Friday, October 24, 2008

The view from here.

Been out observing the winds of change here in Linuxville and it's more than falling leaves that litter the landscape. I am still not working, the economy is shaky at best and I am wondering if it will all work out over time or mutate into the unimaginable.

The first revelation was that the world economy is based on black gold, oil. Not just for fuel, also the chemical component of many products from dyes, fertilizer, plastics of all sorts, you name it. Coal is also a part of this, in fact the use of fossil fuels is choking us, snubbing out life, slowly, under our nose. We have treated these resources as if they were the promised abundant energy, fresh and clean. The reality is the opposite. The mesh of psychology and legal entanglements and money invested prevents many from seeing the truth of outcomes. There is a global awakening and concern as to what has happened to us because of fossil fuel dependence.

The politicians here in America are so reluctant to push the process to wean ourselves off of fossil fuels. They say foreign oil independence at the same time drill at home to replace it. There is so much infrastructure committed to coal and oil, you can't expect change of the magnitude that is actually required. There is too much money, fortunes, and minds committed to what we now have.

There needs to be a shift of moneys to non-oil and non-coal based research and adding non-fossil fuel technology and tamping that technology down into the fabric of everyday living. Help, I am sounding like Al Gore! Well, the crisis is real, but we can take steps to do our part. First you need an education, I'll leave that part up to you. Then how you spend your money reinforces your support one way or the other. Don't over look the vote thing.

In Linuxville, we have one thing that a big part of the world doesn't, that is a community that shares knowledge of computing technology. While it may not be the model of business success, it does prove that a body of shared knowledge can exist along side of proprietary knowledge bases. Some info should be kept closed, but some must be shared, aired, open for use by all.

I see many countries racing to get wind, solar and other non-fossil fuel resources because they can be applied to any strata of society and they don't have to make war to secure energy. If folks the world over can get wind and solar, part of the world's turmoil would be solved. We still have to contend with ourselves.

I was pondering what is green computing. I can see computers made from less volatile materials, even plastics made from organic substances and using less power. Please recycle your CRT monitors and get LCDs and use all the Energy Star features. I guess laptops use less energy than desktops and turning stuff off when not used would save some cash over time.

I heard that with money funny for everybody, Linux and Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) might suffer. There is talk that the demand for funds for free software is on the horizon. These things, I don't know. Linux and FOSS have been such a force of sustainability for years and just might survive in the background as it always has. Well, we shall see what develops and what direction we go. Stay tuned for more of "as the world turns!"

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