brian carroll on Sun, 17 Jun 2001 09:38:22 +0200 (CEST)

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[Nettime-bold] US Energy Policy

  tonight i downloaded the 2 megabyte .pdf of
  the US energy policy proposal led by the US
  administration, and specifically by Vice
  President Cheney. here are some thoughts
  after scanning the document and reading
  certain parts, while trying to understand
  the context the document is written within,
  the retro-zeitgeist, so to speak...

  [full version: ]

  my first thought upon seeing the 160 page
  document was that the graphs and information
  were presented so simply, overly so, that it
  was ignoring a lot of the complexity involved
  in issues such as nuclear and fossil fuels
  for power generation, and using these 'facts'
  and 'balanced perspectives' as a strategic
  'long-range energy plan' which builds upon
  the current system, while depending upon
  'technological innovation' to bring the
  needed market changes, without regulation,
  while at the same time, remarking how to
  get to alternative energy generation and
  distributed generation where consumers
  become power producers, will indeed take
  regulatory action on a state-local level.
  maybe that is not a contradiction, but in
  my view, it is.

  for example, a federal policy which is at
  an intra-state level, determining how the
  energy system can and will behave in the
  marketplace, and also at an intra-national
  and inter-national level, with regard to
  other geopolitical forces (the Russian
  and Chinese energy scenarios, resources,
  etc), and then laying out a 'plan' that
  is identical to the system that is currently
  fundamentally flawed in the terms of public
  health, welfare, and long-term economic,
  social, and, importantly, political stability
  is not included in the simplistic equation
  that makes up the proposal presented by the
  VP and other admins (as recommended by
  'career bureaucrats', as VP Cheney uses
  as a distinction from 'politicians') is
  just that, a bureaucratic solution solving
  a problem that is not the problem, and
  seeing the solution much too simplistically
  for long-term planning, and putting the
  whole of the democratic state of things
  at stake by using old ideas for new
  situations, in fact, dismissing new
  knowledge in favor of old ways of doing
  things, that politics can help keep going
  while the state-machine churns forward.

  if the President and Vice President were
  railroad tycoons, instead of energy CEOs,
  and this was the late 19th century, they
  might be seen as visionary in their simple
  view of how things work. for if their view
  was something new, it could be exploited
  and the complexity ignored, as it is not
  known, things such as global warming,
  wars for natural resources, massive
  inefficiency in the current infrastructure.
  instead, all of these are denied and the
  "substance" of Energy Policy, of which
  VP Cheney is supposed to possess, is
  instead a total lack of any unbiased
  view of this situation.

  for example, only in the section on
  alternative energy is transmission line
  loss stated, as i was able to find. and,
  it was stated that local generation of
  power (requiring regulatory action in
  the VP's view) would have loss of 5%.
  what the VP and Energy Policy proposed
  fails to mention is that there is more
  than 66% loss in the current system.
  so, one could say that at least 50% of
  any investment into the current system
  would be just to subsidize the system,
  and the energy generated, the supply,
  would be lost, to the demand of the
  inefficient system, and not to any
  demand by consumers. if that 50% waste
  were instead invested at the local
  level, not necessarily contrary to
  the goals of larger energy providers,
  given that they can adapt and evolve
  their expertise and business models
  to deal with the 21st century, is
  that, with strategic long-range
  planning, such a large-scale change
  could indeed be implemented. that
  is, a strategy. instead, what is
  offered is the repetition of a
  model which is predictable, in
  total, which serves the largest
  systems of the energy production
  market, but ignores the need for
  government policy, which is supposed
  to represent the 'public' or 'human'
  view, of our energy future. that is,
  the basis for all things electric,
  electronic, and dependent upon this.
  including the Internet, and other
  media, work, lights, heat, power, etc.

  there is absolutely no vision in this
  policy, but a censoring of the possible
  by short-sighted and it needs to be said,
  and lack of intelligence in planning the
  future of the local and global state of
  things, i.e. the future of people. that
  is, people, not consumers. democratic
  freedom, not capital alone, etc. then
  why does the US policy on alternative
  energy propose only the most difficult
  of alternative energy systems while not
  mentioning in proposals to the President
  the ones that could be rapidly implemented,
  instead focussing on nuclear power and
  a long-term need for a hydrogen infra-
  stucture who's time has not yet come,
  obviously a moot point.

  there is so much political talk about
  the 'tone' of things, that things need
  harmony, etc. and that is is the value
  for when things work and things are
  good. this is a lightweight version of
  rhetorical ploy-making, in that the
  good is not necessarily the true, and
  things that are nice are not necessarily
  the best things for long-term strategic
  planning for a democratic state, in that
  a democracy without conflict, without
  any 'substantive' debate, and without
  confrontation and disagreement, is
  not a democracy but a bounded philosophy
  which uses democratic freedoms as long
  as they stay within the rules of the
  status quo, running the works. when
  massive change is needed, strategic
  and long-range planning does not mean
  pulling the plan that is failing out
  of the drawer and adding more supply
  to it, like adding gasoline into a
  leaking tank.

  the reason for this is the hypocrisy
  of the corporate democracy, where the
  rule of business predetermine possible
  outcomes to public policy, because of
  economic factors, and thus threaten
  the public aspects of democratic states
  by limiting their solutions to those
  agreed upon by private enterprise, that
  is, those whom have the money and the
  connections to be educated, and rise
  within the system, by the rules, and
  to participate, while running the
  companies that feed off of this
  ecosystem. this is not a good or
  bad thing, in a sense, but a true
  or false thing. and it seems true
  to many people today. witness the
  groups dissenting various aspects of
  governmental and business actions,
  in opposition with the public will.

  it is a complex situation, of course,
  but the rhetoric is insultingly simple,
  stupidly so, so that one has to dissent
  if one has an independently thinking
  mind, that, yes, resistance, rebellion,
  and death- or, put another existential
  way- get nauseous when recognizing the
  total absurdity of trying to act in
  a pseudo-state of being, where the only
  knowledge comes from nothingness, the
  void, the zero, and not from any one
  actual existing thing. the essence is
  not real, in its-self. it is fictive.
  but it is also all that is and can
  be. and, the nothingness of US energy
  policy is an indication of the knowing
  that is found in seeing what is 'not',
  in that, it is no longer the reasoned
  i think, therefore i believe, i believe
  therefore i exist. but instead, it has
  become: i negate, therefore i do not
  believe; i do not believe, therefore
  i do not exist. and in not-existing,
  in not-being, knowing is found, that
  there are other ways of being that
  are not being represented. that the
  'will of the people' that the political
  spin-meisters weave through the mediated
  universe, is just that, people defined
  in a privately-public democratic state.

  for such reasons, any will is that of
  the will to power, but primarly private
  power, and the semantic (super, s-man
  and s-woman) wo|men whom represent the
  whole through their kaleidscopic lens.
  seeing, through their modeling of the
  whole of humanity through their private
  world view, mis-represent the will of
  the public people, and instead progress
  'the art of the possible' as it is
  defined by the private sphere of doing
  things. this is not a diatribe of a
  capitalist versus communist worldview,
  as there can be public capitalism and
  private communism. as there can also
  be communist democracies and democratic
  communistic states of being in the world.
  this may just be the way things are, as
  they are inherited. this is a question,
  not an answer. an effort to ask, to see
  if others see anything in the same realm.

  as, from this vantage, there is only war
  on the horizon. near enough to wager
  that within 5 years, likely less, there
  will be a nuclear weapon fired in an
  act of state to state warfare. from a
  certain point of view, this is probable.
  but it is not based on secret knowledge.
  some covert or special knowing. it is
  open source intelligence/thinking. that
  is, analysis based upon givens, but those
  givens are not to be preordained by the
  visiting professor in the university,
  but in the free minds of independent
  thinkers, who see, and perceive. then
  decide what to believe, if anything,
  one thing or some thing or no thing.

  the skeptics abound. that is the hypo-
  crisy of private democracy. there is
  fear instead of thought, instead of
  debate. no one, it seems, wants any-
  one else to know that they, indeed,
  really no nothing, for certain. in-
  stead, there is certainty in knowing
  what is known, that which is true,
  that which is legitimate knowledge.
  person to person, peer to peer
  thinking does not exist. it first
  needs to be ordained by the orthodoxy
  of the bureaucracy of the way things
  are, that same old blueprint in that
  same old drawer, be it energy policy,
  art, architecture, or business. there
  is a modernist world-view, brought into
  the 21st century from our friends in
  the 18th century. yet, enlightenment
  only went so far, as the fallacy of
  reason has been well-proven, so much
  so, that only unreason and irrational
  knowledge prevail. the absurd. the
  shock. and the mundane. opposites.
  culture wars. a kind of violence.
  which, when it enables a change to
  occur, as revolutions can, can be
  helpful in moving things in the
  needed direction, if they are not
  going towards the values the public
  needs in order to survive, long-term.

  exactly this, in that reason is not
  based on truth, but power. but, to be
  more explicit, it is private power
  which supercedes public knowledge.
  review the proposed US Energy Policy
  and 'the lack of knowledge' outside
  that of a warped private perspective,
  and notice, if you will, as a citizen,
  how it serves well the systems that
  exist, and are dysfunctional to the
  whole on a myriad of levels (warfare,
  global warming, inefficiency) and how
  propelling this same system into the
  long-range future is going to help
  change the course which is rapidly
  destroying our planet and ourselves.

  if there are absolutes, they need to
  be verified by public debate. there
  needs to be fair and open debates of
  'facts', and not a limiting to what
  information is and is not presented
  into a debate. there needs to be a
  freedom to thinking, else it is not
  that, it is only ideological, set,
  a construct, an automatic formula
  for dealing with a situation/scenario.
  if one was a war-planner, one would
  be a prisoner of war. and if a state
  exists at that level, as the world
  in itself, then the world will exist
  as a prisoner of its own wars. and,
  on a cultural level, if this war is
  not turned outward, due to the inter-
  linking of state policies propelling
  the same worldview forward, then there
  will need to be an internal purging of
  dissent, which is now beginning to be
  felt in local communities around the
  world. the crazy people are starting
  to talk, as the crows fly down streets
  cawing. and that weird weird weather....

  the end of time occurs when the space
  of that time no longer exists to support
  the time. something can exist in mind
  that no longer exists in what is known
  as physical or actual space. what seems
  to be the state of the world today does
  not seem to be reflected in the minds
  of the energy planners in the US planners
  minds. they seem to be living in a time
  and space of yesteryear, a simplistic
  view of the present, maybe because their
  position is so far from the normal that
  they cannot see the situation from a
  perspective more than their own. and
  their power only allows, not by their
  own choice, only those possibilities
  which are in the right tone, that is,
  compliant, and controllable by the
  powers that be. good for business,
  it is said, thus good for people.
  but what if this long-range planning
  (4 years extrapolated over 50 years)
  is bad for people and businesses in
  the short, medium, and long-term?
  what kind of strategists are we being
  represented by? hopefully ones with
  open ears, and minds. this is not a
  answer of opposition, but paradox.

  the situation of energy affects
  absolutely everything, here and
  beyond. how can we work together
  when being appeased will do no good.
  when the only change must be a total
  'substantial' change, based on shared
  and open knowledge, and not on a society
  of control, where in a democracy, free
  speech means the freedom to sign your
  own exit from the cultural order and
  to cease to exist, in any sense...

  in short; the US energy policy is
  not unlike any other policy put
  forward today. it is limited by the
  system used to create it. democracy,
  as an idea, is a possibility, not a
  definitive and absolute thing. if it
  is absolute, it needs to be so for
  everyone. and given the street protests
  this is not so. and the complexity of
  these days needs to be dealt with on
  the scale that the problems exist on,
  and any less will limit the chance
  to effectively address the issues
  involved, in a fair and balanced
  way, taking into account both the
  public and private vantage, the
  regional issues, and on and on.

  at a certain level things are very
  complex, too complex. but so too,
  at a certain leve, things are too
  simple, way too simple. for both
  sides, the pro and the anti this
  and that, as with energy policy.
  how to have an open dialogue and
  to come to the best solution, but
  not by being moderate in action,
  as this is not a time for moderation.
  it is a time for massive action on
  a massive scale, in the needed and
  absolutely necessary directions,
  stressing the 'absolute' in that
  statement, things such as global
  warming, inefficiency, and a state
  of national and international
  security which makes thinking too
  'differently' a crime.

  it is not a question of how we can
  fix this current system, but how
  we can change it. if NASA scientists
  can ponder, via government funding,
  how to change the orbit of earth
  using the gravitational pull of
  closely passing comets, can we not
  as a human population work together
  to find our shared goals and make
  the needed changes for our survival,
  on the same scale as the earth itself,
  where, as human beings, we are one...

  if there is an answer, or a strategy,
  it is not in reason. as power controls
  information, which limits debate and
  ideas and innovation. things stagnate
  into clockwork systems. if truth and
  falsehood can not be reasoned with,
  given the complexity and simplicity
  with which contradictory views clash,
  rhetorically and literally with the
  provaction of suppression and violence;
  then it becomes a question, it seems,
  of the foundations for reason, which
  appear to be that of systems of logic.

  to take apart, rearrange, and put back
  together the same reasoning, but with
  different rules of engagement, may be
  a way to break the static condition of
  cultural involvement in democracies.
  by defining 'what is private' and
  'what is public', as shared and also
  empirical terms, simple and complex,
  may allow for 'facts' to be reevaluated.
  for example, the US energy policy, with
  no definition of 'the public' and 'the
  private', goes undefined, and cannot
  be countered or questioned or acted
  upon, as there is no basis for such
  a challenge. it is not allowed. it is
  not in the rule books of rhetorical
  reasoning. it is not taught in the
  schools, etc. it is not the way of
  doing business, which is also the
  same way as doing thinking today.
  compete as private individuals.
  this may or may not be United
  Statesian in its worldview, but
  it seems it is not, given the real
  outpouring of support for anti-
  globalist movers and shakers.

  how to change something bigger
  than any state, than any nation,
  as big as the world? will we want
  one person to represent the whole,
  or a bureaucracy to do so? neither
  of these solutions, given past
  experience, would be effective,
  either in the current standards of
  presupposed democratic freedoms,
  (benign dictator) nor of economic
  systems (closed markets). yet today
  this is approximately the state of
  the world. it is run by private
  individuals whom represent the
  public, through the pursuit of
  business which is supposed to bring
  some kind of divine transcendence
  through innovation, but instead
  stagnates the possibilities in
  a steady-state universe which
  necessitates a totalitarian
  and authoritarian society,
  democratic or not. democracy
  then and now becomes more about
  controlling information than it
  is about opening up ideas and
  thinking. this not-being and
  not-becoming. that is our common
  issue. those who exist fully as
  themselves today are only living
  in the past. as the real issues
  that plague our societies and our
  planet go unaddressed and often
  are unacknowledged in plausible
  deniability, maybe for as sincere
  a reason as not having a better
  plan to deal with these issues.

  the best planning is an open-
  plan for democratic societies.
  it is not about closing down
  options, but opening up new
  opportunities, to allow change
  and evolution of ideas and thus,
  of action, to occur. and to support
  change, not fight it alone. to see,
  at a certain point, that things are
  at a point of total civil war, and
  a worldwide purging of dissent is
  the only possibility to stopping
  the chaos that not-dealing with
  our persistent problem breeds.
  not by one leader or one state,
  but by a bureaucratic machine,
  which works in its own best
  interest, the first and likely
  the last automaton.

  each word becomes a weapon, and
  whatever hacker sanctioned by
  whatever power from whatever
  side can start poking at the fire
  to get flames up and rising, to
  a white heat, ready for melting
  the core of our common bonds.

  we must step back from the flames,
  see the light, talk about what is
  going on, not jump over the flames
  alone, and disappear, a victim or
  a martyr, as it only serves the
  mythology of the past that is
  being sustained in the present.
  the individual ego must die to
  work as a group, and be recreated
  in a new context of collaboration.

  please consider the US energy policy
  as the most blatant of misguided
  visions- the total lack of vision,
  shared and public- and if you voice
  your dissent, please consider this
  issue as yours too. whether we are
  private businesses, citizens, academics,
  and from whatever part of the world-
  the US energy policy, consumer of
  1/4 of the world's energy, will be
  catastrophic to the short-, medium-,
  and long-range planning of the planet
  and our human communities. this is
  not an US versus Them scenario. it
  is about finding a way to redirect
  a broken system, deconstructing it
  so that it can work for us, all of
  us, including those whom are also
  sustaining the current economies,
  if they take the challenge to change,
  and make this public policy a public
  effort, a shared human effort to make
  plans on a global scale, without the
  private individuals deciding the fate
  of the whole of humanity, while also
  lacking awarenes of the state of the
  world(s) they represent in their own
  paradox of logical fallibility.

  time to change the rules. and thus,
  change the planet, and the course of
  humanity on it. let's start moving...

human #4 billion and one

matter, energy, and in-formation

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