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Five (More) Reasons to #DeleteUber — And Some Ethical Alternatives

Shareable Magazine - February 24, 2017 - 16:36

It seems like a not a month goes by without a major controversy about the San Francisco-based ride-hailing company Uber. On Feb. 19, Susan J. Fowler, a former engineer at the company, published a blog post alleging sexual harassment and discrimination she faced during her time there. Fowler's claims prompted Uber to hire former U.S.

Categories: Economics

9 Edible Wildflowers of Spring

Chris Martenson - February 24, 2017 - 10:39

With warmer temps approaching, you will be able to discover and use fresh wildflowers as part of your diet.  Here are 9 great additions to keep an eye out for.

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Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 2/24 - Good News Friday: The Building Blocks Of Life, The Greatness Of Humility

Chris Martenson - February 24, 2017 - 08:32
  • Temperate earth-sized worlds found in extraordinarily rich planetary system
  • The building blocks of life are much more common than we thought
  • Bert Dohmen: “Gold & Silver: Opportunity of a Lifetime?”
  • The Librarian Of Congress And The Greatness Of Humility
  • Some Doctors Prescribe Food Instead Of Pills To Treat Certain Patients
  • Fasting diet 'regenerates diabetic pancreas'
  • Town In Iowa To Seed 1,000 Acres Of Land To Aid Bee And Butterfly Populations
  • Bees are even smarter than we realized

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Categories: Economics

Podcast: How 'Complementary Currencies' Support Vibrant Local Economies

Shareable Magazine - February 23, 2017 - 22:34

Shawn Berry, a partner and worker-owner at LIFT Economy, interviews Scott Morris, an economist, community organizer, and social entrepreneur. Morris has dedicated his career to solving the problem of why the economy only works well for some, while others get left out. He is currently the founder and CEO of IthaCash.

Categories: Economics

The Mother Of All Financial Bubbles

Chris Martenson - February 23, 2017 - 19:45

The main lesson from Oroville -- or Fukushima, or Katrina --  is that governments do a poor job of relating accurate information to their citizens when big threats are involved. Part of that is likely due to a desire to avoid stoking fear. Part probably due to politics and bureaucracy. And part probably due to plain old incompetence.

Regardless of the cause, it means that the public -- even the vigilant ones -- suffer information deficits when it matters most. Simply put, the authorities do not share all the facts necessary for making informed decisions.

Which brings us to one of the truly great risks we're facing today. One with much more destructive potential than a single failed dam but, like Oroville, one the authorities are desperate to keep us in the dark about.

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Categories: Economics

It’s Bubble Time!

Chris Martenson - February 23, 2017 - 13:50

It's impossible to predict with certainty how much more insane our financial markets will get before an inevitable correction, but my personal bet is “a lot!”

For my reasons why, take a few minutes to watch the chapter on bubbles below from The Crash Course. For those who haven't seen it before, the takeaway is this: bubbles pop only when greed in the market has been exhausted.

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Categories: Economics

10 Policy Ideas to Make Food a Shared Resource in Europe

Shareable Magazine - February 23, 2017 - 13:32
The commons are generally thought of as shared resources — these include everything from the public spaces we share to the air we breathe. A new movement hopes to redefine food as a commons.  
Categories: Economics

Kucinich: U.S. Intelligence community trying to undermine Trump, rekindle Cold War

Beyond Money - February 23, 2017 - 09:41

In this Fox News interview, former Ohio Congressman and Presidential candidate, Dennis Kucinich, sounds the alarm that entrenched elements in the U.S. Intelligence community are working to undermine the Trump presidency and derail his attempts to normalize relations with Russia.

When you consider the economic and financial implications of peace, it makes complete sense that the military-industrial-banking complex would fight tooth and nail to stir up conflicts around the world, which is precisely what has been happening.

Whatever we might think of Trump as a man or as a President, the people must rally to support his efforts to cooperate with Russia in quelling the turmoil in Syria and the middle-east and move the world toward peace.

Categories: Blogs

Daily Digest 2/23 - Catastrophe Curbs Inequality, Iraq Calls For New OPEC Meeting

Chris Martenson - February 23, 2017 - 05:37
  • The Only Thing, Historically, That's Curbed Inequality: Catastrophe
  • Alan Greenspan: Ron Paul Was Right About The Gold Standard
  • Wal-Mart In Trouble
  • Digitalization, Efficiency and the Rebound Effect
  • Tomorrow's cities - nightmare vision of the future?
  • Venezuela’s economic crisis is so dire that most people have lost an average of 19 pounds
  • It's Like the Financial Crisis Never Happened
  • Unsatisfied With Oil Prices, Iraq Calls For New OPEC Meeting
  • Dallas Police Pension Board Approves Benefit Cuts; Asks For More Taxpayer Money To Avoid Collapse

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Categories: Economics

How Neighbors in Canada Used a Gift Registry to Welcome Refugees

Shareable Magazine - February 22, 2017 - 11:13

My brother taught English to recent immigrants to the U.S. He used to talk about a student who had recently moved to Salem, Massachusetts, from Turkey. She would confide in him about how much she and her family missed Turkey — in particular, their tight-knit community where neighbors looked out for one other. The family moved to the U.S. because they believed it would improve their lives, but they were so lonely that they often wished they could return home.

Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 2/22 - Korean Housing Boom Tops $1T Credit, Defaulters Owe €10B to Greek Banks

Chris Martenson - February 22, 2017 - 09:00
  • Rising inmate health costs have lawmakers weighing another prison closure
  • Will San Jose’s pension costs consume revenue from new taxes?
  • Pensioners could be left thousands of pounds poorer as government considers ditching inflation protections to save struggling final salary schemes
  • Cost of insuring French debt against default at highest since 2013
  • Strategic Defaulters Owe €10 Bln to Greek Banks
  • Le Pen Gains in French Polls as Security Concerns Win Voters
  • EU Commission to warn Italy on Wed over rising debt
  • Korea’s household credit tops $1 trillion in 2016 on housing boom

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Categories: Economics

Mobile phone app for any community platform - latest.

Matslats - February 22, 2017 - 01:30

In the complementary currency movement most of us have been so preoccupied with our software platforms that we haven't had the capacity to build apps; when apps are built, they are tightly coupled to one platform, making them difficult to share.

Building a mobile phone app means defining an API in which all the objects to be manipulated are described field by field. The app and the server send these objects back and forth, and, knowing the fields, the app can apply the data objects to built in templates to display them. In fact the whole user experience is determined by the javascript css and templates of which the app is comprised.

The different community exchange platforms have very similar data types, and need a similar user experience, but they do have slight differences which means a 'highest common factor' API would be extremely minimal. What's needed therefore is known as a 'self-describing REST API'.

It turns out however that REST is an extremely diverse school of how to write applications. The original specification of REST had everything being self-described, but this was rather cumbersome for projects with very specific functions, and nowadays almost nothing does it the original way, there are no standards and conventions are weak.

So I feel a bit in the dark as I'm working with two volunteers to build a mobile app for community platforms and community exchange platforms. Version 1 will handle 4 resource types, offers, wants, transactions, and members, and the app will know enough about each to provide a nice user experience.

I attempted to define the API on Swagger but realised that what I want to describe is the very abstraction of what Swagger is doing. Each of my four resources have different fields and operations on different platforms, but they are all described in exactly the same way - but what formal language exists for meta-swagger, and do I have time/inclination to learn it, and if I did, is anybody likely to read it?

I've written a small php application to sit between the web platform and the Client, serving up the REST API. Each platform that wishes to use it must extend a base object for each of the four REST resources. Each platform author must defines the resources' fields, handle user authentication, and read and write to its database.

Since the resources are described so generically, additional resources could easily be added, although the client won't know enough about them to make them user-friendly beyond the standard operations of listing, filtering, sorting, creating, viewing, updating, deleting. The platform can also define operations on each resource such as user->contact, or transaction->sign, or blog-post->like, which would appear as buttons on the app, so there's quite a lot of flexibility there.

In fact I'm wondering if this might have wider applications for building clients which simply browse and manipulate REST data. I can't believe nobody else is doing this.

Just to clarify, the long term vision is to disintermediate these web platforms entirely. The politics of community network software revolves around what umbrella groups communities are in and what platforms they have been offered. I'm proposing that eventually the clients (meaning the mobile phone app) would access myriad data services, such as accounting and offers/wants directly, without cumbersome platforms in the middle. Step by step.

Categories: Blogs

For Automation to Benefit Society, It Must Serve Humans, Not Replace Them

We face the prospect of an economy with little need for humans. Advances in artificial intelligence call us to revisit basic questions about work, love, and human purpose.
Categories: Economics

Off The Cuff: Our D-Minus Infrastructure

Chris Martenson - February 21, 2017 - 14:21

In this week's Off The Cuff podcast, Chris and Charles Hugh Smith discuss:

  • The War Within The Deep State
    • Which regime will triumph?
  • Our Crumbling National Infrastructure
    • Can the American empire still afford itself?
  • How The Oroville Dam Is An Omen
    • Systemic collapse always surprised with its swiftness
  • The Wrong Mindset
    • Our leaders aren't incented to care about preserving what we have

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Categories: Economics

First Publicly-traded B Corporation Marks 'Momentous Shift' for Public Markets

Shareable Magazine - February 21, 2017 - 09:30
On Jan. 31, Laureate Education, a higher education company that aims to balance profits with the interests of students and their communities, raised $490 million in its initial public offering. What makes this remarkable is that Laureate is the first company to go public as a benefit corporation.   
Categories: Economics

Prepping for Seniors

Chris Martenson - February 21, 2017 - 09:23

7 steps for creating a personal support network that to help seniors and the elderly find safety and security during emergencies and natural disaster situations.

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Categories: Economics

Meet the Couple Who Are Launching Cohousing for LGBTQ Seniors

Shareable Magazine - February 21, 2017 - 09:01
After spending time with friends in a house at the beach, Pat McAulay and her spouse Margaret Roesch wondered whether they should all consider living together when they retired. The two quickly realized that living under the same roof might be a bit too close for comfort, but that cohousing — housing communities often based around common interests — might be just the thing.  
Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 2/21 - The United States Of Oil And Gas, When Speculators Prosper Through Ignorance

Chris Martenson - February 21, 2017 - 06:15
  • Wanted: a CEO willing to hold Greek banking's "poisoned chalice"
  • When Speculators Prosper Through Ignorance
  • If Trump is Impeached, it Might Be the End of America
  • For-Profit Schools, an Obama Target, See New Day Under Trump
  • North Korea's Regime In Jeopardy As China Bans Coal Imports
  • The United States of oil and gas
  • California Braces for More Rain. How Bad Can It Get?
  • Why Ditching NAFTA Could Hurt America's Farmers More Than Mexico's

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Categories: Economics

To Billionaire Doomsday Preppers: Your Wealth Won’t Save You

The only solution is to bring your wealth home and invest in community resilience to ensure the survival of all.
Categories: Economics

Bloomberg: The IMF Should Get Out of Greece

Beyond Money - February 20, 2017 - 15:44

It has long been evident the Greek government, over the years, has been so overburdened with debt that much of it would eventually need to be forgiven. Now, even the mainstream media is touting that as the necessary solution to Greece’s predicament. In his recent article, published on the Bloomberg website, Princeton Prof. and former IMF deputy research director Ashoka Mody argues that the IMF is to blame for Greece’s debt situation and that it ought to pull out. He proposes that the IMF’s principal shareholders — the Europeans and Americans, must “honorably accept real losses.”

But he also points out that “the IMF’s Board, over the fierce opposition of several executive directors, the Europeans and Americans pushed through a bailout program that, contrary to the fund’s rules, did not impose losses on Greece’s private creditors. The decision was based on a spurious claim that “restructuring” private debt would trigger a global financial meltdown.”

So, here we have another case of private bank creditors being bailed-out. Yes, the Greek debt must be forgiven to allow the Greek economy to recover, but the burden now falls upon European and American citizens instead of on the banks’ owners, where it properly belongs.

Categories: Blogs