Abundance by design

apple orchardAs part of the ongoing technology reviews, abundance and the shifting paradigm keep coming up. It’s worth looking at these concepts some more.

Imperial style neo-liberal economics relies on artificially generated scarcity. Warehousing is one name for a system based on bad accounting and outdated management.

A fiery hearing of the Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations on Thursday offered the clearest insight yet into the deals that metal users say created bottlenecks, leading to two-year long queues and pushing physical prices to record highs even as oversupply grew.

If social and environmental costs are erroneously written off, a move like this appears to generate profit. Of course, it is twisted thinking that creates enormous problems, distorting the entire market. It is a perversion of the free market system and blackmailing of the community. When those externalities are put on the books as business costs like any other cost, like rent, for instance, the fatally flawed accounting that made the idea of warehousing look good now reveals where improvements can be made. Improvements like recognising authentic supply and demand indicators in cases of things like food and housing.

Rupert-Murdoch-with-Prince AlwaleedGood design capitalises on technology and resources to create abundance, making more available for everyone. It’s the opposite of warehousing. Business in the 21st century is about finding needs and meeting them, sustainably. That means in the context of 7 billion people who all know each other at least indirectly, living on the same planet. That means robust business strategies, not a bus load of deviants gaming the system at the expense of everyone and everything else.

Whole-House-Greywater-System-700x551One great example is rain water catchment and grey water systems. By making use of rain that falls on the roof, that normally runs down the drain carrying all manner of rubbish with it into the sea, you reduce the burden on public infrastructure and made more water available in the local environment. Since we’ve built suburbs on much of our good farming land, people have worked out how to save what might otherwise be wasted. In the suburbs people are installing water tanks and barrels to use the water on veggie patches and aquaponics. There’s some great technology around that handles mosquitoes and filtration really well so that this can be expanded.

To live sustainably in dry or drought affected areas, rainwater catchment is vital. In areas with low and infrequent rainfall, and to avoid draining ground water, a lot of storage is needed so it’s included in positive-net housing design. Techno hippies love this. Some of them might become Carbon farmers, telemetrically controlling growing and mowing of green manure and hemp crops in between online gaming sessions, living in a pos-net home free of rent and bills, in cottage Primary Industry. Isn’t the future present wonderful?

green pond

Bio-plastics are a truly elegant example of the principle of designing for abundance. They start with vulgar lo tek stuff like hemp or algae. Most of plastic is Carbon and these plants are performing a biological miracle taking it from the atmosphere and putting it into an accessible form. It’s the greatest hack around. Since humanity has the capacity to tailor plastics at the molecular level we can factor in every aspect of the life cycle of the components, source materials and the product itself during this 4D design and manufacture.

From start to finish a product can be sustainable. It serves its purpose as a printed or fabricated part, product or structure. Then at the end of that iteration, it can be either recycled or bio-degrade neutrally into compost, which returns said former atmospheric Carbon to the soil. And you can make it look like whatever you want because it’s plastic. Whether it’s accessories, appliances, transport or housing, the attraction of the thing is not only in a thin veneer of appearance or Brand marketing, it’s the start to finish form and functions of the thing in a global context. Forget being conned into buying things that make you feel sexy. Real elegance goes much deeper than a consumer façade.

electronic-waste-in-guangdong-4279By using the technology that is now available to humanity, none of which is science fiction, btw, we can design for greater abundance at every level of manufacture and disposal. There’s enormous potential just in the organic chemistry that uses Carbon molecules, since we can use motivation to manage the planet’s atmospheric CO2 levels. Addressing the mental block that resulted in bizarre things like warehousing and throw away consumerism frees us to manage the planet’s resources and environment. The emphasis now is on meeting needs elegantly. Win in terms of availability of resources. Win in terms of getting everyone’s needs met. Win in terms of what goes back into the environment at the end of the product’s useful life. Win in terms of reduction of waste.

An additional benefit is the elimination of motivation for warfare, since resources don’t have to be fought over. They can now be either recycled or replaced by sustainables, like algae bio oil or electric engines. Since we’re now talking in terms of meeting needs of humanity around the world, we focus on the needs, not defending warehouses or further enriching the few people who still favour that approach. It’s about being in business day to day maintaining 7 billion people on the planet rather than preferencing a greedy, violent aristocracy. This is not another ideological war either. We’re not making war on poverty. We’re not making war on anything. You won’t need a molotov. It’s not animal farm.

It’s an idea that’s changing, the idea that bullying was the best way to run things. Networking and leadership training over the past six odd decades mean we can handle a change of mind fairly painlessly. So focus on the why, not on accumulating a big pile of cash or trinkets so that a few other people might think you’re in the club. The club was a bunch of bullies with an accounting error. Nobody wants to be in a club like that any more.

You’re not faced with fighting your way up the corporate ladder, you’re identifying the link where you’re most effective and doing what you do best. Every link is worth as much as every other, isn’t that how it goes? That’s been said for a long time now. Most of the reason for updating the model is because we can. As a species we’ve evolved to the point that we understand ourselves, our environment and the technology well enough to use elegant design to meet all our needs.

Personally tailored living that provides you with everything you need and nothing that you don’t.

It’s an attractive option. Warporn or geekgasm, your choice.


About Syburi

Witch, bitch, creatrix; hippie, dreamer, gardener. Lover of books, music, rescue animals, piss and vinegar.
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