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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Form Mature Civilization enhanced by Tech's LiveJournal:

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Monday, July 11th, 2005
1:16 am
[daraknor]
Sustainametrics
I had to go looking for this, but it should be easier to find since we are getting closer to this. In order to separate concept space from the rest of the world, this is sustainametrics. Rather than guess if something is sustainable we want a ledger that says if something is going to continue working or not.

here is my original email about this topic long ago. It is the beginning of a definition about what sustainable *is*.
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Sunday, May 8th, 2005
4:37 pm
[daraknor]
Timeline
This is a very tentative timeline, I don't know if anything listed here will happen but I do agree a timeline is an excellent way to convey information.

Jan 2006
Development: Move to Costa Rica and purchase 20+ acres. Extend a qualified invitation for researchers after constructing living space. Purchase a personal fabricator. (Total cost estimated to be under 100k)
Research: Work on Software and engineering projects. Practice building prototypes.

July 2006
Political:Infiltrate Costa Rican politics.
Development: Deploy renewable energy systems, hopefully integrating tesla pumps.Modular housing construction, create several iterations of modular housing. Extend functionality of fabricator, start using it to make extensions to itself.
Research: Start mapping out development space, train neural networks ond Genetic Algorithms to invent computer model variations of inventions. Include chemical compound manufacturing in function space. Begin mapping resource consumption and other components of sustainability metric.

2007
Politics: Promote Terran Nation, a loose federation of affiliated communities with a common accord.
Development: Start doing subdivisions, with rapid development of modular housing available. Create modular housing community with proceeds. Implement a modular contained community as a showcase for Costa Rican citizens.
Research: Sustainability metric models based on contained communities. Leverage political connections internationally.Automated currency trading. Internet Currency.

2008
Political: Infiltrate island nations that are members of Intl Seabed Authority. Internet currency.
Development: Deploy Community Fab, Perfect Recycling, Renewable Energy in contained communities. Begin fast track software development training and production.
Research: Sustainability Metric revisions. Start modeling 'sustainable systems'. Ocean Current power generation. Computational Intelligence. Personal sub/boat/aircraft. Currency integration to sustainable systems. Chemical Element commodity market.

2010
Development: Contained Community in island nations. Propose economic development of Seabed with island sponsorship.
Research: Nanotech, Underwater modular city, Zero Fuel cargo ships, Genetic Algorithm cell computing, Fab licensing with automated payment. Link to internet currency and element commodity market.
[Error: Irreparable invalid markup ('<omitted:>') in entry. Owner must fix manually. Raw contents below.]

This is a very tentative timeline, I don't know if anything listed here will happen but I do agree a timeline is an excellent way to convey information.

Jan 2006
Development: Move to Costa Rica and purchase 20+ acres. Extend a qualified invitation for researchers after constructing living space. Purchase a personal fabricator. (Total cost estimated to be under 100k)
Research: Work on Software and engineering projects. Practice building prototypes.

July 2006
Political:Infiltrate Costa Rican politics.
Development: Deploy renewable energy systems, hopefully integrating tesla pumps.Modular housing construction, create several iterations of modular housing. Extend functionality of fabricator, start using it to make extensions to itself.
Research: Start mapping out development space, train neural networks ond Genetic Algorithms to invent computer model variations of inventions. Include chemical compound manufacturing in function space. Begin mapping resource consumption and other components of sustainability metric.

2007
Politics: Promote Terran Nation, a loose federation of affiliated communities with a common accord.
Development: Start doing subdivisions, with rapid development of modular housing available. Create modular housing community with proceeds. Implement a modular contained community as a showcase for Costa Rican citizens.
Research: Sustainability metric models based on contained communities. Leverage political connections internationally.Automated currency trading. Internet Currency.

2008
Political: Infiltrate island nations that are members of Intl Seabed Authority. Internet currency.
Development: Deploy Community Fab, Perfect Recycling, Renewable Energy in contained communities. Begin fast track software development training and production.
Research: Sustainability Metric revisions. Start modeling 'sustainable systems'. Ocean Current power generation. Computational Intelligence. Personal sub/boat/aircraft. Currency integration to sustainable systems. Chemical Element commodity market.

2010
Development: Contained Community in island nations. Propose economic development of Seabed with island sponsorship.
Research: Nanotech, Underwater modular city, Zero Fuel cargo ships, Genetic Algorithm cell computing, Fab licensing with automated payment. Link to internet currency and element commodity market. <omitted: politics, world system>

2015
Politics: UN test should have completed successfully. Leverage Seabed Authority to space projects. "Terran Nation" UN membership process.
Development: Underwater cities worldwide
Research: Magnetic space rail. <omitted: world defense>

2020
Politics: begin offering licensing to "world powers" complete with accounting and sustainability metric as a package deal *only*.
Development: Underseas, Space
Research: Nanotech, replicating fab.

2030
Moon (power and building supplies) and Mars (plants animals etc) colonies, Asteroid mining.

By 2010 Local communities may start offering renovation through modular cities, but it is unlikely. Negotiations would also be strange if we couldn't enforce an "all or nothing package". I don't want them to take the fruits of our labor to perpetuate their unsustainable lifestyles.
By 2020 the peak oil problem should be clear to everyone. The Social Security System will either be overhauled or going through death throes. The Terran Nation may have UN membership, there should be millions of citizens worldwide with dual citizenships. Without outside assistance, island nations will either be sunk, or sinking soon due to global warming.

The Terran Nation will be a template for independent groups to start their community. For small communities this isn't a major concern, but larger ones (over 200 member I think) start needing more mature systems in place. Another benefit is resources and knowledge of the other communities, which is defined as n(n-1) where 'n' is the number of communities. There is much benefit to a legal framework, and the ability to travel between communities with some basic guidelines (like printed rules). We don't really *need* the Terran Nation, but we do need the ability to create independent communities.

One of the very important things to consider is the time we currently spend in research and development of a product, and then deployment in the marketplace, channels of distribution, importing and transporation of product, support contracts, retail inventory, warranties, etc. With rapid prototyping, computer aided design and distributed microproduction, that process can easily go from 5 years to less than 5 days. Unrealistic? Your toothbrush may have been made from this method, using two neural networks comparing designs. (Oral B using CAI)

I apologize for the omissions in descriptions, but I'm not prepared to announce some things until a group has reviewed their necessity and implications.
Friday, May 6th, 2005
1:09 am
[daraknor]
Microproduction changes everything...
FAB: The Coming Revolution on Your Desktop-From Personal Computers to Personal
Fabrication
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0465027458/qid=1115364677/sr=8-1/ref=pd_csp_1/103-8343462-0529455?v=glance&s=books&n=507846

I said that Microproduction would solve many inequalities of economics, and destroys most
of the problems with inventory and retail. The defeat of Walmart is within reach.

A quote from the amazon review:
"What if you could design a bicycle on your computer and e-mail the file to a friend
halfway across the globe, who could then "print" it out of solid materials and ride it?
This scenario is not only possible some day in the future, it can be done right now."

For a complete cycle, we need the ability to recycle anything, create our own plastics
out of raw plants, and energy to run it all. I would also like a cryptographically secure
way to distribute schematics and collect royalties.

We don't need 100 stores for a city, just a few fab machines, recycling and resource
gathering. Trade in your old cell phone for a new cell phone. The real shortages are rare
elements. Element 39, Yttrium is used in (some) TV manufacturing, Element 21 Scandium is
used in other TVs, Element 31 Gallium is used in cell phones. By using less rare elements
and more standardized parts, Personal Fabs make a big leap forward in design and
sustainability.

Our "footprint" will more directly parallel total consumption, and having lower footprint
devices and lifestyles will be obviously beneficial. On one hand we can have tons of
plastic gizmos, on the other it won't really affect much. More and more we move toward a
closed system.
Saturday, March 19th, 2005
2:20 am
[daraknor]
Places to Intervene in a System
This website seems sporadically up. If you can't find it there, you can find it here. http://www.wholeearthmag.com/ArticleBin/109.html

This is really "how to make change" and it comes from the discipline I admire greatly, systems science. This is also an interesting primer to systems theory, most of the lingo is explained well with very clear examples including bath tubs and rivers.
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Wednesday, March 16th, 2005
8:30 am
[daraknor]
Constructive Fiction
Here is a story I wrote this morning. It needs names and a few parts filled in. The message for the parts is written in [braces]

This story includes some New Atlantis elements, and exists in a 'Future History'. It needs editing, commentary, review, and... city names. Placeholders exist to fill in later, please forgive my laziness. The main character's name is intentionally obscured for most of the story, but he does need a name too.

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Tuesday, February 22nd, 2005
6:28 pm
[daraknor]
Post to Ishmael Discussion regarding sustainability
Below is a copy of my recent email to a discussion group. They mostly discuss things related to the books by Daniel Quinn, and some intelligent people circulate there. I think it is a group that shares similar goals, although only a small portion of our overall goals.

Here is my somewhat long reply and introduction to a Sustainability Metric.

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Tuesday, December 21st, 2004
4:53 am
[daraknor]
Manifesto
"Those of who are normal, average, regular people, you are blessed. Blessed not for your average ability, but rather the fact that this world is created for you, caters to you, and meets your expectations. The minor disturbances in your life are all normal, expected reactions. The concept that these experiences may be a roller coaster following guided rails does not disturb you.

"Mingled among you, passing close but very far away, are people who understand complexity and appreciate subtlety. This world of simplistic ideals is an anathema to us. The blatant system of control appalls us, but we cannot overcome it. We resist, quietly, or try to convince the rest of you that something IS wrong, that there is more depth to reality than what you see on TV. In trying to uncover this second reality, some of us obsess over inconsistencies, things that are out of place. You do not listen, because these are minor flaws with, I'm certain, an obvious explanation.

"We exceptional people, the people who don't fit in this society and are exempted from being truly a part of it, are going to leave you. We will do so quietly, picking up some things, selling others, and leave this place behind. We leave you to your tax returns and evening news, your shallow movies, shallow conversations. We leave these to you because they are made for you, but not by you. You are in a cage you cannot see, and we are not going to wait for you to realize that cage any longer. We have waited beside you and tried to guide you, but now we leave, and make a place of our own.

"Borders do not matter, political alliances do not matter, corporate affiliates do not matter. Events do not matter. What matters are consequences and the way that we live, our motivation and reasons for existence that some of you find by praying or distracted from by avarice, we find by living. We cannot live as you do. Your invisible cage is a burning symbol of repression to us, we cannot thrive in a place that restrains us so. We seek what is beyond this horizon, and we shall make our world anew, without your controls, hidden allegiances, grievances and annoyances."
Friday, November 26th, 2004
10:11 pm
[infofiend]
How does one build a cell of a new civilization?
Have been reading bits and pieces about genetic algorithms, the game of life, and then I got to thinning about cell based organizations. Then I thought about NA.

I thought - hmmm, those espionage orgs are very robust, and very dynamic - like life - distributed.

So the question that comes to mind is ... why not think about engineering a cell?

A seed - a group of tens of people, say 24. This cell could be designed according to all the notions of what NA could and would be, do, etc. and then it could be modeled.

Just a random thought from a brain after mid-terms.
Wednesday, October 20th, 2004
11:23 am
[daraknor]
Privacy Conversation
What is the value of privacy? how would it be used or abused in a freedom loving society? Should we advocate privacy as essential to freedom?
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Monday, October 18th, 2004
2:51 pm
[daraknor]
Values and Systems dialog
Here is a dialog about the "real issues" I'm currently facing. This doesn't provide any answers but it does at least point to the problem. As always, I'm very interested in feedback, hopefully more than a single line!

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Wednesday, October 13th, 2004
10:40 pm
[daraknor]
Who is B?
[This was sent to ishmael_discussion@yahoogroups.com a group that discusses Daniel Quinn's concepts of sustainability and tribal living. "B" is a character from "The Story of B" about a man charged with being the antichrist, leading a revolution to overthrow old hierarchies and ways of thinking. It is intellectual, and not nearly as exciting as I just portrayed. Here is my rabble rousing on the list after they diverged into a Kerry vs Bush debate regarding taxes]

I agree with most of what you said, the intent and the details. I would like to focus on this concept, and maybe start a different thread of discussion.

> And while I'm not terribly upset at the "not a lot of 'B's'" charge (in
> the time that I've been reading here, I haven't seen any B's) - I find
> it astonishing that one would even bring that into a US political
> discussion.

I haven't seen anyone close to "B" either. I am still studying things, but I have some concepts I'd like to air out a bit.

> "B" would abstain. He wouldn't vote for any of the clowns currently running.

I agree with the intent here, that "B would vote for something that is sustainable" but beyond the transparent fiction in the "Story of B" I am thinking of some sort of mastermind like Asimov regularly discussed in his fiction. PsychoHistory, the Empire, several of the supercomputer short stories and so on. "B" doesn't necessarily undertake action that obviously leads to a specific and apparent conclusion. In other words, he is probably more subtle than your average superhero. "You could work for Keizer Sose and never know it."

So I shall ask, "Who is B?" the quick knee jerk reaction to the rhetorical question is that B is someone who creates a sustainable society. In researching this long deep and hard, we don't know what "sustainable" really is. I've read over 200 definitions of the word, and nobody said how to do it or what it is. Sustainable is a word defined by its opposite, the same way that "tall" and "short" define one another. This is not good enough.

We need to create sustainable societies, but there is no positive way to assert that something is sustainable, instead we (even Quinn) point toward its opposite, the failure of the system. Quinn blurs some lines, and doesn't distinguish between sustainable at each level of the system (individual, group, hierarchy, nation, multinational, world).

In prior arguments (mostly on my local group and against a specific community) I have demonstrated how the ideological tribe in the wilderness is only sustainable on a global level, but not on the other 5 levels. This is no accomplishment because EVERY situation, proposal and society real or imagined can be shown to be not sustainable. All we do is extrapolate our flawed understanding of the world to a point where it no longer functions as planned.

I have a lot of practice in this regard, planning redundant, high availability, load balanced and clustered networks for massive web applications. At the same time, I would turn around and design a small, modular application (I hesitate to call them web sites, because there is so much interaction) that could easily scale. It had many features of the big guy, but implemented the features in innocuous ways rather than blasphemous expenses. (Going from 99% uptime to 99.9% is a massive increase in cost, and every time you add 9/(10^n) the cost goes up by a factor of 10^n or so.)

What were we planning against? Failure of the system, failure of subsystems, surviving suprasystem failure. This is sustainability planning in a very pure, simple, straightforward fashion. You don't end up with 100%, but you can get pretty close. Sometimes (distributed denial of service aka DDOS or BGP misdirect) people think of ways to create failure that nobody else considered before that time. Don't focus on the failure, focus on how to fix it and prevent it in the future. THIS is sustainability. Reflexively responding to situations. "You see, tradition isn't the absolute guide you thought it was." - Children of Dune

That is a brief answer about the direction we need to take "sustainability" studies. To facilitate this, we *must* know how much something costs. Explaining what I mean by that is a huge topic, but the brief question is: how much does that plastic tub of tofu shipped across the pacific ocean and delivered by a diesel truck really cost the entire system? (environment, man hours, nonrenewable resources, cleanup, recycling or disposal, total energy from the sun spent creating the tofu, the oil that became plastic, the oil used as fertilizer to grow the food, the ink... etc) The short answer of the shelf price assumes that all the secondary costs are included, and that there are no tax subsidies, etc. (there are)

Production tends to match consumption, but sometimes one leads the other. When we have direct craftsman selling products to consumers, consumption leads production. The craftsman makes as much as he can sell. When we have mass production, we consume as much as we can that was produced to avoid loss. If we make 100,000 widgets, we better sell 70,000 or we go out of business. (more detailed explanations widely available.) This is were production drives consumption. We advertise and promote, cut prices and pawn off as much of those 100,000 widgets as possible in an attempt to make the 100,000 widget run economically viable. There are... very fuzzy concepts of sustainable mass production. Small production costs more, but is more measurably sustainable for dozens of reasons (especially if you try to quantify sustainability).The horrific truth is that single production isn't competitive with mass production, we need cost effective miniproduction to remain both competitive and sustainable. (We aren't sustainable if someone else forces us out of business).

In a science fiction future I see, we drop our old cell phones into a recycling machine, that spits out the raw components which are weighed. They give me credit for the rare earth metals and other hard to find pieces (local value kept moderate by a commodities market) and they hand me a new, smaller, more efficient and advanced cell phone with a rebate paid for the difference in the materials provided vs materials consumed. This is a directly measurably sustainable system by tracking efficiency, energy inputs, commodities, loss of rare metals over time that are not recoverable. The cell phones are for the most part assembled onsite. Upgrades are near instantaneous, plans and patents are available for download, the intellectual property is compensated for across the solar system and money available to the inventors immediately.

There is more, but I will try to keep the rest of this brief. Who is B?
1. Destroys old hierarchies of power
2. Creates measurably sustainable societies
A. Measuring cost
B. Flexible and proactive planning
C. Understands and plans around failure states
D. Creates the framework for a sustainability metric
3. Fixes social science to limit damaging behavior
A. Society realigns itself to sustainable behaviors
B. Nonsustainble behaviors are self corrected (don't sue, sympathize and fix)
C. Education that teaches "why" things happen so accurate proactive decisions can be made

So far I only covered partial plans for addressing the problem. I'm working on 1 and 2, but parts of 3 will have to be done on the fly and by the people. Attempting to do this without the underlying and fundamental understanding seems like putting four wheels in a square, connecting them somehow, and claiming they have a reliable car.

So, from this discussion and everyone's prior experience,

Who is B?
1:49 am
[daraknor]
Re: Question (multiple communities)
>Please do tell me more of the multiple communities in multiple locations idea. Does this mean that if I were to start a little spot, I could affiliate? What would specifically apply to a community in Canada (a bunch of us are thinking about co-housing)?

The different phases of the overall plan have different goals. The obvious goal of New Atlantis is to "set up a community". After a base in Costa Rica, I would like to get affiliate communities in the following areas, chosen mostly for geographic importance: Texas, Los Angeles, Vancouver BC, Oregon or Washington, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Chile. If you put these on a map, and then you place a base on the east side of Costa Rica, one near Indonesia, and one on the Cook Islands you start to get a network of low cost, travel hubs. The direct connections by Airline or short boat distance are: Costa Rica <-> Texas, Indonesia <-> Singapore, Cook Islands <-> New Zealand. Also note that the US maintains good political relations with Texas, Singapore and New Zealand. Travel networks sprout up from surrounding areas, it is more likely to have a location in Vanc, BC than in OR/WA. LA is good for international flights to NZ and Singapore (I checked and very few flights come out of San Francisco). Australia is questionable, but there are other motivations for having something ProUS between Singapore and New Zealand.

I don't see New Atlantis as an end goal, more a change of style and a specific implementation of a social experiment. More than NA we need the ability to create nations, and use the experience of other systems to fill in gaps in our knowledge and avoid duplication of work. I would much prefer to go to a website, register an intentional community, see how much money we need for what, and move in. More than an intentional community, I want to register a nation to set up a system of self governance and no taxes. The problem with this is that I can't get territory, I can't get UN recognition without territory, I can't get passports or banking jurisdiction in our country, and not at all for our children born there.

The easy solution is to remain part of a parent country that does these things for you, most people are designing their communities close to cities for work, health care, infrastructure like roads.

The cost savings of communities apply to nations as well. Train militia instead of having a standing army. Create your own teachers. We don't need roads on the ocean, we only need docks. I don't want police. Set up a system of arbitration insead a system of lawyers.

The main things I want from a nation are: travel papers such as passports, and um... banking identification such as passports? A common currency would be nice I think, but I think money should reflect value and most currencies don't. (The value of most currency is what you can buy with it.)

I imagine a loose international, not physically connected system. A common (default) currency and enough local regulations that other countries will accept our travel passports. That Federation is my goal, especially since it will be able to recognize frontiers as places with identity.

In stage 2 the communities will have the things that help a community succeed. Equipment, a default rule policy, a default accounting system, a default fiscal policy, a default infrastructure management system. The hard questions have default answers, and then you can customize as you like. I plan for some of the initial benefits to include health care, which is critical to people in the US (many community members are not "officially employed" and have no healthcare).

The more similar our plans the more information we get about what works despite people. If a community fails, was it because of a very few people, or the way the community was structured?

We would have many resources available to community members, and community to community resources as well. The modular housing is one example of a project that could be run by a single group, for the benefit of other groups. I would prefer to buy from sustainable communities where possible, it makes importing resources more sustainable. If we have a common accounting method of sustainability, we know how sustainable. (Measuring the sustainability of an activity is a very new idea!)

The amount of resources available to a single community is "X" where "X" is the pooled resources. The resources available to a network of communities is y(y-1) where "y" is the resources of each community. When y is large, people often approximate by saying y^2. This method is used to describe the collective resources of an interconnected network.

Affiliating will probably be very simple, I would be interested in how each group modifies the default structure. The main advantage to New Atlantis as a project is membership filtering or intermediate levels of collaboration, the final advantage to other communities is their members can take that "next step" of joining a Leaver society.

I think that summarizes our research and current lines of thinking. None of this has been proposed in entirety to any other members, so writing this out was a good idea.
Sunday, October 10th, 2004
4:46 am
[daraknor]
Current Happenings
Unfortunately when we start talking about New Atlantis people tend to defer to me, which means I get to write out the state of affairs as well as do a lot of research. Scott has been pursuing some Green Diesel research and I have briefed him on hydrogen (good parts and bad parts). I am still studying more math. I hope to get into OCaml, Lambda Calculus and Genetic Programming more soon. I have several books arriving this week on math and related topics. Sean has his new job and doing well. Chris is still working on his CompSci degree, he is a good resource for Genetic Programming. Kenneth is still studying math, and has a rather impressive reach at the moment. Most potential members are in various states of school right now, myself included for health insurance reasons.

There is a great deal of convergence around summer 2005. This would probably be a good time to get together and hang out face to face or move to Costa Rica.

There will be a lot of redesign coming soon, and as the de facto maintainer of information, I will probably end up doing it. We are almost ready to start declaring things in a more concrete way, rather than fuzzy definitions or goals. Most members share these ideologies: Freedom, Sustainability, force used for defense only, a desire for a frontier, information should match or correspond with reality, a preference for truth, and benefits from infrastructure should be "paid forward" for more or better infrastructure. We generally share the beliefs that: the current system in the US is breaking, technology corresponds with progress, we need a new system of accounting, we need to understand what sustainable IS as opposed to just knowing what it is NOT, Education reform, Pareto's principle applied to productive people, accountability is necessary in all things, and we seem to have many more beliefs in common.

So far, this proposal has stood up under debate:
1) Residents have no vote, but are granted permission to live and work within New Atlantis
2) Citizens have a vote, but they must pass a periodic test to stay Citizens. The test is devised by Citizens.
3) Netizens are people who participate in the information society but don't share residency with our groups.

It is unknown if Residents should have a greater level of privacy than Citizens. It is generally accepted that Residents will defer to Citizens in social situations. The two longest lasting empires, China and Egypt, did not have a regular police. We will likely depend upon Citizens in this regard rather than employ police to enforce laws. I am hoping that we can have a forensics system in place, possibly with anonymity (they don't know which side hired them, and therefore must do their job as opposed to reach a foregone conclusion). Many aspects of social status must still be worked out. A fun idea to play with is requiring AI to pass the Citizenship test. (Most members consider AI to be more dangerous than nuclear weapons.)

I maintain that a society creates its own insanity, it creates its own criminals. Self regulating systems with rapid and appropriate feedback tend to be more efficient (proposed cross level systems theory). Hopefully crime and insanity will be dealt with by understanding people before there is a problem. I have had some personal success in this area.

While hanging out at the local Ishmael gathering, I observed that most people wanted the benefits of community living but said they weren't ready to live in a community until they had the benefit in their own life. In other words, they wanted the chicken and the egg to come first. After having both, they would accept one or the other. I'm hoping we can be clear about what we're doing and what we offer. Here is the super brief version of the game plan:
1. Purchase land in Costa Rica and create a small community of exceptional people (hopefully out of my pocket)
2. Create small open communities across the globe with open membership
3. Start our long term development plans for creating our own country, probably forged out of the pacific ocean (at one of the previously mentioned locations in prior message)
4. Expand from a micronation to full fledged nation.
5. Create a template that allows other societies and groups to start a member-nation in a loose federation that provides common banking and travel papers.
6. Extend the frontier.

What we offer will change over time, I hope to cover these as separate points and separate posts. Initially, we offer a place for exceptional people to work on projects in a community environment. Many of them just want food shoved under the lab door, some want collaborative development. I think we could all work together toward some common goals and projects.

I will create a recommended reading list soon.
Monday, September 13th, 2004
12:42 am
[brooklyndracula]
http://www.islandone.org/

Current Mood: sleepy
Saturday, August 28th, 2004
12:33 am
[daraknor]
The Days Ahead - Posting to Our Ishmael Vision yahoo group
> So, what I'm hearing is that, with sufficiently sophisticated
> analysis and technological innovation, the crash can be prevented and
> homo sapiens can continue on pretty much as we have been, only
> better. Is that a fair summation?

Probably Yes.

The main thing that needs to change is the ability to bring products to market. Some innovations catch on very quickly like solar powered yard lighting. Others are great but not brought to market due to perceptions or because they would challenge the powers that be.

There are numbers behind everything, but right now our method of bringing those numbers out is horribly flawed. The world is not a 2 variable system, and no 2 variable system is accurate. All economics and most social theory is based on 2 variable systems because the math is easier. Their results don't agree with their hypothesis, so they ignore, skew or misrepresent their hypothesis in order to "be right". Being right but saying that the situation requires more study keeps them employed.

I am preparing to challenge many of the premises that this society is founded on. If I am right, most current and prevailing economic theories should be thrown out the window or treated as failed thought experiments. For the changes to be fully implemented, the tax code would have to be thrown out and a new system of accounting created. I do not believe those changes can be made here. Indeed, the story I'm writing is about the premise we can't even merge the two systems at all.

So in terms of "as we have been" I say probably because I mean that we can probably still have cars and houses and music and movies. Note that I did not say books, DVDs or CDs. As for the technology changes, I have 3 world changing innovations that I'm holding back. One is system of generating power that uses gravity and any temperature above freezing to create large amounts of energy. 3 Physicists (1 doctorate) have said that it will work. The second innovation would decrease the cost of ocean cargo drastically, from $1-3 million per day in fuel costs down to 1/10th or 1/20th the existing amount. Free fuel in some very specific cases. 2 ocean shipping experts and 2 physicists said it will work. The third system is a digital currency, that will be released in a partial format. The full implementation removes the need for credit cards, checks, banks (aside from S&L as optional services).

All three systems are drastic improvements in sustainability. Sustainability is the primary goal of all 3 systems. The ripple effect of these changes makes other things that are not currently cost effective (like electrolysis of hazardous waste into useful chemicals) not only effective but desirable. There is a 4th innovation that is key, designed by someone else, perfect recycling using depolymerization. Put shit in, get gasoline, industrial grade chemicals and fertilizer out. The first plant is turning turkey guts into gasoline and fertilizer. (patent number and links available by request)

There is a 5th innovation but it can't be implemented for another 10-40 years, whereas the other systems can be built, and in some cases have been built, today. This change is no less than the next step beyond mass production, and it represents the final mecca for sustainability: no inventory, no wasted products, no transportation costs, no wasted resources. Microproduction. The ability to cost effectively make 1 of something on the spot. Nanotech will help it, but nanotech isn't necessary.

This is of course, all void and null if a smarter than human AI is created and we have a Singularity. www.singinst.org

As for the sustainability metric itself, I believe it is a combination of time and resources. Accurately modeling the relationships in systems. Small, then larger. Anything that does not use systems accounting is not "computable". It may tell you that carmello is 10 times more sustainable than snickers bars based on land use, etc. The noble response is to change the pricing accordingly. The lower level thought process is to add a tax based on sustainability, assessed at international (import/export), national (import), state (duty taxes, sales taxes) and local (sales tax) levels.

The use of sustainable materials (steel, aluminum, *some* plastics, etc) would be measured favorably over others (wood). Why is wood bad? It is food for insects, which then have to be killed, which pollutes the environment, which kills species and has to be cleaned up. My system isn't a bunch of equations sent out over the radio, it is a simple documentation process about what we already know, but organize so poorly. We have 30 year loans on houses that last (hopefully) 30 years.

The main problem with our current economic system is that feedback is distracted, filtered, delayed and destroyed. If you *knew* what the right choice was, and what you felt in your heart matched what you saw on the street, you would be more likely to make it. At the top levels, add in the tax systems and so on, and the viable choices are more desirable.

I'm not saying there is a single right way to live. America is corn and wheat based, Japan is rice based. Is one better than the other? No idea yet. I suspect both are viable solutions. The real question is: how are those resources used?

If people can make a living, and feel like they are making a difference, if it is possible to have a real contribution, then they are less likely to turn to drugs and crime. These are symptoms of a broken system, not separate issues. I'm not preaching utopia, I'm saying we should find out how much stuff actually *costs* us before we spread it around. No that won't change the consumer whore mentality. Yes people will resist. But you know what, a lot of people look at prices before they buy, and most have looked at nutrition information on their favorite foods even if only acting upon boredom and curiosity.

We could start tomorrow by pushing for congress to pass a sustainability labeling act. Great, show us how it works? Has anyone else done it? How much would it cost? Who would handle the labeling? Don't know... Don't know... dont know...... dont ... know..... Bill failed.

I start by trying to figure out what *sustainable* really is. Daniel Quinn doesn't know (I also emailed him). Apparently nobody knows out of the hundreds of resources I have checked. I have thousands more to check. Since everybody keeps saying the same things so far, and nobody has even mentioned sustainable systems theory or sustainability metrics even in passing, I am assuming that I have a lot of work to do.
Saturday, August 21st, 2004
11:05 am
[daraknor]
The world is a corrupt model
When modeling something we make little diagrams and graphs to explain things. Sometimes these are explanations to ourselves, a means of interpreting data. Usually it is a means of communicating an idea to others, people who don't understand the underlying data or concepts. We make cute little graphs in power points because they don't understand. People like policy makers: politicians, upper management, administrators.

Heinlein said, "If you can't say it in math, it is just opinion." Our opinion has been corrupting our math. The graphs we make are employed in selling our prejudice to other people. These people make decisions based on our opinion thinking it is real and somehow corresponds to the world. This in turn gets modeled.

" Unfortunately, all too often testing is inadequate, documentation is
incomplete, important critics and stakeholders are excluded, and assessment
is never undertaken. Worse, model testing is often designed to ``prove'' the
model is ``right'' and model tests are presented as evidence designed to promote
client acceptance. We are continually pressured by our clients, our students,
our colleagues, and our own egos to slip out of the role of questioner and
learner into the role of expert and teacher. Doing so often fails, by generating
defensiveness and resistance. The phrase ``getting client buy-in'' should be
banned from our lexicon. Taking the perspective that we are selling a ``product''
to the client is antithetical to a genuine inquiry process. Such an approach
is designed to deflect criticism and promote the status and authority of the
modeler. Instead, it makes learning difficult and ultimately erodes the impact
of the model and the credibility of the modeler -- and of all modelers."
"All models are wrong: reflections on becoming a systems scientist" by John D. Sterman

Our whole world is filled with this models that are just plain wrong. "IQ and the Wealth of Nations" is a book that tries to "prove" that IQ and prosperity of a civilization are related. The "IQ" of Africa is 70 according to these 'researchers'. All of Africa! I don't know if it is the opinion of the reviewer or a comment from the overpriced book, but they claim " An IQ of 90 is needed to build a science-technology based society. Only 20% of the world people have IQ over 90." Well then! that proves Egypt never had technology and never will! Ignore they pyramids, they don't fit in your graph. Ignore the Library of Alexandria, the fall of Rome with the aid of Cleopatra, it is merely a matter of opinion that can be disregarded.

Now what is the "Wealth of Nations" anyway? Gross National Product measured in United States Dollars. GNP in USD. Well that just confirms it, because ancient Egypt never had zero USD.

IQ and GNP, income per capita, and most of what our civilization is based on, are all flawed metrics. The world then manifests this corrupt model, which is modeled, and then manifested. Our civilization is based on flawed metrics, to the point that they are regarded as a higher truth than reality, because we disregard reality that doesn't agree with our metrics.

Back to working on a new metric... This "New Atlantis" project is bigger than I originally imagined. I thought that if we got enough of the productive people together other pieces would come together. That may be true, but the impact of such a group is relatively small compared to a new metric and productive people working under that metric.

At this point I am basing the metric around "time overhead" - the amount of time we spend trying to sustain ourselves. Trying to measure the utility of a can of corn is easy, but calculating the amount of time it took to produce all of the things that got that can of corn to your plate is hard. Another thing to consider for 'employing' an unskilled workforce: the cost of that corn may be increased in order to give more people jobs. So they don't become lawyers or something.
Tuesday, August 3rd, 2004
3:56 am
[daraknor]
update to Stage 3: Ocean Surface
Edit isn't working, I'm posting additional information since the web client for LJ is just horrible.

Edit: I suppose I should mention why I didn't embrace this group more. In February they had a discussion about meth labs as viable businesses, and what risk people should accept of being blown up. On its own, it is an interesting math question but I defer to Eliezer's Friendly AI planning: if you accept the risk, you accept the consequences. Under law of the sea, any nation is legally able to seize any boats in transit and the seastead itself despite being in national waters due to drugs. That was about the 5th blatant drug reference and seems to be part of their motivation; indeed they consider it income.

In between attempting to edit and giving up, I found they quoted me but didn't give me credit. Blarg to them!
9:07 pm
[daraknor]
Stage 3: Ocean Surface
This is from a Q&A session from Seastead.org. They have seasteading as well. I also found this little bit of legal trickery during my studies of the UN Laws. I plan to take advantage of it in a way they did not perceive or comment on so I will still keep that information in a small circle. Obviously there are people who have similar ideas. Their project calls for about half a million dollars in construction, I anticipate they will go over budget. Our initial ocean site is preconstructed, but needs minor repairs and paint to avoid rust cuts.

I have been following this group for some time, they have similar goals but probably haven't thought far enough ahead. We should probably collaborate with them in the future but my initial comments (with little information backing me up) were lost in the shuffle. There is one major failure of logic I see so far, and that is the fact they claim it is inexpensive to move on the ocean. I just spent the past 2 hours talking to someone about the disparity in pricing between industrial uses and naval uses of similar equipment. I have seen surface level research on their part, but little depth. I will continue looking.

EEZ = Exclusive Economic Zone

Q: The law of the sea legitimized the 200 mile EEZ and I have trouble seeing how you could stay out of the property of the coastal and island states, particularly in the Mediterranean.

A: There's no EEZs in the Med, only Exclusive Fishing Zones. There are a couple of answers. One answer is that its possible for seasteads to be outside 200 nautical miles. It makes everything more difficult and more expensive and we'd prefer not to, but that's one method. Another answer is to be in a place like the Med without EEZs. A third answer is that the set of rights that a coastal state has outside the 24m territorial limit and inside the 200nm EEZ is a very limited set, there are like 6 clauses. now one of those clauses is the building of artificial platforms but its a much more limited set of rights and if you're negotaiating for a treaty with a coastal state within the EEZ, you're not negotiating for sovereignty. I'm very skeptical of the idea that a state will sell you sovereignty. But within the EEZ, all you need is a treaty which says, we can sit here and capture the wind and use the sun and build this platform, and that's a much much lesser thing for a state to give up than to give up sovereignty, because they have a much more limited set of rights. And besides the Med there are also special places. It turns out that EEZs don't wrap around, so you get these weird places like in Gibraltar, Gibraltar is a UK protectorate, they only claim 3 nm., yet EEZs don't wrap around, so there's a shadow cast by Gibraltar where you can be 4 nm from Gibraltar and in international waters.
Wednesday, July 28th, 2004
7:43 pm
[daraknor]
From "Beyond Civilization"
"Revolution without upheaval"
"Because revolution in our culture has always represented an attack on hierarchy, it has always meant upheaval—literally a heaving up from below. But upheaval has no role to play in moving beyond civilization. If the plane is in trouble, you don’t shoot the pilot, you grab a parachute and jump. To overthrow the hierarchy is pointless; we just want to leave it behind.
As everyone knows (especially revolutionaries), hierarchy maintains formidable defenses against attack from the lower orders. It has none, however, against abandonment. This is in part because it can imagine revolution, but it can’t imagine abandonment. But even if it could imagine abandonment, it couldn’t defend against it, because abandonment isn’t an attack, it’s just a discontinuance of support."

This is what we have been talking about, what many authors have been talking about (including Ayn Rand in "Atlas Shrugged"). We need some place to go when we discontinue our support of this culture.

I'm still asking for comments and intellectual contributions. What value system should we endorse? Please reply here or instant message me.
Tuesday, July 27th, 2004
2:52 pm
[daraknor]
MicroNation
I researched forming a micronation a few months ago. There is no reason to not say "we're a nation now, here is your citizenship." On the other hand, it isn't useful for anything besides a membership roster. If we ship people papers and a newsletter at the same time, then it is a revenue stream.

I don't see the point in a newsletter when we have the internet. A membership list is nice, but citizenship papers are a little less than I would like.

What I see as plausible and valuable is to form a group that is active and lives/works together Prescreen people and have them join us in person. Costa Rica looks like a good place to start, but I would like to have locations in the US and New Zealand as well. The advantage of Costa Rica is that we can buy 550 acres of forested land with 2 small streams for under $100k USD.

Living and working in one of the facilities would probably be a prerequisite to the next stage, of forming a nation somewhere. We will need a lot of the sustainable technologies tested and developed from the project locations. New stuff that hasn't been built yet, mixed with gathering data on the performance of certain configurations and optimizing performance.

2-5 communities of 10-100 people each then start a nation, I think that has more validity than announcing something on Live Journal and saying "please send an email to become a citizen."

Another key factor is how I plan to handle Visas, as a nation. If we give everyone equal citizenship, then we aren't encouraging specific values and behaviors. Democratic Anarchy, that declines into socialism and bankruptcy. If we follow "Starship Troopers" as a loose guide, there would need to be some sort of qualification process to becoming a citizen. Everyone could become residents, only people who do *something* would become citizens.

Any ideas on what that *something* should be? This is something I will not decide on my own.
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