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Zeitgeist: Moving Forward - Project: Earth (Snippet)

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Let's imagine for a moment we had the option to redesign human civilization from the ground up. What if- hypothetically speaking- we discovered an exact replica of the planet Earth and the only difference between this new planet and our current one is that human evolution had not occurred. It was an open palette. No countries, no cities, no pollution, no republicans... just a pristine, open environment. So- what would we do? Well, first we need a “goal”, right? And it's safe to say that goal would be to survive. And not to just survive, but to do so in an optimized, healthy, prosperous way. Most people, indeed, desire to live and they would prefer to do so without suffering. Therefore, the basis of this civilization needs to be as supportive and hence sustainable for human life as possible- taking into account the material needs of all the world's people while trying to remove anything that can could hurt us in the long run. With that goal of “Maximum Sustainability” understood the next question regards our “method”. What kind of approach do we take? Well, let's see- last I checked, politics was the method of social operation on Earth... so what do the doctrines of the republicans, liberals, conservatives or socialists have to say about societal design? Hmmm... not a damn thing. Okay then- what about religion? Surely the great creator had to have left some blueprints somewhere... Nope... nothing I can find. Okay then- so what's left? It appears something called “Science”. Science is unique in that its methods demand not only that ideas proposed be tested and replicated, but everything science comes up with is also inherently falsifiable. In other words, unlike religion and politics science has no ego and everything it suggests accepts the possibility of being proven wrong eventually. It holds on to nothing and evolves constantly. Well, that sounds natural enough to me. So then: based on the current state of scientific knowledge in the early 21st century along with our goal of “maximum sustainability” for the human population, how do we begin the actual process of construction? Well, the first question to ask is: What do we need to survive? The answer, of course, are Planetary Resources. Whether it is the water we drink, the energy we use or the raw materials we utilize to create tools and shelter, the planet hosts an inventory of resources- many of which are demanded for our survival. So, given that reality it then becomes critical to figure out what we have and where it is. This means we need to conduct a survey. We simply locate and identify every physical resource on the planet we can, along with the amount available at each location. From the deposits of copper, to the most potent locations for wind farms to produce energy, to the natural fresh water springs to an assessment of the amount of fish in the ocean to the most prime arable land for food cultivation, etc. But, since we humans are going to be consuming these resources over time we then realize that not only do we need to locate and identify- we also need to track. We need to make sure we don't run out of any of this stuff; that would be bad. And this means not only tracking our rates of use but the rates of earthly regeneration as well such as how long it takes for say, a tree to grow or a spring to replenish. This is called “Dynamic Equilibrium”. In other words, if we use up trees faster than they can be grown back, we have a serious problem, for it is unsustainable. So then, how do we track this inventory especially when we recognize that all of this stuff is scattered everywhere? We have large mineral mines in what we call Africa, energy concentrations in the Middle East, huge tidal power possibilities on the Atlantic coast of North America, the largest supply of fresh water in Brazil, etc. Well, once again, good old science has a suggestion: It's called “Systems theory”. Systems theory recognizes that the fabric of the natural world, from human biology to the earthly biosphere to the gravitational pull of the solar system itself, is one huge synergistically connected system - fully interlinked. Just as human cells connect to form our organs and the organs connect to form our bodies and since our bodies cannot live without the earthy resources of food, air and water, we are intrinsically connected to the earth. And so on. So, as nature suggests, we take all of this inventory and tracking data, and create a “system” to manage it. A “Global Resource Management System”, in fact, to account for every relevant resource on the planet. There is simply no logical alternative, if our goal as a species is survival in the long run. We have to keep track as a whole. That understood, we can now consider production. How do we use all this stuff? What will our process of production be, and what do we need to consider to make sure it is as optimized as possible, to maximize our sustainability? Well, the first thing that jumps right out at us, is the fact that we need to constantly try and preserve. The planet's resources are essentially finite. So it is important that we be “strategic”. "Strategic Preservation" is key. The second thing we recognize, is that some resources are really not as good as others in their performance. In fact, some of this stuff when put into use has a terrible effect on the environment, which invariably hinders our own health. For example: oil and fossil fuels, no matter how you cut it, release some pretty destructive agents into the environment. Therefore, it is critical we do our best to use such things only when we really have to- if at all. Fortunately for us, we see a ton of solar – wind – tidal – wave – heat differential and geothermal possibilities for energy production. So we can strategize objectively, about what we use and where, to avoid what could be called “negative retroactions”, or anything that results from production or use that damages the environment and hence, ourselves. We will call this “Strategic Safety” to couple in with our "Strategic Preservation”. But production strategies do not stop there. We are going to need an "Efficiency Strategy”, for the actual mechanics of production itself. And what we find is that there are roughly three specific protocols we must adhere to: 1: Every good we produce must be designed to last as long as possible. Naturally, the more things break down, the more resources we are going to need to replace them, and the more waste produced. 2: When things do break down, or are no longer usable for whatever reason, it is critical that we harvest, or recycle as much as we possibly can. So the production design must take this into account directly at the very earliest stages. 3: Quickly evolving technologies, such as electronics, which are subject to the fastest rates of technological obsolescence, would need to be designed to foreshadow and accommodate physical updates. The last thing we want to do is throw away an entire computer system just because it has only one broken part, or is outdated. So we simply design the components to be easily updated, part by part, standardized and universally interchangeable, foreshadowed by the current trend of technological change. And when we realize that the mechanisms of "Strategic Preservation”, “Strategic Safety” and “Strategic Efficiency” are purely technical considerations devoid of any human opinion or bias, we simply program these strategies into a computer which can weigh and calculate all the relevant variables, allowing us to always arrive at the absolute best method for sustainable production based on current understandings. And while that might sound complex all it is, is a glorified calculator, not to mention that such multi-varied decision making and monitoring systems, are already used across the world today for isolated purposes. It is simply a process of scaling it out. So... Now, we not only have our Resource Management System, but also a Production Management System, both of which are easily computer automated to maximize efficiency, preservation and safety. The informational reality is that the human mind or even a group of humans, cannot track what needs to be tracked. It must be done by computers, and it can be. And this bring us to the next level: Distribution. What sustainability strategies make sense here? Well, since we know that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line, and since energy is required to power transport machines, the less transport distance, the more efficient. Producing goods in one continent and shipping them over to another only makes sense if the goods in question simply cannot be produced in the target area. Otherwise, it is nothing but wasteful. We must localize production, so distribution is simple, fast, and requires the least amount of energy. We'll call this the “Proximity Strategy”, which simply means we reduce the travel of goods as much as possible whether raw materials or finished consumer products. Of course, it might also be important to know what goods we are transporting and why. And this falls under the category of Demand. And demand is simply what people need to be healthy and to have a high quality of life. The spectrum of material human needs range from core life supporting necessities such as food, clean water and shelter, to social and recreational goods which allow for relaxation and personal, social enjoyment: both important factors in human and social health overall. So, very simply, we take another survey. People describe their needs, demand is assessed, and production begins based on that demand. And since the level of demand of different goods will naturally fluctuate and change around different regions, we need to create a “Demand / Distribution Tracking System" so to avoid overruns and shortages. Of course, this idea is old news; it is used in every major store chain today to make sure they keep up with their inventory. Only this time, we are tracking on a global scale. But, wait a minute. We really can't fully understand demand if we don't account for the actual usage of the good itself. Is it logical and sustainable for every single human to say, have one of everything made? Regardless of their usage? No. That would be simply wasteful and inefficient. If a person has a need for a good but that need is only for say, 45 minutes a day on average, it would be much more efficient if that good was made available to them and to others when needed. Many forget that it isn't the good that they want, it is the purpose of that good. When we realize that the good itself is only as important as its utility, we see that “external restriction”, or what we might call today “ownership”, is extremely wasteful and environmentally illogical in a fundamental, economic sense. So, we need to devise a strategy called: “Strategic Access”. This would be the foundation of our "Demand / Distribution Tracking System” which makes sure we can meet the demand of the population's needs for access of whatever they need, when they need it. And as far as physically obtaining the goods, centralized and regional access centers all make sense for the most part, placed in close proximity to the population and a person would simply come in, take the item, use it and when finished, return it when it is no longer needed... sort of how a library works today. In fact, these centers could not only exist in the community in the way we see local stores today, but specialized access centers would exist in specific areas where often certain goods are utilized, saving more energy with less repeat transport. And once this Demand Tracking System is in order, it is tied into our Production Management system, and of course, into our Resource Management system. Hence creating a unified, dynamically updating, global economic management machine, that simply makes sure we remain sustainable. Starting with securing the integrity of our finite resources, moving to make sure we only create the best, most strategic goods possible, while distributing everything in the most intelligent and efficient way. And the unique result of this preservation-based approach, which is intuitively counter to many, is that this logical, ground up empirical process of preservation and efficiency - which can only define true human sustainability on this planet - would likely enable something never before seen in human history: Access Abundance. Not just for a percentage of the global population, but the entire civilization. This economic model, as was just generalized... this responsible, systems approach to total Earth resource management and processes, designed, again, to do nothing less than take care of humanity as a whole in the most efficient and sustainable way, could be termed: a “RESOURCE-BASED ECONOMY”. The idea was defined in the 1970s by structural engineer Jacque Fresco. He understood back then that society was on a collision course with nature and itself, unsustainable on every level, and if things didn't change, we would destroy ourselves, one way or another.

Video Details

Duration: 14 minutes and 51 seconds
Year: 2011
Country: United States
Language: English
Producer: Peter Joseph
Director: Peter Joseph
Views: 122
Posted by: tzmgermany on Apr 27, 2012

This video features a short segment of the movie Zeitgeist: Moving Forward, which you can watch here:

More information on the zeitgeist movies can be found here: Repository-Location:

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