Archive for the ‘social behaviour’ Category

Facebook is not free

December 19, 2016

When I am told facebook is a free, I ask is it a charity?

No, facebook is not a charity, it is a rapacious global corporation.

When something appears to be free, it is you who is the product being sold. In the case of facebook, it is your personal information that is being sold. Facebook only exists because you provide the content, only you do not get paid for doing so, you work for free.

Instagram is owned by facebook. Every picture you post, they reserve the right to use your pictures, you will never be told, you will not get paid.

When a friend angrily complained that I had shared her pictures, she was correct to be angry that I had not obtained her consent. But wrong to be angry that her pictures were now available for the world to see, they already were, she had posted them on facebook.

If you do not want your personal information to be shared, then do not post on facebook.

If a stranger stopped you in the street you would not hand over your personal information, why therefore post it on facebook for all the world to see?

It is not only your personal information facebook is stealing, abusing, selling. It is also the communications, who your are networked with. What are known as externalities.

Information is one of the most valuable commodities. We lock away our valuables in a safe place. Why do we not treat our information in the same way?

What we need is an open coop social media platform owned by the users.

The web and the internet were designed to be free. Free as a global information commons, we contribute information, we draw upon that information. It was not intended as a pool to abuse unsuspecting users.

Parque de atracciones

December 3, 2016

A middnight wander around around all but deserted fun fair beside the harbour in Puerto de la Cruz.

Segregation at Hotel Be Live Tenerife

November 15, 2016
Adults Club

Adults Club

segregation demarcation line

segregation demarcation line

If you thought segregation was dead, be shocked, at Be Live Tenerife it is alive and kicking.

When paying to stay at a hotel, one assumes one has access to all areas.

This was true at Hotel Florida in Puerto de la Cruz, aka Luabay, aka Be Live Tenerife. Since a year ago, not so, clients at Be Live Tenerife have to pay 15 euros per person per day to access a grassy area, a grassy area that was previously available to everyone.

A lifeguard doubles as an aggressive bouncer and very aggressivly enforces, ordering people out if they dare cross the line and enter  into the ropped off area. One afternoon, he sat all afternoon in the grassy area on guard duty.  Not his job, he should be guarding the pool, but what does it matter if a guest drowns when guests are there to be ripped off.

If transgressors refuse to leave, he threatens to call the Police.

Meanwhile, those not allowed in the segregated area packed in like sardines around the swimming pool, forced to endure moronic loud music (which also must cause disturbance for surrounding residential properties).

This situation is made far worse due to large areas of the hotel being a building site and cordoned off and out of use.

There is also a segregated area of the hotel restaurant.

This is Adults Club. Be Live corporate greed, rip guests off by charging 15 euros per person per day to access areas that should be and were freely available to all hotel guests.

Phileas Fogg travel app for Ayia Napa and Protaras

October 22, 2016
Phileas Fogg travel apps

Phileas Fogg travel apps

A couple of weeks ago I downloaded and had a play. I was not impressed.

Who wants an app that is advertising?

If being generous, a directory of generated content for which the contributor pays.

50,000 downloads has been claimed. Not true. 1000 downloads for Android. If we assume same for Apple, then a couple of thousand downloads.

But even if 50k, how many would see as worthless and delete?

The glowing reviews appear to be fake. No way is this a 5* app. And the names are all Greek, reinforcing impression of fake reviews

If assume a thousand downloads, five months May to September, that is omly 200 per month.

If nothing else, explains why no one has seen or heard of.

And of the thousand, myself and a couple of friends account for three.

Design is bad. Like something from the digital Dark Ages. And why lump together Ayia Napa and Protaras? These are two distinct areas and municipalities.

No mechanism that I can see for businesses to add content.

Very strange and suspicious someone going round selling content. Even more so a presentation, well actually hype, to which local businesses were invited.

Not the norm for apps. Spread by word of mouth or articles and reviews.

How would anyone learn of existence? From other businesses? Why would they direct to rivals?

To find places?

Let us assume at Windmills Car Hire. Do you say download app to find a coffee shop? Or do you say go to end of road, turn down opposite Nicolas Tavern to Fig Tree Bay, find on the left excellent Miyu Coffee, and next door excellent Nia Boutique?

Similarly, why would Windmills tell clients to find on app, when any information they require they can obtain direct by asking whilst in the office?

On the other hand to suggest follow us on twitter makes a whole lot of sense, as can then keep clients informed.

Categories are bizarre.

Coffee includes anywhere and everywhere serving coffee. Not restricted to coffee shops.

Fusion is Lemongrass, pan-Asian, all of everything, all of nothing, bearing little if any resemblance to the dishes the countries are claimed to come from. Fusion is not Olympus on the corner opposite Nicholas Tavern, they are Greek-Cypriot and international.

For Windmillls, maybe worth throwing away 75 euros, recovered with one car hire. For a coffee shop, a lot of coffees to sell.

Who is going to use an app to find somewhere to eat rather than simply walk down the street and see for themselves? Who is going to trawl through advertising? Who is going to trawl through advertising for Ayia Napa when they are in Protaras or vice a versa?

Businesses are already on the edge. Extra cash outflow is not going to help.

This will do nothing to halt let alone reverse the collapse of the tourist industry.

Far better is to establish a network of quality business. Find one get directed to others.

This travel app is something a kid could have knocked out over a weekend.

TripAdvisor does a far better job, with the caveat be very wary of fake reviews.

UPSat: The first open source satellite

October 21, 2016

At Libre Space Foundation all our projects (currently Sat NOGS & UPsat) are open source hardware and libre software. We consider it our mission to develop, advance and promote open source technologies in space applications. All our work was, is and will be open source. — Eleftherios Kosmas

As I often explain to people, capitalism ended in 2008.  We are now in a postcapitalism phase.

As Paul Mason explains in PostCapitalism, we have waves 50 years long. Mercantile Capitalism, Industrial Capitalism, Financial Capitalism.

cAs David Graeber explains in Debt, we have mush longer waves, pre-classical period, classical period, Middle Ages, Capitalism.

We are now in a period of transition.

The market self-corrects or so we are told.

The market did not self-correct for the banks and they had to be bailed out.

Iceland did not bail out the banks, criminal bankers and politicians received prison sentences.

Price gives a signal in the market.

Cost according to classic Marxism, has has three components, labour, land (raw materials) and money.

We can now add a fourth factor, information.

Information flows freely, the cost tends to zero.

We see this with e-books, digital music.

If there is zero price, there is no signal in the market, the market cannot function.

It is only the application of Draconian copyright and intellectual property rights that blocks the free flow of information.

We think of markets and capitalism as the same, we use interchangeably. As David Graeber shows in Debt, they are not the same.

During this period of transition we could have many different outcomes.

Serfs working for apps, is one possibility. Uber, task rabbit, Deliveroo, atomised workers  bearing all the risks and capital costs, working for a  pittance, bidding against each other in a negative auction,  often working for less than the minimum wage.

Or bullshit jobs,  McJobs, mindless, deskilled jobs, workers cheaper than robots.

Or we  could have open source, sharing, open coops, collaborative commons.

We have open source software, designers contribute for free, the software is available for free. The Hive in Dalston. There are are open source cars, tractors.

We now have an open source satellite,  UPSat, Greek QB50 cubesat, which the Greeks have just delivered. Open source software and hardware. A Cygnus automated cargo spacecraft will deliver UPSat to the International Space Station.

Launched earlier this week, the Cygnus supply spacecraft en-route to the International Space Station after a successful launch of Orbital ATK‘s Antares rocket. It’s next launch, scheduled for the 30th of December, will carry UPsat, the first open hardware and first made in Greece satellite to the International Space Station.

Do we want the future of UPSat, collaboration, sharing, free flow of information or one of atomised workers working as serfs for apps?

The choice is ours.

Girls in Plaka Restaurant

October 17, 2016
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girls in Plaka Restaurant

wp-1476734597676.jpeg

girls in Plaka Restaurant

Sunday night, four girls having a night out in Plaka Restaurant.

Big Business coffee chains

September 15, 2016

Three coffee chains, Costa, Caffe Nero and tax-dodging Starbucks, dominate the High Street and shopping centres. Three coffee chains you will avoid if you love coffee.

It is difficult to comprehend why anyone drinks what is called coffee in these chains, when here is now a wide diversity of quality indie coffee shops. But then it is difficult to comprehend why anyone eats in KFC or McDonald’s.

Chains making millions out of serving poor quality, undrinkable coffee and factory cakes, in a characterless corporate environment.

Starbucks part of the local community? Was that a joke?

If coffee out of a machine tastes the same as that served by a barista, what does that say of the baristas employed by Costa?

Indie coffee shops, serve quality coffee, source quality coffee beans, employ skilled and knowledgeable baristas and recycle money within the  local economy.

Avoid the chains, seek out indie coffee shops and learn what real coffee  tastes like.

Key difference between the “Age of Me” and the “Age of We”

March 26, 2016
wise woman in the forest

wise woman in the forest

This is the gist of the systemic presentation a sleep deprived introvert (moi) shared at the inaugural FutureMe event on March 25, 2016 at The Float@Marina Bay in Singapore.

The “Age of Me” is Form (appearances based on scarcity) while the “Age of We” is Substance (inside us – knowledge, innate gifts and authenticity based on abundance).

We’re in the exciting paradigm shift between these 2 vastly distinct (business) cultures: The competitive “Age of Me” that valued things for what they produced and the “Age of We” that values the application of knowledge through empowerment.

The “Age of We” doesn’t exist yet because our global default culture is still very much the “Age of Me.”

In the “Age of Me”, businesses operate much like a factory assembly line because knowledge is hoarded. Everything is planned (sometimes blindly) from the top and executed by people in departments (usually working in haphazard silos). As firms create, push and sell stuff, value is produced upstream and consumed downstream. Because very few people benefit financially, owning hard assets is seen as a symbol of success.

While the impact of technology maybe exponential, the “Age of Me” thinking tends to be linear: I was born, go to school, start my career, get married, start a family, etc etc. Factory assembly line thinking.

But what if the next 20 years really changes humanity more than the last 300? Our future is highly unpredictable because the challenges are systemic.

Should you choose to remain in the mega competitive Age of Me (yep, that’s also the choice you make for your children and their children), PLEASE remember it’s  how a person with money hires a person without for the lowest possible wage to make as much profit as possible for the one with money. 

Already, automation, artificial intelligence and robotics are replacing many jobs.  There are also too many reports saying most people globally will be jobless in X number of years.

If very few people have jobs or just do gigs, how do we pay for living expenses like food, shelter, clothing, transportation, etc which keep getting more and more expensive?

Some countries like Finland and New Zealand are looking into universal basic income where everyone will receive an unconditional sum of money regularly.

“All problems are either clocks or clouds.” Karl Popper

To fix a clock, you take it apart. Examine the parts before putting it back together. With a cloud, you can only observe it as a dynamic, shifting, morphing whole. But since taking things apart and “breaking them down” gives us a sense of power and control, too many still use clock thinking to address cloud (systemic) problems. Then they wonder why the problems remain or worsen.

To truly prepare for the “Age of We”, I believe we NEED to completely rethink everything and NOT use the same thinking we used when we created systemic problems like poverty and climate change. To get everyone’s best input, we will first need to co create an “Age of We” culture to empower strangers ANYWHERE to DARE trust one another.

True abundance happens when each of us can openly apply our knowledge and our gifts to empower one another to be our best for everyone’s benefit.

Instead of madly competing against another, the only person we try to be better than is the person we were yesterday.

We’re living in potentially, the most fascinating phase of transformation humanity has ever known.  To be able to truly become the best we can be – not for ourselves or our families but for everyone (including your future generations).

There is no magic formula because everyone can do something in our own unique ways.  To unlearn to relearn by creating opportunities for strangers ANYWHERE to build trust with each other.  To show by doing.  Not just talking.

“Authentic paradigm shifts are rare because they entail an entire restructuring of our understanding, and if a period of letting go does not happen, and if we do not go through an experience of liminality, where nothing seems to make sense any more, we will never be able to enter a new paradigm.”                   Simon Robinson

To go from Scarcity to Abundance, the world has to experience an authentic paradigm shift.

What we have in abundance are the gifts we were born with. By embarking on your voyage of self discovery, you (re)discover what they are.  Once you know, develop and give your innate talents to live a more meaningful life:

“Each of us has the perfect gift to give the world. It’s what we were born with … if we’re able to each give what’s so uniquely ours – won’t we be able to create magic for and with each other?”  Betty Lim, 2001

Dare to self discover.  Dare to experiment.  Dare to unlearn to relearn. Start by openly enabling strangers ANYWHERE in the world to openly build trust with one another.  You’re MOST welcome to build on our social experiment.

As we don’t even have our own central engagement platform, please like our page on Facebook.

With your participation, this is the “For us” maximization movement I hope to start about a new way of thinking, doing and sharing.

May our potentials as an authentic human being become visible very soon.

— Betty Lim

Reposted from Linkedin.

Can we do it ourselves?

January 23, 2016

Excellent Swedish film looking at economic democracy.

We do not have political democracy, we have fake democracy.  Political parties who do not represent us, different factions of the Establishment, who  impose their candidates on us every few years and we be allowed to tick a box on a ballot paper, is not democracy.

Democracy is citizen participation in all aspects of life that effects us.

Simplistic understanding of capitalism. It is more than who controls the means of production. It is a complex adaptive system that adapts to external circumstances.  It adapts and mutates. Mercantile capitalism, industrial capitalism, finance capitalism. What happens when it can no longer adapt? What comes after? How do we move to a PostCapitalist world?

State controlled capitalism, is no better, and is not democratic.

Capitalism relies upon the market to function.  The market should self-correct. The market failed to self-correct during the banking crisis of 2008. The market relies on price to determine behaviour. What happens when the price falls to zero and there are no signals in the market?

Interesting that there are more worker co-ops in the US than Sweden.

If you work in a a worker-owned coop, it changes the mindset.

If you have a say in the workplace, why not wider society, why not the local Town Hall?

I think it was In Business (BBC Radio 4) that last year looked at worker-owned co-ops. They found these businesses to be more efficient than comparable businesses in their sector. The workers, once they got used to this way of working, were more satisfied (though it does not work for all workers).

Titsa guagua

Titsa worker-owned island bus company in Tenerife

Infinity Foods worker co-op in Brighton

Infinity Foods worker co-op in Brighton

In Tenerife, Titsa, the island bus company, is a worker co-op.

Infinity Foods in Brighton is a worker co-op. They support Seedy Sunday, grant pensioners a 10% discount.

The Phone Co-op is a subscriber owned co-op.

Robin Hood Hedge Fund, is a co-operative hedge fund.

Faircoin, a crypto-currency back by FairCoop, which addresses many of the problems associated with bitcoin, supports co-ops that accept payments in faircoin.

faircoin donations If you like what you are reading or wish to support this site, then please feel free to make a donation in faircoins. Also of course feel free to share. It is through sharing the collaborate commons functions.

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The State taking over companies is not democratic. It simply replaces one owner with another, leads to unaccountable bureaucrats, worthless jobsworths and inefficiency.

We must though move beyond worker or consumer owned co-ops. The ownership must be all those who interact with and are effected by the business have  a stake, have a say. And that the business contributes to the collaborative commons, the local community. In other words we need Open Co-ops.

A traditional businesses hires wage slaves. These wage slaves have no or very little say in how the business is run. The situation of the wage slave has become ever more precarious. Since 1971, the peak of the last Kondratieff Wave, wages have flat-lined, working conditions have deteriorated, now have a low wage, part time, zero hours work force.

Neither is it true that wage slaves do not share the risk. If the company is not performing well, hours are cut (or lengthened with no extra pay), wages are cut, and the ultimate risk is being fired.

The market economy is not efficient. Nor is it true, worker-owned co-operatives are not efficient.

When Argentina defaulted on its debt and the currency collapsed, and factory owners fled the country taking with them what they could loot from the factories, the workers scaled the gates and took over the factories. They ran the factories as a network of co-ops. The factories were more efficiently run. So efficient were they, that the absentee factory owners returned and demanded their abandoned factories  back.

In Catalonia, there is a network of worker co-ops, all co-operating with each other. If there is a need not being met, either an existing businesses will be persuaded to change to become a co-op, or a new co-op will be formed to address that need.

Jeremy Corbyn has suggested Living Wage be paid by companies if they are in profit, if they refuse, they will not be permitted to pay a dividend to shareholders.

A step in the right direct, but open to abuse and manipulation. Pay ever more obscene executive bonuses, fiddle the books, or simply refuse to pay and  accumulate a cash mountain. Corporations are already sitting on a £650 billion cash pile due to tax dodging and lax  tax regime.

If a company is in profit, distribute 10% of that profit each year as shares in the company to be held collectively by the workforce.

Jeremy Corbyn needs to look at setting up co-ops, granting the legislation and other support needed.

A network of co-ops, that co-operate, not compete, share information, all benefit from wealth creation.

Big Business strives to create monopolies, cartels, price fixing. TTIP which is being negotiated in secret by the EU is an extreme example.

But it does not have to be. The Big Six control  the energy market in the UK. Replace with community owned and controlled local area networks into which feed renewables guaranteed a fair price, consumers pay a fair price, surplus generation is fed to other local grids via a publicly owned National Grid, any profit either ploughed back into the local network or used to fund local community projects.

The railways could be taken back into public ownership. Not the old state-owned British Rail, a co-operative structure of rail workers and passengers

The market works at the level of a market stall, near equal players, availability of information. It does not work for the labour market, it does not work for the capital market. The employer dominates the labour market and the banks dominate the capital market.

The modern workplace is increasingly that of precarious workers in low paid, temporary employment performing soul destroying jobs that contribute nothing to the well being of society or the environment, with below them hungry unemployed and immigrants only too happy to take their jobs for even lower pay or atomised workers in reality serfs for death star apps working at well below the legal minimum wage.  Coupled with parasitical marketing and finance industry, one cons us to buy the consumer junk we do not need, the other hires us expensive money to buy the junk.

Workers are engaged not only in low paid degrading soul destroying jobs, but what they are doing is also meaningless, has no purpose, other than generating a return for capital.

Workers who are a step above the precarious worker, are tethered to the workplace 24/7 via a smartphone.

Harvard Business School churns out identikit clones, lacking in creativity, innovation, who have not a clue how to run a business, but can read a spread sheet, give a power point presentation.

A network enables collaboration, co-operation.

With a network of co-ops, the currency is social capital, not money.

The market could not produce Wikipedia (whatever we may think of the content). If the market tried, how could it compete with free?

Top story Collaboration & Coordination (Sunday 24 January 2016).

13 Shades of Romanian

January 19, 2016

Life of Romanians living in England.

filming

filming at pre-production party

13 shades of Romanian, excellent, well produced documentary of thirteen Romanians living in England.

My main criticism, is how skewed a representation of Romanians in England?

The Romanians featured appeared to be the educated, intelligent, cultural elite. All spoke excellent English, better than 90% of the native population.

For the first two, can watch for £1 each, which is reasonable. Get to the third, and they want £3 to watch all three, and restricted to 72 hours.

I would expect unlimited streaming for £3. I would expect to be able to buy on DVD for £3.

I would have chopped the footballer in Part III, found a more interesting Romanian, for example talented singer-songwriter Jewelia.

13 Shades of Romanian was funded through crowdfunding.