This post is written in July of 2011 – The Murdoch New Empire, the Police in the UK and the Tories in the UK are being rocked.
I think that we are living through a period where the Network is destroying the Hierarchical power of the establishment.
We can see now that this revolution began in the Arab world but now, this July, we are seeing that the Network is a real threat to the most powerful in the west as well.
I think that history will show that power is shifting from the Machine Institution to the Network.
This will be a real revolution unlike 1917 that merely replaced one top down regime for another.
This is more like 10,000 years ago when a new food system changed everything about how humans lived and their place in the world.
I think that the forces that will take us there are now in motion. Not the least that millions of people have been cast out by the old system. That many of these millions are well educated and have the personal power to act. These are the kind of people that drove the French and the American Revolutions that in their own day also cast down the old power system.
They are likely people just like you my dear readers. We are the immigrants in the brand new world that we will make for ourselves – not in a new place but in a new “Space” that we create ourselves.
Without knowing it, you have just left Ellis Island and you are in this strange New World.
How strange this all is.
Fortunately the pioneers have been here for some time and this post will show you what the new rules are and how best to get around in this new place and to realize its potential.
In essence – people here in the New New World – or New World#2 – live the lives of the Hunter Gatherers – they live lives much like all hominids and Humans have lived for millions of years. But with a difference, now we know how all of this works. We know the science and we have tools that empower us to be this old way anew.
So let’s wander around NW#2 and see how they live and work. Let’s see the models they use.
And by the way – all of this exists for real today – just in a very small and scattered form. It just needs organization to come to life.
Home and Work – Home is that old fashioned Home where we all live and work.
For in NW#2 we mainly work from home for ourselves or in tribal groups – some partners are next door but some are the other side of the world.
We don’t just do one thing either – the bigger cash generating deals are like a hunter bringing home an elk and get paid in cash by the larger system. But we do a lot of gathering for no money. We trade services with each other – I do some work on your site, you give me veggies. We offer up our place for rent and move in with our sister who lives down the road and we split the money.
We don’t just sell services either. With our network of 3D printers and jigs we can make almost anything locally. Hey we even make cars using the Wiki Car Company – an open source design for cars that uses a series of chassis’s that we then adapt to create unique one off cars. For less cost than a mega car plant – we don’t have their fixed costs.
More than 50% of the things we need – we make locally. All are built using Open Source designs.
The result is that there is work here for all.
What were hobbies become “Livings”. Your weaving, your knitting, your soap making, your talent for music or knowledge of astronomy, your mechanical genius, your coding, your cooking, your green thumb, your strong back, your relationship with children – your real skills – the real you.
No one gets super rich but all can be very comfortable and secure. Secure because no outsider can take away your living. For we are so interconnected. The gap between producer and consumer has been closed. We are always both.
Our children grow up in the middle of all of this. They see what their parents do to make a Living. They participate early too – either to help the family or to play their own role. Many children have their own Living. The gap between helpless child hood and being a participant is tiny.
For the kids too are not shunted off into a world separate from life called school or youth.
Nor are our babies and infants given away to strangers. In our physical community we help each other a lot with the little kids. We spend very little money on daycare or nannies. We have family close, we have other families in the same boat – we have a good system. The kids also have access to tremendous resources from all over the world. They have lots of mums and dads – as kids always used to have. There are lots of Eyes on the Street in our place.
Our teachers are very different too. They are not “professionals”. They are largely us.
Our older kids meet in study groups and use materials from the web. If they have a question that they cannot solve themselves – they can access the local learning network for advice. This local Network extends all over the world. Our kids can talk to the best teachers in the world and they do.
We used to pay a lot of money to educate our kids for not very good results. We now pay a fraction of this and our kids have learned to learn and they mix with really talented people. They don’t need a piece of paper to show what they have learned. They have a reputation that has been earned.
So where did all the teachers go? Where did all the people with non jobs go?
In the old country almost no one did any work to get or prepare food. In the NW#2 food and energy is where most of the work is done. Everybody contributes here. In 2000, less than 5% of people worked to produce food and most of them were no more than slaves.
Now 85% of us participate in one way or another in food and energy.
About 30% of the food we eat is grown locally – and we are in Montreal. There are gardens on roofs – front yards – back yards in public spaces. Small animals too – chickens are everywhere and there are goats and sheep in town.
Nearly everyone spends time on growing and preparing food – we grow a lot on our own or in local groups in the community and we also help out in the country.
The rail service to the surrounding farm land is working well again and 50% of our food comes in from the direct hinterland. Many also go out there and help work for food. We help with the cultivating and harvest – for the Community Ag Model that we use, integrates the customer into the producer. That way we we keep the costs down for all. No immigrant slaves here – we belong to farm groups as helper/consumers. CSA on steroids.
Consequently, we pay very little money for food. But food growers do well. We all benefit from the Network Effect.
Farming itself is very different too. We also work WITH nature and not against her. She does more and more of the work as a result.
Farms tend to be small – about 100 acres and worked by a family and by the neigbours.
Those growing veggies mainly use Permaculture that needs no external inputs and that has yields that rise every year and where the work also falls. In many of these mini farms, the main work of the year is harvest.
Almost no machines are required. Almost no external inputs and certainly no agri chemicals.
Those with animals use a pasture system made famous by Polyface farms where grass and woodland provide the base and we rotate animals on the grass thus building up the base year by year.
In our food system, vitality grows every year. The natural capital increases and our need for external energy reduces.
We used to have no time and so had to pay cash for everything – now we have time we don’t need as much cash. THIS is the central big idea in New World#2.
Like Open Source Software we trade goods and services a lot for no money – we do have an exchange now – so the Ledger can be converted into currency of needed. This was how the old country store used to operate.
Energy/Travel – You cannot replace oil as a convenient source of energy – but oil is very expensive in the New World#2. So how do we still have a great life? We have redesigned how we live to reduce the need for oil.
This is why the home and the local community has become the centre. We had to go far away every day to work and school and to get anything. Now most of those routine trips in the car are not essential any more. The need to drive everywhere has been designed out of the system.
Some of us do go to face to face distant meetings now and then – it is always vital to meet face to face. But these occasions tend to be rare and are often largely social – the point is to bond again.
When we travel we mainly take some time and we tend to stay with each other or rent a place from a person. Co Working places are ubiquitous. Few have offices that are exclusively theirs except at home. Why would you pay to have an office all for yourself?
The Global Co Working Network also allows you to have an office in any town, city our country.
Heat in the winter up north and cooling in the summer in the south demand significant energy. Here design has helped too.
Much of the sunbelt, short of water and boiling hot has lost much of its population. Those that remain have gone back to building design that fits this climate. Adobe is common again. Even here permaculture works and, as was tested in the desert in Israel, is able to produce food and this practice is gaining ground on the desert itself.
Here up north in Montreal, the typical co-housing of Montreal East was designed with winter in mind. With neighbours alongside and above and below, heating demand has been reduced further by insulation.
Community heat and stoves using waste fibre are common.
Large scale and long Distance Energy
The truck is no longer the centre of the system. Most things are made locally – much is recycled locally – even steel. We trade things we can’t grow or make.
As back in time – water is the way that really heavy goods are carried. The seaboards and river and canal systems are the new/old highways for heavy goods.
We have time now so we too use the trains and ships.
Big Industrial food no longer makes sense with very expensive oil. In the old country we used to spend a fortune on health. But now we eat so much better, we are so much more active, so much less stressed, we are naturally mainly very healthy and fit.
Grains depend on factory farms, serfs or slaves. Oil is too expensive and no one wants to be a slave anymore. So very little grain is grown anymore. We eat meat, that is grass fed, veggies fruit and nuts. This was and is our ideal diet.
So Big Pharma has little place here either. We are all working hard at breeding better animals and seeds that fit our local enviroment. We share this knowledge around the world. Big Ag has no place in this vast cooperative effort – for if we fail here, we starve. The IP issue has gone away for the system that could enforce it has collapsed.
Most research now uses an Open Source Model – for we all benefit.
So what about the Medical professionals?
Of course, if you have an accident, we use the Dr’s. Specialists operate all over the world too. Even a small community hospital can have a world class surgeon operate – for she is in her community and telemedicine is the norm now.
But there are not that many doctors – and the ones we have are oustanding. But we don’t need a lot of them, because so few of us are ill.
The frontline healthcare system is now run by Health Facilitors who help us in groups work out how to get control of our health back. We pay them to keep us healthy. Health is all about matching our lives to our design.
We get our news and information from each other. The old highly centralized media system was show to be what is was a shill for ther old system. They were largely made irrelevant as their role was exposed. And then their costs brought them down.
Most people have a voice now. A profound shift in human consciousness.
There is still an entertainment business but it is more of an aggregator. We don’t need as much distraction as we used to. With a more full real life, we need to depend less on a fantasy life.
So how did we get here?
No social engineering brought this about. Much of the pioneer work was done in the 1990’s. But it will be desparation that takes us here. Cities that can go no lower such as Detroit are along the path now.
We will get here because the people who were cleared by the landlords will have no choice. We have to eat. We have to have work. We have to raise our kids. We have to have our health. In the old world all of these things are provided by the institutions. They are shutting us out. We either cannot afford them – such as healthcare or what they offer – such as public school – is rotten.
So we will do what we have to and create an alternative world alongside the old world.
In this new world, by using the network effect and open systems we will dramatically undercut the sunk costs and rigidities of the old world. We will drive them out of existence.
This weekend as I write this – we can see this process in action. The Bastille has been stormed. It’s early days but we can feel our power and sense the weakness of the regime.
BUT they will not go quietly and the attacks we see on local food systems and the massive effort to protect IP in things such as seeds is a sign of their fear.
In my next post – The Inquisition and how to defeat it.