SchwartzReport: BP Gulf Spill “Gross Negligence” – $18 Billion Fine? Does Corporate Accountability Begin Now?

Stephan A. Schwartz

Stephan A. Schwartz

Here is some excellent news about the Gulf oil spill. A major court decision has seriously placed the blame and responsibility where it belongs. And the court also made it clear what it thinks about BP, Transocean, and Halliburton ethics and behavior.

‘Worst Case’ BP Ruling on Gulf Spill Means Billions More in Penalties
MARGARET CRONIN FISK, LAUREL BRUBAKER CALKINS and JEF FEELEY – Bloomberg

BP Plc acted with gross negligence in setting off the biggest offshore oil spill in U.S. history, a federal judge ruled, handing down a long-awaited decision that may force the energy company to pay billions of dollars more for the 2010 Gulf of Mexico disaster.

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Sep 5

Berto Jongman: Peter Singer on Effective Altruism & Cause Prioritization

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Berto Jongman

Berto Jongman

Peter Singer on Effective Altruism & Cause Prioritization – this is a short from a longer interview Adam Ford did recently with Peter Singer.

Effective altruism is a philosophy and social movement which applies evidence and reason to working out the most effective ways to improve the world. Effective altruists consider all causes and actions, and then act in the way that brings about the greatest positive impact. It is this broad evidence-based approach that distinguishes effective altruism from traditional altruism or charity. Effective altruism sometimes involves taking actions that are less intuitive or emotionally salient. The philosopher Peter Singer is a notable supporter of effective altruism.

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Sep 1

Jean Lievens: Sharing Economy Sucking Chest Wounds…

Jean Lievens

Jean Lievens

The Unbearable Loneliness Of The Sharing Economy

by Brian S Hall

August 25th, 2014

The sharing economy promises the potential for riches, personal empowerment, new modes of work, and fear, the kind of fear that swells from a livelihood dependent upon algorithms, star ratings, and the feedback of strangers.

When we imagined the future, certainly starting from the point when the smartphone was born, few of us expected a world where in-kind tips and real time number crunching might determine where we live, how well we ate, the size of our home, the composition of our dearest friends.

Of course, in a world where billions are virtually connected, all fighting over the same job, the same task, the same dollars to be made by sharing our rooms, our cars, our talents, can we have any real friends? Or does everyone morph into some 21st century amalgamation of customer-competitor?

The billions of dollars fueling Uber, Airbnb and the sharing economy appears to generate as much fear as it does potential, and rightly or no, the great minds and deep pockets of Silicon Valley are failing to address these fears.

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Aug 29

Jean Lievens: Isabelle Stengers on on user movements and systems of horizontal apprenticeship

Jean Lievens

Jean Lievens

Isabelle Stengers on on user movements and systems of horizontal apprenticeship

Andre Ling introduces the importance of the the Belgian philosopher of science Isabelle Stengers:

“She is a truly remarkable philosopher and currently one of my favourites. While she has written some very solid books on the philosophy of science (such as The Power of Invention, Cosmopolitics, and others), her more recent books are shorter, highly accessible and powerful. The titles of her two most recent books that I especially want to share with you are:

* Capitalist Sorcery: Breaking the Spell

* Au temps des catastrophes: Resister a la barbarie qui vient (currently only available in French, but due to be translated, I am told, in open access format in English)

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Aug 24

Jean Lievens: Factory of the Future – Internet of Things (Not Yet Rooted in Open Source Everything, True Cost Economics, or Holistic Analytics)

Jean Lievens

Jean Lievens

The Factory of the Future Will Be Shaped by the Internet of Things

Andrew Dugenske, Alain Louchez

Manufacturing.net, August 2014

Around the globe, intelligent and pervasive industrial automation has been catapulted in recent years to a top national or regional priority. Known by different names, e.g., “Advanced Manufacturing”, “Smart Manufacturing”, “Industry 4.0” or “Factories of the Future” to highlight a few, these initiatives all bear the same characteristics, i.e., transforming the manufacturing process from a patchwork of isolated silos to a nimble and seamless whole fully integrated with the downstream and upstream production environment.

There is, in fact, a close link between modern manufacturing and the advent of the Internet of Things.

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Aug 21

Jean Lievens: Is the Sharing Economy Potentially a Locust Economy Ravaging a Collaborative Economy More Delicate Than Realized?

Jean Lievens

Jean Lievens

The Locust Economy

Venkat

RibbonFarm, 3 April 2013

Last week, I figured out that I am a part-time locust. Here’s how it happened.

I was picking the brain of a restauranteur for insight into things like Groupon. He confirmed what we all understand in the abstract: that these deals are terrible for the businesses that offer them; that they draw in nomadic deal hunters from a vast surrounding region who are unlikely to ever return; that most deal-hunters carefully ensure that they spend just the deal amount or slightly more; that a badly designed offer can bankrupt a small business.

He added one little factoid I did not know: offering a Groupon deal is by now so strongly associated with a desperate, dying restaurant that professional food critics tend to write off any restaurant that offers one without even trying it.

Yet, I’ve used (and continue to use) these services and don’t feel entirely terrible about doing so, or truly complicit in the depredations of Groupon. Why? It’s because, like most of the working class, I’ve developed a locust morality.

Thinking about locusts and the behavior of customers around services like Groupon, I’ve become convinced that the phrase “sharing economy” is mostly a case of putting lipstick on a pig. What we have here is a locust economy. Let me explain what that means.

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Aug 16

SchwartzReport: 25% of Adults World-Wide Enjoy Full Employment

Stephan A. Schwartz

Stephan A. Schwartz

This very important trend is virtually invisible. It’s not that the data is unavailable, as this report shows. It is that it is not discussed. But if only 25 per cent of the adults in the world are employed full-time that means three quarters aren’t. A major predictor of social ! unrest. Click through to see the important charts.

Only 1.3 Billion Worldwide Employed Full Time for Employer
Jon Clifton and Ben Ryan – The Gallup Organization

WASHINGTON, D.C. — About one in four adults worldwide — or roughly 1.3 billion people — worked full time for an employer in 2013. Gallup’s Payroll to Population (P2P) rate, which reports the percentage of the total adult population that works at least 30 hours per week for an employer, has not grown since 2012.

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Aug 15

Jean Lievens: Singapore’s Sharing Economy

Jean Lievens

Jean Lievens

Singapore’s sharing economy is on the rise

However, observers say the emerging sector has run into some legal snags, while businesses band together to navigate regulatory grey areas

EXTRACTS

Besides personal assets, services like transport and holiday accommodation can also be made available for sharing. This idea of collaborative consumption allows individuals to buy from and sell to one another directly, saving resources and bypassing big companies.

. . . . . . .

The sharing economy is relatively new in Singapore. So there are not many legal firms that are representing the businesses right now

Lester Kang, founding member of the Sharing Economy Association of Singapore

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Aug 14

Worth a Look: Fusion Economics by Laurence Brahm

Amazon Page

Amazon Page

AMAZON PAGE: Fusion Economics: How Pragmatism Is Changing the World

Hardcover Pre-Order Now for 21 October 2014 Delivery

Phi Beta Iota: Below is Robert Steele’s jacket blurb:

Laurence Brahm is one of those unsung heroes who was changing the world for the better, and influencing various governments in most positive ways, long before ecological economics and social enterprise became fashionable turns of phrase. I regard him as the anti-thesis to the predatory capitalism mantras and methods of our time. His proven focus on community development and evolutionary blends of state planning and market incentives is precisely what we need now that everyone understands that Western governments have been corrupted and Western economies destroyed by financial interests devoted to extracting value instead of creating value. This is a practical book, a spiritual book, and one that should be required reading among those intent on creating collaborative economies and social enterprises.

Robert David Steele
CEO, Earth Intelligence Network

Below is the book description from the publisher:

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Aug 11

Jean Lievens: P2P on Cooperativa Integral Catalana

Jean Lievens

Jean Lievens

Enric Duran of the Catalan Integrated Cooperative has taken the time to comment on Michel Bauwens’ recent article on Open Coops, contrasting Bauwens’ proposals with the practical realities already under way in the CIC’s own forward thinking cooperativist environment.

Bauwens’ summary of these proposals include four key proposals which Duran addresses below. To give some context, the four proposals are:

  1. That coops need to be statutorily (internally) oriented towards the common good 
  2. That coops need to have governance models including all stakeholders
  3. That coops need to actively co-produce the creation of immaterial and material commons
  4. That coops need to be organized socially and politically on a global basis, even as they produce locally.

Here are Duran’s comments to each proposal.

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Aug 11