Tired of dystopias dominating what our future might look like? Move aside cyberpunk. Here comes Solarpunk!
Solarpunk is about finding ways to make life more wonderful for us right now and for the generations that follow, extending human life at the species level, as well as individually. Solarpunk futurism is not nihilistic like cyberpunk and it avoids steampunk’s potentially quasi-reactionary tendencies: it is about ingenuity, thrivability, generativity, independence, and community.
The “solar” in solarpunk is both a description and metaphor for a commitment to a utopia that is accessible to every human on earth, as well as to all of our planet’s lifeforms. No single business can capture and privatize sunlight to hoard it for itself or sell it at a cost. It’s one of the only universally accessible goods. Solarpunk futures envision a world of distributed clean energy, available and benefiting everyone.
The “punk” in solarpunk is about rebellion, counterculture, countereconomics, enthusiasm, and individuality. It’s about going in a different direction than the mainstream, that’s increasingly going in a scary direction. A counterculture and economics that values individual choice, freedom, decentralization, self-direction, love and hope – qualities missing in mainstream culture. It’s about creating a safe space for free expression, creativity, to “punk out” and express your unique and true self.
At the heart of Solarpunk is that the “MegaCrisis” (global ecological and economic collapse) can be overcome by a “Mega-Convergence” of abundant clean energy, abundant use of recycled and upcycled materials (circular economy), and cheap and ubiquitous desktop manufacturing.
Solarpunks believe the technology we need for a utopia is already here; we just haven’t found the political will to enact one. Instead of imagining dystopian futures of networked crime and surveillance, Solarpunk taps into an extant community of “can do” optimists, makers, permaculturists, bright green designers, artists, activists, builders and visionaries.
Solarpunk fully embraces radical abundance. Artificial scarcity is not sustainable as the tools of abundance become more available. Through advanced biodegradable materials, recycling and regeneration of existing materials, the material loop can be closed, such that no further consumption needs to happen beyond the planets capacity to regenerate it. As regenerative technological systems improve, the use of natural resources will actually return far below what the planet naturally regenerates, resulting in a planet whose natural resources (forests, rivers, oceans, fisheries, etc) are restored to pre-industrial levels. This means we can create ever better tools and standards of living for everyone while decreasing the overall footprint that humankind has on the planet. This is what Buckminster Fuller called “ephemeralization” – doing more and more with less and less. This is now possible with things like the advent of cheap and self-replicating (locally 3D-printed) organic solar cell technology, radically increased batter storage capacity, 3D printing, wide-scope open-source innovation feedback networks, and better tools for collectively intelligence collaboration.
There is no reason why this trend will not continue ever upwards to greater and greater levels of abundance for everyone, both on this planet and off.
Some articles I wrote about this over the last decade:
You may have heard deflation is a bad thing, something to be feared. This might have been true in a scarcity based economy, but the opposite is true in an abundance based economy. No where is this more true than in the information technology sector, where annual deflation runs well over 50%. This is a huge rate of deflation, yet it comes from a sector of the economy that generates the most robust economic growth each year. Deflation is the result of advancing technology that generates greater efficiencies resulting in ephermalization – doing more and more with less and less. Ephermalization is now impacting the energy markets in earnest. Soon, energy is about to become even cheaper than it already is, despite falling oil prices. Below are two articles you should read, back to back. The first is a projection from Citigroup, a traditionally conservative institution, that advancing battery technology is going to be even more disruptive than solar, supplanting the entire fossil fuel industry withing the next *decade*. The second is a brilliant explanation of Saudi Arabia’s smart and prescient move to drop oil prices. Time is running out for fossil fuels to remain competitive, so with each passing day remaining reserves are becoming less valuable. Soon they will be worthless. Better to make some money now while the world still needs your oil, than none later when the world has moved on to something better.
We are in the midst of massive economic disruption and growing structural unemployment caused by the automation of increasingly large segments of the economy. These days very few people are actually needed to provide the basic necessities of an affluent society. This is what Buckminster Fuller called ephermalization, the ability to do more and more with less and less. But rather than an increase in leisure time one would expect from such gains, we have record levels of poverty and wealth disparity. Despite an economy that continues to grow in per capita terms, the gains of that economy flow into ever fewer hands.
A lot of people blame the “free” market, but the situation is anything but. The source of the problem is built-in structural theft facilitated by the state to benefit an increasingly small, politically connected, economic elite. Those gains in wealth have been enclosed as a source of rent through government enforcement of artificial scarcity using intellectual property laws and regulatory barriers to prevent genuine competition, and the radical distribution of wealth it would generate.
You can see how this theft works in the current wireless services market. The technology exists now for everyone in the world to have high-bandwidth communications (data and voice) with anyone else in the world for free, without any company or middle man whatsoever, using super cheap devices that cost less than $20. When something is free, it’s one less thing you have to buy, and one less thing you have to work for. As far as radical abundance is concerned there is no functional difference between making everyone richer and making everything cheaper. So what kind of technology enables the creation of a free worldwide communications network? It’s called software defined radio, and it’s been around for more than a decade. It completely solves the spectrum scarcity problem by finding, negotiating, and determining moment-by-moment, on the fly, the most efficient frequency for any given communication. This happens at the device level, so it renders the need for centrally controlling towers, and their bandwidth bottlenecks, completely obsolete. By bypassing these lower bandwidth cell towers, this decentralized, p2p, spectrum allocation protocol increases available bandwidth over traditional cell networks by three orders of magnitude. The result is profound – by ditching wireless service companies we gain a one thousand fold increase in wireless bandwidth! The only problem with this plan is it’s illegal.
What we get instead are companies like Artemis Network’s licensing this technology (PCell) so that you’ll have to keep paying your wireless bill to use it. Say again? You’ll have to keep paying your old company every month for something they no longer provide. Imagine a scenario in which up until now you’ve always paid Peter to fetch your daily water because he had the specialized tools to do so. Then one day you figured out how to do it yourself easier and cheaper. But because of some law on the books you still have to pay Peter for the water you’re getting yourself. This is outrageous, but it is exactly the kind of situation we now have with PCell within the existing regulatory landscape. A middle man, a thief, or in this case your wireless service provider, is forcing you to pay the same “service” fee you’ve been paying for a service you no longer use, and they no longer provide. Artemis Networks is calling this new technology “personal cellular”, but it is anything but. It’s completely owned and licensed by your wireless service provider. This obscene state of affairs is enabled through enforcement of obsolete spectrum scarcity laws on a resource that is no longer scarce. I repeat – the only reason we don’t have super fast, super cheap worldwide communications is because of artificial scarcity imposed by government regulation and coercion.
The same holds true for virtually every sector of the economy. Luckily for us the trend is shifting both on the ground and in the halls of government. At the state level we’re seeing a loosening of restrictions on home based businesses. For example, California just passed a Homemade Food Cottage Business bill that makes it easier for home based business to sell food directly to the public. Meanwhile the tools of abundance are multiplying faster than they can be expropriated, because the means of finance (cryptocurrencies, crowdfunding, peer lending, etc) manufacturing and production (3d printing, permaculture, etc.) and energy (solar, microhydro) are decentralizing outside of the control of regulators. Laws are only as good as they can be enforced. We’ve already seen this battle lost by the music industry. Other parts of the economy are next. 3d printing is going to disintermediate the manufacturing business the same way Napster and Bittorent disintermediated the music business. At some point, open-source software radios are going to hit the streets, regardless of the laws in place, and once that genie is out of the bottle, there is no putting it back in.
But until these technologies of abundance break out we’re going to see state-sponsored capitalism, and it’s artificial scarcities and sources of rent, continue to expropriate as much of this abundance and wealth for itself and its crony benefactors as possible. What they don’t realize is by depriving us access to the tools of abundance they are actually undermining the same system it so desperately depends on. You can’t bleed a bled horse, and the sources of capital the state relies on to pay for this theft are drying up under a mountain of unsustainable debt. Debt incurred for the most part by a massive and out of control national security state apparatus and the corporate giants that depend on it. It’s bankrupting itself through anti-competitive business practices that can only be maintained by bleeding dry the very customer base they depend on, both for taxes to finance it, and dollars to buy the crap these state-backed corporations are selling. It’s an incestuous and codependent relationship of corporation and state (not to mention Ponzi scheme), caught in a death spiral it cannot escape. Death of the old system is inevitable. The only question is when.
The best we can hope for is an inflection point high enough on the graph, where the tools of abundance pick us up as the old system collapses.
The phenomenon known as aging is a result of pathological changes that are somewhat controllable using existing technologies. By prolonging our healthy lifespans today (by protecting against these known mechanisms of aging), we put ourselves in a position to take advantage of future medical breakthroughs that could result in dramatic extensions of the human lifespan.
Here are some of the underlying controllable culprits involved in pathological aging and what humans can do right now to help counteract them:
1. Chronic Inflammation
Aging people suffer an epidemic of outward inflammatory diseases such as arthritis, but chronic systemic inflammation also damages brain cells, arterial walls, heart valves, and other structures in the body. Heart attack, stroke, heart valve failure and Alzheimer’s senility have been linked to the chronic inflammatory cascade so often seen in aging humans.
Some methods to counteract: Eat a low-glycemic diet rich in omega-3 and monounsaturated fats, but low in omega-6 and saturated fats (such as salmon, other fatty fish and fish oil; avocados; seeds and nuts; extra virgin olive oil and fresh produce. Take supplements that provide omega-3 fatty acids, curcumin, garlic, ginger, pomegranate, luteolin, lipoic acid, 5-Loxin, vitamin K, and vitamin E. Avoid eating foods cooked at high temperatures, and minimize foods high in arachidonic acid such as eggs and dairy and the fat in red and white meat. Have your blood tested for C-reactive protein. If C-reactive protein is chronically elevated, request an Inflammatory Cytokine blood test panel.
It is well-known that diabetics age prematurely, but even non-diabetics suffer from a devastating chemical reaction called glycation, where protein or fat molecules bind to glucose molecules in the body to form non-functioning structures. Glycation is most evident in senile dementia, stiffening of the arterial system, and degenerative diseases of the eye.
Some methods to counteract: Take 1000 mg a day of carnosine, 50–150 mg a day of benfotiamine, lots of antioxidants, and avoid eating foods cooked at high temperatures.
3. Methylation Deficit
Cellular DNA requires constant enzymatic actions (methylation) for maintenance and repair. Aging cripples youthful methylation metabolism causing DNA damage that can manifest as cancer, liver damage, and brain cell degeneration.
Some methods to counteract: Consume at least 800 mcg a day of folic acid, 300 mcg a day of vitamin B12, 50 mg a day of vitamin B2, 100 mg a day of vitamin B6, 500–3000 mg a day of TMG.
Elevated homocysteine is a red flag that warns you that your body is not methylating properly. Elevated homocysteine is the strongest modifiable predictor of overall mortality. If homocysteine levels remain persistently high, take 800–5000 mcg of 5-methylfolate twice a day.
4. Mitochondrial Energy Depletion
The cell’s energy powerhouses (the mitochondria) require a complex series of chemicals to be present in order to maintain critical functions such as transporting nutrients through the cell membrane and purging the cell of toxic debris. Mitochondrial energy depletion can result in congestive heart failure, muscle weakness, fatigue and neurological disease.
Some methods to counteract: Consume 20 mg of PQQ daily, 1500-3000 mg a day of carnitine in the forms of acetyl-l-carnitine, acetyl-l-carnitine arginate, propionyl-l-carnitine, 150–300 mg a day of R-lipoic acid, 100–300 mg of coenzyme Q10. Consider calorie restriction.
5. Hormone Imbalance
The trillions of cells in the human body are delicately synchronized to function by chemical signals called hormones. Aging creates a severe hormone imbalance that is often a contributing cause to many diseases associated with aging including depression, osteoporosis, coronary artery disease, and loss of libido.
Some methods to counteract: Have your blood checked for the following.
Total and Free testosterone
Total Estrogen (females)
Progesterone (females and males)
Restore deficient hormones to youthful ranges and reduce excess hormones to safe ranges. Retest blood in sixty days to fine-tune dosing. Refer to Male and Female Hormone Modulation protocols and DHEA Restoration Therapy by logging in to www.lef.org/maxlife.202
Calcium ions are transported into and out of cells through calcium channels in the cell membrane. Aging disrupts calcium transport, and the result is excess calcium infiltration into cells of the brain, heart valves and middle arterial wall (causing arteriosclerosis).
Some methods to counteract: Take around 10 mg of a vitamin K supplement that provides both vitamin K1 and K2, and drink 8-ounces of pomegranate juice or its powdered equivalent. Follow a lifestyle that protects against atherosclerosis and endothelial dysfunction. Have standard blood chemistry tests done annually to rule out excess blood calcium levels (hypercalcemia). You can get qualified affordable blood testing from Life Extension Foundation. www.lef.org/maxlife.
7. Fatty Acid Imbalance
The body requires essential fatty acids to maintain cell energy output. Aging causes alterations in enzymes required to convert dietary fats into the specific essential fatty acids the body requires to sustain life. The effects of a fatty acid imbalance may manifest as an irregular heart beat, joint degeneration, low energy, hyper-coagulation, dry skin, or a host of other common ailments associated with normal aging.
Some methods to counteract: Make sure to consume enough omega-3 fatty acids and avoid excess consumption of omega-6 fats. Make sure monounsaturated fats (such as extra virgin olive oil) are part of your regular diet.
8. DNA Gene Mutation
Numerous synthetic and natural compounds mutate cellular DNA and cause cancer cells to form. Aging cells lose their DNA gene repair mechanisms and the result is that DNA genetic damage can cause cells to proliferate out of control: i.e., turn into cancer cells.
Some methods to counteract: Restrict calorie intake, but do so without inducing malnutrition. Supplement with 20 mg a day of resveratrol and/or 500–1700 milligrams a day of the drug metformin (under physician supervision.) Include lots of antioxidants in your supplement program. Limit amounts of deep-fried foods and those cooked at high temperatures. Take 100 mg of chlorophyllin with most meals.
9. Immune Dysfunction
Only if your immune system is depressed will it normally allow a virus to take hold. So maybe a depressed immune dysfunction is the disease. In fact, maybe aging is the disease that depresses the immune system.
For a variety of reasons, the aging immune system loses its ability to attack bacteria, viruses, and cancer cells. In aging humans, excessive levels of dangerous cytokines are produced that cause the immune system to turn on its host and create autoimmune diseases associated with aging such as rheumatoid syndrome.
Some methods to counteract: Maintain youthful hormone balance and guard against excess free radical production. Consider supplementing daily with 100 mg of Beta-1, 3-D Glucan Complex to boost certain immune parameters while taking 8–16 mg daily of 203 to access the latest Immune System Strengthening Protocol. 204
blood tests to guard against arterial wall damaging factors such as excess C-reactive protein, fibrinogen, LDL, homocysteine, insulin, glucose, triglycerides. Take steps to increase HDL and free testosterone if blood tests reveal levels that are too low.
10. Non-Digestive Enzyme Imbalance
Internal cellular functions depend on multiple enzymatic reactions occurring with precise timing. Aging causes enzyme imbalances primarily in the brain and liver, which results in severe neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s or the persistent memory loss aging people so often complain about. Impaired liver function results in toxic damage to every cell in the body. No supplements, oral or injected, no hormones, or anything else help when your liver is weak. One of the best ways to maintain optimal liver function is to boost your cells’ glutathione levels.
Some methods to counteract: Consider supplementing with 400–1200 mg a day of SAMe (s-adenosyl-methionine) and 900 mg a day of silymarin.
11. Digestive Enzyme Deficit
The aging pancreas often fails to secrete enough digestive enzymes, while the aging liver does not secrete enough bile acids. The result is the chronic indigestion people complain about as they age.
Some methods to counteract: Take a standardized digestive enzyme supplement before meals. If problems persist, take a supplement that provides artichoke or black radish extracts to promote bile secretion from liver to facilitate digestion of fats. Note: to maintain a healthy gut, take probiotics regularly as well as fermented foods such as tofu, homemade yogurt, tempeh, miso and vinegar. You can find probiotics at most health food stores.
The aging brain loses control of its release of neurotransmitters such as glutamate and dopamine, resulting in devastating brain cell damage and destruction.
Some methods to counteract: Take 1–40 mg a day of sublingual methylcobalamin and 20 mg a day of vinpocetine. Parkinson’s patients should take 200–300 mg of the ubiquinol or water soluble ubiquinone form of CoQ10.
13. Circulatory Deficit
Microcapillary perfusion of blood to the brain, eye, and skin is impaired as a part of normal aging. The result is that disorders of the eye (such as cataract, macular degeneration, and glaucoma) are the number one aging-related degenerative disease. Major and mini-strokes are common problems associated with circulatory deficit to the brain. The skin of all aged people shows the effects of lack of nutrient-rich blood to the upper layers.
Some methods to counteract: Consume lots of flavonoids found in ginkgo, blueberry, matcha green tea, pomegranate, and grape seed extracts. Further maintain healthy endothelial function by supplementing with omega-3 fatty acids. Utilize comprehensive 204
blood tests to guard against arterial wall damaging factors such as excess C-reactive protein, fibrinogen, LDL, homocysteine, insulin, glucose, triglycerides. Take steps to increase HDL and free testosterone if blood tests reveal levels that are too low.
14. Oxidative stress
Free radicals are unstable molecules that have been implicated in most diseases associated with aging. Antioxidants have become popular supplements to protect against free radical-induced cell damage, but few people take the proper combination of antioxidant supplements to adequately compensate for age-induced loss of endogenous antioxidants such as SOD and catalase.
Some methods we use to counteract: Take protected glutathione, SOD and catalase-boosting nutrients, avoid diet and lifestyles that promote oxidative stress, consume lots of antioxidant foods and supplements such as gamma tocopherol and pomegranate.
Notice that oxidative stress is listed as number fourteen on the above list of controllable factors that cause aging-related diseases. While suppressing the free radicals that cause oxidative stress protects against many disorders, there is clearly much more that can be done to stave off aging than merely taking antioxidant supplements.
Children can benefit by taking vitamin supplements, but it is the aging human whose body is depleted of the endogenous antioxidants, hormones, enzymatic repair systems, and other biological chemicals needed to sustain life. What is optional in childhood becomes mandatory as humans enter middle-age and become vulnerable to the plethora of degenerative diseases that await them if they do not adequately protect themselves
Ted Nelson, who I have always been a fan of this brilliant and funny maverick, and pioneer of Xanadu, one of the very earliest conceptions of hypertext or what is now called the “world wide web”, thinks he knows who Satoshi Nakamoto is. I think he’s wrong and have my own suspicions, but it’s worth a watch, if nothing else to enjoy the always entertaining and stimulating Mr. Nelson.
So who is Shinichi Mochizuki? He was born in Japan, but was raised in the United States from the time he was 5, meaning he speaks perfect English with an American accent. He attended Exeter Academy and graduated second of his class (salutatorian) at Princeton, and probably first if he took his time and finished in 4 years, instead of his crazy 3 years. He is now full professor at mathematics at Kyoto University.
In 2011, he claimed to have formulated a proof for the ABC Conjecture (source: Wikipedia):
The abc conjecture (also known as Oesterlé–Masser conjecture) is a conjecture in number theory, first proposed by Joseph Oesterlé (1988) and David Masser (1985) as an integer analogue of the Mason–Stothers theorem for polynomials. The conjecture is stated in terms of three positive integers, a, b and c (hence the name), which have no common factor and satisfy a + b = c. If d denotes the product of the distinct prime factors of abc, the conjecture essentially states that d is usually not much smaller than c. In other words: if a and b are composed from large powers of primes, then c is usually not divisible by large powers of primes. The precise statement is given below.
The abc conjecture has already become well known for the number of interesting consequences it entails. Many famous conjectures and theorems in number theory would follow immediately from the abc conjecture. Goldfeld (1996) described the abc conjecture as “the most important unsolved problem in Diophantine analysis“.
In August 2012, Shinichi Mochizuki released a series of four preprints containing a serious claim to a proof of the abc conjecture. Mochizuki calls the theory on which this proof is based “inter-universal Teichmüller theory“, and it has other applications including a proof of Szpiro’s conjectureand Vojta’s conjecture. Experts were expected to take months to check Mochizuki’s new mathematical machinery, which was developed over decades in 500 pages of preprints and several of his prior papers. When an error in one of the articles was pointed out by Vesselin Dimitrovand Akshay Venkatesh in October 2012, Mochizuki posted a comment on his website acknowledging the mistake, stating that it would not affect the result, and promising a corrected version in the near future. He proceeded to post a series of corrected papers of which the latest dated March 2013.
Mochizuki is certainly a very impressive mathematician! If his proof of the ABC conjecture is legit, he will probably be awarded the Fields Metal or something equivalent. However, I am not as convinced as Ted Nelson that Mochizuki is Satoshi Nakamoto. I’ve seen several other very compelling theories as to the true identity of Nakamoto, and the leading one in my opinion, is he is a composite figure, composed of at least two or three people.
Great video review of Mochizuki’s work on the ABC Conjecture and Inter-Universal Geometry by Numberphile:
The southern swell just hit Teahupo’o, Tahiti, and big wave surfers are there. Due to its unique underwater topography, when swells hit Teahupo’o they create the heaviest and most massive waves in the world. Just look at these monsters! This is *the* place that humbled and changed Laird Hamilton forever. If you’re into surfing like I am, check out the movie Riding Giants, which shows Laird’s famous first ride on this beast. Looking at the massive volume of water coming over these dudes, imagine that crashing on top of your head if you wipe out! These photos were taken yesterday. More up to date news at Surfline.
Towed in by Laird Hamilton, here’s Koa Rothman catching the “wave of the day”.
“Many people, including myself, rode the biggest tubes of their lives on Monday,” Gray continued. “I’d like to say thank you to Raimana and Dorian for the invite to the greatest place on earth. (And Kai Garcia for helping me get my boards.) I will never forget today — or the surfers who tackled one of the heaviest swells of all time.”
Hippo knows an impossible situation when he sees one, and and was quick to hit the eject button on this one. Photo: Tim McKenna
A partial solution to a centuries-old problem known as the twin prime conjecture now affirms the idea that an infinite number of prime numbers have companions — and that a maximum distance between these pairs does in fact exist.
Prime numbers are those non-composite numbers that can only be divided by one or itself. On average, the gap that separates these numbers gets larger as their values increase. But a neat quirk about primes is that every once in awhile they also come in pairs, so-called twin primes. These numbers differ from another prime by two. Examples include 3 and 5, 17 and 19, 41 and 43, and even 2,003,663,613 × 2195,000 − 1 and 2,003,663,613 × 2195,000 +1.
Ever since the time of Euclid, however, mathematicians have wondered if these twin primes keep on appearing for infinity. They have no doubt that primes themselves appear for infinity, but because mathematicians lack a useful formula to predict their occurrence, they have struggled to prove the twin prime conjecture — the idea that there are infinitely many primes p such that p+2 is also prime (i.e. the two number gap).
But now, as the Mathematician Zhang Yitang from University of New Hampshire in Durham has shown, there is a kind of weak version of the twin prime conjecture. He didn’t prove that a distance of 2 exists for an infinite number of primes, but he did prove that there are infinitely many prime gaps shorter than 70 million.
A gap of two is obviously far removed from a gap of 70 million. But considering that the previous estimate was infinity, Zhang’s assertion is incredible. As Maggie McKee noted inNature News, “Although 70 million seems like a very large number, the existence of any finite bound, no matter how large, means that that the gaps between consecutive numbers don’t keep growing forever.”
Zhang presented his research yesterday (May 13) to an audience at Harvard University, so his work will still have to withstand the scrutiny of peer review. But according to McKee, a referee with the Annals of Mathematics is recommending that his paper be accepted for consideration.
This beautiful video shows the natural phenomena of stigmergy, and demonstrates how decentralized stigmergic humanity can form collective intelligences far superior to any kind of imposed or central types of order we have now. See my paper on Innovating Our Way to a Peaceful and Liberating Anarchy for how that might look.