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    The failure of international politics

    Stirring writing “After Rio, we know. Governments have given up on the planet” by George Monbiot in reaction to the collapse of the Rio Summit. He still finds reasons to continue to make efforts towards preserving the biosphere. Its clear however that we cannot look to governments and international agreements to do anything significant.

    Was it too much to have asked of the world’s governments, which performed such miracles in developing stealth bombers .. global markets and trillion-dollar bailouts, that they might spend a tenth of the energy and resources they devoted to these projects on defending our living planet? It seems, sadly, that it was.

    Monbiot pledges to focus on “rewilding” which I am also keen to work on.
    Another thinker in this area is Paul Kingsnorth who discusses in this article why he started the Dark Mountain project. Dark Mountain is in the last throws of raising money for its third anthology of writing, illustration and prose. I bought the first book and have ordered the third, its good reading and thought provoking. Check it out here

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    CNN occupy wall street

    I had missed the interesting social experiments Ruskofff describes, the local media is adopting its usual superficial view.

    CNN: Occupy Wall Street is not a Protest but a Prototype

    “Occupy” is anything but a protest movement. That’s why it has been so hard for news agencies to express or even discern the “demands” of the growing legions of Occupy participants around the nation, and even the world. Just like pretty much everyone else on the planet, occupiers may want many things to happen and other things to stop, but the occupation is not about making demands. They don’t want anything from you, and there is nothing you can do to make them stop. That’s what makes Occupy so very scary and so very promising. It is not a protest, but a prototype for a new way of living. (Via Douglas Rushkoff.)

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    US police under the spotlight

    A video of a US policeman calmly capsicum spraying unarmed sitting protestors has created an international storm. James Fallows has exhaustive coverage and Mark Bernstein summarises the story with key links and adds his own view in this excellent post Shame

    The walk of shame, as UC Davis Chancellor Katehi walks to her car before rows of silent students, was extraordinary. James Fallows wrote of the affectless sadism of the campus police, captured forever in film. If the euro collapse does usher in the second great depression, that video is going to become an icon and this behind-the-scenes account will someday be treasured the way we cherish stories of riding in the car with Martin.Bob Ostertag wrote a terrific piece on the shameful militarization of campus police. He doesn’t go far enough. Chancellor Katehi claimed that the quad was cleared because of “the encampment raised serious health and safety concerns.” Ostertag argues treats this as an error, a stupid failure of understanding and planning. But it’s not just a mistake.It was a lie. (Via Mark Bernstein)

    Perhaps all law enforcement officers should be trained in the fundamentals of non violent action to enable them to more appropriately respond to these situations. Thoreau's essay) is a good starting place (full text here), Ghandis' biography is another valuable source.

    Book - Ghandi Biography

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    Occupying wallstreet

    Tim Bray on Occupying Wall Street:

    • A large number of people in the finance business enriched themselves to the tune of billions in a manner that feels essentially like bald-faced theft. Nobody has been punished. Very few of these people even experienced much in the way of financial setbacks, because they were bailed out with other people’s money. As in, yours & mine.
    • The general degree of inequality, whether measured in money or power, seems unreasonable.
    • The political system seems structurally unable to take any action which runs counter to the interests of the finance-industry elite.
    I think those perceptions are broadly correct, and I think it’s reasonable to be angry about them, and to engage in political action: This is what politics is for. (Via ongoing by Tim Bray.)

    Right on - a succinct summary of why many people are emphasising with this movement.

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    Rushkoff speaks to occupy movement

    Douglass Rushkoff is always worth reading, here is a rousing speech he gave to Occupy Wallstreet
    Occupy Reality - Transcript

    You are not fighting against people, but against a machine.It was put in place over 500 years ago.
    By a wealthy elite - trying to repress a booming peer to peer economy.
    Those people are all dead, but their program lives on.
    (Via Douglas Rushkoff)

    As he says in the opening lines this speech covers the material that is exhaustively documented in his book Life Inc which is a fascinating read.

    Book - Life Inc

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    The innovators secret weapon

    Great post over at MyMicroISV from Jarie Bolander. Very timely for me as I in the process to creating a day off a week to allow time to grow a new venture.

    The Innovator’s Secret Weapon

    • Keep an idea journal: An idea journal is an invaluable tool to find trends and cluster ideas. Just reading through a journal can give you all sorts of inspiration.
      • Have a hobby: Hobbies are great to spark creativity and innovation. I once had a friend who created an entire remote control toy business because he was sick and tired of not having enough frequencies to use.
    • Be well read: Reading a wide variety of topics and styles creates opportunities for cross over innovation. Great ideas will come from looking at a problem from a different perspective.
    • Take long walks: Wander, stroll, skip or run. Anything to get you out of a building and thinking. Many of my best ideas come when I’m working out.
    • Volunteer: Volunteering is not only tremendously rewarding but a great place for inspiration. You would be amazed at how much you can help an organization and yourself by just giving a few hours a week.
    • Help others innovate: Get out there and help someone else create. This is just like the recruiting others above and it’s for the same reason – the more brains, the better the idea flow.

    Jarie Bolander (Via MyMicroISV)

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    Groups with more women are more intelligent

    Tom Malone on collective intelligence and the “genetic” structure of groups

    The average intelligence of the people in the group and the maximum intelligence of the people in the group doesn’t predict group intelligence.

    and

    So how do you engineer groups that can problem-solve effectively? First of all, seed them with, basically, caring people. Group intelligence is correlated … with the average social sensitivity — the openness, and receptiveness, to others — of a group’s constituents. The emotional intelligence of group members, in other words, serves the cognitive intelligence of the group overall. And this means that — wait for it — groups with more women tend to be smarter than groups with more men.

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    Permaculture and online learning

    After years of exposure to Permaculture and having spent several years a decade ago implementing a disparate set of its common patterns at our previous property in Northern NSW, I am now taking a much deeper dive into it after enrolling in Geoff Lawton's Online Permaculture Design Course. Its been running a few weeks now and my partner and I are both finding it a revelation. So many concepts and themes that we had previously read about but not really understood are suddenly making sense. Geoff's an excellent teacher and the online format works perfectly for a couple of introverted types. We can take our time and review material as we go.

    There were elements of classic internet marketing1 wrapped around the promotion of the course that had me a little worried, those concerns have proven groundless and I can understand that using the marketing approaches that work makes sense when your goal is to get this material out to the widest audience and in a sustainable way.

    As a taster, check out this video Absolute in Abundance, they will want your email address however if you are at all interested in this stuff you will get a steady stream of really good links and content as a result.

    I would highly recommend that anyone who has been interested in doing a PDC but not found the time or the right teacher consider taking one of Geoff's courses.

    Meanwhile, check out the many videos and resources that are freely available at the Permaculture Research Institute. The links to several excellent related documentaries can also be found here. The site is an aggregator of several of my favourite authors including George Monbiot who has a new book - Feral - A manifesto for rewilding the world.

    Surfers interested in Permaculture should enjoy this chat with Geoff about the links between surfing and permaculture.

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