Jerry Mander:” The idea, that technology is neutral, is a serious mistake”

London: How do you respond to the argument that technology is not inherently good or bad, it’s how we use it that matters.

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Mander: That’s the major homily of our time. And it’s a very serious mistake. The idea that technology is neutral — that it doesn’t have social, political and environmental characteristics — is really dangerous.

Consider nuclear power and solar power. Both are energy forms, but they have entirely different effects on the system. Nuclear power is an inherently centralized technology. It requires centralized military-industrial institutions. Nobody knows what to do about 250,000 years of dangerous wastes. If we were to judge energy only in terms of who uses it, that would be like saying, “Well, if some good people got together and ran the nuclear power industry, the wastes wouldn’t have to be safeguarded for 250,000 years.” But these things are intrinsic to the technology. It’s not a question of whether good people use them.

Solar technology is the exact opposite — it is inherently localizing. A couple of people can easily put it together, it’s not expensive to use, the community can run it without having to hook up to the grid, and it has no lasting negative effects.

 

source : https://scott.london/interviews/index.html 

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Marie Kondo: “Ask yourself: “Does the state of my home make me comfortable?”

Q. In a world where there is surplus, (and excess, too) – thanks to the constant race for better living, technology, increased spending capabilities, financial gains – how and where does one draw the line? 

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Marie Kondo: Ask yourself: “Does the state of my home make me comfortable? What about the state of my life?” If you are struggling to answer yes to these questions, it’s time to re-evaluate how you are currently living. 

To do this, first try tidying your home entirely. By reassessing all the belongings you have in your life, you clarify your values – a vital step in creating a boundary between your core and the world that is steeped in excess. 

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Rei Masuda: “Jiro never did it for money”

What do you think is the most important among what you learned from the master chef “Jiro Ono”?

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Rei Masuda: It is a professionalism, anyway whether on work or a way of life. Honestly, I think that anyone can cook sushi if trained as long as a year or so. However, Jiro always thinks about how to make customers eat his sushi better and how his sushi can become more delicious. Even now when he turned 91 (at this interview in November 2016), I think his attitude is really amazing. It leads to the current reputation of Sukiyabashi Jiro. There are various kinds of chefs in the world, and I think some people are doing for money, but Jiro has no intention of making money. He just likes to work. He just wants to see the customers’ happy face. In shot he is an old-fashioned “artisan”. I really wish to become an artisan like Jiro.

Source – https://pocket-concierge.jp/blog_en/topchefinterviews_002_sushimasuda/

David Whyte:”I think one of our great tasks as human beings is to find the part of us that is big enough for life”

When you experience that heartbreak and humiliation, are you able to make it useful in your work?

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David Whyte- I would certainly say so in poetry, and I hope it’s so in human relationships too. I’ve learned there’s a cycle of grief in every art form and relationship. When I finished my last book of poetry, Pilgrim, I realised the tide was about to turn, so I started writing furiously.

There’s that great line at the end of As You Like It, where Shakespeare says: “The words of Mercury are harsh after the songs of Apollo.” The songs of Apollo have poetry and lyricism, and Mercury is the messenger god who is getting the work out in the world—through printing it and reading it. I remember when I suddenly wrote a poem in a very different voice and I knew that particular tide was over. There was a kind of a beautiful, poignant grief to it. At the same time there was a sense of completion and harvest, and a sense of thankfulness.

If you read the great German-speaking poet Rilke, around the Duino Elegies, he had an experience of this visitation—of an enormous tidal current of creativity and presence and then the sense of suddenly being left. This feeling of being left is just the fact that you don’t recognise the new territory. You’re meant not to know. I think one of our great tasks as human beings is to find the part of us that is big enough for life, that can put its arms around the part that finds things difficult, that wants life to be different.

Source – https://www.dumbofeather.com/conversations/david-whyte-is-an-everyday-poet/

Vandana Shiva:”United States patent system is somewhat perverted”

Q: You describe a dramatic case in which some American researchers traveled to India and basically co-opted time-honored and widely known folk-remedies for purely commercial purposes.

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Shiva: Absolutely. I have called this phenomenon of stealing common knowledge and indigenous science “biopiracy” and “intellectual piracy.” According to patent systems we shouldn’t be able to patent what exists as “prior art.” But the United States patent system is somewhat perverted. First of all, it does not treat the prior art of other societies as “prior art.” Therefore anyone from the United States can travel to another country, find out about the use of a medicinal plant, or find a seed that farmers use, come back here, claim it as an invention or an innovation, take a patent on it, and grab an exclusive right to the use of the products or processes that are linked to that knowledge.

Source: http://scott.london/interviews/shiva.html

Nawal-El-Saadwi-“I am proud to say I have divorced three husbands”

Q: A lot of your work and ideas focus on intersecting forms of oppression—class, patriarchy, colonialism. How do you overcome those oppressive forces? How can you convince someone to cede authority or resources?

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Nawal-El-Saadwi-[Laughs.] Well, it’s very difficult. This is everyone’s struggle—whether against men in the family, or against capitalism. It’s power. I don’t think that people in power can be convinced by words or articles. They will never give it up by choice. Even a husband in the house, no—power has to be taken with power. Mubarak resigned because the people showed their power. If it had been only a few hundred protesters, he would never go, but because it was 20 million, the whole country, he had no choice. You can’t eradicate power with weakness. Knowledge and unity—these were power in the hands of the people.

Within a household, the individual woman must have power. It’s not easy—it means political rights, economic independence, knowledge. A lot of women are afraid of loneliness, so when they see a woman who can live alone, then they think, “Hmm, I can do that.” But you need an example, and that is why I am proud to say I have divorced three husbands.

Resource- https://www.thenation.com/article/interview-nawal-el-saadawi/

Jaron Lanier :”It’s that manipulation engine that’s the problem. It’s not the smartphone”

Q: how much of why we should delete social media is inherent in social media versus how it’s been developed so far? Is there a way to isolate the good parts of social media?” You’ve talked about this.

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Jaron Lanier : Yeah, I very strongly feel that we can isolate the good parts of social media which are very real and very true and just cut off and incinerate the bad parts, and the bad parts can be described very clearly as a manipulation engine. It’s the algorithms that are measuring you and then calculating what you should experience in order to change your behavior according to an algorithm. It’s that manipulation engine that’s the problem. It’s not the smartphone. It’s not the general idea of social media. It’s not the general idea of the internet. It’s none of those things. It’s really the manipulation machine. And that’s the thing that needs to be shut down.

Source :  https://www.recode.net/2018/7/27/17618756/jaron-lanier-deleting-social-media-book-kara-swisher-too-embarrassed-podcast

 

by Ten Arguments For Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now