Zeitgeist Information A Zeitgeist Movement general information site

24May/111

Endgame (MUST WATCH)

This is a MUST WATCH video of Derrick Jensen talking about the premises of our Civilisation and why it is not sustainable.

 

In the talk he does a great job of explaining the premises, although if you enjoyed the video, or if you didn't fully understand it then you should probably read the book. (NB : ZInfo is not associated with Derrick and does not receive any money for any form of advertising, in any way).

Premises :

  1. Civilisation is not, and can never be sustainable.
  2. In a city your life must be based on violence (due to the required importation of resources).
  3. Our way of living-industrial civilisation, is based on, requires and would collapse without persistent and wide spread violence.
  4. This civilisation is based on a clearly defined and widely accepted, unarticulated hierarchy. Violence is only acceptable from the top down [a very interesting point].
  5. The property of those higher on the hierarchy is more valuable than the lives of those below. It is acceptable for those above  to increase the amount of property they control (make more money) by destroying or taking the lives of those below (this is called production). If those below damage the property of those above then those above may kill or otherwise destroy the lives of those below (this is called justice).
  6. This culture is not redeemable. It won't undergo any sort of voluntary transformation to a sane, sustainable way of living.
  7. The longer we wait for the crash of civilisation, or the longer we wait before we bring it down, the messier the crash will be, and the worse it will be for humans and the environment who live during it and for those who come after.
  8. The needs of the natural world are more important the needs of the economic system.
  9. Although there will someday be far less humans than at present, there are many ways in which this population reduction could occur. NB : Population is actually a tertiary problem, resource use is the primary problem.
  10. The culture as a whole and most of its members are insane. It's driven by a death urge and an urge to destroy life.
  11. From the beginning, this Civilisation has been a civilisation of occupation, and the government is the government of occupation.
  12. There are no rich people in the world; there are no poor people. There's just people. Money is just a concept.
  13. Those in power rule by force, and the sooner we break ourselves of the illusions to the contrary the sooner we can begin to make reasonable decisions about resistance.
  14. Love does not imply passivism.

There are some points that I think could be debated or slightly tweaked. Especially premise 6. I agree that whilst civilisation won't go voluntarily, you don't have to have a Price of Infinity (enviro, energy, economic) collapse. We can guide civilisation through a Price of Zero collapse (using abundance, sustainability, automation and education).

As you'll see in the next post (about changing the value system), I think that point 8 needs to be pointed out to people. They know it, but don't realise that the economic system is given priority over nature, life, and human wellbeing. The Sydney, Australia chapter is currently editing some vox-pop/street interviews which show this mentality in action.

Regarding point 9. It's possible that if we were to be efficient and effective with the natural resources, we would likely be able to keep similar numbers of people or even raise the population whilst maintaining a stable equilibrium with the environment. But we would need to be net positive not net destructive to the environment. Humanity would also expand in numbers as we colonise other planets. But would shouldn't and likely won't do such a thing under the current culture and system. If we did it wouldn't be pretty for anything that got in our way.

27Jan/110

Zeitgeist Moving Forward

The 3rd Zeitgeist film is online!

This film has more truth in it than the average person can handle.

http://zeitgeistmovingforward.com/

 

Note : This film stands on its own. You don't have to have seen the previous Zeitgeist films in order to watch this. In fact I highly recommend watching this first.

If you enjoyed this film then think about purchasing a copy of the DVD to support the director Peter Joseph, or joining the movement and changing the world.

26Jan/115

Factors Affecting Behaviour

Update: Dr Robert Sapolsky has done a TED talk which puts these factors of human behaviour into great context, focused around the timeframes with which they have an effect. Check it out

Below is an edited comment of what I posted to http://tacsi.org.au/family-by-family-prototype-week-1/
For the last few years I've had an active interest in Human Behaviour.
I've spent hundreds of hours hours reading books, watching recorded uni lectures (in psychology, neuro-biology and the like), some awesome TED talks, audiobooks, white papers, general social analysis and lots of conversations. From all of that I've noticed there are a range of factors affecting peoples behaviour.
In approximate order they are :
  1. Situation [Role] - The current situation the person is in. e.g being in a prison vs being at an office, a pool party or walking past a house on fire. Special mention should be given to 'normal' social situations and crisis situations.
  2. Environment [Resources] - Beyond just the situation, this is what resources someone has access to, e.g if you can already hear the fire fighters sirens, if it is dark and the guards aren't looking, or if there are nice windows with trees to look out at when stressed.
  3. Habits [Triggered/Automatic Responses] - Habits are usually those things which you do without really thinking about anymore. BJ Fogg lists this as the BluePath, doing a familiar behaviour from now on. An example might be brushing your teeth before you go to bed. At some point you had to learn the habit, but now you do the behaviour almost instinctively.
  4. History [Knowledge and experience] - How/Have you been trained to deal with the situation? Have you been in a similar situation, what did you do and did it work?
  5. Perspective [Time, Beliefs] - What is your Time Perspective (past positive/negative, present headonistic, deterministic, future oriented, afterlife). What is your religious and moral beliefs. Do you align yourself to an emo, punk, hippy, military or some other stereotype? This is very similar to the cultural expectations, but regarding the specific sub-group to the general culture.
  6. Culture [Expectations] - What the general expectations are for a person in that situation and environment. If your sub-group hasn't specified what it's stance is, then what is generally considered morally justified? Stopping CPR on the random homeless guy on the street after 4mins might be seen as fine, whilst stopping CPR after 20mins on a child who's drowned in a pool might cause outrage.
  7. Emotions [Mood] - Was the person happy or sad at the time?
  8. Hormones [Emotional propensity] - If you are a teenage male you are likely to have a surge in testosterone which will amplify the likelyhood of aggression (assuming the situation is one that involves violence or aggression). This can be thought of as shortening the 'fuse' so to speak. Pregnant women can be particularly susceptible to stress and may become even more irritable due to lack of food than normal... Drugs can also have a similar although usually more profound but short lived effect.
  9. Pre-natal [How birth affected you] - Humans are far more susceptible to conditioning during birth than most people realise. When your mother was pregnant with you, if she was heavily stressed then it can have negative consequences. If she was obese then you are more likely to be obese { http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XNjlcGikW_0 }. A child after birth also needs the right amount of care and attention. They need to be held and touched and talked to.
  10. Genetics [Physical propensity] - There is barely a 0.5% difference in genetic material between humans and we are only 4-6% genetically different from apes. Our DNA is 90% similar to cats. Given such similarity it is generally said that genetics can cause a propensity for a particular behaviour or physical attribute, but it is the environment which which has the most impact. { http://www.eupedia.com/forum/showthread.php?t=25335 }

Different circumstances will mean the resulting behaviour is influenced by the factors above in differing amounts. Whilst normally the situation and environment will be the most influential  a strong enough culture and belief can over-ride that. If you want to change peoples behaviour you need to work out which are the most important factors involved or which other factors can over-ride those and you can try to change or at least deal with them.

An example is the selfish-gene concept. That humans are simply a mechanism by which genes can make a copy of themselves. Whilst this may be the default behaviour of people it is not the absolute only factor which affects our behaviour. Another important thing to note is that the concept of our 'kin' or family is very important in many cases. Who are people that we should help and be around, versus those that are against us. Our understanding of kin has grown larger over time, from immediate family to village, group (e.g religious group or work colleges) to nations and at the present rate will soon encompass the world. Doing so helps reduce the violence within our species. We will likely need to expand kin to include other animals and should we meet friendly alien entities it may have to include even them.

I do have a question. Are morals another factor which affect behaviour? Or are they a product of a combination of the above factors?

For a quick overview of social thinking, including the Stanford Prison Experiment, check out the video below :

If you enjoyed the above then some resources that may be of interest include :

More in depth resources :

Name : Human Behavioral Biology by Dr Robert Sapolsky.

There's plenty of other resources. If would like like more please comment below or email michael@zeitgeist-info.com

NB : Added Habits above History. Because habits can be done without thinking they are more than just memory recall they almost like muscle memory.. if you could call it that. - 7th Jan 2012

Note : Knowing that there is a different way of doing something and changing peoples values and mindset is one of the most important but usually hardest steps when moving forward.

5Oct/108

Tangible vs In-tangible and understanding peoples perception of the world

The information presented below is based on observations which I (Michael Kubler) have gathered over the last few years along with an understanding of the biology of human behaviour, psychology, motivation, and predictably irrational behaviour.

Note : By categorising different types of people it can be harder to see the subtle differences between the categories, however the knowledge below can hopefully help you understand why some people are more open to ideas than others.

People come in lots of different shapes, sizes, and types. Depending on their environment, their friends, family, experiences, genetics, and hormones they are also likely to exhibit different types of behaviour.

When I am trying to get to know someone there are a number of different types of categories you can think about which can help you tailor your concept or message to them.

  • Open Mindedness
  • Market Segment (Bell Curve)
  • Tangible/In-tangible
  • Time Perspective
  • Hunter vs Farmer
  • Consumerist mentality
  • Ways of Learning