ZEITGEIST MOVING FORWARD: Your life, your world

IF you were offered an alternative society to the one we currently live within — one that could provide (not promise) a dramatic drop in poverty, a higher level of health care, a rise in education levels and a more functional society, would you fight for it? Would you fight for a self-sustainable system that supports recycling and renewable energy, and, most importantly, holds human concern in the highest regard.

Even if you currently live a relatively comfortable life at present, you’ll at least be aware of all the suffering and violence that persists in the world around us, the increasing levels of stress, illness, poverty, crime and the growing gap between the “haves” and “have nots”. You may even understand that poverty and inequality are the central causes of crime and aberrant behaviour.

Every human being does the best they can to survive and live the highest quality of life possible. The sad reality is that the highest quality of life currently achievable, in technological terms, is lived by a miniscule portion of the global population — less than one percent. This is an embarrassment for the human race which is capable of so much more. And you needn’t blame particular people for our current state of affairs, but you can certainly blame the dominant systems in place that influence such thinking and behaviour.

Zeitgeist Movement

The Zeitgeist Movement website identifies itself as ‘a grass-roots campaign to unify the world through a common ideology based on the fundamentals of life and nature’. It is a free venture that also offers ways that members can get involved. (Image: www.thezeitgeistmovement.com)

Every cultural paradigm is likely to assume that they are at the apex of civilisation. What’s more likely is that future­ generations will look back and cringe at the way we once lived.

Society is on the brink of revolutionary change, which I sincerely hope happens while I’m still alive to enjoy it. I have never been more convinced that the meaning of life is spending your time on this Earth, contributing in whatever way you can, towards improving it — creating a heaven on Earth so to speak. The attitude that “that’s just the way it is” and perhaps believing that everything will be okay when you die, is not only unhealthy, but painfully unproductive.

Every educated person should understand that we are in a continual process of social evolution; that the current state of affairs and systems in place are by no means finite. We are all simply doing our best to live within them. However, as global unrest rises, as inevitable economic collapse continues and as we grow increasingly fed up with our political systems, change, too, is inevitable.

Zeitgeist Moving Forward

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Z9WVZddH9w[/youtube]

 

Zeitgeist: Your life, your world

This belief system and these radical, almost­ utopian-sounding ideas, are portrayed in a simple manner by a film that is fast becoming a global phenomenon­. Zeitgeist Moving Forward is the third film by director Peter Joseph, who has been placed in the media spotlight several times in the past few years.

The film illustrates the current global state of affairs — the systems that govern our living, thinking and behaviour. But rather than just offering a bleak outlook on life as we know it, Zeitgeist­ Moving Forward proposes practical solutions to creating a better life on Earth for all to benefit from.

The central idea is that of a resource-based economy — one where resources, sustainability, technology and efficiency are at the forefront. It proposes that global stock-takes and surveys be undertaken to assess where the greatest needs exist and then acting on this information.

There is far more to the film that can be illustrated here. I can only encourage you to watch it for yourself and draw your own conclusions. It is being freely distributed on the Internet and the entire film can be watched on YouTube. Advocates are even encouraged to make copies of the film and distribute them freely.

Zeitgeist film stats and final thoughts

Since Zeitgeist Moving Forward launched on YouTube in January, it has seen over 200 000 views a day and has now passed the four million mark. Responses have been predominantly favourable and it is likely to break a world record as the most viewed film in the shortest period of time. With the amount of support that the movement is seeing, it would be erroneous to think that nothing is going to come of it.

We needn’t fear for the future. We can all collectively create a world where the relative success of a country is not measured by GDP, but happiness; a world where we do not have to worry about when out next pay cheque is coming­; where we are not divided by education or financial wealth and status­; and where self-worth is not measured by status and material gain, but rather by our contribution towards creating­ a better world in which to live.

A RESOURCE BASED ECONOMY: A possible future

  1. Part 1: The power of the planet
  2. Part 2: A world without money
  3. Part 3: Incentive to work without money
  4. Part 4: Future by Design
  5. Part 5: Smart Homes
  6. Part 6: Automated governance?
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AUTOMATED GOVERNANCE: Computer-controlled city centers

IT was predicted that in the year 2010 planes would consist of a single pilot and a dog. The job of the pilot would be to feed the dog; the reason for the dog is to bite the pilot if he or she touches anything.

artificial intelligenceMany people have developed a genuine fear that artificial intelligence could one day take over the world if it got too advanced and somehow became self-aware. Hollywood is largely to blame for this unnecessary fear. The Matrix trilogy is a prime culprit.

In truth, certain sections of society have become more automated or controlled by AI without many of us even being aware of it. Before, pilots used to quite literally guess what altitudes they were flying at, what the weather may be like higher up and use all their skills and praying power to land a plan safely. Today, we use machines to ascertain such information. No questions asked.

One could cite several examples of how our society is gradually moving closer to automated governance — where room for human error is becoming less of a worry. But why are we not making more use of AI forms of governance? We all know that power breeds corruption in governance. History has tried to teach us this for centuries. There is no need to point any fingers.

Automated governance: An artificially intelligent city

Future City

Computer-controlled city centres are the beginnings of an automated governance system

Image: CG4TV.com

Imagine, if you will, a round city that is built around a central computerized hub. In this hub would exist all forms of governance that keep the city running safely and smoothly. Citizens would be able to approach this AI hub and input questions to receive information, such as “how abundant is the city’s water supply”? If there is a water shortage the automated city-brain could offer calculated suggestions on how best to distribute what’s left.

A centralized, automated hub could constantly monitor the air, the earth and the water supply and gather all demographic information relating to a city, which could then be called up on request. Having a machine monitor the air and automatically eliminate contaminants is not new technology. We don’t all have to live in domes to experience the benefits of such. So why aren’t we making use of it?

The illusion is that AI could get dangerously out of control and start using our air and water for its own evil purposes (that is, of course, once a machine­ learns morality and the difference between good and evil).

A different argument is that a computer of that size and capacity would be very expensive to build. This is also not true. A lot of money is spent every year on sociological research — most of which could be saved by having a computer do the work for us. Quantitative research especially would also be far more accurate in an automated governance system.

Automated governance: AI for mayor?

This proposed form of automated governance is not as radical as you may think. It does not supersede all forms of human decision making. Rather, it suggests that we should no longer fear machines, but instead apply them intelligently enough to improve the standard of human living and create sustainable city life.

Sustainable round city

Sustainable round city

In such a city there would still be a need for a mayoral figure of some kind — a democratically elected person to take every citizen’s inputs into account and make the final digital commands. The rest is just paperwork really.

Of course, it would also be wise to start small when it comes to societal reconstruction. As creatures of habit, we are all set in our ways and many people fear change.

However­, I don’t see what’s stopping the powers that be from at least experimenting with such an idea. Perhaps their job security is at stake.

So if any of you are planning on building a city any time soon, please consider automated governance and understand how much better our cities of the future could be. And if that isn’t enough to make the public feel safe and secure, we could always have two guard dogs instead of one.

  • If you were intrigued by this article on automated governance, I would highly recommend giving the documentary film Future by Design a discerning watch. Alternatively, I have written five related articles based on the film, which you can find under A Resource Based Economy.
  1. Part 1: The power of the planet
  2. Part 2: A world without money
  3. Part 3: Incentive to work in a moneyless society
  4. Part 4: Future by Design
  5. Part 5: Smart Homes
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FUTURE HOMES: When applying tech intelligently, options are endless

WHEN people consider their future dream home many may think of a four-bedroom, two-bathroom, double-story house with a great view — somewhere in the mountains. I think of a house under the sea — one that has a huge window­ looking out into the ocean and one that is fully connected to the outside world … and which cleans itself.

future housingThe home of the future is likely to be far more than just a residence, but an element of lifestyle that will encourage and facilitate learning, inspiration and communication. Furthermore, the surrounding environment would be conducive to creativity and innovation. These are some of the ideas of social and industrial engineer Jacque Fresco.

Future Smart Homes: Architecture

According to William Gazecki - director and narrator of the film Future by Design, "the architecture of future homes will evolve on an entirely different basis from today’s houses. The structural elements­ would be flexible and coherently­ arranged to best serve individual preferences."

According to the Venus Project website: “These prefabricated, modular homes, embodying a high degree of flexibility inconceivable in times past, could be built any place one might imagine­, amid forests, atop mountains, or on remote islands.”

Gazecki and Fresco propose that houses be prefabricated using a new type of pre-stressed, reinforced concrete with a flexible ceramic external coating. Such material would result in homes that are relatively maintenance free, fireproof, and impervious to bad weather. The construction of future houses' thin shells could also be mass-produced in a matter of hours. Furthermore, with this type of construction, there would be minimal damage to homes from natural disasters.

Future Smart Homes: Lighting and heat

future homeGazecki and Fresco describe the interior of future smart homes as having no source of light in the form of lamps and hanging fixtures. Instead, all the walls would evenly illuminate — either­ the entire inner surface or particular areas. One would also be able to specify the colour and intensity of the illumination.

"Thermopanes would be used to tint out bright sunlight by variable patterns of shading. All these features could be selected by the occupants to supply more than enough of the energy required to operate the entire household," says Fresco.

"The buildings would be designed as self-contained residences with their own thermal generators and heat concentrators. Photovoltaic arrays would be built into the skin of the building and into the windows themselves," says Gazecki.

Future Smart Homes: Bathrooms and water

Fresco argues that a considerable amount of water can be saved by designing bathroom installations into one system. A shower, sink and toilet moulded into a single system, for example, would be the simplest type of bathroom that would only use one sixtieth the amount of the water used in today’s more common bathrooms. Waste water from the shower and sink would automatically fill the toilet; so instead of telling people to save water, there would be a system built in.

Future Smart Homes

future houses"Cleanliness and hygiene will become major features of future homes, says Fresco. By building in several sensory devices, homes would be able to detect fire, toxic materials — anything that may threaten the life of a human being." With these nervous systems built in, future homes would be smart homes.

"When you leave the building the entire building is clean. With a slight increase in air pressure in the building, no dust would be able to come in from outside. If there are any contaminants in the air it would increase the electrostatic charge, which removes contaminants," Fresco continues.

Future Smart Homes: Self-erecting Structures

"For apartment buildings and other large structures, Fresco has devised a cybernated construction system, says Gazecki. The idea is that computer-controlled robots would handle 90% of the movement and placement of prefabricated components. Special advanced materials are to be developed, eliminating waste and minimising the need for manual labour. Guided by satellite, and using a sophisticated form of artificial intelligence, the buildings will actually construct themselves — a technique Fresco has named “self-erecting structures”.

Evolving homes of the future

Fresco believes that one of the most interesting aspects of tomorrow’s civilisation is that people’s homes will change as the people living within them change. As people’s needs and dimensions of knowledge grow, so will the environment in which they live.

“There’s no such thing as a fixed home that a person lives in all their lives … they will choose to live in whatever architectural shape would meet their needs,” says Fresco.

So think again when you consider your dream home and the type of environment you would like to live in. When such ideas finally take off the options could be endless.

  • Smart Homes is the fifth part of a series of articles related to The Venus Project, Jacque Fresco and the film Future by Design. The previous four parts are available under Quite Interesting -> Resource Based Economy.

*** Watch Future by Design online now! ***

  1. Part 1: The power of the planet
  2. Part 2: A world without money
  3. Part 3: Incentive to work in a moneyless society
  4. Part 4: Future by Design
  5. Part 6: Automated governance?
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FUTURE DESIGN: Applying technology intelligently for a better future

IMAGINE living in a house that is permanently dust free, driving a car that automatically repairs itself, traveling at two thousand miles an hour in absolute comfort, and having the chances of getting ill significantly reduced by living in a city that self regulates it’s air and water by design. These idealistic-sounding goals are more possible than you might imagine.

Future by Design is quite honestly the most inspiring documentary I have ever seen that illustrates just how possible and practical such things are. There is, however, a bittersweet quality to the film: on the one hand it shows how technologically advanced and capable we are – illustrating how the world could be today rather than tomorrow or in the future. On the other hand, it describes how behind we are politically and how future progress is painfully halted due to certain systems set in place.

Thomas Edison had to actually make an electric light bulb before anyone took him seriously and backed him up. The same scenario can be said of Jacque Fresco – the man behind Future by Design. Fresco has been a social and industrial engineer and inventor all his life. Now in his 90s, he still invents and implements his ideas for a new, re-designed society – focusing his attention on The Venus Project - a small 25 acre ‘futuristic’ society located in Venus, Central Florida.

Developed since the late 1970s, The Venus Project is a living model of how hi-tech and nature can co-exist. The small society consists of a scattering of dome shaped homes co-existing in a lush, natural environment. You cannot see one house when you’re in another and the entire project represents how sustainable communities could be created worldwide.

“The Venus Project has a vision of what the future can be if we apply what we already know to achieve a sustainable world civilization, says Fresco. It calls for a scientific redesign of our culture in which war, poverty, hunger, debt, and unnecessary human suffering are viewed as not only avoidable, but unacceptable. Anything less will result in a disastrous continuation of the problems inherent in today's world."

Jacque Fresco

Jacque Fresco

And it isn’t necessary for one to have studied science or design in order to understand Fresco and his working concepts. I found my jaw on the floor as he presented designs (in all fields) that simply made so much practical sense.

Even more appealing was the social philosophy behind each idea – that being to improve the standard of living for all people while simultaneously saving the planet. As an engineer, Fresco’s ideas are not part of his own view of how the world should be, but rather how the world could be today and what it takes to start progressing towards it.

Some Future by Design concepts:

  • A dome-shaped home requires the least amount of material to build and offers the maximum protection against the elements due to its shape.
  • By increasing the air pressure slightly inside the home, dust will not be able to enter it. Cleanliness will be a major factor in the future home environment.
  • There is a type of memory alloy that reshapes itself when heated. Cars made from this material will straighten out any dents when heated (assuming that accidents will even happen in the future).
  • Sensors installed in the front of vehicles can detect how far away other objects are and keep a constant distance between them.
  • Travelling underwater is likely to become the future of sea travel as it is far more economical than travelling on the surface of the ocean where one is confronted by wind and waves.
  • A long, thin boat that breaks the surface tension of the water by rapidly releasing air bubbles at the front while simultaneously drawing water towards the rear (propelling it forward) will be able to travel very economically at remarkable speeds.
  • Having computers and machines continuously regulate the air and water supplies of cities and eliminating contaminants will significantly reduce viruses and disease.

The real appeal of Future by Design is the idea of creating harmony between people and nature. The Earth is far more abundant that what we are made to believe and there are even ways of making the planet more abundant by improving nature and applying design technology intelligently.

It is a sad reality that we live in an age where more time and technology is devoted to destroying humanity rather than advancing it; where global equality is greater than it has ever been; where more resources are invested in making a bigger, better bomb rather than providing clean drinking water where it’s needed.

"Social designs must be based on the carrying capacity of the Earth's resources, and not on the philosophy, desires, aesthetics, or advantages of particular people" - Jacque Fresco

The standard of living proposed by Fresco and films such as Future by Design is by no means perfect; it is just significantly better. After all, the blunt truth is that no one knows what the future might bring, only that we can do a lot better with regards to the intelligent management of the Earth’s resources for the benefit of all the world’s people and protection of the environment.

What can be accurately predicted is that the future of communication lies in 3D imaging, and I would therefore urge everyone to give Future by Design a watch. It should appeal to anyone who has an interest in technology, ecology, people, design and society, and the possible future of our civilization.

Related Articles: A Resource-Based Economy

  1. Part 1: The power of the planet
  2. Part 2: A world without money
  3. Part 3: Incentive to work in a moneyless society
  4. Part 5: Smart Homes
  5. Part 6: Automated governance?

For more info check out the following:

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A NEW WORLD: Where technology replaces servitude

HOW many people do you know that live for their job? Who can’t wait to get to work and don’t give a fig about how much money they earn from it? Probably not very many. The sad reality is that the majority of people work to live rather than the other way round. We obviously need the money to survive.

The idea of a moneyless society is hard to imagine because we have never experienced such a thing. So, theoretically-speaking, if such a society did exist, what incentive would people have to work and do jobs that are not particularly pleasant? The short answer is that, ultimately, they wouldn’t have to; technology and machines would do most of the work for us.

People, money, machines: Incentive to work?

Telephone Exchange

Possibly deceased telephone exchange operators

If we look back at history we can already see a gradual progression of human labour being replaced by machines & automation. Several occupations have become obsolete due to their replacement by machines. Candle makers, elevator doormen, telephone exchange operators are a few jobs that no longer require human labour or are no longer relevant to society.

We therefore have a right to fear machines, for human employment is in direct competition with technological development. However, this creates a serious clash which proves the falseness of the monetary-based labour system.

Employment is necessary to survive in a money-based system. However, given the fundamental priority of profit by industry, people through time will be continually laid off and replaced by machines. If, on the other hand, we didn’t need to work to earn a living, we would then more readily embrace the idea that machines free people rather than putting them out of a job. After all, freeing people to live their lives without servitude is the point of technology itself.

NeurosurgeryThis replacement of human labour by machines is not only possible, but inevitable. And with the pace that new technologies are being developed, specifically that of nano-technology, it is not difficult to foresee the phasing out of up to 90% of all human occupations. Machines today are even capable of performing complex medical procedures — often with higher success rates than humans.

Furthermore, if money was taken out of the picture, a large portion of current day occupations would no longer have any basis to exist because they would no longer be relevant. Anything associated with the management of money, advertising, along with the legal system itself would have no basis to exist in a resource-based economy.

If money was no longer needed to survive and people were given free and easy access to the necessities of life, a great majority of the crimes that are committed today would never occur. Contrary to propaganda, it is largely environmental conditioning that lures people into criminal and violent behaviou­r.

According to this view, man-made laws are attempts to deal with recurring problems that people do not know how to solve properly. It is a sad reality that in most countries today, more resources are devoted to prisons and police rather than alleviating poverty, which is known to be one of the majo­r contributors and factors behind crimes committed.

EDUCATION

 

Given the above, perhaps we need to view machines more positively and think of them as an extension of human performance rather than as hunks of metal that might put us out of a job. We also need to understand that if people have easy and free access to the necessities of life they would behave very differently.

EducationWe are taught to support the monetary system, not only by working to earn money, but by believing that a monetary system produces incentive. However, the simple truth is that if money were taken out of the picture people’s incentives would be very different.

New incentives would emerge that perhaps weren’t there before. If all our needs were met we might take more interest in space and the stars, environmental conservation and helping to educate our fellow human being.

Education is paramount in such a society. Today education produces people for specialised jobs rather than teaching them about the world. Instead, it needs to create generalists — critical thinkers with extensive worldviews.

Most people today don’t know a lot about a lot of different subjects because the structure of our educational systems. You would never get people to go to war if they were educated this way, nor would they give a fig about doing the unthinkable to make a quick buck.

  • This article was inspired by the documentary film Zeitgeist Addendum. To learn more about the Venus Project, or to become a part of the zeitgeist movement, visit: www.thezeitgeistmovement.com

You can the read of this Future by Design series below:

Zeitgeist Moving Forward: Your life, your world

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