David Fridley – Green Dreams: Future or Fantasy? | Legalise Freedom

David Fridley – Green Dreams: Future or Fantasy?

November 21, 2014

David Fridley

David Fridley of the Post Carbon Institute discusses renewable energy technology and the future of industrial civilization. In the face of depleting fossil fuel reserves, renewable energy sources are held up as the best hope for clean, green and truly sustainable future societies. Upon closer investigation, however, solar, wind and hydro-power are much more limited in scope than we like to believe, making business-as-usual in the coming decades impossible using renewables alone.

Renewable technologies deliver much less surplus energy than conventional means, and the tendency to construct installations such as solar arrays and wind farms on a massive scale is a symptom of outmoded thinking with many unintended side-effects. Even if it were possible to convert the world to renewables, the effort in itself would burn through massive quantities of fossil fuels with potentially disastrous results.

Biofuels, fracking and nuclear power also come with their own lists of drawbacks and disadvantages. From food price spikes and environmental degradation to the seemingly-insoluble problem of storing and processing spent nuclear fuel, future reliance on any or all of these seems totally unrealistic. Meanwhile, major breakthroughs in more exotic technologies such as thorium and hydrogen always seem to just around the corner and have yet to arrive on a genuinely large scale. But as we face a future in which we have less and do less, and the creed of endless economic growth finally crumbles, the prospect of a fairer and happier world may move just a little closer.

www.postcarbon.org
www.china.lbl.gov

Bumper music: Cliff Martinez ‘Traffic OST’
Klaus Schulze ‘Schwanensee II’

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Giles Slade – The Big Disconnect: Technology and Loneliness

November 15, 2014

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Giles Slade discusses some of the issues raised in his book The Big Disconnect: The Story of Technology and Loneliness. Why do millions upon millions of people in the modern world feel that isolation and loneliness are major sources of unhappiness? Tablets, smart phones, and social networks all promise better opportunities to connect and stay connected. Yet what they really do is replace face-to-face interactions and disguise our growing inability to trust others. Have we arrived at a new kind of consciousness in which electronic interfaces receive most of our attention to the detriment of real interpersonal communication and empathy? The Big Disconnect offers a bracing look at a world where intimacy with machines is increasingly replacing intimacy with other human beings.

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Dominic Frisby – Bitcoin: The Future of Money?

November 6, 2014

Bitcoin

Dominic Frisby discusses his book Bitcoin: The Future of Money? In 2008, while the world was busy panicking about the global financial crisis, a computer programmer called Satoshi Nakamoto posted a message on an obscure mailing list. ‘I’ve been working on a new electronic cash system’, he said. ‘It might make sense to get some just in case it catches on.’ Nobody seemed to care. But what he had created would become the world’s most famous alternative currency: Bitcoin. Economists, anarchists, speculators, computer coders, libertarians, criminals and entrepreneurs were inspired across the world. Early adopters would make a return two million times larger than their investment. Now it seems that Bitcoin will do to banking and finance what email did to the postal service and what the Internet did to publishing.

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James Penner – Timothy Leary: The Harvard Years

October 25, 2014

James Penner

James Penner discusses his book Timothy Leary – The Harvard Years: Early Writings on LSD and Psilocybin. On May 27, 1963, Dr. Timothy Leary and Dr. Richard Alpert were dismissed from Harvard University’s Psychology Department – a watershed event marking the moment when psychedelic drugs were publicly demonized and driven underground. Today, little is known about the period in the early 1960s when LSD and psilocybin were not only legal but also actively researched at universities. Presenting the first collection of Leary’s writings devoted entirely to the research phase of his career, 1960 to 1965, Timothy Leary – The Harvard Years offers rare articles from Leary’s time as a professor in Harvard’s Psychology Department, including writings from the Harvard Psilocybin Project, the Concord Prison Project, and the Good Friday Experiment.

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Bernardo Kastrup – Why Materialism is Baloney

October 16, 2014

Bernardo Kastrup

Bernardo Kastrup discusses his book Why Materialism Is Baloney: How true skeptics know there is no death and fathom answers to life, the universe, and everything. What is consciousness? What is reality? Does mind arise from the universe or the universe from mind? The present framing of the cultural debate in terms of materialism versus religion has allowed materialism to go unchallenged as the only rationally-viable metaphysics. Why Materialism Is Baloney seeks to change this. It uncovers the absurd implications of materialism and then presents a hard-nosed non-materialist metaphysics substantiated by skepticism, empirical evidence, and clear logical reasoning. It lays out a coherent framework upon which one can interpret and make sense of every natural phenomenon and physical law, as well as the modalities of human consciousness, without materialist assumptions.

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Patrick Lepetit – The Esoteric Secrets of Surrealism

October 10, 2014

Patrick Lepetit

Patrick Lepetit discusses his book The Esoteric Secrets of Surrealism – Origins, Magic and Secret Societies. Not merely an artistic or literary movement as many believe, the surrealists rejected the labels of artist and author bestowed upon them by outsiders, accepting instead the titles of magician, alchemist or witch. Their paintings, poems, and other works were created to seek out unexplored regions of the mind and recover lost psychic and magical powers. They used creative expression as the vehicle to attain what André Breton called the ‘supreme point’, the point at which all opposites cease to be perceived as contradictions. This supreme point is found at the heart of all esoteric doctrines and enables communication with higher states of being.

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Kingsley Dennis – The Phoenix Generation

October 3, 2014

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Kingsley Dennis discusses his book The Phoenix Generation: A New Era of Connection, Compassion, and Consciousness. Humanity is entering a momentous phase in its history. Being born today is a generation of children that will radically reinvent human society, moving our culture from competition, control, and censorship toward connection, communication, and compassion. The Phoenix Generation’s impact will begin to be felt in 2030, but there much to do to prepare for their arrival.

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Courtney Brown – 9/11: What Really Happened? Part Two

September 26, 2014

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Courtney Brown discusses the results of a remote viewing project which focused on the events of 9/11. The 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, D.C. in the year 2001 were arguably the most shocking and audacious events to happen so far this century. There are many unexplained anomalies associated with these attacks. The number and nature of the anomalies have led a significant and growing number of people to question the official explanation of these events as simply the actions of a small band of terrorists known as al-Qaeda led by Osama bin Laden. This investigation takes a fresh look at 9/11 using remote-viewing methods that were originally developed by the U.S. military and used for espionage purposes. The results are both deeply disturbing and highly controversial.

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Courtney Brown – 9/11: What Really Happened? Part One

September 19, 2014

US-ATTACKS-TOWER-RUBBLE

Courtney Brown discusses the results of a remote viewing project which focused on the events of 9/11. The 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, D.C. in the year 2001 were arguably the most shocking and audacious events to happen so far this century. There are many unexplained anomalies associated with these attacks. The number and nature of the anomalies have led a significant and growing number of people to question the official explanation of these events as simply the actions of a small band of terrorists known as al-Qaeda led by Osama bin Laden. This investigation takes a fresh look at 9/11 using remote-viewing methods that were originally developed by the U.S. military and used for espionage purposes. The results are both deeply disturbing and highly controversial.

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Lewis Dartnell – How to Rebuild Our World from Scratch

September 13, 2014

Lewis Dartnell

Lewis Dartnell discusses his book The Knowledge – How to Rebuild our World from Scratch. Maybe it was a viral pandemic, or an asteroid strike, or perhaps nuclear war. Whatever the cause, the world as we know it has ended and you and the other survivors must start again. What key knowledge would you need to start rebuilding civilisation from scratch? Once you’ve scavenged what you can, how do you begin producing the essentials? How do you grow food, generate power, prepare medicines, or get metal out of rocks? Could you avert another dark age or take shortcuts to accelerate redevelopment?

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