03Jul/15

The Zeitgeist Moment Podcast

The TZM Australia YouTube Channel has been revived with podcasts aimed at educating the general public about a range of issues and ideas related to the Zeitgeist Movement. Podcasts are like short radio shows where people can ask and have their questions answered by the radio host and guests on the show.

In the first episode, Zac and Casey discuss how they discovered the Zeitgeist Movement, veganism, consumer expectations in a capitalist system, education, human behavioural psychology, charities, atheism and religion, the monetary/market system, sustainable communities, open source and planned obsolescence.

Listen to our first podcast here:

Here are some useful links for some of the topics discussed:

Anyone else with an interest in anything related to TZM we encourage you to take part. Contact the host of the show, Zac to have your voice heard: [email protected]

18Apr/15

7 easy ways you can be involved in TZM Australia projects

Fifteen supporters of TZM met at the Brisbane Square Library on Saturday to discuss new and upcoming projects. If you’d like to get more involved, check out the projects below and contact the coordinators to share your skills, knowledge and interest.

our project meeting room at the Brisbane Square Library

Our project meeting room at the Brisbane Square Library

  1. Community Tours Project

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Visiting Communities Project
This project is aimed at learning about and reaching out to existing sustainable communities. The idea is to learn about their management structures, their decision making processes, the systems they use to manage resources and their overall goals. Once discovering this, using the concept of a resource-based economy (RBE), we will share our vision and share ways in which they can live  even more harmoniously together. Although we do aim to visit a range of local communities, one of our first tours will be held in Christie Walk in Adelaide. In the projects meeting, we outlined several volunteer roles which people could become involved in.
  • Database Editor – A person who updates our database, the RBE10K wiki with information we gather.
  • Tour Organisers – People who would like to contact communities and collaborate with TZM to organise dates and times. Doodle may be a good platform to help with this.
  • In-house Presenters – People who do a presentation at Monthly Movies that Matter on a community that they have visited or researched. This is especially appropriate for communities that are either in the pipeline or inaccessible due to distance and/or language. It also helps reduce our carbon emissions. (Only about 15 minutes long)
If you’d be interested in any of these roles or being part of any of these projects, please email Simon the project Coodinator or better still, come to the Monthly Movies that Matter meeting and make yourself known. You can also contact us through our Meetup or Facebook group and we will put you in touch with the project coordinators http://www.meetup.com/The-Zeitgeist-Movement-for-Global-Sustainability

 

  1. Outreach Program
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A similar project coordinated in Vancouver, Canada

 

A simple project for regular attendees of our events – to survey people in the mall area before Monthly Movies that Matter – an event held on the second Saturday of each month. Rather than regular attendees sitting through the introductions, newcomers can ask questions while regulars  take to the streets talking to people about the concepts of the Zeitgeist Movement. A similar project was conducted in another chapter a few years ago, where Geisters carried around a clipboard and pencil and surveyed people on four simple, yet enlightening questions. Outreachers then return to Monthly Movies and report back on their experience. For this project we’re looking for:

  • Survey conductors – for those of you who are fairly knowledgeable about TZM
  • Question writers – questions such as “How much oil gets used per day in the world?”
  1. TZM Trivia night and Bring-a-friend day

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The Outreach Project got people thinking about other ways we can reach out to people.  An idea was suggested to create a trivia night based around Zeitgeist related content, issues and ideas. This would be open to everyone and would be a fun and entertaining way to educate. For this we need a:

 

  • Trivia night facilitators - for our charismatic members who like to get up on the microphone and ask the questions
  • Question writers - for those who can think of questions that aren’t too easy but aren’t to hard either – a way to educate people and get them thinking but leave them feeling good too
  • Researchers – lets get our facts right!

It was also suggested that we could have another Monthly Movies Bring-a-friend day.

  1.  TZM Australia Fortnightly Podcasts

microphone

The TZM Australia youtube channel is being revived with 30-minute fortnightly podcasts, aimed at educating the general public about a range of issues and ideas related to the Zeitgeist Movement. Podcasts are like short radio shows where people can ask and have their questions answered by the radio host and guests on the show.

  • TZM Australia Podcast Guests – Anyone with an interest in anything related to TZM, whether it be in sustainability, technology, social design, communication, psychology or anything else, we encourage you to take part.

Contact the host of the show, Zac to have your voice heard:: [email protected]

  1. Intelligent Systems for new governance

open-source-everything-the-zeitgeist-movement

For the techsavvy, scientific-minded folk who share our vision, we have a strong diverse team who are currently working on creating software that can create optimal decision-making – in a way that is fair and efficient. The system needs to be community-minded and open-source. Meetings are currently taking place weekly and are open to anyone who has any knowledge in this area.

  • Programmers – to help with the software design
  • Social design coordinators - to help develop the system
  1. Zeitgeist Media Festival

Zeitgeist Media Festival Logo

Each year, the TZM Global encourages chapters around the world to organise a Media Festival. Unlike Z-Day, The Zeitgeist Media Festival is not so much an information symposium, but more a platform for artists, musicians, poets and film-makers to showcase their work – to inspire, to rouse emotion, to connect. As quote at the beginning of Moving Forward: In a decaying society, art, if it is truthful, must also reflect decay. And unless it wants to break faith with its social function, art must show the world as changeable, and help to change it. – Ernst Fischer

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We are looking for:

  • Musicians, Film-makers, Poets, Artists, Writers – Whoever would like to promotes TZM by performing or displaying your work at The Zeitgeist Media Festival in October
  1. TZM Australia Website

Australia Zeitgeist-Movement

You may have noticed that the TZM website underwent many changes this year to share more information and make it more user-friendly for visitors. We’d like to have more people contribute to the blog (like this one here) and share their thoughts on our projects and events. If you also have suggestions for ways we can make it easier to navigate please send through your suggestions.

  • Writers, bloggers, vloggers – share your thoughts and ideas with us – we’d love to have more contribution from Geisters around the country.

If you’d be interested in any of these roles or being part of these projects, please contact us through the meetup group and we will put you in touch with the project coordinators http://www.meetup.com/The-Zeitgeist-Movement-for-Global-Sustainability

25Mar/15

Z-Day 2015

Each year, Zeitgeist Movement advocates from all over the world come together to learn more, connect with like-minded people and share new ideas to promote global unity, social betterment and a more humane society.

cropped-zday-2015.pngZeitgeist Day (Z-Day), the annual global symposium for The Zeitgeist Movement, was held for the 7th time this year in several different countries around the world on Saturday 14th March. The main event for Australia was held in Brisbane City at the Brisbane Square Library.

470_square,0This year was outstandingly successful for the Australian chapter, with a range of inspiring and interesting speakers. Coordinators are working hard to make all of these presentations available online as soon as possible.

I’d like to thank everyone who volunteered their time, money and effort towards making it a fantastic day. The free fruit for our guests was a very special touch!

I had the very fortunate opportunity to welcome our guests and give a brief run-down of the Zeitgeist Movement for guests who may not have heard of us before. This was followed by James Hill, who discussed how an NLRBE would be governed.

IMAG0649After James, Tom Miller from Unlimited You Education set the scene for the day by conducting a very collaborative discussion stemming from the question “Why are we here today?”. This brought about a range of reasons from our very diverse audience, that really set the group up to think about ways in which they could really connect with the group.

IMAG0651Caroline Rentel followed Tom, giving us a very special triple plug on three topics close to our heart: James Pauly’s updates on his electric vehicle conversion, updates on Beyond Zero Emissions and her novel about an RBE set in 2050.

Screenshot from 2015-03-25 16:56:24 Our audience was then wowed by Roman Spur’s amazing rental property that he transformed into a sustainable living story. In a tiny space in the city suburb of New Farm, Roman provided food including vegetables, honey and eggs for his whole family and neighbours, as well as use recycled materials to create solar power cookers and solar hot water.

IMAG0660After Roman, Simon Cole gave us a run-down of the TZM Australia Community Tours project, where a group of Brisbane Geisters aim to visit a range of communities around the country and beyond, to share our knowledge and discover the best ways we can manage groups in the early stages of developing an RBE. For more details, click here.

Screenshot from 2015-03-25 16:58:09After a quick break, John Roles decided to share his vision for Australia as a former candidate for Sustainable Population Party. John was an interesting guest, as someone who was not very familiar with TZM, but he was not only able to share his thoughts on population, growth and sustainability in Australia but connect with many people who think beyond politics.

IMAG0666Before our final speaker, Aaron Hilton the driving force behind this project, and Andreas Huemer, an expert in artificial intelligence and systems management shared their idea for system that can minimise harm and maximise abundance.

IMAG0671Our final speaker was Natalie Lawler, one of the last 100 remaining candidates for the Mars One mission. She shared updates on Mars One and explained her passion and reasons that she wanted to travel to the red planet forever. We were very fortunate to have a lot of question time for Natalie, as many people in the audience were curious about her mission.

Screenshot from 2015-03-25 17:29:41Thanks again to everyone who came along to support the Zeitgeist Movement. As stated previously, our local coordinators are working hard to make these presentations available online as soon as possible. An email will be sent to our subscribers as soon as the videos have been uploaded.

A recap of the global chapter event can be seen here. To read more about it, check out the global chapter blog here.

04Mar/15

5 ways to spot bullshit

Being a critical thinker isn’t easy.  But it’s important to minimise exploitation to yourself, others and the environment.

Here are 5 ways to spot BS

1. Research logical fallacies

A logical fallacy is a flaw in reasoning. Logical fallacies are like tricks or illusions of thought, and they’re often very sneakily used by politicians and the media to fool people. It’s very easy to make logical fallacies, even with relatively reasonable critical thinking skills. Here are some of the most common ones.

FallaciesPosterHigherRes

On this page you can find examples of logical fallacy statements. For example, “You should eat all of the food on your plate because there are children starving in Africa”. This is called an “Appeal to Emotion” fallacy in which two facts that have no correlation to each other are used to manipulate the receiver into doing something.

2. Use good reasoning methods

There are three good reasoning methods that can be used to detect bullshit: deductive, inductive and abductive reasoning.

Deductive reasoning concludes:

“When it rains, things outside get wet. The grass is outside, therefore: when it rains, the grass gets wet.” Mathematical logic and philosophical logic are commonly associated with this style of reasoning.

Inductive reasoning concludes:

“The grass got wet numerous times when it rained, therefore: the grass always gets wet when it rains.” While they may be persuasive, these arguments are not deductively valid, see the problem of induction. Science is associated with this type of reasoning.

Abductive reasoning concludes:

“When it rains, the grass gets wet. The grass is outside and nothing outside is dry, therefore: maybe it rained.” Diagnosticians and detectives are commonly associated with this type of reasoning.

If you think something seems like bullshit, check to see if they have reasoned with any of these methods – if they haven’t, you’ll probably find their reasoning in a logical fallacy as discussed above.

3. Have a bullshit spotter’s attitude

Try not to become too emotionally attached to your beliefs – if you do, you’re bound to end up in a situation where your belief is invalid and unreasonable. Good critical thinkers (bullshit spotters) are humble – they understand you also suffer from the The Dunning- Kruger effect – that is, not having the competence to know that you’re not competent . When given a different opinion, ask yourself – How could my belief be wrong? Do not believe everything you think . Be prepared to change your mind about anything you believe in. Dr. Peter Boghossian discusses this in detail in the video below.

 

4. Look out for bullshit slogans

Here are just a few to get you started:

It’s 100% natural!” – Since when was everything natural good for you? Arsenic is natural… but I wouldn’t recommend adding it to your coffee.

Treat others as you would like to be treated” – Going back to the point on ‘attitude’ – think carefully about this slogan – it may have good intentions but there are always exceptions.  Should a person who has committed a range of dangerous crimes be treated the same way as others? This is quite a subjective question.

Seeing is believing” – Humans have a vivid imagination, the potential to ‘see things’ and a biological trait that makes us see patterns that do not necessarily exist. If you ever read “Demon Haunted World – Science as a Candle in the Dark” by Carl Sagan, you can find many examples of this. One example, is how humans have seen a ‘face’ in the moon for thousands of years in many different cultures. This face has been linked to a variety of religious and superstitious beliefs. However the reason we find a face in the moon is because human evolution has encouraged this pattern recognition – a baby that is more likely to recognise faces has a higher chance of survival. Also, as Neil Degrasse Tyson pointed out in an episode of Cosmos, seeing is NOT always believing – many of the stars we can see in the sky are no longer there.

sagan

5. Learn to spot evidence of bullshit

Closely linked to the logical fallacies, also keep your ear out for the following statements. You’re more likely to hear these when having a debate with a friend or family member, or when being sold something.

It’s been know for thousands of years… ” - To quote Tim Minchin – just because ideas are tenacious it doesn’t mean that they’re worthy.

Everyone knows that!” - Yeah okay, we all once knew the earth was flat, too.

I saw it on the internet” – The internet is a wonderful collection of information that has changed the way we think and live, however, it is full of bullshit. If someone says they saw in on the internet, make sure they can back up their source on the internet, or research it yourself.

Someone told me” The fact that someone told you something may increase the likelihood – but it doesn’t make it true.

 

With these five tips… and by thinking more about the information you are exposed to, you will have a clearer vision as to how to navigate and understand the world around you.

15Feb/15

Visiting communities project

I’m frequently inspired by friends I’ve met through The Zeitgeist Movement – not only with their meaningful, witty and thought-provoking conversations, but also with the amount of work they do on projects related to sustainability, science and technology. Regardless of these proactive, energetic personalities, most of these projects are done outside of the TZM Australia organisation.

Our TZM group in Brisbane has grown fairly quickly over the past few months and we’re now excited to suggest an ongoing project for anyone who would like to support TZM in particular.

Many people within TZM also have a vision of buying a large block of land and creating a mini-Resource-Based Economy. To work towards this vision, we feel it’s important to get a good feel for what it’s like for people already living in sustainable communities and to truly understand the ins and outs of what works well and what needs more thought.

To enhance collaboration within the movement, as well as share our knowledge and skills, we’d like to organise trips to a range of sustainable communities and open arcologoy projects around Australia and abroad. Here are some that we would like to visit.

1. Christie Walk, Adelaide

Christie Walk Adelaide

The project consists of 27 dwellings which include linked four three-storey townhouses with full solar orientation, a three storey block of six apartments with east-west orientation, four individual cottages, and a 5 storey apartment block facing onto Sturt Street, with a community room/ kitchen/dining/meeting room/ library, and toilets on the ground floor. Around 40 people live at Christie Walk, ranging in age from very young to over 80 with a strong ethos of  ’community’ which has developed over the past ten years.

2. Atamai Village, New Zealand

Map_teaser

Still in development, the entire village, as well as individual house sites, are designed on permaculture principles to enhance both the physical and social resilience of the Atamai community. Atamai will have a residential area, a food production area, a forestry area and recreational areas.

3. Masdar City, Abu Dhabi

masdar

Masdar City is an arcology project in Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates which uses solar energy and other renewable energy sources. The temperature on Masdar’s streets is generally 15 to 20°C cooler than the surrounding desert due to its unique construction. A 45-meter high wind tower sucks air from above and pushes a cooling breeze through Masdar’s streets. The site is raised above the surrounding land in order to create a slight cooling effect and buildings are clustered close together to keep streets and walkways shielded from the sun. Public transport initially was designed to use underground podcars. The city reuses its water and functions as a headquarters of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

If you would like to find out more and make suggestions for communities to visit, please join us for Z-Day in Brisbane next month, or email me at [email protected]