Sunday, October 08, 2006

National Health

We are in a bit of a state about health.

As a society we are still happy with our bliss of ignorance. Not for that much longer.

The health systems we have established are dysfunctional. At least they don't function as we intend them to because they have no design. The are no architects of the system and the people who have been appointed to improve things can not articulate the problem from a useful perspective so it can not be 'fixed'.

The dysfunction:

A practitioner of the present system of health will struggle to define health. If you cant define health, you cant be practicing it in any useful way.

This is obviously true by inspection. We have a system that is visibly not working. Over the last 100 years problems like the rate of cancer and more recently diabetes and obesity have continually increased. One of the top five killers of people is the health system itself, with 'medical error'.

So we have built a colossal medical system of 'health' but we cant define it so no wonder it doesn't work, no one can define what 'works' means. There is no way of measuring success.

This is why governments tasked with fixing the issue will keep changing the way we measure success. Its the only way to pretend in the short term that they have improved something. But in reality they have no hope of actually improving 'health' unless it can be defined.

This is where we need to start.

There is only one useful definition of health i can think of and that is how little you need another to be OK. For example if you need a machine and a team of technicians around you 24/7 to survive i would say you are not healthy.

In this respect health is a measure of your independence from external services.

This simply leads to measuring success of a health system by how little one needs it, which is obviously the right answer. If hospitals helped you stay out of hospital and off drugs they would be better hospitals.

In reality we don't get this result because we have setup the system backward. We have setup a national sickness system rather than a national health system.

Here is how, and it all comes from the way we pay the money. In the system we have, the more people are sick, the more we pay the money to the system. The more drugs people take the more money the drug company gets. This naturally leads to companies supplying services that increase revenue which in turn will be the services that require the most dependence.

So its easy to fix.

Just start measuring the level of independence of people from the system and pay the system by how much it promotes this independence.

That could then be called a national health system.

"The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet and in the cause and prevention of disease."

~ Thomas Edison

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Why Consumerism Wins

Religions as I defined them (in god and science series) will compete with each other.

The more followers of a religion the more power it has. It is in the interest of a religion to take people from other religions... and convert them. This can often be measured financially as people pay their religion 'donations'.

We now have a new religion that beats other religions. Consumerism. It has the world of religion shaking because Consumerism has a superior viral theology. You see if the goal of a religion is to have followers it is important that the theology is viral. The theology 'sticks' to people and they want to go with it. The better the stickiness the easier it is to convert people to your way.

Now most traditional religions got their stickiness from finding some cool spiritual guy who talked deep sense to base themselves on. Then they could say if you go with this religion you get some of what that guy got, go with us.

Consumerism is way stickier than that. The thing that consumerism has is adaptability. It can constantly revise itself and even compete within itself and that's just fine for consumerism. This works because it utilises a competitive market capitalist model. Traditional religions have no hope.

Consumerism has the ideal and unique edge of super fast adaptability through capitalist competition. If Nike stops being 'sticky' and looses support they get a new add campaign and change, if they don't change fast enough Adidas just gets more of the Nike followers and so on.

So consumerisms first innovation to stickiness is adaptability.

The second innovation comes from the ability to refine and combine its internal dogma. This allows for super targeted focus on specific demographic groups without upsetting the overall theology.

Old style religion is internally rigid; it can’t change a small part of its theology without the whole taking note. For example, look at the issues with women priests, this causes the religion to divide from the top as a decision has to be made at the top about whether this is ‘allowed’ by the overall doctrine.

But consumerism strips away the need for any command and control structure to the overall dogma. Each brand is independent and can target its chosen demographic, these brands can compete with each other to expand their demographics and that just all OK with the overall concept of consumerism.

In consumerism any one follower can stay with multi facets of consumerism and still be OK. That is way beyond traditional religion. You mean you can wear Nike and eat at McDonald’s!

So the second stickiness innovation is the peer based design of consumerism. There is no command structure needed. The overall dogma is massively simplified to just the concept ‘consumerism’ there is no other thing you need to believe in. All that has to be provided for it to work in a society is a legal framework to protect brand IP along with a capitalist commercial model. Both of which the world pretty much holds as god anyway.

All this is revolutionary in design and i don't believe old style religions have any hope against the superior system of social control.

Consumerism will lay waste to all other religions as it takes its course. Look how far it has got in 50 years! and its got a fair way still to run. It will keep adapting to do what it does better and better.

This is great!

We have created a new viral religion that destroys all other religions.

Why is it great?

Because it begins to show people the hole that was always there. Consumerism is stripping away the pseudo security that religions pretended to provide society!

But. There is one thing that consumerism does worse than traditional religion and that is depth. It is even shallower than traditional religion.

So people see their insecurities clearer. There is a positive side to this, it forces people to face healing themselves for real on a deeper level.

This is a bit traumatic for people and society. But its healing none the less.

Hang in there. It’s a ride. The virus is very active today and it’s doing its thing all over the planet.

Once people are secure in themselves you can’t persuade them to go to war.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Da Vinci Code WMD


The Da Vinci Code movie seems to be following the phenomena of the book, its big. Why and what is the relevance of it ?


The story cuts through to the core of our western belief system, established by our historical heavyweight of belief system perveyors the catholic church. Holywood, the contender of belief system perveyors is offering fun alternatives.

In reality not much of the story can be 'proven' historically, not so disimilar to the original then.


For me a good angle is who's story is older and more original, you cant 'prove' either are true anyway.

The most interesting historical fact in there is the 'Mary Magdalene was not a prostitute' verified by the recent findings in what are called the gnostic gospels. In particular the gospel atributed to Mary showing that she must certianly have held some higher rank.

The real issue is one of church credability. They changed the story to sute their ends. You cant have a male dominated priesthood and hence society if you got females of rank in your core cultural story. You could say they have Mary the mother of Jesus, But you cant call her a real female, she is a unatainable sexless ideal that can still procreate, no woman can atain this withouth complete denial of their true nature and even then they cant have kids.

The church sold story of the two Marys dysfunctionaly splits the human female architype. The sexless is evelated and the sexual is denigrated. When the fundamanetal archetype of woman is broken apart in this way there is no power in womanhood in society. This is the perfect pitch for keeping a race in subjugation. And it has worked for two thousand years.

For me this is the WMD of the Da Vinci Code. The part that is sending the shockwaves through our cultural story and forcing it to be reevaluated. Similar to the shockwaves caused by the realisitaion that we were lied to about WMD in iraq, people everywhere are beginning to realise at some level they were lied to by the church. You may say you don’t go to church and don’t care, but if you live in the western world your culture has been formed by this view like it or not. A change like this in the underpinnings of the core western cultural story is sisemic none the less.

Two things are happening:

1. There is an ongoing slide toward trusting no organisation, people are realising they all can lie for their own interest. This great news because its true, people need to think for themselves.

2. The church purveyed and established societal view of the feminine is crumbling, this is making way for a complete re-evaluation of the role of feminine is society. Extremes are likely to emerge as the pendulum is now free to swing again as it finds its new equilibrium. New and ancient feminine archetypes will compete with each other and vie for recognition in society in some way. The male (yang) archetype will feel threatened as it has been top heavy. Over the coming years I expect this to manifest tangibly in traditional male dominated organisations such as the church, the medical elite, the scientific elite and male dominated government.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

The big bandwidth bandwagon and the commodity cpu

As opposed to oil, presently bandwidth is expensive.

Continuing the trend, bandwidth will get cheaper and cheaper. There is nothing hard for bandwidth companies to do accept compete with each other. The tec behind the internet gets cheaper and better every year and the wires can take much much more.

Companies that are purely in the business of providing bandwidth are going to struggle unless they offer some sort of additional service. The provision of these 'bundled' services will also become highly competitive and hence cheep.

To consumers this means everything that comes over the wire will drop to virtually nothing for the distribution costs. Many of the additional services will also get very cheep very quickly.

This means,
very cheep voice contact to anywhere
very cheep video contact to anywhere
video on demand and high def will get cheep.

Phone companies will be the biggest losers, expect them to desperately try to diversify their services and add 'bundles'. They will always loose to more competitive and focused companies on the net that provide the services. Say Vodaphone try to bundle games to augment their services and give people a reason to keep paying. This will struggle even medium term, specialist game services on the net will provide better options for consumers who want to choose their offerings. The bundled service will always be inferior so will stay cheep, it cant justify keeping up the distribution cost.

The content companies and the service companies will continue to be kings. The people that provide new and unique content or the people that provide useful services. Not the distribution providers.

The only way to make money on distribution is monopolise it and mark up. Something that is no longer easy to do. Game consoles are a good example where this trend still continues but even their is loosing traction against app stores.

CPU's
Over the medium to longer term the device at the end of the distribution line will be factored into the distribution paradigm. What i mean by this is that the phone, console or tv will also become very cheep (and often become part of the wire service, like a tv or phone is now)

There are still a few years to go here but chip tec is already beginning to go wide rather than deep. Ie it is going more toward parallel processing rather than faster processing. Both Intel and AMD are going this way and so is IBM/Sony with Cell. its the only big way forward in chip tec. But it is much less technically hard to make parallel chips than faster chips, so once again the competition is coming, and this means cheep chips on the end of cheep wires.

It will become just as hard to monopolise your chip IP in the future as it is becoming to monopolise the wires today. Intel will struggle and once again must move to 'bundle' service to keep value for its customers high.

(Intel will loose its high profitability for chip tec. And will need a new buisness model over time. They will have to get into software. Intel's money comes from the fact it has the deepest pockets to invest in the fabs that take the latest chip fabrication tec to market. This means they can fab the fastest chips the cheapest and quickest to market.. CPU's going wide changes all this)

Its going to get harder and harder to justify the hardware upgrade cycle to consumers. I see time frames of around 2-4 years for the wires and 4-6 years for the devices when these transitions really bite. The wires will be the most dramatic as there is nothing physical for the consumer to switch. The display will come last as there is more innovation to be had here. Until we go all the way to 3D projection screens will be moving.

New content that requires upgrade will always be actively sought after by the chip people. -> app stores deliver this.

Its all good for consumers.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

morals

Morals never made much sense to me but as so many people seem to think they are important, i wanted to think about them some more...

After looking at morals and their application in the world, i conclude that morals are used by humans to justify being inhuman. It seems that by being moral people do the very worst things.

So morals are not what people think them to be.

As most inhuman acts are done in the name of morals I am glad i never bought into them. I think it is best to be nice to people rather than being moral to them. But I guess some cant figure out how to do the being nice thing, so they madeup morals instead.

The problem is every situation in life is unique, if you apply a fixed ruleset to life you are a robot and you will endup treating people bad in key situations.

Morals cant substitute being sensitive to a persons feelings or even just asking them what they would preffer in a tricky situation you dont quite understand.

Taking this further i guess the most moral people must be the most insenstive people. They will need a moral code because the cant figure out what to do, they have to go an look up in a morals book.

The reason someone wont be able to figure what to do is because the cant intuitivly 'feel' what is best in relation to the preson or situation... they are 'numb'.

So logically, insensitive people have to be the moral ones. Insensitive robot people that will do whatever the program in the book says. Its easy to manipulate numb people, its normally done by carrot and stick techniques.

I am glad that we are challenging traditional moral codes in society. So much unconstructive behaviour comes of these. We are transitioning from being a set of inhuman robots programed by religious rulers to nice human beings that have a chance of getting on.

You see, if everyone has morals it is impossible to get on. The sooner we drop morals completly the better.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

pc to the death

There seem to be two themes for me today in the news.

The main being the freedom of speech issue:

After western society spent so long deciding that freedom of speech was a good and important thing for a progressive and modern society, we now seem to be caving in to aggressive people who are scared by such a thing.

We seem to confuse being PC and polite with pandering to all religious views.. How ever intolerant those views are. The religious hatred bill in the UK is a good example of something not only being a regressive step but also being just broken in logic.

What if we had a religion that was intolerant to other religions (hmm, how could that happen) and what if that religion said offensive things about another religion as part of its core beliefs...

What madness we entertain on earth..

Second theme, Lovelock, father of gaia theory gives us about another 20 years before the world is in environmental chaos, no one still cares, he thinks we should all just start partying, there is nothing anyone can do about it. Lets just build a few more wind turbines and that should fix it, not. Oh and Exxon Mobil just posted the largest profit ever of any company - 36billion. cant confirm, but I'll bet that is more than has ever been spent on alternative clean energy, ever ever.

What madness we entertain on earth..

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

oil price and Iran

Oil price near $70 again. Iran has the world over a barrel with its nuclear program.

There is no spare capacity in the worlds oil supply, any slowdown in supply has a massive effect on price. In fact any news of a potential effect on supply has an effect on price. Hence talk of sanctions on Iran add to a jittery oil market.

Iran must know this and can push ahead with its nuclear program. Not much anyone can do really.

Just expect tension to rise. Both it the middle east and globally around oil prices.

The argument about peak oil will rage on, politics will continue denying it exists for as long as possible but we are close to a main stream breakthrough in the press on the issue. It is getting harder to make any case at all against it.

Our present economic theory is busted and does not cater for limited supply resources. This should be fun.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

god and science 3

This is the 3rd in a series and should be read in context..

The conclusion of my last piece was that religions are constructs of social science and that it is these religions that have be a necessary part of our social cohesion and development over the last 10,000 years.

The other conclusion that seems weired to most is that science as presented to the general public, and religion are one in the same thing. They are systems to explain the world to people who need to understand the world to help them feel safe. These systems formed an integral part of the human move into cities and organised societies, at their most fundamental level they are systems to give security to people in an insecure world. They answer the basic questions of, why am i here, where do i go when i die, who is a good person etc etc.

Science is presented as a dogma, i have never seen any of our science presented as 'this might be how it is, but actually we really dont know' For me the argument over which is better is just as good as arguing between a Christian or Muslim god.

This is all hardly surprising as our modern science evolved as a reaction to religion but also a product of our religious culture and organisational systems. I like to use the analogy of great saints of Christianity with the great scientists of the modern world. Saints were often vilified or even killed by the established christian church often to be made saints many years later. The same happens with the great scientific discoveries, the establishment often makes a fool of the scientist until many years later the maverick if proven right.

The Great Divide

So I hope all this discussion makes some sense. My goal is to get us onto a deeper issue i call the great divide. The great divide is all about the core notion of right and wrong connected with might is right.

I believe that the great divide is the root of all human conflict, and at its root stems from basic human insecurity, this is then manipulated by the goal of the religion that the human currently goes with. Be it the government propaganda, the football team, the religion and your need to be right about something that you decide you want to be right about to feel better about yourself.

It is the great divide that will cause all religions (as i defined them) to fight with each other, this goes for science too. These religions including science will then go on to fight within themselves, they will fracture and divide and form offshoots that will continue to fight amongst themselves.

If you have right and wrong...

Only one can be right...

The one that will be right, is the one *you* have picked (going back to the self referential god thing)

If you go with this, you are living in the great divide and you have a religion probably taken on from your parents and society around you. This forms your programming and keeps you mentally safe, but it also makes you vulnerable to programming by others.

If you can really be ok with the concept that no one knows all the answers and in particular *you* dont know all the answers

You dont live in the great divide.

The only other useful conclusion i have for now is:

The stronger one needs to hold onto the notions of great devide the more insecure the person is.

energy

Where we get our energy from as a civilization will shape and change our lives.

1. We can no longer keep using carbon fuels like oil and gas at the current rates because we are at or near the peak of global production. Prices will continue to rise.

2. Generating energy in this way produces greenhouse gasses which are beginning to cook our planet.

Out of these two points. I think the second is irrelevant. I doubt we will manage to make any major impact on our carbon emissions judging from progress so far. Certainly not the 60 to 80% cuts required to make any significant difference. If we could organise that, we could organise world peace, we dont have the will for either at this time.

The scale of change required will only happen by force on this planet, the forces will be economic.

The major factor affecting the economy of any country in the next 15 years will be the rise in prices of oil and gas. America and China will fight over control of these resources. (eg America taking iraq and China buying oilfields)

What should any country do in the face of this ?

We can modify our economics to support and accelerate our direction to the fix. Otherwise our economics will have to be modified as they start to fail.

Oil and gas are going to continue to get more expensive as predicted due to increased demand and supply shortage. This effect will be felt first in the economy of any country as energy literally 'powers' the economy.

So any country that invests heavily in and plans now for:

a) energy efficiency and everything that this connects to (eg trains, canals and local food)

b) more localised and sustainable energy production

c) non manufacturing based information economies, with localised recycling infrastructure (get computing and work from home, grow your own anything or buy it from your neighbour)

Will become the strongest economies of the future. Its common sense

Companies that already do this are showing significant economic gains today. This is a simple abc plan to a next generation sucessful economy.

* The rich countries have the resources to do this but not the political will,

* The poor countries could most easily make these changes but don't have the money.

The best and most rapid way to implement abc is raise taxes on all non sustainable energy products and use the money for the investment in abc policies !

People wont like this solution but they will like the alternatives far less. Society will be pushed to get governments to make these policies in a reactive way as the economy fails them, that's backward.

If America does not start to adapt soon its economy will become unsustainable. Farming in particular will need a big overhaul due to its triple reliance on oil for machinery, fertilizers (ammonia is a byproduct of oil refining) and transport/machinery. Food will get expensive quicker.

Funnily enough Cuba is a great example of what to do right, they were forced to go organic because of the US trade embargo and they now have efficient farming based on old fashioned crop rotation schemes.

We don't need more energy, we just need to use it better and there is a simple way to fix the problem. Its now down to which countries think ahead and do it to build there populations a strong and sustainable future.

I think in 100 years from now people will look back and laugh at how much energy we waste today and how we used our economic system so badly to hide this fact.

Even ignoring the inefficiency issue remember that energy is all around you. It is essentially free, we as a world have allowed for and relied on a centralized system of energy generation and grid distribution because it can be easily monopolized. This will all change to local forms of production and tapping energy.

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Germany shows There is plenty of energy around.