Archive for March, 2011

Wherever, whenever, whatever

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

Most people live and work in a fixed place and have routines and habits that thoroughly cement their lives: What you do, you do here, and at a given time – which is the same for everybody. You live in a frame. (There are exceptions: people working shifts, weekends, travelling a bit.)

Why not try to change this? To achieve independence of place, time, activity – to become focused on what you do – which is decided by you – so that you can do it wherever you are, whenever you like? It is not only about work, but also about play, entertainment, learning, practice – all of your activities whatever they are. Would you consider it advantageous to be in a situation where this can happen – to become truly independent?

To achieve this you must be completely focused on your chosen activity, be present in the now, not thinking forward, forgetting the past, show no fear or apprehension, the movement of your body or your emotions must not disturb you, the practical concerns of life must be controlled so that you can plan consistently and keep your focus at all times.

You must therefore be present in the now at all times – wherever, whenever, whatever – and not remember the past or think forward – you must be here now.

So if you find this interesting or desirable, how to get there? You must start the work of freeing yourself by observing yourself, how do you spend your time, waiting, worrying, remembering, planning ahead, emotionalizing, or being active in the now: playing, working, resting, training or whatever you have chosen to do.  A conscious effort is required – there is work involved, work on yourself. It is best if you feel it is required of you – that gives you support.

So the idea is to achieve a new state of mind so that you can do what you have chosen to do wherever, whenever. You become free, without hassles, place independent.

Your life frame opens up, you become the master of yourself, you choose independently of all, what to think, do, where to go – how to live.

Interacting with the world is a challenge, but by observing others, consider their level of consciousness, caring, accepting – it will work well. You should also consider nature – the cosmos – and take care. If many think this way we should have the start of a society that is good for most.

And thinking your own thoughts is also possible, being independent, free of habitual action, starting afresh, being original, see new things, join in discoveries.

A conscious and willed state of mind is required, and it will probably serve you well. So start the work – on yourself.

Here is the spirit of it all: Le paradis terrestre est ou je suis – Paradise is where I am (Voltaire)

The CO2 conundrum

Thursday, March 17th, 2011

The audience is leaving the the theatre: the IPCC show is over, the CO2 problem is not so interesting any more. But nobody knows for sure what will happen now. The US may stop payments to the IPCC?

The basics of probability has been important: there is a hypothesis of global warming due to increased amounts of CO2 in the atmosphere, there is a probability that something is going to happen in 100 years, but this is impossible to say because climate models are complex, how are we going to measure this now and in the future – agreements on what factors matter is not there, time-series are required and they are not there either.

Strangely enough the scheme is supported by 90% of scientists, so how did this come about, where did it all originate?

CO2 is basically a harmless climate gas that is important for plant life and therefore an important systems component. Lots of people are now busy finding out  to remove CO2 from the atmosphere. Please do not take it all away as that will make us die – plants first.

We need CO2 as part of the vital photosynthesis of plants, there are about 400 ppm in the air – a minute part of the air, and about 15 ppm resulting from human activity. CO2 capture will at best remove a fraction of the CO2, and the climatic result will be near zero. And maybe the effect of CO2 is decreasing with increasing temperature?

So next in line is watervapour, revision of climate models, new measurements of temperature, other factors – the turmoil is complete. The effect of vested interests are there too – who gets the money? Or maybe we are back to basics, to a gradual building of knowledge?

We are back to the sun, the clouds, sea temperature, global temperature, the Earth’s emission – it is all natural. Let us make an effort to understand it better – and better. It will take a long time and new understanding will emerge, gradually so we can make a better world.

The real agenda is much broader than climate only – to find and support the deeply ecological world – the cosmos – and make people and what we do part of it, supporting it. That would be nice!

The future of oil and gas – and more

Thursday, March 17th, 2011

The end of oil is near – they say. This will be true some time, but we will have oil and gas exploration, pumping and use for a long time to come. Shall we say at least a hundred years? Or 200 years?

Now a Norwegian company has established a global oil and gas database in connection with their energy consulting services . This will be kept continously updated based on facts, reviews, findings from researchers, info from companies and governments all over (most of) the world. They can now make a production profile for most oil and gas fields in the world.

The database can be used by companies for business, governments for policymaking, students for learning, journalists for… and so on.

The company says:

UCUBE – a revolution within the E&P business intelligence!

UCube is a complete information database for strategy and business development work for the global upstream oil & gas industry. UCube provides field by field bottom-up reserves, production forecast, financial figures and a range of additional decision parameters worldwide with a time span of 200 years. UCube includes more than 70,000 oil & gas fields and licenses, and more than 3,000 companies. Download a brochure describing UCube here.

UCube provides all data available at your fingertips in one, integrated application. UCube comes with an easy to use graphical user interface enabling fast filtering, extraction and display of data. All data is simultaneously updated in graphs, tables and map view.

UCube is run online via a Cube Browser downloaded to your local PC, and can be accessed from anywhere with internet connection. Data is continuously scouted and updated and users can have new versions available over night. How to download and install UCube is described here.

Rystad Energy has developed a number of additional databases, or Cubes, to support quantitative analyses in our consulting projects. Further details of the other Cubes can be found here.”

The link to the company: Rystad Energy

So now we will know – just check the database! And remember that in the course of a very long time oil will be phased out – several hundred years. What is to be found in the unexplored parts of the world: South China sea, the Pacific, the Arctic areas? And what more is to be found where we already are pumping – e.g. under the basalt layers?

So keep exploring, drilling and pumping, lads – there is much more down there.

And another angle to this story is: why don’t we get such databases for everything we have on Earth: iron ore, bauxite, cobalt, uranium, rare earths, gold……. The development, the use, the distribution, the introduction of sustainability principles could all be facilitated – a genuine global improvement that would be. Surely we need that?

Energy policies in the real world.

Thursday, March 10th, 2011

Few countries know exactly where they are going energywise – but the processes have started. Energy policies in most countries are incomplete, not there or in a permanent state of “being prepared”.

Modern energy policies should be about moving in a direction of sustainability, to reduce dependence on fossil fuels and into a sustainable world. This means that changes have to be made – some things have got to go and new things must come. Policywise lots of people are saying things all the time, and precious little is being done. It is always difficult to say what is going and what is coming, and putting figures to it.

But the industry is moving – innovation is coming. A good example: Germany wants to be 80% renewable – with nuclear energy to go – by 2050. This also indicates the difficulty of change – it takes a long time to achieve substantial change. Many German energy companies are preparing changes.

Knowledge about what it will be and what is possible is increasing all the time – new methods, new thinking, new products, improved systems understanding, new economics. Gas, coal, oil, nuclear, hydro power are still kings, but can be improved, and new powers like wind, heat, bio-energy, wave, tides, pumping, storage are emerging, and this goes with flexibility, transmission lines, increasing value through better cooperation.

International energy systems, the automated grid are are evolving – sending power to where it is needed at the right time is also part of it.

Also the question of nuclear energy is coming up for renewed consideration after the sad happenings in Japan. Many are designed to last 40 years, they have containment systems that have been questioned, Japan has 55 reactors, the US 103, and so on.

A very important – symbolically – phenomenon is the increase in the number of electric cars sold, the number of new models and the building of electric car infrastructure. American company Better Place is now building electric car centers in many places (Israel, Denmark, others), and setting prices for batteries, charging etc. The batteries are rented from Better Place, you can change it in 5 minutes at one of their electric stations (quickdrop), or you can charge your car at home or at the stations. The first company going into a partnership is Renault with their Fluence. The battery change stations have been tested in Tokyo in cooperation with a taxi company. The prices seem fair – and time will show how fair. The numbers of electric cars produced and sold are increasing, thousands  sold in little Norway alone (and charging stations coming up in many cities), US talking about several hundred thousands by 2015 – we’ll see rather soon now.

Sustainability is gaining on us – that is sweet – and emissions are down of course. The road to sustainability is, however, a long one. We need policies now – powerful policies – if things are going to change in about 50 years. Long term thinking is needed, and all the politics is short term – we need to change that.

Do humans have free will?

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

Do you do what you want, should, ought to? So what is holding you back? Why do we become depressed, get into a state or even break down? Is there sometimes a lack of rational behaviour among us? Why is there not always consistency in what we do? Are we as a society doing the right things? Do we understand fully the processes leading to decisions?

People have ideas they are willing to kill or die for – how has this come about? How is such great importance created? Where does evil come from, goodness?

These are big and basic questions. Can you think for yourself or is the mind – intellect, emotion, reflexes – in control of what you think and do? What happens when you have a choice? What are the processes taking place: do it now , later, pick a green one, a cheap, expensive, what to say … the are many considerations to go through. There is often a certain mechanicalness involved, a certain efficiency. Or is it the subconscious that decides for you?

Being rational is surely possible – putting your intellect to work – making a rational decision and then stick to it – we can do it if we understand how. But for whatever reason this is not what we do. We are not logical, consequences may or may not matter, we have all sorts of habits, we dream, are lazy, avoid conflicts, we procrastinate, we hurt others.

This we do individually, and when this is summed up for all of society’s behaviour the result is not always easy to understand – the result is often puzzling, even catastrophic.

It need not be like this. Most of us can learn to follow the golden rule and be rational, true to ideals, show love, get rid of greed, share, make progress and so on.

To achieve this we must find out what we are, who we are. This means doing hard work of self-observation to find what we do, how we do it, when we do it.

Most adult people are ruled by habit, behaving like machines, sometimes doing incredible things, letting things happen to us without stopping or changing it.

When we know ourselves we understand what is going on in our body – intellect, emotion, movement – and can start to interact with the world in new ways. This knowledge does not change anything  – it merely makes information available so that we possibly can be better people and have better lives. Our habits can be understood, our processes also.

The inner machinery of our body is complex, in a constant state of activity, and to be in charge of yourself you must work hard to understand your own processes. After that many things can happen: you can find your aims and work towards them, you can be really present in association with others, the range of choices open to you may expand, you can take deep control of your world, you may interact better with the large society around you.

A few people have started this work of self-observation, Gurdjieff being one who has described the work necessary. It is hard, requires discipline, long term determination.

So will it matter – will it foster better thinking and decisions for you, for the world? Rational, connected, mature, ethical decisions? Make us stop daydreaming – good or bad – cut through the crap to find sensible action?

These questions are complex. It is about each persons perception and reality which is highly individual – our senses, our inborn essences, our learning make us what we are. By choosing self-observation we can start a process of getting closer to what we are, find attentive interaction with others, obtain closeness to the cosmos we live in.

The state, status and use of science

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

Non-scientists should grasp what is going on in the world of science. Sometimes it seems that basic science is waiting in the wings while technological advances using known science has the main focus. It all is about making money, making products to sell. In this way we are maybe losing track of the knowledge of the really big questions.

But science is surely moving ahead – physics, chemistry, medicine, others – new discoveries all the time. We all need to understand the major events as they unravel. The science will surely make an impression on our daily lives. Take genetics for medicine, food, energy – there will be great discoveries. There is far too little information about developments today – we are losing touch, information is lacking.

The most basic part of science is that there is life. This is an unsolved mystery. All the atoms that are you has a life force binding it all together. We do not know what this life force is and why our atoms hang together the way they do. So the cooperation of these atoms is at present a mystery, although there must be a logic or system in there. Humans are not what they were or will be – they keep changing or adapting – otherwise they would probably disappear. Species of the Earth regenerate for a while and then they disappear.

We know lots of species that have been here, but we dont’t really know what is going on – the number of species on the Earth is unknown. These processes are only found on the Earth as far as we know. But scientists are constantly looking for knowledge.

The conditions under which we live on this Earth seems to be precisely balanced – there are restrictions that make us live on a very small part of the Earth and its atmosphere.

The lack of knowledge about the Earth is amazing: the numbers of organisms here seems to be huge and we are maybe surrounded by millions of species that we have not yet seen.

And how did it all start? One spot of creation or many and then gradual adaptation? Is the system behind it the same for all creatures? And then the big question is if it is possible for us to destroy it all?

Ecologically we are behaving badly and unsustainably: We take large amounts of resources from the Earth, we make bad air, water, changing the surface of the Earth, killing life.

So where will we go – into destruction or positive developments? Does it matter what we do? Is science on the right track? Why are the basic questions about the Earth and life still unsolved? Is there a factor missing that we have not seen yet?

There is always new science – the worlds knowledge is increasing – it is important that we understand what is going on. It is also completely certain that what we know today will soon be outdated – this is the eternal truth. There will always be change.

Are you here?

Monday, March 7th, 2011

Humans see only a small part of the electro-optical spectrum, what our senses are made to give us. We know there is more, but we can not become aware of this via our senses. Microwaves can hurt you and damage your body, but you can not see these waves. Our ears can hear sounds of certain frequencies. It is hard to be completely at rest as there are  impressions reaching you, making you feel and think.

So our senses tell us only a partial story – there is more – the impression our senses give us is incomplete. Or saying it in another way is that we have not opened up our senses – there is potential of more. We have not started on our possible development. There are known techniques that can bring us closer – yoga, meditation – by letting us be aware of states of the mind that is not there in our ordinary activity. But surely that is just the start?

Meditation is to tune in with the larger cosmos, and we must try to be part of the larger cosmos – the oneness, and that can only be done via our senses. The oneness is felt as stillness in the middle of movement, and you find this stillness via your senses by being in the now – by being fully here.

We must learn to to be able to focus and see what is coming at us so that we can be attentive in the now, to find stillness.

You must start processes in your body and mind and let these processes grow and change you. Your senses must become active, you merge with the stillness and then you are fully aware, attentive and respectful. Now you can serve the cosmic purpose you are here for. You now can cooperate with the cosmos, with all beings, you can really be the servant of the cosmos.

The greater aim of it all is to ensure that the cosmic processes can grow and develop, to show love for the world and the processes we all are part of. By giving your attention to the cosmos you become part of the mystery of existence and find reality. If we withdraw we lose ourselves.

So learn to use your senses fully (we don’t really know the full meaning of that yet) – start the process and it will do you good – and the rest of us too.

(Reflections on reading Peter Kingsley)

Your body develops with you

Friday, March 4th, 2011

Long runs: the skiers of Norway, the barefoot runners of New Mexico, the Kenya runners, the Mongols, some Nepalese – they all do it. First it is about work and living, in modern times it is about athletics. A good run must last 2 hours, or preferably 3. The sugars are burning away and the the fat-burning starts, and then you can have a long run, a hunt to kill an animal for meat, a marathon or 50 kms ski-run.

It may have started with hard work in the fields and forests – a neccessity of survival.

During this activity the capacity of the smallest blood-vessels in your body develops, your uptake of oxygen increases, and you become mentally strong – a certain toughness develops. You become extremely tired and after some years of this training you develop a liking for the freedom that allows you to run any distance – seemingly forever. Running as part of your lifework is still used, but gradually it disappears.

The top athletes have a tough time, the training is incredibly tough. But you become a whole being, you are independent, you can do anything, your body can take it, you can stand these long tours, you are free to do it.

In some countries this kind of activity has become a national pastime. It takes many years, so to succeed long term it must be part of your culture, it it is tied to the place where you grow up.

Throughout human history, running was universally barefoot or in thin-soled shoes such as moccasins, which continues to this day in some parts of the world, such as people in Kenya or the Tarahumara people of northern Mexico.

Other factors: Kenya’s brightest running stars were born and raised at high altitude. Running at higher elevations builds greater lung capacity, because athletes grow accustomed to the thinner air. This area also possesses a fairly mild climate that allows for year-round running.

The main factor may be a nation’s running culture. In Kenya the Kalenjins represent just 12 percent of Kenya’s population, they comprise about three-quarters of the nation’s elite runners. In Norway the best skiers come from a few places – year after year.

Physiology and genetics may also factor into the accomplishments. The tribes’ cattle-herding background might play a role. In centuries past, the most successful members of the tribes were those who could round up the most cows. These fleet-footed men were thus able to garner more wives, and in turn produce more children.

It all comes back to us – you must use your body – beyond tiredness, many hours till your body has no more glucose left and starts burning fat, up to the next level, keep it there. This is how it should be, but it is too late for us to make changes now – our bodies are degenerating or changing – civilization are destroying us. The hard work is being taken out of what people do, but these principles seems to work well for top athletes.

Shall we let it happen? Well, it already has – except for the athletes. But the truth is: Using your body develops it, gives you ability, freedom – the genius of your body is there for all to see.

Pictures moving into video and you can show yourself

Friday, March 4th, 2011

Cameras: Mobile phones have them, PCs and MACs have them, pads have them, small electronic wonders, big electronic wonders, they are everywhere – they are becoming better and better, you can do video, stills, mail pictures, transfer, do things on-line real time, become a journalist on the spot ……..

Communication is what it is all about, integration, utility, tools of trade and living, one way, two way, making people come together.

The high quality end  of SLRs may feel competition also from the small and light Micro Four Thirds Cameras that can do what SLRs can do without the big and slow mechanical mirror. They have interchangeable lenses, standardised mounts, high quality electronics. They can now take 3D pictures as well via a two lens system.

The viewer is an electronic screen, pressure sensitive so you can command your camera, optical stabilizer, new and better signal processors, extreme ISO values, aoutofocus, manual handling, intelligent auto, HD video with autofocus ….

And screens for viewing are ubiquitous too: Computers, pads, mobiles, TVs.. Room for some new devices too – putting pictures on to your retina directly?

Future thrills surely.

The fight for a strategy – that will succeed

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

Nokia and Microsoft are making strategy for mobile phones – wish them luck. Others are working hard too. Open platforms, closed systems, the big picture or piece-pictures, integration across platforms and devices – there are many loose ends out there. Important players are Apple, Google, maybe Amazon, maybe Microsoft, and some new ones?

Google is making news: Google Docs Viewer now supports Excel, Powerpoint, Photoshop and PostScript. Chrome can now run background apps invisibly behind the browser and Google Cloud Connect can let Windows users sync Office documents to Google Docs – and Android 3.0 SDK is coming.

And the search rules are altered – trying to make search more efficient or useful.

The Chrome browser seems to become a multitasking operating system: View and edit documents in Google Docs, watch and listen to HTML5 video and audio, use Gmail and the Google Voice plugin, use Google Docs as a file system – and we are approaching a complete OS.

Google is building a very good browser, inviting you to move your files to Google Docs – no need for Windows, Office. Then adding computing power that you can have from the cloud, reading code that you give it – so what else do you need? The old hardware and OS will no longer be your concern. It will all be related to the ubiqituos internet connecting everything.

You don’t use Chrome yet? Well – jump in there and give it a try. A great strategy is being developed right in front of us. Will Google do it right?

The fight for the integrated interactive cloud-based services is on. The social media marketing, the full use of the net, digital products and services, physical products, data services and more – some of which have not materialized yet – it is all in there: Exciting times ahead. And TV – will it change so you can program your channels freely? Remember also that the other gatekeepers are greedy – so be a gatekeepeer yourself, or make your system an open system?

A huge game is being played out: platforms, equipment, content, payment services – we are all buyers having fine services – and providing income for the winners. Interesting times ahead.