Audio Week

With all the excitement over the Martinville phonautograph discovery (which predates Edison’s first tin foil recording by 17 years), I was asked by the Long Now Foundation to write a little bit about the future of our audio heritage. The Millennia Foundation supports the Long Now Foundation’s institutional guidelines: Serve the long view (and the long viewer) Foster responsibility Reward patience Mind mythic depth Ally with competition Take no sides Leverage longevity If you’re interested in the future of media, take a few minutes to read this  

Omar Osama bin Laden

Omar Osama bin Laden and his British wife Jane Felix-Brown are seen during an interview with the Associated Press in Cairo, Friday, Jan. 11, 2008. The 26-year-old son of the al-Qaida leader says there is a better way to defend Islam: Omar wants to be an “ambassador for peace” between Muslims and the West. (from  

Peak Oil

One of my avocations is energy and sustainability research. Over the last four years, I’ve devoted a significant amount of time to studying the big-picture impact of energy on civilization. I’ve come to recognize this as the world’s most important “hard” issue (vs. what I believe to be the most important “soft” issue of God / spirituality and the Mediation of love). I just added a paper to the microclesia blog archives – something I wrote for Energy Bulletin. The paper is a summary of our 2005 ASPO Conference – the Association for the Study of Peak Oil. It’s nearly two years old, but the data and forecasts remain current. Especially important is the concept of Net Energy, or EROEI – Energy Returned over Energy Invested. Also in the process of re-skinning my Peak Oil resources page here. The CSS is down (ugly!), but the PO links should all work. Please visit some of these linked resources to learn more about the profound relationship between energy, population, and socio-economic stability. SOCIAL COMMENTARY The Oil We Eat (Harpers) HERE The Monkey Trap (R. Freeman) HERE TECHNICAL ANALYSIS Mat Simmons HERE D.O.E. Study HERE I’m always happy to share my time with anyone who wants to discuss this important issue. Give me a  

Global Social Venture

Yesterday, Cynthia and I enjoyed a day in Berkeley at 2007 Global Social Venture Symposium – an exploration of business enterprise that drives meaningful social change. The discussions focused on a diverse collection of entrepreneurs and venture capitalists successfully leveraging capital and commerce to effect social good. MBA schools are realizing a need to augment the traditional “bottom-line” approach to business. Some have dubbed this emerging model the “double bottom line” – with profits benefiting both investors and the common good. The GSV Symposium shows that DBL economics is not only working, but thriving. GSV included a competition in which 157 entrepreneurs from 20 countries presented business plans which promote profitable social ventures. Entrants are judged on their venture’s DBL impact. One winner is a start-up called Dlight – a maker of LED lighting resources for rural families still using candles and kerosene lamps (over 2 billion people). D-light will cut rural lighting costs by nearly 80% while greatly improving family health and safety. Another competition winner, Revolution Foods, has already launched their venture of providing healthy meals and nutritional education to lower income public school children. As I know from my son’s experience, K-12 nutrition is somewhat of an oxymoron. Revolution’s private-sector model delivers far healthier foods at competitive costs – with resultant drops in nutrition-related health care costs. Entrepreneurs were everywhere at this conference, and the creative energy was electric. Keynote speaker Majora Carter (who will also be at the Q Conference in two weeks) got us started by showing how one person with vision can impact an entire city (NYC) for the common good. If you click on any link on this post, make it Majora’s TED talk. You will be deeply