Monday, January 26, 2009

Markets generate conversations

David Korten on Democracy Now:
. . . our system is built on driving increased consumption, but particularly it is driving the most destructive and wasteful forms of consumption, of course, starting with war, moving on to automobile dependence, and which is not just about the energy issue, but it’s about the fragmentation of society, as we move out into the suburbs. It’s about the breakdown of the family, as we put more and more stress on the family.

One interesting specific mentioned by Korten: People have ten times more conversations in farmers' markets than they have in the supermarket. If markets "are" conversations, we can say some conversations generate more conversations than others. And different sorts of exchanges. Korten is author of Agenda for a New Economy.

This is a crucial point -- tieing to what Doc Searls has been getting at forever. 

But the nuance matters. Some markets tend to dumb down conversations, or produce fake ones. Other markets generate talk with more matter. The nature of markets and the conversations they generate differs materially according to context, culture, etc. 

In places where open markets reside in town squares (Latin America, eg) the rich public and historical context - this place where people have spent their days every day for centuries - generates richer conversations - more hooks, more relations, more life content.

The whole interview with Korten is worthwhile. His notion of phantom vs. real wealth is very much on the money.

And in the spirit of phantom wealth, IMproPRieTies introduces its new, Amazon Affiliate linkthingage:

If we make $10 this year, we'll share half with you  in the spirit of phantom wealth aggregator proprietorship.

Update: Phil at Gifthub on Korten and Catherine Austin Fitts, and material differences between them.

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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Literal speech

That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood.

Love that "now." For the first time in how long, we appear to have a conscious leader in USia.

DN has good stuff: Lowery, Belafonte and Gregory

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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Of embodied power

For a symbol of power, St. Gaudens instinctively preferred the horse, as was plain in his horse and Victory of the Sherman monument. Doubtless Sherman also felt it so. The attitude was so American that, for at least forty years, Adams had never realized that any other could be in sound taste. How many years had he taken to admit a notion of what Michael Angelo and Rubens were driving at? He could not say; but he knew that only since 1895 had he begun to feel the Virgin or Venus as force, and not everywhere even so. At Chartres -- perhaps at Lourdes -- possibly at Cnidos if one could still find there the divinely naked Aphrodite of Praxiteles -- but otherwise one must look for force to the goddesses of Indian mythology. The idea died out long ago in the German and English stock. St. Gaudens at Amiens was hardly less sensitive to the force of the female energy than Matthew Arnold at the Grande Chartreuse. Neither of them felt goddesses as power -- only as reflected emotion, human expression, beauty, purity, taste, scarcely even as sympathy. They felt a railway train as power, yet they, and all other artists, constantly complained that the power embodied in a railway train could never be embodied in art. All the steam in the world could not, like the Virgin, build Chartres. Henry Adams

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Monday, January 19, 2009

I have a nightmare

He kept the slaves fighting among themselves. But whenever the slaves get together, something happens in Pharaoh’s court, and he cannot hold the slaves in slavery. When the slaves get together, that’s the beginning of getting out of slavery. King 4.03.1968

What if corporations are the slaves?

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Saturday, January 17, 2009

what the dickens

The inquest was over, the letter was public, the Bank was broken, the other model structures of straw had taken fire and were turned to smoke. The admired piratical ship had blown up, in the midst of a vast fleet of ships of all rates, and boats of all sizes; and on the deep was nothing but ruin: nothing but burning hulls, bunting magazines, great guns self-exploded tearing friends and neighbours to pieces, drowning men clinging to unseaworthy spars and going down every minute, spent swimmers, floating dead, and sharks. Little Dorrit.

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Thursday, January 15, 2009

GOOG pwns Prado

The fusion of art, engineering, science, glamour, Las Meninas, enlightenment, GoogleEarth, godlike geekdom. So, worry less than if this were another of Bill Gates's capture-rapture-tastic enterprises?


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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

news hole

One day David Brody of Christian Broadcasting Network shows up on Meet the Press, but Amy Goodman of Democracy Now never does.

Just one snip from a very rich pressthink post by Jay Rosen.

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Sunday, January 11, 2009

dream: jeepers creepers

Had a sort of gizmodo-tech dream this a.m. that left some distinct images. It seems in the world of my dream "scientists" had come up with a wireless eyeball that could send visual data directly to some implant in your brain. The eyeballs in my dream were smaller than the human eye - maybe about one-quarter as large.

So in that bridge state between dream and alacrity, I saw that some people had placed a second, small eye inside their eye - in the lower inside corner, near the bridge of the nose. It was perfectly round, and moved independently of the actual eye. This became nearly standard on humans after it proved effective.

Naturally some coolness-factor types needed to upgrade - an additional eye was placed at the other side of the human eye - again, small, round, shiny, independent of the organic eye. So now the gizmo-chic typically would have six eyes.

The next step was fashion. Eyes began appearing on earlobes as earrings, but they worked as eyes, giving greater range of vision. Then came entire strands, braids of chainmail eyeballs like finely braided hair, these eyes were smaller, hanging from ears, draped across hair, dangling from shoulders like casually donned chains. 

These images lingered - accompanied by a certain conviction that this is coming. Thinking about it later, the convergence of tech, organ harvesting, wifi and bling seems not only possible, but natural.

and their rings1354 were full4392 of eyes5869 round about5439 them four.702

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Wednesday, January 07, 2009

emerging backyard markets

via jefftrexler, a reader of Gifthub. Do not know if Jeff is somehow related to W. Trexler Proffit in the story.
LanX would be for small- and medium-sized companies — like restaurants and clothing stores, for example — that aren't large enough to use venture capital or angel investors, let alone make it on the New York Stock Exchange or Nasdaq, Proffitt said.

As an investor, "you get a say but you don't get a controlling say," he said.

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Friday, January 02, 2009

rosetta holographs