The Cepia Club Blog

The Cepia Club Blog: The Cepia Club believes individual awareness and activism can lead to a peaceful and prosperous world. This blog contains the pertinent literature, both creative and non-fiction, produced by the Cepiaclub Director and its associates.

Saturday, November 07, 2020

Leaves By Pi Kielty

 

Leaves

By Pi Kielty (Posthumously)

Found: November 7, 2020

Copyright © 2020 CEPIA Club LLC




For my spirit brother, J.D. Schloss, and his girlfriend, Lisa:

Thank you for all the help, and for your tolerance and patience;

and for all of your honest, loving friendship.



Leaves


By Pi Kielty

(Posthumously)

November 7, 2020



I sit on grass and look at trees, they in Autumned range, orange, red, yellow, and some greens. Above my valley, I humble still, scorched by solitude, but sunbeams thrill. The air grasps clear, the sky, sky-clean, a blue with whites awaiting the god unseen. I dwell.


My thoughts deflame, soon serene calms, I pray for his holy peaceful balm. I fail. Then, I shun that morose, that my heart would ail. A breeze whisps from behind, through me, my way, shimmers colors, a'sway the trees, but those leaves do stay. I do now see god waving, those leaves his hands, calling me, my spirit stands.


Those fingers of god rest my mind, my turmoil sated, my heart unbinds. These colors of life, I now hear the call, in the wind's wattle, of those leaves of fall. Deepened reds, some orange burns, some yellow soft, the greens still yearn.


When I wondered, “Nothing more?” the wind recedes, and I know my peace. In this valley, the curve, the depth, I see leaves—red-red, a green, yellow suns, and orange, above them blue and cloud frames adorn.


God's words in breathful breeze, his wisdom spoke in rustling leaves, his brightness clear love, in old trees, of knotty oak, sweet maple, tall elm, and birch. . . . I seize. My word to the world my hopeful plea,


“Come, sit my hill. Won't you watch the leaves with me?”

Friday, October 16, 2020


 Commercial written, filmed and produced by CEPIA Club LLC for Red Bird Music Store in Osceola, Wisconsin, 54020.

Monday, October 05, 2020

The Four Pillars of Future Progress—Part IV: The Neutral Economy

 

The Four Pillars of Future Progress—Part IV: The Neutral Economy

By Tim Krenz

October 4, 2020

For Hometown Gazette

Copyright © 2020 CEPIA Club LLC


In this fourth part of the series, “The Four Pillars of Future Progress,” we examine the idea of a neutral economy, and how a new thinking of economies, and the dismantling of some of the established doctrines, might such a thing useful and better for the world. Going forward to the future, with a goal of sustained goods and services, how humanity designs, manages, uses, and benefits from the neutral economy will to a large degree determine the type of cultures we will have on earth someday. The world faces a clear and trending choice now between cultures of either slavery or freedom. After an end state analysis of future progress, when faced with this choice, most people, one may believe, would rather have freedom, so people must start now to ensure it. Understanding the concept of a neutral economy only begins the process of undermining the forces that would seek to make the many only slaves to the few. New thinking hopefully will give motivation to readers to take some action on their own.


Economies make up the complex system of market trades between actors to procure or acquire goods and services needed and wanted by both producers and consumers. Humanity naturally developed economies to satisfy two things, and two things only: things, or needs, for survival; and things, or wants, for comfort. And the more complex these trades become, the more levels of depth get added in goods and services. People have needs at all times, and had them throughout history. People also want more comfort, a sign of civilization's prosperity. Economies exist everywhere in the world, and have existed at all times in human interactions. Economies need at least two actors in a transaction of trade. Add more actors, then add more layers of complexity.


To distinguish “economics” from “economies,” economics as social science simply studies, too often wrongly or inadequately, how economies and actors act and react to one another. It tries to create predictive or explanatory frameworks for understanding or managing an economy of diffuse markets. Most of the theories, but not all, and not at all the very strict laws of economics (like the “law of supply and demand,” for instance), can sometimes cause detrimental effects to actors in a market of trades as a matter of economic policy. In the area of policy, we find the institution of “political economy,” a descriptive term for the system of the overall social management of cost inputs and benefit outputs in an economy. And, in a rather malicious way, the acts and actors of political-economics determine most often in a biased and manipulative way the questions of “who gets what, when, why, where and how?”


Discounting other theories, models, and the history of partisan political biases and manipulation of economics for the moment, we can briefly survey some objective, more pure features of an economy, or what we can term as “the neutral economy.” Before doing so, to answer a begging question: Yes, an economy has some very neutral and natural forms and characteristics. By doing this survey, we should arrive at how a neutral economy can create a system of markets of trades that preserves and increases human freedom for the most people possible.


An economy has many characteristics of the physical sciences, if readers can accept the meaning and illustrations. It resembles many principles of physics, and even thermodynamics and fluid dynamics, in some aspects. Most professional economists will despise such analogies. One wonders why, if not for the very simplicity of understanding it gives, it also makes mockeries of most of their models and predictive theories.


As in physics, an economy in neutral form works in the same fashions of gravity, inflation, diffusion, orbits, equilibrium, and attraction. But to illustrate only a select few, supply follows demand for an economic product, from providers who have it to consumers who need or want it, with the same irresistible gravity that make things fall to the earth. The first primus law of economy, that of supply and demand, all things remaining equal and neutral, works for food, clothing, shelter, and energy, as well as for transportation, or any product, legal or contraband. If the body of consumers desire it, then providers will offer it. The larger the group of consumers, the more superior gravity, the more it draws it, from inferior bodies. Market mechanisms in trades (sort of like attraction in physics) will match demand with supply. Another, similar, physical example comes from the means of trade, the instruments of the transaction. Money, or capital, or labor, or indeed any rents on the supply side, or from the demand side in terms of any investment and savings, will find the paths of least resistance, and consequently the highest returns, and settle into their orbits. Capital goes where it needs to go, in short.


Economics also works in efficient modes, when neutral, like the theory of energy (see; Pillars, # 3, “On Energy”). The transactions in neutral form must equal, in inputs and outputs, for the transaction to balance and have the same equity between supply and demand for the actors. Otherwise, if not, one side of the equation suffers depletion of the resources available. For the fairness of the transaction in material/physical terms, the result of a “deal” must balance. Just like energy in the universe, which few people ever seem to admit, we only have a finite amount of resources on the earth, and even the opportunity costs to exploit them (investment) depletes another resource somewhere else. With this in mind, and also like energy, true wealth on earth comes from the earth and that wealth can never truly get created or destroyed, in resource terms. The resource wealth can only change form or change hands in the process. “Earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust” (from The Book of Common Prayer). Again, this takes place in the purer form of economy, one neutral and natural, and without the dogma and religion of money to distort it—but money, either as a true currency or fiat currency, has its own story elsewhere.


When he wrote his magisterial study on economics in the 18th Century, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (1776), Adam Smith discussed how an economy works, if freely allowed to trade in markets, and did not so much endorse a bias for a system of capitalism as we know it today. Only one particular type of economy, capitalism has its own peculiar spots on its leopard skin, one of immense bias and manipulation. Actually a professor in Scotland who lectured on “natural philosophy,” (an ancien regime name for physics, etc.), Adam Smith described and contrasted market ideas as they then existed and how they could work more efficiently. In the pure, natural forms of economy, Smith's philosophy reads more for a strict neutrality between production and consumption, than for the type of rigid controls the political-economic classes have exerted on the functions of economies since his book appeared. Wrongly known as the father of capitalism, Adam Smith should have more renown as the founder of a neutralist economic philosophy.


Now to contrast a neutral economy with one of bias and manipulations, we need to keep in mind the physical-material analogies of science. Like water flowing downhill, or like any physical principle that sciences can understand and divert or change, political-economic engineers can manipulate the flow of resources, inputs, outputs, and destinations—similar to dams, canals, breaks, reservoirs, aqueducts, etc. The union of political and business classes have always and probably always will try to create distortions in the economic terrain to divert or differ the outcome of any economy. Doing so, they create the unnatural and “un-neutral” economy that decides and determines the questions: who gets what, when, why, where and how? In other words, engineering the physical principles of economy create results different from the neutral and natural flow.


Whether in the state-capitalist system of the modern world which actually amounts to welfare for the rich by a statutory-endorsed fraud of a trust, or the communist system of a dictatorship of the proletariat, with the Nomenklatura elite as top beneficiaries (another welfare for the rich scheme), and every system in between them, government and business collusion in economic engineering directs resources to wherever the political-economic class wants them to go. Only a neutral economy, in a system free of political-economic bias, as in the natural universe of physics, prevents this corrupt fraud against natural law and for nature's god when men and women can eat a plentiful bread of their labors. Without a neutral economy, one where the physical principles of nature move freely, the needs and wants of people will always suffer to the corruption of power and those who unjustly use it to benefit themselves.


While an economy has multiple groups in common interests, control of an economy by one vested interest ultimately affects, negatively, all other interested actors. And when political-economic rulers run an economy with bias, it puts all at the prey of corruption. In the end, it all amounts to some type of open or closed bonded servitude of one group to another, usually majority interests segments to a minority interest sect. When and if times of scarcity or crisis happen, as they have repeatedly happened in history, the few in control of an economy get first choice. They eat better, in short. With those tools and ways of engineering an economy by design, the powerful remain in control. This would happen not as an absolute certainty, but as a normal and repeated temptation of power. And the temptations of power keep the few fed and free and the multitude starving and in an unnatural and, in reality, in an even unwitting slavery.


Economics distribute the needs and wants of a society, but markets of different kinds form them, with the parts creating the sum of the whole. Markets, by demonstration in the same history, do an efficient job of matching buyers with sellers, and balancing risks and investments, for the distribution of goods and services. And, as stated, every market has its own vested interests and its own dominant actors. How does this reconcile a biased economy, a need for a neutral economy, with the want of a culture of freedom? In a more abstract theory, the more markets that exist, and the more diversification of buyers and sellers and risks and investments, the freer the needs and wants of actors become matters of choice and consent.


In physical principles, we can take the laws of thermodynamics, the second law of which recognizes the eventual equilibrium of two separate systems when allowed to interact. To explain further, when the economy of the supply and demand system and the investment and risk system interact, as a matter of individual actors given fuller freedom to choose and consent—with a free, neutral system serving as a catalyst—the equilibrium in the market will remain efficient and free. The sums or resources should remain naturally equal between inputs and outputs as a result. What about the alternative with the biased outcome system as a catalyst? The equilibrium (still there, after all) would remain the same corrupt and fraudulent economic systems as now exist all over the world.


To progress into the future, we face a multi-faceted dilemma. Some resources for basic survival may, and some already do, get scarcer. Some, however, become and will become more usable and plentiful, once processes of research, investment, production and purchase take place. To achieve progress, in a false sense, as a way of upholding a further civilization of humanity on earth, a closed economy under the biases and manipulations of the few would only bring an ever-more oppressive, restrictive, and impoverished world for all but those few who rule the systems. That world would not have choice or consent as a positive system of equilibrium between needs and wants and investment and risk, but only a negative fate of systems of more violence and destruction in the competition for dwindling resources and returns. This negative result would occur both between present nation-states and within the current constructs of national borders, if any such things as nation-states and borders even persist.


Creating, and simply letting a neutral, natural economy between people operate, but one with some safeguards for vulnerable groups and individuals in dangerous areas of policy, might solve more problems than they pose. Free systems inside the economies in history have never really existed before, but the natural philosophy, the so-called physical principles, do work in nature, and they very well could work in man-made systems of trade and exchange for needs and wants. If at all costs, the mechanism of demand and supply—the demand for freedom and the supply of resources—can rectify the age old problem of humanity. That problem needing resolution: whether “priests and princes” will control resources and the fate of humanity, or whether people themselves and physical nature should determine their own destiny. That eternal struggle for power can only end in one of two ways: either people find true freedom from the fears of need and want or whether a political-economic class of the few force those very same people into the base fears of no freedoms for speech or conscience, i.e. the freedom for choice and consent.


A neutral economy can save the future. It must form one of the pillars of future progress. It can prevent wars and genocide, which powerful people in a corrupt system have always brought upon the world. The neutral economy at least leaves everyone free to pursue needs and wants, in peace, and in terms of resources, in a pattern that brings positive equilibrium. Otherwise, only the few will live through the struggle to survive their own miscarriages of justice and corruption. How do we create a neutral economy? In the end, we only have to choose it, consent to it, practice it, and live it in the future. The struggle of humankind now continues.

Monday, September 21, 2020

The Amy Trilogy--Three Poems by Pi Kielty

 



The Amy Trilogy


Three Poems

By Pi Kielty

(Posthumously)



Swimming


By Pi Kielty


For Amy



They swam tempest rain for the stars,

She his own Venus, he her Mars.

Above those clouds, they did swim far

Became their own, though short the hours.


The fondest tones, their gentle talk,

Escape they made from Thief the Clock.

Throwing all fears, those twining knots;

Holding their hands, they swam not walked.


Last no chances, T'is not the time;

Stealing thunder, the clock unwinds,

they speak hope's words, with hopeful minds.

Heavy rain, pattered all the chimes.


And as they swam to higher realms,

Embraced in views, sharing spells,

They did no wrong, to hear no bells.

Fleeing time's rain, they swim too well.


Falling


By Pi Kielty


For Amy


Falling in lonely winding time,

That ribbon which all things will bind.

She grabbed my hand, I hit no wall.

Her clasping bond, doth holds my fall.

Dropping together, direct through;

Hope for time may travel far, too.


And yet, we falling, we may'st share

Those fates a'falling. Can time dare?

May we move on, past timing strife,

Overcoming time's shorted life,

We may fall up, or fall far down.

Together we fall. Time unbound.



Tremble: A Pory

By Pi Kielty


For Amy


Trudging my field, that green smell lifts with quiet heat. No clouds to blind my sun, July hammering, my hair undone.


No hat, no sleeves, no covering of leaves, my feet and soul naked, but a flower unseen. The heat burns my steady heart beat, my sweaty quest to find the thrown seed. Finding not the bud I tossed, the wind had waft-blown my soul. My time, now lost.


I know it lives, here, somewhere, that flowering seed, without voice. “I MUST find IT! For love of GOD!” I decree. But I never make my better choice. My deed must find me.


My mortality beckons, and I in broken stand. “I wish it became my time,” says this sorrowed man.


Near the coming cloud from the west, the sun creeps low, down earthly crest. The wind blows its early hint of storm. I trodden home forlorn, self-hating, and alone.


“I hope my blossom freely given, not to change, scorn, or own.”


I approach the oak tree, and I rest on grass, in front the fields, the shade's last grasp. Night won't reveal. Here I sit and I fail my cry, unheard, unnoticed, as daytime dies. In the breeze, now strong but still warm, the hay waves like great water, its green dusky caps, a lathering foam.


Does god bless my, these eyes! In the field's edge, I see a flicker-color, my one near the hedge. Too far to touch, too grandly unspoiled, I look at you; color pink, form; my passion boils. Your petals arch, then they embrace, like wind. I clench my eyes, my mind clearing, your stem: sobbing me with rain, and I relent feeling. I know this pain.


In our eyes, we look, and I say, “I can't help loving you.”


Then you return instead, “I know, but I won't stay.” I tremble sad still. Then, from us, we turn away.

Monday, August 03, 2020

Trailer for Underground Life: The Sub Terra Vita Chronicles By Tim Krenz

Friday, June 05, 2020

The Four Pillars of Future Progress—Part III: Energy


The Four Pillars of Future Progress—Part III: Energy
By Tim Krenz
For Hometown Gazette

In this third section of the series, The Four Pillars of Future Progress, we examine the most fundamental element of continuing human development on earth, that of energy. Like all critical issues to the present and future survival of our species, it seems that few can accept a frank discussion of either the reality, nor an open debate about the requirements for sound policy—to guarantee humanity's future when it comes to energy. Without going into theoretical physics, or into detailed technical descriptions, the salient, much more practical points speak for themselves.

Everything gets created out of energy. Everything destroyed gets turned into some other form of energy. No person can create more energy that does not already exist. Energy transfers and takes different forms, but still the fundamental building blocks, simplified as protons, electrons and neutrons, all remain parts of everything. Whether we talk about stars, water, concrete, or the human body, everything just described applies, and nothing, not logic nor fake logic, can defy this basic premise of energy. Unless we accept and work within these rules, we have no future, nor anything to discuss, except about digging billions of graves. Energy uses, not necessarily only clean energy, but all uses of energy by humanity, will decide our future in the universe. It will also determine whether or not humanity's right to natural liberty and dignity will continue to exist.

We learned the basics of human survival in elementary school: food, clothing, and shelter. We also use fire as the fourth basic component, since it gives the motive force of energy for cooking, heating in colder climates, and for modern transportation. Fire transforms energy, from organic compounds like woods or oils, etc. into heat and flame. Food, clothing, and shelter also come from materials produced by the natural processes of converting energy. Food means energy too, for the human body. These examples reiterate the point that everything comes from and returns to energy—protons, electrons, and neutrons. Since everything we have, or want to have or need, comes from some type of energy and process, we had best understand the implications and arrive at some point of a philosophy, science, or even art and policy for utilizing it.

Politically, control of energy means control of civilization. So much political power extends from the end of a gun barrel, as China's communist dictator, Mao Zedong, once famously said. But more than just political power, political control over people comes from the state ownership of sovereign energy resources and the things created out of and by energy. In libertarian philosophies, ownership of property by the individual, including over their own bodies, ensures the personal rights of nature against any evil or mal-intent by a government.

But the ownership of energy and the disposal of all energy resources by the discretion and at the service of the state, guarantees a willing submission of people to a state to ensure the smooth access to energy, and to those products and services made by it. Whether we talk of petroleum products for fertilizers for food, or gas for cars, or the clothing and shelter people need, or home heating and air conditioning for homes—everything needs energy inputs for our ever more modernized civilization to function. This makes the consumer the willing and submissive participant to the state which oversees the allocation of all energy resources This phenomenon of political control over the economy, society and the culture itself builds a self-reinforcing feedback loop, as civilization develops ever-increasing needs for energy. As the allocator and regulator of last and final resort, the state does become ever more absolute in reality, in deed and fact, the more people depend on it for energy to power it.

The universe can provide more energy than humans can ever use to infinity. And, yet, the universe has only a stable and unchanging amount of energy in it. On earth, we use things created by energy, manufactured by nature since the beginning of time. At the root of the problem, using energy—electrical, mechanical, nuclear, and chemical processing—comes by harnessing one form of energy and transforming it into another. Humans have become adept at collecting, converting, transforming, and exploiting energy for its own uses, one of the best signs of the intensive development of human intelligence. However, no such thing as free energy exists. After using energy, the total input must equal the total output. But energy can leave extra parts after its conversion into something else, even waste, as long as the totals equal on both ends of the process.

Harnessing energy presents opportunity costs. In economics, these opportunity costs get fulfilled by way of capital investments, in order to build processes to use the energy provided by the universe. And, building those processes require energy as well, just to get useful energy products. This principle applies in making concrete or getting nuclear power plants to produce electricity, or a petroleum refinery producing gasoline. All energy on earth comes to the earth or from the earth, sooner or later, and it will leave the earth long after any human extinction. “Ashes to ashes, dust to dust,” the cycle will go forward, always. And whether we talk of energy or a luncheon, nothing comes free.

When converting energy by nature or via man-made processes, the results come with costs and benefits. Energy conversion brings great power, like electricity, but with side-effects, like pollution, if not done efficiently. The energy equation remains equal on both sides, but one side has electricity plus pollution to equal one factor of resource on the other side. Energy inefficiency creates wastes of both energy and capital, in dollar terms. And we here we face the inescapable dilemma. Civilization needs energy, but that creates problems.

In as much as the Earth only contains so much energy in resources, we must find better ways of not wasting the energy itself, or wasting where society invests its capital dollars. This arrives at a crucial crux, in that the earth can only hold so much waste product from humans before the delicate balances between energy, waste, humanity, and the earth will start to disintegrate. It may do so sooner, or much later, but it will happen either way. And for the earth, it will protect itself. Humanity can do so, too. The earth has no choices in which direction it will restore the balance to itself. Humanity has choices. So far, in all matters of energy and climate, humans have thought and acted stupidly, on both sides of this argument. Better policies might work.

Before looking at policies, we must first admit some reality. Humans will never free itself from energy dependence. How we think of energy, in a more complete form, may change how we use it. Some serious issues face humanity. In the essentials, the more we build a civilization arithmetically more dependent on energy—whether in the basics or the comfort factors of life—the more exponential the problem of costs and benefits in turning energy into products and services. By becoming that much more dependent on energy, individual political freedom and natural rights suffer and shrink to the benefit of a more absolutist state and its core elites. With freedom and rights shrinking, the power of the state and its passive capacity to control people and their conscience grows, and allows the state to allocate more energy to allies who may support a corrupt or harmful agenda. The political power of the state would then grow so monolithically so as to suppress any and all dissent from their control.

To the extent that human experience and imagination do so, we can still now make choices. We must eventually. Some of these involve political choices, economic choices, social choices, and cultural choices, and all involve technology-based issues.

Politically-technologically, any attempt by the state to impose a top-to-bottom change on how we use energy, whether or not aimed at preventing climate catastrophes, will fail on two counts. It would fail first because not everyone will agree to a change, let alone a solution. And, second, it will end in the absolute power of the monolithic state which ends free choice. Why does that fail? Because absolutist states have no reason to change or solve anything to anyone's benefit, other than that which benefits a small ruling class. On the opposite, more correct side philosophically, individual and community initiatives and ownership of solutions bring more diverse innovation, from the free debate and mixing of collaborative innovations and contributions. When discussing energy, this applies to all use of energy resources, for electrical and mechanical power, and conversion of resources into products and services. Supplying new innovations to new demands by consumers benefits energy conservation and efficiency and works as well as it does any other freely made individual and community choice in a common interest and goal.

It would work better than an absolutist state in solving energy supply and demand for one simple reason. Politicians support their friends. Free individuals must in most normal cases support themselves. By working in communities for solutions, more individual initiative has greater and quicker impact. We have only these two ways, politically, of going forward to address the macro-need for energy efficiency with limited resources. States with dictatorial powers have always failed. They failed on energy long ago to work in the public interests. They have already tried. Now, free individuals and communities must think of and work on their own solutions. Everyone owns this problem. Most normal people want someone else to fix it, but not at great cost to them. The state will serve its own narrow interests. Therefore, everyone must participate, globally, to solve increasing energy demand and supply laws.

Economically-technologically, freer markets, without manipulative government favoritism, distributing capital and spreading risk always love profitable innovations. They also raise investment capital and spread the risk better, too, than the state. States serve as the insurer of last resort. It does that best, and does not belong, nor does it need to act, on the front end of energy markets. Freer markets allocate resources and capital for opportunity costs according to efficiency standards of a return on investment made by profitable sales to consumers. In creating supply for the demand of more energy, governments can best apply and supervise rules of fairness, equability, and transparency to the business of capital markets. If governments of the state get too involved in mixing government monies with private financing, it always leads to disastrous results.

Public-private cooperatives actually define conditions of fascism, or socialism, or communism—whatever, and none of these pose good conditions for individual freedom and dignity. The profits of fascism or socialism, etc. only aggrandize the state, at the expense of freedoms and beneficial results. Also, a public-private consortium opens the doors for corruption and inefficiency, or even suppression of innovation to the profit of the inefficient industries. We have that now under the current system of state-business collaboration. It does not work well. Try the freer market approach, with individual and community initiatives, and the result would look different than what failure so far has managed to achieve.

In addition, as long as individual consumer demands increase for more efficient energy usage, for the so-called “greener” options, then the market will supply it. The laws of nature and phsyics determine that. If the demand grows more, the supply of “greener” solutions will also increase, as long as the state does not have the opportunity to favor the corrupt and inefficient suppliers to everyone's disadvantage. The principle works for all products—electricity and gas, especially. If individual choice remains intact, people can freely choose to buy or invest in the kind and type of changes they want.

In the socially-technological aspect, to preserve the balancing of all factors, like investment, opportunity costs, costs and benefits of energy conversion, toward better, and toward more efficient, and healthier energy and power sources and results, a new mentality must enter the public awareness. Primarily, humanity must ask the questions, “Do we really need to have this product or service? Do we really want to spend energy making it and operating it?” For example, does it make sense for the world to suffer the cost of higher energy consumption just to get a thinking kitchen appliance? A smarter, flashier phone? More automobiles, even if electric? Answers can come as yes or no, or not yes but not now. It absolutely must come down to whether something saves energy and increases efficiency, to the why or why not do we need to develop something just because we can, and because we look brilliant doing it. If we apply this litmus test to all modernization—everything we can build, make or do—it might surprise us that we really do not need many of the things pointed by trends now and into the future. While things may fascinate us, and look shiny on top, almost every thing in society has a dirty underside when it comes to energy and looking at the costs and the benefits scales. Imagination offers us many opportunities for increasing energy efficiency, but we must understand that no free energy or free lunch exists. Until humans get out of their own selfishness and the perceived birthright to consume unlimited amounts of energy and energy resources, we might not overcome the challenges ahead. If we still build frivolous material things and do frivolous acts, we need only start planning graves in the future. How many? Unsure. Why? From every danger of war and peaceful times that concern energy in the future.

This discussion leads directly to the cultural-technological issue that will define the future of humanity, and not only about energy. The biggest obstacle to future progress about all energy conversion, clean power and climate change, economic growth and prosperity, and even the evolution of civilization, stems from humans blaming other people for problems without presenting better alternatives. Nor do humans have great willingness to make similar sacrifices for what they demand of others. Even your author can convict himself of these general human tendencies.

The general solutions come along these guidelines. First, NO ONE stands immune from this psycho-cultural syndrome of blaming others. Self-responsibility and self-disciplined ethics arrest this syndrome. Second, any solutions for energy problems must come from the consent of everyone concerned, peacefully, without coercion, in a unity of all to sacrifice something for better results. Third, demanding that only one segment of the population pay for changing how we use energy and produce power, for any reason, must stop. (And stop on every other issue before us). Whether rich or poor, we ALL must own the solution, and everyone must pay a price, even in dollars. That price must come with fairness, equability, and transparency.

We all create the demand, we must all supply the answers, even in dollar amounts. Fourth, and finally, we must stop indulging in the waste of energy of all kinds, even human energy misdirected into frivolous thinking and actions. The problems of energy face us. They will not leave us. We must pay attention to solving it, consciously, conscientiously, deliberately, and energetically. Where we can eek out efficiency in energy conversion and consumption, we must do so, while still maintaining individual dignity and natural rights. If for no other reasons, it reduces the power of the state to rule without restraints, and only for the benefit of the privileged. To conclude this discussion, the clock ticks. More ideas exist. We can think of more, too. Let's hear others. But most of all, as people, we can think and act. For if we unleash the imagination of humanity, the solutions will present themselves. If we take ownership for our ideas and actions, we can prove to history that we deserve the right to call ourselves intelligent beings. We can save our future, and then exceed our expectations.

Friday, May 22, 2020

The Future Yet Has Arrived


The Future Yet Has Arrived
By Tim Krenz

COVID-19 and the emergency measures around it have accelerated the transitions started by the Information Age decades ago. With the world wired-in and logged-on, the soft quarantine in most states of the Union and other parts of the globe have forced the world to adapt using technology as it exists today. The quarantine, and the social isolation and distancing to prevent COVID-19's spread have also pointed the way for new and upcoming, and much needed, technologies to fill the spaces and gaps not now covered in the technology architecture. Future technology and how humans use it will continue to evolve.

As we always must say, “Change remains the only true constant in the universe.” Most people working, if at all, remotely, at home, or in more isolated work spaces; school terms shifting to remote, online coursework; home entertainment via digital streaming; and more expansive on-line shopping and home delivery; all these point the way to the future of work, education, amusement, and commerce—toward the direction information technology has always pointed us. If the COVID-19 emergency has done anything, it makes the opportunity presented by the danger into the necessity of innovation. Nonetheless, some choices remain, and a necessity for decision-making exists, in how we use these opportunities to adapt to the technology, both current and future. We mus set some priorities for these new tools and techniques.

Despite how things have changed due to COVID-19, even temporarily in some respects, some things have remained, like food supply, as important as before the emergency. People will still have to work, or labor, to create and distribute food and even all other household necessities. How digital means, including its use in the biological sciences, will assist feeding civilization brings both promises and dangers. Where we see that technology and its tools and applications can increase, secure, and facilitate feeding people, it will happen. This includes everything from creating better genetic strains of crops to more efficient storage and transportation processes via digital tools. Where the emergency shows shortcomings in these supply chains, technology and those who innovate with it will fill those gaps.

Energy, and by implication transportation, and even household machine controls, all can benefit from increased efficiency, utility, and cost-to-benefit advantages. The trend in business and engineering already point the way forward. The necessities of filling the gaps and improving energy exploitation and use as seen in the emergency will spur the innovations in untold, and perhaps unexpected ways. COVID-19 influenced areas where energy production, storage, price-point supports, and reduced pollution had noticeable impacts. Again, long-term trends pointed the direction for decades. COVID-19 merely gives impetus to rapidly advance technology's uses to cover the exposed shortcomings. If nothing else, the new ways and means of energy in this civilization will help prepare for new emergencies.

COVID-19 also created a direct line in the new way employment can function in dispersed physical locations and in on-line virtual networks. This, too, has profound implications in commercial business, industrial production, urban development, public transportation, and even the community design and construction industries. Not only does COVID-19's effects impact the nature of work and household types, locations, design and construction, it also, as we clearly see, accelerated the trending changes in how society educates its people. Everything associated with the education industry—school construction, learning materials and equipment, staffing expenses, and the very budgets, tuition, and taxes that support schools, colleges, and universities can undergo refinement, innovation, redesign, and rethinking. For education and employment, the very topics and subjects, and the way of teaching itself, may change after assessing the course and impact on education of the emergency quarantine. As far as the general economy of the United States and the world, the products, services, training, and uses of employment and education will move faster toward the trend lines have pointed the way for decades. COVID-19 now shows people how, in this recent socially scientific mass experiment, it can work and we can improve much in the future.

In the social-economic changes to come inevitable with or without COVID-19 ever happening, we arrive at perhaps the most critical changes that we can foresee, and the ones with the most dangers and opportunities, in the cultural-political areas of society.

First, in the cultural sense, during COVID-19, a new phrase entered the lexicon, called “social distancing.” By separation in public, and keeping apart, we use social distancing to stop or slow the spread of that virus by limiting person-to-person contact and physical transmission. A necessary measure, the social distancing must never become a cultural distortioning, a human civilization whereby we limit physical contact and disconnect ourselves emotionally, or withdraw fellowship, friendship, concern or empathy, from others. Such a distortioning could disengage people from mutual aid to others, stop recognizing their political, economic, social and other lawful natural rights, and cause even more division in society. At this stage of the reopening of society after the quarantine, if we have learned anything about the isolation, we should have learned that no matter what technology or tools we have to maintain digital or even just informational connection, people need human contact with each other. We exist as social animals, and our civilization with whatever peace it has cannot stand any more cultural disconnection than it already has endured. Hopefully, COVID-19 teaches us a lesson that technology cannot successfully cure everything in and by itself. Only by working together, and recognizing that we need to work together, and reconcile face-to-face, can the world survive future emergencies, even far more deadly or catastrophic ones than COVID-19.

Finally, in the political realm, we arrive at what could become the most important and critical of the effects of the pandemic. This potential phenomenon draws a straight line from the danger of cultural distortioning. Technology and its tools and innovations will always advance and evolve. We will have faster computing, more machine learning, near-sentient artificial intelligence, more autonomous machines, more dispersed and even more powerful and hyper-timed networks and connections. We can see it happening now. We know it will happen faster and faster. But we must use these things safely, and with foresight, in building them. Have we installed safeguards and trapdoors to turn off or unplug connections to preserve human dignity and natural rights? Furthermore, do these materials and processes serve us or will they or their controllers use us to serve them? We see the advantages of having technology and new ways of adapting and innovating them to the needs of civilization. Even if they present dangers of political corruption or tyranny, we must ensure that the opportunities they present at the edifice of a new era remain for the use of all, equally, in liberty and dignity for the culture of humanity.

The COVID-19 emergency points to how civilization can do things, if not better then more efficiently in the coming years and decades. New things and new ways can add to the collective safety, the survival envelope, and even the extensive comfort of life on earth. Unless we know the “why?” we want to change before we build the “what?” we would make a fatal error. Many questions remain, even questions we do not know yet. But life during COVID-19 at least can force us to ask, “What don't we know about the consequences of what we plan to do?” Answering this should assume the highest priority.