Educational List – Informational Source (repost w/additions)

Informational Source - No poetry or philosophy this time, just the insights you may get from the resources listed.

You may want to save this list, I will update it as I find more or see that I have missed something, my own research wasn’t this organized.

I hope you get great use out of it, and if I can advise a little something: even if you don’t get how big a deal this all really is, please trust that by investing the time to read and watch all of this, you will be far more informed about what you need to prepare and how you can help others.

A small warning about this stuff, some of it can deliver significant concern. Doom is not the answer here, it’s important to self-manage the effects of this stuff so that we can turn our future into opportunity rather than dismay.

Initiatives, groups, networking sites to join

  1. Transition San Diego – local site, few members, little activity, but may become good
  2. Transition in Action – very good site!
  3. Transition in Action – Group page, (Please join once a member of the site)
  4. The Finding Finite Project – (Blog) Please Subscribe and collaborate
  5. The Finding Finite Project – (Facebook Page) Please “like”
  6. Transition Network – Large international network of transitional people and information

Reading list and research materials (This list is a summarized collection of information- primarily on the “energy” portion of our problem)

  1. Energy Resources and Our Future: Speech delivered 1957 – USN Admiral Rickover – talk about a guy ahead of his time.
  2. Lester Browns “Plan B -4.0” Fantastic work.
  3. Kinsale 2021- an energy descent action plan- don’t let this one fool you, their assumption of 2021 is based on their educational/degree program. They have some great information though
  4. Robert Hirsch Report US Department of Energy – This is one of the ones that’s really important and you should download and save it before somebody claims it to be a threat to N.S.  This report is as dry as most government analysis, but the “key” language is the point. 2 things to pay special attention to. 1. Is the “time needed to mitigate” and 2. Is the “reason” there isn’t accurate data on extraction.
  5. Transitional Primer – by the Transition Network
  6. SEI- Energy in Ireland 1990-2008 – 2009 report – Ireland is fantastic with realistic engagement of the problem.
  7. SEI – Energy Efficiency in Ireland –  actually a different report but more figure intensive
  8. Impact Report
  9. Rob Hopkins Dissertation – A good information, he references almost everything, if your game – you can check out all of his corresponding references.
  10. C.J. Campbell – Another good source is to jump around the hyperlinks in Wikipedia you can search from this page.
  11. C.J. Campbell – The coming Oil Crisis – this story also has some references worth checking.
  12. The Kyoto Protocol
  13. David Ehrenfeld -the coming collapse of the age of technology
  14. Mendeley Library – hundreds of documents and studies of interest
  15. Energy and the Common Purpose David Flemming
  16. Winning the Oil Endgame /Lovings & Datta
  17.  The end of cheap oil by CJ Campbell and Jean Leahhare
  18. Giant Oil Fields – The Highway to Oil: Giant Oil Fields and their Importance for Future Oil Production / Original writer’s kind of a dick, but his end conclusions and adoptions from the two guys CJ- are on par – used as Devil’s Advocate
  19. D & D Meadows “the limit to growth” Lots of stuff on the web, but the book isn’t a PDF
  20. FORRESTER “World Dynamics” AND “SYSTEM DYNAMICS” multiple documents on this link, the ones by Forrester are solid.

The Documentary/Video List: A lot of these can be found on Netflix if you have it, if you don’t, I think they offer a free trial.  I believe Netflix is a great resource for information and entertainment. A lot of the video’s you can find for free online at the various website links that are provided. The TED website is a fantastic source of its own; don’t hesitate to look through their other videos.

I can also send you other sources if you let me know.

IDN – (Instant Download on Netflix) TH – (TED website Hyperlinked) *– one of my favorites YT – (YouTube HL)

  1. 1.       An Overall View
  1. 2.       War, Peace, Politics, and Religion
  1. 3.       Economics         
  • Trading on Thin Air (IDN)
  • Inside Job – (Available at Netflix Mail)
  • An Inconvenient Tax  (IDN)

  • 4.       Water                  
  1. 5.       Food     
  1. 6.       Environment & Biodiversity      
  2. *TED Talk Johan Rockstrom: Let the environment guide our development (TH)
  • America’s Lost Landscape (IDN)
  • American Experience: Earth Days (IDN)
  • Frontline: Heat (IDN)
  • *Dirt! – The Movie.  (Available at Netflix Mail)
  • The End of the line (IDN)
  • Frontline: Poisoned Waters (IDN)
  • Everything’s Cool (IDN)
  • Life Running Out of Control (IDN)
  • Milking the Rhino (IDN)
  • Six Degrees Could Change the World (IDN)
  • *The 11th Hour – Available on Netflix – Mail
  • The Inconvenient Truth (Available at Netflix Mail)
  • Climate of Change (IDN)
  • Colony  (IDN)
  • Designing a Great Neighborhood (IDN)
  • Frontline: The Spill (IDN)
  • Big River (IDN)
  • The Ecological Footprint                (IDN)
  • Radically Simple (IDN)
  • Homo Toxicus (IDN)
  1. 8.       Other Beneficial Information to Understand
  1. 9.       Energy 

CANCER: Burzynski (IDN)

A Clarification of Vision

The posts on this blog travel from philosophy back to intention and everywhere in between. There is a method to it and I hope you will collaborate. I also hope you can stick with it long enough to see the big picture, the one where you will see the complex connection to what we are doing, where we are going, and the routines, traditions, and behaviors that got us here. Perhaps then we can choose a different path, because we are not heading in a sustainable direction.

The project is interconnected with most of our human and planetary issues.  The projects primary focus is helping our civilization become aware, understand, redirect, and prepare for the transitional age before we run out of time and the resources to do so.

The entire project was born from the understanding that our civilization will soon endure a transitional event, its duration and severity will be determined by the preparedness of its inhabitant and will affect every one of us.

The interconnected factors of our environmental carrying capacity and the diminishing energy resource that supports its current ability to supply, creates an overshoot that makes such an event inevitable.  

There is a universal question that appears whenever someone finds this information and it is based in: When? The universality of this question is human nature; it’s based in our fight or flight mentality.  The answer to this is complex, but to simplify and share an understanding of urgency, the “when” is right now. The data shows us being past the point of “seamless transition” or non-adverse redirection. It’s happening all around you and is not as tangible for some as it is for others.

As things tend to evolve, the plans may change method but the objective will always remain intact. The project will grow with this path, and if it has to change or assimilate into another’s structure, then so be it. The objective is its primary importance, not its founder’s ego.

The Finding Finite Project as a whole is made up of several efforts:

  • The writing of the book(s) and manuals
  • The design & development of the governing dynamics for neighborhood villages
  • The initiation & development of a national network of neighborhood villages

The writing of the book(s) and manuals:

The first of three books is titled “Finding Finite”.  This book is a collection of facts, philosophies, and illustrations that, while addressing many different concerns, it will ultimately share the interconnected nature of our human direction, momentum, and common transitional destination.  It is the explorative journey from the perspective of a person who started with an individualized focus and ended with a globalized outlook. Taking the life experiences and insights of a world traveled quest to seek answers, pose questions, then finding a destination of purpose by illustrating the incongruent way our civilization is living.

The second and third books are titled “Understanding Finite” and “Living Finite” and will attempt to act as an evolutionary model. These books will further investigate the link between the value of our life’s time and how we choose to spend it. These books will further explore and identify the ways we can all live within the finite nature of things, fully embrace life’s treasures, seek lessons, and accept realities. It promotes the practice of living through acceptance, compassion, gratitude, and the knowledge of choice.

The manuals: These handbooks present themselves through the writing process and are categorized in many perspectives and forms, e.g. “operational” or “how to” manuals and documents.

The design & development of the governing dynamics for neighborhood villages:

The governing dynamics of any simple or complex managed system is always a challenge; however, our present ability to use past civilizations historical lessons is of great benefit. We will first breakdown the existing structure into a basic universal perspective, then identify and understand the generalized needs of all humans and their environments ecological interdependence. Once the balanced elements of “need” become apparent, we can design a system that is culturally infusible and allows the diversity of our civilization to be an empowering adaption to the overall design.

All cultures will have to make some sacrifices in traditional and nontraditional lifestyles to accommodate the sustainability of the overall system. The base structure will evolve into a homogenous interaction at the network level.

We intend to resource many universities, faculties, and their student bodies to assist with the design and implementation. A variety of “Beta Test” style projects have been addressed with a number of sociology departments. We also intend to involve the present government at some level.

The initiation & development of a national network of neighborhood villages:

We will start the development in more than one way. There are existing efforts, groups, and movements that support this kind of program. We will have our own initiatives, as well as align with the others that share similar purpose. We feel collaboration is not only the way to be successful with a project of this scope, diversity, and importance, but also inherently fitting to the interconnected nature of our global population.

This initiation will start with the development of core groups. Taking the community garden culture and transforming backyards. These core groups can be the neighborhood bonfires that radiate connectivity, sharing, community involvement and learning about its food source and our overall message of preparedness.

The Informational Gap (part 1)

We have been saturated by phrases that illustrate the importance of information, “information is power” being the one that stands out most in my mind.

Strange how we hear these so often but rarely understand the powerful lessons enclosed within them. The more common statement of “yes, I know how important information is!” exists, yet the way information is treated tells a different story, after all “we are the people” with the power to set the bar.

Water is as important to our body’s ability to sustain life functions as Information is in making our life’s choices… the choices that define the way we live our lives and the purpose they fulfill.

Information and misinformation is the root of human interaction. Whether that interaction is making love or starting a war. How bold is that? I will go further, you remember hearing “all men are inherently good” I conditionally agree; my condition is that I first clarify the information given: “all men” – this refers to all people, (it was the language of the time), “are inherently” – philosophers generally regard this to mean “at the level of the soul”, “good” is Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s philosophy  that I put this spin on  – it’s where we start, with a seed of good that can grow either way while being fed information or misinformation resulting in understanding, or misunderstanding which is closely related to fear. Fear being the nutrient needed for us to break away from our natural good, leading us to actions of fear; like hate, cruelty, distrust, and on and on. Prejudice; isn’t this the act of pre-judging, which is the result of making judgment without all the understood information?

Remember the darker side of information, it can teach many things like fear, hate, and prejudice.   So, after acknowledging this obvious importance, wouldn’t it be logical to practice it, protect it, and revere its power like we do our gods?  Or at least our god’s gift that enables human’s free will?

Most of us end up in arguments as a result of under practiced skills of communication, the communication of our information. Let me clarify that a bit: the emotions that get attached to the novice informational exchange make it difficult to clearly understand. Emotions become engaged because of some preset notion or defensive belief.  That’s prejudice, and it’s all shrouded in fear, fear of judgment or acceptance.  If we were originally trained to first absorb the information then after understanding it, react, how “emotionally intelligent” would we be? Doesn’t that seem to be logical? Information feeds understanding; and understanding is where resolution is found. Acceptance of something even something you don’t agree with is normally the result of understanding it.  Funny, but this isn’t actually one of my wild tangents, it’s just another illustration of the importance of information.

Jumping to a contextual point of view -

There was a moment in time, (even if it was a brief moment) that we as a “free people” understood information’s power and the importance of its accurate depiction. That was a time when one man’s obsession with power became a public wakeup call. The subject was control, more to the point, Information management as a tool to control the public’s behavior. William Randolph Hearst was that man and this subtext is a little background information on how my opinion of him was formed.

I haven’t found a better example than the film “Citizen Kane” written by Herman Mankiewicz with help from its director and starring actor, Orson Welles.  True to form, Hearst prohibited any of his newspapers to even mention the films existence, let alone advertise it. The films censorship became obvious, due to the films delayed but remarkable success, winning an Academy Award for an original screenplay, along with nominations in nine other categories.  A strange little unproven conspiracy theory was created by its seemingly disastrous premiere, not even clearing a production profit at the box office, all but disappearing until French film critics brought it back to the people’s attention in 1956, 15 years after its 1941 release.  Film critics and the general consensus of film experts consider it to be the best film of all time, with even Roger Ebert  saying: “So it’s settled: Citizen Kane is the official greatest film of all time.”

This is just my opinion of course but, I consider four possibilities to explain why the “greatest film of all time” premiered as a flop: 1.The film was railroaded by Hearst 2. The general public was oblivious to the important industrial civilian “control” issues that permeated the films plot 3. It took a population with the revolutionary philosophies of the French, to find and pronounce the films importance, or 4. A combination of all of the above.

About W.R. Hearst’s influences and adolescent sculpting:  “Hearst’s father, US Senator George Hearst, had acquired land in the Mexican state of Chihuahua after receiving advance notice that Geronimo – who had terrorized settlers in the region – had surrendered. Hearst was able to buy hundreds of thousands of acres at $0.20 each because only he knew that they had become much more secure”.[i]  “The younger Hearst (W.R. Hearst) was in Mexico as early as 1886, when he wrote to his mother that “I really don’t see what is to prevent us from owning all of Mexico and running it to suit ourselves.”[ii]

Later, he engaged in a brutal circulation war with Joseph Pulitzer and his publications, the outcome was the creation of “yellow journalism.” As the dictionary defines it: Sensationalist news reporting; a style of journalism that makes unscrupulous use of scandalous, lurid, or sensationalized stories to attract readers.

I have studied Hearst extensively and if you’re interested in more information, the best “Cliff Notes” style summary I can find is at this link to Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Randolph_Hearst

Orson Welles was one of our history’s “Masters of Attention” using the tools of radio and film to captivate us with the power of well-orchestrated (or the way I like to put it Welles-orchestrated) information. He gave us another great lesson about informational power, with the 1938 radio broadcast of the “War of the Worlds” were he all but coined the phrase “run for the hills” as he commentated the  fictional invasion of aliens, the result was a massive and chaotic population uprising.

SOAPBOX Moment: I am guessing that the Bush administration would have had the Fox news and affiliates screaming that it was a terrorist attack, and moved to have Orson interrogated by “enhanced methods” at Guantanamo.  Sorry, but being a kid that didn’t do that well in school either I have to give G.W. the credit that he probably meant well. (Only because this is a post devoted to the importance of information, I will break the Sarcastic Oath and tell you the truth… that was sarcasm).

Resolution of SOAPBOX Moment: To the person(s) that loved the Bush administration, I apologize, sincerely. We will need you just as much as anyone else. I practice feeling differently about those 8 years but I occasionally slip into sarcasm and even flirt with hatred. I need to tell you why, then you will have the information necessary to judge me if you must. I am going to wildly summarize and condense these thoughts into two points; otherwise I would need the space of this entire post. Point 1. The President’s choice to proudly present himself as a “secular president” was possibly the most devastating public pronouncement since the church and state were originally separated. Whether you want it that way or not, our global human community is made up of a lot of different religions, to accept that, is to accept fact. To think their beliefs are less important to them as yours are to you is insensitive and naive.  Our leaders, (considering we are a nation of diversity, with immigrants from every culture on the planet) have the duty to represent a collective interest not use their position as a platform to preach their individual spiritual beliefs. Point 2. This is probably the hardest for me, for reasons I cannot go into, but I can tell you that I get physically ill when I think about it. For any person, let alone the Vice President of the United States, to use their influence to create personal monetary gain in the facilitation of a war that they are not fighting in is indescribable to me. This last sentence took me twenty minutes to write, I think it has to be one of the all-time low points in our country’s history. I know our history pretty well, and I recognize and don’t minimize the awful atrocities that scar our beautiful idea of a nation, but this one is incomprehensible to me. I see it as the sum of all our evils.

Now back to the point: please excuse the soapy tangent

When did the publication media lose sight of the responsibility of informational purity, that that alone was enough to print it, even “honorable”, instead of whatever sells the paper? This was a rhetorical question because I have a pretty good idea of when this happened. The point is, why was this allowed to happen?

The greatest of informers can’t inform in an empty room. The control of information works in many ways and has been debated since languages were formed. Although I have been focusing on published information, the “rights” of what is published is not the point I’m addressing. I am addressing something I think of as a cultural glitch, and it’s as vague as the importance of information itself. Sadly, this falls into the category of “assumption” which makes it difficult to explain, but I will try.

It is assumed that the checkout counter tabloids are mostly fictional, and they are the type of news source that is considered unreasonable to take as fact. But who taught us this? I am not defending the tabloids, just highlighting the assumption. What about the rest of the publications? Where do we find the list of factual informational sources? This is the truly scary side effect of assumptive behavior, and the resulting misrepresentations that come with it. People have the right, and we have the duty to seek accurate information, otherwise how do we make choices that positively affect our world, and the beings in it?

What happens when we lose all the sources of real information? Do we end up living in one giant advertisement with the only real goal being consumption?  Along with a civilian business model that promotes perpetual growth? Who came up with that impossible idea? The planet might be enormous too you, but I promise it’s not big enough for that plan.

What happened to the plan of making what we “need” with the ultimate goal being personal and family happiness? The habit of collecting everything you decide to “want”, is the drug addiction that gives a less then euphoric momentary pleasure, leading nowhere but a lifetime hangover of  a money driven career, and the regret driven withdrawals of lost time.

Retirement; is the “carrot” created by a system of slavery that distracts the focus of time and the reality of value in a finite life.

This “Gap” goes way beyond the corner newspaper stand and into our lives in an entirely different way. If we could see information for what it really is, instead of some kind of abstract cluster of ideas, dreams, and intentions, we would insist on its purity, or at least its accuracy. If all of this became a common realization, there would be a mandatory class called “Informational Sciences” in every school in the U.S.

Clearly I feel strongly about this, but let’s see if I can articulate an important factual issue. Let’s take water as a topic. If you go to the sink and open the faucet and fill a glass, do you have any way to know how many more glasses you could fill? You get a water bill and it probably shows how many units of water you used, but does it say how many more units they can supply for you? Go on to some other utility; gas for instance. You can see that the price is rising but do you really know why? How many of you gave the answer “it’s because of inflation”? Please don’t get pissed, but that is a perfect example of brain washing. We have been systematically tortured with the idea that everything has to get more expensive, without actually saying or understanding why. If it was sustainable or renewable, why would the price go up? It wouldn’t need too because it’s perpetual, if managed sustainably.  That was a little rhetorical hint, about how unsustainable our grand plan is. I get how irritating rhetorical-isms can be, but they are meant to stir your thought, a sort of kindling for your own contemplation – that is where change happens.

Broaden your mind for a moment with these thoughts: What kind of system gives no overall source of responsibility to the individuals working within it? That limits the sources of information to the point that each individual’s personal work or effort inhibits their ability to understand the consequences of their own actions? It’s the same answers for both questions: Our system & a system of slavery.

This is not the way our system started; it was once a beautiful & brilliantly designed paradigm, that was based on exactly the opposite answer now given: Our system gave us the overall source of responsibility.  It has since been mutated by greed in the indefinable name of progress. Want to see just how different the system was when it began? The taxation of income was unconstitutional… you can go from there.

I know that the subject of slavery is a sensitive one, but information is power and limiting information is also a significant tool of power. Uncensored information is the truest nutrition the mind could digest. Without it, are we not actually brain dead?

Starting to sound like slavery yet?

Here’s a sociological experiment for you:

Imagine a world that instead of getting angry at the guy washing his car in the middle of a state wide drought, we recognized this as a sign of misinformation. I am not trying to suggest that there aren’t people that act contradictory to real issues; I just want you to understand the complexity that leads back to information. I am willing to bet that if that guy knew that the water he was using was coming from a source that would run out and his family would die from thirst, he probably would not do it.

Let’s look at political affiliation… you may say, “what the hell does that have to do with anything your writing about?” take a breath, now remember that everything is connected. First let’s say there are two parties, Party A and Party B. This guy washing his car is a devote Party A constituent. The Party B politician won, and it was mostly because of their campaign on water conservation. Are you starting to get where I’m going with this? This guy also happens to loath his job, it so happens that he has a few coworkers that like to fanatically discuss their efforts to conserve water and how much they love that Party B won, how a loss would have started the end of the world, and so on.  He is getting information, but because it sounds like something against his chosen party (which can be much like a religious belief for some people) he labels it as something to dislike or even work against.  Now that you understand this guy a little better, how has the original emotional reaction changed? Let me help a little further, can you acknowledge that this guy clearly has the ability to be passionate about something? Too far? Ok, let’s throw another tidbit of information in; he doesn’t care what his car looks like.  Although possibly misguided passion, it’s still emotionally driven, not information driven. The point about seeing his passion, is not just forgiveness, it’s about his capacity to engage something with purpose. That’s a start.                                                                           __________________________________

The last paragraph scratches the surface of an issue that I will write about in another post, that illustrates the dangerous moment when politicians became celebrity spokespersons instead of humble responsible civil servants.  This will also cover the need to understand historical information and the lessons it provides – and being said, why are our leaders not history experts?


[i] “Mexico: End of An Empire”. Time. September 7, 1953.

[ii] Gonzales, Michael J. 2002. The Mexican Revolution, 1910–1940. 1st ed. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, page 8, and Wiki.

I need your help on this one

This correspondence and script (rough draft) will be delivered to the Secretary General of the United Nations. They have opened a channel of discussion to “pitch” an idea to help the world. I want your opinions and /or suggestions before I finish and submit it.

Excuse me Mr. Secretary General,

All life is finite. You and I are finite. That’s what makes our lives so precious.

Purpose is infinite. That’s why when it’s found, it can seem more precious than life.

I have found my life’s purpose and I want to share it with you and your formidable influence.

The introduction of a complex issue often results in misunderstanding which squanders the attention of its ultimate importance.  In the acknowledgement of that illustrative hurdle, I have decided to illustrate my purpose in a minimal way. Hopefully embracing traces of the ancient art of words, and the power each one can present.

This is an issue of global human importance.

The purpose I write about has evolved into a human effort called “The Finding Finite Project” and its proposed solutions are focused on a systemic manmade dysfunction that produces global ramifications.

THERE IS A PICTURE INSERTED HERE, BUT WAS NONTRANSFERABLE. Its a circular text graph that follows around a picture of the earth. The words that surround the earth are connected by arrows leading back to the first word: Petroleum > Energy > Food > Water > Population > Pollution > Attention > 

 

Most of us live within minds unable to reason with the finite reality of our own lifespan, which creates a living focus measured in short periods of time, often forgetting entirely about the future beyond and disconnecting its valuable purpose. This allows us the destructive and wasteful practices of consumption without hunger and development without need, want becomes our goal, function turns to fashion, and results become unimportant.

In the decade that spanned 1975-to-1985 the United States and much of the world found an opportunity to develop sustainable solutions, replacing a known finite energy resource with types that could sustain or energy needs and our futures stability. This history was written much like a cautionary fable, with greed being the fuel that burned through our natural resources and its smoke strangling individual responsibility and clouding the collective obligations of a civilization that is interdependent.

I will not identify blame; instead I will understand our situation and offer the simple solutions of individual change that grows into a sustainable group success.  Death is where I found the finite nature of my own life; Petroleum is where I found the finite manmade systems of our current civilization.

Logistics is the word I choose to illustrate the projects importance. I see the United Nations as an inspirational and triumphant illustration of human effort and capability. We must preemptively simplify our living systems, while individual communities still have the energy resources to do so. If we choose to focus on “business as usual”, all of us, even a collective as significant as yours, will experience an increasing level of logistical ineffectiveness, exponentially growing to a situational gravity that could easily push us back to a modern stone age.

The Finding Finite Project will use any and all human resources it can find to initiate a living community plan to establish a national network of self-sustainable neighborhood villages. Using the existing infrastructure of urban and suburban dwellings, we will assist in the establishment of core groups that will evolve their current individualized communities into village oriented collectives, which not only address local issues of sustainability, but become a cohesive collection of neighboring dwellings to support the easement of the coming challenges of energy resource descent.

This is not meant to stir some renewable energy solution, because unless this “miracle” comes with no cost and free installation into existing transportation vehicles, the transitional problem still takes place. We are in a massive overshoot, and although I want us to plan for a renewable future, the lack of attention to our actual growing predicament shadows any other resolution.

Initiating a “Neighborhood Village” (part 1)

Do you know all your neighbors?  It typically starts with getting to know the people in your neighborhood. After all, they are your village in the sense of proximity and logistical carrying capacity. Proximity is more important than you may realize and the descending availability of transportation issue will become more and more localized, then making “proximity” either a positive or a negative.

First look at your neighborhood, if you have the internet, you probably have “Google maps”, if so, look at you’re your address from the satellite view option. If you zoom into the point where you see a couple of blocks, then you will start to get the contextual imagery of the kind of village you are addressing.  The neighbors that are closer to your house are actually the most important.

A problem neighbor maybe a real problem for some people, and if it is, figure out a way to make it work or move, then again, could you be the problem?  For illustration purposes, think of any number of European towns with walled perimeters, their problems of cohabitation were solved with one of you, sometimes both of you living outside the walls.  Generally, those towns were walled to protect the very resources that we will once again have and need to protect from external threat.

Before you go running out to knock on doors (which is one good way) you might want to think about the “message” you are going to deliver.

The Doorstep Message: there are bad ways of getting to know your neighbors, you don’t want to knock on their door and yell “FIRE”, even if you feel that intense about this.  The message doesn’t have to be a lie either, but it is important to craft it in a way that isn’t offensive. If you want, think of it like a marketing plan, or better, just genuinely want to get to know them and build from there. Expand your talks and visits with gifts, or invitations to things, or even offers of assistance. Do you have a fruit tree in your backyard? Share it with your neighbor. This process is just getting to know your community and it grows from there. Understand the vulnerability that you feel, some of you may feel like you will look too needy or other judgments that come from the fear of rejection. Vulnerability is also where we find joy, so being strong and even proud knowing that “what you’re doing” is building community.  The project will develop actual instructions on developing a strong core group, and so on, but addressing issues of community alienation and judgment fears are on the shoulders of each of us. For now, just lay the ground work by getting to know the people around you.

It really begins with you. Your beliefs, as intensely precious as they might be, need to realize, your neighbors believes are just as precious to them. After being in the areas and situations I have been in around the world, I promise you that when you need your neighbor’s alliance, it won’t matter what god they pray to. You must be a champion of community, understanding, accepting, and relishing the great diversity of our world’s neighborhoods. By the way – that last part; that was the original idea of the “United States of America”

Reading Warning: Those that worship social media will need to read through the next two paragraphs, the topic is double-edged.

One of the biggest challenges in setting up a village is also one of the chief signals that it is needed. That’s the radical disconnection of our social populous. I understand the incredible media connectivity we have, but this just seems to somehow separate us further. The day we can text a meal from one mouth to another I will reconsider this, but for now I have to think that it has become a great source of social distraction, not actual interaction. We would all be better off honing an expertise in physical sociology then having a thousand Facebook friends. Don’t forget, as much as I love getting messages from friends and building networks, the guys that developed this stuff, did so, basically because they were socially retarded. When you really think about it, there is nothing “Social” about “Media”.

My apologies in advance; the methods and platforms of “social media” that I can tap into to spread this message and build an incredible network of people that will potentially make this whole project happen, is nothing short of human genius… the point was made to illuminate the present status of physical human dis-connectivity.

Unplug for an hour a day, so that you can go meet another neighbor. After you meet them you can go friend them on Facebook.

SOAPBOX Moment – on our current societal condition: I mean what the hell? Have we actually come to a time in history where our professional sports figures – take baseball for example – line up at the end of the game and slap congratulatory hands to their own team mates, not the other team in recognition of the effort of sport? Doesn’t this bother anyone else? The whole idea of that came from a gesture of good sportsmanship, basically broken down to something along the lines of “good effort, even though one of us had to lose, we all respect the struggle of sport and effort in the game we all love”.

There are many people who have the idea that they can do it on their own. “With enough bullets, stockpiled food & water, we can last out the event.” Ok, what happens then? Is the world around you going to magically go back to its present normality? I have known a few groups of people like this, and even explored it myself. The reality of this idea is that it is meeting a sustainability issue in an unsustainable way. Any study of tactics will surely expose the advantage goes to those who group together, work together and secure together, while nomadic behavior is only as strong as the weakness in a groups defense. The fastest way back to a “normal” but sustainable world is by keeping some of the civilizations cohesive structure in place. Working to create this projects national network of “Neighborhood Villages” is one such way.

This may be harsh but it’s an important illustration: Remember “Katrina” the disaster of Man and Nature? Some of you may have helped with the recovery, physically, monetarily, or in other ways. Those of you who experienced it firsthand are now better prepared and have some of the lessons engrained forever. For those of us that sat back with jaws dropped open, mesmerized by the televised imagery, here is a lesson – The gulf may have been a great distance from your TV, you may live in an area free from natural threat, but do you live on a totally self-sustained island? As bad as some of the “Katrina” response was, that disaster was in fact, a localized issue that could be responded to by an outside source of assistance. The people there had to rely on others, as well as help others to survive. The transitional events that we face are systemic; there is no “safe-zones” other than the ones we preemptively create.

The systems or governing dynamics of how our society lives presently is a large part of the problem. In hopes that you can start to seed your mind with the growing particulars of our dilemma, I ask a question: How does a fire truck get to your house fire without gas? Think – expand the thought to EMS (emergency medical services), Police, and Utility works, on and on… You may start to see a continued reference to Firefighter/EMT’s, it’s a pride thing, I used to be one, and I miss it.

SIDENOTE – It is difficult to limit some of this blogs posts, so far as subject matter because some of the issue are incredibly complex, and although I would love to write on forever about it, I am trying to keep it simple and digestible.  When it comes down to it, this project will be done by all of us; it’s the communication of its need that I am presently tasked with.

The transitional events duration and severity will be determined primarily by the level of your areas preparedness.

An incredibly important part of preparedness (possibly the most important) is the cohesive behavior of the areas inhabitants. A reverse image of this is that if you had a secured self-sustainable village in place, the rest of the world’s transitional events would be ineffective to the village’s inhabitants. (This is not to say these inhabitants are not caring people, just that they would be able to SUSTAIN their lives.)  I realize there are many other factors involved in this, such as international threats, but it serves the illustrations purpose.

To recap so far:

  1. “Know thy self” – find acceptance in the differences in others and yourself, while understanding the importance of unified neighborhood purpose.
  2. Identify your neighborhood by proximity.
  3. Create and share a message of community not fear. Get to know your neighbors. Resolve any possible hurdles.
  4. A “village” effort is better for all of us, fending for your self in a world full of people is an un-sustainable idea.
  5. Current systems of response emergency or otherwise will be largely ineffective within this systemic issue.
  6. Unplug and engage in your neighborhood. Use your social media savvy to build a “real” network.

 

The reality of this post is that for now, it’s up to you to start getting involved with your community. Do the work on yourself as well, what’s the downside? It’s only going to make you a stronger person. We will do are part with getting together the developmental plans. This is going to take the whole village, please be an active part of it, you already live here.

If you are in the process of moving, do your research, on the area you are moving to. The “Finding Finite” manual will cover how to gauge the logistical value of your area, but for now, look into the neighborhoods community culture. Look for indicators like the number of food co-ops, what is the areas overall image (ask a real estate expert).

A lot more on its way…

The Changing Value System (part 2)

One of the things you can be sure of is that people will soon give more appropriate value to things that most of us don’t think of. Let’s start at the beginning: words. Even the words we use will start to transform their values. “Tools” that’s a good one for example. A great deal of us have random tools spread around our homes, whether they are in the garage, yard, or even the closet, they will shoot up in value like Apple stock. The very word tool will become more valuable as the most underrated and overlooked “tool” we have seen in our lifetimes (petroleum) becomes less and less available. A shovel, a hammer, a saw, and of course, the platinum valued tool, Rope. These things will become as valued as they once were to the farmers and frontiersmen of our past, some of them made life possible.

A tangent but… I have two favors to ask:

  1. Each time you go to the store find something on your list that you can do without, and then take the money you were going to spend on that thing, and buy something that has a true high value. Meaning, that if you buy a food, buy something that you can store for a long time, if you buy a tool, great! Make it something you can use without power – to build, secure, mend, or grow something.  Stockpiling is not a renewable or even a sustainable idea, but it will ease the transitional period. It will allow you the freedom of choice when the masses are faced with panic.
  2. Start building a daily routine that gives you one hour for thought, it can be in the sun, on the couch, with your loved ones, whatever as long as you can contemplate. We are all going to need every ounce of imagination and creativity that our global human community can come up with.

I feel the need to make it clear that I don’t blame or judge peoples personal focus.  I know how hard it is to take the time to look at the big picture. Our lives are not easily slowed down to the point of observation or even introspection. Most of us feeling that we can barely make ends meet let alone break for long enough to “check the map” of our life’s journey. This is what makes my personal mission so intense, I feel like a lifeguard on the beach screaming “tidal wave” to a shore full of people wearing head phones.

A quote that I heard an unnamed man say (a brilliant philosopher) “we are all riding in a van traveling 1000mph heading towards a wall, while arguing about where to sit” It sums up a lot of our feelings around global issues. This is a clever illustration, but one that provokes doom and I can’t stress this enough, this is not doom! It is a phenomenal opportunity to once again become the brilliantly designed animals called human.

When you stop to ponder the gas in your car you can easily see it as a tool, because that’s what it is. If you don’t think so, get out and push. The car is the inanimate machine that uses the solar energy stored in the liquid petroleum distillate (gas). It is much like the food you put in your mouth, the sun powered (photosynthesis created) potential energy to burn, and that is your body, the machine that fires synapsis in your heart that delivers the calories, and so on. Why do I make this observation? It’s a path to realization.

We have all been out of food at one time or another. Whether it was the food at the party when you arrived late or empty shelves at the store or home. Our society is so flooded by service, expectation, and assumption, that we often forget that food came from somewhere, and none of it arrived instantly.  Think. Whether it is a vegetable or animal, the sun had to grow it directly or indirectly. Just because it’s on the shelves now doesn’t mean it just spontaneously appeared there.

Learn the term “Carrying Capacity” then apply it to our human population and system of monoculture.

Oil is in fact the byproduct of ancient sunlight, and ever since we started using it to power our monoculture we have been moving at an exponential rate, towards massive overshoot. That is the point in which our population demands are not met by its production.

This is the harsh reality of living in an unsustainable monoculture. Why is it presently unsustainable? Many reasons, but to simplify this tract of thought, it is only possible because of petroleum. I am not trying to underplay the other crucial factors of carrying capacity that make this such a complex issue, I just want to deliver a digestible piece of information.

Is money valuable? It is if you spend it… on the things you will “need” while those things are available.

What does it matter if you have the money to buy it, if there isn’t any of it to buy? You can argue that it has the value of “security”… I promise you there is no security in a currency, it’s a promissory note. You can’t eat it, drink it, or barter it.

This point about money is also a point of real frustration for me. I watch people totally oblivious to what is going on with oil, they sit in idling cars as if the price of the gas they are burning doesn’t bother them. Here is my problem. Ever since this all became clear to me, I see things in a much less personal way. I know see gas/petroleum as an infrastructure utility, it is in fact what runs most of our societal systems. I am having a hard time expressing this in a calm and clear way so let me rant for a second and hopefully you get something out of it. I don’t give a shit that you can afford as many gallons as you want to buy, at whatever price it is, I care that you don’t realize it is FINITE. Imagine that you and your loved ones were sharing the last 400 gallons of drinking water on the planet with me, would you be pissed if you found me washing my car with it?

The attitude presently is something along the lines of “screw you, I paid for it!”

It quickly becomes a case of community responsibility, not whether or not you can afford it. Although I promise you that will become a real issue, think about when the gas price tips over the point of profit in going to work.

Try to refocus on what you actually need to survive, and then go from there. Redefine what you can actually control, and then build a plan.  Build a garden if for no other reason than to learn how, or better, hand out the produce to people who need it, that’s when you’ll experience “actual value.” Take a look at the list of village skills in part one; it may give you a good idea of things and skills that have a high actual value.

 

Be the village we all need (micro post)

I will create a covenant that you can be a part of. I will keep researching, writing, developing, and sharing what is found with this community. What I ask from you is that you share its message, post it on Facebook, and share it with friends & family as well as strangers that you reach out with.

A large factor of this projects success relies on people breaking down their normal individual behaviors and stretching their “comfortable” introverted routines to build community in any way they can. Even If you are a social person with a large group of friends, great, share it with them and introduce a stranger to your group. Look for more friends. Build your communities cohesiveness.

I understand how difficult this can be. As a sacrifice of personal information to illustrate my dedication and belief, I will share a bad time in my life. There was a time in my mid-twenties, that I was overwhelmed with life’s many challenges, stress, and a history of moderate PTSD. I spent roughly four months hidden away at home; even trips to the store were plagued with panic attacks brought on by being “stuck” in between people in the checkout line.  So I understand deep emotional process & routines.

Push yourself through your own vulnerability, accept it, understand it, and challenge it. Your life is finite, which makes it more valuable than most of us commonly consider.

There is no monetary angle in my asking to share this blog… its purely an attempt to build community awareness. Thanks

The Changing Value System (part 1)

This posts title isn’t meant to suggest that the following values weren’t always valuable, just that we all need to reevaluate how people are valued.

As in this list of “Villager Skills” it can become apparent that we have lost focus on what we actually need in our lives, and instead have shifted to things that frankly, won’t matter much when our lives are reverted back to gathering the things we need.

Below is a beginning list of possible villager skills coupled by a sort of ranking system. The ranking system is more to identify a villages potential needs, rather than suggest actual rank/importance, but, it is something to think about.

  1. Food Gardening (instruction, implementation, storage, byproduct management, and planning)
  2. Livestock Care & Management (implementation, upkeep, animal husbandry, and planning)
  3. Livestock Food Preparation (butchering)
  4. Livestock Food Preparation (dairy production)
  5. Food Preparation & Management (cooking, storage, curing/preserving, rationing, and nutritional management)
  6. Water Resources (procurement, curing/preserving, rationing, and management)
  7. Hygiene & Sterilization (instruction & operations)
  8. Medical Training and Response (instruction, prevention/safety, operations, and patient management)
  9. Female Health Services (OBGYN, midwife, instruction, and operations)
  10. Education (teaching & adaptive curriculum development)
  11. Entertainment (music, reading, sports, and other activities)
  12. Security & Combat (instruction, prevention, operations, equipment management, and situation condition management)
  13. Community Order (development & management)
  14. Waste Management (instruction, prevention/reuse, and disposal management)
  15. Fire Sciences (Instruction, procurement, and prevention)
  16. Relationship & Social Management (instruction, therapy, and entertainment – see also communicational skills)
  17. Governing Dynamics & Administrative Management (operations, historical education, and organizational communications & effectiveness)
  18. Group Dynamics Skills (instruction, organization, and operations)
  19. Communicational Skills (instruction – non-violent & imago, broad range therapy, and emotional support)
  20. Cultural Development & Preservation (education, programs, history preservation, and library management)
  21. Village Spiritualism – tribal (education*, preservation, presentation, mortuary services & operations)
  22. Crisis Leadership (instruction, prevention, and communications)
  23. Adaptive Construction (instruction & operations)
  24. Carpentry (instruction & operations)
  25. Grain Works (harvesting, preparation, baking)
  26. Fiber Works (harvesting, preparation, weaving, clothing)
  27. Clay Works (harvesting, shaping, firing/curing)
  28. Wood Works (harvesting, tool & furniture)
  29. External Networking (alliance development, intelligence, and representation)
  30. Technology (Instruction, IT, networking, electronics, and electrically generation & adaption)

Point system to discover value in village candidate, 0-5 points ranking from experience or knowledge of the category listed. The ranking results can be looked at differently, dependent on each particular village’s situation, E.g. location, structure, or culture.  Its purpose is not necessarily meant to be a qualifying or actual value based ranking system but more an awareness guideline of important villager qualities or attributes.

0 = No Experience or Understanding

1 = No Experience but has Understanding

2 = Minimal Experience and Understanding

3 = Moderate Experience and Understanding

4 = Advanced Experience and Understanding

5 = Expert and Complete Understanding

.5 = Instructional Ability

.5 = High Learning Ability

The changing value system segment of the blog will be a continuing focus because of the far reaching aspects of the transitional events radically changing paradigm and the reassessment of our lives functions and actual values.

Please help this process by adding skills through comments, or simply communicating your thoughts, ideas, concerns, etc.

How the project came to be

Just before this project became fulltime for me I was working as a consultant with ISC – Ingenious Solutions Collective and on the active list with Columbus Consulting, LLC. I was consulting for a local energy efficiency company that I’m not permitted to name. The issue to solve seemed simple enough but I would have to do research in the unfamiliar field of energy.

The research I did stopped me dead in my tracks.

Although there is no need to add drama, I feel the need to give a little background on how big a deal getting “stopped dead in my tracks” is for me.

Although I love the English language (even making words up sometimes) I’m rarely able to craft word strings that accurately describe an epiphany like realization.

I have had many visceral experiences that tested my abilities of explanation. Whether it was surfing 20 foot waves at Sloat Street in San Francisco, or watching a ritual suicide in one of the 60 countries I have traveled to, or even the horrific scenes I worked as a Firefighter/EMT. All of them may have shaped who I am, but none of them have immobilized me like the feeling of this profound discovery.

As a kid I was significantly challenged with A.D.D. I had tested very high in intelligence and general knowledge but the existing systems of education didn’t work for me. So born with an insatiable thirst for knowledge I had to find a way. Although I struggled in school I was able to develop not only compensations but methods that allowed me to see and understand extremely complex and existential truths and solutions.  For this reason my professional consultations were normally outside the traditional channels of being a specialist in a particular function or industry. Strange as it may seem, this is what I think of as a great advantage in external consulting.  Rather than using solutions prepared and replicated from one similar cause to another, I needed to research and actually learn why something was the way it was.

The issue to solve was delivered to me as this question:  “As an energy efficiency company how can we assure our clients they’re capable and would improve their bottom line by implementing some form of renewable energy to their existing energy source/demand/supply?”

Using the illustration model of their current client, a factory, which was using portions of the public electrical grid combined with their independent turbine engines that were driven by liquid fuel (petroleum distillate, a.k.a. jet fuel) I looked into these resources and then considering that my client wanted a “sellable reason” I then looked into the money factor. How expensive is jet fuel and why. The “why” was where the A.D.D. kicked in, and I went off on a fairly wild tangent which eventually uncovered an incredibly undesired truth.

Talk about a rabbit hole! I dug into this with verve and before I knew it I was clinging to the sides to slow my fall. It seems that I fumbled into what has to be the greatest human purpose I have ever witnessed. The further I went the broader the problems scope became.  This is where the consultation ended and the project began.

Time warping from then to now equates to more than 11 months of intense, nearly obsessive, personal research. Including thousands of hours of discussions and correspondence with experts, industry leaders/scientists, watching & investigating documentaries on relative and semi-relative subjects. Reading thousands of pages of documents ranging from PhD dissertations to international energy consortiums reports, U.S. Department of energy surveys and reports, IEA summit reviews, and on and on.

With all that and more I hope to clarify a complex issue, by offering this limited but radically summarized definition of the challenge we face.  I removed the actuary elements that generally create an overwhelming blur of issues and instead, hyper focused on the skeletal structure of the problem by identifying four key points.

  1. The integral and actual parts that petroleum plays in our civilizations carrying capacity, governing dynamics, and economical systems.
  2. The time & resources we have and need to create a *seamless transition from our present finite and declining energy source (petroleum) to a universally viable energy solution.
  3. The economically/commercially insulated paradigm of the petroleum industry and its multilateral interests.
  4. The unmanaged, unregulated, and exponentially growing demand of petroleum based/derived fuels & products.

I came to a point in the research that felt a lot like depression and I had to make a choice. The choices were to either clearly dedicate my life to solving the problem (while not knowing if I could ever establish an income)  or close my heart, eyes, rational mind and rejoin the  traditional cycle of commercial life.  If you knew me, you would know that it wasn’t really a choice, I am much too sensitive and filled with passionate belief to close my eyes to something that will affect every one of us in such an epic fashion.

I can now be tremendously thankful that there was a collection of people that forged the way in relative research which eased the research task to finding and reading.  I continue to do research every day.

The project I work on is for all of us and if I have to do it alone then I will even while knowing its success will be determined by the number of people that assists in its realization.

Now is time for action. Although there isn’t a “seamless transitional solution” there is a key or societal aid and that’s the projects focus.  For a more detailed understanding of what the project is going to do, please find and read my post titled “the finding finite project”.

 

*there is no truly “seamless” transition. I put the word in to illustrate the fact that the “seam” or effect increases with time delay and finite resource depletion.

Other reasons the project exists

BLOGHINT: Reading all of the posts on “The Finding Finite Project” blog creates better clarity to its purpose. Please excuse the disorganized thought process, I am managing many tasks and a master plan for blog posts isn’t in place at the moment.   

After finding and accepting that there is no “seamless transitional solution” (as discussed in the other posts) the project focused on the factors of societal welfare and minimizing the destructive force of mass human displacement. While the projects scope is national, its direct action is local at the neighborhood or small community level.  The projects mission is to assist in the formulation of what we call “Neighborhood Villages”. These villages will be able to fully sustain their inhabitants, providing water, food, shelter, security, and a form of village governance. Promoting individual and proximity readiness & security we will assist the “overlay” of this village structure to the existing suburban infrastructure. In some cases there may be standalone villages developed for specific illustration purposes or even sociological beta tests by universities or organizational concerns. We find the best way to visualize this is to look at a Google satellite image showing a neighborhood “block” structure and imagine each block or collection of blocks as a village with gardens in place of lawns, chicken coops and goat pins in backyards, pools used as water holdings and so on.

An interesting bit of sociology is when the very people that profess to be “real patriots” read this and end up feeling something along the lines of “wow, this group is some kind of tree hugging lunatic cult that wants us back in the Stone Age” instead of seeing its practicality. In fact that’s the last thing I want, I want us to use our technology to create a transition that will strengthen, protect, and provide a unified societal effort.

The strange reality of this situation is that our country’s founding “patriots” were self-sufficient farmers that had a strong belief in community and the cohesion of their unique people formed nation. Our country’s cohesive unity is one of our projects primary goals.  Now, it is almost an invasive idea to go knock on your neighbor’s door to introduce yourself. You may have a closer community connection, but I promise you there is a real civil disconnection and its continuation is not only dangerous, but straight out culturally un-American.

It’s easily predictable that there will be a large percentage of the population will be unprepared, other than perhaps emergency stockpiling, which is already a building trend.  As a retail business consultant I can tell you that large stores have a significantly delayed trend to purchasing model. So when you witness product stocking changes in the larger membership stores of products that don’t hide their intentions, like, emergency food rations, you can be sure that there was a significant influence.

There have been many changes even at local levels, for instance the militarization of local police forces.  When localized policing units start instituting budgetary expansions for things like population control, specialized training and logistics, fuel rationing, and even armored transports & tanks in some cities. You can be assured there is a reason for it.

On a personal note:

As oddly self-abashing as this must sound, I really wish I was just crazy because it would be easier on all of us, my loved one as well as yours. You may also wonder that I must have some special interests, which I understand, and again I am disappointed to inform that’s just not the case.

Since I brought it up I want to address the special interest factor. These days it’s very easy, almost natural to think that there must be an angle.

My special interest is my family’s wellbeing as well as yours. If you don’t believe me take a look at what this project has cost me. I’ll break it into two groups for clearer understanding and hopefully the illustration that I clearly understand the projects need.  Physical & Emotional:

Physical

  • I have played golf once in 10 months. I used to be a professional.
  • I have worked on this projects realization, research, and development for an average of 9 hours a day for 11 months without pay.
  • Halted a lucrative career in consulting, business development, and sales.
  • As part of the financial support I needed to continue this I had to sell my car.
  • The drastic family lifestyle change of a heavily reduced break even budget.
  • I can’t take on work in fields that make sense, like the renewables industry for reasons of polluting the projects purpose (would be envisioned as a special interest). Everyone that knows me makes it clear how well I would do in a sales oriented position, which also adds weight.
  • Many others

Emotional

  • The family/home stress has been almost unbearable at times. The guilt of stressing the savings and not being the financial “provider” that I previously was, seems to increase daily.
  • The social alienation is something I wish on no one. I have to be very careful with who I talk to and how, to the point of exhaustion.  Imagine what it is like to understand that 98% of our population doesn’t want to hear this information, but still have the compulsion of also understanding what will happen if they don’t have the information.
  • My personality design is one that can be described as “hyper-sensitive” which has a balance of factors that can be positive and negative, e.g. my intuition is almost telepathic while I receive stress on much more intense levels than most people. I have learned to adapt to the normal “tough guy” standards, but it is still very challenging.
  • The personal loss/change to commercial ambition (I have had since childhood) still lingers but the tremendous realization of how irrelevant any attempts to build something other than this just eats away my potential redirection.

 

I really don’t imagine a choice, but I’m not a victim in this. Nor am I a doomsayer, this is just a reality, as harsh as it may be. I see our society’s direction clearly. It actual doesn’t take all that much intelligence or even wisdom. It’s largely predictable when you use practical logic and realize the factors of finite resource coupled with the despondent and integral demands.