Show older

Murray Bookchin's "Ecology of Freedom" is supposed to be his magnum opus, I'm just hoping that one of these anarchists (Bookchin, Kropotkin, Bakunin) will eventually tell me what the ideal society actually looks like.

"Parable of the Talents" by Octavia Butler

I've read that a lot of great figures in history had trouble connecting with their children. That part of the story rings true. The Trump-Jarrett parallel was eerie considering this story was written decades ago.

In "An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States" by Roxanne Dunbar Ortiz recounts a colonialist and imperialist history U.S. Americans are not taught in school. Changing things for the better requires one to first understand what is and has been, and this book is a great instrument to educate oneself.

"Environmental Monitoring with " Emily Gertz and Patrick Di Justo

I don't have Arduino, but I've got a bread board and my work has me focusing on tech for the environment. Let's do this!

I'm already in love with "Make: Tools - How They Work and How to Use Them" by Charles Platt

It's essentially a collection of very simple "how to" guides. It feels like a written version of what YouTube tutorials have evolved into, if that makes sense.

Also read "Future home of the Living God" by Louise Eldrich.

Current read is "Glass and Gardens Summers"

The editor, Sarena Ulibarri, introduces the book by explaining how she selected the stories for the anthology. The stories she selected didn't need to be about or to be , "but I tried to choose stories that depict adaptation and compromise rather than destruction and conquest, stories that value empathy and cooperation over greed and competition."

This one is for work - "Cross-Cultural " by Senongo Akpem.

A great tidbit: "Culture has a huge, yet often overlooked, effect on what we consider aesthetically pleasing. It's common for Western designers to point to concepts like rational type systems, clean lines, an absence of decoration, and mathetmatical layout grids as universally 'good' design without realizing that most of those principles originated in the century-old movement."

Finished John Green's "The Anthropocene Reviewed". Really good! Green speaks simply but the words strike hard.

I'm thumbing through a (1903!) volume of Edgar Allen Poe's poems and stories and... I was unaware of this particular facet of Poe's life.

"¡Ya Basta! Ten Years of the Zapatista Uprising, Writings of Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos"

...because eventually I need to read about the

"Doughnut Economics" by Kate Raworth

Book argues that we think of economics wrong. We shouldn't be trying to maximize growth, we should try to improve the minimum standard of living.

"You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete."
- Buckminster Fuller

Reminds me of that Thomas Kuhn theory of how scientific revolutions happen.

"As the visual literacy expert Lynelle Burmark explains, 'unless our words, concepts and ideas are hooked onto an image, they will go in one ear, sail through the brain, and go out of the other ear. Words are processed by our short-term memory where we can only retain about seven bits of information.... images, on the other hand, go directly into long-term memory where they are indelibly etched."

"When Adam Smith published 'The Wealth of Nations' in 1776, there were fewer than one billion people alive, and in dollar terms, size of the global economy was three hundred times smaller than it is today. When Paul Samuelson published '' in 1948, there were not yet three billion people on earth, and the global economy was still ten times smaller than it is today."

"In the twenty-first century, we have left behind the era of the 'Empty World' when the flow of energy and matter through the global with small of relation to the capacity of nature's sources and sinks. We live now, says Daly, in 'Full World', with an economy that exceeds Earth's regenerative and absorptive capacity by over-harvesting sources such as fish and forests, and overfilling sinks such as the atmosphere and oceans."

"'As reach into spheres of life traditionally governed by nonmarket norms, the notion that markets don't touch or taint the good sticks change becomes increasingly implausible,' warns Sandel. 'Markets are not mere mechanisms; they embody certain values. And sometimes, market values crowd out nonmarket norms worth caring about.'"

I continue to feel deeply uncomfortable with the interest I see in finding market values for priceless public goods, like air. A functioning biosphere.

"Merely mentioning roles can crowd out our intrinsic motivation. One online survey asked participants to imagine themselves as one among four households facing a water shortage due to a dropped affecting their shared well. Crucially, the survey described the whole scenario in terms of 'consumers' to one half of the participants, and in terms of 'individuals' to the other half. What difference did that single word make?"

"Those labeled 'consumers' reported feeling less personal responsibility to take action unless trust in others to do the same then did those referred to as 'individuals'. Simply thinking like a consumer, it seems, triggers self regarding behavior and divides rather than unites groups were facing a common scarcity."

"Likewise, as part of a forest conservation scheme in Chiapas, Mexico, many farmers are compensated in cash for refraining from cutting their trees, hunting, poaching or expanding their herd of cattle. The more years that they participate in the scheme, however, the more of their stated motivation to conserve the forest becomes financial rather than intrinsic and their readiness for future conservation efforts depends increasingly upon the promise of future payouts."

"In other parts of Chiapas, however, where the forest is managed through community planning and projects, it initially takes longer to generate farmers engagement, but the social capital that they build is far greater and their motivation remain centered on the inherited benefits of long-term conservation. Bringing money into the mix, it seems, can significantly alter our regard for the living world."

"In communities that are low on income but high on social capital, activating norms can have far reaching effects, as researchers in Uganda discovered when they set out to improve rural health care simply by creating a renewed sense of social contract. In 50 districts with poorly performing clinics, they brought local community members together with health center staff to assess current practices and draw up their own agreement setting out the standards that the community expected."

"Each community established a system for monitoring its own local clinic, such as staff duty rosters, suggestion boxes, and numbered waiting room tickets, then posted the monthly results on a public notice board."

"One year on, the quality and quantity of primary health care provided had dramatically improved: 20% More patients were being seen and with shorter waiting times; absenteeism among doctors and nurses had plummeted; and –most strikingly– 33% fewer children under the age of five were dying in those communities. All of this was achieved without fees, fines or a bigger budget. But thanks to the expectations of a social contract, backed up with public accountability."

" features only as a peripheral concern in the world of of equilibrium economics. Given that markets are efficient at rewarding people, goes the theory, then those with broadly similar talents, preferences and initial endowments will end up equally rewarded: any remaining differences must be due to differences in effort, and that provides a spur for innovation and hard work."

"But in the disequilibrium world that we inhabit—where powerful reinforcing feedbacks are in play—virtuous cycles of wealth and vicious cycles of poverty can send otherwise similar people spiralling to opposite ends of the income-distribution spectrum. It's due to what systems experts have come to call the ‘Success to the Successful’ trap, which kicks off when the winners in one round of a game reap rewards that raise their chances of winning again in the next."

"Between 1988 and 2008, the majority of countries worldwide saw riding inequality within their borders, resulting in a hollowing out of their middle classes. Over those same 20 years, global fell slightly overall ... but it increased significantly at the extremes. More than 50 percent of the total increase in global income over that period was captured by just the richest 5 percent of the world's population, while the poorest 50 percent of people gained only 11 percent of it."

" any true plantsman knows, is far from laissez-faire. In their book The Gardens of Democracy, Eric Liu and Nick Hanauer argue that moving from ‘machinebrain’ to ‘gardenbrain’ thinking calls for a simultaneous shift away from believing that things will self-regulate to realising that things need stewarding."

“To be a gardener is "not to let nature take its course; it is to tend,’ they write: ‘Gardeners don’t make the plants grow but they do make judgments about what should and shouldn't be in the garden’. That is why economic gardeners must throw themselves in, nurturing, selecting, repolting, grafting, pruning and weeding the plants as they grow and mature."

"Far from being a necessary phase in every nation's progress, rising inequality is a policy choice."

"There are now more than 2,000 billionaires living in 20 countries from the United States, China and Russia to Turkey, Thailand, and Indonesia. An annual wealth tax levied at just 1.5 percent of their net worth would raise $74 billion each year: that alone would be enough to fill the funding gap to get every child into school and deliver essential health services in all low-income countries."

"Match that with a global corporate tax system that treats multinational corporations as a single unified firm and closes tax loopholes and tax havens, so boosting public revenue for public purposes worldwide."

"Supplement these with taxes on destabilising land damaging industries, such as a global financial transactions tax to curb speculative trading, and a global carbon tax levied on all oil, coal and gas production. Yes, some of these tax proposals sound unfeasible now, but many once-unfeasible ideas—abolishing slavery, gaining the vote for women, ending apartheid, securing gay rights—turn out to be inevitable."

"If universal access to markets is to become a twenty-first-century norm, along with universal access to public services, then so too should universal access to the global commons – particularly to Earth's life-giving systems and to the global knowledge commons."

Sign in to participate in the conversation
Mastodon for Tech Folks

This Mastodon instance is for people interested in technology. Discussions aren't limited to technology, because tech folks shouldn't be limited to technology either!