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Monday, 30 November 2009

Work on going

We always seam to make slow progress in NET but at least we make progress!

So far I have worked on getting the documentation together for seeing up an NPO for the proto-technate. I have now completed the first draft of that and have it on the wiki for NET. We need to work some more on that, especially the web page text.

I have started to look again at the Energy Credit sim. The lads down in Slovenia need it as they work towards creating a moneyless society test platform there. We need more work on the simulation, especially with the outputs but I hope the sim will work for now and then we can modify it to get a good experimental platform working.


Thursday, 8 October 2009

Visit to London

I had an invitation to visit London and meet with Jacque Fresco, Roxanne Meadows and the Venus Project Design team. I flew out there and met up with them at a part on Friday evening and then on Saturday I attended Jacque's lecture at the London City University. On Sunday I talked with Jacque and Roxanne as well as members of Venus Project Design team. Jacque gave interview after interview on the Sunday to magazines and TV reporters.

I found it very interesting to talk to Jacque. He has a very comprehensive view of the future and what form society could take. What you see of the Venus Project on the web and in films represents only the tip of an iceberg. Although I might not agree with everything I find I am in agreement with far more than I disagree with and those I see as minor.

To me, I would see this as a great opportunity for NET to cooperate and work with the Venus Project Design team as we head towards a common vision for the future.

The Venus Project

Venus Project Design

Friday, 25 September 2009

Energy Credit Sim

I've worked some more on the Energy Credit Sim. I have added in the stats manager class so now the system records events going on and will save the to a csv file at the end. That makes it easy to load up the stats and gain some idea of what went on. Now the code needs longer testing just to make sure it does what I think it should do. I will also need to write a user manual so other people can use it. After that we will need to design some experiment to see how a moneyless society using energy credits might work.


Friday, 18 September 2009

Off to England!

I have done some more work on the energy credit sim. I have added in a class that keeps track of statistics in the sim. I have almost completed it, when I get a bit more time I hope to finish it off. I just have to write a bit of code that outputs the stats to a file so we can analysis them. After that I plan to run a number of test to make sure the code works and does what we thing it should do before starting some experiments.

In the mean time, I received an invitation to travel to the Zeitgeist / Venus Project event in London in October. So I shall pop over there and giver a presentation of NET and meet up with other interesting folk and hopeful we will have some good opportunities to work with others towards a better, sustainable moneyless sociality.

At Umeå University we showed the "Future by Design" film. The film has Jacque Fresco as the subject matter. It went well and we had a quite a few people turn up.

In addition, we have our weekly loglan meeting up and running again after the holidays. We have had then running for a few weeks now every Saturday in second life.


Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Back from holiday!

I have had a nice long summer holiday :) Now I'm back and I'm getting on top of things again. I have mainly worked on the business plan for a translation company. The translation company will not exist for the purpose of making a profit, but any money it does make should go back into NET and help towards the proto-technate. I have sent the plan around to people for comment and I hope we can have a talk about it this weekend at the next NET meeting.

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

What I have done!

I'm now back after having a stomach bug for a few days. :( But the following summarises what I was up to before I was ill.

I have done some more work on the design for an Energy Accounting system. The write up appears on the NET wiki here: Energy Accounting Design. Mostly I have added a bit about the flow in the system and about the thermal dynamics of our current system.

I have started working on the relations kit, especially the NET constitution here: NET Constitution. The main bits I have added really come from other bit with have son this document just groups together bits we have in other places so far.

The last think I was working on was to do with the proto-technate. I have started on the business plan for a another NPO. This NPO will handle translation work. I have also started on developing a robot that I hope will form a product for a robotics NPO.


Thursday, 21 May 2009

meetings, meetings and meetings!!!

I've have had a somewhat busy time with meetings just recently. First we had the NET AGM in Umeå, Sweden. That went really well. It was good to meet up with people I have worked with for years but have never met in RL!I think close communications like that enabled us to sort out our ideas more clearly then we ever have just on the forum. I gave a talk on the design and what we need to do next as well as a talk on Loglan.

The second meeting was over the Net with a group in Australia. This was part of a meeting at the Foresight Innovation & Sustainability Hothouse held in Sydney. I gave a very short talk on our ideas in NET for building a sustainable society based around a network of communities called a proto-technate. I then answered some questions from the audience there. The whole talk was only a few minutes but it went well with some good questions.

The third meeting will happen this weekend. I'm giving a talk in Extropia, Second Life on money to the Imagine network. The talk will concentrate on why we cannot sustain our current system and, therefore, why we should look at alternatives.


Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Energy Credit Sim

I have now finished the first run though of the energy credit sim. We need now to look at it and see what we want to do with it and what we want to get out of it. Then we need to start running simulations.

At the moment I feel its too simple and perhaps we need to look at cases that would add some more complexity to it.


Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Earth Day

Happy Earth Day!

Every year NET is Umeå has an Earth Day lecture. This year we worked in cooperation with the Imagine Network in Second Life and the lecture was broadcast live in Second Life as part of the Earth Week event as well.

This year, the talk was about an idea for going from today's unsustainable system to a better sustainable system. I started of looking at our vision of a futuer sustainable system and then looked at today's unsustainable system. I argued that climate change, poverty and the unsustainablelity of today's system results from the way we do things thus if we wish to move to something sustainable then we need to look at an alternative socio-economic system.

I then went on the present the proto-technate as an idea for moving form today's system to tomorrow sustainable system. The proto-technate forms a collection of cooperative communities embedded in the current money system. Internally it doesn't use money and experts manage the technical side with direct democracy for the people side.

At the end of the talk I had quite a lot of questions both from the audience in Umeå and in Second Life. In the end the whole event went really well.


Tuesday, 14 April 2009

The Physical Foundations of Economics

This weekend I was reading a book called "The Physical Foundations of Economics". The author presents some interesting ideas of economics, and social systems, as type of thermodynamic systems. He sees the systems as attempting to create minimum entropy structures. As information has links with entropy, we can also see economic systems and information system. The author brings in some interesting points about value and sees that as information. Also the author has an information / entropy definition of value and sees systems as either having fixed costs or flexible costs as entropy functions. The author links back to empirical data and shows how an thermodynamic interpretation matches the empirical data better than neoclassical economics.

I have an interest in this because it links to NETs ideas of using thermodynamics as a way to interpret economics as as the foundation of Energy Credits. I think the theroy preseted in the book will offer us a better foundation for ECs and for making a comparison with current economic theory.


Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Oil Algea and Earth Day

Last week I had a meeting with another algae expert who specialises in fresh water algae. From what we talked about it looks like we might have a couple of problems.

First, I will need to maintain the temperature at around 18 Deg C. This I had a look at over the weekend and with out active cooling the best I could do was 23 Deg C. Come summer time I expect the temperature of the lab to go up to about 30 Deg C. The could cause the algae population to crash and encourage the growth of other, toxic, algae.

Second, I was hoping this would form part of a cyclic system that we will need for sustainability reasons. The waste from one system would form the input to another. As such I was hoping to use urine as a food source for the algae but this probably wont work as it will have some important trace elements missing. I will have to look at this again.

As for this week, I am concentrating of the Earth Day lecture. That lecture will take place at Umeå University on the 21st at 19:30. The subject will cover the proto-technate as a means for moving from today's unsustainable system to a future sustainable system.


Wednesday, 1 April 2009

EC Sim Update

I have a "working" version of the energy credit sim running now. I say "working" because I still,need to go through it to see that it does do what I think it should do. Once I have done that I will release the code to NET and we can look at it and see what do we want to get out of. So far, I can see that I should imp+lement a class to collect stats but I will wait till we have looked at the simulatuion and decided what data we want to collect.

On the oil algea front; I have talked to another miocrobiologist and we will ahve a meeting on Friday to talk aout oil algae.


Thursday, 26 March 2009

Energy Survey

This week I have concentrated ion the energy survey. The energy survey project has to goal of assessing the resource in Europe to see whether or not we have the resource base to establish a full technate. So far we have conducted a survey of the solar potential of Europe which shows that Europe has the capacity to produce all its energy needs from solar energy. Currently I am working on the next step of the survey; food production and consumption.

I have collect date for the food part and I have started on putting the data together. I do have some problems with the data as a consumption category does not all ways match with a production category, like "grapes" in production and "wine" in consumption. So I'm having to do the best I can to match consumption with production. Despite a few problems, the data does appear at this point in time to show that Europe has the capacity to produce its own food with the exeption of some more luxury items such as coffee.

Thursday, 19 March 2009

Oil Algae

I had a meeting yesterday with a microbiologist and she was very helpful giving advice on algae that I could use for my oil algae experiments. She recommended either Rhodomonas Sp, Chlamydomouas or Scendesmus as good starign algae. They all grow in frees water and I should have no trouble growing them. She has also given me contact information to talk to some other scientist who might help.

Oil algae has an interest to NET as we aim for a sustainable solution to today's problems due to our current socioeconomic system as it allows us to produce bio-diesel in less area than other crops for more oil. Thus presenting a better solution than today's distructive means of producing bio-diesel.

Monday, 16 March 2009

Zeitgeist in Umeå

Last night NET conducted a showing of the second Zeitgeist film, Zeitgeist Addendum, at Umeå University in Sweden. The event went really well, despite some technical problems at the start. We had 15 people there and most where really interested in the film and stayed for a discussion afterwards.

Although NET doesn't form part of the Zeitgeist movement we do have a lot in common. We share a common evaluation of the money system and the unsuitability of such a system. We aim to move away from today's destructive money based system towards a sustainable moneyless system that balances our needs with the eco-system. We also share common ground with the Venus Project, although we do have our differences and we tend to concentrate more on scientific verification and implemnetaion ideas. NET has had involvement with TVP for a number of years and we have regualrly shown "Futuer by Design" at Umeå University.

Sunday, 15 March 2009


This weekend just gone I managed to get my hydroponics experiment set up. This year I will just grow lettuce. Hydroponics becomes interesting from a sustainability perspective because it allows us to grow food where we would not have the ability other wise. We could grow food in the cities, thus cutting down on transportation, and grow food vertically, thus cutting down on the need for extra land, without having soil and its associated problems (such as disease). Most hydroponics utilises pumps to circular the nutrient solution. I have the purpose of investigating a low energy solution for hydroponics which involves using a reservoir that I fill up at weekly intervals. The liquid then slowly leaks into a box containing a growing medium and plants.

In addition, I have also started exploring geodesic domes again. I have the intention to exam how the angles work through building a small wooden dome. I also have an appointment with a micro biologists this coming Wednesday to talk about oil algae and the Umeå group has a showing of Zeitgeist II this evning.

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Proto-technate update

The proto-technate forms an experimental platform for technocracy and a stepping stone towards a future hi-tech sustainable moneyless society. As we plan to implement it so far involves the construction of a network of communities and a set of interface companies we, in Umeå, have started working on building up the interface companies.

The aim to embed the proto-technate within the current socioeconomic system but to operate internally with an alternative socioeconomic system based on energy credits. The interface companies have the purpose of interacting with the out side omoney world.

Our first attempt to form an company takes the form of a translation company. We have some degree of experitise in that area here in Umeå. At the moment I am working on the business plan and making some progress. If all goes well I hope to have a draft copy ready for next week.


Monday, 9 March 2009

Energy Credit Sim

I have done some more work on the energy credit sim. I have now implemented all the classes so its just a case of linking it all together and getting to work. When I have done that I will make the code public and we can all have a look at it. We want to look at what does it do and what do we want to get from it.

The idea behind the energy credit sim has to do with simulating a resourced based economy that uses energy accounting as a means of resource allocation. Although the idea was proposed many decades ago not one has done any serious work in investigating whether or not this system will work. So, though simulation we hope to show that the system can work and also to see what kinds of problems might occur in such a system.

Energy accounting forms our proposal for replacing money. We (NET) argues that any sustainable socioeconomic system can not use money as money leads to system that doesn't balance with nature. We only have to look at the profit and greed in our current system to see the destruction that results in our world. Allocating resources based on what we physically have forms part of a way for us to balance our needs with the ecosystem. We would no longer have the profit motive nor the ability to "get rich", thus we could build products to last, reduce demand and reduce our impact on the world.