Greta Thunberg, Fridays for Future, Art, and this global Systems Change planetary system we’re in

Inequality is when you are left to clean up the mess at the party for US$15 an hour.

A collective of indigenous Australian corporations are allowing a new highly-protested coal mine (the Carmichael coal mine proposed by Adani Mining) to have a lease on their native lands.

The Native Title land leasing system was created to give indigenous Australians some income for compensation for being displaced from their land by Colonialism.

Are GenZ and the dispossessed supposed to live in cardboard boxes, never fly in a plane, and be malnutritioned so as not to take anything from those who live in prosperity?

Are we all “guilty of the sins of our fathers”?

If critics expect Thunberg to walk on water, are they also going to do the same?

‘”Saudi Arabia recognises this threat to its economy. An old quote from the Saudi oil minister, Ahmed Zaki Yamani, paints the situation clearly: “The stone age did not end because the world ran out of stones, and the oil age will not end because we run out of oil.’” – Jacob Brown, via World Economic Forum

 

Some critics think Thunberg should still be in school.

What school could teach her the enormous things she is learning and in turn, is teaching us?

I say that as a lifelong artist and student of Art.

Call it a performance if you like, a publicity stunt, or a religious pilgrimage. I call it Art.

There hasn’t been anything like this before.

Robert Hughes wrote an influential book about the history of Art – The Shock of the New.  This is shocking, and this is new.

I don’t mean Thunberg on her own. I mean all the Fridays For Future protesters who don’t get the media attention she gets but who Thunberg is connected to, and who we can see are connected to our countries, our friends, and to us.

 

I was talking to a friend today who’s just earned her BA in Teaching. We spoke about our favourite teachers, and how at 16 we were horrible to our teachers, but we had teachers who actually encouraged us to see the faults in things and to think for ourselves.

We had a Canadian teacher teach us English Literature in high school. Once he let us play outside in the snow (it was the only time in 40 years we’ve had snow on the ground in that town here in Australia. Another day in 1984 we compared the Jimi Hendrix version of All Along the Watchtower to Bob Dylan’s original. One day he took us on a walk around the school, and I remember we looked at the sunlight coming through the stained glass window in the entrance hall, and we also looked at the boys’ toilets (he got in trouble for that). I also remember one girl independently didn’t go in like we were possibly supposed to. Nobody was wrong.

Our most memorable teachers were not afraid of “being wrong”, because they knew that’s not the end of the world. That’s how we learn new ways.

Do any critics have a better annual curriculum for Thunberg and Fridays For Future protesters than this global systems change planetary system we are in, when the world is trying to be her teacher and/or student?

Because it’s literally the end of the world if we don’t all learn new ways from what’s happening.

We’re all learning from each other.

 

What new ways are you learning?

 

You might like to read An Adaptive Spiral about individual health systems change or We are all transitioning.

The long goal

I’ve had some big lows this year, due to battling certain powers that be, so I’ve cut back my very long distance running. The brainpower use and related insomnia was exhausting. My last 30 km plus run was early in the year. But running a few 5 km -10 km runs a week has been sustainable, and kept me my balance.

We had an amazing speaker at our run club social night who ran Top 40 in the world in the marathon at Doha in the world championships in October.

He talked about his run club, which includes an Olympic Marathon medal winner, and about how so many runners accelerate their training too quickly, and how football lifestyle involves too much drinking and not enough training.

The former footballer, now elite marathoner said to focus on the long goal, of running regularly and sustainably with your run club mates for years and years, to stay healthy.

This helps with recognising when to take breaks and ward off impending chronic injuries.

I’m not saying this is going to get us to the world championships too!

It makes me treasure the love of running, our run club, my running friendships, and my positivity. I’d rather have these things than medals any day.

We are all transitioning. Extinction Rebellion, Circular Economy, and Sustainable Development

We have the road map for what we need to do to avert irreversible global warming: The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals for 2030.

sdg2030

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 2030

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation are leaders in Circular Economy.

https://www.ellenmacarthurfoundation.org/

 

Jeremy Riffkin guided and worked with Angela Merkel and President Li of China to help set their Circular Economy policies in place.

 

circular economy, extinction rebellion, david suzuki, climate emergency, linear economy, australia, recycling, transition, climate action,

There’s a good term for what many of us are now:

 

Transitionists.

 

We’ve already transitioned from all fossil fuel energy.

We can’t just stop using oil or coal suddenly, or there would be energy shortages, and that could risk lives.

We’re transitioning from mainly fossil fuels to mainly renewables.

We’re building more renewable energy sources, and less non-renewable power plants.

We’re also transitioning from eating too much meat to eating more plants and less meat.

Two years and hundreds of scientists have produced the EAT Lancet Commission, which sets out the flexible and enjoyable Planetary Health Diet which will feed the predicted population of 10 billion healthy people sustainably in 2050.

 

We’re planting many more trees and chopping down less old growth.

(Pet tip: You can use the Ecosia Chrome extension/browser that uses ad revenue to fund reforestation projects.)

 

We’ve transitioned from mass over-consumption and landfill waste to recycling more and more plastics and developing compostable and fully-recyclable products.

 

Slow Fashion Collective and Fashion Revolution have made a huge impact upon ending Fast Fashion in the global fashion industry and have been improving factory conditions and transparency in China and worldwide.

 

I’ve always been annoyed about Big Organic’s over-inflated health claims, but I’m now resigned to the fact that conventional agriculture is almost indistinguishable from it in supermarkets, as conventional agriculture has done things like reduced the use of all-feedlot lifespan of animals.

 

But I’m against buying anything labelled “GMO-Free”, because plant biotechnology is one of the ways we can safely improve yields and feed 10 billion people in 2050.

 

Some peole think the Extinction Rebellion protesters go too far, by bringing big ceramic sinks to the city, and chaining themselves to Land Rovers.

 

Recently, I met a philanthropic Eritrean who told me about people desperately escaping government violence in East Africa by killing soldiers, stealing their guns, and using them to get across borders to help from outside.

 

If Extinction Rebellion and privileged people in privileged countries protest dramatically (but peacefully), we tell the powerful, corrupt, the leaders, and the most-privileged to realise their exploitation is what causes civil war and economic disasters.

99% of the world wants fairness; less exploitation.

 

Change is hard.

 

Some speak as if it’s easier for themselves to have one fixed idea and deny that any change is required.

 

It’s hard to learn the many multitudes of ways we each can change more and destroy the planet less.

 

But change is happening everywhere.

 

Often, I’ve thought, X political organisation should be doing B.

 

Then I do a search online, and find they’re already implementing those plans.

 

Government is not just the current elected party member and their soundbites.

It’s the public servants and contractors who are held accountable too, and who are our friends and/or neighbours.

 

Government is us, and our vote.

 

Our vote is also our note – what we buy with our currencies are statistics towards what is acceptable to produce. What we do and say and eat and wear and use all influence the market.

 

In 1986, I first heard about about greenhouse gases, the hole in the ozone layer, the loss of native habitat and species, etc.

My father and I were sitting at the kitchen table and ABC Radio was on. I was home for the holidays from university, and doing some drawing.

David Suzuki was talking about the tonnes of glass and plastic bottles going into landfill.

My father sat there, elbows on the table, with his hands over his eyes and face.

I’d never seen him do anything like that. It brings tears to my eyes and lump to my throat every time I remember that day in 1986.

We first started recycling (which was newspaper) in 1988 in Melbourne. Our first kerbside recycling bins appeared in 1989.

I have never gone for my drivers licence since hearing David Suzuki in 1986.

I’ve been using public transport and walking when I need to go somewhere on my own.

Dad was 19 years older than Mum, and he died in 1997.

He never lived to see the big changes.

Change began in small increments.  But change is exponential.

It’s taken so long to transition to what we’re doing now.

Extinction Rebellion are making people talk, think, and act.

As Greta Thunberg said in New York, “Once we start to act, hope is everywhere”.

 

As Eliud Kipchoge said in Vienna, “Together we can make the world a peaceful place.”

nature, systems, biology, genetics, weight, evolution, efficiency

We’ve become too efficient at feeding ourselves

Obesity, its causes, and solutions are not a soundbite or two.

We’ve evolved to what we are today because of improvements in efficiency.

We are so efficient now at producing food, we waste 30% of it globally.

It’s so easy to feed ourselves, we need to go against our genetics and do things with the sole purpose of removing excess food stores.

Biologically, we want to do things the quickest, simplest way.

Hence fad diets, extreme diets.

Hence arguments about the one cause or cure of obesity.

As Nobel Prize winner, economist and psychologist Daniel Kahnemann’s many studies show, the very act of thinking hard in itself depletes us of energy.

We want a quick fix, like our quick reactions in simply running from bears or hunting them.

Our bodies including the brain organ don’t like expending energy we will then have to replenish.

In the 12,000 years since we started farming, we have grown taller, and are now living longer, becoming more obese, but it’s not obvious we have evolved in such a short time.

Instead, though, our knowledge has grown.

It’s up to us to use the collective knowledge of our tribe to help each other make learning easier, buying the right food easier, and to help make regulating our weight easier to do and understand.

It’s up to us to stop insisting on extremist, over-simplified, and/or fad approaches that we can’t sustain long enough to make all the required changes.

drinking alcohol in moderation

Can’t moderate? Blame alcohol, not yourself.

601 days alcohol-free.
$3,435 saved ($40 a week).
Last drank on January 31 2018.

(Stats from my Nomo app data.)

I don’t miss it. Alcohol doesn’t seem comforting or pleasurable to me like some people think it is for them (or the advertisements make us want to believe).

I don’t just look at the buzz and high of the first hour or two.

I see all the guilt, regret, anxiety, expense, conflicting thoughts, desperation, sickness, insomnia.

Douglas Adams wrote a book entitled, “The Long Dark Teatime of the Soul”. To me, that phrase can describe when the sun is nearly over the yardarm and you want to start drinking to stop the worry and stop feeling crappy about everything – to get a quick buzz like a rat in a science experiment in the 1940s.

That’s alcohol. That’s the result of chemical effects the day after you drank (again).

It’s not your fault you can’t moderate. Totally not your fault.

Alcohol is to blame.

It’s lovely to NOT drink. Not to desperately reach for a fake high that messes up your already borked chemistry.

It’s lovely to look forward to feeling tired in the evening and ready for rest and relaxation.

Evolutionary psychology, dieting, hormones, exercise, and injuries

Ideas emerging from the aethers. Been learning bits about evolutionary psychology.

As well as leptin and ghrelin, other hormones seem to affect hunger. e.g. women need more energy intake during certain times in a cycle. (re Lyle McDonald.)
PMS is worse if you’re not eating enough.

Running and exercise help with stress and burning off our fight/flight instincts when most of us have desk or indoor jobs that can be very stressful. But too much intense exercise increases stress (adrenaline and cortisol).

I’ve suspected for a while that testosterone compels men to continually compete and overdo it when they exercise. It’s certainly pretty bad for women comparing ourselves to others in the gene pool. And social media and technology’s effects on top causing us to want to look more awesome than the next person.

I have more I could say about this all leading to injuries, and un-sustainability in fitness.

Dopamine and serotonin can also be nice happy comfortable influences that make competitiveness less important and make us want to be happy just being with our tribe around our campfire safe from wild animals.

I guess these hormones can also be part of the reason people want to stick to a diet their peers prefer.

Leptin and its role in metabolism

The 1994 discovery of the hormone Leptin has led to exponential incremental scientific discoveries and now its role (in obesity in particular) is becoming more widely known.
“Jeffrey M. Friedman, whose [1994] discovery of the hormone leptin has transformed our understanding of obesity, will be a 2020 recipient of the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences. He is being honored for his discovery of a new endocrine system through which adipose tissue signals the brain to regulate food intake. Friedman is the Marilyn M. Simpson Professor and head of the Laboratory of Molecular Genetics at Rockefeller, as well as a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator.
“The relatively new Breakthrough Prize, with its accompanying $3 million award, is the most generous prize in the sciences, and recognizes achievements in the life sciences, fundamental physics, and mathematics. The prize was established eight years ago by several Silicon Valley tech entrepreneurs, including the founders of Google, Facebook, and 23andMe.
“Friedman’s 1994 discovery of leptin, and of its receptor in the brain encoded by the obese gene, shed new light on the pathogenesis of obesity. He and his colleagues have since shown that leptin acts on sets of neurons in brain centers that regulate food intake and energy expenditure, and has powerful effects on reproduction, metabolism, other endocrine systems, and immune function.”
 
Jeffrey M. Friedman’s latest Nature article:
Leptin and the endocrine control of energy balance.” – Jeffrey M. Friedman, Nature, August 29, 2019.
(pdf download available.)
 
I’ll add that leptin research is not limited to leptin deficiency.
There is work being done on how leptin (satiety hormone) and ghrelin (hunger hormone) levels can be altered by diet in beneficial and harmful ways.

About Me

I had 15 minutes of fame from my “before/after” photo from my first year of running.

A Year of Running

10 October 2015 to 22 September 2016

It was featured in a story about me in the parkrun Australia newsletter.

The photo garnered an article in The Telegraph, UK.

It had 1,400+ likes on Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook Group One Year of Running.

My Imgur photo made “Viral” status and had nearly 200,000 views

It was posted on Reddit and had 10,000 points and 381 comments.

I lost 36 kg (80 lb) between April 2015 and April 2016 by eating whatever I felt like (in moderation) within my calorie limit, using the free My Fitness Pal app.

I had started feeling better and better after quitting smoking cigarettes cold turkey in May 2014 and have just kept going. In 2015 I started walking a bit more every day.

On 22 September 2015 I suddenly felt the urge to run for the first time in 30 years.  2 weeks later, I started doing parkrun on Saturdays when it started in my town and I have only missed parkrun 3 times since then. #loveparkrun

I ran 50 km in 6 hours on 10 June 2018.
Along the way, these are the goals I’ve made and completed:

Raise money for cerebral palsy and walk 10,000 steps a day for Steptember 2015.
Run 5 km. 5 December 2015.
Run 10 km. 6 March 2016.
Run 15 km by end of June 2016. 27 March 2016.
Run 5 km in under 30 minutes. 9 April 2016.
30 Day Planking Challenge. May 2016.
Run a half marathon. 26 June 2016.
Run 100 miles in August 2016. Done by 22 August 2016.
Run 1,000 km in 2016. Done by 27 August 2016.
Walk 35 km on 23 October 2016.
Run 100 miles in October 2016.
Run 10 km in under 55 minutes. 8 Jan 2017.
Run 30 km. Done 24 March 2017.
Walk 50 km on 6 May 2017.
Hike 80 km in 2 days. 10-11 June 2017.
Run my first marathon in my year of turning 50. Sunday 27 August 2017.
Run my 100th parkrun. 17 February 2018.
Run a half marathon run (or further) every month for a year. July 2017 to June 2018.
Run a 50 km run in 2018. Sunday 10 June 2018.
Hold a handstand for 10 seconds. 17 June 2018.
Draw every day for Inktober 2018.
No-Spend November, 2018.
Get onto the parkrun Australia Most Events List by running a parkrun at 20 different locations without driving or ever having gone for my licence. December 2018.

See how far I could walk on Boxing Day 2018. 51km!
Ran 2019 km in 2019.
1 year alcohol-free January 31, 2019.
Ran at least one 21.1 km run (or longer) every month for 2 years. 28 June 2019.

Writing all this is a reminder to myself that goals are achieved by making a little effort every day.

Don’t wait around for motivation. Just do it.

Challenge your thoughts.

Don’t believe everything you think.

Zenmode.org was started 20 June 2018.

“About Me” updated 15 September 2019.

 

Addition for a more complete picture:

  • I was founder, owner, and administrator of The Australasian Skeptics Forum.
  • I’ve studied at The University of Melbourne, and Deakin University.
  • I studied painting and drawing under Howard Arkley and Christine Johnston.
  • I’ve worked for local, state, and federal government in Arts, Environment, and Law.
  • I’ve managed bookshops and currently work in finance.
  • Zenmode post “Less Alcohol” was featured in an Australian Department of Health newsletter in April 2019.
giving away my books, donating books,

Giving away many of my books

I donated loads of my books over the past few years. I was tired of them gathering dust; wanted them to be loved by others; wanted more space in the study/library;

I freed myself of my snobbery of thinking owning lots of books made me a good thinker.

 

I kept ones I’d truly loved or find useful or know I’ll have desire and time to read.

I love putting old books in our local Book Swap free mini library and not taking any.

They’re always gone the next day.

Interesting and beautiful feeling.

Though I am still snobbish enough to point out this photo doesn’t show all of the ones I’ve got left.

 

giving away my books, donating books,

Freed myself of my snobbery in thinking owning lots of books make me a good thinker.

Facebook rolling out the option to let you control data shared with apps and websites

That scary feeling when Facebook shows you an ad from something you looked at elsewhere?

 

“To help shed more light on these practices that are common yet not always well understood, today we’re introducing a new way to view and control your off-Facebook activity. Off-Facebook Activity lets you see a summary of the apps and websites that send us information about your activity, and clear this information from your account if you want to. ”

https://newsroom.fb.com/news/2019/08…book-activity/

By Erin Egan, Chief Privacy Officer, Policy, and David Baser, Director of Product Management

Starting in Ireland, South Korea and Spain, Facebook will let you:

  • See a summary of the information other apps and websites have sent Facebook through our online business tools, like Facebook Pixel or Facebook Login;

  • Disconnect this information from your account if you want to; and

  • Choose to disconnect future off-Facebook activity from your account. You can do this for all of your off-Facebook activity, or just for specific apps and websites.

 

After a few months of testing and when it’s known to be working in Ireland, South Korea and Spain, data-sharing control will be made a feature for everyone.

I’m relieved, and really hope this means Google and Siri will try and one-up Facebook and make data sharing opt-in, not opt-out!

Rant about people who rant about Facebook:

So many people talk about Facebook as if they haven’t used Facebook since 2010.

I’ve set all my Facebook ad preferences and get cool stuff. I get things like requests for subjects for scientific studies (I’m doing one now, which has been very rewarding).

I get things like courses to study which are relevant to my interests, running or hiking events, environmental organisations’ announcements.

These ads are often from sites I’ve viewed on Google  or my iPhone anyway.
Facebook will be letting you stop sharing with other apps, so that should mean not sharing Facebook data with Google or Apple/Siri, Microsoft.
But most people prefer to complain, or opt-out of Facebook completely, instead of using it as a tool like snail mail in all its permutations (paper junk mail supports that industry).

It would be better for those people if Facebook data-sharing was opt-in, yes.

Setting your ad preferences is a bit like setting Google alerts (notifications of new webpages that mention certain search words).

Ads can be indistinguishable from news these days anyway. 

Event scientific studies that hit the health headlines are selling the fruits of their labour and hoping for income from paid downloads and/or journal subscriptions.

facebook data sharing google apple siri ios advertising targeting privacy opt-in opt-out settings social media information technology

What is shown to us can be a reflection of ourselves or what we want it to be.

Do you know someone who is a binary thinker and just defaults to “Facebook is shit” for every discussion about it?