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Roxanne Meadows - Science, Values, & Social Change - JF Centennial Event

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Roxanne Meadows attended Moore College of Art and graduated from Maryland Institute of Art. For over 36 years she had her own company producing technical illustrations, architectural designs, and model making. She and Jacque are co-founders of The Venus Project. [Applause] So, we are living in a time when science and technology are racing forward. But our social systems are static. We do see people protesting in the streets, against the divide between the wealthy and the poor, racism, war, and sometimes they're able to overthrow the regimes that they're living under. But only to put in another incompetent political government, that work within the monetary system, that cannot ultimately take care of the problems. Jacque at a young age searched-… oh, excuse me! But, what The Venus Project has to offer, is a workable plan for social innovation, using the methods of science and technology, to enable everyone to enjoy the benefits of technology equally. Jacque at an early age searched for such a system, but he was unable to find one. So he took on the job himself. In order to accomplish this, he studied many different disciplines, understanding that science applies to everything, especially behavioral science, and I say that because it’s the most neglected science in our culture, yet, the most important to understand the need for The Venus Project and the direction of The Venus Project. I felt extremely lucky to have met Jacque when I was 27 years old. I attended the lectures that he gave at his home in Coral Gables, Florida. And, the very first lecture that I went to, Jacque in his “Fresconian” - his unique Fresconian manner, proceeded to smash everything that I held dear and sacred. You understand that, huh? (laughs) But what was different about him is that he replaced it. He didn’t just complain about society, but he replaced it with a real viable alternative; with a value system that appropriately accompanied it. So many people, when they first are introduced to The Venus Project, they can’t understand why this isn’t implemented NOW. It seems so easy and it would help so many people. I usually say “Well, this is where we are in social evolution.” But where is that exactly? The answer to that is quite complicated. But the most relevant issue is that science has very little relevance to how we operate and organize society and the way we live and think. Science presents us with the best tools we have, to acquire a testable body of knowledge. It gives us a closer approximation to reality, and shows us what works. When we become more self-critical about our ideas, and test them in the real world, we become more scientific, as opposed to wishful thinking and aspirations. The scientific method, just like science itself, is based on what was built before. So, observation, testing and experimentation, took a long time to get to where we are today. And just very briefly, the scientific method is asking a question, doing research in the field, trying to come up with a hypothesis, and then doing controlled experimentation, and reporting the results. Invention is serially developed, over a long period of time. For instance, a German engineer, Otto Lilienthal was very interested, and admired, how birds fly. So, he stuck his arms in large wings and jumped off a hill. He wasn’t the first person to do this, but he was the first successful person to do this. And he flew over 2,500 flights, until the last one, that ended in his death. Others, after that, experimented and added to the ability to fly, little by little. Some found out what didn’t work, which was just as important - they put in the effort. We look at the early experimentation on videos, if you’ve seen them, of people trying to fly with these contraptions that some people laugh at today. But they didn’t understand that that was the genuine exploration to find out what worked and what didn’t. How else would they know? The Wright brothers worked upon what was done before, as I said is what science does. And they actually used a book from Otto Lilienthal, which he wrote in 1889 about aerodynamics. He- … the Wright brothers based their aircraft on his findings. So the Wright brothers weren’t the father of flight. They weren’t the father of anything, because so many people went before them and died, so they could get off the ground. It’s a long serial progression: invention. By the way ... from the first small engine aircraft, in 1903, to today sending probes to Mars and beyond, all took place practically within Jacque’s lifetime. So, when you think about it, the last hundred years, in the advancements in science and technology, were more than all the years that preceded it. Religious leaders tried to explain the world around them, before a more comprehensive understanding of science and its technology occurred, before a more comprehensive understanding of the scientific method occurred as well. It was a primitive way to try and give meaning to living processes. It proclaimed a set of rules of right and wrong, and good and bad, that we are still inculcated with today. It had these rules or dogma to try and govern human conduct, without even understanding human need, or the effects of environment on human behavior. What they didn’t understand, they attributed to the gods. So, it really is a method of trying to control behavior based on fear, ignorance, and superstition. It is only through the methods of science that will enable us to get out of poverty, hunger, and scarcity. Predictability comes from the use of science. For instance, scientists today can predict when the next total solar eclipse of the sun will occur, where in all the world to stand to see it, how long its duration will be, and exactly what time to view it. Sorry, but soothsayers, metaphysicians, religious prophets, or philosophers cannot come close to the accuracy that science gives us. No questions are out of bounds, no matter how controversial they are. There are no sacred truths in science. Just like there are no bad words. You know, who are these people to tell us, this is a good word, and this is a bad word? This word you can use and this you can’t. It's like a woman driving her car into a repair shop, and the mechanic says “It’s the differential housing,” or “the ball between the two wheels.” And the woman gets (hah!) all embarrassed and says “Don’t talk about that part of the car, put some panties on it!” [Laughter] For every concept that … we cannot discuss, or every word we cannot utter, determines just how backwards we remain. Without scientific scrutiny and critical thinking, we would have a world of suckers, pacified by the dominant values of the time, to keep things as they are. “Clean coal.” “Global warming is a hoax.” "Smart" weapons. “There’ll always be wars and rumors of wars.” “We all have free will.” “Can’t change human nature.” And the list of misconceptions that help perpetuate old ways of thinking prevail. We don’t put the same critical thinking in examining our social system and our values, as we do say even making a product. But this isn’t to cast blame on the individual, because we can only think with the tools that we are given. We can’t exceed them. What we have to think with, does not come from the inside out, but we totally reflect our surroundings. If we could critically view our movies, TV, Internet, books, magazines, and what they pass off on us as entertainment, we could easily see that what they’re trying to teach our children and ourselves is arrogance, cruelty, racism, bigotry, violence, war, chauvinism, murder, and endless commercialism. And they sure as hell are succeeding, without any concern whatsoever, other than if it makes a profit. Science enables us to electrify our homes, travel from place to place, talk to anybody, anywhere within the world, and even see them at the same time. It even gives us the gift of life itself through the accomplishments of medicine. Yet, it’s also a scapegoat for the plethora of problems that we have today. Because, it is ... misused and abused by people who are conditioned in a sick and primitive culture, where half the scientists in the world work for the military, at least part time, and many others work for industries that pollute, poison, and destroy the environment. These are not scientists. These are prostitutes, or obedient opportunists. [Applause] Things are set up where very few of us understand science and technology. Yet, our future depends on the progression of relevant information, and how we apply it. The less knowledge we have of the real world, the more pseudoscience and superstition and fear creep in to fill the void. And we become easy prey for bigotry, prejudice, fanaticism, and misinformation. This is a volatile mix, for a devastating future. Because technology is excelling exponentially. Who is this ignorance serving anyway? Today, those in positions of advantage seek to perpetuate the system that put them there, often at any cost. And laws are written by large corporations to benefit themselves. And the military is there to protect them both. What would happen in a world without law and order? There would be chaos, there’d be murder. People would be killing each other and stealing from each other - just like it is today! So, something’s needed, but it’s not law and order. Instead, it’s environmental conditions that don’t generate the need for human hostility. Science applied to the social system means that we have to generate, we have to organize, and design an environment, that surpasses the need for poverty, hunger, war, and aberrant behavior. As a way out of our dilemma, The Venus Project proposes using the methods of science, applied to the social system, as a tool to elevate everyone. This can be achieved by a global resource-based economy; a systems approach, where all the interacting variables are working efficiently, as one entire process. It includes, well-... new, well-designed cities that think, working symbiotically, as a living, breathing system. These cities would incorporate clean sources of energy, efficient transportation, automated production and distribution plants, enabling-... freely making available all the goods and services that a highly technological society can produce. Industrial plants would be turning out products that are long lasting, and can be recycled. Resource surveys would be made, in order to find out the parameters that we have to work within. And before any large projects would be taken on, we would be doing a negative and positive study. In other words, we would work within the carrying capacity of Earth’s resources, where all the resources would become the common heritage of all people. This, in turn, along with a new orientation, would enable people to update their values, and change their behavior. When goods and services are made available to everyone, there is no need to steal, when anyone can get whatever they need at the access center. Behaviors such as underselling your competitor to knock them out of business, would become obsolete. What we consider a wise and shrewd business person of today, would be looked upon as vulgar and twisted in a saner society. (Yeah.) People would not be looked upon as prey for a sale. People of the future would be concerned about bettering one another, rather than beating them. In medicine, for instance, people doing surgery would not do it to get a higher salary, or acclaim, or rewards, but because they get their fulfillment out of making people well. We have to build an environment that generates a viewpoint that is cooperative, rather than competitive. The more intelligent we become, the less we want to beat anyone. And whatever is being designed in the culture, goes right back into society, for everyone’s benefit and security. This way people are more amiable towards one another. But they're not more friendly towards one another because we’re superimposing a moral code, or an ethical code, or teaching them empathy, but because their actions genuinely enhance the standard of living for everyone. We call this "functional" morality. In a saner society, people would probably feel sorry for those who still need ostentatious waste, a bigger home, or a fancier car, or more expensive jewelry. They would understand that these people are so insecure, that they need to impress others in this way, to acquire their own sense of self-worth. But if all the homes and all the amenities were of equal high quality, no one would envy anyone over possessions, when anyone can get whatever anyone else has. If you are envious, say of somebody who can draw better than you, it’s only because somebody got to you, and said "YOU have to be the best. We would be proud of you." But those types of values wouldn’t be used in the future. And shame - if you had shame, it would be-... it IS because somebody convinced YOU that you are not where THEY think you ought to be. These would be obsolete values in the future, because the environment would enable everybody to be comfortable, no matter where they were. In conclusion, science applies to everything. But it’s practically non-existent when it comes to applying it to the way we organize society. The Venus Project applies the methods of science to the way we operate society, to generate constructive and co-operative behaviors. This is the most needed scientific experiment of our times. And it is the most taboo to even consider, or talk about. What we have now is a failed experiment. It does not meet the needs and it does not enrich the lives of everyone. What we ultimately do will depend on if we have a future or not. So we invite you to join us, in what could be the most exciting and rewarding social experiment that we could possibly take on. Thank you. [Applause]

Video Details

Duration: 20 minutes and 30 seconds
Year: 2016
Country: United States
Language: English
Producer: The Venus Project
Director: The Venus Project
Views: 51
Posted by: ltiofficial on May 17, 2016

Roxanne Meadows focuses on the importance of science in all areas of the social spectrum that are necessary for betterment of conditions for all people, including a critical inclusion of a science of behavior, without which we are destined to repeat past failures. March 12, 2016.

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