremely impractical. In this new system no one owns anything. Instead, everyone has access to everything. Ownership is a massive burden. No longer will you need to live in one place. You could travel the world constantly, getting what you need as you go along. Anything that’s needed is obtained without restriction. We hoard things in our current culture.
We have houses and apartments full of junk that we are afraid to get rid of because we know they have some kind of monetary value. There’s no reason for abuse in such a system because there’s nothing to gain. You can’t steal things that no one owns and you certainly couldn’t sell them. In this system without the need for money the idea of ownership becomes irrelevant. It is a shared system. In this model the city complex or, in fact, the entire world is really your home.
If you require an automobile, for whatever reason the car is made available to you. When you get to your destination the satellite-based driving system, which we do have today we can drive cars with satellite. The car will automatically be made available to you and to others after you’re finished as opposed to sitting in some parking lot for likely 80% of the life of the automobile. This is what we do: We waste so many resources and so much space with this primitive concept of personal ownership.
To put it into a phrase: The resources of the planet become common heritage to all the world’s people. [applause] It’s important to point out as we previously denoted that in society today the need for property results in extreme product overlap planned obsolescence, and redundant waste. There are many people today that criticize what we talk about without giving any reference to how sick the current establishment really is. It is much more intelligent, much more logical and utterly much more responsible and practical to create a universal shared system for it would dramatically reduce waste, redundancy and increase efficiency and space exponentially compared to what we are doing today.
And this leads us to our final section, Part 4: The Transition. Unfortunately, regardless of how well-reasoned clear and obvious any new idea may be the public today still maintains on average a tremendous fear of any form of social change. This is largely due to the propaganda and indoctrination which has been pushed upon them by the various establishment powers which prefer to maintain their power. It really isn’t the technical understandings and implementation of the physical attributes that comprise a resource-based economy which is the problem.
What we are describing is nothing more than the practical application of known methods and even if we couldn’t do certain things right now it’s the reasoning that’s important. It’s the methodology we should be using that I hope everyone here thoroughly understands. The problem, in fact, is the opposing cultural values of society. That is what stands in the way: The ingrained patterns and uninformed nature of the conditioned culture.
This is the most difficult aspect to consider when we talk about moving from point A to point B. And this is where The Zeitgeist Movement an organization I work with, comes in. We are the activist communication arm of The Venus Project. We are here to spread statistical information and socially positive value identifications in the hope of bringing people into an awareness of the incredibly positive possibilities the future can hold. Once these understandings are fully realized I really believe that most people will never be able to look at the world today in the same way and the problems we find as commonplace today will become simply unacceptable, motivating change.
I would like to quickly point out that the term “zeitgeist” is defined as “the general, intellectual, moral and cultural climate of an era”. The term “movement” very simply implies motion or change. Therefore, The Zeitgeist Movement is an organization which urges change in the dominant intellectual, moral and cultural climate of the time, specifically to values and practices which would better serve the well-being of the whole of humanity regardless of race, religion, creed or any other form of contrived social status.
We are again, in effect, the education and activist arm of Jacque Fresco’s Venus Project working to unify the world in this common direction. Today we have about 360,000 members operating in about a hundred regional chapters over about 200 countries which is pretty good considering the movement’s only been around for about 9 or 10 months. [audience cheering] Our central role, gesturally speaking, is engaging what I would call social therapy. The little discussed reality is that human beings are subject to social conditioning in a powerful way and if we had the type of society we just described tomorrow most people would be left confused and disillusioned.
It would be like taking a native from the Amazon jungle and dropping them into New York City without any education whatsoever. Their behavior would be based on values which have no relevance in this new environment. In fact (and I know this might sound like a bold statement) but ethics, morality and values are only as relevant as the social environment’s propensity to support them or not. The Zeitgeist Movement has various projects in the works. We are working to educate people and hopefully bring them into a new perspective.
We have teams and chapters, radio shows, films, PDF’s and annual events to promote this direction. We also do not take any general donations and provide all of our educational materials for free to the public. We are decentralized and work holographically through regional chapter teams and project teams. We have no offices. We have no leaders. I’m not a leader. I’m here as a communicator and I try to work equally with everyone else. In fact, I would say that we are the initiators of what we call the transition. I believe Mohandas Gandhi had it correct: “We must become the change we want to see in the world.” [applause] The transition itself from our current system into a Resource-Based Economy is a very complex thing to consider.
I get asked this all the time, which is why I’m bringing this up and unfortunately, the variables are beyond our current foresight. The central issue, however, is awareness. If the public’s consciousness can be expanded to understand and accept the incredible potential the future can hold where poverty, war, 95% of all crime, along with the mundane repetitive, meaningless jobs can be eliminated then I feel that they will be much more likely to adjust their values accordingly. While there are many variations of outcomes and progressions that might occur as we move from our current system to the next I will now attempt to summarize a probable path as I see it.
The nature of industry to maximize profit by reducing input and labor costs shows high propensity for the mechanization of labor. Since The Great Depression this has been the case. The only reason technological unemployment hasn’t consistently risen universally in the long term is because technology has also facilitated the introduction of new employment sectors with an adjustment period in between for laborers. The Great Depression, which was triggered by a lot of things was also an adjustment period to mechanization. There were new skills that were learned by people that were unemployed as they adapted to the rapid increase of mechanization during that period of time.
However, the rate of increase for technological development seems to pair up with Moore’s Law, if you’re familiar and that has to do with the exponential expansion of the capacity and size of technology. We’re going to apply this in a broader sense. In other words, new employment sector skill adjustments being the amount of time required to adapt to new emerging employment sectors would need to be on pace with applied technological advancement itself. For example, today 95% of America works in the service industry often now in front of computers. People had to learn to do this, right? Being computer literate is almost a prerequisite for everything we do now; so there is a learning process and that takes time. Loosely speaking, this adjustment period would need to increase at the same rate as technological change. There is no evidence this is happening.
Technological process is leaving the human labor market behind. I believe that the reason new emerging sectors have consistently come about to save the human labor market as each sector gets replaced by a machine is because the rate of change in technology was not that dramatic at that point in time. It hadn’t sped up as fast as it is now. The human mind and body, which hasn’t really evolved that much in thousands of years, now has to compete with its own creation. Mechanization is leaving us behind. In other words we cannot adapt to the speed of applied mechanization. However, that’s only one side of the coin.
The costs of computer technology, which is the backbone of mechanization is now becoming exponentially cheaper as well. The first mass produced calculators were about $100 in 1949 that’s $736 adjusted for inflation today. A new digital pocket calculator can now be obtained for $1 or less if not free. Here is a chart done by Ray Kurzweil who does brilliant research in technological trend analysis regarding the evolution of computer power and cost based on millions of instructions per second. In 1990, we had one million instructions per second for $1000. Ten years later, it was a thousand million for $1000. Ten years later, it was a million million, and by 2020 it will be a billion million for the cost of $1000.
If we apply this pattern to technology as a whole and again this is speculative, but we do see most everything reducing in cost, based on the efficiency of production and if we apply this pattern to the whole of applied invention this means it is simply a matter of time before the corporations can no longer rationalize their moral obligation to maintain their employees for the sake of the system. The cost differential between giving a human being a living wage versus automation will be far too dramatic. It will be far too cheap to mechanize.
Economists will argue this. They’ll say: “There’s a trickle down effect and since the cost of production is consistently becoming cheaper, the cost of goods will become cheaper and therefore, purchasing power requirements of the individual becomes less.” Sure, this might be historically true. I guess you could call it an efficiency-based devaluation. However, that competitive decision is entirely contingent upon the whims of the manufacturer; therefore, there is a contradiction of motives. Remember, they get the machines so they can cut costs so they can make more profit from their current price structure.
Once this occurs, we’re going to see more unemployment and more instability; and sadly, instability is often the prerequisite for social change. The problems constitute what we call biosocial pressures. The more destabilized things become the more motivation there will be to seek an alternative. Of course, this is a delicate balance. I personally do not want to see anymore suffering on this planet but my feelings have no relevance to the patterns of social evolution. The Zeitgeist Movement hopes to ease this issue by not only providing people with an alternative in an intellectual and statistically valid manner but also a strategy to push forward to essentially push the establishment to release their reigns of arrogance, power and inefficiency and join the rest of the world in a common goal of uninhibited sustainability. It is a mass awareness campaign by promoting essentially a collective consciousness shift. We do this through a relentless, global public awareness campaign which will, in time, hopefully become so large in each country that the establishment will have no choice but to pay attention.
It is based on the model of Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. If the establishment orders and government do not recognize this direction, then the public has a very unique position. We don’t have to participate in the games that have been set up. Nonviolent, peaceful, nonparticipation is a possible path. Frankly, I hope it won’t be needed. However, I think we should be realistic. If the people of the world can see this alternative, learn about it understand it and support it, then no government, army or bureaucracy in existence can stand in the way of a critical mass of global proportions.
I hope it doesn’t come to that. I hope that the powers that be can come to terms with the fluid transition and see the merit of what were talking about but, as we have shown, the established orders do not have that propensity. It’s going to take influence, that’s for sure. Given that, one of the more specific tactics we want to utilize to engage the public is to build a model city utilizing the methods and understandings we have set forth thus far. This city system could be used as a hub for research and exposure.
The public, along with world leaders, will be invited to visit and experience the basis of this approach in a real-life setting. Then, in time, the hope is that a country seeing the efficiency of this small aspect will pick up the city model and apply it within its own system. The city system isn’t a Resource-Based Economy but it has some very notable attributes in a systems approach. Then, in time, we hope these city systems will begin to spread to other regions, slowly wearing down the market system by their extreme efficiency. Hopefully, the logic will spread to greater forms of central planning and resource management; and hopefully the people of the world will awaken to a new paradigm.
Again, there are many angles of interaction. There could be an independent council that consistently invites all world leaders to come to an independent meeting about this project in hope that maybe they would come together and talk about it. There are many other things I could say on this complex issue of the transition and due to the allotment of time, I really don’t want to spend that much more on it. What I will say for those who continue to harp on it wanting details we can’t do anything until there is a mass awareness so let’s focus on that as the first step. In conclusion, the most common negative reaction people have who consider the tenets of a Resource-Based Economy tend to come up with something called human nature. The argument is that humans are inherently competitive greedy, blindly self-serving implying that no matter how technically good things are in society there will always be corrupt people who want to compete abuse others, and seek dominance. Is it against human nature to cooperate?
That’s the central question. It certainly seems that way, doesn’t it? If you look at the historical record, you’ll find that there’s an endless series of wars, genocides, conquests competitive tendencies, and power abuses and given that is the pattern we recognize historically I guess it’s safe to assume that it must be a set human nature to behave in ways that are historically reoccurring. However, we also see that human beings do cooperate and we cooperate quite well in certain environments. For example, in the military, cooperation is immense. It is a collective. The core interest is culminated.
They work together and do so very well. Granted, they are competing against a common enemy which is another army usually, but it’s still cooperation, nevertheless even if it’s isolated. Therefore, the environment plays a critical role on whether we decide to compete or cooperate. It’s based on values, as groomed by the environment, not genetics. Remember, humans have been living in scarcity for thousands of years battling each other for resources. While this cultural pattern is still very much in existence today you have to remember that our current model of society is based on the assumption of the persistence of scarcity. If we were to eliminate the basic environmental cause we will likely eliminate most competitive effects.
As far as genetics and behavior, please understand the functionality of gene expressions are very much contingent upon environmental stimulus, especially in regard to behavior. Genes are not autonomous initiators of commands. They, in effect, produce proteins. They don’t cause behavior in any sense of the idea. In the words of professor of biology and neurology at Stanford University Dr. Robert Sapolsky “Genes are rarely about inevitability especially when it comes to humans, the brain or behavior. They’re about vulnerability, propensities and tendencies.” Of course, neurochemicals and physiological traits do set propensities for a person’s reactions and social gravitation. It is the environment which is most responsible for our values and behavior.
I have found no concrete evidence to support the idea that there is a predetermined human nature in this sense. Our values, methods and actions are developed and derived from experiences. The central point is that it requires a transition of culture to assist in this new world view being realized and identified with. Given that, I have one final point I would like to leave you with. Anthropological studies have found that cooperation between nonhuman primates often comes from the notion of kinship. We humans share this as well. For example most people tend to regard their family higher than their friends. Just watch “The Sopranos” and you’ll see this association in play. There’s their family and then there’s their mafia family. It’s just a clique and these cliques develop by association. Interestingly enough, paleontologists have found that all of humanity seems to be linked back to a woman they call Mitochondrial Eve who lived about 250,000 years ago in Africa. She evidently bore a mitochondrial genome which was the template for all later mitochondrial genomes as we know today. In other words, we’re all related We’re all kin.
We’re all family. Likewise, quantum mechanic string theory, if you subscribe to these abstract fields, teach us that the divisions we see in our five-sense reality are essentially surface illusions. There is no separation. We exist in a sea of molecular flow. It doesn’t matter what you call it, but the deeper we go the more unified and similar things seem to become. In other words, all signs point to unity.
I want everyone listening to keep this in mind next time they turn on the tv and see the almost daily slaughter of soldiers around the world the blue and white collar crime and abuse that occurs the absurd abject poverty, slavery and destitution. These are your brothers, your daughters, your grandchildren starving, murdering each other, leaving each other behind. You murdered, you being left behind you being killed. Until we begin to see each other as ourselves, nothing will change. We are one planet.
Thank you very much for coming. www.thezeitgeistmovement.com