In its most basic term, blockchain is a database of transactions that can be arranged and added to in “blocks”. Each block represents and identifies previous transactions using cryptographic functions, to create an unbroken chain of custody for goods or services that, importantly, cannot be modified.
Acting as a digital ledger, blockchain creates a verifiable audit trail that can be used for any transaction, and this is where its impact on sustainability begins to take shape. Blockchain can be implemented – and in some cases, is already used – across numerous sectors, from forestry and fisheries to carbon accounting and energy.
It is a self-governing, online databased owned by no one and usable by everyone. Because the “chain” can’t be modified it can immediately provide proof of purchase for any transaction, whether that be procurement of sustainable materials to purchasing renewable energy.
The history of rebellion is rife with excess and burnout. But new generations have a distinctive commitment to be reflective and activist at once, to be in service as much as in charge, and to learn from history while bringing very new realities into being. Quaker wise man Parker Palmer and journalist and entrepreneur Courtney Martin come together for a cross-generational conversation about the inner work of sustainable, resilient social change.
I think, while social media is all nice and good, it has the potential to lure you into a false sense of connectedness. On the most basic human level, social interaction is much more than exchanging information, words. It is a person’s body language, their presence, that nourishes the soul. You can’t get that through a screen. But as you wilt away, starving yourself from that oldest of human needs, you don’t know why you get sick… you only know that something’s not right… and if you’re a sucker for that, you will most likely blame yourself for being unwell, for not performing.
This month it’s been 5 years that I was on Twitter. Twitter is the only social platform I frequent; I find it already hard to keep one running while still meeting actual real people in the other actual real life.
People spend a lot of time looking at their phones. Even the word phone has entirely morphed from one thing to something completely different now.
I’m taking a break from Twitter. And it feels kinda odd. While I’ve already got more done in just one day than I probably would’ve in three, I miss the voices and the laughter. (no I’m not hearing voices) I was never one for herd mentality. Twitter lets you forget that not all is good only because the loudest says so. The integrity of a writer is not manifested in the amount of followers they have. In this short-attention-span world of ours, every single bit of critical thinking is important for sanity and goodness to prevail (hopefully, after all, fingers crossed), so don’t let anyone shout you out.
Anyway, end of rant. Nothing really matters. As you were.
May 2010, as Britain headed into its last general election, elites all across the western world were gripped by austerity fever, a strange malady that combined extravagant fear with blithe optimism. Every country running significant budget deficits – as nearly all were in the aftermath of the financial crisis – was deemed at imminent risk of becoming another Greece unless it immediately began cutting spending and raising taxes. Concerns that imposing such austerity in already depressed economies would deepen their depression and delay recovery were airily dismissed; fiscal probity, we were assured, would inspire business-boosting confidence, and all would be well.
People holding these beliefs came to be widely known in economic circles as “austerians” – a term coined by the economist Rob Parenteau – and for a while the austerian ideology swept all before it. Continue reading →
Apr 25, 2014 - LinkedIn article by James Arvanitakis
Professor of Social & Cultural Analysis· University of Western Sydney
It is obvious that the Australian economy is facing a number of adjustments. The closure of Ford and Holden, as well as the recent announcement of Qantas, highlights that the opportunities that once existed, no longer exist. Continue reading →
Just came across this rather awesome energy nerd, Evan Beaver, and his TEDx talk in Canberra last year. His take on Earth Hour is that they need to evolve away from their over-simplistic message of ‘1 hour per year of energy saving is enough’ – and right he is, could not agree more.
Watch his talk here…
As an energy nerd, Evan Beaver spends a lot of time researching the best ways to reduce our energy use and save the planet. He argues that it is time for Earth Hour to die, and shares his real-world experiences in reducing energy consumption at both the city-wide and household level.
Find Evan at https://twitter.com/evcricket for more info on energy efficiency.
Ever had the feeling that your job might be made up? That the world would keep on turning if you weren’t doing that thing you do 9-5? David Graeber, Professor of Anthropology at the London School of Economics, explored the phenomenon of bullshit jobs – everyone who’s employed should read carefully…
“… a corporate lawyer working in a prominent New York firm [sic] was the first to admit that his job was utterly meaningless, contributed nothing to the world, and, in his own estimation, should not really exist.
There’s a lot of questions one could ask here, starting with, what does it say about our society that it seems to generate an extremely limited demand for talented poet-musicians, but an apparently infinite demand for specialists in corporate law? (Answer: if 1% of the population controls most of the disposable wealth, what we call “the market” reflects what they think is useful or important, not anybody else.) But even more, it shows that most people in these jobs are ultimately aware of it. In fact, I’m not sure I’ve ever met a corporate lawyer who didn’t think their job was bullshit. The same goes for almost all the new industries…”
A rockin good idea. Sure not easy to roll out, and in danger of being ‘hijacked’ at some point, or see inflated overheads, but still a beautiful (and just) idea.
Go and vote YES 🙂
Because the time is right.
From 2007 to present the world is suffering the greatest recession since World War I that is caused by a crash in the financial system. There is global agreement that we need to regulate finance so it cannot crash in the same way again, even if there are different views about how to do this. But the finance sector can – and should – make a proper tax contribution towards putting right the damage it caused and making the world a better, fairer, more sustainable place.
Computerisation of the finance sector has made a tax like this easy to implement. What’s more, it’s made it necessary – the very speed of today’s financial systems is a direct contributor to the surge in global trading. Nowadays, too much trading is done to make a quick profit, and not to serve the real economy. This high frequency trading has brought instability.
All what is happening around us, the digitisation of our world and the ever-connectedness that comes with it, to me this is all just an awe-inspiring invigorating enlivening exhilarating over the moon one great fucking huge adventure, with software sprouting everywhere only to be consumed brainfinger-lickingly, and with layers that are going down deeper and deeper and everything being close-looped and crossed over, all that just absolutely blows my mind, every single day, again and again. That what is ahead of us, the breadth of the tech horizon of which we’ve only just seen a fraction so far (its maybe 5:45am on a winter morning), is just so gobsmackingly fabulous and exiting and inspiring right down to the tiniest braincell (and heart.bit), its the best reason to get out of bed every morning to see where we’ve gotten to today. At least that’s what I kinda think and feel about the whole thing.
But – when at a job interview I find it simply impossible to even begin to give a proper answer to questions like “where do you see personal enhancement opportunities” or “can you describe a situation past with communication gone wrong” or “would you see yourself rather-than-as?” Continue reading →