Solution to AT&T Greed, and other corporations as well.

March 21, 2011 · Posted in sharing, strategy · Comment 

Screw AT&TAT&T is going to force customers who already pay for voice and data to pay to connect devices to their iPhones which they were able to do using free software. AT&T is not providing any new service, they are just double charging already paying customers. They can do that because there really isn’t any competition. Verizon similarly abuses customers. The solution is to provide real competition to the government empowered oligopolies.

Several of the comments mention there is a social benefit to using technology and the greed of these corporations is holding back society. Recently I’ve been talking with Frithjof Bergmann, the founder of New Work, New Culture, about ways to provide low cost communication. And I’ve been working on a project to revitalize Detroit by establishing self-sufficient communities. If communication is a community value then it makes sense to have a community owned telecom.

Imagine a cellular co-op where all the users are also owners. The co-op model could potentially operate at much lower costs than the for-corporate model. Additionally, a co-op telecom could be crowd funded for the start-up. It also would not need to be one monolithic organization. It could equally well work as a coalition of regional co-op service providers. Electricity and insurance in rural USA were originally operated as co-operatives and some still are operated that way. This is obviously a big project but it is clearly possible.

For some ideas about how a co-op corporation could operate

Robot Strawberry Picker, Abundance Report

January 25, 2011 · Posted in abundance, economics, innovation · Comment 

In the USA picking strawberries is hard low paid work for migrant, often illegal alien, workers. Japan’s robot strawberry picker comes from a different mindset.

Most post-industrialized nations complain about cheap foreign labor taking their jobs. Similarly people living in high income nations complain that automation is eliminating jobs, even jobs no one really wants to do. Standing in the hot sun bending over picking strawberries for 12 hours per day is not desirable work for any person.

Japan values their national cultural identity much more than other post-industrialized nations. Being a small island nation they are very concerned about depending on foreigners for materials. Japan understands and values self-sufficiency. Additionally, Japan is an aging society. The ratio of young people who are able to do manual labor is declining. If Japan is going to remain self-sufficient it must find ways to do more with less human labor.

Japan’s obsession with automation stems from their need to do more with less. Proper design and automation is how Japanese companies increase productivity and quality while reducing costs.

Even though Japan is a small nation it produces a great deal of food, particularly for local use. Rather than using the mass production approach of the nations with large amounts of land such as the USA, Canada, and Russia, Japan produces food in super efficient small scale farms. These types of farms are particularly well suited to automation. A small family owned farm using automation can produce much more food per acre and at much higher quality than the large scale industrial farming approach. Rather than viewing automation as stealing jobs, the Japanese are spreading real wealth by allowing more people to directly own and operate the means of production.

Japan is moving forward into Abundance both technologically and socially. Other nations and people could learn a lot from the Japanese.

Criminally Charge the TSA for Assault

November 18, 2010 · Posted in innovation · Comment 

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