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  1. A purely transactional maker economy, based only on selling things, is unlikely to be sustainable in the longer term.

    If it’s just about the thing,
    someone will soon find a way to source a similar thing,
    but cheaper.

    Rather than focus only on selling products as the core measure of progress, it makes more sense to focus on the resources and connections needed for a regional economy to thrive.


    In agriculture, the healthiest food systems and landscapes have been created, shaped and maintained by generations of farmers and herders building on local knowledge and experience. Artisan traditions that embody healthy relationships between people, place, and living systems, can therefore be our teachers.

    So-called extension services in which farmers—often women— teach other about about agroecological practices are more developed in the south than in the city-dwelling north. In large areas of Asia, farmers are able to join farmer field schools, a group-based learning process that enables farmer-to-farmer instruction.

    The opportunity here is to accelerate learning among growers groups whose expertise and resources, when pooled, can deliver a lot of the value currently added by today’s cost-adding layers of intermediaries. Of particular importance are alternative trade networks and the Community Agroecology Network.


    Networked actions at a bioregional scale are also emerging in the form of Fibersheds

. The fibershed model integrates all the activities involved in growing, making and using fibre within a soil-friendly, climate-beneficial fibre system.
    Tags: , , by M. Fioretti (2017-03-24)
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  2. The opportunity here is to accelerate learning among growers groups whose expertise and resources, when pooled, can deliver a lot of the value currently added by today’s cost-adding layers of intermediaries. Of particular importance are alternative trade networks and the Community Agroecology Network.
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  3. Bring in a bigger diversity of voices bringing in wisdom and more perspective before essential choices are made. No one with elderly, children, people of all faiths, and colours present will as easily make unjust laws. Healthy normal children will cry and protest if forests are cut or other children bombed. And kick self serving psychopaths out, however great their story sounds or how the threaten you. That’s what they’re good at.

    Learn values from indigenous people, about relationships with nature. Learn from the Zapatistas and tribal Africans how to spread leadership around, how to grow local resilience. Learn from grassroots movements how to go really green in a way that can sustain everyone. Accept that care for the whole outranks any corporations economical interests…by far.

    Dare to fire CEO’s that damage the planet. Dare to stop huge corporations that damage the planet. Dare to criminalize destruction of natural resources. Include all exterior costs of companies back into them, so we pay real prices. Stop funding and subsidizing powers that be, for everything more healthy, more green, more promising for the whole. And stop anyone from being able to deciding their own salary or bonus. Really. Customers should decide, to start with, then the workers at the bottom.

    Teach every child more body awareness, more critical thinking, more eco awareness. Support every child that challenges school and or current paradigms to explore alternatives. Strengthen ideals and values of young people so they don’t lose idealism, rather expand it with knowledge while growing up. Arm them against brainwash and manipulative sales.

    End (debt) slavery and poverty. End homelessness near empty houses (whomever accepted this idea, houses rotting away, with people living on the streets needing one?). People who do have a choice, will not stay working in meaningless jobs or unhealthy conditions. For instance with basic income all work has to be designed to have meaning and be pleasurable. It would change the face of human society.

    Make cities green and self sustaining. France recently made it law to use every flat roof in business parks for either plants or solar panels. Good idea. Make it happen in all cities. More green in cities will clean the air, provide more food, reduce global warming, bring back bees, etc. There’s no reasons not to do it, but the trouble or fallen leaves and increase of insects. Hey it’s nature. Nature is life. Embrace it.

    Develop economical systems that won’t stop people from working on essential things, when the money system breaks down. In the Netherlands thousands of people work every day to keep Dutch heads above water. This is an essential reality and no financial situation should be able to endanger it. Same goes for food, safety, health, nature for people all around the planet.

    Develop yourself. Breath. Play. Venture into nature. Find meaningful work or service. Express your dreams. Ignore marketing and advertising. Celebrate beauty in the moment, not products from a shelf. Relate to and with your body. Learn to listen to its needs and messages. Develop intuition. Be deep, become wise. Become human and alive.

    Develop visions of governments that will enrich the planet and all life on it. Develop paradigms that include nature and its needs as fundament. Develop ideas that solve root causes of poverty, war, destruction and pollution rather than addressing the effects. Develop space for diversity of ideas and voices, so no few radicals can push large groups towards violent ideas. And perhaps most of all, as Christopher Chase, calls it: ‘Accept you are part of nature.’ We must, as our cells surrender to our role within the whole of nature (and not human society alone) To do otherwise means becoming cancer. We need nature. We are nature.

    Help me, help yourself, help the peaceful majority, help the planet to shift. We will only win, when everyone wins.

    Support the Gentle Revolution, be developing what should come after. Innovate onwards.

    Most of this post was written in one session after an inspiring online talk with Christopher Chase (see his blog CreativeSystemsThinking) and fired up chat with Shelley Ostroff (see her blog TogetherInCreation). And finally the new science paradigm was born in a short talk with Jan-Henk Bouman. Thank you all for your time and inspiration.
    Tags: by M. Fioretti (2017-03-24)
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  4. Repubblica ha dedicato molte inchieste all'Atac, indimenticabile è quella di Carlo Bonini e Daniele Autieri che scoprì una fabbrica di biglietti falsi e clonati, una stamperia da banda degli onesti, una truffa che arrivava a 70 milioni di euro l'anno, e non ha ancora il suo colpevole. L'Atac, che a Roma è sorella dell'Ama, è una palude dove si perdono dai 150 ai 70 milioni l'anno, con un debito storico di oltre un miliardo di euro. Insanabile, dunque. Tecnicamente fallita.
    È davvero difficile immaginare qualcosa di più mostruoso di questa Atac, che è la più grande azienda di trasporto pubblico d'Europa, 11.562 dipendenti, un incredibile numero di manager brubru che vanno, anche loro, periodicamente a fuoco come i bus. E poi ci sono i subappalti marchettari alla Tpl; le forniture di ricambi, soprattutto delle gomme, ingiustificabili per numero e per cifre di spesa. Gli autisti sono 5874, gli autobus 1955, ne escono 1300 al giorno e ogni giorno 300 si rompono, senza contare quelli "tostati". Non avendo altri soldi per pezzi di ricambio gli autobus vengono cannibalizzati e per aggiustare un autobus rotto ce ne vogliono altri due.
    Tags: , , by M. Fioretti (2017-03-22)
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  5. Il diploma a tutti i costi basato su cavilli e ricorsi per accedere all’università non è e non deve essere la soluzione. Il motivo per cui molte famiglie scelgono questa strada è per garantire ai propri figli l’inclusione sociale. Al di là del principio che non condivido, mi chiedo a quale prezzo alcuni di questi giovani pagheranno una pseudo-inclusione in un ambiente che è finalizzato ad un livello di formazione universitaria. Preciso che sto parlando di pluridisabilità molto gravi con compromissioni cognitive e psichiche. Davvero si crede che il diploma per tutti e l’università per tutti garantisca pari diritti e inclusione? Io trovo che sia esattamente il contrario: la persona merita rispetto sociale in quanto tale e non in base alle sentenze che assegnano ruoli.

    L’Italia è cresciuta attraverso un mondo contadino laborioso, ha offerto diritti ai lavoratori e agli studenti ma ha sempre preservato il valore della persona. Da qualunque angolazione io osservi queste forzature, trovo che tutti questi farraginosi meccanismi siano una farsa legalizzata e una banale pezza al dopo superiori. Ben più complesso fornire ai giovani opportunità selezionate sulle reale competenze, giovani con pluridisabilità che nessuno ha interpellato davvero. Risorse enormi che rimarranno brutalmente improduttive nei casi limite. Cosa ne pensano gli studenti con disabilità anche gravi ma con autonoma capacità di discernimento? Perché non abbiamo il coraggio di affrontare la realtà per quella che è? Il riconoscimento dell’invalidità civile produce a volte un’inabilità al lavoro. Dove si trova una equipe specializzata che al quinto anno di superiori sia in grado di valutare competenze, ambizioni e sogni di un giovane con grave disabilità al fine di sostenerlo in un percorso condiviso che lo aiuti a realizzarsi come persona, intervenendo in suo aiuto anche guardando un po’ più in là del naso? Non esiste.

    Noi genitori che per anni rincorriamo l’autonomia e l’indipendenza dei nostri figli, decidiamo per loro anche oltre. Perdonatemi, io lo trovo un controsenso. Non voglio aggredire o applaudire questa o quella riforma. La mia vuole essere solo una testimonianza, certamente non statistica perché so di rappresentare una minoranza residuale. Amo mia figlia come qualsiasi genitore e forse è conoscendo lei e le sue ambizioni che ho formato negli anni questa idea. Il tutto ebbe inizio quando contro il dettato della legge, io chiesi di portare fuori dalla classe Diletta ove lei lo avesse richiesto. Forse perché preso atto che non esiste cura per guarirla, preso atto che i suoi tempi meritano rispetto, preso atto che l’istruzione passa dalla motivazione, scelsi in quel momento di rispettare il suo essere esattamente così come è. Rientra invece nel mio dovere di genitore muovermi nella direzione a lei più consona, direzione per me difficilissima, ma quale genitore non si trova dinanzi a compiti difficilissimi pur di aiutare il proprio figlio? Tutto questo per me è inclusione. Il resto mi lascia quantomeno dubbiosa.
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  6. MIT associate professor Iyad Rahwan has asked 3 million people to consider the “Trolley problem” when it comes to self-driving cars.

    The Trolley problem goes like this: a runaway trolley is barreling toward five people on a track who cannot move. But you have the option to pull a lever and send it to a side track where you see one person standing. What would you do?

    But as Rahwan puts it, the Trolley problem gets thornier when considering self-driving cars. The first scenario puts the ethical burden on a person. But if a self-driving car is in a lose-lose situation where it must make a choice, we’re asking a robot in our everyday environment to make the call.

    “The idea of a robot having an algorithm programmed by some faceless human in a manufacturing plant somewhere making decisions that has life-and-death consequence is very new to us as humans,” Rahwan told Business Insider.

    Rahwan’s work highlights the difficulty of assessing what should happen if a self-driving car gets into an accident. Should cars be programmed to act a certain way in dicey scenarios?

    The Trolley debate has lingered in the background for quite some time as automakers advance their self-driving car efforts. Rahwan helped bring it to the surface in October 2015 when he co-wrote a paper “Autonomous vehicles need experimental ethics.”
    Tags: by M. Fioretti (2017-03-22)
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  7. The morbid focus on the trolley problem creates, to some irony, a meta-trolley problem. If people (especially lawyers advising companies or lawmakers) start expressing the view that “we can’t deploy this technology until we have a satisfactory answer to this quandry” then they face the reality that if the technology is indeed life-saving, then people will die through their advised inaction who could have been saved, in order to be sure to save the right people in very rare, complex situations. Of course, the problem itself speaks mostly about the difference between “failure to save” and “overt action” to our views of the ethics of harm.

    It turns out the problem has a simple answer which is highly likely to be the one taken. In almost every situation of this sort, the law already specifies who has the right of way, and who doesn’t. The vehicles will be programmed to follow the law, which means that when presented with a choice of hitting something in their right-of-way and hitting something else outside the right-of-way, the car will obey the law and stay in its right-of-way. The law says this, even if it’s 3 people jaywalking vs. one in the oncoming lane. If people don’t like the law, they should follow the process to change it. This sort of question is actually one of the rare ones where it makes sense for policymakers, not vendors to decide the answer.
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  8. Il lavoro di inchiesta giornalistica inizia nel 2010, quando Borzi entra a far parte del comitato di redazione del quotidiano. Dall’interno, il giornalista viene colpito da alcune operazioni, in particolare l’acquisizione per incorporazione da parte del Sole 24 Ore Spa della GPP, una società, le cui quotazioni erano in ribasso e che era stata “comprata strapagandola, versando 40 milioni”. Proprio questa operazione lo insospettisce e comincia a fargli pensare che c’era qualcosa che non quadrava, “perché incorporare una società in un’altra significa togliere alla società incorporata il bilancio: se si toglie il bilancio non si è più in condizione di vedere come sono i conti, se la società è in utile o in perdita. (…) Sapendo che dall’epoca della quotazione del 2007 al 2010 aveva perso, capivo che c’era la volontà di seppellire i conti, di farli sparire”.

    Così il giornalista finanziario comincia a indagare sul suo stesso giornale, recuperando documenti e informazioni da diverse banche dati, identificando operazioni da lui ritenute sospette, come ad esempio la creazione di azionisti tra il momento in cui era stata acquistata una parte e quello in cui era stato completato l’acquisto di GPP, “azionisti che investendo poche decine di migliaia di euro si erano portati a casa 4 milioni, cioè il 10% della transazione finale”. Borzi prepara un esposto alla Consob, chiedendo alla propria azienda di valutare se il prezzo di acquisto di GPP fosse stato congruo. Quando il collegio sindacale risponde alle richieste di chiarimento della Consob dicendo che era tutto in regola, il giornalista comincia “a capire che c’era qualcosa che non andava, anche perché c’erano anomalie evidenti”, come il fatto che la società di revisione di società acquirente (Sole 24 Ore Spa) e incorporata (GPP) fosse la stessa.
    Tags: by M. Fioretti (2017-03-22)
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  9. As Kanth sees it, most of our utopian visions carry on the errors and limitations born of a misguided view of human nature. That’s why communism, as it was practiced in the Soviet Union and elsewhere, projected a materialist perspective on progress while ignoring the natural human instinct for autonomy— the ability to decide for ourselves where to go and what to say and create. On flip side, capitalism runs against our instinct to trust and take care of each other.
    So what do we do?

    Kanth, like many, senses that a global financial crisis, or some other equivalent catastrophe, like war or natural disaster, may soon produce painful and seismic economic and political disruptions. Perhaps only then will human nature reassert itself as we come to rediscover the crucial nexus of reciprocities that is our real heritage. That’s what will enable us to survive.

    Hopefully it won’t come to that, but right now, we can learn to “step out and breathe again,” says Kanth. We can “reclaim our natural social heritage, which is our instincts for care, consideration, and conviviality.” Even in large cities, he observes, we naturally tend to function within small groups of reference even though we are forced into larger entities in the workplace and other arenas. There, we can build and enrich our social ties, and seek to act according to our moral instincts. We can also resist and defy the institutions that deny our real humanity. Rather than violence or revolution, we can engage in “evasion and disobedience and exile.”

    We had better get to it, he warns. To put it bluntly, Eurocentric modernism is not compatible with human civilization. One of them has got to go.
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  10. We’ve been getting a lot of questions about when border agents can legally conduct searches of travelers’ electronic devices at international airports and other ports of entry. Unfortunately, the answer isn’t simple.
    Tags: , , , by M. Fioretti (2017-03-20)
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