110th Madeira Consorcio Meeting 16.11.2019

Nov 17, 2019 at 6:51 pm | Posted in Posts | Leave a comment

After our usual fight with technology, we saw the following TED talk about the new Story humankind needs to get out of the mess:

https://www.ted.com/talks/george_monbiot_the_new_political_story_that_could_change_everything

The Speaker was right that greed and dishonesty on the side of the state, the media and the bankers are the problem now. Communism, free market economy and other systems didn’t work. A new story needs to focus on the Commons idea.

We came to religion right away, and some of us have a problem with organized religion. C. said that she met some members of the Bahá’í faith and that a communication between the religious groups is in order. Cl. said that bridges need to be built between opposing groups. Most of the time, we all stay in our comfort zone, to be confronted with opinions we are in agreement with. Bridges should be between people of different views. One should be able to speak to alt-right people as well. Things are never black and white only.

Historically, people depended on each other to complete tasks, today we do not need other person to accomplish things, this isolates us.

The Social Media claim to create community but it is not true. Community happens between people who meet in person and really talk to each other. Although: some such “real” groups have their start in the internet, e.g. through Madeira Interactive  who created sub-groups who have meet-ups.

We spoke about the idea to pay for internet services, to regain ad-free lives and avoid being spied on. If these service providers do not need to sell us ads because we pay for the access, they don’t need to spy on us.

Things that are free are not being appreciated. One “old” internet nerd suggested to his colleagues that the ads-based model is bad and that the community needs to turn things around and start charging for the use if the internet.

https://www.ted.com/talks/jaron_lanier_how_we_need_to_remake_the_internet

The pricing of access to the Internet should be flexible because people poorer countries may not have, say 5€, to pay for the access per month. A basic package should be free, and above that, prices should increase incrementally for people in the Western world who can afford it. This way, a mixed calculation would work for the service provider.

J. said there is a custom in Naples where a person pays for 2 coffees in order to enable a poor person to get a free coffee in the same snack bar. (It is not known if the second cup is actually served to somebody). The idea is nice.

Also, if the Internet was not completely free, and if we paid for emails, the use of the system would decrease, and we would save a lot of energy for computer warehouses, electricity and cooling these systems.

An Internet we have to pay for is more valuable, slenderer and would likely deliver less rubbish.

The problem is that people are stuck in consumerism and they have strange priorities: H & J have a house in their neighborhood which has no window panes and a broken door; apparently, people are living in there (easy to spy on, no curtains), but they have a mobile phone in their hands.

The Internet joins people who have things in common but it does not create community.

K. & Cl. tried to create an Art Network online, offering “Art Walks” in the area around the Gallery but people are not interested to join up.

We came to the conclusion that people have lost their sense of purpose in life. Spirituality is not part of people’s lives but we all need such direction somehow.

C. is sure that she has/had a ghost in the house in Northern Portugal, and she has a good connection to God. She says that our life should be such that we, when we get into paradise, don’t mess it up like this Earth.

On the other hand, if there is a God, how can he permit the atrocities we see (Cl.)?

U. said that one answer to the question why we exist for us is “we represent the complexity and harmony of the universe”. Other, deeper meanings have to be worked out by each person him/herself.

Meditation and contemplation should be taught to the children in all schools; it has been proved that their learning gets better, and the aggression levels go down.

D. mentioned a TED Talk about plastic pollution in the third world but I haven’t been able to find it yet

Another TED talk about recycling in India:

https://www.ted.com/talks/mani_vajipey_how_india_s_local_recyclers_could_solve_plastic_pollution

We’ll have a Christmas Lunch or Dinner in Funchal but the dates/times have to be worked out yet (no workshop meeting in December).

 

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