Posts filed under ‘future’

A Reminder That People DID See The Crash Coming

I am reading stories about how not many economists saw “The Crash” coming. Are you saying that all the punks I know are smarter than Wall Street and Washington analysts?

Of course it’s bullshit. Any smart person saw it coming, and the military started their peak oil campaign back in 2001. Venezuela – your oil is in our scope sights now!

There are many Americans working for peace, however. Remember – they track you with your cell phone, and you can eat dandelions!

January 26, 2010 at 9:04 am 1 comment

An Update About Al Franken

Al Franken

Woo Hoo! I was right! Way to go Al!

July 6, 2009 at 9:59 pm Leave a comment

Railer – Live In Portland

We encourage ride-sharing, walking, bike-riding, or public transit to / from our shows! Join up with other Railer fans at http://www.portland.brightneighbor.com.

June 22, 2009 at 8:11 am Leave a comment

More and More, Farming Is Getting Sexier

June 13, 2009 at 7:27 am Leave a comment

Late Night Brainstorming Sessions

For any of you following the Bright Neighbor project…

May 30, 2009 at 10:23 am Leave a comment

FRESH the Movie

Better than porn.

May 26, 2009 at 7:15 pm 1 comment

Ten Ways To Twitter Our Way To Hyper-Local Sustainability

Twitter bird

Recently, we have had amazing breakthroughs in human communications. We have broken the four-minute mile, and the real-time web of living in the moment has arrived. You can now be instantly witnessed around the world by anyone with a modern communications device. There are useful applications for this technology that can be immediately applied to community-building.

By Randy White
@randywhitepdx and @brightneighbor

The authors of a recent PEW Internet Project report write that
” …developments in social networking and internet applications have begun providing internet users with more opportunities for sharing short updates about themselves, their lives, and their whereabouts online. Users may post messages about their status, their moods, their location and other tidbits on social networks and blogging sites “

The rapid spread of Twitter and Facebook adoption these days is mind-blowing. Twenty percent of online adults 18-34 are on Twitter, and even grandmothers are getting onto Facebook. That is a hefty chunk of the population. While tech-savvy money sharks are figuring out how to carve up profits to be made from selling deep-search stats to Tostitos or whoever, I am thinking about how we can use technology at local levels to deal with economic and ecological collapse. The cool part is that we are starting to quickly track our progress and observe how one’s social influence in a community can help to shape other people’s sustainability actions. Imagine when we will track how neighborly people are:

Twitalyzer

As exciting as these new technology achievements are, we still have real problems to work out. Families are suffering as relationships are becoming more and more strained by financial pressures. Throughout government, business, and communities – our high standards of living have been supported by cheap, easily available energy. President Obama hasn’t told you the super-bad news about our immediate future. In materialistic terms, we have arrived in the gates of hell and now we get to Tweet each other about it. With a second energy shock and major spike in oil prices on the way, communities need to get prepared. Now.

The problem is that even though so many Americans have cell-phones and blinking blue Borg-like communication contraptions glued to their heads, there are still large swaths of communities across America not taking action to build resiliency at hyper-local levels. And if any new political group was able to actually overthrow the existing Democratic / Republican system – who would pave our roads? How does a society run without money? What is money, really?

It seems we are still in shock and awe that things are so messed up, yet so cool at the same time.

As Americans, we subscribe to a social contract that states to be ‘normal’ we must spend time trying to earn this stuff called money. Since we have to constantly chase the stuff to live comfortable lives, it is literally impossible to get to deeply-know all of our neighbors because there is not enough time or desire to do so. On this planet we are physically limited to caring for small tribes of core humans in our lives. We can’t possibly get to know everyone or have them know us back. But, with technology, we have cobbled together ways to build community relationships while tracking local leadership and involvement in communities at the same time.

The significance of this insight is that we can actually report on local neighborhood influence, carbon emissions saved, energy not used, and many other earth-preserving behaviors. For instance, in the following screenshot, you can see I’m communicating with a local neighborhood organizer, a popular radio DJ, a concerned citizen, and a reporter for the Wall Street Journal.

Twitter Bright Neighbor

Marketers pay millions of dollars to achieve the kind of free PR, influence, and tracking now easily achieved for free on the Internet. Money aside – If you can get others to pay attention to you, you can improve your sphere of influence at a hyper local level to achieve sustainability. The idea is to be a local leader and use your results to help others at the national level through showcasing your success. Other influential leaders can easily amplify your message, creating near instant consciousness of thousands of individuals.

In order to focus these breakthroughs, I have been experimenting with ways to use Twitter to track items lent out to neighbors and friends, and many upcoming Bright Neighbor 2.0 features will continue to innovate in these areas. In the meantime, here is a 10-step action plan on how Twitter can help people that live in close proximity to one another get to know one another better:

1) Go to your local neighborhood meetings
This may seem so simple that it’s stupid. Get involved! There is a local neighborhood organization that you can join and if you can’t find one, you can start one. This way you can place faces with people you will be connecting with.

2) Create A group and go back to old-school promotions

Being in a rock band helped me learn this one. If you are ready to be a local leader, then go old-school and hit the streets. Putting flyers up at local shops and into people’s hands still works. The constant real-time flow of communications data goes away in seconds, and if someone has calendared one event and learn via Twitter or whatever where other cool people have gathered – they will alter their plans to go where the people are that can help them advance their social status. Offline flyers help build your online reputation to achieve this by putting your group’s Twitter name or hashtag on the flyer and asking neighbors to join your group.

3) Ride sharing
“Can anyone give me a lift downtown? I’m at the corner of SE 39th and Stark.” If you get a big enough group of followers in your neighborhood, that message could score you a lift if your friends are too lazy or broke to come pick you up.

4) Resource locator
“Does anyone have a ladder I can borrow”? The more you know your neighbors, the more people that will follow you and that will see your plea for help when your bushes go wild and need a trimming. With the ability to add pictures and video to Twitter, soon people will be able to discover a person in close proximity who has what they need and communicate in real time to strike a deal.

5) Saving money
“Does anyone have a coupon they can forward for the India Grill?”
Offering people coupons used to be a paper-only option, and times have made it such that there are multiple online methods to save big money on stuff like:

* Activities
* Bars
* Clubs
* Coffee
* Fitness
* Food
* Shopping
* Health & Beauty
* Hotels
* Automotive
* Events
* Dessert
* Tickets

Because that’s the kind of stuff we humans value right now. And in order to keep getting it, we are looking for ways to save money on it. One way is to call out to our social networks to see if anyone can forward access or knowledge of a money-savings deal without everyone becoming annoyed by cheap people looking for deals.

6) Work with your local government
In Portland, the Office of Emergency Management has set up a Twitter feed. If each neighborhood leader subscribed to the emergency feed and vice-versa, top-down communications could mingle with grassroots reporting to keep communications clear in an emergency.

7) Tap into your neighbor knowledge base
My raspberries developed a bunch of ugly yellow spots on them, and with a click of the camera in my phone, I sent out messages to neighbors and friends asking if they knew what the disease was. While I didn’t get a solid answer back on that try, I found out the solution to the by walking next door and asking my 93-year old neighbor instead. Take care of our old-time gardeners!

8) Give help, get help
As technology allows us to define our roles in society, it also helps define each of us because people are judgmental. The more projects you get involved with, and the more people Tweet about them, the better your Karma Card looks. Your actions and activities are now transparent in real-time and the historical record, and people will be able to see how much you give back in addition to asking for help.

9) Showcase your breakthroughs
Don’t just send out a picture of that new rainwater catchment system you built out of spare parts, invite people over to learn from it! We have so much waste in our system, we can repurpose woods and plastics to help retrofit our homes to prepare for climate change. If it’s too expensive to go buy new stuff like solar arrays or hybrid-cars, then we can help each other by teaching useful, sustainable behaviors that we know how to do. Online video has not yet replaced human-to-human team learning.

10) Make people laugh
Because laughing is a part of healing.

May 19, 2009 at 11:23 am 4 comments

The Internet As A Form of Martial Arts

Shonuff

How often do you deal with incoming and outgoing messages these days?

Whether it’s e-mail, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or any of these, we are all getting bombarded with a constant stream of information that we are expected to receive, process, understand, and act on.

It seems that we can’t escape the buzz-buzz-buss of messages, images, experiences, and realities to process with so much technology happening at once. But if your phone isn’t ringing, or your e-mail is idle, then you aren’t happening. We aren’t allowed to have peace and serenity in our lives anymore, because we have to keep up in the social networks which never allow us to escape into our own caves. There is a human addiction to machines, and some people don’t know how to turn them off for their own good.

The Internet is a living and breathing organism now. Like a baby, it is churning in the womb, growing every day and discovering itself. It pees and poops in it’s own sac of development, mixing all of life together as we are doing globally. It is the connection of human minds from around the planet, as we craft new ways to communicate for free, face-to-face with people on our computers and mobile devices.

There is so much information in this living data stream of our lives, we can have a video chat with mom while keeping up with friends and knowing exactly what the weather forecast is. Or whatever we want. If you want vintage German nun porn, you can have that. Free. If you want free communications tools, they are at your beck and call. Free. And if you know how to use the Internet right – you can also get food – free.

The collective living organism has achieved a critical mass of knowledge amongst itself and has learned how to multi-task between searching the past and living in the present.

How people use the Internet is equivalent the level of martial arts they know, meaning constant practice and exploration. It’s tough to keep up and in shape, and the rate of innovation is going so fast that recently-launched technologies are being rendered obsolete instantly by better mousetraps or innovations elsewhere the next week.

And so the great apps will continue to rise to the top and merge. Over time, people will harness their use in everyday lives as humans are doing with Facebook on such a massive scale across the planet.

So yes, three cheers to Facebook, it wins the “Platform Of The Times” award. For now. It could get tossed to the side like a one-night groupie if something better comes along that gives us what we need and desire.

And that means Facebook will need to evolve in a way that allows humanity to achieve singularity – something that is truly possible. Perhaps then, we wouldn’t need to know real martial arts as we all get along and relocalize our consumption. This means fixing local supply chains for food, water, and transportation.

I’m sure Facebook and the Internet will continue to do a great job as we learn how to dance with living datastreams and rebuild economies in a fair and balanced manner.

So no matter how you use the Internet, your martial arts skills need to continuously sharpen to keep up. You never know when technology will throw a new zinger at you.

BONUS: Here’s a great example of the power of the Internet combined with human efforts to get a job done.

May 15, 2009 at 5:18 pm Leave a comment

Knock Knock, The Future Is Here!

Don’t you love when your pizza finally arrives at the door? Imagine if the delivery driver arrived at your doorstep wearing a solar powered jacket connected to his i-phone that he’s jamming out to.

Knock knock, the future is here!

the future is here
Credit: World Changing

For years now, I have had people ask me about my Voltaic solar-powered backpack. I use it to charge my phone, which doubles as my camera and music device. I’m a happy camper with a complete mobile ability to stay in communications with the world, and all I need is some sunshine.

Today at Earth Day, Bright Neighbor teamed up with some other great organizations. One of them grows fruit and vegetable starts, and they sell the plants. No big deal, right? What if I told you for every plant they sell, they give away 10 of them to needy families across Oregon? They sell greenhouses to generate funds for making their operation sustainable – so while they are profiting from selling the right kinds of products, they are also giving back 10 X as much to the community at the same time.

Knock Knock, the future has arrived!

Since we began selling soil through Bright Neighbor, we can’t keep up with the orders. We are talking about beautiful, awesome, wonderful living soil. Once the “IKEA” branding of growing food at homes kicks in, capitalism will have completely transformed itself into a lean, mean, earth saving machine – run and managed by more youthful generations.

If you want to order soil, you can do so at the top of this blog.

The point is, that the future HAS arrived, and we are kicking ass. The ship will sail on, even if the banks all fail, oil runs out, and world currencies go away. As long as we have electricity and mobile devices, we are all set! We have music to listen to while we all take turns helping our local communities grow food. Tada!

The future is really, really cool. It looks a lot like Burning Man-meets-the Oregon Country Fair-meets-Capitalism.

future
Credit: World Changing

April 22, 2009 at 6:49 pm Leave a comment

Ideas For Turning Waste Into Useful Stuff

Please send us your discoveries from around the Internet on turning waste into useful stuff and we’ll keep updating this post with ideas!

Plastic Bottles Used As Solar Water Heaters
This is one of those “Duh” things that are so simple, yet so many people haven’t thought about doing yet. Thanks to Solarray.

Plastic Bottles Solar Water Heater

Plastic Bottles Turned Into Building Blocks
Just look at the neat things you can come up with when you are living near a trash heap. Thanks to Jeremy Faludi.

trash heap useful
trash heap blocks

Yogurt Cups As Slug Repellent
I came up with this one, but I’m sure other people have thought of it as well.
Slug Trap

And check out all the slugs I got drunk by offering them a beer!

Slug trap with beer

Here are some other ideas for managing with less and finding new uses for old items:

- Use empty prescription bottles to store garden seeds as you gather them
- Clothes pins are great for drying washed plastic bags

February 14, 2009 at 2:02 pm 4 comments

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