Sunday Mutants 8-1-12

 

This week the theme really seems to be content worth spreading; some serious high grade amazing coming below. Take the time to explore it.

 

First, we catch up with some best-of collections of last year, with a focus on things that should be more widely known.

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– Project Censored’s top 25 under-reported news stories of 2011 and 2012. Always worth catching up with.

– Global Voices 20 most read stories of 2011.

(For those who aren’t familiar with them:

Global Voices is a community of more than 500 bloggers and translators around the world who work together to bring you reports from blogs and citizen media everywhere, with emphasis on voices that are not ordinarily heard in international mainstream media.)

Huffington Posts lists the 18 best TED talks of 2011. Some interesting stuff in there.

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Now three really interesting and inspiring ones:

 

Building sustainable community – literally:

The Open Source Ecology project applies open source principles to creating tools capable of building sustainable communities using recycled and scrap materials.

The Global Village Construction Set (GVCS) would lower entry into farming, building and manufacturing.

It’s perhaps best explained as Lego-like construction tools, which can be used to create entire economies. This sort of technology can be used in urban redevelopment or in the developing world.

The technology is a inexpensive, DIY, high-performance platform that enables the creation of 50 different industrial machines it would take to build a small, sustainable civilisation with modern comforts.

This seriously sounds six shades of awesome.

Here is a 2011 TED talk by the founder.

This is the free contents of their DVD explaining what they are on.

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Fascinating Guardian opinion piece linking personal debt, national debt, and banks creating money out of nothing: Yes, defaulting on debts is an option.

What really got me was this bit:

After a bit of research, I realised the debt collectors buy debts for less than 10p in the pound, after the bank writes the debt off. I also found out that under the Bills of Exchange Act 1882, the debt collector is actually paying off our debt when they buy it. I also realised how debt collectors trick us into contracts with them, by asking us how much we could pay. When you agree to one pound a month, which costs more to administrate, they now have a contract with you, where none existed.

Now, this is from England, so the same may not apply here, but that is still really interesting.

The guy’s site is Getoutofdebtfree.org. Definitely seems content worth spreading. Spreading memes along the lines that “money created out of nothing really doesn’t exist, so why pay it back with real money?” gets us closer to the actual state of things: “money only exists since we believe in it.” Which is probably still too drastic for most people to face up to.

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Introducting Yoxi:

At Yoxi, we search for amazing people who work hard to change the world, and we connect them to new opportunities by telling their stories in the most creative, compelling ways. We call these people Social Innovation Rockstars (SIRs) because they are original thinkers, creative problem-solvers, and fearless leaders who care about creating lasting social value. The world needs them to have more visibility and influence, so we do our part by helping them reach a mainstream audience. When a movement for social innovation becomes part of pop culture, we can make a real difference.

Basically, they want to hack culture and make it about awesome stuff instead of braindead stuff. (If this seems pie-in-the-sky, Yoxi’s founder brought you American Idol.)

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And a couple to make you think about the nature of reality a touch.

Technoccult interview with Douglas Rushkoff. Most interesting to me was him talking about balancing engaging with magic as a path with real world concerns (house, wife, kid). Fascinating as a metaphor in general for anyone getting older.

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Another entry in the Jodorowsky is so cool stakes: Alejandro Jodorowsky leads group of 3000 in Psychomagic ritual for casualties of the War on Drugs in Mexico. Yup.

The call made by the cult mystic Alejandro Jodorowsky said the event would seek to “heal” the country of the cosmic weight of so many dead in the drug war, by gathering for something he called the March of the Skulls.

(Context on Mexican drug violence: Mexico Violence Threatens All Sectors of Civil Society)