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Ben McLeish - The Innovation War - Z-Day 2011

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About 2 months ago I found myself on the comment section of YouTube. Unfortunately, I was commenting on a video about the famous Ayn Rand and I posted underneath against this woman's tirades against what is essentially the human race that this monetary system seems to have no point and seems to actually hinder people and hinder progress and one of the responses I got (and I didn't answer it) was: "Well, actually money creates an incentive to invent the new items. That's the driving force behind it." So what I thought I'd do is, instead of answering on a YouTube comment is organize a global awareness day being streamed in a few thousand countries in which to answer that with a graphically supported lecture. So that's what this is. [applause] The Zeitgeist Movement calls for and supports the urgent need for transition out of our current debt- and waste-based economic model into a truly sustainable abundance-based, non-monetary, technologically-advanced culture. As you might imagine, this is no easy task to communicate. Adopting a wider lens than single issue organizations we seek a transition out of the old folk ways of global life into a new paradigm focused on global cooperation a true appreciation for the value and role of our environment and the employment of science and technology for social concern above all else. There are, broadly speaking, two revolutions which need to occur in human society to meet this goal: One is the physical and technical one. As we approach the end of the coal and oil era a global revamp of energy production and distribution is needed. As clean and drinkable water become scarce systems need to be put in place to desalinate and purify water for human consumption. With the emergence of soil-less agriculture and vertical farming we can not only clean up food production but also save vast amounts of space. And, as we become an ever-more global society we must develop a new, high-speed method of transport that is clean, safe and globally unified. Unbelievably, that's the easy part. Another revolution that needs to occur involves the value system which we all share. It is the dominant cultural perspective which is shared by almost every society on Earth despite perceived surface differences. Amongst these are attitudes to change and innovation attitudes to resource use and consumption the role of our society in the field of healthcare or public transportation or housing or anything that is a shared human attribute and service. It affects the first transition as you will see but it's the second transition I want to speak about today. Fear of the unknown! They are afraid of new ideas. They are loaded with prejudices, not based upon anything in reality but based on: "If something is new I reject it immediately, because it is frightening to me." What they do instead is just stay with the familiar. You know, to me, the most beautiful things in all the universe are the most mysterious. Thank you, Pixar. [applause] On a cold boxing day in 1935 inventor Edwin Armstrong, standing atop the Empire State building in front of his peers of the Institute of Radio Engineers turned a dial on an old-time radio. The familiar noise of static and interference chopping and hissing as his dials skipped through the wavelengths echoed out across the packed room. Suddenly, amid the noise -- silence as the radio locked onto a station so clear, it appeared silent. Then a voice spoke on air: "This is amateur radio station 2Y2AG at Yonkers, New York reporting on frequency modulation at 2½ meters." The voice and the subsequent sound of the water being poured into a glass the sound of paper being crumpled were all emanating from a studio 17 miles away and had been deliberately organized by Armstrong to demonstrate a brand new technology called frequency modulation or FM which he had discovered and patented four years previously. With clarity and immediate realism never before demonstrated or experienced in that medium FM technology was the most obvious and beneficial user impacting-technology improvement since the invention of the entire radio technology. It is this reason we have high quality recordings in the BBC archives as far back as we do. It made radio more credible for the medium of music and it actually uses less power and generates less static for higher quality output. And perhaps the story should have ended there. Evidently the invention was a good thing а general improvement of a widely-shared system. However, at the time of his invention Armstrong was working for RCA. RCA was one of only a few handfuls of companies that owned 1000+ radio stations already running on the AM wavelength in 1935 in the US. David Sarnoff, RCA's president and one of Armstrong's friends had set Armstrong about the task of creating a filter for the static that had plagued AM technology. When Armstrong's discovery was demonstrated, Sarnoff commented: "I thought Armstrong would invent some kind of filter to remove static from our AM radio. I didn't think he'd start a revolution start up a whole damn new industry to compete with RCA." FM was a superior technology, but instead of embracing this technology RCA's dominant profit earner was in AM and Sarnoff saw to it that it would stay that way for as long as possible. In the words of Laurence Lessing, Armstrong's biographer "The forces for FM largely engineering could not overcome the weight of strategy devised by sales patents and legal offices to subdue this threat to corporate position." For FM, if allowed to develop unrestrained posed a complete reordering of radio power and the eventual overthrow of the carefully restricted AM system on which RCA had grown to power. Over the coming years, RCA embarked on an anti-FM propaganda campaign. First, RCA kept the FM technology firmly under wraps keeping it in-house and refusing to apply it to any of its businesses. In 1936 RCA went a step further and hired a former head of the Federal Communications Commission (the FCC) to lobby the industry regulations into assigning FM to a spectrum that would essentially make it redundant and marginalized despite its evident benefits to the medium of radio. Under the cloak of destruction afforded by the eruption of World War II, RCA's tactics gained traction. Soon after the war ended, the FCC announced a set of policies that would cripple any spread of FM technology. FM was deliberately assigned a marginalized spectrum. A motion was passed to ensure less electrical power was at the disposal of FM stations, making it impossible to beam long distance, which in turn forced FM stations to buy wired links from AT&T to maintain their geographical reach. Then RCA began incorporating FM technology into the emerging television market in which they had invested heavily. They declared Armstrong's patents invalid a full 15 years after Armstrong had originally registered them. RCA reneged on any and all royalties which were due to Armstrong crippling him financially as they had previously crippled FM's technology by technical methods. A 6-year patent lawsuit erupted with Armstrong on one side and RCA on the other. Armstrong was additionally met by lawsuits from other inventors. The legal action destroyed Armstrong financially. Finally, right as Armstrong's patents expired therefore becoming of no financial support to him RCA offered to settle for a fraction of what his legal costs were adding up to. Armstrong asked his wife for money. She refused. At the end of his rope, distraught, broken, and mentally annihilated Armstrong lashed out physically against his wife. They separated. Armstrong penned a brief note to her and on a cold January morning in 1954 he stepped out of his 13th story window to his death. Ten years later FM was the medium of choice for music stations. In the world that surrounds us today, our air is saturated with FM and barring a few gestural honours in Armstrong's name such as his induction into the National Inventors Hall of Fame his name has now largely been forgotten even though it was him that we always hear every time we turn the dial. Do you still listen to radio? I do. It's pretty good, isn't it? Armstrong's not alone in this. Galileo, hailed as the father of modern science one of the main minds which brought about the scientific revolution, posited that the nature of the Earth's place in the universe was in a trajectory round the sun: a heliocentric viewpoint based on observed evidence. Clerics and philosophers who, by their nature have nothing useful to say on the subject, denounced him. He was the subject of the Inquisition, forced to recant his theory and spent the remainder of his life under house arrest. Nicola Tesla, another great radio inventor who invented wireless technology, has two of these stories himself. Tesla's invention of alternating current threatened Edison's empire of direct current. Edison even electrocuted an elephant with an alternating current to prove it was dangerous. She was called Topsy and there is actually a video on the internet called 'Electrocuting an Elephant' that Edison released where he zaps this beast. Second story: Tesla began a project in 1901, whose ultimate goal was to test the possibility of the supply of free energy the world over by wireless technology. He decided to build the Wardenclyffe Tower in Shoreham Long Island, for this experiment. When JP Morgan learned of the project's aim for wireless technology in abundance to the point of being free he asked, "How can we get money from electricity which Tesla is supplying to every part of the world?" The project's funding was withdrawn; the tower was torn down and is now a historical site. Tesla died broke and alone in the New Yorker hotel. Or perhaps Georg Cantor, a mathematician whose development of understanding of transfinite numbers makes him one of mathematics' big names today. His concept of different types of infinity was originally regarded as so counter-intuitive, even shocking, that it encountered furious resistance from the mathematical contemporaries while some Christian figures saw Cantor's work as a challenge to God. He was ascribed as a scientific charlatan a renegade and even a corruptor of youth. Yet, any mathematician today must be familiar with at least some of set theory and transfinite mathematics. Not all of them own toasters, as well. The most striking example is that of Ignaz Semmelweis a clinician in the first half of the 19th century. After observing a statistical correlation between hospital workers who had handled cadavers in the morgue, and then immediately afterwards delivered live babies and the incidents of often puerperal fever or childbed fever in those delivered babies Semmelweis posited that washing ones hands after touching a dead body might be a wise thing. By introducing hand washing, Semmelweis lowered the incidence of contamination below 1%. Yet he was derided and medical text books debunking his position were published and then used as establishment material to educate new medical students against his idea. In 1861 in his books, Semmelweis lamented the slow adoption of his ideas in the medical community while deaths resulting from the non-adoption of his proven method continued. "Most medical literature halls continue to resound with lectures on epidemic childbed fever and with discourses against my theories. The medical literature for the last 12 years continues to swell with reports of puerperal epidemics and in 1854 in Vienna, the birthplace of my theory 400 maternity patients died from childbed fever. In published medical works, my teachings are either ignored or attacked. The medical faculty at Würzburg awarded a prize to a monograph written in 1859 in which my teachings were rejected." It is perhaps no small irony that Semmelweis died in an insane asylum from septicemia the very illness his discoveries would have helped cure. But Galileo and Armstrong were all part of a by-gone era for us. Perhaps we can't relate, because it's such a long time ago. While in the modern day we have our own examples of this trend. This is doctor Stanislaw Burzynski a Polish native doctor who practices in the [United] States. A number of years ago he discovered that individuals with cancer had very low amounts, or a complete absence of certain heretofore undiscovered peptides in their blood and in their urine. Theorizing that a reapplication of an isolated dose of these peptides might have an effect on tumours, he formed a treatment based on them and tested it. Remarkably, Burzynski's theory proved right. Among other achievements are his first cures for normally incurable childhood brain stem cancer which traditional treatments had never successfully cured. Thus, Burzynski patented non-toxic treatment is the first paradigm changing cancer treatment with serious effectiveness, which is owned by a man not a pharmaceutical company. He is a real guy. Go look him up! It is then perhaps no small surprise given what we saw in Armstrong Tesla, Semmelweis and so on, that Burzynski, instead of being funded enabled, and celebrated was vilified as a "pee doctor," a quack, and a fraud. He was taken to the Texas Supreme Court six times! Despite the acknowledgement in the court that the treatment was non-toxic and even with the admission that the trials weren't even about the effectiveness of the treatment. The National Cancer Institute finally ran their own controlled trials on his treatment, watering down his recommended dosages 200 times so they wouldn't work. Just imagine if the $5 billion that were thrown annually at the cancer industry were even fractionally made available to doctors like Burzynski. In the intervening years, Burzynski is still battling to have his cancer treatment accepted. Meanwhile, one can only reflect on the untold lives cut short slowly and violently, while the FDA and the Texas Medical Board the guardians of the status quo, do everything they can to limit the spreading of a treatment they cannot profit from and for which only Burzynski holds the patent. American consumers spend $90 billion annually on cancer treatments. Burzynski's case is unusual in that he is still alive. Ladies and gentleman, this leads me to conclude that we do not live in an advanced society. And with this small percentage of examples examined what are the governing mechanisms that prohibit paradigm shifts within society, be they technological, ideological or cultural. Having established their root causes, what is the change that needs to occur in our attitude and how does that change in our attitude to what is important then change the social structures we are surrounded by. The goal is to expose the underlying mechanisms that govern this pattern. We are quite certain it's not dictated by RCA's David Sarnoff or the medical practitioners of Semmelweis's day or of Burzynski's, or of Gallileo's ruling church fathers. These individuals are also players on this stage. Their actions aligning with an unspoken set of values generated by the nature of the common landscape in which they have found themselves across the ages. We need to adopt a wider lens that includes economics social and cultural theory, and an understanding of how human society develops in an information age. I'll focus on three main limiters, three blocks that interfere with the smooth, and emergent development in a society. In identifying these, we will start to lay bare the train of thought we need to reassess our current society. The most obvious, which relates particularly to Edwin Armstrong, Tesla is the profit-supportive behaviours of any and all established institutions not the particular CEO's or those who had flipped the kill switch on any new advent like David Sarnoff of RCA's essentially did but the dominant market forces of the companies and institutions which they represent and which give rise to their need for their positions. As John McMurtry puts it: "Behind the selection and development of technology's advances over every step of its planning, design, assembly manufacture and displacement of past ways of life stands one commanding value-decision: to maximize the difference between input and output of money demand in market investment sequences". In other words, if the technological advent "A" has the potential or even short term negative retroaction on money output "B", it is selected against by a company or by the market or by a person as a matter of pure economic survival. This is true of any society based on monetary requirements to survive and we call it 'Competitive Deselection'. In other words needless to say, any revision to a company's offering would require heavy restructuring, heavy staff turnover and retraining and true innovation; therefore inevitably, heavy investment ...would be in the short term in many cases a costly or negative effect upon the balance sheet. Given that many companies' results are often offered quarterly and have an immediate impact on the share price if they're below the expected maximized money output-to-input ratio the dominant market ideology has to select against a ground-up remodeling of the market-offering to avoid this negative effect upon its stock. Equally, this is of course true of technologies or market behaviours from outside the company, which may threaten the normal way in which said company would be able to generate revenues even if it has a positive force upon society. Anything that changes or threatens your business is considered a problem. Innovation is the enemy of established institutions is quite a simple way of putting it. So when digital downloads provide a more beneficial and efficient means of content distribution than prior hardware it is opposed and criminalized, despite the speed of ease the size you can consume ease of access by anyone with a computer savings in plastic, transportation, storage... The dominant music companies sue individuals for criminality and lobby the government for protection of their industry judging this to be the best way to guard their profits. Thereby, they hope to scare the rest of the consumer base into sticking with what is best for the established market. Not because they're evil: it's their job. It's the survival of those employed in that market. They stick with the familiar. Even more starkly, should a solution for a problem come to the floor that would cancel the need for an existing service that hitherto only treated, rather than solved the problem in question, it is shunted to the side often by employing the full force of law or propaganda. This all too often falls into the hands of advertising. Bottled water is a quick fix with recurring profits for water companies, while desalination and purification plants that would enable an abundance of water for all humanity and all uses is considered a risk to business, rather than what it actually is: a necessity for survival. In turn, we produce more plastic waste which is then measured in the positive light of units manufactured and sold, rather than their actual effect: a pollution detriment and an increased footprint caused by the treatment of the problem. The end effect of this market-lock mentality is not really hard to discern. You cannot set in motion long-term thinking in a system which rewards short-term behaviours. While human beings have to support themselves from the monetary profit of their enterprises no matter how decoupled these enterprises are from producing something that is useful or the harm on basic life-organization to the environment short-term wins every time. There is no money in solutions or learning to produce and consume less; for either you lose too much money and you're removed from the position you're in, or you're ostracised completely as were our doomed engineers. The system's overriding logic is to deselect the non-profit-maximizing solution for we cannot afford to tolerate it in a system that discerns the metrics for positive growth in the factors of higher consumption, higher profits, more units shifted. The first limiter then is established: market-lock. The innovation that threatens established institutions are criminalized, ignored, hamstrung, and suppressed by the established institutions whose market value would be even if only temporarily, slowed or curbed by their adoption. This is regardless of how effective, efficient or beneficial these innovations are or would be in a society adopting them. In fact, the more beneficial, advancing or efficient the new development would be the more it is pushed back by the elements of society that would be within the sphere of its influence. Second limiter to innovation and its progress lies a little more deeply within the societal mindset than the monetary paradigm, and it's just as invisible. This is one we like to call 'Mind Lock'. This is the tendency alluded to by Dr. Wayne Dyer in his address that you heard in that portion of Pixar's "Day and Night" and which is also keenly expressed once again by John McМurtry: "When people come to examine any way of life in the world they are conditioned not to expose their own social order to the same critical eye with which they view a different or opposed social order. This is because they identify with their own way of life as normality, and thus the other as abnormality. If the other is not only different, but also opposed to the home order then to abnormality is added the offense, of enmity." Given that there is such an abundance of examples of systemic failure in society, why have we not easily moved beyond it? The question comes down to more than just money as a powerful barrier that it is. Societal self-analysis is not built into our psyche. It is an irreversible option in our critique of planetary life. We do not like to talk of how our society might be less than perfect. We don't even like those who criticize our football teams. Tell someone that their social system is geared towards something other than complete chest-swelling awesomeness and you're often told that if you don't like it you can just [dialect] "GIT OUT"! It's the social theory version of "Well, I think YOU'RE a dick!" Yeah? Its like that. [applause] Normal is normal. Normal can't be what could be said to be necessary for scrutiny. As we look outwards from our societal perspective we do not factor in the preconditions of convention and presuppositions which we have been arbitrarily born and raised into. What is normality? You were all born at 1044 miles an hour the rotational speed of the earth, yet you believe you are static sitting in those chairs right there. When you stand up, you're actually standing outwards. Downwards is actually inwards. The sun doesn't set or rise. We're in a different position in the universe, every single minute. It appears, then, that we can get used to just about anything. This then, is what I mean by normality. Much of society appears pretty much normal to its inhabitants and therefore, natural or inevitable, not begging questions. What is considered by any of us to be mundane or a given becomes mundane or a given only by repetition and whatever we are always surrounded by defaults to that status. A few years ago a television program traded on this possibility of showing an unaccustomed culture confronted by a modern city system what the viewer would consider normal and unsurprising by dropping a culturally unprepared group of Amish people into a modern hi-tech city environment where they're confronted by vending machines and escalators. The show's attempt at exposing the humorous response of culture shock and societal unpreparedness actually underlines a very deeper issue of general custom. The culture shock is a product of a non-initiated standpoint and becomes at once surprising and almost unbelievable. One can't imagine an unknowing fear of an escalator's basic operation. Even my daughter loves playing with them for one is never not been used to them. Additionally, we tend to assume that our societal level of trust and coherence exists that would mean that dangerous architectural, hazardous obstacles are minimized. Therefore, we trust the escalators will not mangle us. The lift will not plummet 18 floors suddenly that any household item will not explode when used... ...or plugged in, and that our house will not collapse when we are about to open the front door. Over and above these general trust and belief systems in established cultural aspects is the established values which operate and which are also bought into the same level of trust as the physical ones. Amongst them may be the following: "The army are fighting for my freedom." "Surveillance is for the provision of safety." "Advertising is a means to educate me (for example) about the best way of looking after my health," and so on. Amongst them, more often than not, is also the general value that it's highly unlikely to me, that the values of the surrounding social order are or would be harmful misleading, predatory or detrimental to me and my fellow inhabitants; for to believe that the values are out of order would be to appear to be rather paranoid and what is tellingly called "antisocial". There must be something wrong with you if you don't support the structure and find it predatory. After all that's not what society is about, is it? What we consider to be our values are in fact arbitrary conditioning by-products of, on one extreme which evolved out of our need to feel perpetually... sorry, our need not to feel perpetually worried, surprised and disoriented by the regularly appearing environment and cultural attributes, and on the other extreme are deliberately reinforced by the dominant perspective of the ruling social order. As Dr. Gabor Mate puts it: "What you have to understand about an intellectual culture of a society is that it actually reflects the power interests in that society: the dominant perspective." And built right into the dominant value structure is the taboo of questioning the authority by which it is delivered Fear of the unknown and fear of ostracisation ensure that the advent of new opinions, new realizations or anything that is new at all is met with discomfort, fear, even anger and it's true of every existing society today. Again, McMurtury: "This block against exposing the habituated and socially constructed self and more deeply the regulating order which has constructed it, is a transcultural problem." Here is our second limiter to add to the first market-lock. Resting within and under the market system shared by most of this planet is the culture blindness of basic societal functional analysis: our values, the mind-lock. It is the inability and ill-equipped nature to understand how the system is operating around us and how our views are being informed by it. Third and finally, there is the sphere of education something which Jim Phillips has dealt with in the applied sense. By education I don't simply mean school, university, grades and cheating, but also the methods of the distribution of information that exists within a society, including schools, universities television, radio, internet-based media, films and documentaries books, printed materials, conversations and so on. Education in my sense is the systemic assimilation and distribution of information within a society. The furthering of any knowledge and its modification adjustment, development, and redistribution. It is what you learn from the daily interaction with that society whether it's through a concerted and defined institution like a school, or personal endeavour like a book or a science kit or leisure; be it what you are told by others or by television programs: what they display to you. As James Phillips has dealt with in his lecture in a little bit more detail "Education is often believed to be somehow separate from culture: a supra-societal, free of the biases of tradition, myth, and so on; whereas in fact, education is in many of its areas a product of culture. One need only to really read a history book written under Communist rule or the modern American school system to witness this bias." Not only are the teachers, journalists, and authors, and so on all victims of that culture, but the syllabus of an institution born of a traditional society with set doctrines is itself a machine that pumps out information well below the rate of actual advance that the society experiences which is, as discussed already, hindered by the previously discussed mechanism of market-lock. Look only to Semmelweis' experience of how his discoveries were dealt with by the established colleges. The dominant educational model often implicitly supports the ruling value system. It is the dominant perspective. Thus, schools which produce well-adjusted citizens and well-rounded individuals are in fact producing individuals which are adjusted to the flaws and presuppositions of that society. As Jiddu Krishnamurti put it: "It is no measure of health to be well-adjusted to a profoundly sick society." At the same time, the place of systems of knowledge, learning and research and inquiry must stand at the forefront of such a society if we are able to gather such feedback in a cohesive, meaningful way. If we are to progress, these systems must be open and freely available for all to access. Issues we see in the stories we discussed and what we see in the world come from restricted access from blocking and compartmentalizing pre-existing areas of culture or of information. This, if we are able to progress, must be overthrown and if you think about it, there is no actual way of successfully cooperating and working together if we continue the practice of ownership because ownership presupposes non-cooperation. There is already a value program, an attitude, a practice that fits this bill. With the necessity of proof, testing self-awareness, and self-critical analysis, the scientific method is the method by which we conserve and update our society. Its referents are in the physical world, not the opinion of some politician nor the folkways of industry, nor the traditions of a religion. As you look around in this room, I'd ask you to become mindful of the things which the scientific method has actually given us. My voice is audible; I have something called slides which underline my point. We sit on and in constructed edifices and wear clothes that are all the result of technical processes. Indeed, many of us are alive because of science. Had I been born with medical technology set back a hundred years I would, most likely, not be speaking to you today. Now, it must be made clear, that the scientific method is not the same as some elements of the modern scientific establishment. Indeed the horrors, inefficiencies, slowness to adapt and other attributes previously mentioned are the results of the interference of the dominant culture value-set with the attempts of the scientific method. The results are systematically downgraded and diluted, scientific landscape. If the scientific method were the act of running we are currently running under water. Rather, it is the system attributes of the scientific method themselves that, when promoted to the overriding value orientation of society will yield a system where efficiency and sustainability are promoted and where the obsolescence and waste-generating mechanism of present-day life are deselected in favour of those processes that take care of every human being, well beyond what we would believe actually possible in a market system based on competition, inefficiency, tradition, so on. Many people consider this to be cold and unfeeling. Well, if using science to solve our social issues sounds cold to you, you may want to consider this: You employ the scientific method every day. Placing one foot in front of the other will enable you to walk forwards. Having learned this and that it's generally a good idea to face forward, you employ this method because of the results you have come to get from that. You know that turning a door handle and either pushing or pulling the door will enable you to pass through. Nobody attempts to simply walk trough a closed door because of the environmental feedback from testing it resulted in the proven knowledge that it is an unsuccessful practice and the cause of many, many headaches. At least for me. The most metaphysically orientated minds will still interact with the physical world in a way that the human body requires and is able to. It is a physical referent in that sense that drives every action. This is why we propose a Resource-Based Economy. Money is not scientific. It's made up. It no longer works as a positive force in society instead, dividing, blocking and usurping human ingenuity that has been present since the absence of money as a motivational force. Tesla didn't do it for the money. Armstrong wasn't a radio genius since his teens because of the money. Galileo didn't do it for the money. Martin Luther King didn't do it for the money. If you're only doing it for the money it's probably not worth doing to begin with! OK? [applause] Using what science and technology can truly offer us we will evolve beyond the need for money and with it, we will free ourselves from the inefficiencies debt slavery and tendencies toward manipulation that the present system's faulty self-analysis puts down to human nature and the way things are. In fact, we are already evolving beyond the need for money anyway or at least our ability to maintain it usefully within society. We have in the last 50 years automated phone operators while massively increasing phone operator services. We've automated bank teller positions and you're telling me we're taking less money out now? People actually forget there was even once a job called a bank teller and were those guys (those token ones in Barclay's) not there anymore you'd forget it immediately because they're not necessary. We got rid of the lift operator; he doesn't exist any more nor does the ice man, thanks to the refrigerator. Blockbuster and similar stores are basically going out of business because of online DVD services, largely automated as are entirely automated DVD machines. This alone will do away with the entire concept of money a system which is now resulting in poorly applied technology stunted innovation, death and destruction, not to mention the social ills of poverty, crime and gaming for advantage. In a society based on the scientific method, applied for social concern we do away with vague human opinion in the operation of society. I don't care what David Sarnoff may think of FM technologies or what a large pharmaceutical company thinks about Stanislaw Burzynski's treatment of cancer: If the science works, it stays. If it is one day surpassed by better methods, it goes. End of. No politicians, no voting, no straw polls, no vox-pop interviews with people who do not know what the fuck they're talking about. [applause] It is the election of ideas that we're in desperate need of if we are to survive in the most abundant, enjoyable, safe, free and fair society we can possibly create at any given moment. And I will just say about that "freedom". This is one of the big things that we are going to face. "Um, you are affecting my freedom with your new system". You don't have any freedom whatsoever other than laws of nature. Sorry, that's the way it goes, and any society that affords you new freedoms, it's because of the architecture of that society not something that was written down on an old piece of paper that people pay money to go and see or any of that rubbish. It's the architecture of the society you are in. OK, just remember that because people are going to bring it up to you all the time. And if science has taught us anything it has taught us that working together is better than working alone or against each other. We can be so wonderfully achieving were the world simply to stop, look around, assess the situation look at our tools, take stock of what resources are left and where, and fight the common enemy. And the enemy we all face now is what our culture is doing to us. It's the stage we are setting for our own destruction should we not reform our society and base it on resource management enabled through the scientific tools that we have. This are our three limiters. The market itself is the determiner of options you see in society; the forces of profit, competition and ownership; the mind-lock, our second limiter, blocks our ability to assess our market-lock, the way things are within a wider context, what we would call a new frame. And our education, including the media and every other available source of information, informs both the ability to think and our ability to act on one side, and represents, promotes and governs the discourse of the market on the other side in the form of propaganda. Combined, they are the overarching lock mechanism. They are the three bars on our prison cell window. The social model we promote contravenes the need for these limiters based on the understanding that strategically serving every human, is to our individual and collective advantage. By using our only proven tools: the scientific method and our knowledge of technology. Everything else is just whistling past the graveyard. A couple of months ago I was debating on how to end this talk other than by just telling you to join the movement. Here's something that I actually took from Charlie Veach when he was on V-radio. Are you still here, Charlie? He is gone, OK fine. I'll send this to him. He said something about fractals. I only vaguely knew what a fractal was, so... bear with me. This is a fractal. Some of our doomed engineers even worked on them. Geo Cantor's works actually led partially to the understanding of fractals that we have today. It's a mathematically generated image, in some cases which is self similar. That means that any one portion will at least approximately resemble the whole if zoomed in on. It is infinitely scalable, either up or down. And the shape will reach a point, eventually where any constituent part will look the same as the whole. In turn, the shape forms one of the constituent parts for a larger self-similar object. We even see these patterns in nature: Romanesco broccoli, sort of a big kind of thing that goes up. It's also made of other things, and they are made of other things the constituent parts, basically. The veins of a leaf are nice and easy to understand. A fern is composed of self-similar portions; each self-similar portion also composed of other self-similar portions. What about an atom? An atom is a nucleus surrounded by electrons which circle in orbits. The Earth is orbited by a moon. In turn the sun is orbited by multiple bodies in space. Solar systems orbit a centre to become galaxies. The orbiting bodies are all made of their constituent parts all with their own orbits and orbiters. Change a portion of the constituent part and the whole shape changes. Change the whole, and the constituent parts change as well. Of course when you witness a change in a fractal one has to decide whether the change came from the constituent part or the whole. Perhaps its a little bit of both. Geo Cantor didn't go into it. I would like you for a second to evaluate your actual position in this world. You are an individual in a collective whole: a cog in a societal frame. Yet your individuality is a supportive mirror of the values of your system whatever those values are. In that sense you're a portion of a fractal society. It reflects you and you reflect it. And as we begin to assess our society from the true perspective the overarching perspective, the global perspective perhaps you, like me, can entertain the fractal metaphor: "One person can change their mind, several people can change the mood but the whole world of people changing their minds, changes the world." Thank you. [applause]

Video Details

Duration: 44 minutes and 35 seconds
Year: 2011
Country: United Kingdom
Language: English
Producer: TZM London
Director: TZM London
Views: 617
Posted by: ltiofficial on Mar 29, 2011

This London-based lecture focuses on the societal mechanisms that block innovation in the world.

By way of multiple examples of this trend throughout history into the modern day, three main blocking mechanisms are presented. The realisation of these blocks points to a very specific reorientation that needs to occur in global life in order to become truly innovative, truly sustainable and truly humane.

It is the shift towards a society founded upon the scientific method and technology applied for human concern and the environment which will resolve almost all the problems in the world - accepted on a global and individual level.

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