2009.08.08 19:00 - Sustainability

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    The Guardian for this meeting was Pema Pera. The comments are by Pema Pera.

    doug Sosa: hi pema
    Pema Pera: Hi Doug!
    doug Sosa: long time since we have had a talk. looking forward to the retreat.
    Pema Pera: me too!
    Pema Pera: Are you still commuting to Stanford?
    Doug's answer set the topic for this session.
    doug Sosa: yes, and it has become more and more complex. Paul Ehrlich, Don Kennedy and I, and a few from europe, have started looking at culture and politics re sustainability.
    Pema Pera: quite a topic -- are the discussions about sustainability sustainable?
    doug Sosa: How to involve the humanities and social sciences - but the rub is, are they in a position to mae a contribition. The power of the economic rational man approach is fairly dominant and makes talking about human exxperience almost imposssible.
    doug Sosa: On the sutainabiloty of sustainability. We di some scenarios.
    doug Sosa: it is clear most sustainabalists think of a linear sequence of policies and technologies, but that would be technocratic and generate huge opposition.
    Pema Pera: Hi Eos!
    doug Sosa: hi
    Eos Amaterasu: Hi Pema and Doug
    Pema Pera: opportunistic sustainability then?
    Pema Pera: rather than planned?
    doug Sosa: yes, more local, more uncoordinated might be much better.
    doug Sosa: Good PAB exercise!
    Pema Pera: :-)
    Pema Pera: I read about a village in the UK trying to become sustainable
    Pema Pera: perhaps a local example is more concrete and doable
    Pema Pera: Hi Gaya!
    Gaya Ethaniel: Hello :)
    doug Sosa: In fact I bring that spirit to it all, and am thinking of getting paul and don to come to one of the pab sessions. They do now have avatars!
    Eos Amaterasu: Hi Gaya
    Pema Pera: Hi Pila!
    Pema Pera: That would be great, Doug!
    Gaya Ethaniel: Hello Pila :)
    Pila Mulligan: hi Gaya, Pema, Doug and Eos
    Pema Pera: Do you think they will be up for talking about Being ?
    doug Sosa: hi.
    Pema Pera: Play will be the easier part . . .
    Eos Amaterasu:
    doug Sosa: rather than "as"?
    Pema Pera: as?
    Pema Pera: ah, the a in PaB?
    doug Sosa: "play will e the easier part {of play as being}..
    doug Sosa: yep.
    Pema Pera: :)
    Gaya guessed it!
    Gaya Ethaniel: Is sustainability the topic?
    doug Sosa: good sleuthing :)
    Pema Pera: Are you and the Stanford folks seriously planning an actual sustainability experiment, or will it remain mostly theoretical?
    Pema Pera: yes, Gaya
    Gaya Ethaniel: ah ok :)
    Pema Pera: Doug's work at Stanford
    Pema Pera: I asked about the sustainability of sustainability
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Pema Pera: and true enough, they were concerned about that :)
    Pila Mulligan: sustaining ... the planet?
    doug Sosa: The experiment is to afect polcy, a series of conferences brining humanities and scial sciencee people together, witha clear eye on actual behavior. the proposal is for 5 "observatories" including ghana, china, brazil, US and Georgia, to look at people's actua behavior toward sustainable practice.
    Pila Mulligan: in all fields Doug
    Pila Mulligan: ?
    Pema Pera: interesting! Yes, people will always be the base . . . .
    Pila Mulligan: or just, say , ag?
    Pila Mulligan: agriculture
    Pema Pera: just say ag -- hehehe
    doug Sosa: no disvisions; the whole system and its vicissitudes.
    Pema Pera: like just say no?
    Pila Mulligan: :)
    Pila Mulligan: so the sutainability of the planet then ... nice
    doug Sosa: agh?
    Pema Pera: (ag with a Scottish accent, yes)
    Pema Pera: ((or a Dutch one))
    Pila Mulligan: sustaiable ______ (fill in the blank) is abig issue here, being islands
    Pema Pera: Hi Vajra!
    Vajra Radikal: good day friends
    Pila Mulligan: most industires here have severly depleted everythiing
    Gaya Ethaniel nods. I saw a series of documentary on South Pacific recently.
    Pila Mulligan: hi Vajra
    Vajra Radikal: long time no c
    doug Sosa: hi.
    Gaya Ethaniel: Hello Vajra :)
    Eos Amaterasu: Heh vajra!
    Vajra Radikal: whats the subject 2 day?
    Pila Mulligan: sustainability, Vajra
    Pila Mulligan: but we still have it relatively easy here (thanks to imports) compared to places where water and other natural resources are already mostly over the hill
    Gaya Ethaniel: Over the hill?
    Pila Mulligan: do good luck doug and thnaks for the efforts
    Pila Mulligan: exhausted, Gaya
    Gaya Ethaniel: ahhh
    An interesting discussion spun out over local vs. global, individual vs. society.
    Vajra Radikal: the proble with susteinability is that you should address it at the individual level
    Pila Mulligan: so*
    Vajra Radikal: yet individual level knowledge is lacking
    Vajra Radikal: all over
    Gaya Ethaniel: Well even when one exercise knowledge, there are many barriers ...
    Eos Amaterasu: question is whether individual awareness can develop without calamity
    doug Sosa: The very idea of "individual" is a social construct, arriving late on the scene.
    Vajra Radikal: yes however it is the individual executing decisions that impact sustainability
    Vajra Radikal: yiur decision of buying a desktop or a laptop
    Vajra Radikal: a plasma vs lcd
    Vajra Radikal: all of those have impacts
    Vajra Radikal: sustainability or lack thereof resides in the cumulative
    Vajra Radikal: impact of our decisions
    doug Sosa: The decision to cut down indnesian forests is not such a decision.
    doug Sosa: The voting on cap and trade is not individual.
    Vajra Radikal: yes it is if you keep on choosing product
    Vajra Radikal: coming from that forest
    doug Sosa: lets say you and i chose notto buy those products, the product then is cheaper for those who do buy.
    Vajra Radikal: if the individual keeps on directing
    Eos Amaterasu: individual thoughts are mostly on auto-pilot thru societal/communal means
    Vajra Radikal: by cist rather than impact
    Eos Amaterasu: memes
    Gaya Ethaniel: A lot of countries go around this issue by mixing certain parts of the forest ... ie pulp in books.
    Vajra Radikal: is the route to disaster
    Pila Mulligan: Vajra, earlier Doug said his university is planning an experiment is to affect these types of policies by conferences bringing humanities and social science people together, proposing several international observatories to look at how peoples act toward sustainable practice
    Gaya Ethaniel: I mean the Indonesian forests. Even when I talk to paper companies in person, they avoided the whole issue.
    Gaya Ethaniel: talked*
    doug Sosa: great summary.
    Gaya Ethaniel: Many ways to 'go around' laws/regulations imo
    Vajra Radikal: yep unless you give some concience to dthe regulators
    doug Sosa: if we could prove the dollar system, incrasing population and non-sustainability are necessariy linked..
    Gaya Ethaniel: And even 'environmentally friendly' books are mostly not so ... because of the global nature of manufacturing ... it's a complex issue.
    Vajra Radikal: per example I govern IT policy for a large government body in mexico. My organization hast 35,000 service points
    Vajra Radikal: we changed those from desktops to enviromentally friendly laptops
    Eos Amaterasu: "transition" towns are finding that community currencies are what brings intentions down to earth
    Vajra Radikal: reducing 220 wats per station
    doug Sosa: interesting. mexico had one of the mpst thourough approahes to Y@K assessment of any cuntry.
    Pila Mulligan: 15 years ago Hawaiian activists saved the rainforest where I now live by lawsuits and civil disobedience, stopping a large industrial plan -- this was direct action affecing policy
    Eos Amaterasu: Brazil had to fend off the world bank to have it local policies succeed
    Eos Amaterasu: *its
    doug Sosa: These actions have a wonderful "interpret the meme at the local level" quality.
    Vajra Radikal: im fending off us pc manufacturers who dont want us imposing european enviromental standards
    Pila Mulligan: keep on feinding :)
    Pila Mulligan: typo :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Pila Mulligan: -i*
    Vajra Radikal: regardless iff the fact that they do comply with them in europe
    Pema Pera: :)
    Pema Pera: Perhaps Mexico should apply to become part of the EU !
    Vajra Radikal: they just want to dump their old tech on us
    Vajra Radikal: hehe togh sell
    Vajra Radikal: tough
    Pema Pera: why not?
    Vajra Radikal: wrong continent
    Pema Pera: Cuba was part of the Soviet Union in some sense, so . . .
    Vajra Radikal: yep thats true
    Vajra Radikal: we are to stubborn on defending our national identity to the point of it hurting
    Vajra Radikal: not easy being the next door neighbor to uncle sam
    Pila Mulligan: indeed
    Pema Pera: definitely
    Pila Mulligan: even when he owns you (as in Hawaii)
    Gaya Ethaniel: uh sorry ... what's Uncle Sam?
    Pila Mulligan: U.S.
    Gaya Ethaniel: ahhh dang
    Pila Mulligan: :)
    Vajra came up with a great quote:
    Vajra Radikal: a former mexican president used to say: poor mexico so far way form god and so close to the united states
    Pema Pera: so what you described with the 35,000 computers was an actual case, Vajra?
    Vajra Radikal: yep we are competing for recognition of this project
    Pema Pera: :)
    doug Sosa: So I keep brining PAB perspective to this problem. It already led to te idea that rather than trying to get to sustainability in a straight line, more random local efforts may be preferable.
    Vajra Radikal: it is already in place
    Vajra Radikal: we want to expand this as government wide policy
    Pila Mulligan: Doug, as you may have seen, local politicans love the idea -- as rehtoric
    Vajra Radikal: try and think of it 220 watts * 35000 per hour
    Pila Mulligan: some are even sinscere about it
    Vajra Radikal: thats a mid size town in terms of pollution
    Eos Amaterasu: random local effects are constrained by global straitjackets, such as those imposed by monetary systems
    Pila Mulligan: yes, and multi-nationals
    Pema Pera: that's very impressive, Vajra
    Vajra Radikal: we also want to impose new energy use regulations in our data centres as they are huge pollution generators
    Vajra Radikal: by using innovative cooling systems we are expecting to lower our power consumption drastically
    Pila Mulligan: cool :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Vajra Radikal: but i might add it is difficult to sell the ideas when you are green
    Vajra Radikal: they tag u as tree hugger and thats the end of discussion
    Vajra Radikal: you have a difficult time to prove value then they listen
    Pila Mulligan: yep, economic arguments get their ears
    Pema Pera: perhaps focusing on saving money may work better than on saving energy?
    Pema Pera: :)
    Eos Amaterasu: full life cycle costing
    Vajra Radikal: and the problem is that if you live within the boundaries of subsided energy then its more difficult
    Gaya Ethaniel: It is true ... people stopped using plastic bags at supermarkets because they are either charged for it or get some money back for not using them.
    Eos Amaterasu: works like a charm
    Vajra Radikal: we have subsidies on energy and water this selling these ideas is tough
    Vajra Radikal: people use their wallets 2 think not their head
    Eos Amaterasu: people do not see what they/we are paying for
    Vajra Radikal: some of you work in karge scale research centres do you know if they have similar green it initiatives
    Vajra Radikal: ?
    Gaya Ethaniel: It is easy to be short-sighted I guess.
    Pila Mulligan: I'm out of that picture now Vajra, so I do ont know
    Vajra Radikal: if you guys still have a say on the subject you can press for the uso of laptops vs desktops, sealed cooling systems at the data centre, virtualization vs physical computing 4 starters
    Gaya Ethaniel: My experiences are either personal or previous work with an international company I'm afraid.
    Vajra Radikal: same concepts apply but at a different scale
    Pila Mulligan: :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    We clearly appreciated Vajra's great initiatives.
    Pila Mulligan: good luck, and thanks for persevering in the efforts Vajra
    Pila Mulligan: [sending moral support]
    Gaya Ethaniel: Yes thank you :)
    Pema Pera: Yes, thank you Vajra!
    Vajra Radikal: thx if possible ill try to publish a copy of our green it paper through the pab website so as to propagate the message
    doug Sosa: vajra, can you send me any article r proposal about it?
    Vajra Radikal: i need clearance being a govt entity
    Vajra Radikal: sure doug
    doug Sosa: doug@dougcarmichael.com
    Pema Pera: (PaB the spy agency!)
    Pila Mulligan: or the facilitating agency )
    Pema Pera: The very fact that we meet here in a virtual world, rather than visiting each other by using airplanes is a huge energy saver too
    Vajra Radikal: hehe
    Pila Mulligan: easier also
    Vajra Radikal: except maybe 4 the cost of the always on servers at SL
    doug Sosa: excpet for my wonderful large scren.
    Gaya Ethaniel nods :)
    Vajra Radikal: unless its an lcd then its not so much of a drag
    Pila Mulligan: I'm saving so much electricty with solar water heating that it exceeds my greatest expectations
    Vajra Radikal: dont only do a price check do an amp/watt check on the stuff you buy
    Vajra Radikal: solar water heating rulez
    Pila Mulligan: really
    Pema Pera: sorry, have to get back to RL . . . thank you Doug and Vajra and all for such an inspiring forward looking discussion!
    Vajra Radikal: i have a solar water boiler and cut down my cost in half
    Pema Pera: c u all!
    I took off and will leave the rest of the dialogue uncommented.
    Vajra Radikal: same here guys good conversation
    Gaya Ethaniel: Bye Pema :)
    Eos Amaterasu: ciao
    Gaya Ethaniel: I shoudl also, good night :)
    Pila Mulligan: bye
    doug Sosa: bye too... thanks! ciao yes.
    Vajra Radikal: namaste people
    Pila Mulligan: Eos, I'm happy to see you will attend the retreat :)
    Eos Amaterasu: Ah, yes... a crack of possibility opened, and decided it was the best thing I could be doing, so "act in an instant"
    Pila Mulligan: yep, often a wise method
    Pila Mulligan: you inspired me to look again, but too much costs in airfare and time, unforunately
    Eos Amaterasu: Yes, I looked into airmiles, but that didn't work...
    Pila Mulligan: too close in time?
    Eos Amaterasu: My brother lives in Berkeley, so will visit there beforehand
    Pila Mulligan: nice
    Eos Amaterasu: Limited seat availability, yes
    Eos Amaterasu: Plus my sister, who lives in Wales, will be visiting toward the end, we'll overlap by part of a day, so will see her also
    Pila Mulligan: oh, very nice
    Pila Mulligan: plenty of omtivation for travel then
    Eos Amaterasu: Group RL play as being - I suppose we use RL names :-)
    Eos Amaterasu: play with identity, bodies
    Pila Mulligan: maybe ... I seem to recall Paradise said at her RL music fest of SL people it was both
    Pila Mulligan: intermixed indetities
    Pila Mulligan: Wol was saying the meat body impression end squickly, yielding to the already established relaitonship
    Eos Amaterasu: yes, my experience has been that authentic relationships transcend medium
    Pila Mulligan: this has been something of a surprise for me, unexpected insofar as the chat media seems more restrictive
    Pila Mulligan: but it is obviously so
    Pila Mulligan: according to reports
    Eos Amaterasu: the speech realm can be sharper than the physical body it emanates from
    Eos Amaterasu: i've experienced this in online text forms
    Pila Mulligan: yes, it is deeper in some ways, shallower in others
    Eos Amaterasu: the avatar representation here is slightly different - we'll see
    Pila Mulligan: :)
    Pila Mulligan: as an analogy, written snail mail in the old days seemed to have a unique and special quality to it -- pen pasl could get quite close in sympatico
    Eos Amaterasu: the snail mail had analog physical embodiment including the handwriting
    Pila Mulligan: I wonder if the avi may serve as an analog there?
    Pila Mulligan: oh, that was what you sai :)
    Eos Amaterasu: indeed
    Pila Mulligan: read second half more tha first
    Pila Mulligan: it is about 5 pm here and I spent part of the afternoon physically preparing things for the expected somewhat less-than a hurricane impact of what is now a real hurricane to the east of us -- I'm a little distracted by both the effrot and prospect
    Eos Amaterasu: Ah.... yikes.... take care!
    Eos Amaterasu: I will turn in (to bed)
    Pila Mulligan: thnak you -- they say it may be 50 mph winds and lots of rain Monday
    Pila Mulligan: bye for now Eos
    Eos Amaterasu: Bye Pila!
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