Owl: Dmitry Orlov on Ebola and Five Stages of Collapse — Financial, Commercial, Political, Social, Cultural

Who?  Who?

Who? Who?

Dmitry Orlov on Ebola and the Five Stages of Collapse

Orlov is one of the best futurists writing on society collapse, having witnessed and personally experienced the collapse of the Soviet Union. His book, Reinventing Collapse: The Soviet Experience and American Prospects http://www.amazon.com/Reinventing-Collapse-Experience-American-Prospects/dp/0865716854, is one of the best ever written in the collapse genre and necessary reading for anyone who is interested in this theme.

In 2008 he came up the a taxonomy of collapse, which he says occurs in 5 stages. The full article is here, http://cluborlov.blogspot.com/2008/02/five-stages-of-collapse.html and he has a book on it too.

Below is a summary of his five stages of collapse:

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Oct 13

Jean Lievens: DonnieMaclurcan on Non-Profit Enterprises and a Sustainable Future

Jean Lievens

Jean Lievens

Video: Donnie Maclurcan, on moving to not-for-profit enterprise models for a sustainable future

“What would a world filled with truly sustainable businesses look like? Join this thought-provoking session to hear how, according to Professor Donnie Maclurcan, not-for-profit enterprise will be at the heart of a sustainable future by 2050. Outlining research from Donnie’s forthcoming book with Jennifer Hinton, How on Earth, this presentation will explore what it takes to design for human flourishing on a finite planet.”

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Oct 10

Micah Sifry: Progressive Activism Frustrated by Lack of Tools — And Refusal to Share…

Micah Sifry

Micah Sifry

Transparency, Big Data and Internet Activism

Internet activism—and internet democracy—depend on accessible public meeting spaces online. So why are there so few of them?

By Micah L. Sifry

UTNE Reader, October 2014

Micah L. Sifry tackles the reasons progressive change has failed to manifest with the growth of the internet in The Big Disconnect (OR Books, 2014). Internet activism seemed like the wave of the future only two decades ago, but the Internet’s potential as a tool for progressive change has not quite given rise to sustained political mobilization and participation. The following excerpt from Part 4, “The Way We Look To Us All,” focuses on ways to create online public spaces that cater to internet democracy and internet transparency in ways current social media does not.

The Internet does not have to become one more means for mass marketing and manipulation. It can also transform civic life into something far more participatory, transparent, and engaging. And rather than just work as a tool for petitioning and protest that a few people use on behalf of much larger atomized groups of individuals, it can link problem-spotters with problem-solvers, and make everyday life better in myriad ways.

As Ami Dar, the founder of Idealist.org, a hub for listing volunteer service opportunities, likes to say, “Our problems are connected, but we are not.” That is, most people don’t know who lives near them, or what they may be thinking about important issues. The way Big Data now works, only the managers of giant data-streams have a comprehensive understanding of who is interested in what. For example, Google knows who is searching for terms that relate to the flu, and can use that information to build a model that predicts where outbreaks are taking place. It can even (and does) serve up useful medical advice for such search results.

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Oct 8

Patrick Meier: Low-UAV for Post-Disaster Assessment — An Alternative to Government Imagery Intelligence That Is Neither Capable Nor Responsive…

Patrick Meier

Patrick Meier

Low-Cost UAV Applications for Post-Disaster Assessments: A Streamlined Workflow

Colleagues Matthew Cua, Charles Devaney and others recently co-authored this excellent study on their latest use of low-cost UAVs/drones for post-disaster assessments, environmental development and infrastructure development. They describe the “streamlined workflow—flight planning and data acquisition, post-processing, data delivery and collaborative sharing,” that they created “to deliver acquired images and orthorectified maps to various stakeholders within [their] consortium” of partners in the Philippines. They conclude from direct hands-on experience that “the combination of aerial surveys, ground observations and collaborative sharing with domain experts results in richer information content and a more effective decision support system.”

Read full post.

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Oct 8

Jean Lievens: PayPal Integrates BitCoin — This Is HUGE!

Jean Lievens

Jean Lievens

Why Paypal integrating with Bitcoin is a big deal: reader opinion

By Malavika Nair

Alabama.com, 2 October 2014

Paypal, the online payment processing giant, recently announced it would start letting its merchants accept Bitcoin by taking first steps toward integrating with three of the largest existing Bitcoin payment processing companies: Bitpay, Coinbase and GoCoin.

This seemingly small step actually represents a major moment for the current and future legitimacy of Bitcoin. Not only does it exponentially increase the number of merchants who could start accepting Bitcoin as payment, more importantly it seriously challenges conventional notions of what we typically think of currency and payment systems.

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Oct 5

Worth a Look: Buycott – Stop Funding Evil

logo buycottHave you ever wondered whether the money you spend ends up funding causes you oppose?

Buycott helps you to organize your everyday consumer spending so you can fund causes you support and avoid funding those you disagree with.

Example: During the SOPA/PIPA debate in 2012, a number of companies pushed to pass legislation that reduced online freedom of expression, while other companies fought hard to oppose the legislation. With Buycott, a campaign can be quickly created around a cause, with the goal of targeting companies with a boycott unless they change their position, or buycotting a company to show your support.

When you use Buycott to scan a product, it will look up the product, determine what brand it belongs to, and figure out what company owns that brand (and who owns that company, ad infinitum). It will then cross-check the product owners against the companies and brands included in the campaigns you’ve joined, in order to tell you if the scanned product conflicts with one of your campaign commitments.

Learn more.

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Sep 25

Mongoose: How NGO’s Have Been Neutered

Mongoose

Mongoose

The NGO-ization of Resistance

Arundhati Roy

Transcend.org, 22 September 2014

A hazard facing mass movements is the NGO-ization of resistance. It will be easy to twist what I’m about to say into an indictment of all NGOs. That would be a falsehood. In the murky waters of fake NGOs set up or to siphon off grant money or as tax dodges (in states like Bihar, they are given as dowry), of course, there are NGOs doing valuable work. But it’s important to consider the NGO phenomenon in a broader political context.

In India, for instance, the funded NGO boom began in the late 1980s and 1990s. It coincided with the opening of India’s markets to neoliberalism. At the time, the Indian state, in keeping with the requirements of structural adjustment, was withdrawing funding from rural development, agriculture, energy, transport and public health. As the state abdicated its traditional role, NGOs moved in to work in these very areas. The difference, of course, is that the funds available to them are a minuscule fraction of the actual cut in public spending.

Most large-funded NGOs are financed and patronized by aid and development agencies, which are, in turn, funded by Western governments, the World Bank, the UN and some multinational corporations. Though they may not be the very same agencies, they are certainly part of the same loose, political formation that oversees the neoliberal project and demands the slash in government spending in the first place.

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Sep 23