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It's good to share these ideas with others here but we can take it to the next stage by getting small interested group of us together,  talking live using google chat or skype  to brainstorm using online collaborative tools to map out all these ideas

It's good to share these ideas with others here but we can take it to the next stage by getting small interested group of us together, talking live using google chat or skype to brainstorm using online collaborative tools to map out all these ideas

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James (Gien) commented on The history of death: can we tame death again?

Death is certainly a quagmire for the human psyche. It is the innate paradox that creates and defines the basic tension of every human life, whether it is spoken about or not. On the one hand, we, like all other living species, have a strong survival instinct. On the other, we have an awareness of mortality. These two are in direct opposition to each other, hence setting the basic tension, the tragedy play of our life. The tragedy is the strongest narrative form we have to describe this situation. The late cultural anthropologist Ernest Becker explored this in his Denial of Death and, as you point out in your writing, we create rituals and stories of an afterlife to deal with it. Becker speaks to this same tendency using the language of "symbolic person". The physical being dies and the symbolic being finds a way to continue itself on. In the Deep Humanity practice which our organization is developing, we apply a human lens to summarize the many esoteric traditions of humanity which seek to penetrate the propensity to eternalizing the symbolic. In particular, we explore contemplation and awareness itself, the biggest container of all, to try to develop a practice accessible to everyone that helps us to both understand life and come to peace with our physical death.


James (Gien) commented on Flying Green!

Good ideas Jaime, but the best idea would, unfortunately, not make airlines very happy...don't fly. Take a train or bus. Carbon footprint for flying is very high:

Professor Kevin Anderson of Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research doesn't fly at all....just takes trains. In his presentation "Ostrich or Phoenix", he mentions that 1 to 5% of the population are responsible for 40 to 60% of emissions. This is the strategic group of people to target if we want rapid decarbonization (and we do want that if we are going to stay below 2 Deg C). So who makes up this group? He mentions a number of general criteria including anyone who earns over 30K UK pounds a year and anyone who takes regular airplane trips.

Not only the flying but the airplanes themselves have enormous embodied energy costs since they use the most refined metals and tons of electronics.

I suspect that airlines wouldn't want to include this information on their public broadcast however.

In the whole scheme of things, there are millions of things one can do but if one focuses on the small things but don't address the big ones, then we are just greenwashing ourselves and rearranging deck chairs on the Titantic.

The unfortunate reality is that the level of decarbonization we must achieve in a matter of a few years in order to stay under the already too high 2 Dec C target is beyond the imagination of the average citizen or politician. According to Anderson, we need 10% decarbonization per annum until we reach zero emissions. What does 10% per annum look like? When the Russian economy went into a near total collapse a few years ago, it only attained a 5% rate of decarbonization. No government on the planet would agree to such steep measures as it would essentially mean zero economic growth and the world currently operates on a system of indefinite economic growth (which is itself, of course pretty much unsustainable).

What's required to keep the planet from spinning into a completely unknown state is going to be pretty fundamental behavioral shifts. Can we foresee a future of very limited driving, air travel, electricity use at home?



Hi Natalie,

Kerika is a great tool. If you would like to see how we used it in our project, please send me a gmail address to and I will invite you into ECAR and you can see how we used it for collaboration. The community has gone a bit quite as it is Holiday time of the year and also we have sent out working papers and just awaiting responses. There are a number of ongoing projects there which the citizen group formed here at Open Ideo has formed.

As a society in general, we have to shift away from competition and towards collaboration. This will be a fundamental paradigm shift as competition is such a conditioned part of our culture right now...from education to sports to business. Even here in the space of assisting others, there isn't the kind of community and citizen integration that is possible, not yet.