InspirationalPosted by Tom algie Sat, March 11, 2017 14:08:31 The Immigrant Robots are coming, what is our purpose then?
It's a few months since I did a blog post for the onecourse. A lot has happened, BREXIT has started, President Trump is in the Whitehouse and Marie Le Pen ascends in France. My initial hopes of people flooding(like immigrants) to our onecourse did not materialise, my interest drifted a little and my attention was diverted by other shiny more tangible things, Robots! Whilst we are all busy worrying about or discussing BREXIT, Trump and Le Pen, and Immigrants we should really be focussed on Robots, because that really is going to be the next big thing.
I trained as an engineer and I have always found the idea of machines and Robots fascinating. Imagine a future where humans live a life of leisure whilst the machines and Robots do the work! Robots can perform similar functions to humans and animals and once they have been created their limited needs can be met by providing them with one thing, energy. I can understand Luddites raging against the machine but I doubt the inevitable 'progress' of the machine will ever be halted whilst it is profitable. So here is my own prediction for the next 10 to 15 years of Robot and human interaction.
2017 Background. The earth, all humans and other species are undergoing tumultuous change. The economic and ecological systems are facing huge challenges and it is very unlikely that things will remain as they are. The current systems that we humans have developed are unsustainable and new systems are needed. Algorithms are now in charge of the worlds financial systems because it is too complex for humans to respond quickly enough to changes. Even the humble electric toaster is wifi enabled. The current economic system relies on perpetual growth on a finite planet using up valuable energy on transportation. Corporations, pension funds, and individuals chase better returns on financial capital, thus money is invested in activities which maximise profit. This speculation leads to high profits but at an enormous cost to the environment and significant human exploitation. Increasingly large volumes of technically complex consumer goods are manufactured with minimal wage related costs. Retail businesses employ fewer people as more shops move online. If wage costs of a company can be reduced close to zero, that company will become highly profitable and the home for an increasing amount of investment.
2022 The Immigrant Robots arrive. The costs of Robots is falling and once it reaches a point where acquisition and running costs are cheaper than human labour, Robots will replace humans. The first wave of Robots will be built by humans in low wage economies, but eventually, even these human workers will be replaced by Robots. Robots building Robots! These Robots will be comparatively low cost and sufficiently flexible to carry out the vast majority of the paid work currently done by humans. They will come in their hundreds of thousands or even millions to developed economies where wages are high and cheap human labour is in short supply. The location for the first wave of mega Robot factories are likely to be anywhere with abundant space, raw materials, energy, and political stability. An ideal place would have access to abundant solar energy and a means of energy storage. I am thinking of batteries but energy stored in any form would suffice.
2027 Robots breed like Rabbits. Low cost sites within developed urban population catchments will be ideal locations for the second wave of Immigrant Robots . They will come to build the factories and infrastructure, to farm, to build more robots, and to make the consumer goods. The day of the factory worker, driver, admin worker, salesperson and most other workers will be numbered. Imagine an economy trying to function within the existing system, with 60, 70 or 80% unemployment. Do we then want to increase the population simply to increase the number of consumers? The time is right to rethink our relationship with our planet earth and with each other. What do we really care about, what do we really love? Is it shiny, tangible consumer goods, Robots, or other people and our planet earth.
The above thoughts cause me to ask a question which you might have a go at answering in the comments below.
What is our purpose as a human species, and our purpose as individuals?
I believe this same question will be asked by many people in many countries over the next decade as the Immigrant Robots arrive. So perhaps the onecourse or something similar is needed after all.
InspirationalPosted by Tom algie Mon, April 04, 2016 11:59:08 Ann and myself had a wonderful experience this week. We visited a place called Embercombe in Devon. A 50 acre garden for growing people. The people we met who have planted themselves there seem to be growing very well. Embercombe has 8 staff and 10 or so associates and many volunteers some who live on site in a variety of cabins and yurts. They build shelters, grow most of their own food but more importantly welcome hundreds of volunteers and students to the site each year.
The business leaders, volunteers and students come to Embercombe to learn about our fragile world and how we can all play a powerful leadership role in transforming our own future. The most amazing thing is that 20 years ago this garden didn't exist. It was a small private Tarmac runway and a couple of aircraft hangers in the wilds of Devon.
Then along came, one man, Mac with an idea of a garden for growing people. Mac is amazing and we are very pleased to have met him. Mac has inspired a whole host of people to help with his vision. We also met other lovely Trustees, a great MD and some fantastic staff. They are all inspired by this same vision and have transformed this Tarmac strip and hangers into a beautiful place which has most of the elements needed as a model for a new sustainable society. It is not perfect and they still need help to take it to the next stage. If you have some time or money to spare or want to do a course we would highly recommend it.
InspirationalPosted by Ann Algie Wed, March 09, 2016 08:15:50 Can a traffic bollard inspire you? What does inspire you? On The One Course we spend time looking at what or who inspires us and how we can use this to enable us to enjoy life more fully, feel more supported and also to grow and develop further by experimenting and creating more in our own lives. (We will come to the inspirational traffic bollard later!)
Inspiration can come from all sorts of places and can affect us on many different levels. Sometimes we hear a fantastic speech, watch a film or read a book and feel utterly 'blown away' by what we have heard or read. This can even cause us to change an aspect of our lives from that moment on! In many cases though the happiness we feel from coming across something that is 'slightly out of the ordinary', surprising or fun can be equally beneficial to our lives. Becoming more aware and open to these smaller 'events' that occur on a day to day basis can increase our overall enjoyment of life and inspire us to create similar 'surprises' and inspiration for others.
Here are a few pictures to illustrate what I mean by the smaller events in life.
A stone mermaid Tom and I came across on the beach at Saltburn, UK. Some of the knitted characters on the pier at Saltburn (no-one knows who the 'knitters' are - though I expect someone must know!) Ahhh now we meet one of the many inspirational traffic bollards to be found at Winchester, UK and probably in other places too! A beautiful clover flower in our garden in France. The gate to my vegetable garden (the frame of the gate forms an 'A' for Ann - bizarre - but may inspire some of you to create gates with letters on - some letters are easier than others!) and finally some cheese 'straws' shaped like hearts.
All small things on one level but all have the ability to bring about joy or to inspire someone else to do something different. Things don't have to always be the same - we can create surprise and variety in life. How much is only limited by our imagination!
So inspiration can sometimes be HUGE in terms of people doing amazing things, but it an also be small and almost hidden. I would like to advocate that the small inspirations in life can add up to have a big impact overall if we begin to see them. We are all capable of being inspiring in one way or another! Go inspire!
InspirationalPosted by Tom algie Wed, February 17, 2016 12:03:27 In 2008 Ann and myself did a 12 day permaculture course on the Isle of Man, the weather was awful but we loved the course. The tutors and the participants were all Wonderful. Classes were held out doors when the sun shone briefly, and in a beautiful yurt the rest of the time. It was quite alternative and wasn't your usual holiday but we both learned a lot about a wide range of practical subjects.
The course was full of information about peak oil, climate change and financial collapse. There was also lots of information about alternative energy and different building techniques. There was access to a whole library of Permaculture books about how to live more simply. We toured the island, visiting some very interesting alternative projects and spoke with inspirational people about what they were doing.
We returned back to Yorkshire completely inspired. Although we tried to pass some of this information on, we think there is no substitute for spending some time on a course or using the information from Permaculture Magazine. There are lots of different courses listed in the magazine. We have loaned copies of the Permaculture magazine to people and they have all benefited from reading the articles. We were recently very pleased to be featured on their website.
InspirationalPosted by Tom algie Fri, January 22, 2016 20:22:54 The Groundhog Day film starring Bill Murray is my most inspiring film of all time. Not only is it funny but for me it carries a brilliant message about life. My interpretation goes something like this.
A TV anchor man who has a serious ego problem is sent on a job he hates. He has to cover the annual weather predicting groundhog celebrations in some freezing town in the middle of nowhere. He does the job resentfully and badly and finds himself having to live that same dreadful day over and over. He tries all sorts of things to escape having to repeat the day but nothing works. He then resorts to greedily exploiting the situation in various comical ways but he is still unhappy. He becomes depressed and tries suicide but still wakes up having to repeat this same day.
Eventually he decides to make the best of where he finds himself and actually starts learning. Learning new skills, but also learning about himself and learning to be helpful to others. He also starts to do a much better job at reporting on the event and he really starts to enjoy the day. Each time he relives the day he tries to do a better job than the day before and amazing things start to happen. He goes from hating the town to loving the town. All the people start to love him and his life becomes blissful.
So for me the film is about life. Our response to situations and people gives us the opportunity for happiness and fulfilment. When we resist the situation the pain continues but when we accept it, embrace, enjoy or even love the situation we can find inner happiness. And as I said the film is very funny. It's best viewed about 12 times. It was recently screened in Liverpool on a 24 hour loop, sadly, I missed it but I may go next year.