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Stefano Tacchi from Turin, Italy
  • Hello!
    I'm an Italian guy from Turin (Piedmont), I'm almost 25 years and I'm glad I finally found you.
    I knew you were there, but I could never imagine that you had already reached such a point in the development of the global transition to a society of fairness.
    I want to join the forum mainly because I have interest in developing this project and I hope to be useful. After several months of reading your wiki I developed the need to get more in touch with the team.
    I do not possess adequate technical quality or university training in a particular field, but I think I have a good logical reasoning skill and a strong sensitivity/empathy towards people, animals and in general, the whole ecosystem.
    By my nature I tend to try to see things, events and socio-political dynamics in a single entity made up of endless branches, each with its peculiar importance and its meaning.
    I am a person who thinks a lot about this sort of thing and can not avoid finding a life path marked by these values.
    After performing a free analysis of our world and society I can say without presumption that I have come to similar conclusions than those reached by Marcin in 2004, and therefore I began to seek more information through the Internet to set up a project. I finally found you and I was pleased with the progress already made towards our common goal.
    It is some time that I discuss with a group of friends that the future is increasingly uncertain and that unless we begin to move now to build our future, nobody will do it for us.
    For this reason I like to call myself an "OSE evangelist", although I do not have a religion but a philosophy of life ;)
    Please accept me in your forum so that I can develop a greater understanding of the processes that you are putting in place, and consequently move in a coordinated way to collaborate and build a small branch of the Open Source Ecology movement here in Italy.
    It is a pleasure to meet you.

    Now, this you read was my application to join the forum but I can add a few things just to let you know a little bit more about myself.
    I have been a web developer for the last 5 years but I never felt a great need to continue and make a career in this field. I've always been unsure of what to do with my life, and very often I was depressed by the things I saw happen in the world: a long descent to a new economic and social Middle Ages that would not leave me much hope for my future.
    Appealing to my sense of self-preservation and through logical reasoning and the ability to question all my current (limited) knowledge, I have come to the conclusion that the only applicable solution is to go back in time to the moment when the man did not depend directly and strictly from the sociopolitical system. Given the apparent impossibility of going back in time (which is a good thing) the solution is to restore the old values, while taking advantage of modern technologies in doing so.
    My parents (my mother works at a government agency, my father is an analyst programmer employed in the insurance industry), who educated me in the concept of freedom and altruism, were "slaves" of the system that they themselves had taught me to analyze objectively.
    How could I put into practice their teachings under the pressing need to secure a decent future?
    In everyday's life, my parents wake up early in the morning, go to work for eight hours (ten including travel time from home to work) and return home for dinner. After dinner, they work to keep your home and family and then go to sleep before you face a new day, almost identical to the previous one.
    The only really different day is Sunday, when they have free time for recreation and fun, time they spend to improve their culture and do sports.
    We are a close family and they are happy with their lives.
    Basically, though, what they do can be summed up in a loop like this: home-work-home-sleep repeated six times, interrupted by a single cycle home-fun-home-sleep (Sunday). This is the common work-gain-spend loop in which we can find the majority of italian families (we can exclude the richiest families).
    My family is moderately wealthy, at least enough to consume part of the salary for entertainment. But many Italian families are not at all. For what I know, this is creating a lot of divorces and an increasingly wide separation between social classes.
    Although this result is the sum of many minor issues, ranging from culture to disinterest in politics, the root cause can be summed up in the absence of an underlying system that is truly sustainable for all.
    At one point, I began to think that society today is not so different from the medieval one, composed of landowners who enslave the masses for a loaf of bread.
    In fact, today the great mass of non-rich work hard to get a salary that is often just enough to pay the bills, and only very rarely also provides access to entertainment.
    In medieval times the masses of poor people were subjected to the same system, now the difference is a higher level of quality of life in the countries noted as "civilized" (at the expense of poorer nations like the third world). I can not believe that a thousand years of evolution have led to such a slight increase in the quality of life. I would expect more.
    This is the reason why I want to participate in the Open Source Ecology project. It is time that people come out from this dualistic system of commanders and commanded.
    At least, I do not want to be part of it.

    I'm starting to build my future on the belief to make me more and more system-independent, so that I can fight and change it from the outside and I recently realized that this is the only way to do it.

    Thank you for helping me to do so.
  • 6 Comments sorted by
  • Now, what am I doing to realize these concepts I have outlined? 

    1) - A few months ago I bought a small plot of land to grow a garden for self consumption and to have a place where I can gain experience in cultivation. The land is uncultivated and I'm almost done cleaning it from the native vegetation that had formed in the last 3 years. Once finished, I will use the technologies offered by OSE to simplify my agricultural production. I will gather water from the rain rather than remove it from the rivers as other farmers do illegally and I will try to find any possible way to save production time while enhancing my production's quality (rather than quantity). Two thirds of my family comes from agriculture so I expect to be helped by some of my genes in this.

    Note: I think that money is a good tool for the global economy based on finance and profit, and has done its job over the years. Similarly, the continued growth resulted from what we call capitalism was what was needed to develop the human system and be able to connect all parts of the world into a true global network of human intelligence.
    I now believe that for these concepts, the time has come to an end.
    Instead, I developed a theory about what might be the base currency for the future activities of mankind: time.
    In contrast to the money, the time can be a currency particularly robust and reliable thanks to its unique characteristics, as I outline in the following lines.

    We are all born with a defined amount of time, but none of us knows exactly what this quantity amounts. You can not increase or decrease it, because it is closely tied to our organic life. The real value of time is determined by how you use it and this kind of feature is intrinsic to each of us.
    Finally, time runs continuously so every moment is lost forever. This set of basic features makes the time much less susceptible to the problems plaguing the money. For this reason I confer to it a great value and will continue to analyze the possible advantages that it could give to mankind if it were uniquely recognized as primary currency.

    2) - I'm collecting a lot of material to hold the meetings, the first private (between friends) and then public, to inform people that there is another way of understanding one's own existence. I will use all the knowledge gained through my experience with OSE and the Transition Movement, which I recently discovered, to openly discuss an affordable solution for everyone. In this sense, I like to call myself "OSE Evangelist". My work aims to inform and discuss with relatively small groups of people with their problems of everyday life caused by the current political and economic system. But before introducing their possible solutions, I have to open their eyes to the problem.
    Next month I will organize the first official meeting and I'm currently preparing the necessary instruments. The first objective of my participation in OSE coincides with part of the process of production of information materials for my meetings: complete the Italian translation of the OSE wiki. I organized the first meeting for a small group of guys which are friends of mine, with expertise ranging from CAD design to engineering energy, hoping that they will want to join in my little project to create sort of a subsidiary of OSE here in my area.
    I will soon let you know of any further advancement in this.
  • Beluga, thank you for the links. I was not aware of the existence of an Italian division of OSE due to the fact that I have not finished reading the whole wiki. I will come immediately into contact with the Italian division to collaborate with them. Thank you again.
  • Hi Stefano, we are on absolutely the same page regarding time to be used as or instead of money.

    For me, the main reason to use time is that it is a physical phenomena, not something invented by man like money. It cannot be manipulated, and it is of the same value everywhere, everytime. So setting the price of something in terms of time is measurig how much work time was invested in it directly or indirectly by the use of machines, material or parts, which themselves have a timestamp on them. Based on the assumption, that the earth belongs to everybody, mineral ressources, ore and everything else what the earth provides would have no price before it is harvested, because there was not work time invested in it. As a result, a shirt being made in China would then suddenly be more expensive in the US then a shirt being made in the US, because the time to make the shirt would be more or less the same in the US, but to buy a shirt made in China in Chicago would add the time costs of its transportation from China to its price, which would not be the case by the shirt made in the city itself. Profit would not be possible anymore, because there is no work involved in profit.

    Getting rid of money in exchange for time would put an end to globalization and profits, thus capitalism. That's the reason why all attempts so far to do this was forbidden as soon as it starts to spread around. However, the Ithaca Hours still exist ...
  • That's true, we're on the same page.
    Your comment expands coherently my thoughts about time and gives a very simple and easily understandable example of "zero kilometers" time-based economy.

    By the way, I think that resources shouldn't be considered as no price goods, because we must also include the time that particular resource took to form or grow and the current availability of it. In fact, a forest takes less time to be available than an oil deposit: the oil deposit will have a (very) higher start value than a forest just because the first one takes a lot of ages to form while the second will be ready to use in a few years. Additionally, the forest can be easily grown by man while petroleum will need particular factors to develop and this should also be accounted, don't you think?
  • Interesting idea, I haven't had this one yet. I like it. It would make non-growing resources like mineral oil, natural gas or ore much, much more expensive than today, what is only fair. However, I see the following problem:

    Within a local community there is no need for a currency, even time, when there is a common agreement that everybody works in principle the same time helping to fulfill the needs of the community and its people. However, this is not the case anymore, when we are looking at different communities which will trade among each other. Let's say a community in southern Sweden, which grows lots of wheat, and a community in northern Sweden, which sits on a copper field. The southern community would like to trade some wheat for copper, and the nothern community would like to do so as well, vice versa of course.

    So, if you measure the worth of both commodities in time, you can add up all the time people invest in planting the seeds, fertilizing the earth, harvesting, etc for the wheat and come to a price of let's say 2 hours per ton. So, how much copper could you get for that? If that copper mine has a total of 12 mil tons of copper, would you set this amount in relation to the age of the earth? If that 12 mil tons of copper is a miniscule fraction of the mass of the earth, would you apply this same miniscule to the age of the earth to set it into relation? Or would you use the mass of all known and reachable copper?

    You see the problem? Either you get only a homeopathic amount of copper for the wheat, what would make the deal unacceptable for the southern community, or you would need to set some price, what would break the rule of measuring and open the doors to arbitrariness.

    When you just do not set a price for non-growing ressources, you need some other basis. And that is scarcity. You only have so much copper, and you need some of it for yourself for some unknown duration, and you need some of it to trade with for some unknown time. What you can measure is the time you need to invest into extracting the copper from the mine and to make bars or coils out of it. That's a fair price to trade with. But you will do only so much as is absolutely necessary, since you will still want to be able to trade with copper in a 1,000 years or in 10,000 years, because you don't know today if the demand of copper will have stopped till then, or new deposits or substitutes will have been found.

    So if this northern town has no wheat and only a few thousand tons of copper, it needs a different strategy to feed its people in the years to come without trading copper. Probably there is wood, or they make things out of the copper they have, or they have coal, or iron ore or fish around, which they could trade. If there is nothing, then this is a very bad place to create a community.

    The basic idea behind it is the principle of scarcity. What we have and cannot regrow or refill, we can use only if it is absolutely necessary. Those who are in a community with access to this ressources are the protectors and caretakers of this resource. It is in their core interest that they keep it as long as possible. This will make these kind of resources scarce, globally. The effect would be, that substitutes for such resources would be searched, which can be grown, like bags out of hemp instead out of plastic, which is based on mineral oil or ways would be invented to live without things needing those resources. The other effect would be general austerity in regard of the use of such resources, and most likely some abdication. However, those sitting on these resources still would trade some of it for things they don't have and need, so they would not be gone alltogether. Just like China now trades a bit of its rare earths for wheat (literally speaking, not in direct barter).

    All of this is completely within common sense when you want to keep our planet habitable for your grandchildren and their descendants in thousands of years. On the other hand, all of this is the absolute contrary of what capitalism is about.

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