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Zeitgeist Day - New York City - 3/15/09 Part 2/2 PJ: So, I have some basic questions that I wanted to get out of the way before we have the Q+A, because I think these are the most dominant questions that people tend to ask. And I wanted to talk to Jacque about his life experiences and what you've gone through in your life to come to the conclusions that you have, in regards to your ideas. So, what are the life experiences that have influenced your life, the most dominant ones? JF: I'll try to compress it. PJ: Sure JF: My grandfather made it impossible for me to pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States. He told me that people came from all over the world and brought wonderful ideas to this country, and made it what it is today. So, I could not pledge allegiance to the flag; I wanted to pledge allegiance to the Earth, and all the people on it. Also, in school, when I refused to pledge allegiance to the flag, the teacher grabbed me by the ear right to the principal's office. And she said, "He doesn't want to pledge allegiance to the flag." The principal said to the teacher, "You're excused." After she left he put his arm around me, and he said, "Why? Everybody does!" I said, "Everybody once believed the Earth was flat. That doesn't make it flat." So, he said, "Well, what do you think of American history?" I said, "It's strictly bs: bad science!" Because, the people in history books always did the right things! They always said the right thing! And there's no such people! People make mistakes and poor judgments, and they would appear real. But my history books did not appear real. So, I told that to the principal. And he said, "I'm going to have to call your mother in." Well, my mother comes in weeping, "What did he do?" The principal said, "He didn't do anything, but he doesn't accept our teaching methods, and he doesn't accept a lot about our government. So I'm gonna buy him the kind of books he wants to read, and I'm gunna' rope off the back of the class, and let him do what he wants to do." Well, this is very unusual: he used his own money for that, not public funds. Of course, needless to say, I was beaten up by many of the kids in the class. They didn't like this special privilege. I didn't arrange that; the principle did. I was not evil or mean to anyone. But I can understand their position of seeing one person selected to do what they want to do. This, in turn, gave me a lot of freedom to read what I want to read. And I discussed some of these ideas with the principal. That went on for a year and a half, and the principal died. And that time I played hooky for six weeks. The truant officer caught up with me, and he said, "You haven't been to school for a month." And I said, "Six weeks." "What do you do when you're not in school?" "I go to the library and read what I want to read. I go to the science museum, and I do what I want to do." He said, "What do you do at home?" I said, "I have a little lab." He said, "Can I see it?" I said, "Only if you don't tell my mother who you are." He agreed to that. And when he saw what I was doing in the lab, he said, "Look, I can't criticize what you're doing. I don't blame you for not going to school. You can do me a favor. Show up Monday, and then you can play hooky again." Well, I did that, and I never went back to school. I read what I wanted to read, and I did what I wanted to do. And I got information in a very different way. This was during The Depression, the last big depression, the '29 crash, or the 1930 crash. And, at that time, 15 million Americans were sleeping in every empty lot. And that bothered me, because, you know, with things in store windows they just didn't have the money. They bought houses and cars, and the banks failed. So, they couldn't pay them off, and they were kicked out of their houses. But the sun was out, and things were in store windows. It's just that people didn't have the money. So, in my own mind, I said, "This shit has got to go." Airplanes had dropped signs and said, "Come to California. There are lots of jobs." So I hitchhiked to California. On the way this woman comes up in a brand new car. And she opens the door part of the way. And she said, "Are you a Christian?" And I said, "What else?" Get in the car. And, of course, I fell asleep; I was so tired from walking and hiking. Then she poked me in the ribs and says, "You're not sleeping in my car." I said, "What do you want me to do?" She says, "I want you to sing all the way to Texas, 'Jesus loves me, that I know, because the bible tells me so'." I had to sing all the way there. And, so, my background was very different than the average person. And, when I got to California, there were thousands of people lined up for jobs. "Will you work for 8 cents an hour?" "Will you work for 7 cents an hour?" They brought people out there to get the lowest bid. And it was not sane. It was not a sane society, nor were people intelligent at the time. I went to an aircraft factory that says 'the northern division of Douglas'. I said, "I'd like a job here." They said, "What are your credentials?" I said, "I don't have any." "Do you know drafting, engineering? Do you know aircraft structures?" I said, "No." They said, "We can't hire you." So I showed them some of my drawings; they said, "You're hired!" So, I said, "What do you want me to do?" "Well, just think up new ideas for airplanes." Well, they roped off a section of the aircraft factory, and I worked on nothing but new ideas. After three weeks, the chief draftsman said to me, "You have made more contribution in three weeks than the history of aviation. I want you to meet the chief aerodynamicist." Of course, at that time, I didn't agree with the Bernoulli principle--- that means the air flowing over the top surface of an aircraft wing travels a greater distance, and creates a decreased pressure, and most of (...?...) two-thirds comes to the top of the wing. But, in order to deflect the air, at 200 miles an hour in this direction, you've got to take a down load in the wing. Well, he told the aerodynamicist that I didn't accept the Bernoulli principle. And he said, "I don't want to talk to you if you don't accept that principle." Well, this was one of the major things that I read into: that scientists were not infallible. They had opinions; they had egos, just like everybody else. And some scientists were patriotic, some worked on weapons of war. I do not consider them scientists. A scientist is one who cannot be trained in one area: optics, engineering, structures. A scientist is one that has curiosity about our social system, poverty, hunger, international affairs. That is a scientist. It is not that I wanted scientists to control anything. I just want them to use the scientific method, that is, to measure things before they arrive at conclusions. One thing that was fairly good about science at the time was that I learned how to say, "I don't know." So, when the government said to science, "Can you put a man on the moon?" They said, "We don't know." "What do you mean, 'you don't know'?" "Well, we don't know what a human being can stand." So they put him in a centrifuge and whirled the person around, and when he conked out, they said they could only stand 7 gravities, or 9 G's, 9 times gravity... they'd conk out. Then they said, "We don't know whether people can eat in space." Then they found out, that if you had a glass of water, that you pulled the glass away fast, the water remained where it was at. The water would then form bubbles and move through the spaceship, so they had to put water in a container and squeeze it into the mouth---the same with food. So, that's what I mean by, "I don't know." A scientist is a person who looks at a situation and says, "Gee, I don't know what caused that!" But then some scientists are jerks, and they invent words, like, "The bird and the fish goes back to the spawning grounds INSTINCTIVELY." Now what does that mean? He could have said, "They do it by boola boola!" Because, it doesn't tell you anything, the word instinct! And another scientist, named Jacques Loeb, said, "I want to know what the mechanism is that enables fish to travel thousands of miles to the spawning ground. Don't give me a word like instinct! Tell me how that works!" And it was guys like Jacques Loeb, and wonderful books that were available at the time, that helped me escape from the patterns of most people. And I can't go into detail now, but that should suffice for giving you a somewhat different point of view. PJ: What is the closest thing that you've ever seen to a resource-based economy in your life? I understand that you lived on an island for a while? JF: Yes. I wanted to know what people would be like if they were not influenced by our social institutions, so I worked my way on a boat to Tahiti. But the Chinese already owned the stores there, and it was kind of a business world. So I found some out islands, about 300 miles east of Tahiti. I think it was called Tuamotu. And when I got there all the natives walked around completely nude. And I never saw a male stare at a female body, because they were swimming nude ever since they were children. So they always looked at the eyes of a female. But, in the States, the camera in a movie moves in on the cleavage line. When a girl crosses her legs, the camera covers that. When she walks it's on her rear end. That's where men get that from! They're not born that way! Women think, "Well, that's how men are!" That's not how they are. That's how they're made by this society. Another interesting thing about the island people is that I brought mirrors and beads, and I was going to give them out to establish rapport, or a sense of well being with the natives. But they were already in my hut giving out my mirrors and beads. So I said, you know, "What's going on?" They said, "You've got too many of them." Well, I didn't know what that meant until three days later when some men were pulling fish in with a net, and they threw fish to anyone standing there. That was a resource-based economy. They didn't say, "You owe me five bucks. You owe me three bucks." They shared everything I had. Then missionaries came. And they set up a tent, and they were going to teach you about Jesus. So the native women came to church, you know, with their breasts pointing to the moon! And the missionaries couldn't keep their eye on the text. So they gave the girls t-shirts. They said, "When you come to church you put on a t-shirt." And all the girls put on t-shirts. But they cut two holes. They had no idea 'why'! Because, they were brought up in that area. Now, you couldn't sell a nude magazine to any natives, and they wouldn't collect pictures of nude women, because they didn't know what that meant. If you covered a girl's nose, and you said to a guy, "Did you ever see a girl's nose? No." Well, show him a little bit, and you're going to have to loosen his collar if you bring him up to that! So, our culture is warped! You know, I've been to hundreds of restrooms, and I've never found a place to rest. PJ: So, Roxanne, you've been working with Jacque for over thirty years now, and with his ideas, and I'm sure your contributions, you've heard it all from the public, as far as what people think about this idea. And, yet, the most common, which I've heard, and people responding to my film, is "Isn't this just communism?" What do you say to that? RM: We hear that a lot, but they really have no idea what this system is about. That statement is really erroneous. A resource-based economy doesn't use money. Communism does. It doesn't have banks. Communism does. It doesn't have social stratification. Communism does. They have political leaders in office. We want to surpass that as quickly as possible with cybernated systems. And Communism was for the labor class, and a resource-based economy is very much for the labor class; we want to eliminate it as quickly as possible. - Right. - We want to do away with boring and monotonous jobs. So, it's very different. - Yeah. It's not like any system that's gone before. PJ: I absolutely agree. Now, here is a more complex question, I think for both of you. I'm going to ask you first. How do you see the transition occurring, from our current system to a new system? JF: We're in this process of the transition now. The system is breaking down all over the world. People are losing faith in their elected leaders. So, the transition will be painful. And there will be crime, mass riots, and making of new laws so that the minorities are in their house by 9 o'clock; they're not supposed to be walking around the streets. You're going to have nothing but trouble ahead in the transition. - Yeah. - I have nothing to do with that. - Sure. - If people understand what a resource-based economy can be--- I don't know what it will be. That's up to you. Roxanne and I have absolutely no power. If you like the basic ideas of a resource-based economy, it's not perfect. It's just a lot better than what we've got now. So, it's really up to YOU, talking to people, telling them about a resource-based economy. - Right. - That's the only way to bring it about. - Right. - Thank you. - Sure. Sure, yeah, go ahead. RM: It took the conditions in the last major depression, in '29-- It took the conditions of people being homeless, and losing their jobs, before they began to look for another, alternative system, because most of them weren't wise enough intellectually or emotionally to sit back, and look at what they have out there, and try and figure out what's wrong. So, it will take those conditions, that we're faced with now, before people will look for alternative directions. What we'd like to do is make a major motion picture for the general public. And this motion picture will show life in a resource-based economy, and show how the system interacts with people, and how it changes their behavior and the freedoms that they'll have in that system. And we want to show flashbacks in the movie of how we got from here to there. It will help answer questions that general public has... that they have because they can't understand the new system, because it is unlike anything that is out there. So, they liken it to the way that they see things today. And, as I said, it's nothing like that. So, we feel that the film will be a stepping stone for the transition to go a little bit smoother. So, if anybody is in the movie industry or---other than, you know.... Peter took this just so much further than what we could do by exposure and education. And that process has to continue. What's really wanted is a large-scale budget production that shows, with, you know, great 3-D--- way beyond my budget--- great 3-D, great elements, that what lifestyle would really be. But, apart from that, there's also the idea of building the first city, and having it as a research center, and as a, you know, and you refer to it as a fair at one point, where people come, and they can understand what the possibilities could be. And, this is something that I was hoping to put into the presentation, but I didn't have a chance to do it. When, at when they begin to talk about people possibly donating land (there's already people that have been considering this), you would assume that maybe a one mile in diameter is a possibility, or a one-square mile, you create it to build the first city. And this would be essentially everything that, from the renewable resources to all of the sensor systems that we would use that would prove to the public that it's possible, put this in action. It could be small, or it could be larger. You know, this is something, I think, is the next step. Apart from showing the people what could happen, we have to also create--- this is the scientific method---we have to put it to test, and show what really can be, and have the world come together, leaders from all current nations, have them come together, and say, "Look, this can happen. We can design cities like this. We can design the world like this." And honestly tell them that we don't have much of a choice if we're going to survive on this planet. Because, as far as I can see, I have yet to see anything that comes close to the sheer logic, humanity, and simplicity and intelligence of what Jacque has been working on his whole life, and I want to make that very clear. Because, this isn't just Jacque's idea. This represents something that is... I don't like using the word 'empirical' or anything like that, but it's near empirical. It makes so much fundamental sense. The world is not going to change with our current competitive mentality. We have to surpass that, and create the whole planet as one organism, one home for all of us. But, so I throw that out there. If you have ideas about land, I would, you know.... We still live in a monetary system, unfortunately. If there was a big pool of people that had the money to do so we could buy a one-mile radius land to begin this project on a larger scale. They already have where they live in Venus, Florida a similar setup to this. But the circular arrangement, shown and made available for the world to see, would be a profound step in this. So, There's one thing that I always thought was fascinating when I talk to you, Jacque. You mention you used to help juvenile delinquent and alcoholics, and you had a comment where you said, "For every alcoholic [you] saved, society produced ten more." - A hundred more. - A hundred more. Comment on it. JF: The system is bigger than one person being able to work on people. Well, I worked on alcoholics, drug addicts, people who wanted to take their lives. And they came to me, and they formed very large lines. And, I figured, "Gee, I'd like to address the American Psychological Association, and tell them about a new method of getting to people. So, when I got in touch with Dr. Caplin at the University of Miami, he brought it up, and they turned me down, because I'm "not a student of psychology." And, when you slam the gates on outside ideas, without investigating, you're doing the same thing that was done in Nazi Germany. In other words all ideas should be submitted and evaluated. Because, remember, Edison was a nothing. Louis Pasteur was not a doctor. He was a chemist. And the Wright Brothers were bicycle mechanics. The experts used to write articles on why man can't fly. Apparently, the Wright Brothers never read that. PJ: Jumping points here. And, Roxanne, I'll address this to you. Because of the association you guys have with me, I get a lot of heat from the religious community because of my criticisms toward history of religion and comparative religions and a general kind of a feeling on religion as being a separating mechanism in society. People often have attributed this, and, whether it was because of me I'm not sure (maybe it happened before), is say, "Oh, there's no religion in Jacque Fresco's vision!" Well, what is the place of religion in a resource-based economy? Well, we don't feel that we can ban religion or forbid it, but it could just go underground. - Right. But there are a lot of religious people that really try and help what we're doing. They really like the direction of The Venus Project. And they think that all of their religious aspirations will be fulfilled within The Venus Project society but here on Earth. So, but, in the future, we feel that we will teach children how they relate to the world and how they relate to one another. And the most up-to-date findings and science and technology will give them better tools to examine their own lives and make a better future for everyone. - Right. Absolutely. In fact, I would have to add to that, that I believe the superstitious mentality that is so dominant, it's mainly just because of the lack of education. People haven't been told what we've come to understand. And it's not that religion is a bad thing. It's that it served a point at a certain point in time, and, now, time has moved forward. All of our knowledge, as I stated in the presentation, is emergent. And I just hope anyone that's out there, that's religiously oriented, that might be opposed to anything would keep that in mind. And, really, the doctrines of what you guys talk about are everything that all of the great religions have ever been talking about: the world working together, humans seeing each other as their own. And I find it very difficult for any religious person to, you know, just, that understands the peace mentality (there's obviously negative attributes).... I think that it's very powerful for the religious people. I think it's very powerful that what you're doing is actually putting into focus and putting into practice what the great philosophers and religious teachings have been saying since antiquity. Now, this is for both of you. This is kind of a broad question. You know, you talked about prefabricated homes, and people automatically think: trailer parks. And they think that everyone will be the same; everyone will be regimented. What is this fear of this loss of individuality? JF: Well, first of all, you don't have individuality. That's a myth. If you had individuality there couldn't be wars. There would be thousands of different political parties, not just the Democrats and the Republicans. And you've never had a democratic society; all that is an illusion. So, what we hope to do and what we hope to accomplish is to expand every human being to their highest potential. This would be a sane society. - Yes. RM: But people would be alike in a lot of different ways. They'd care about one another and the environment. And they wouldn't be able to put up with the idea of war or hurting one another in any way. And they would have allegiance to the Earth and everyone on it as Jacque was talking about. They'd have that type of identity. They'd have more understanding about cultural differences, and, "What were the conditions in the culture that made people have different behaviors?" So, they'd have a better understanding of semantics, and they would not have that much violent behavior, because they'd understand why people behave differently. So, it's not bad to be alike in certain ways, but in saner ways. PJ: Yeah, I like the Carl Sagan quote from one of his writings where he says, "If we were visited by extraterrestrials the differences we have would be trivial compared to the similarities, the requirements that we all need and everything." And, I think it's the materialism in our system; and the need for money in this cutthroat mentality has really caused so many problems psychologically. People shouldn't fear being the same, and people shouldn't care what they wear. This is a distortion that's been created, I think. RM: It's a ploy to sell more garments. PJ: Right, it's like with the earrings, you know. Jacque, you commented on earrings. RM: It's commercialism. PJ: What's the point of an earring? Remember what you said about that? JF: I was referring to blind people with that. PJ: Oh, that's right, yes. JF: If blind people had what looked like a hearing aid that generated a sound, like a bat can fly in the dark and not hit things. So, if blind people had an acoustical device they could sense a table in front of them, an open door, by feedback of sound. And this is we'd be working on. In the future people think, “Well, if machines do most things, most jobs, what will people do?” There are things we know nothing about! Why do degenerative diseases of the retina occur? We don't know how to stop heart attacks today. There's so much that we don't know. That's what people will be working on. PJ: Right. JF: They won't be killing one another. They'll be working on problems common to all people: tsunamis, hurricanes, all that area---not killing one another. PJ: Here's a technical question. By 2050 it's claimed that there will be over 10 billion people. Do you think, by our current methods today, that we will be able to deal with that type of population? JF: Well, we have the methods, but we don't apply them. PJ: No, I mean today, what we're doing right now in the monetary system. JF: No. PJ: Do you think that this population growth will be extremely detrimental? JF: Yes. PJ: Yes, I think so, too. JF: I think that, in the future, with a better and more relevant education, people will study what the carrying capacity of the Earth is, and the environment, and maintain a population in accordance with the carrying capacity of the Earth, not someone's opinion. If the Vatican said, “Go forth and multiply, and the Lord will provide.” All I would say to the Vatican, “If he doesn't provide, will you?” PJ: So, Roxanne, now, here's a big question. Will those positions of differential advantage, right now, try to prevent the development of a resource-based economy? The industrialists, the lobbyists, the banking institutions? RM: Yeah, they certainly will. PJ: Yeah. RM: If we get more well-known and more support, and more people working towards this direction, you'll hear all sorts of misinformation about us, out there. And it will be a threat; that's happened all through history. But, you know, with its own weight, the free-enterprise system, as they automate more (and they have to, to become competitive), more and more people, as PJ presented very well, will be out of work. So, they'll lose the ability to purchase the goods and services churned out. That's the end of the free-enterprise system. You know, I liken it to a cancer on a cat: it eventually kills its host. So it's really not very bright. That's what's happening with this system. PJ: Yeah, yeah. And what about those corrupt powers that everyone talks about? How is it that people aren't just going to get corrupt and start having genocides in your new system? You know, people always comment on that. JF: Well, during the transition you're going to have all those problems. Once we get the cities built and move toward a resource-based economy we will deal with the problems that produce human aberrant behavior PJ: Right. JF: to get rid of those conditions. PJ: There's an old saying that, “Power corrupts; and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” JF: That's why we have no humans in government... PJ: Yeah. JF: only machines. Humans have loused up everything that they've ever tried: communism, socialism, free-enterprise. They've always loused things up. And they try to turn people against machines. Don't forget: guided missiles are guided by people. And, when people drop bombs over cities, it isn't machines dropping bombs over cities. People contaminate the ocean, the atmosphere, for profit. It's people that have loused up the world, not machines. PJ: Yeah, good point. Now, people would say that you're providing all of these technical ideas. But what about the spiritual, as people always talk about? These notions of metaphysics and the 'out there', the everything else? JF: Yeah. Well, that's because people really don't know how all of this began. “Where did it come from? Somebody had to make it!” And this is where they began to make god in their own image: a guy that sits up there in the clouds, and he looks down at everybody. And if they don't behave he creates floods and earthquakes and disease. And if you don't follow the ten commandments you burn eternally. That sounds more like a psychopath than God! Don't forget: the Eskimos' concept of god is living in a big igloo, and there's lots of seals around! The American Indians call heaven the 'happy hunting grounds': you know, lots of animals, lots of bow and arrows, and you get all the animals you need! So, people try to conceive of god in their own concept. That's why I try to tell you over and over again, “There's no such thing as good or bad people.” In ancient Rome they used to feed Christians to lions. This was typical. And, when a Roman family came to see the Christians being fed to lions, the kids would say, “Daddy, can we come next week to see Christians being fed to lions?” And daddy said, “Only if you behave yourself.” Is there anything wrong with these kids? No, there's something aberrant about the social institution that advocates that. PJ: Yeah. It is now 10 o'clock, and I was hoping that we'd get to the Q&A faster than this, but let's do the Q&A, with all of you, now. - My question to Jacque and Roxanne. What do you see in the future in terms of interpersonal and emotional intelligence? Gender roles, what do you see? Where is that going? PJ: What are your feelings on gender roles in the future? JF: Well, I think it would be.... Don't forget: you asked me that, so I'm going to tell you. When you give a little girl a doll, you're programming her. Let the girl pick what she wants, whether it's an erector set or electric trains. Don't start handing them, or tying a big bow in their hair; then you're producing an object like yourself. I have a couple of questions, but (I'll keep this brief) I think the most pressing thing, or to me it would be, what happens when a machine decides that it's more efficient for a family member to no longer live I know that seems crazy, but what happens if that were the case, if it was more efficient for them to not be part of that society? Would you stand idly by and leave that decision to the machines? PJ: You mean the machine decides that someone should die? - Yes. I mean if someone were to die. PJ: Well, I think.... His question is, "If a machine logically decided that someone should die, what's your response to that?" JF: Well, I would respond in a way that machines don't have attitudes. They don't have ambition. If you took your laptop and smashed it in front of fifty other computers, they don't care. Machines don't have ambitions, they don't want to control people. This is a human projection, into machines, that comes from Hollywood. PJ: To add to this, In this system, humans are understood as cultural problems, so everyone has a certain degree, by the way once we pass our current system, ??? ??? Everyone has a reason, so for the machines to decide, this person is a threat, which I think what the question was, that's not really relevant question, that really don't have the bases

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Duration: 1 hour, 13 minutes and 1 second
Country: United States
Language: English
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Posted by: ltiofficial on Mar 23, 2009

Interview with Jacque Fresco and Roxanne Meadows at the New York Z-Day, March 15th 2009

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