Phi Beta Iota: We reproduce the excerpt in order to add links to all of the books and individuals mentioned. Tip of the Hat to Reality Sandwich for this offering, and to Evolver Editions (North Atlantic/Random House) for their new Manifesto series in support of human consciousness and planetary synthesis.
Noosphere: The Next Stage in the Evolution of Human Consciousness, A Testimony
To mark the recent passing of José Argüelles, we offer an excerpt from his upcoming book Manifesto for the Noosphere: The Next Stage in the Evolution of Human Consciousness, available from Evolver Editions/North Atlantic Books in October 2011.
We must enlarge our approach to encompass the formation taking place before our eyes … of a particular biological entity such as has never existed on earth-the growth, outside and above the biosphere, of an added planetary layer, an envelope of thinking substance, to which, for the sake of convenience and symmetry, I have given the name of the Noosphere. –Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, The Future of Man
Manifesto for the Noosphere is the result of forty years of study, contemplation, investigation, and synthesis. While the noosphere may be beyond the grasp of conventional science, it is a deep and pervasive intuition that has gripped the minds of scientists, philosophers, poets, and artists since the concept first emerged in 1926. It is an evolutionary concept posited by studies in both biogeochemistry and paleontology. It is a whole-systems paradigm that melds prophecy and analysis of current world trends. It is a perception that the transformation of the biosphere is inevitably leading to a new geological epoch and evolutionary cycle, and it is due to the impact of human thought on the environment that this new era — the Noosphere — is dawning.
This weekend I experienced a snowcrash; a moment where the seemingly disparate pieces of information floating in my head came together. A synapse fired, a new connection was made, and I was brought to a new level of consciousness, a new way of seeing the world. In reading this over, it almost sounds obvious, but it took me a while to get here. I hope that by sharing with you, it’ll help you “get it” too. So let me take you on my thinking trail.
Burning Man’s open source cell phone system could help save the world
Solar-powered OpenBTS systems costs pennies a day and operates in the farthest outreaches of Earth.
By Julie Bort, Network World
August 30, 2010 02:47 PM ET
Today I bring you a story that has it all: a solar-powered, low-cost, open source cellular network that’s revolutionizing coverage in underprivileged and off-grid spots. It uses VoIP yet works with existing cell phones. It has pedigreed founders. Best of all, it is part of the sex, drugs and art collectively known as Burning Man. Where do you want me to begin?
“We make GSM look like a wireless access point. We make it that simple,” describes one of the project’s three founders, Glenn Edens.
The technology starts with the “they-said-it-couldn’t-be-done” open source software, OpenBTS. OpenBTS is built on Linux and distributed via the AGPLv3 license. When used with a software-defined radio such as the Universal Software Radio Peripheral (USRP), it presents a GSM air interface (“Um”) to any standard GSM cell phone, with no modification whatsoever required of the phone. It uses open source Asterisk VoIP software as the PBX to connect calls, though it can be used with other soft switches, too. (More stats in a minute that I promise will blow away your inner network engineer.)
Direct to Source (If Still Up); Full Story Back-Up Copy Below This Line
For an open source revolt (here’s some background on “open source insurgency“) to be successfully formed, it needs a plausible promise. A meta issue around which all of the different factions etc. can form (remember, most of the groups and individuals involved in an open source revolt can’t agree on anything but some basic concepts). A generic “day of revolt” doesn’t accomplish that. What could?
Using the multi-million scale No Mas FARC protests as an example and the critical ingredient in the Tunisian protests (extreme corruption that generated an endless wellspring of anger/frustration), a potential “plausible promise” for an Egyptian open source revolt is:
No More Corruption
Not only is a movement opposing corruption something the government will find hard to oppose, it is something every Egyptian deals with on a daily basis. It also has the added benefit of directly harming the entrenched ruling elite, who are likely to become poster children of the very thing the movement is against.
Social entrepreneur challenging conventional wisdom
Samasource–microwork (small digital tasks that can be done on an inexpensive computers).
Building 21st Century assembly line that can break down massive tasks (e.g. updating addresses for Google maps, or translating emergency messages from Creole to English). Won contracts with Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft.
15% premium for socially-conscious companies, AND competitive on cost, quality, and turnaround time.
Small scale digital tasks did not exist before.
Transforming lives, especially women, young men, and refugees. $5 a day is very much better than local norms, and buys an active English-speaking brain with hands able to do quality work.
IMPORTANT: Developing world is out-pacing USA and West generally in extending Internet infrastructure to the poor–centers created, humans come in, also doing viewing (Gorgon Stare, take note!), creating logs of store videos on shopper buying habits, anything that can be noticed and logged by a human–$5 a day.
Phi Beta Iota: We could not, in a million years, have found a better “off-set” to the USAF Gorgon Stare program. This micro-tasking, combining human brains and hands with Internet access, is one of the most profoundly intelligent and socio-economically useful ideas we have seen in our lifetimes (there are 800 of us here). BRAVO.
This is THE toolbox, available in both long and short versions, we recommend you start with the long and then rapidly migrate to the short. Arno is THE “dean” of OSINT for government, and the “dean” of the advanced librarian discovery movement.
We strongly endorse Arno Reuser as an individual, and recommend his training offerings available directly from him. By-pass the external vendor training link at the Repertorium and send him a direct email.
(The Core is distributed under the terms of the GNU-PL. For exact terms see http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl.txt. The Core is considered as source code under that agreement. You are free to use and distribute this work or any derivations you care to make, provided you also distribute this source document in its entirety, including this paragraph.)
The following Core Protocols are made up of both commitments and protocols.
Fascinating article, including leaks in the pipeline (banks), whistleblowers, censorship, his story, trying to stop leaks, spying, untrustful competitors, secrecy, war, field of intelligence, etc. … “our primary defense isn’t law, but technology…courage is contagious” (p.8) — JAS
Following is an excerpt from page 5 regarding moving in the direction of ethical business — JAS
What do you think WikiLeaks mean for business? How do businesses need to adjust to a world where WikiLeaks exists?
WikiLeaks means it’s easier to run a good business and harder to run a bad business, and all CEOs should be encouraged by this. I think about the case in China where milk powder companies started cutting the protein in milk powder with plastics. That happened at a number of separate manufacturers.
Let’s say you want to run a good company. It’s nice to have an ethical workplace. Your employees are much less likely to screw you over if they’re not screwing other people over.
Then one company starts cutting their milk powder with melamine, and becomes more profitable. You can follow suit, or slowly go bankrupt and the one that’s cutting its milk powder will take you over. That’s the worst of all possible outcomes.
The other possibility is that the first one to cut its milk powder is exposed. Then you don’t have to cut your milk powder. There’s a threat of regulation that produces self-regulation.
It just means that it’s easier for honest CEOs to run an honest business, if the dishonest businesses are more effected negatively by leaks than honest businesses. That’s the whole idea. In the struggle between open and honest companies and dishonest and closed companies, we’re creating a tremendous reputational tax on the unethical companies.
No one wants to have their own things leaked. It pains us when we have internal leaks. But across any given industry, it is both good for the whole industry to have those leaks and it’s especially good for the good players.
But aside from the market as a whole, how should companies change their behavior understanding that leaks will increase?
Do things to encourage leaks from dishonest competitors. Be as open and honest as possible. Treat your employees well.
I think it’s extremely positive. You end up with a situation where honest companies producing quality products are more competitive than dishonest companies producing bad products. And companies that treat their employees well do better than those that treat them badly.
Would you call yourself a free market proponent?
Absolutely. I have mixed attitudes towards capitalism, but I love markets. Having lived and worked in many countries, I can see the tremendous vibrancy in, say, the Malaysian telecom sector compared to U.S. sector. In the U.S. everything is vertically integrated and sewn up, so you don’t have a free market. In Malaysia, you have a broad spectrum of players, and you can see the benefits for all as a result.
How do your leaks fit into that?
To put it simply, in order for there to be a market, there has to be information. A perfect market requires perfect information.
There’s the famous lemon example in the used car market. It’s hard for buyers to tell lemons from good cars, and sellers can’t get a good price, even when they have a good car.
By making it easier to see where the problems are inside of companies, we identify the lemons. That means there’s a better market for good companies. For a market to be free, people have to know who they’re dealing with.
You’ve developed a reputation as anti-establishment and anti-institution.
Not at all. Creating a well-run establishment is a difficult thing to do, and I’ve been in countries where institutions are in a state of collapse, so I understand the difficulty of running a company. Institutions don’t come from nowhere.
It’s not correct to put me in any one philosophical or economic camp, because I’ve learned from many. But one is American libertarianism, market libertarianism. So as far as markets are concerned I’m a libertarian, but I have enough expertise in politics and history to understand that a free market ends up as monopoly unless you force them to be free.
WikiLeaks is designed to make capitalism more free and ethical.
But in the meantime, there could be a lot of pain from these scandals, obviously.
Pain for the guilty.
Do you derive pleasure from these scandals that you expose and the companies you shame?
It’s tremendously satisfying work to see reforms being engaged in and stimulating those reforms. To see opportunists and abusers brought to account.
MajGen Eduardo ALDUNATE Herman, Chilean Army (Ret), served as the Deputy Force Commander of the United Nations Force in Haiti (MINUSTAH) in the earliest rounds, and was instrumental in both sponsoring the Joint Military Intelligence Analysis Center (JMAC) concept in its first modern field implementation, but also in evaluating most critically both the lack of useful intelligence from allies relying on secret sources and methods that did not “penetrate” to achieve gangs and neighborhoods; and the astonishing “one size fits all” propensity of the allies to treat every “threat” as one that could be addressed by force.
His contributions are helpful in understanding the more recent failure of allied relief operations in Haiti that again assumed that the use of armed bodies would address the problem, without making provision for real-world ground truth intelligence (CAB 21 Peace Jumpers Plus) or intelligence-driven harmonization of non-governmental assistance (Reverse TIPFID).