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I want to get off this rock for a little while,
so that's what we're going to do.
We're going to look at global sustainability from a unique perspective.
Of course, being the science techno-geek person that I am,
having worked with the space shuttle and somewhat immersed
in a lot of the technological references
that enable an RBE to exist in the first place,
I decided to take this venture from Mars to Earth,
kind of going a different way.
When you think about space exploration, it's usually the other way around,
going from Earth to somewhere. Well, let's flip it.
So space exploration and sustainability: what is that all about?
Well, when you do anything in space,
it is inherent into the system that you need to be sustainable.
There is no Walmart, thank God, in orbit.
[Laughter]
So, you sort of want to plan accordingly, to maximize the efficiency
of the International Space Station, or shuttle missions,
or Dragon Missions from Space X, or whatever the case may be.
So what you do in this case is:
Let's do a Mars Base thought experiment and isolate some of the variables
that would be the most important and most relevant
to living on a hostile world that wasn't really designed for us.
Basic necessities of life:
air, food, water, sleep, medical care.
Then you ask yourself "Can those be provided in a way
such that the astronauts don't have to be the stewards
of their own habitat all day long?"
In fact, any researchers going to Mars,
their job is not to be the maid of their building.
It's to go out and drive and explore and dig up dirt and rocks ... right?
So, you would want to make sure that everything you put into their habitat
is as automated as possible, sustainable as possible,
self-correcting as possible.
And that also falls into the shelter, clothing, education,
energy, transportation and communication aspect as well.
Shelter's kind of a funny one, right?
On Earth, we can-... clothing too:
technically you can walk around naked under stars
and you'll be perfectly fine, unless it's winter in New England.
But, on Mars, you can't quite do it that way.
Your shelter is a life preserver in and of itself
because of the Martian atmosphere.
Your space suit is a life preserver for the exact same reason.
And so, some of that is also built into a sustainable aspect.
So, let's say something breaks on my space suit,
and I need to rapidly knock off a part.
Do I want to bring a whole bunch of parts with me,
that have mass and require bigger rockets to get up there?
Or, do I bring a 3D printer
and just knock off what I might need in the interim?
And so when you're looking at space exploration,
something to consider is abundance:
having more than enough to suit the needs of the region,
and by far probably one of the most important aspects
for us to live, peacefully.
I typically tell this story, and most people can resonate with it.
We have a room full of people here. If I put you all on a stranded island
with one coconut tree, no matter how awesome you think you are,
and how peaceful you are, at some point
you're probably gonna come to blows because there just isn't enough,
and so negative behaviors are going to manifest.
But if I put all of you on an island with an abundance of coconut trees
and food resources, you're not going to have a need to behave that way.
So, you would also do that, obviously, in any space exploration mission,
but it would also translate back home.
But in space we have technical abundance.
You can't really farm the land on Mars.
So you need to have certain ways, and air creation
(being able to have breathable air), water recycling systems, and what-not.
It's all done through technical means.
It's the ability to produce an abundance with minimum human labor input.
It goes back to the point of, what do you want your astronauts doing all day?
What do you want your researchers doing all day?
So, in order to give them the time to go do the awesome stuff
that they got educated to go do in the first place,
it's an absolute necessity on a Mars base.
So: from Mars to Earth, let's reverse gears. All right.
Can we do that on Mars? Yeah, we can.
In fact, we've had NASA and other space exploration institutes
have had designs and plans on the books for moon bases, for lunar bases
and Mars bases for quite some time, and I mean 30, 40, 50 years,
some of it rudimentary, or even better now than we were then,
but the concepts are still sound.
So if we can do that there, why the ... aren't we doing it here?
[Applause]
What I'm gonna do in the interest of time is to isolate two key examples,
just something to think about: biological need of food,
and a quality-of-life need of energy. Energy is an amazing thing.
If you look at the development of human civilization throughout time,
energy- harnessing energy- is by far the dominant characteristic
that changes our quality of life.
So let's look at technical abundance for food.
You have hydroponics, aquaponics,
sciences that are relatively new in some respects,
as far as our ability to apply reasons why this stuff works:
technical know-how, technical capabilities,
that allow us to grow without the need of using soil at all.
Then you have self-sustaining systems that can regulate
with sensors and monitors, pH-balance adjusters, things like that,
to make sure that the water is great for the plants and the fish.
Clean energy power systems (which I'll touch on in a bit),
and it can be highly automated. Now, I'm not saying that
such systems would be completely void of human interaction.
But then again, they don't have to be.
You're going to have people that want to trim the tomato plants,
that enjoy getting into the plants and stuff.
So it's not so much that we have to automate all of it-
that's it, that's what we have to do- like some dictatorship.
It's about automating as much as we can, so that the person
who is the agriculturist that just loves to grow spinach or what not,
can go in there and just do the minimal things that they want to do,
and then spend the rest of the day hanging out with the kids,
or enjoying life, or learning something
and really reinvigorating that whole family unit
that seems to be disintegrating a lot these days.
And then you look at our clean energy needs.
We all... far too many people actually don't understand
the clean energy potential, that we have on this planet.
This planet is bombarded on a regular basis
by a boatload of energy from the sun.
We have wind, we have wave, tidal,
hydro, geothermal ways of harnessing energy,
and it's not like 'free' energy as if it comes from some invisible ether,
all you're doing is converting from one form to another,
and we're getting really good at converting Earth's energy potential
into something we can use.
So you have ideas like this, where you take vertical axis wind turbines
and put them on the light posts that you're electric car would drive by,
for example. You zip by at 60 mph, and somebody else zips by at 60 mph,
that little wind turbine is 'gonna haul ass', spinning.
And what's it going to do when it does that?
Generate power, which is going to charge a battery in the bottom.
And then at night time, what's going to turn on the light?: the battery
that was charged by the people who drove by during the day.
No grid. The whole pole runs itself.
[Applause]
So if we implemented abundant solution sets for our most basic needs-...
there's the question, isn't it?
Of course, most of the people in here probably know the answer to this one.
Can the current socioeconomic system we live in now
actually handle such robust global sustainability?
No.
[Laughter]
It was never designed to.
It served a purpose to get us to where we are, right?
I akin it to this: are you bitter or mad at the pants you used to wear
when you were 9 years old?
No. When you were 9 years old
the pants served a purpose, right? They fit you, they worked.
And then you outgrew the pants.
[Applause]
So we need new pants.
So what do we have now? A system based on scarcity.
What we're moving towards-... and this is a very organic movement.
Yes, The Zeitgeist Movement is a representation of a train of thought
that a lot of people cling onto, and there are other groups and organizations.
It's like ... a good chunk of the world is starting to wake up.
I blame the Internet a lot, because now we're able to share information
in such a way that people are going "What the fuck are we doing?!"
[Laughter]
We have a system based on inefficient human labor.
Let's go to technical labor to cover most of the labor needs.
Cyclical growth and consumption on a finite planet? That's a brilliant idea!
Let's be a bunch of bacteria in a Petri dish, and grow and grow and grow,
and then when we reach the maximum size of the Petri dish, we die.
'Cause that's what happens! Science, people, wake up!
And so, when you look at the finite carrying capacity of the Earth,
it would make sense to manage what you're doing
and limit that whole 'growth forever' thought process.
A system based on ownership and control, is what we have now.
We know we're all moving towards usership and open access,
open source of information and ideas, even blueprints
and thought process, 3D printers, the list goes on.
Outdated multi-century old ideologies and institutions:
I think that has been hammered pretty good up to this point
by the great speakers before me.
We need a forward-thinking, adaptive and emergent train of thought
in society that says "Just because it worked yesterday
doesn't mean that it's going to work tomorrow."
Like the sciences do, keep punching at your theories until they break,
and then when they break, go "Sweet! Now I have a better idea."
[Applause]
We have a system based on hostile competition,
secrecy and differential advantage.
What we need is a more cooperative, collaborative system of ideas
for information and mutual benefit.
And then political opinion (yay- politics)
dictate the ebb and flow of global operations,
including corporate influence on government.
Quite obviously, that's not a very good idea for moving forward.
So mankind needs to upgrade its global OS (its operating system).
You can call it an RBE, a Natural Earth, a Star Trek economy,
what the hell ever else you want to call it, doesn't matter.
There are a lot of different names for the same general concept.
Just remember this: there are no utopias.
As you notice, there's kind of a theme with this 'no utopia' thing.
There are always going to be problems and things to tackle,
like building that Mars base. That's going to be a pain in the ass.
It's going to be great. It's going to be fun. It's going to be challenging.
It's gonna cause us to rethink all kinds of ways of doing things.
So there are going to be challenges.
So you're going to need new tools and new ways of thinking,
and I akin that back to the utopian idea,
to the hunter-gatherers of 50,000 years ago.
Try to explain today, just try to explain air-conditioning-...
they're going to call you a utopianist!
"Wait, I can sit in one building all day and call that my home?
And go to a store that has all kinds of stuff, and it's shipped all over?
What the hell's the Internet? And what's that? Phone? Satellites? What?!"
OK, the list could go on for a really long time.
Transitioning, how do we get there from here? I love the transition question.
"Transition: I want an itemized 1 through 27 list
of exactly what we're going to do!"
[Laughter]
You can't even do that looking through history
at transitions that happened, that we know happened,
because they frickin' happened, you know? Agricultural to industrial, whatever.
It's a piecewise meal of several functions and variables;
I can probably do calculus on the damn stuff.
The point is that it's a very emergent, flowing,
nebulous move from one thing to the other.
But in short, it's an erosion process.
It's basically reducing the dependency on the current system
and helping to improve, or move to a different way of thinking and doing things.
There's a lot of ways that people can go about doing this:
from joining a group or a network,
starting at their own corporately social responsible company
that's kind of a hybrid between...
It's like this monetary company, but it's got an RBE brain behind it,
so the point is to kind of drive yourself out of business in the long run.
You kind of play the game now, and then you eventually say
"Good, I don't have to worry about doing that anymore," something like that.
Start or work for a non-profit, that can kind of do the same thing.
But also work with what you're passionate about.
Don't email me saying "I'm gonna be an engineer
because I think that's the best thing to do."
[No.] Are you going to be an engineer because that's what you want to do
or because that's the best thing you think that needs to be done?
If you happen to be a musician or an artist or whatever, do that.
Don't just become something because you think
that's what needs to be done in that respect.
I don't think you're going to do yourself or anybody else any major favors
by just jumping into something because you think it's appropriate.
And so, a quote to end on. It's always good to have a good quote to end on.
Good old Bucky [R. Buckminster Fuller]:
"You never change things by fighting the existing reality.
To change something, build a new model
that makes the existing model obsolete."
[Applause]
The Zeitgeist Movement
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Zeitgeist Day 2013: Douglas Mallette | "From Mars to Earth" [Part 4 of 11]

60 Folder Collection
王惟惟 published on August 9, 2017
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