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Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
Green Building Bible, fourth edition (both books)
These two books are the perfect starting place to help you get to grips with one of the most vitally important aspects of our society - our homes and living environment.

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    • CommentTimeMay 1st 2018 edited
    djh in http://www.greenbuildingforum.co.uk/newforum/comments.php?DiscussionID=15130&page=11#Item_5 said "could we take this discussion to a separate thread, please?"

    So, a side-issue which started there:

    "WWW [is the cuprit] as far as mass-data-farming is concerned, but the internet is presently vehicle to a whole lot of other platforms which channel traffic through proprietary portals, instead of distributed.

    For example, in the CAD/engineering world, the big thing that's swamping 'old' alternatives, is 'cloud computing' where instead of having software on your computer and storing your data there, it's now all being run via broadband on server-farms - your own computer is just a WYSIWYG terminal and the program and data is all on the 'provider's' servers. Just like Facebook.

    But, despite alleged advantage of massive compute-power being 'rentable' when you need it (for engineering simulation, graphic rendering etc), there's still maddening wait-time, and the even newer wave is to return to new optimised AI'd versions which will once again run - far faster than before - on your own computer.

    So that's a powerful new, AI-driven kickback against centralised proprietary platforms, which often make huge side-earnings out of data-mining what you carelessly consent for them to use - just like Facebook.

    And the current effort of Tim Berner-Lee 'father of the internet' https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tim_Berners-Lee is protocols for distributed everything, to v consciously 'save the internet' from the wolves that we've inattentively allowed to enclose it.

    These new moves are not based on usual-suspects' 'liberal' ideals or govt regulation, but on 'crowd'-empowerment (becoming conscious) and technological development, principally AI.

    So there's everything to hope for - and it's happening right in these few months."

    These proprietary portals swallow vast quantities of meta-data collected from their seduced 'users'
    (meta-data means not primarily the content of what they post up, but everything else about them - their profile details, their mouse-hovers, Likes, re-tweets, now what they say ("Hey Alexa") around the house, soon what their eye rest on),
    correlates it with psychological research,
    and so makes valuable marketing and political sense out of it all.
    And knowing that, manipulate (for huge fees) what individual 'users' see, to produce powerful marketing or political results - and keep the automated algothims secret so no-one can deduce what effects they're aiming and/or succeeding to achieve.

    All of this depends on the centralised, proprietary platforms (aka portals) through which they've managed to channel vast quantites of users' everyday online activity. They've ingeniously achieved this con, while the world didn't notice (until now), contrary to the basic distibuted (non-centralised multi-node network) nature and founders' intent of the internet (incl WWW).

    Now, after the first two decades of the full-strength internet, the push-back has very suddenly begun. People are awake at last to the tyrannous, monopolistic monster that they've surrendered their meta-lives to - principaly FB, Google, Amazon, Netflix, but many many more. Note that other giants - Apple, Twitter, ebay, LinkedIn, WhatsAp division of FB, are not playing that game - still less Wikipedia, which is a paragon of distributed usefulness.

    Other corners of this centralising nastiness are fitness wristbands, 'intelligent' doorbells/thermostats and Internet of Things (IoT) generally; and 'cloud computing', as described in the OP above, where industrial and administrative data is capured to be channelled through yet more proprietary portals, data-farming the highly-saleable meta-data therefrom.

    To finish this lecture (sorry!) here's the 21C industrial push-back ('Edge Computing') against cloud computing, which as I say is set to recover the true, distributed nature of the internet, ditching its present temporary ingenious corruption by traditional 20C centralising monopolistic interests.
    • CommentAuthoralexc
    • CommentTimeMay 1st 2018

    If anyone does read the above, not know where to start and wants to try, an example of a companies pushing this see:
    home: https://framasoft.org/

    They are French and will help English speaking folks, but they have not got the resources to hit the anglophone world hard. Youcan use their software as starting point to find alternatives, i know that disroot.org use some of their software. There aim is provide the alternative software backbone.

    I went along to Fosdem this year, there was quite a lot of avoiding the big players..though google/ others had a huge presence.
    Eg for CAD FreeCad were looking for folks to use/document its many features better.

    As with most things its momentum and ground support. eg Libre office has 19 active software contributers for its entire system, which is not large.
    • CommentTimeMay 1st 2018 edited
    You're talking about Open-Source s/ware (FreeCad incl BIM is really good) - and then there's The Open-Source Everything Manifesto, which is a mind-expander

    Open-Source is an astonishing New Power concept, is in tune with Distributed Internet but isn't quite the same thing.

    Another overview is Ours to Hack and to Own: The Rise of Platform Cooperativism, a New Vision for the Future of Work and a Fairer Internet
    • CommentTimeMay 1st 2018 edited
    I still find it amazing that we have not developed a wireless mesh network that cuts out the big boys.
    There are a few places in the world that have started, but they seem very small scale.
    I suppose the first thing that is needed is someone to create the basics, upload an image of the software and hardware needed, then see if it takes off.
    Can't be that hard or expensive, a RPiZW is only about a tenner, which s less than a packet of fags, and will easily fit inside one too.
    I know that there are some limitations on how many nodes can be reliably connected, but I am sure that can be easily overcome once a critical mass of nodes have been created.
    Stick one in the car and you then start to get a very good coverage for most places.
    If low bandwidth is an issue, that will just encourage people to me more sensible when posting up images and video. I am sure we could live without 95% of YouTubes content quite happily. But then if each node was also a torrent distributor, bandwidth would not be such an issue.
    • CommentTimeMay 2nd 2018
    Don't understand that, but sounds v gd. I saw a 'RaspPi for idiots' bk the other day - resisted getting it, too much else filling my head at present!
    • CommentAuthorArtiglio
    • CommentTimeMay 2nd 2018
    Good day Gents

    I’ve followed this from the grenfell thread, where it sprang from the view that we get the society we have from the desire for short term gains and instant gratification.
    Whilst i follow the arguments above referring to the misuse / use of data collected from us and the way it has been used to try and affect the US elections. But surely this is just a much refined form of advertising and comment directed at readers of newspapers in earlier years, assumptions that telegraph readers would vote tory and mirror readers labour, advertising and editorial content shaped to get the required message across to the readership.
    But the difference being that then people chose to buy their paper and consumed the content, where as now social media platforms are free the consumer has chosen to pay for them by signing away their content ,to used by the supplier as they see fit in pursuit of profit.
    The articles referred to above ( from my understanding) talk of ways of staying outside the grasp of the “big corporations” , which is all well and good, but this only really appeals to those concerned about the issue of data mining and influence, though many of the same people will be aware of the fake news and selected stories directed at them and be willing and able to seek out and question the truth. To those seeking to sway election results such people are of little interest being both a minority in society and difficult manipulate.
    The mainstream population will still be more interested in free apps, loyalty schemes and anything they perceive as being what they need but cheap or free and have little interest in the content they are fed as a sideline.
    Then on top of it all , its most likely that both sides in the US used similar technology to affect peoples voting patterns and as ever its those that failed that make the most noise after the event, much as we see here from the remain camp.
    The amount of data and possible influence available is just too valuable to be ignored by those seeking power and or wealth. Add to this that people are getting things they never had any idea they wanted free, then any substantial change is unlikely.
    • CommentTimeMay 2nd 2018 edited
    All true - but how far have these perennial seductions and delusions, whether lazily willing or just hopelessly unconscious, been created by the technical possibilities of the media, or how far by the supposed appetites of 'human nature'?

    Chicken and egg - which came first?

    You're saying 'human nature', believing it's always been like that, always will, and media just developed to fill the demand, coincidentally serving the elites who have always been with us, always will.

    Fact is, 'human nature' has only been like that for the last 5% of human history; for the 95% pre-agricultural revolution, fully-engaged egalitarian consensus was the daily life and death necessity of mostly-abundant ecological life in hunter-gatherer times.

    The last 5% has in fact been a traumatising perversion of human nature, dominated by aberant sociopaths rampant, no longer safely pitied and marginalised but now elite, feared and empowered. Centralising media developed to serve them - and here we are.

    Maybe all necessary and inevitable, for a 10,000yr interlude in the evolution of humanity, but now here's the next deep human revolution, happening exponentially faster than the last one, led and created by inherently non-centralised, distributed 'world brain' media. What will 'human nature' become? For sure it won't remain the same miserable poverty-conscious slave-mentality of the era now departing.
    • CommentAuthoralexc
    • CommentTimeMay 2nd 2018

    The framasoft are paying folks to to develop open source solutions along the lines of distrubuted youtube. I listened to 30 minute talk about that at fosdem. Interesting tolearn the complexties, which you hit on. I was suprised not to hear of framasoft before. They have a lot of it done and more( mindmaps? datepicker), so on. A uk company have a pretty good slack/google hangouts/ chat system, see matrix.org.

    The main issues for me(a software developer) are
    security and running the software,
    if everyone did manage to install the software on a 11$/€/pound raspberryPi i guess then it would be cheap, and distributed....
    Sadly i think it needs a little technical knowledge at moment.

    Artiglio, Thing is most of of what we get for free is open source, can be run by any one. But we do not do it. eg, for my sins all i do is allow Fone users to use my wifi. Not much else. Mainly as i would have to maintain it and that costs time.
    My feeling is that it comes down to the idea it costs a lot of money. or that the issue is 'Not that important'.

    Tom, fwiw, the main spoksman for FreeCad is a Brazilian architect, whose aim goal is to further the Wikihouse project.
    I shall check the links out, but there is a lot already out there if you find the right keywords to search for.
    ps, i was impressed the new scientist had such articles. Under Reed Elsevier they had, i feel, lost an edge as the web grew.
    • CommentTimeMay 2nd 2018 edited
    Wow, I can hardly understand alexc but he's clearly onto something - maybe he's already got that new world-brain 'human nature', leaving us oldies way behind!

    Kayne West? he's in trouble again
    "West has previously made comments about slavery in his music, including New Slaves, where he suggested a modern kind of mental enslavement by consumer culture."

    I strongly recommend Walkaway by Cory Doctorow
    bang-up-to-the-minute near-future fiction that's a compulsive read as well as an uncategorisable 'political' eye-opener.
    • CommentTimeMay 2nd 2018
    Posted By: fostertomChicken and egg - which came first?
    This has been answered by clarifying the question.
    'Which came first, the first true chicken or the egg it came from'. You can work it out from that.

    Cambridge Analytica has gone into receivership tonight.
    I think the big problem is that we do not know where out data is ending up, not that we allow the initial company to use it for marketing/sales/PR uses.

    Posted By: alexcSadly i think it needs a little technical knowledge at moment.
    I must try and find that old copy of my weekly comic, they mentioned a number of software packages that allow you to keep more control of your data.
    This is an important thing for people in the creative industries who wish to protect their IP.
    • CommentAuthorArtiglio
    • CommentTimeMay 2nd 2018

    I see it as type of co-evolution/development, in as much as the underlying human nature does’nt really change but which easily adapts to consuming whatever is presented as giving some sort of satisfaction, where as technologies are created by the brightest amongst us ( initially i would like to think as an expansion of human knowledge and ingenuity) , then others see ways of using the technology to push an agenda and or personal gain, those that succeed/ make the money to some extent steer future development and will try to feed the wants of society in general.
    The pace of change is monumental in the context of human history and shows no sign of abating.
    As for the future , unfortunately your description of a “ miserable poverty-concious slave mentality” on the back ofkanye’s “mental enslavement by consumer culture” seems almost a given. There are already far too many that validate their lives not by striving to better their lot ,but by the illusion of having a life they want online and who see getting as much from the system as possible for the least input as a measure of their standing amongst their peers.

    The modern day clamour to find individuality from a combination of claims of gender/sexual identity along with the spiralling numbers with mental health problems / differences, is to my mind a measure of human nature being unable to deal with the pace of change in the absence of the almost infinite resources required to give everyone what they desire in the real world, yet in terms of the ability to spread a message any tech savvy minority can raise their media presence to such a point that ever more becomes a political football.
    The days of having a general principle of being nice to everyone and accept differences are long gone, there is now a need to fullfill each and every desire.
    Which for me is the ultimate “divide and conquer” strategy of the industrial, technological, political elite.
    During the industrial revolution a significant portion of the large industrialists/ bankers realised their good fortune and the value of a good workforce and so built schools, houses for their workers and were generous benefactors to their communities. In todays globalised world instead it is instead governments that compete to provide the best environment for businesses in the hope of attracting investment. Again a divide and conquer tactic by big business.

    Where it all eventually leads i’ve no idea, what will break the current trend again no idea, short of wholly altruistic breakthroughs in medicine, energy, food production in close succession, it’s difficult to see a solution that does not entail untold suffering , if that’s through natural disaster little can be done, but the desire to prevent man made disaster of what ever kind yet again protects the global players.
    • CommentTimeMay 3rd 2018
    <blockquote><cite>Posted By: Artiglio</cite>see it as type of co-evolution/development, in as much as the underlying human nature does’nt really change but which easily adapts to consuming whatever is presented as giving some sort of satisfaction</blockquote>You got me thinking - and a third view is

    "there is another way of thinking about how to live with technology – one that is both truer to the history of our species and useful for building a more democratic future. This tradition does not address “humanity” in the abstract, but as distinct human beings, whose capacities are shaped by the tools they use. It sees us as hybrids of animal and machine – as “cyborgs”, to quote the biologist and philosopher of science Donna Haraway.

    To say that we’re all cyborgs is not to say that all technologies are good for us, or that we should embrace every new invention. But it does suggest that living well with technology can’t be a matter of making technology more “human”. This goal isn’t just impossible – it’s also dangerous, because it puts us at the mercy of experts who tell us how to be human. It cedes control of our technological future to those who believe they know what’s best for us because they understand the essential truths about our species.

    The cyborg way of thinking, by contrast, tells us that our species is essentially technological. We change as we change our tools, and our tools change us. But even though our continuous co-evolution with our machines is inevitable, the way it unfolds is not. Rather, it is determined by who owns and runs those machines. It is a question of power.

    Today, that power is wielded by corporations, which own our technology and run it for profit."
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