Free event in Oxfordshire this Sunday using game theory to explore Trident and the potential for nuclear conflict
An experimental day looking at aspects of game theory in parallel with discussions around the replacement of the Trident nuclear deterrent. Read more
The Yamagishi Association: successful, moneyless, leaderless network of communes in Japan and elsewhere
In the 1990s I visited the headquarters of the Yamagishi Association in Mie-ken in Japan. It’s a federation of intentional communities that is still going strong – but even then it comprised 3000 people in 30 villages all over Japan Read more
Should the international response to mass killings be the same, regardless of where they take place?
I’m guessing that most people’s answer to this question is a resounding ‘yes’. There are no countries, surely, whose citizens are more important than the citizens of any other country? Read more
Why do giant corporations pretend to be small, local, craft businesses?
Jack Daniel’s is a classic example of this. You must have seen their ads – on posters, in magazines, on TV? The ones where they try to disguise a massive corporate behemoth as a folksy, friendly, small, local business? Old men in dungarees play cards on upturned barrels Read more
Global Redesign Initiative: how banks and corporations are planning to become global governors
This report is really something that everyone in the world should understand, because it spells out precisely what the corporate sector intends to do. Read more
‘The Tyranny of Structurelessness’: some thoughts
The Tyranny of Structurelessness is a seminal essay by Joreen Freeman (above), written in 1970. I read it for the first time recently, but I’ve known about it for many years, and in fact, I lived in an intentional community where it was regularly mentioned, and at least some of us lived by its main… Continue reading ‘The Tyranny of Structurelessness’: some thoughts Read more
Why international investors (i.e. ‘the 1%’) couldn’t care less about politics
Bloomberg recently covered a Credit Suisse report on the concerns of international investors in the US, in Europe and in Asia. What they found was very interesting – that their concerns were entirely economic. They just couldn’t care less about politics – and especially who gets elected in which country. Read more
Class War vs Cereal Killer: is this the way to promote anarchism?
You must know by now about Class War‘s ‘attack’ on hipster cereal cafe ‘Cereal Killer‘. It wasn’t much of an attack, to be honest – no-one was hurt and they were open again the next day. But were they right to target Cereal Killer in their anger about the gentrification of Shoreditch? Read more
If Corbyn became PM, what would he really be able to achieve in this system?
First, to reiterate something that has been pointed out on this site many times – the corporate empire is global and governments are national, and that fact alone means that national governments are in no position to challenge the corporate sector. Read more
What were your ‘light bulb moments’ in understanding the way the world works? Here are mine
Here’s a rash statement, but I believe it to be true. Most people these days know, either rationally or intuitively, that humanity is heading in the wrong direction. If you ask people whether we’ve seen the back of ecological calamaties, financial collapses, corruption, poverty or war Read more
How to answer the question: ‘if you don’t like this system, what do you want to replace it with?’ – aka a review of The Democracy Project by David Graeber
Graeber was a leading light in the Occupy Wall Street movement, and the book begins with a fascinating insider’s view of the goings-on in and around Zucotti Park in 2011. The most important point in the book for me though was the reminder that people always want a blueprint for a new society Read more
Good luck to Greece, and why you won’t find the real reasons for their crisis in the mainstream media
It’s so ironic that the biggest lesson in how to destroy democracy is being delivered to the world in the birthplace of democracy. Read more
Why I’d like to bring together radical academics and people building a sustainable, non-corporate system on the ground
I’m going to the Breaking the Frame gathering on Thursday, representing Lowimpact.org. The event has been organised by Corporate Watch, Scientists for Global Responsibility, Rising Tide and Luddites200. Dave King of Luddites200 contacted a couple of years ago and I’ve been going along to his ‘politics of technology’ reading group one evening a month since. Read more
Fermi’s paradox: does the lack of contact from extraterrestrials have implications for human survival?
“Where is everybody?” Enrico Fermi is supposed to have asked in 1950 of his colleagues at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. Working from first principles, Fermi calculated that extraterrestrials should have visited the Earth long ago, and many times over Read more
So do MPs deserve a 10% pay rise to £74,000 per annum?
There is an argument [see the Guardian, for example] currently going on about whether Westminster MPs deserve the 10% pay rise that they’ve been awarded, bringing a back-bencher’s salary up to £74,000. Read more
How would you rank these in order of importance: truth, happiness, justice, freedom?
It’s the next readers’ question in Philosophy Now magazine (much recommended, by the way), and when I saw it yesterday, I had a very strong reaction to it that has big implications for Lowimpact’s position on sustainability and democracy Read more
Do you understand the term ‘exponential function’ and how dangerous it is? We think everyone should
The exponential function is a very surprising (and potentially dangerous) thing. An exponential growth curve looks like this: Read more
Invitation to join us at Breaking the Frame gathering in Derbyshire in July
NB: Dave from Lowimpact.org will be giving a talk about the Ujamaa2 idea on the Saturday afternoon, and the whole event will bring together people from various parts of the ‘alternative technology’ field Read more
Is there a correlation between opinions on ecology and opinions on ethnicity?
The reason you’re on this website, I guess, is that you believe that there’s something wrong in terms of ecology, or nature. You may not know the details, but you have a strong feeling (or even quite a precise understanding) that we’re not living in harmony with nature, and that’s going to cause us more… Continue reading Is there a correlation between opinions on ecology and opinions on ethnicity? Read more
What I’ve learnt from talking with City bankers
Recently I’ve had more contact with bankers than I usually do – proper, Square Mile, City bankers. From the things I’ve written on this blog, you’d think we wouldn’t get on. But we did, and we had some really interesting conversations. I want to paraphrase those conversations for you as best I can, and talk… Continue reading What I’ve learnt from talking with City bankers Read more