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Q: I wanted to ask you this. What was it that happened - it's not very clear, what this was ...
whether it was a conflict or disagreement that happened between the Zeitgeist Movement and The Venus Project,
because I remember watching that ... Jacque fresco, that he said he was ...
you guys had a disagreement, but he didn't say much else about that. Was it ...
So can you tell us what happened?
PJ: I've always been hesitant to expand on that anymore than necessary, because it's petty - it was a kind of ...
After two years of working with the Venus Project and allocating tremendous resources and such to the Venus Project
they felt fearful of their identity and they felt like I personally,
who was their biggest advocate, who had brought them out and was their biggest fan obviously.
And they felt like I was interfering with some kind of identity that they had -
that I and in one level, that was my final insult, was that, I was trying to, you know, usurp Jacque.
Something like that. As an ego trip. And I couldn't tolerate that.
So in a personal level ... I will l never, you know, asked anybody to stop interaction with them.
In fact we have ... we still have partnership stuff that we do -
the linguistic team still works with the Venus Project and so on and so forth.
So, and I just stopped talking about it, because, okay ...
I don't want to put any more, do any more damage to any of this.
Venus Project has a think-tank type of structure. They're not a movement.
And that's great. And that's Jacque's work - that's Jacque's life's work.
And that should exist as it is.
The movement is a linear force trying to do everything possible with every bridge possible -
with any options we could find to make things happen for the better.
I mean obviously our goal - the Resource-Based Economic model - what defines that train of thought.
It's shared to a degree, but I could actually say, there are some differences the way,
I personally think and communicate in the way, Jacque thought and communicated,
when it comes to nuances of things.
But I don't want to go into that either, because it sound ...
it seems like people become competitive when you start talking like that and I hate that.
So I just say ... let's just ...
It is everything keeps changing and moving and I hope another organization comes
along that's even better than the Zeitgeist Movement, you know,
because there's always gonna be a time span for things.
It's been 10 years of this. And I'm not gonna be mad, If someone took all these ideas and made it better.
I would never be mad at that. I could sleep finally.
[Laugh]
Q: Hi there.
In your presentation you talked about the Mr. Beer, he was talking about the fifth system
and the gentleman, he was talking to, was about people, right?
So just the idea of the recurring system or recursive systém
and systems working within systems - in what way will people …
what role will people have with working in conjunction with that system?
PJ: That's a great point and you can read a whole book on it.
What I'd like to do now, is actually put in the context of what's going on right now in the 21st century,
because that was a long time ago - the way they are approaching, but basically decentralization -
something, that is of on everyone's tongue now, that's thinking, you know, forward.
Decentralization, where you have pockets of people, that are mostly independent -
remember the autonomy property, that I talked about -
and they are connected to other pockets at people,
they are autonomous to a certain degree, they manage their own work.
I'll give you an example.
Think about an energy grid.
Instead of the consolidated energy grid that we have now, you know.
You have a decentralized energy grid, where people are actually producing
their own energy independently on their own structures, that they own, that their homes -
solar panels and so on.
So they are in a sense their own singular systems semi autonomous.
They're still vulnerable to the environment and they're still connected to others,
because what are you do in that circumstance you connect
that viable system of that home producing that renewable energy.
Anything, that they you do in excess of their use,
goes back into a larger grid with all the other homes doing exactly the same thing.
Suddenly you don't have a centralized Energy Authority.
This has been talked about by a lot of people why. That's not my idea.
I think Jeremy Rifkin's talked about this of the the energy internet, he calls it.
It's very logical, eventually that's the way it's going to be. So that's a great example of it.
Did that answer your question you mentioned the top tier fifth thing?
Well think about the democratic sense, if you deciding to have your own energies off the grid,
so to speak energy world for your own work in your own home,
but you're also participating in the larger collective, so if I didn't ...
Think about mesh networks with cell phones in the internet.
I have been loved thinking about this.
So your phone can actually be changed and to be it a signal itself
and if everyone has a phone with the same signal going to each other's phones as a big network,
you could create a cell phone network without any controlled Authority.
You could create an internet structure without any control authority.
No one can flick a switch, no one can control it, no one can censor things.
I mean there's caveats, there's lots of things, that you could talk about technically, you know.
But that's the kind of thinking. So, if you bridge all that out, what you have our economic agents,
that are autonomous, we get, as pointed out in the model, they exist in environment,
where they're trying to, you know, bridge things together to respect that system unity
and they're autonomous at the same time and they regulate their own little world
while it works in that hierarchical levels of recursion they call it.
I'll leave it at that for now, because I can go on spiral of things,
but the idea of autonomous, collective autonomy, so to speak
where everyone's an individual agent just like your body, your liver and so -
as your liver respects the fact, that it's a part of your body,
it has its own self regulatory mechanisms along with it regulatory mechanisms your body.
And now one thing, I would add to that is, that when you have say your own home with that energy grid,
you're gonna have self-regulating mechanisms in that grid simultaneously, that you monitor.
So you're in control of that element of the of the whole node system.
Q: Okay. So this question is kind of two fold and if possible actually and … I'm sorry.
I didn't catch your name in the purple down there?
PJ: Josephine.
Q: Josephine, this might actually be best answered by you,
but I'll ask first ... about critical mass.
I wanted to talk about critical mass and how we bring about more wide sweeping changes,
because obviously, you know, we've got a very politically inert class, who is not interested,
they're not going to make implement changes legislatively. So, you know, strategies for sort of motivating that.
And the part, I wanted to ask you Josephine, was
you were out there talking about the basic income conference and how this is actually happening.
My big concern is, that if the Conservatives get elected, that they'll cancel the pilot program
and that won't go forward. So do we have any kind of feedback on that?
JG: First of all I think, they felt a little frightened to say, that they wouldn't continue it.
So at the moment they claim, that they would, I don't trust that guy obviously.
I think, you know, our first move is, if that guy looks like he's winning or he's gonna win,
we make sure the Liberals an NDP form a coalition,
because then we have critical mass to ensure, he doesn't get in power.
That's one thing.
But I will say, the basic income is absolutely vital, you know, as a means
by which people can be freed up to make these changes and change their behavior,
because, for instance, I would love to go and hang out at the Repair Cafe.
It's very rare, that I can actually squeeze out the time and the money to go and get there.
Which is really sad, right? And my project work is the same problem.
But when it comes to critical mass to make massive change,
you have a couple of things to keep in mind.
One is, that climate chaos is throwing a level of urgency, that has never existed before
and it's real and we can't ... , you know, well, people can pretend it's not ...,
but we all know it is, right?
Secondly, the dinosaurs, who thought, there was no future, who grew up,
thinking, that they had to get under the desk and that the world is going to blow up any second, they're aging out.
So you need to take hold every people, who are coming into positions of systems power
and structural power and you need to meet with them and talk to them.
You need to remember, that you pay them to make change.
You pay them to change our systems.
They are using our money, right? And that's, they're also being paid by us.
So that's imperative.
And I would lastly say that, if you want to get a sense of how that human part of a system -
structural systém - can operate in a self-corrective way,
this is where human rights education comes into play.
If you actually look at the treaties this country signed in our name
and then, you know, neglect it to tell anybody about it,
if you actually look, how they work - they work based on the kind of model,
that Peter's talking about, because it starts off with a notion of self-determination,
but responsibility, collective self-determination and responsibility institutions, individuals, state -
all have the rights and the responsibilities.
So now you see, that you're having a complex system with a framework of guidelines,
that you can apply and of course there's going to be issues and times,
when they bump up against each other,
but we have to stop sitting around and saying „oh let's wait for somebody to bring this into being“.
No, we already have these systems, we have these blueprints and we can utilize them.
We utilize them in our community organizing - in a very diverse community
with people from all over the world, because they get it.
It's much easier, than talking about poverty or ecological disaster.
We talk about human rights and then we browded it in ecological needs and realities.
And in that way we connect the dots between the ecology, human rights, structural change,
systems change and the ability to finally hit that critical mass point.
PJ: Yeah.
[Applause]
Stay with us. You can do my speaking for me.
Q: So, this was very theoretical and ...
So, I work with Emily, I work with Lawrence with Toronto Tool Library
and we're part of the Institute for a Resource-Based Economy.
And in this presentation I don't think we heard a Resource-Based Economy once.
So I'm interested has your perspective changed or should we be renaming or organization?
[Laugh]
PJ: Remember as I said the very beginning, I've done so many talks and focused on so much
about the Resource-Based Economic model or Natural Law Resource-Based Economic model,
whatever you want to call it. And this was a variant of my presentation style.
Usually I'm all encompassing, so ...
I choose to go for the train of thought in description. When you start to label things -
again, you have that categorical thought problem and you end up with symbols.
And I'd rather avoid the symbols and names and titles and just go straight
to the jugular of the train of thought, because that's where the argument is.
So does that make sense? I have never changed my view on any of it.
There are subtleties, I think, that ...
I've educated myself about in terms, you know, this particular kind of thinking systemically is a little bit different, I think -
for example then the general model of the Resource-Based Economy proposed by The Venus Project.
There's actually far more centralization in their original proposal.
Then the decentralized reality that we've become to see so much more robust over the past 10 years.
So things are morphing and changing and then as they should, you know,
and things will change even more, but we don't know what's around the corner
in terms of what that core integral solution will be, that will really alter our framework
of what's actually going to work and what isn't.
Q: First of all thanks for the presentation, thanks for coming Peter.
PJ: I don't know where you are.
Q: I'm over here.
I actually have a three-part question and also a word of caution as well.
The three-part question - as an activist the barriers I hit up against most often are,
what that RBE idea sounds terribly useful and I think, they were to suit me down to the ground,
but how do we get there? I get that probably every 24 hours.
The second part is, how do you find hope in all of this,
because human evolution is so deathly slow, that it's very difficult
to actually spot it happening and I share ...
there's only so many times I can share Toronto Toil Library postings
and, you know, second videos of the Zeitgeist series and what else can I do, what else can be done?
And then the word of caution is actually about universal basic income
I've studied this, as well, personally and what I can't get to grips with is that,
if you understand the very basic laws of supply and demand in economics,
then you must also understand that.
if we give everyone, say I'd know, a thousand dollars a month,
then all the corporations will go on to this fact and say okay well
a cup of Starbucks is now $15 instead of $5
and a transatlantic flight is now $8000 instead of $800
and, you know, the cost of rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Toronto will go
from a $1000 a month average to $10000 dollars a month.
That's just basic inflation. So given that … that's what we already know,
how on Earth can something like UBI work and is it not just, you know,
the last-ditch attempt by rich people to try and keep money relevant to humankind?
PJ: Okay. We'll go backwards.
First I agree with the caveat, that there is a dire multi-tiered ... I'll put it this way.
The general system has so many different externalities, that are negative,
that simply giving people a basic income doesn't solve so many other things,
that are being caused problematically caused by by capitalism.
So there's other things that have to be done, right? Obviously.
In the 1970s there was a big credit expansion. And it's, because that the economy was so bad.
They decided just give everybody credit. And you have credit card - a culture of credit cards,
where people are spending back into the system from loans
and that was what was driving economic growth at that time.
And that's precisely, what UBI could be used for so to speak,
where they're gonna give more money into his society that's dysfunctional,
that was great in the inequity, great imbalance, it's great …, you know,
63% of the Americans don't have $1000 in savings.
When you resolved that little bit, you're actually removing a certain degree of angst.
You're creating a little bit of placation.
That's upside of it though.
So see my points, you placate people by giving them money,
therefore they don't question the system anymore, right?
And we have to question the system, because there's plenty of other things,
that are going wrong with the system, you can't ... there's no one fixed for this.
But the same time, if you give people money, you actually any educate them - I mean that's pivotal.
And they can learn and have time and to think and time to look at all the other problems.
They can have sustenance, to not have to worry about their job and their family every day like most do,
not have the stress of that and that much time alleviation, I think is what will
allow for the education of flourish and for all the other problems to be discussed
and inevitably those people will not be placated,
they will actually move and be motivated to change even more,
than they could when they were so structurally oppressed by poverty. Does that make sense?
So that's one side. I want to let you touch upon that, if you'd like to.
Would you like touch for them?
Okay. So the second question was hope.
Well, and I think that combines your first question,
which had to do with well how do we get there, right? That's a part of that process.
As I said in a conference two days ago, to have hope of is really a heroic act.
To be positive as a heroic act, as your hope is a feeling.
I'd say, it's synonymous with being confident, that something can be changed, right?
Yeah, we can play semantic games, but that's the way I interpret it.
And it's a heroic act to actually stand up and say yeah I'm confident, we can do this.
Even if you're standing the face and Tiananmen Square of a guy staying in front of a tank.
And that's the analogy, I use ... well, did he have hope, was he confident, but didn't matter,
because he did, what needed to be done and that is a shared value.
If we respect ourselves in society, it doesn't matter how many brick walls are build around us.
You have to keep that positive focus.
There's no way around it, because there's too much at risk.
Otherwise you might as, well, just slit your throat right then,
because the value of yourself is really so diminished, that you're so apathetic, you don't care basically.
So you have to strive for it as far as I'm concerned humans or humans we're all humans
we're thinking, we're doing things, we change humans thoughts, we can change society,
that's how it happens. The question is, how do we do it, that goes to your first question.
Well, there is a movement, there's multiple movements, it's an educational kind of process at this point,
but what I like to see happen and done on the heels of all this, is actually a development of project,
where a lot of the larger order structural changes that have spoken of over through the years,
not just the cybernetic stuff, even though I think that's integral.
It needs to be put into practice in research like through a university system.
The university project, excuse me, imagine all the universities in the world
taking on sustainable management and an economic sustainability management in this kind of thinking
and they all started to work together to create the actual systems.
Because when you look at this and on paper eventually this Resource-Based Economy
will be a series of symbolic algorithmic forms.
That's the way, it's going to come out through computer language
and the language of math and science, because that's ...
how what's going to be behind us, system be under the hood.
And that has to be programmed.
Because you're gonna have an autonomous system with all the properties of nature,
synergistically, recursive, all those things feed into it, it has to be designed.
So we talk all day about it, but someone has to step up and I can I've asked people to do this.
I did a lecture Economic calculation in Natural Law Resource-Based Economy in 2013 in Berlin
and I'd outlined this very large symbolic algorithm is general,
but I think it served its role. It's also in the two books that I wrote
and I that's really what I'm focusing on now.
if I had time to break away from all the other communicative things I'm doing,
I would try to get people together to start this programming project
and ideally get it picked up by universities and get grants for it.
If you set that in motion and it'd be over.
Because you would actually have something and provably testable scientific method to be put in place.
You could test it in small pockets, eventually be applied to a city somewhere
and how they manage their own local area.
I will say, what I believe will happen, because of more with less
and ephemeralization eventually technology to become so small.
Are you familiar with the term ephemeralization or more with less?
So at technology and processes using become so small and so effective,
such low amounts of energy and resource use to produce more and more and more.
that's not ... unheard of that. You're gonna have a society
with effectively a small 3D printing style - very diverse versatile system of production,
that can produce everything, say Toronto, ever needed.
Along with say vertical farm systems that do the same thing in terms of food.
So everything becomes localized, because of the progress of technology.
That will happen if we let it and you shut down globalization, as we know it economically,
and you start to localize, use more with less, efficiency will go exponential
and suddenly, you know, as an aside in fact, I was reading the exploitation of Latin and South America.
The reason, they've been so destroyed, is,
because they never were able to build their industries up enough to be independent.
And if you look at the behavior of Western hegemony, that's what they do.
They constantly destroy nations and hit them with sanctions to reduce their efficiency and independence.
And that is an unfortunate side effect of this and while on a political level,
on a social oppression level, on a human rights level.
You have to start getting off the grid as individual communities.
Again, going back to her question, you're never completely off the grid.
You're a part of everything else, but you want to create that independent viable system
for your community and region and it builds up systemically, you know, in that recursive sense from there.
So that's one idea.
So that's the kind of share I think about all the time.
And I think it can be done. I say it's too bad that we feel that staticness some ...
Anyway I keep ramming. Anybody else want to add some confidence for my friend over here?
ECD: So, like just in relation to that concept of hope
and how to foster that in people and get people thinking about the changes,
that need to happen and how to do it,
so the folks that started the Toronto Tool Library and Sharing Depot,
we all used to live communally in a house together my daughter included
and it was a really beautiful experience like talk about, you know, a world-changing way of living.
But I went out one day and got groceries and I think I refused a plastic bag,
because I carry a zero-waste kit as an act of defiance against plastic
and it starts a lot of conversations people are always asking like:
„Oh my god why what's this bread bag why are you putting bread in this cotton bag?“
And the particular person, that I got that day, was angry about this my refusal of the plastic bag.
And she was like you'll never change anything like:
„This is impossible. You know, it's everywhere, it's nothing we can do.“
And I went home kind of like bombed out and I went into the kitchen,
I swear to God one day I'm going to write a book called In the kitchen,
but the conversations, that we had in that kitchen, were like fantastic.
And I started talking to Lawrence and I was like:
„Man like why are people so negative? I can't understand it.“
And he brought up the point that:
„You know, like we kind of live in a bubble, because we are so engaged in the changes, that are happening.“
And I think that when people start getting involved in community projects,
whether it's a group that's, you know, promoting universal basic income
or whether it's somebody who's developing, you know, these big-picture technologies
like Blockchain, the Toronto Library Sharing Depot, you know -
that's all run by volunteers. The volunteers come into the space and run that thing.
The more you're involved in those things the more Hope is infectious.
So social media is extremely important,
like you talked about the photo of the guy standing in front of the tank,
that gets shared over and over and over again. Like it's amplified like crazy
and that in itself is a form of inspiring hope.
But I think the change really comes when you get out and you start acting in your community,
because people really ... that hope is infectious.
So that's all I would add to that.
JG: Yeah, of course, you know, in the current status quo any tool can be misused,
any idea can be co-opted. And that's something that we're all aware of.
So what's one of the reasons, why I'm advocating very much to ensure,
that basic income is brought in in the context of Human Rights.
So that government then takes on its responsibility to ensure rent control,
to ensure that, you know, the other parts of the economy don't leap on that
to try to suck it dry, which, you know, some will.
But the great thing is, you know, rather than … I have never ... Well, I shouldn't say that.
I have maybe once or twice in my life stepped into a Walmart.
We can starve the beast, right? We have so much material surplus
and now we have things like the Tool library and like. We just starve the beast.
So if they want to charge $8000 to fly across the ocean,
we'll live stream or we'll take a boat, you know. I'm saying like:
„We feel so helpless? We have to stop being helpless. We are not helpless.“
I've been at this for over 30 years, I have grandchildren and I am ...
it's a struggle to be hopeful. I don't even really think about hope too much.
I think about determination.
I think about, you know, in warriorship in a sense about -
how I can take my rage of watching your generation, and my kids generation
be robbed of everything, that we were thinking, we were going to have in our future.
I take that rage and I channel it into determination.
So hope or not hope isn't really relevant to me.
It's I'm alive, I'm a human, I have children, I have to do this.
That's all there is to it.
And I make sure, I have as good a time as humanly possible doing it,
so as an antidote to knowing far too much and having seen far too much
and actually met some of those people.
Like face to face the people who destroyed our nation.
I have to live with that.
But I'm a human rights defender, so, you know, it gives me a sense of strength,
it gives me a sense of being grounded
and we all can and must do everything we can in our power, whether it's a small thing or a big thing.
And it's when we are doing things about it, then you have something stronger than hope.
You have purpose and you have in the knowledge, that you're doing what needs to be done.
And that's a far greater strength and motivation than any hope could ever be.
[Applause]
PJ: And there was one thing I remembered about the gentleman's question.
He talked about inflation.
Now that all is contingent upon where the money comes from.
Does it come from redistribution from the crazy billionaire class?
Does it come from government miss allocations and surpluses, that they have behind the scenes?
In this conference I saw so many different sources of this UBI.
It was really quite amazing.
And there is ... while inflation …
if you inject money in this system - the basic money theory of inflation applies -
the more money in the system, the more that reduces the value of the money individually per unit.
But that's a pretty complicated process in general.
If the money is being put to use, it actually doesn't happen like that.
And I think legislation, if need be could put forward
to avoid the abuse of any kind of corporation, that wants to stick it to the consumer.
And keep in mind also, that there's a competitive quality too.
So unless there's a mass kind of monopolistic cartel,
where all the coffee shops get together does, you know,
go $8 a cup and force everybody to pay for it, they're not gonna do that.
They're gonna want to keep it as close as they can to be competitive and keep, you know,
the money, to keep the price as low as possible.
So it's not that simple. In other words, it's not an equation of much more money inflation just isn't that clear.
Q: Hey Peter.
As a Young Ling who first became excited and empowered with Zeitgeist Movement -
when I first began - I paid close attention to the Movement,
part of which involved watching your interviews, some of your interviews and debates
with certain figures a memorable, one was ... your one with Mark Dice
and your other one with Stefan Molyneux, who are both more or less
market advocates or libertarian types.
There are people who are prone to calling you a socialist or a Marxist, right?
So to be briefed in your third film.
You and ... in a few debates that you ... you've been in ...
you tended to denounced democracy as a means to reaching this your vision.
Has your position on democracy changed at all?
PJ: Would you find clarifying, what you mean by that,
because I've never denounced the idea of public participation in control
of their society and environment.
Now democracy can take on different meanings.
I don't denounce democracy and the basic Greek concept of it.
What I denounce is the pop culture version of democracy,
that we have instituted on the planet today. So it's specific to that.
I clearly believe, that humans need to have in this autonomous kind of logic as promoted
control and contribution to the world that's around them.
It has to be that way, otherwise people get alienated.
Even if their ideas are wrong, there is a reason for them to contribute
and the process, if it's working and as a proper referent, will weed out the correct over the ...
weed out the right, it's weed out the wrong, excuse me, over the right.
So, you know, if you have a economic democracy for example, where …
yeah, I'll take it to that level.
So you have an economic democracy in the future, where people are going online
and they're accessing shared open-source systems that design goods.
So no more corporations.
What you have is a structure like this. People go on and on these systems,
they have a background and certain kinds of engineering and education, If they choose to.
By the way, not every human being needs to do this.
But this is how it would work for those that chose to contribute,
who are educated enough to program the language, that can design goods, you know -
CAD, 3D engineering and stuff like that.
So they go on, they produce this. They do it in a democratic Open Source way,
because they are engaging all these other designers to try and figure out,
how to make the best possible good for that point in time.
Now is that the only thing, that is in play?
No. You have that other level the environment of the system.
You have to account for the resources.
So, if you have resource scarcity on the planet that's clear,
you don't just start building things that clearly are gonna overshoot those resources.
So there's self limits, that are imposed by nature.
And if programed that improperly, you're gonna have a tight system,
where people respect the fact, that they're always working within the confines of what is sustainable
and they're always gonna work within the confines of efficiency simultaneously, because of the birth of AI.
you actually have systems now,
that can look at a design an engineer puts forward and analyze it for its integrity.
They can actually understand, if what they put forward matches the math,
that has been programmed into it.
Caveat of course used to rely on the algorithmic programming the integrity of all that,
but we have a world won by algorithms already that works pretty well on a basic technical level,
I'm confident it will work that way in the future two.
Point B. You have democratic participation within the environment of rules that are immutable
and invariant and dynamic, and that's why the system constantly updates
and tells you and gives you new information.
Oh, we're running out of this role this material in Africa
we're gonna have to substitute something else. So then BOOM.
The engineering team gets on the engineers know, what they need to do.
If they want to have this particular utility and a good, they have to find a substitute.
And automatic economic balance - homeostasis starts to be created based effectively around the laws of nature.
Q: So this is a question for the master storyteller
and then as a follow-up to Peter Joseph as well afterwards.
You showed us a clip from a movie that inspired you.
You mentioned, how watching the Zeitgeist films woke you up to another reality.
And I've watched all three films. I remembered, that … I think, it was the last film at the end
there was this difference between gluttony and people just throwing things away
and being wasteful and then an alternative to it.
And I was just touching on a storytelling aspect, that was interesting.
I've also read your new book - The New Human Rights Movement - and it's incredible.
And there's all these leading-edge concepts in them, that are real in the world today
and need to be grounded out and developed.
What I think needs to happen now, is some serious and effective storytelling.
The kind of stuff, that blows people's minds, sends them to the theaters
and the millions makes hundreds of millions of dollars.
And I just like you to touch on these amazing ideas
and how they can be spun and pushed into the mainstream to excite people.
And then following that, what Peter would say to that, as well.
ECD: Yeah. So I would say like, in terms of the movement like ... I would like to see
the global chapters social media become like have a unified strategy,
where that storytelling element is at the center,
because I can tell you from my experience with working with environmental organizations,
in social media including the Tool Library, the stuff, that really takes off, is the solutions.
People are not interested in being told that the system is shitty.
Just like in the film, where the girl is like sitting there with their hand out.
It's like what can we do, like we get it.
People are not interested in that. They want the solutions.
So the stuff that gets shared of our page is the Zero Waste Soap
and the bags, that get made out of reusable fabric
and, you know, the powerful impact of borrowing and the community aspect of it.
We ran a crowd fund recently too, because we didn't get a grant
and we needed funding for the organization and it took no time at all.
The thing just went nuts. It was surprising like it was shocking.
The community, that is rallying around this idea, loves that solution-oriented stuff.
So I would say in terms of like flushing out the story of the Zeitgeist Movement
and where those solutions are hiding - you just start storytelling
in a way that is a cohesive and comprehensive and consistent.
So that would be my answer to that.
PJ: Interreflections - the film I can't seem to make.
This entire idea of the film trilogy, that I'm doing, is all live-action.
It's all psychological. It's a multi genre piece,
that attempts to psychologically invoke certain emotions
related to the concepts put forward by the movement and the train of thought.
And effectively it's gonna work at multiple time frames at multiple levels.
It's partly documentary, it's partly extremely, I'd say, there's a horror element to it,
there's a quality to where examines society as we see it today,
but I put it in a horror movie context - in part, not that direct.
But the three films are gonna create an arc and it shows the movement of society to a new social system.
I don't want to give it away as far as how I do it. So I'm not gonna give you much detail.
But because it's multi-genre, I'm going at every angle of aesthetic that comes out in film.
So there's a comedic element, there's a musical element, there's a satire element,
there's a thriller element, there's again the horror element
and then there's the documentary element. That kind of underscores the whole thing.
It's a sci-fi movie, that's based upon cliches, that have existed throughout society.
It's it takes all the memes that we've been hearing today
from no heed from the school shootings to Occupy Wall Street,
to even the more solution area things, like decentralization, to Blockchain and Bitcoin -
all of this kind of stuff I'm printing this amalgamation to kind of ...
when people walk out of this thing ... people are gonna feel hopefully kind of inspired and overwhelmed,
but also ... the fundamental point of the film is vagary.
What I firmly believe is, that you hit people over the head look like a book like I wrote …
okay, yep growley appreciated that, most people get through about a quarter of it
and they can't at their attention span ... can't handle any more of it.
That's a problem of society and the media as we know
and as social media unfortunately it does a little bit of that to people too.
Twitter culture can't think anymore - it's like just little fragments of thoughts.
I think that has an effect on a lot of people - not everybody. I'm not putting down social media.
But anyway.
So the vagary element ... I explicitly create scenes and and things,
that will get under people's skin through symbology
without ever really telling them what it means.
And that, I think, is one of the most important things about creative development is you don't want ...
you want people to walk away with it by making their own story of what, they just saw.
And that makes it their own sneaks behind their ego and suddenly when they realize something -
They realized it. They're the ones that came up with it.
Not somebody imposing their ideas upon them.
And I think that's a powerful level of creative development.
That's why music is so great, because music is generally ambiguous.
But it has kernels of direct communication, but the gesture and everything that's underneath it.
Everyone pulls a little bit something different out of it.
That's why songs have this life ... no one watches a movie 400 times.
People will listen to a song 400 times.
So I'm a musician at heart, so it's kind of where my sources.
Anyway.
Okay.
Q: I have two questions.
I got a question for brother Peter and I have a question for everybody in the room.
My first question is uh, right now, as far as I know the renowned scientists in the world
are working on the quantum computer
and I noticed in your video, you were showing a moment of when one of the first computers were being developed
and you were talking about, how important it was for the evolution of humanity.
Well, I don't know if people understand anything about the quantum computer,
but right now the computers, that we use, operate on the speed of light
and they can only equate ... they can only do one equation at a time.
With the quantum computer could do multiple equations at a time.
So it's going to change our reality and our world exponentially.
So I will have a question. My question is, do you have anything that you know ... or any vision
or any sort of relativity, that you would have to see, how that is going to impact humanity?
PJ: I think you kind of implied it's gonna change everything in terms of speed,
because what did the computer do is, they enable people to actually have time
to do other things while the computer crunched numbers.
And then you get outputs and then you build upon that,
but everyone's familiar with the exponential increased in technology, you know, like the Moore's Law chip -
The biggest computer and thalia chip in your phone -
obviously much smaller and letting users fund incredibly less power,
less resources and yet is a thousand times more powerful
and that's probably what quantum computing will do to the current digital state.
I agree with that.
So the exponential curve it's an information technology.
In other words information is behind all computing. That's ... It's informations code.
If you can convert any problem in society to information technology
and you can input that into a computer and then you put into a quantum computer,
you have huge massive increases in intellectual development in scientific inquiry.
So that's mind-blowing, where we could end up,
when it comes to really efficiently using the advancements, that are coming in all areas.
Does that make sense?
Every area. Its still amazes me like you. because everyone's like oh the exponential stuff
only applies to computers right now. And, of course, people will argue to say
„well it's gonna stop, because the chip, you know, can't get any smaller“, right?
But then quantum computing comes along, says nope, we're gonna go far deeper now
and then you just could take all the disciplines, anything you create, any idea
and you put it into that language.
It's gonna be unbelievable.
Human life extension, you know. All sorts of things are gonna be resolved,
if we get past this hurdle, that we're currently in.
Also at the same time, you know, look at what we're doing - it's the war machine man.
And, you know, all technology gets the war machine first.
And we should be all be really terrified about what the Pentagon's of the world are doing
with their quantum developments and what that's gonna end up doing.
So there's always that double-edged sword.
That's the all Buckminster Fuller livingry versus weaponry contrast -
has do we do use this amazing stuff for good and development and livingry
or is it just gonna go straight to the war machine and destruction and weaponry so.
Q: Well said and then goes into how we need to program technology for the future,
so it doesn't do just that now. My second question is for everybody in the room.
Toronto is an initiative II word. It means meeting place.
Toronto is a special city. I just learned last night from overhearing conversation,
because I have ears like a satellite,
that Toronto is gonna be designated to be a test site for a smart City.
So everything I see you present ... in your presentation is relevant to us.
As it being the meeting place - this is the most diverse city in the world -
so everyone is coming to this city and gathering around the world -
All of our ideas, all of our cultures and all of our energies are emerging.
So this is a very pivotal place it is becoming the epicenter of the world.
So my question for everybody in the room is given the presentation
and given the knowledge, that we all collectively share in this room -
what are we gonna do about it?
[Laugh]
What are we going to do to preserve Toronto as that place?
What are we going to do?
[Applause]
JG: That's the always the most important questions? What are you gonna do about it?
I'd like to add to that story. There was a prophecy in this place -
in this meeting place about 500 years ago. And a indigenous woman prophesized,
that the peoples of the world would come together and begin to heal the planet from Turtle Island.
And she made that prophecy here in the meeting place,
because the peoples of this region used to come here to dialogue
and figure out, what they were going to do as they were doing their original democracy,
which we borrowed and screwed up.
So it is, there is a prophecy, that this is going to happen.
So the fact, that we are the most diverse place in the world
and we are here now, when this has to happen.
You asked about hope earlier and I shouldn't have said hope is kind of irrelevant, that's not really fair.
I should say that with lockchain technology, with things like the Zeitgeist Movement
in the last few years the rapid change of consciousness
and the rapid awakening of peoples and the speed at which that's occurring,
is giving me a great deal of strength and motivation and encouragement.
So I want to say that, you know, we can take ideas like the quantum computer,
like Blockchain, like the basic income and we have to remember,
that we are the people, who have to make it be, what we want it to be.
And we are in a great position to do that.
And we may also end up in 50 or 70 years being one of the last places on Earth,
where people can actually survive and thrive.
So let us not forget that, as we're thinking about being a smart city.
Has we got to feed? what's left of the world in 50 years, as our climate goes upside down, right?
So there's a lot we have to do. But we can do it. The thing, that's really hopeful and beautiful is,
that we are rising to the challenge and it's happening.
And all of you have been a part of that process.
So keep that up, keep moving and don't one of the ways to starve the beast is,
don't waste your time thinking and talking about fucking Trump, okay?
Spend your time thinking about, how we're going to not do that,
how we're going to be way better, right?
And how we're just gonna make shit happen different.
Don't get stuck in the boxes, don't get stuck in the assumptions,
don't get stuck in the bulshit model of monetary whatever it doesn't …
it never made sense and it really doesn't anymore.
And we know it. So it's … those of us, who put out these systems and ideas and concepts for people
to grasp and to go in and feel and touch, that are going to make that shift happen in such speed
it'll blow your mind. And I'm sure of it.
And I'm old enough to say, like many of my generation do:
„Oh, it's all hopeless. It's too late. It is what it is“.
No! Bulshit!
You all are gonna change it quick and I know it so. Don't worry.
[Applause]
Q: I think, we'll take a couple more.
So I guess, this is to the whole panel. I'm here.
It's wonderful to talk about the advancement of Technology and the advancement of intellectualism
and all of these concepts that are very heady, but the whole talk tonight
I haven't heard too much about heart and about have the expansion of love
and the expansion of caring, which I think has to go hand in hand with our intellectualism
and our technology, otherwise we're too far on the left side and not enough on the right side.
And I know, that the Tool Library and that, is about creation, which is right brain thinking
and all that kind of stuff, but I think, that we haven't really talked
about expanding our heart centers so, that we are thinking about our everybody as ourselves.
X: You probably can't see me but, thank you for that question.
I think heart and compassion out of fundamental level is about including other people in your life.
So it's empathy, but it's also inclusiveness at the same time.
And, I think, we can relate it back to the previous question about,
how do you continue to treat Toronto as a meeting place, as people develop it as a smart city.
It's the same idea, how do you treat it as a meeting place, how do you have heart in a city,
that becomes increasingly technological.
I think that a smart city, what we say ... what we mean, when we say that, is that,
we are deliberately solving problems generally with technology.
But technology comes in many forms.
And we can think of technology as Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain,
which have a barrier to entry, that isn't available to most of us.
But technology ... the way, that we order ourselves, the way that we organize ourselves
and structure our organizations, that's also a form of technology.
And so the Tool Library, that's our attempt to develop a very rudimentary technology of inclusiveness
and hart, right? That's how you share yourself with other people
by creating, I don't know, a form of organization, that includes people
and that depends upon other people and the more people you bring in,
the more you have to share with each other.
So that's at a very basic level of what I think about introducing heart to this.
But maybe somebody else has something.
PJ: We'll go down the line.
It's a great open question.
My view is ... what is the condition reinforcing?
So, if we want a world where people are cooperative and empathic and caring and loving,
what facilitates that, because everything has a precondition.
And in our current system sadly enough the opposite is generally reinforced.
So what I would say is, that I think, that the collaborative side of humanity, you know -
we have sides, we do have a competitive side, we do have a collaborative side -
I would argue the collaborative side is actually more efficient and more productive
and also more natural to the human condition, but we are versatile species
and when we have to be competitive and harsh well, we're gonna survive and that's what happens.
And that's unfortunately, what the system ... that's its MO, that's what it does to people's psychology.
So systemically reducing people's empathy and ability to love.
And I think once the chains are broken, then our ability to actually be freely in path -
they can caring and respect strangers and not be fearful of each other -
that will finally be allowed to flourish naturally.
[Applaus]
JG: Yeah and to build on, what he said, you know.
There are folks working on a variety of ways of supporting facilitating that.
So that's one of the reasons, why I'm a human rights defender and educator,
because it is like the legal expression of love, if you like.
It is, you know, takes the great principles of humankind and flawed philosophies
and puts them into a structure, that we can actually utilize.
So, when we're building organizations, that are inclusive etc.,
we also have to be able to be structured and organized around how we make that really effective.
And there's a variety of tools, that we have currently, that we can utilize for that.
For instance building cooperatives. Cooperatives require self-determination, education,
respect all these things, they're like the organizational expression of human rights.
Blockchain technology, which allows, you know, a continual disbursement of accountability
and information and smart contracts etc.
So, that you can see out in the open everything, that took place and that can't be twisted or screwed up.
Is like the technological expression of a system, that can allow for human rights to flourish.
Not through a mediated the center, but person-to-person and indirect.
As it can also to our mediums of exchange and that's why we're also building a time bank.
Because the thing about a time bank, where people exchange time credits and services and the like,
is that a person's need actually creates wealth for the person that serves their need.
So a person, who is ill or tired or old or whatever
and can't deliver a service to the time bank,
creates wealth for those, who have the heart to come and help and take care of them.
And that wealth can then be generated further out into that system
and there's no debt, there's no interest, there's no exploitation, it's a universal value
and what is in the end more important than our time?
[Applause]
ECD: Thanks for that Melanie.
Just so everybody knows, I work with Melanie at Water Docs Film Festival
running the social media and I just want to say like just share a personal caveat that.
When I started working with Water Docs, you know, like I cared about the environment.
I cared about water, but through Water Docs, whose mandate is to make people fall in love with water
to the point, where you don't see yourself as separate from water.
Water is really you.
I fell in love with water in a way, that is extraordinarily difficult to describe.
Like when I see the stuff now with all images of the disasters, that are happening in the water,
I feel it in my heart in a way, that it's like it's devastating me.
So I think in that way like in environmental organizations,
like Water Docs film festival and Planet In Focus, that are centered around, you know,
documentaries, that are telling these stories and getting them out there,
but framed in a way that's action-oriented.
It's not depressing. It's like „you can do something about that“.
That is also really important, so I would say that, you know, films and art
are on the same level as things like the Toronto Tool Library and sharing Depot.
Like I feel a similar way, when I go there and I see somebody returning a stroller,
that my daughter also uses on a regular basis.
Like that feeling of sharing an item within a community.
It's really hard to describe, but it just makes you feel like you are connected to something bigger.
And that, you know, we're all one and we all deserve access to all the things we need.
And I think building that infrastructure to tell all these stories whether it's through a space,
where people are coming in or whether it's through the documentaries and all that stuff.
It's all the same. It's all, you know, getting out of that socio-economic system story,
that tells us, that we're naturally competitive, that hierarchies are natural,
that we're naturally greedy. None of that is true.
It's just, that we're locked into that story.
So anything, that tells the opposite story, is going to help that heart piece.
[Applause]
Q: I apologize in advance, because I was actually gonna wait and see,
if there's maybe an opportunity after to ... maybe meet some people,
but based on the conversations that have been coming up.
It feels very organic, so I'm gonna go ahead and take a chance here at an opportunity.
Everything that's been talked about in terms of storytelling completely agree with.
And I mean I've been a big fan of yours Peter for many years since the documentaries came out
and Culture In Decline. Waiting on Interreflections.
And much like the analogy was made with the pin in Tomorrowland,
I think the same sort of thing like I watch her stuff and I said
finally someone is putting into words, what I've been feeling for so long.
One of the books that is considered canon, I guess among.
I'm a film and television writer, actor and one of the books that's considered canon
is the Hero's journey by Joseph Campbell. And Joseph Campbell says,
that „if you want to change the world, you have to change the metaphor“.
So I agree with everything, that you were saying about storytelling and I agree with everything,
that you are doing with your documentaries. And I have written a TV pilot,
where I'm trying to take all the ideas, that I have been inspired by by your work
and now put that into a sort of scripted form.
And Canada is not necessarily the greatest environment to get new shows on television.
I'll just say that.
So yeah, at the risk of being completely uncouth and a total dink.
I did bring a copy and if you … no pressure ... I'm not trying to propose to you on the ...
I'm sure you have a plethora. Yes, bat ...
PJ: I'm happy to look at stuff. I always take time to look at materials people give me,
not only just to figure out, what they're doing, but also to be inspiring.
It's just another kind of input for me. So I'll just steal everything that you're doing and … :-)
Q: Thank you thank you. Alan Smithee, please. :-)
Yeah, I know, if nothing else even, if it would be possible to like.
Maybe shoot an email now and then consult: „Hey does this seem like I'm on the right track“.
and if no, I do my best.
PJ: I'll give you that ... so I'm happy to, you know. Cool.
Q: Appreciate, thank you for your work.
PJ: Yeah, thank you.
Q: Okay, thank you. And thank you everybody for speaking,
but I'm actually gonna direct this question to the two women appearing members of the panel
and just ... and I'm really grateful, that you've joined us.
And I'm appreciative of your acknowledgement of the land,
that we stand on and of Anishinaabe traditions and my question is related to that.
And now, that we're moving towards … this movement as becoming much more mainstream
and institutionalized especially in academia, than it has been previously -
is there a difference between, what has been talked about today
and the way that many societies have lived their lives for tens of thousands of years
and continue to fight for the right to live their lives away -
and I guess, what is the danger of it becoming more mainstream
and in particular is there a role, that women have to play in honoring the traditions of the past
and ensuring that they always have a place in our future? Thank you.
JG: That's a big one.
Yes and yes and yes. I think, of course, there's dangers with anything becoming mainstream,
because, you know, the dominant elite will immediately try to seize upon it and toxify it, right?
It's like they did that with the civil rights movement. Next thing, you know, black culture
has become weaponized and the music, that, you know, we created to lift us
has been used to destroy us for example.
When it comes to the issue of women, you know,
I was involved in in various waves of feminist movements
and I think, you know, it's really really really important to me right now is,
that I want us as much as possible, to break out of every old paradigm, we have been draging behind us.
And that includes this gender battle, you know.
Like this is a big part of divide and conquer, that has been so successful, right?
If you divide the genders, divide the generations, right? Then you have make sure,
that you don't have family units, right? It means, everybody has to buy their own shit.
It's the perfect profit model. It's just logical according to their system.
When we break that down, it becomes much more like motherhood logic, you know.
Like motherhood has become an insult, right? In terms of intellectual capacity:
„Oh that's a motherhood statement. As in naive and stupid.“
Well excuse me, I raised five children alone and I resent that deeply obviously,
but my point being, that all of what we're talking about, all the things, that we are doing,
are inherently by their nature - going to make it better and easier for women to thrive
and exist without being, you know, torn into a hundred pieces. You're a working woman, you're a mother,
you're this, you're that, you're a slut, you're a slave you're ... you know.
As we create these new systems, both women and men, will be able to evolve.
Past all this imposed gender role bulshit.
And we'll be able to have our own meaningful self-determination,
which is the ultimate expression of human rights.
Not all women are the same, not all women want to have children, not all women want to stay home,
we all need that freedom of choice and that's the whole point,
and that's, why we're trying to make systems, that allow for that,
because how else can we possibly evolve quickly enough?
If we're not able to do our best with what the gifts we are given, with what we have,
we're not going to make it.
But lastly I want to say about tradition and ancestry and the like.
Yes, there are many many things, that I think we're bringing forward into current day,
that we're remembering from the past,
whether it's first nations traditions or African traditions and the like
and I'm very blessed to work with young people,
who are doing a lot of really valuable work on that end,
because they're recognizing that, for instance, a diverse genetic person, like myself
or a diverse genetic group of people, needs a way to honor ancestry
and honor the Earth and honor each other in ceremony,
which is what humans have always done without appropriating and without going backwards.
And this is something, they're really working on.
And they've based it and found it on the idea and the love of water.
Which is in all of our bodies and is what we all are.
So, when we remember that and we think about that and we know that we transmute
into just other forms of energy, but we're always part of the DNA and the water, right,
then it becomes very easy for us, as diverse in different people's to act like a permaculture garden
and work together and help each other.
ECD: Yeah. I hope this doesn't derail it. I'm extraordinarily tired.
So getting into these like really high-level concepts might be a little tricky for me right now,
but I think that, like what you're mentioning in terms of throwing back to kind of a time,
where other cultures were already living in this lifestyle story, that we're talking about -
kind of goes back to the bonobo chimp thing, that you mentioned, where, you know,
we always talk about chimps as being our …
… where we've descended from and chimps are naturally in these hierarchies
and violent and oppressing their female chimps and all this stuff,
but we're also actually related to bonobos and bonobos had developed in this completely
different environment. Whereas the chimps evolved in a environment, where resources are scarce,
the bonobos were evolving in an area, where resources were abundant.
And they had a completely different social structure.
They were more matriarchal, they were more caring, you know, the young were cared for by the group,
there wasn't this like vicious violence and aggression, that was coming up.
So I think in a way we're trying to go there.
Like we're trying to take our species to a place, where this resources are scarce,
we have to be competitive, you know,
if somebody gets something, it means there's not enough for me.
We shift the environment to say no like resources are actually abundant.
And if we create that culture of sharing, we're already shifting back to that mindset.
And then the other thing, I would say about gender. Is it's extraordinarily important,
like what, you were saying, that this divisive stuff that happens.
In light of the me2 movement and all this stuff like ... it's important, that all these things come out
and we see them in the light and recognize that women are having a hard time in this male structure,
but I find, that a lot of the narrative, that's missing, is compassion for men.
Because men have also been ingrained in the system. Why are they acting like this?
Why are men putting down women like this? Why is rape a thing?
Why is there this culture of objectification and violence towards women like?
We really need to have that conversation. We can't just sit here and say:
„It's men, that are doing this to women“.
Men have evolved inside this environment, just as we have.
They've been trained to see things in a specific way.
So we really need to have that dialogue and I'm not seeing it anywhere in the media.
So that's like, where we can all take that conversation -