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Wednesday, 29 December 2010

An undiscovered island

Imagine, if you will, that we have landed on the sandy shores of an undiscovered island. Not just us but a number of other expedition shave also landed on the same golden shore line. Before us lies the think green undergrowth that marks the edge of a deep dark forest beyond which lies a mountain, the highest point on the island. All the expeditions, each with their own characteristics and peculiarities, decide that we should explore the island and head towards the distant mountain. But how to get there? Each group has their own ideas of which ways they should go; head in land from where we first landed, explore the coast line more, look for a river or just head into the

We each set of on our different route but we agree to keep in contact with each other via radio and to help each other if we can. As the expeditions advance, each on their own route following their own ideas, we make progress into the unknown. As we learn new things about the island we pass on the information; the animals we find, the lie of the land, food and water supplies. Each group makes progress but each runs into problems. When a group has difficulty the other try and help them out. Some times it can mean change in course as one group find an easy path and informs groups that have met with impenetrable forest. So times it just advice; look out for a eye plants!

I see a future society working like this; one that does not fear differences and has to make everyone the same but acknowledges deliverances and see the advantages they can bring. A society that lets people live their own life but bring them together when needed to help each other.

Although each group has its differences we all have a common goal. Through acknowledging our differences we gain strength. Knowledge learnt in one group helps another and visa verse. As no one group knows the right way forward having differences allows us to search different alternatives as we all head for the same goal. Through working together on the points we have in common allows to maximise our resources on a focused area. Through networking we gain the advantage s of multiple approaches and strength though numbers.

In engineering we would call this approach of exploring the unknown prototyping. In software engineering we would call it forking.

Monday, 13 December 2010


Cooperation poses a bit of a problem; when selfishness represents the optimal strategy why would entities op to cooperate, especially if it means losing out in the short term and opening up oneself to exploitation? We can show acting for one's own self interest, regardless of anyone else's, represents the optimal strategy through game theory, especially prisoner's dilemma which shows defecting as the optimal strategy. This forms the foundation in classical economics of the "economic man"; a rational entity that seeks to optimise personal gain. Yet such a model doesn't fit with reality. Experiments and real world applications of the prisoner's dilemma has demonstrated that it doesn't model real world human interaction in either a social or economic sense and it fails (actually, it works well for psychopaths and economists but not for the rest of us). Psychology has show that the foundation of economics, the "economic man", also fails to model reality well. In reality we tend to favour cooperation over purely selfish actions. Why?

Why should we cooperate? Axelrod and Hamilton looked at the evolution of cooperation through the application of multiple prisoner's dilemma. They found that if rational entities could meet again and play prisoner's dilemma over and over that tit-for-tat represented the optimal strategy. They ran hundreds of trials with many different strategies and although tit-for-tat didn't come top it came second more time than other strategies meaning that overall it represented the best strategy. In tit-for-tat, cooperation gets rewarded with cooperation and defecting gets punished with defection, thus each entity has a vested interest in cooperating. So long as entities have a chance of meeting again and so long as defecting or freeloading gets punished cooperation represents to optimal strategy for self interested entities, which matches closer what actually happens in the real world.

The real world example of reciprocal altruism comes close to theoretical model of tit-for-tat from game theory. Examples include symbiosis between different animals such as cleaner fish or human actions such as voluntary charity work. This strategy can give greater benefits to those involved if those involved meet multiples times and can spot free loaders and punish them.

In the end, cooperation can work as the optimal strategy for selfish entities giving them greater benefits, especially in the long run, than purely selfish actions provided the entities interact multiple times over time and freeloaders or those that would explode the cooperation get pushed and thus, do not gain from the exportation.

Cooperation forms an important part of the socioeconomic design of EOS. We propose a network multiple autonomous entities working together and cooperating on common tasks. These entities remain separate with their own ideas doing their own things but as each works towards a common overall goal they can come together to form common project as needed. This results in entities forming higher entities to work on a common project in a holonic system of cooperation.

Monday, 11 October 2010

Fixing the facade

Once there was a man who had a house. One day he noticed a crack in the walls of the house so he patched it up and gave in new coat of paint and all looked well. Some months later he saw another crack so he did the same; filled in the crack and painted it over. Some weeks later he saw two more crack so, again, he filled them in and painted them over. It wasn't long before a friend pointed out that he had a number of cracks in the wall of his house. His friend said it looked bad and that he should do something about the problem. The man told him he was working on the problem and they both went out to patch up the wall and paint it over and all looked well. Some time after more cracks appeared and the man got busy working on the problem. He was annoyed that more cracks appeared but he was happy that he was doing something to address the problem. However, the more he patched up the house the more the cracks would appear. Soon cracks were appearing faster than he could patch them up and it wasn't long before the whole house collapsed. Then the man realised the problem wasn't the cracks in the wall but what was causing the cracks to appear! The house was rotten to the core and while he had spent his time tackling the cracks the real problem got worse. Even worse for the man, because he had spent his time fixing cracks he had felt he was doing something about the problem so didn't look further into the problem. As the cracks had got worse he had spent all his time and energy on fixing the cracks that he didn't have any more time for investigating the problem.

I look at today's society and what we do and I see a man fixing the facade of a rotten building. We have things like ISO 14000 and 20-20-20 attempting to address the problem but do nothing about the core problem so they become filling in the cracks. Are we doing something? Do things like ISO 14000 and 20-20-20 make a difference? Yes, we do do something and ISO 14000 and 20-20-20 do make an impact but do we do anything about the core problem? No, we don't. Sooner or later the good things that might come out of ISO 14000 and 20-20-20 will get lost when the building collapses.

It appears to me the term "sustainable development" forms an example of an oxymoron!

Thursday, 19 August 2010

The Venus Project in Stockholm, Sweden

Preparations before the talk

The big event for EOS this year : The Venus Project in Stockholm. I organised the lecture that Roxanne Meadows and Jacque Fresco gave at the Clarion Hotel in Stockholm.

The event when really well. I got to meet with a lot of like minded people. Everything went smoothly and we had over 300 people at the event.

Afterwards we had a meal that Jim from Rent-a-chef organised and we also had a BBQ on the following day, that Jim also arranged.

All in all, I think we can say the event turned out a big success and that everyone involved really enjoyed.

Thanks to all those who helped.

Roxanne Meadows

Jacque and Roxanne talking to member of the audience during a break

The meal afterwards

Friday, 16 July 2010

Engineering Society

I have now finsihed the next part of the design and you can find it here:

Engineering Society

I'm now getting quite busy as The Venus Project event in Stockholm come closer!


Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Experiments with green stuff

I have worked on a few experiments; one with growing hydroponics, one with permaculture and one with oil algae.

At the moment they all look as if they have worked and will continue to work well. I've managed to grow some lettuce in the hydroponics and plant the pernamculture plants and I have some algae growing in my photo bio-reactors.

For the hydroponics, next year I want to start looking at producing my own nutrients. For the permaculture I need to see if the plants last the winter. I don't know of anyone who has tried permaculture this far north (63 deg). For the algae I now need to see if I can harvest them and produce some oil.

Monday, 7 June 2010

Energy Accounting Design ready for review

I think I now have the energy accounting design ready for review. If you would like to look at it and comment.

Energy Accounting Design

NB, if you don't like the idea of ECs and would prefer the TVP idea then just ignore that bit. With or without ECs we would still need the second part of the system of "expert management".



Thursday, 20 May 2010

New site up and running

The lads down in Slovenia have worked hard on designing and constructing our new EOS sit. Now they have it up and ready. Well, almost, we have a few bits here and there to fix but most of it runs well.

You can find the new site here:


Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Thermoeconomics: The use of Exergy in Alternative Socioeconomics

I've worked a bit more of the design of an alternative to our current money based socioeconomic system. This actually formed part of a cause I have just finished in Thermoeconomics. The paper I wrote was on the use of exergy for an energy accounting system.

You can find it here:

Thermoeconomics: The use of Exergy in Alternative Socioeconomics


Thursday, 25 February 2010

Lecturing at Umeå University

Some months ago I revived an invitation to speak at Umeå University of the subject of "Alternative Socioeconomics" from UpF (a student political interest group). I thought it very nice to get such an invite :)

The lecture talked about why we need to look at alternative socioeconomics (looking at exponential growth) then went on to resent EOS and The Venus Project as two alternatives. I then looked at implementation plans. At then end I left space for questions and answers and the student bombarded me with quite a few of them!

I did the lecture last week and it went well even if it was not my best performance (I had a cold at the time). I received an email yesterday saying that it sparked quite a bit of discussion!

I hope I will get the opportunity to do more lectures, perhaps at other Universities?


Racing snails

Well, at least some times it does feel like that! We make progress but we make such slow progress! On the NPO front we have decided on a name for the translation company; "nu ridle". Which means "readable" or "something that you read" in Loglan. Now we need to actually form the company. We have someone working on that now; filling in the forms and registering the company. Next we will need a web page then get some customers so we can have some money input into building communities and start moving away from this money based system!


Wednesday, 27 January 2010


EOS - European Organisation for Sustainability. Aiming to build a moneyless sustainable society.

The word "technocracy" means "rule of the skilled", in other words it means a system of government where the people who can make competent decisions get to make those decisions. Such a system differs greatly form our current oligarchy where we have elected representatives who get elected, as it appears to me, because they look good on TV or make nice sounding promises not because they have the competence to actually do something. Often it appears to me they only have any competence in looking after themselves (ever met a poor politician?). So, to me "technocracy" would signify something positive, a break from our current self disructive system to something better.

Unfortunately, not every body see it in such a positive light. The word "technocracy" has gained a negative connotation with people using it as an insult or thinking it means "techno-fascism" (far from the actual meaning the word). This means people often jump to conclusions about the type of sustainable sociality NET proposes and don't even listen to what we say. We have known of this problem for some time but we were unable to come up with an alternative - until now!

We have agreed to change NET to EOS - European Organisation for Sustainability. Not only does that represent what we aim to achieve for our society but also as the name "Eos" refers to the Greek Goddess of the dawn the name also symbolises the new dawn of a new sustainable, moneyless, civilisation that we envision.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

The Venus Project to come to Sweden

The main thing I have worked on before the holidays was getting the Jacque Fresco for the Venus Project to come to Sweden. Jacque will come in July and we have a site up selling tickets to cover the cost of the visit.

The Venus Project event in Sweden : Attend This Event

We as in NET have also worked more on establishing the (proto-)technate. We now need a formal meeting of the board to agree on the translation company which I hope we will arrange soon.