Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Unzoo theme: 'Control creep' - the crawling hand of surveillance

The tension between technology as a tool for humanity versus being a weapon continues:

'Control creep' - the crawling hand of surveillance

Kathleen M. Kuehn looks at the role of data in the increasing control we're afforded in our lives, and explores how that data may be used to control us.

Key outtakes:

It is no longer all that controversial for Westerners to say that we live in a surveillance society. Once characterised by authoritarian, non-democratic regimes, most of the “free world” now readily submits to the routine collection, storage and analysis of personal data, whether it’s for the purposes of governing a population, or influencing people’s behaviours (such as where we go or what we buy).

But what about celebratory innovations like smart cities, smart homes, that seek to improve our lives in immeasurable ways? The “internet of things”, virtual reality and programmes driven by “big data” also depend on the tracking, collection, storage and aggregation of formerly discrete datasets. These often include an individual’s personal information, habits, routine communications and location. The sensor networks only become “smart” as they get to “know” you better (perhaps better than you know yourself).

So far, more data has not unilaterally meant better information and knowledge. And before we celebrate the way digital connectivity offers us more control over our everyday lives, we might instead question the ways that all this data might be controlling us: what does it now mean to be “free” or secure in the face of ever-expanding surveillance?

The Unzoo Perspective;
Unzoo is primarily about making sure we use our tools (technology) work for us within an evolutionary framework - both considering where we have come from and where we are going.

Even though we continue to evolve in current times, the impact or artificial selection is probably a stronger influence now, and therefore the need to balance our human/technology development is more imperative than ever before.

There are no answers in the Kathleen M. Kuehn article, it is a cautionary tale that asks the questions. So what might the answers be in this case? Unzoo would offer two possible approaches;

  1. get off the grid and go closer to past evolutionary status - lower tech, closer to the environment. 
  2. stay on the grid and work to find the balance. Much harder! But long term payback might be worth it. Hippies from the 60's would favour the off grid approach, but then the process of our evolution would falter. Not a bad thing perhaps, but I favour the true Unzoo approach, this one, where we work to make the technology work for us and not against us. Usually that refers to our true nature as formed by evolution, but our evolution is now merged with technology and there are great developments possible if we can avoid the corruption of the process. History does not favor us in this, but the goal is there anyway.  How can we benefit from the internet of things without becoming caged by it? Any ideas? 
  • A parallel internet that blocks (somehow) surveillance use? May be an "off the grid" internet?
  • Identity cloaking or cloning.
  • Dark web "lite" use

Friday, August 12, 2016

Unzoo Flipboard August meme elements

Unzoo on

Still evolving: What is the next evolutionary step for humanity?
Evolutionary biology is not a slow-moving science. Just last year a new species of hominid (Homo naledi) was unveiled at a news conference in South Africa. When did modern humans branch off as an independent species? What have been our most important adaptations? And, most importantly, what is the next evolutionary step for humanity?

Constant Multitasking Is Damaging Millennial Brains, Research Shows And their employers are making things worse.
You probably know that multitasking makes you less productive not more so. Neuroscientists, psychologists, and efficiency experts have been telling the world for years that since the brain can't actually pay attention to more than one thing at a time. What we experience as multitasking is really rapid and repeated switching of our attention from one thing to another and the back again. And though it feels good, it means each task is completed more slowly and less well than if you just did one thing at a time.

New Report Highlights the Many Benefits of Urban Walkability
"Cities Alive," an attractive new report by Arup, one of the world's largest engineering firm, highlights the significant social, economic, environmental and political benefits of walking.

Surfing icon Laird Hamilton shares his 10-point plan to live forever
1. Forget age. Just keep driving the car...

Man leaves rat race to grow dream permaculture farm and its flourishing after 3 years

This Is Your Brain on Nature
When we get closer to nature—be it untouched wilderness or a backyard tree—we do our overstressed brains a favor.

How Urban Design Perpetuates Racial Inequality—And What We Can Do About It
Our cities weren't created equal. But they don't have to stay that way.

We’re in the midst of the Earth’s sixth mass extinction crisis. Harvard biologist E. O. Wilson estimates that 30,000 species per year (or three species per hour) are being driven to extinction. Compare this to the natural background rate of one extinction per million species per year, and you can see why scientists refer to it as a crisis unparalleled in human history.

Almost half of Earth's ecosystems have dropped below 'safe' levels of biodiversity — here's why that's troubling
About 58 percent of land on earth has dropped below the biodiversity safe limit, due largely to human land use practices.

The curse of urban sprawl: how cities grow, and why this has to change
The total area covered by the world’s cities is set to triple in the next 40 years – eating up farmland and threatening the planet’s sustainability. Ahead of the latest Urban Age conference, Mark Swilling says it is time to stop the sprawl.

World's First Off-Grid ReGen Village Will Be Completely Self-Sufficient Producing Its Own Power and Food
ReGen Villages, a completely self-sufficient village that can power and feed itself, is rising across Europe—and hopefully, one day, around the world.

How technology disrupted the truth
Social media has swallowed the news – threatening the funding of public-interest reporting and ushering in an era when everyone has their own facts. But the consequences go far beyond journalism

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Unzoo returns...

Whoops...sorry, slight sabatical. Wow, actually a year! Time does slide by.

Okay - last post was about trying to integrate both structured and unstructured movement sessions into my movement practice each week. My approach was flawed in that it involved trying to schedule the unschedulable. A year later I am pretty happy with where I have landed in terms of my movement sessions.

Here's the basic gist;

On a weekly basis:
  • Engage the full primal fitness spectrum - sprint, lift heavy things, move frequently at a slow pace. (credit to Marks Daily Apple)

  • Unzoo your movement - move like a human bro! Breathing, walking, running, balancing, crawling, climbing, swimming, (and related aquatic skills), lifting, carrying, throwing, and self-defense skills such as striking and grappling. (credit to MovNat)
  •  Zoo your movement - yes it has a place. When it's dark, cold and wet during winter it is more "efficient" to embrace a little human zoo-ness in the form of  skills & drills, modern calisthenics and a CrossFit-like General Preparedness Program. (credit to CrossFit and others)
  • Summer training, for me, is when fun really surfaces. The goal of my Winter training is to develop to be strong, fast, skilled and robust. When Summer comes play gets the priority. Just chose a location or activity to engage and let it be. It's also when I add in a restorative session to balance the higher activity levels of the season.

  • Move in nature. Sorry but I just can't compromise on this key aspect!

 So what else is happening in the Unzoo scene?  
Well, the Paleo Diet is now fully mainstream,commercialised, and still going. Being corrupted, some would say; indeed at the Ancestral Health Symposium last year there was plenty of concern about the direction of the ancestral health movement and a wonderful suggestion that it should perhaps "stay radical to stay pure" much like the concept of feminism has managed to do (argueably).  I am happy to stick to the basics of avoiding the 3 neolithic agents of modern disease - sugar, gluten, and industrialised oils. Plus not being rigid with it, so I can relax, experience and evolve!

In my Flipboard Unzoo magazine recent headines cover:

Some of it inspiring, some of it not so much...

That will do for now.
Unzoo you.