Zeitgeist Addendum Released!

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Zeitgeist Addendum Released!

Postby Millsley » Sat Oct 04, 2008 2:43 am

The original Zeitgeist was the number one video on Google Video before it was taken off the rankings. The new one explores the inherent drawbacks within a profit-based economy and how a resource-based economy could be implemented with the technology we have today. Amazing.

http://zeitgeistmovie.com

<3
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Postby Rob Bryanton » Sat Oct 04, 2008 9:04 am

What a scary movie! And incredibly timely at this moment, of course. Another brilliant find, Millsley!
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Postby Millsley » Sat Oct 04, 2008 1:41 pm

I found it rather uplifting! The second hour dedicated to how technology can finally work for us was pretty eye-opening. I had never fully realized how efficiency, abundance and sustainability are in direct conflict with profit in our economy. It will be a momentousness moment in human history when we turn this around.
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Postby Rob Bryanton » Sat Oct 04, 2008 2:10 pm

Hey, I guess I better keep watching then, I'm not quite half way through yet.
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Postby Millsley » Sat Oct 04, 2008 3:02 pm

That's funny because you're the third person to mention that they're halfway through and scared, terrified, etc. The second hour is the solution section!
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Postby fmonroy » Sat Oct 04, 2008 3:19 pm

Millsley, Thank you very much for the link. Just finished watching it. Can't wait to share it...

Very very great time ahead :D
One often meets his destiny on the path he takes to avoid it.
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Postby Rob Bryanton » Sun Oct 05, 2008 10:59 am

Ditto, now that I'm done I love the hopeful message. I've posted a link to it in my facebook account.

Thanks for pointing this one out.

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Postby fmonroy » Sat Oct 11, 2008 1:48 pm

The Zeitgeist Movement is now online :)
One often meets his destiny on the path he takes to avoid it.
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Postby Michel » Sat Oct 11, 2008 3:43 pm

Okay, I just read their manifesto.
I think it is nice to see people wanting to do something about the present situation. The worse that can happen is passivity. But, when I read:
The world you see today, full of war, corruption, elitism, poverty, epidemic disease, human rights abuses, inequality and crime is the result of this paralysis.

I must ask myself: the world today as opposed to what? Before? After?
My friends, the in respect to what is written above, the world was much worse before! Please, believe me; corruption, wars, etc. was much, much worse! Read history?

As opposed to the future, then? Oh yes, I hope so. But a man alone on a desert island is neither rich or poor. We have nothing better to compare our society with. Do you agree?

You know, I'd like to to be on the barricades in a revolution for peace, love and understanding. But I am not better than you, and you are not better than him and ... where is the enemy we shall fight, then?

I have been for a while on the internet list started by Garry Davis, the 85 years old gentleman who has been fighting for 60 years for a united world government, distributing world citizen's passport. Sometimes, it is strange to see what people are thinking. I remember once on a discussion of the need for a democratic world government that someone answered: "No, not democratic but republican!" ... it took me a few seconds to understand that, that person couldn't differentiate between the world and the US two political parties. It's a question of semantic, really. But it catches many of us without warning.

Anyway, I find it strange that the Zeitgeist Movement, being much centered on science, doesn't point out the fact that if we fight wars, gather wealth and are corrupt, it is simply because it is what made us best fit to survive in the course of evolution.

Once again, it is easier to blame "the others" - whoever that might be - than ourselves.

Allow me an example: The manifesto says something about the way we render justice by revenge. I agree; I am against death penality simply because it is wrong to kill in order to prove that killing is wrong.
But how do we change that? I thought death sentence was still practiced in some States because there was a majority in favour. We can change the governor, the judges, the police ... we won't get anything if the people still want to see murderers on the death rows, right? Or did I miss something?

Cheers,
Michel
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Postby Rob Bryanton » Sat Oct 11, 2008 5:07 pm

Hey Millsley, thanks again for showing me this video. I posted a blog entry a couple of days ago that identifies you as the person who forwarded the video on to me, hope you don't object to me using your "forum" name.

http://imaginingthetenthdimension.blogs ... serve.html

The blog also includes a quote regarding the cool people on the planet, I got quite a chuckle from that list, check it out if you have a moment!

Best wishes,

Rob
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Postby Millsley » Mon Oct 13, 2008 6:18 pm

Wow Rob you've joined a diverse crew of immortals! ;) I was reading Charlie Chaplin's autobiography and that's the term he used for people who've successfully spread their meme across time. I don't mind the plug at all!

Hey Michel I hope you don't mind that I'm gonna defend what they're saying because I believe they're definitely on the right track!

I must ask myself: the world today as opposed to what? Before? After? My friends, the in respect to what is written above, the world was much worse before! Please, believe me; corruption, wars, etc. was much, much worse! Read history?


Before human "civilization" - did we have any of these things? War, corruption, elitism, poverty, epidemic disease, human rights abuses, inequality and crime. Maybe epidemic disease, but that's it. The rest are indirect results and labels of the society we have set up with faulty backings that engender these as natural outcomes. We do have something better to compare our society to that existed for billions of years beforehand - NATURE. Our society is an emergent property of the original one, which is based on symbiotic relationships between plants, animals and minerals. Our relationships are largely parasitic and its results are immediately obvious. Things have gotten marginally better over time, sure, but they aren't going to get dramatically better (when they obviously CAN) if we continue to function within the faulty systems we've constricted ourselves to. If we base our society on the success of the past pre-humanity with the promise of the future post-humanity (the current definition of humanity, anyways) then we will have a constantly evolving and progressive culture eternally locked into extracting the best from the present.

I remember once on a discussion of the need for a democratic world government that someone answered: "No, not democratic but republican!" ... it took me a few seconds to understand that, that person couldn't differentiate between the world and the US two political parties.


They may also have been distinguishing between a democracy and a republic - the US is a constitutional republic, not a democracy. I think a world government is a great idea, but NOT with the obvious problems and corruption we continue to condone within our current governments (and world bodies like the UN and the G8). Serious systematic change to the global economy is absolutely essential before we fix anything else (or jump to a world government that has more control than our current manifestations). With an economy that encourages self-interest, other-interest is quietly edged out of political and social spheres automatically.

Anyway, I find it strange that the Zeitgeist Movement, being much centered on science, doesn't point out the fact that if we fight wars, gather wealth and are corrupt, it is simply because it is what made us best fit to survive in the course of evolution.


I understand what you're saying but you're failing to acknowledge that evolution didn't teach us to fight wars, gather wealth and be corrupt - we taught ourselves this based on its inherent evolutionary advantage. HUGE DIFFERENCE. Evolution is not responsible for our behavior, we are. The Addendum mentions that when scarcity was a reality for ancient humans, this was most definitely advantageous to survival. HOWEVER, in modern society with the technology and technical expertise we have available, NONE of those things you've mentioned are now an evolutionary advantage, in fact, they are exactly the opposite - a major disadvantage. With all three of those things out of the way, technology and society would progress so rapidly that our rate of positive change today will be considered abysmally slow.

Once again, it is easier to blame "the others" - whoever that might be - than ourselves.


You keep mentioning this, but the Addendum is blaming both/neither. The other is a direct extension of ourselves, so yeah we have to fix our personal viewpoint, but the next step is to change the other that was the result of our previous selves. You can't just change yourself and then expect the other to just magically fix itself. Change is responsible in both parties.

Allow me an example: The manifesto says something about the way we render justice by revenge. I agree; I am against death penality simply because it is wrong to kill in order to prove that killing is wrong.
But how do we change that? I thought death sentence was still practiced in some States because there was a majority in favour. We can change the governor, the judges, the police ... we won't get anything if the people still want to see murderers on the death rows, right? Or did I miss something?


I see your point. Like I just mentioned above, the change is necessary in the individual FIRST. Then, changing the system that was brought about by the individual's inclinations before their change of heart will inevitably have to change - but it's not going to if the individuals don't do anything! In the personal sphere, reflection definitely provides the proper solace to cultivate positive value. However in the external sphere, action is necessary to produce positive change.

Self-serving institutions aren't going to dismantle themselves!
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Postby Michel » Tue Oct 14, 2008 1:36 am

Ah, Millsley, we disagree on so much! But then, if we agreed, we wouldn't have anything to talk about, right? :wink:

You don't like the United Nations; it doesn't surprise me; most Americans don't. The idea to discuss the problems of the world together with e.g. the ambassador of Ghana, seems ridiculous for many.

But the United Nations is an umbrella organization for many, many organizations that works in all fields of human interest: the environment, health, labour, child protection, ... the list is long.

Just an example that I know well because it affects my professional life.

After the Exxon Valdez accident, the US voted the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA-90) that requires all tankers in the US waters to have a double hull. Today, you can still have single hull ships but then you cannot call in a US harbour.

Why not then used the organization in place, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) that is part of the UN to pass a resolution that phases out single hull vessels for double ones?

I am sorry but if I was the Zeitgeist Movement, wanting to see a better world of tomorrow, I'd try to support the UN and any international movement because ... er, hum ... there is a world outside the US too. But that would mean swallowing national pride and sit with a representative of Ghana to discuss how we are going to solve our problems.

Do I read about support of FN, the Red Cross / Red Crescent, Amnesty International, the World Wildlife Fund, ect. ?

No.

Cheers,
Michel
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Postby Millsley » Tue Oct 14, 2008 3:15 am

That's totally not the reason why I don't like the UN, I think talking constructively with nations around the globe is essential; I don't like it because the bigger nations can muscle through anything they wish to while this is nearly impossible for little guys and a lot of times behind-the-scenes economic dealings factor in how smaller countries vote on issues that bigger countries want them to vote for. I am all about the humanitarian stuff, but even then it falls short on some accounts by simply providing aid in the form of billions of dollars in goods, rather than experience. The UN aid model is more along the lines of giving the man a fish than teaching the man to fish.

Great idea don't get me wrong - wrong execution. There is not ENOUGH swallowing of national pride at the UN and econo-political ties obscure issues further. Like I said earlier, these problems will be nearly impossible to eradicate with our economic system the way it is, enforcing the more developed countries' will on the lesser automatically by design.
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Postby Michel » Tue Oct 14, 2008 3:58 am

Okay, Millsley, but what is your vision, then?

You and the Zeitgeist Movement says what is wrong. But what is the solution then? Where do we start?

My idea is to continue with what we already have in place and make it better. If you feel we should start again from scratch, very well, but how?

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Postby Millsley » Tue Oct 14, 2008 8:04 pm

Well I think we could collectively take a good example from Alcoholics Anonymous - admitting we have a problem. When we continue with what we have I believe we are resigning ourselves to the inevitable problems that perpetually recreate themselves. Sure we can still work on the problems but the progress is so much slower than starting from scratch. I think as a society, we have too much of an egotistic attachment to our ideas. As an artist, I've learned that when trying to come up with funny stuff it's much better to not get attached to any one drawing and just mass-produce ideas. You show these to your friends, you get feedback, and you push the ones that are worth it. This way you eventually hone in on what is funny and you can specialize much later, when you've already mastered the receptive/generating aspect of the creative process (which I am still working on!).

Just like what the Addendum proposes, I strongly believe that our conception of MONEY is the key problem that generates its own problems in all other spheres of life whether it be political, religious, social or whatever. Money is used in all of these things, and when it is inherently based on self-interest, it can NEVER be properly used to generate the necessary other-interest that will make everything far more awesome for all of our individual selves. You can vote for politicians and ideas you like all day long but if our conception of money doesn't change, broad change in all aspects of life will be impossible. What can we do about money? Glad you asked! ;)

The way I understand a resource-based economy is that instead of money having inherent value we transfer this to resources. Thus, anything that degrades or destroys the resource in essence destroys its value - not good. In this perspective, a "cradle-to-cradle" approach for resources means that you receive maximum (really - approaching infinite) value out of it by ensuring the quality of the resource over an indefinite amount of time. First off, this ensures that sustainability is prioritized - leaving the resource (even when it's used), in a usable form for our descendants (and if possible, improving its quality!). Sustainability is inextricably linked to efficiency and abundance, which can only increase in a society that is sworn to protect the value of Earth's natural gifts to mankind.

What we need is transitional currencies that will help us reach this goal. With the financial instability we're seeing, people will be willing to try out complementary community currencies with demurrage (negative interest) and we should be seeing a lot of success with that.

Article on an Austrian town during the Great Depression struck with 33% unemployment using a CC with demurrage to finish tons of city social projects and have 100% employment until shut down by the central bank
http://www.newciv.org/nl/newslog.php...105-000002.htm

One author's look at a possible global CC
http://www.ascentofhumanity.com/newmoney.php

The great thing about complementary currencies is that they present us with a much better option for a smooth transition to a resource-based economy. The key to this system is in the concept of DEMURRAGE, which effectively translates into negative interest. Instead of people that hoard money *cough*monstrousinternationalbanks*cough* being rewarded, money actually devalues the longer it is held onto. One relative example is that rather than it being beneficial for you to be holding $1000, in this system it would be much better for you to have 10 people owe you $100 (which won't devalue), or just spending it on whatever and borrowing if you need to. With that money you've spent or lent, you've created business and the initial investment snowballs from there. With everyone spending and lending in this way, business is a natural by-product of having money, instead of being stifled by the 'need' to hold onto it so preciously (and every investment thus becomes collective, rather than needing to limit investments to yourself/your company). It becomes plain to see that this model transitions much easier than our current practice, since the money can actually lend its own value on resources and ideas like sustainability, efficiency, and abundance.

Also, interest cannot exist in this system, which means that imaginary money created out of thin air which is more than what exists in circulation (debt created from interest) no longer inflates and devalues the currency. And that seems like a good start to me. :)
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