Recently picked up The Varieties of Scientific Experience by the one and only Carl Sagan.

Carl attempts to make sense of current theology in the context of modern scientific knowledge, posing, above all, that humility and compassion should govern the human experience. Given our relatively recent ability to cause our own annihilation with nuclear weapons, this may be the only way humankind can survive. Further, he points to reasonable understandings of God and life given the context of the universe’s and earth’s history.

But I couldn’t help but feel that his arguments, though poignant, respectable, and logical, lack the fervor and heat required for humanity to move away from the disastrous possibilities we have created. Namely, he gives no alternative to the logistics of how we live and run our society other than better knowledge, understanding, and more perfect distributions of information.

Everyone should be wary of a dependence on a trajectory toward perfect knowledge, for with it comes power, which makes it political and costly (in more ways than monetary).

So, I propose Saganomics, a re-framing of economic theory (which by-and-large is a bastardization of more complex, dynamic, and chaotic systems we could not possibly comprehend completely). What could happen if we re-form the fundamentals of economics with a new assumption of humility and awe in the face of scale and history over rational self-interest. Not to discount self-interest as a motivation (of course it exists and would be silly to ignore it), but to credit the phenomenon of human life and its necessity to persist through our compassion.

Consider the cooperative (shared ownership) business model, which recently was pointed out to me to have a unique characteristic. Cooperatives tend to grow only as much as they are needed, largely by demand, and by the roles they fulfill in a community. Cooperatives do not grow for the sake of growth. That is the kind of economic structure that is consistent with a Saganomic principle of humility and that successfully transcends naive assumptions about rational self-interest.

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This machine kills fascists

I’ve censored the following, in protest of a bill that gives any corporation and the US government the power to censor the internet–a bill that could pass THIS WEEK. To see the uncensored text, and to stop internet censorship, visit:
http://americancensorship.org/posts/5717/uncensor

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This recent Washington Post Wonkblog post, while very interesting, would have been better conveyed with a map… seems like The Atlantic’s Cities threw one together that does the 1% justice.

I don’t appreciate the Wonkblog (btw, wtf is a Wonkblog?) post’s suggestion that folks should move “occupy” locations to the home territories of the wealthy 1%. Others have also suggested the occupations should exist closer to rich doorsteps. A recent SF Chronicle article points from Occupy Oakland toward San Ramon, a more eastern (and wealthy) Bay Area city.

They have missed the point.

Downtown financial and business districts with high-rise buildings are constructed in the image of capital nexuses like Wall Street. They are symbols for the flow of global capital and the concentration of  the 1%’s power. Are Wall Street or Downtown Oakland the optimal targets to hit the wealthy “where it hurts”? Maybe not. But isn’t the occupy movement a rhetorical demonstration, a performance of massive frustration, a locus for activation and organization?  The point is not really to “take the 1% down” but instead to “build ourselves up” to replace the 1% entirely. I reject the notion that the 1% may not only dominate our country and our lives, but also determine where exactly we choose to demonstrate. Where precisely we allow ourselves, as voluminous creatures, to congregate, and rest our weary bodies.