room may be one of our most important surroundings. It is were we relax
and feel at home. Yet many of us let chance, coincidence and gifts from
others decide how it looks. Others follow strict rules or theories.
How important is your living room? How do you shape it? How will this
change in the near future?
.... interested in knowing
more and sharing thoughts and ideas .... join us at the event about
future of the Living Room - Thursday, 13 October!
a proposal for Busan Opera House by Orproject
Orproject is a London based architecture and design practice set
up in 2006 by Francesco Brenta, Christoph Klemmt, Laura Micalizzi
and Rajat Sodhi. Our work explores advanced geometries with an
ecologic agenda, the integration of natural elements into the
design results in an eco-narrative unfolding into the three dimensional
Our projects range from experimental small scale installations
to large real estate developments. We produce high end luxury
design, covering all aspects of a project from design and planning
to practical completion. Our work has been published and exhibited
widely, amongst others for the London Architecture Festival, the
Furniture Fair in Milan and at Palais de Tokyo in Paris.
A FROZEN PIECE OF MUSIC
the design for the new Busan Opera House, is based on Klavierstück
I, a composition for piano by Orproject director Christoph Klemmt.
It is based on a twelve tone row which is repeated and altered
by the different voices, in order to create complex rhythmic patterns.
becomes the physical manifestation of Klavierstück I, a frozen
piece of music. The design for the Busan Opera House is based
on a simple strip morphology instead of a twelve tone row, which
creates the facade, structure and rhythm within itself, its repetition
happening in space instead of time. Layers of the strips form
the façade structure, and the shifting and alteration of
these patterns results in the formation of complex architectural
rhythms which are used to control the light, view and shading
properties of the façade.
façade structure becomes the physical manifestation of
Klavierstück I. Instead of on a twelve tone row, it is based
on a strip morphology made from curved steel sections that creates
the facade, structure and rhythm within itself. The repetition
of the lamella happens in space, instead of the repetition in
time of the twelve tone row. Parallel layers of the strips form
the façade structure, and the alteration of its patterns
results in architectural rhythms which are used to control the
light, view and shading properties of the façade.
façade structure starts to flow from the sea, where its
different layers are aligned and appear to be one. Then slowly
the layers start to repeat at different intervals, resulting in
a shift between them, the alignment breaks up, and a varied field
of the façade rhythms begins to emerge.
façade structure is altered in the length of its repetition,
but also the orientation and the depth of the extrusions are manipulated
in order to control the view and light, depending on the programmatic
requirements on the inside of the building.
flow of the façade layers is influenced by the programs
which they enclose. As an effect of this the layers split up at
certain points, and after forming a coherent system with the overlay
of its rhythms, the individual layers separate and their individual
patterns become visible.
of the façade walls has been developed according to a custom
written flow simulation. The algorithm describes a flow that is
influenced and altered by a set of deflectors, which each act
according to the magnitude of their attraction and the area of
distribution of the programmatic elements on the site is used
as the deflector set that guides the flow of the rhythm lines
which originate from the sea. On their way towards the city, the
lines flow around the building elements such as the theatre and
auditoriums, splitting up and being diverted by the deflectors.
musical composition the different voices converge again. For the
building, the separate façade layers spread out towards
the city, form the structure for a bridge, and then slowly fade
out and disappear back into the ground.
Design Team: Ho-Ping Hsia, Christoph Klemmt, Rolando Rodriguez-Leal,
Rajat Sodhi, Natalia Wrzask, Christine Wu
Structural Engineers: Arups Structural Engineering, London
Theatre Consultants: Arups Theatre Consulting, Hong Kong
All images copyright Orproject 2011
Danish Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has conducted a literature
review examining current knowledge on the environmental and health
risks of exposure to the most widely used nanomaterials, concluding
that to date no significant risks have been linked to the use
of these substances.
The report evaluates
seven nanomaterials used in consumer products, selected on the
basis of their application volumes, potential human and environmental
exposure and expected persistence or bioaccumulation. These
are: Titanium dioxide, Cerium dioxide, Fullerenes, Silver, Iron,
Silicon dioxide and Nanoclay
It concludes that,
based on current uses, nano-iron and nanoclay do not carry any
health or environmental risk. For the other five materials,
gaps in current knowledge mean there are areas that require
further research before the risk potential can be fully evaluated,
according to the Danish EPA.
The report was
written by researchers from the consultant group COWI and Technical
University of Denmark (DTU).
"The Future of News" is a groundbreaking 10-part series
for public television where the best minds in traditional and
new media meet to discuss the role of a free press in an ever-changing
Host Frank Sesno
guides the weekly conversations that help audiences navigate the
maze of digital information and explain the future of news in
the 21st century and beyond. Correspondent Sonya Gavankar uses
a state-of-the-art touch-screen monitor to explore specific Web
sites that look at the different ways news is presented.
Google, YouTube and
Twitter weren't around 15 years ago when 24-hour cable news reached
more households than daily newspapers. Today the digital giants
— along with the World Wide Web and the Internet — have
permanently altered the news media landscape, challenging traditional
news models and constantly redefining what news is and how it
is delivered. The dramatic decline of newspapers and mainstream
media gives this program special relevance for today's news consumers.
"The Future of News" is produced by the Newseum for
American Public Television and supported by a generous grant from
the Ford Foundation.
Island Design we like to do things differently: Our
approach is to consider the design in a holistic manner. We like
to ensure that a common theme runs throughout the yacht, from
the overall exterior shape down to the smallest interior detail.
The most important thing for us is to ensure the original client-driven
concept is achieved in a flowing and seamless manner."
Tropical Island Paradise The guest cabanas are nestled around the pool and highlights
the two deck owners' suites carved out of the front of the volcano
and looking out across the bow. The interior features an owners
suite located inside the volcano and spread over two decks. The
living room balcony affords views out over the front of the yacht
from behind the waterfall. Located behind the bedroom is the owners
‘The Streets of Monaco’
‘The Streets of Monaco’ is our first design proposal.
The theme is based around the Mediterranean principality with
the primary focus being the
famous grand prix circuit. The idea was to recreate the circuit
as a fully functional kart track able to accommodate three karts
side by side to allow for plenty of overtaking. By sizing the
track in this way it has driven the overall dimensions of the
yacht and the placement of the famous landmarks.
This book offers an introduction to the key elements involved
in the creation of aesthetically appealing and practically appropriate
interior architecture. Each element, or fundamental, uses theory
and contemporary and historical references to illustrate the richness
and diversity of design practice. Using examples taken from work
created by contemporary practitioners, The Fundamentals of Interior
Architecture offers a unique insight into the principles and processes
that underpin the work of the professional interior designer.
The book contains five sections which together encapsulate the
principle ideas, skills and knowledge that are employed in the
creation of spatial solutions that support the needs of the client
and which recognise the qualities of the building and its situation.
Using illustrations and photographs these elements are identified
and described in a way that makes them accessible to the reader.
Like most rivers in the world, the Indus River in South Asia does
not recognize political boundaries. It crosses over Tibet, India,
Pakistan and Afghanistan before finally emptying into the Arabian
Sea at the foot of the Sindh province in Pakistan.
The two main benefactors of the Indus River waters are India and
Pakistan. After partition in 1947 these waters formed a major cause
of tension between the two countries. The headwaters of the river
were situated in India while the body formed Pakistan’s main
source of freshwater.
In 1948 an Inter-Dominion Accord was set up wherein India was obligated
to release sufficient amounts of water to Pakistan for a nominal
fee in order to meet the country’s immediate requirements.
However, a more permanent solution was needed when tensions over
water arose once again in 1951. While Kashmir – one of the
more intractable issues between India and Pakistan - seemed far
from a resolution, water provided a stepping stone upon which India
and Pakistan could start a process of reconciliation. Nonetheless,
reaching an understanding over the most optimum distribution of
the Indus River Waters was no easy task. It took nine years of negotiations
before India and Pakistan signed the Indus Water Treaty (IWT) in
partnership with the World Bank and with financial assistance from
the U.S. and U.K.
The IWT provides a mechanism for amicable water sharing between
India and Pakistan, a luxury uncommon to many countries that have
Transboundary Rivers. Since its ratification in 1960, India and
Pakistan have not engaged in any water wars. Disagreements, disputes
and the need for arbitration have arisen however they have been
settled via legal procedures - provided for within the framework
of the IWT - and not via armed conflict. The treaty is considered
to be one of the most successful watersharing endeavours in the
world today even though analysts acknowledge the need to update
certain technical specifications and expand the scope of the document
to include climate change.
As India and Pakistan stand at the threshold of yet another attempt
to further cooperation, ‘water’ – as was the case
in 1951 - can provide an impetus to tackle larger issues like Kashmir.
There has been a lot of controversy and debate about the IWT, however,
the core problems are minor in many cases and can be addressed with
care through a process of negotiation.
The first section of this paper provides a comprehensive overview
of Pakistan’s water situation; the second part discusses points
of contention between India and Pakistan regarding the shared Western
Rivers of the Indus and the conclusion provides the final analysis
and recommendations that will assist water cooperation between these
two nations in the future.
Overview of Pakistan’s Water Resources
Pakistan receives its water from 3 river basins – The Indus,
Karan and Makran River Basins. Of these three, Pakistan is most
dependent on the Indus River Basin as it covers 71% of its territory
- comprising the whole of Punjab, Sindh, NWFP, PoK and the eastern
parts of Balochistan - and provides water for 77% of the population.
The Karan and the Makran originate along the plains of Balochistan
and they cover only 15% and 14% of Pakistan’s territory respectively.
The Indus Basin has a large groundwater aquifer that covers 16.2
million ha (hectare). Groundwater is pumped with the help of tubewells,
currently numbered at 0.9 million and 87% of these are run on diesel,
making groundwater pumping impossible during Pakistan’s frequent
periods of load shedding. Most urban and rural water is supplied
from groundwater sources. Salt-water intrusion is a problem in Pakistan
with about 36% of the groundwater classified as highly saline.
Average Annual Freshwater Availability, which accounts mainly for
the Indus River Basin flow is pegged at 130MAF (million acre feet)
but can reach as low as 116MAF per year. In 2008, total water withdrawal
was estimated at 148.68MAF (183.4km3) creating a deficit of roughly
18MAF. Surface water withdrawal accounted for 98.74MAF (121.8km3)
and groundwater withdrawal accounted for 49.94MAF (61.6km3). [It
should be noted that withdrawal here refers mainly to the Indus
Basin Irrigation System (IBIS) as withdrawal outside of this is
Annual precipitation in Pakistan is roughly 500mm although this
varies with less than 100mm in certain parts of Balochistan and
Sindh and 1,500mm in the foothills and mountains of Punjab and NWFP.
There is also an extreme variability in rainfall between the seasons.
There are 2 main rainfall seasons in Pakistan – Rabi season
(October-March) and Kharif Season (April-September).
60% of the annual rainfall is received during the peak of the Kharif
season from July-September. Similar to the rainfall periods, 85%
of the flow of the Indus is received during the Kharif Season (April
to September) and the remaining 15% is received during the Rabi
season (October to March). In addition, 80% of the water in the
Kharif season is received from melt water.
Issues of Contentment
Need for a Comprehensive Water Agreement
The issue of the 12 dams is less about India’s development
assistance program in Afghanistan and more about a joint-agreement
between Pakistan and Afghanistan on the Kabul River. The two countries
attempted to draft a water treaty in 2003 and then again in 2006
however the attempts failed on both occasions due to a number of
reasons. As a result no institutionalized framework for cooperation
on the Kabul River currently exists. A comprehensive water treaty
between Afghanistan and Pakistan can help tremendously to address
disagreements between the two countries about storage capacity and
Moreover, the IWT can be used as a model to inform the Af-Pak water
treaty. Even though the IWT does not stand independent of limitations
it is considered one of the most successful water treaties in the
world, let alone the region, and it offers a better solution to
water-sharing than the absence of any treaty at all. Due to Pakistan’s
unique rights over the Kabul River, the IWT’s specifications
concerning run-of-the-river dams as opposed to conventional dams
can be used to a certain extent.
It is also important for India to be involved in Af-Pak water dialogues.
Pakistan’s dissatisfaction over the interpretation of the IWT
with regard to dam construction is often stated as an impediment
to a subsequent Af-Pak agreement on the Kabul River. It may therefore
be conducive to discuss Pakistan’s issues regarding dam-building
with both countries present. As the lower riparian for all intensive
purposes, Pakistan stands to gain a lot from a treaty.
The concluding remarks will summarize a few salient points from
this report regarding Pakistan’s water situation as a whole,
its approach to the IWT, water relations between India and Pakistan
and lastly possible measures to improve these relations.
Pakistan’s water situation is not simply predicated on water
flows from India. The low supply of water in Pakistan is largely
due to water conveyance losses, poor infrastructure, increasing
desalination, water pollution and climate change. Increased silting
in the country’s dams has led to a decrease in Pakistan’s
overall storage and hydel generation capacity. Certain biases at
the centre, have led to inter-provincial disparities in water distribution.
The lack of demand management measures has led to water wastage
in the agricultural and domestic sectors. Even climate change and
the retreating Himalayan glaciers have contributed to the water
crisis in Pakistan. Often times India is blamed for all of these
factors. It is true that the majority of Pakistan’s water resources
flow from India, however, India has no control over Pakistan’s
internal mismanagement of water resources or climatic conditions.
Pakistan’s fears about Indian manipulation of water resources
are based less on facts and more on a “lower riparian anxiety
complex”. Pakistan has recently been deemed a water scarce
country (1,000m3/capita/year), it is struggling to cope with increasing
water demand and in the midst of all this it does not want to deal
with a further reduction in its water resources. As a result, Pakistan
pushes the panic button every time India constructs a water development
project in J&K. Its objections are purely emotive with no technical
foundation. India has adhered to the IWT stipulations on water works
in J&K for the past 50 years, constructing strictly run-of-the-river
projects on the Chenab, Jhelum and the Indus Rivers, which it is
permitted to do. India is well under the storage capacities set
aside by the IWT for agricultural, power and incidental usage.
India has also been open to design changes, across the board, for
all of its projects thus far. In the case of Baglihar, India engaged
in consultations with Pakistan from 1999-2004 in order to address
Pakistani concerns. In the case of the Wullar Barrage, India made
major design changes in its 1991 draft and ultimately suspended
construction, losing several crores of rupees, due to Pakistani
objections. In the case of Kishanganga India is once again in the
midst of finding a compromise in design and process that would be
acceptable to both sides. All of these actions indicate that India
is making an effort to address Pakistan’s concerns. However,
these concerns should be valid otherwise they could seriously harm
trust relations between the two countries and affect the integrity
of the IWT.
Pakistani objections on small projects like Nimoo Bazgo, which are
designed to generate an infinitesimal amount of power – 45MW
as compared to the 969MW Neelam-Jhelum power plant – will not
only erode trust and waste manpower and resources on both sides
of the border, but this policy of blanket objections to all water
projects will hinder development in J&K and PoK. In the case
of the Tulbul project, Pakistan’s consent could assist development
in both J&K as well as PoK and this would be in the true spirit
of the future cooperation clause of the IWT, however Pakistan continues
to take an alarmist view with regard to water.
Conspiracy theories on water, propagated by the Pakistani media,
militant groups and even the political and military leadership on
Indian “water aggression” will only encourage India to
be more guarded in the dissemination of water related information.
There is a clear agenda on the part of these establishments to propound
a theory that the only way to gain complete control over Pakistan’s
water resources is to gain a foothold over J&K. As long as this
theory remains primary to the Pakistani agenda, India can never
trust that Pakistan wants to use the IWT as a tool for cooperation
rather than a tool to stall Indian water development in J&K.
Certain issues between India and Pakistan regarding dam filling
and spillway gates must be addressed once and for all so that they
do not arise again and again with each subsequent project. In addition,
some of the basic principles of the IWT and even the current disagreements
regarding its interpretation can be used to inform potential water
agreements for other Transboundary Rivers in South Asia, case in
point being the Kabul River in Afghanistan.
The Indus Water Treaty ranks as one of the most successful international
treaties on water cooperation. However, because the treaty was designed
in 1960 it does not provide for changes in water availability, increasing
demands, environmental factors and technological advancements. These
have all changed considerably since 1960 and there is a need to
strengthen and extend the IWT, particularly its sections on future
The expansion of the IWT could focus on an integrated development
plan for the conservation of the Indus Basin. India and Pakistan
can jointly set
up an organization, with representatives from both countries, whose
functions would entail identifying short term and long term supply
capacity of the basin and its integrated development, creating techniques
to mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change and setting
up infrastructure and coordinating the different technical agencies
in both governments. Development of such a plan would require a
vast amount of technical and financial resources, perhaps with the
World Bank agencies playing a lead role.
This plan would involve a creative solution to engage in issues
concerning Jammu and Kashmir. Cooperation on water will start the
wheels turning on a larger Indo-Pak peace process without burdening
it with an overtly political dimension. In the end, an integrated
water development plan may appear to be utopian as it will require
a physical and psychological paradigm shift which can be accomplished
in the form of a complete end to hostilities and a change in the
way we approach the issue of water sharing. However, there is no
alternative to such bold thinking if India and Pakistan want to
build a future based on trust, cooperation and a genuine commitment
to the social and economic development of the millions of poor in
Dimitri Devyatkin, a video-filmmaker and
writer, grew up in New York. He studied documentary film directing
in Russia, produced prize winning documentaries that were broadcast
in the US and Europe, also worked for CBS News, ABC and others.
US, Europe and Russia are deeply affected by the legacies of coerced
labor - slavery and serfdom, incarceration and concentration camps,
not boding well for the future. Who benefits?
A giant arc starts from the earliest days in Europe with the Renaissance,
the Enlightenment and the Reformation. Great shifts occurred as
large groups left their own land and went to work for others.
Previously, people in pre-industrial, medieval times worked slower
without technology but provided for themselves in fewer hours
than today, leaving more time for arts, dancing, religion and
As new geographic areas opened for possible exploitation, the
great need for manual workers could only be filled using coercive
means and earned great profits. These forms of coercion -- slavery,
serfdom, prison and bonded labor -- are precursors of the concentration
camp, the Gulag, today's prison-industrial-police complex, the
modern ghetto and mind control through the media.
Under slavery, the slave owner beats the slave to make him work.
The employer cannot beat a free laborer, but instead waits for
the worker to be hungry, so he accepts working for low pay --
earning profit for the employer.
These "Enduring Legacies" of coerced labor are
raw, unhealed scars, still rampant in our world today. In the
US, the system of chattel slavery was the ugliest manifestation.
In Russia, peasant serfdom ran almost parallel, with long-term
effects to this day. Europe benefited greatly from slavery - the
slave trade was the basis of the Industrial Revolution.
Today, Europe offers
different solutions and experiences. For example, prisons in Norway
are more humane than in either Russia or the US, while Germany
offers convicted violators systems of punishment negotiation with
the victims of their crimes.
The future is frightening in regard to coming ways of coercion
or Big Brother social control. In prisons of the future, high
technology may tip the advantage to the jailer in imposing inhuman
conditions, such as surgically implanted zappers and electronic
Will these technological fixes make a difference in maintaining
the obscene imbalance of wealth vs poverty? In the last 20 years,
the growth of income for the top .01% of America, the top 400
families, has been stupendous in the many trillions of dollars.
The top 1% of Americans own 40% of the country's wealth. The system
perpetuates an inequality that is even greater than the days of
the Pharaoh or any previous empire.
How long do people accept working so much more than necessary
for the sake of a rich boss or investor? The work provided is
worth more than is paid for it - maybe 25% more - "surplus
value" - the source of profits for the wealthy. If workers
benefit from the system themselves, they accept it. A small parasite
is tolerated if it does not eat too much. But if the parasite
gets big and demands more, it becomes a problem.
As long as there is injustice and high unemployment, unfair distribution
of essential resources in the face of conspicuous consumption,
there will be struggle. It cannot be suppressed but must be ameliorated.
Looters and rioters are ugly symptoms bred by inhuman social conditions.
Instead of police and military suppression, people need jobs to
feed their families. Only a program of widespread government employment
can solve the financial mess. Work has to be dignified, respectful
and humane. A person who works every day at an enterprise becomes
just as invested in that enterprise, as a Mercedes-driving executive
who comes in once a week to collect the earnings.
The bank used to be a normal community service, like the post
office, the doctor and the grocery store. Now they're all Big
Box mammoth enterprises. Small businesses are driven out and the
banks are all labeled Chase. On nearly every block of downtown
Manhattan, you see former small banks changed to Chase, and the
brash young bankers, their loafers up on their desks, relaxing.
Somebody seems to have benefited from the 2008 financial collapse:
"Big fish eat the little fish."
A little rebellion
now and then is a good thing, as necessary in the political world
as storms in the physical, medicine for sound health of government.
… The aristocracy of our moneyed corporations already dares
to challenge our government to a trial of strength and bid defiance
to the laws of our country.
We still accept mind
sets of the old social structure based on slavery. We are the
United States of slave owners and moneylenders. The same struggle
for which so many fought and died in the American, the French
and the Russian Revolutions, is still in effect today - the struggle
for liberty and justice, for rights of men and women, to work
for fair pay, for representation in their government. Why are
the rights of bankers and investors supreme over everyone else?
Why can't we all have free medical care, free public transportation,
free telephone, TV, media, free education, free childcare, low
priced housing, healthy food, social services?
Are we not good enough? Can have a just society in the future?
Because our society today is so corrupt and so deeply controlled
by criminal parasites, before we can attempt any serious change,
we must be ready for a virulent counter attack. We cannot beat
them with bullets against bullets. We can have contact with people's
minds and souls. There are surely more good people than monsters
I – History/Roots
A. Rise of Slavery and Serfdom as systems: Slavery before
1492 was not based on race. White-skinned blue-eyed Slavs were
enslaved by the Romans. Some former slaves reached greatness,
e.g. Aesop, a few could acquire their own freedom, and the status
of being a slave was not necessarily inherited.
The rise of chattel slavery in America and serfdom in Russia were
stages in the growth of capitalism in both countries - forms of
Africans had visited the Western Hemisphere long before Columbus,
riding strong transatlantic currents between Mali and Brazil.
Large stone heads with African features are testimony to pre-Colombian
Africans having visited Brazil. Africa had highly developed societies,
where centuries' old cultures and rich universities stood, astronomy
and surgery were practiced. They had not developed metal weaponry,
so when confronted by Europeans, they collapsed.
Chattel slavery of Africans in America began under Columbus. He
was convinced that he had discovered a new route to India. When
the so-called "Indians" - Native Americans his men had
enslaved ran away or died, Columbus returned to Europe determined
to bring enslaved Africans skilled at producing sugar and rice
and mining gold, work which Europeans could not perform in such
"Slav" means slave in Latin; Slavs from Eastern Europe
were slaves to the Romans. Slavs were ethnically native to Russia,
as were the noblemen who owned them. In old Russia, serfs "came
with the land," so they were not usually bought and sold
separately. Land had originally been distributed by the Tsar to
the nobles, whose only obligation in return was military service,
the serfs as foot soldiers, the nobles as officers. This efficient
system has led to Russia occupying one sixth the land surface
of the globe. Estates in Russia held far more slaves than the
American plantations held enslaved Africans.
Whole societies of Africans were uprooted by the Atlantic slave
trade, as if they were livestock, and transplanted violently in
the genocidal "Middle Passage," triangular sea trade.
After selling their sugar in Europe, slave traders bought enslaved
Africans, which were transported to be sold in the Americas. The
high mortality on board the slave ships richly nourished the sharks
of the Atlantic Ocean, a furious process of selection by which
only the strong survived. This may have favored people with the
sickle cell trait in their blood, as a survival mechanism in horrific
conditions, but which led to increased sickle cell anemia in generations
of the blacks who survived. Which European countries especially
benefited from the slave trade? For example, what was the basis
of the Netherlands' "Special Relationship" with the
In the gigantic open land empires of America and Russia, labor
was sorely needed. Free laborers were not reliable, and forced
labor was seen as an acceptable way to assure a sufficient supply
of workers especially in the highly profitable agricultural enterprises
of the American South and the Russian breadbasket heartland.
B. Slavery in the American Revolution
Besides the famous declarations in Boston of "No Taxation
without Representation," the American Revolution was largely
controlled by Southern slave owners, who were concerned about
preserving their "property," which meant slaves. England
seemed ready to ban slavery in 1772. In a case reported widely
on both sides of the Atlantic, James Somerset, a slave who'd been
brought to England by his master, was declared free by a British
judge, effective upon having set foot on British soil. Was continuation
of the "abominable practice" possibly a stimulus for
Revolution among America's slave owning elite? John Adams of Massachusetts
and Thomas Jefferson of Virginia made compromises with the Southern
slave owners. New York and Brooklyn in particular were heavily
dependent on slavery.
Virginia's British Governor Lord Dunmore declared slaves free
if they could reach British lines. More blacks died during the
war than whites, mostly of smallpox and starvation. Thousands
left the plantations, but most were either re-enslaved or died.
C. In the new USA, enslaved Africans, about 20% of the
population, could not vote, but they were counted for taxation
purposes in the Constitution as 3/5ths of a person, a boon when
counted as a constituent for the purpose of Congressional representation.
US federal power served to guarantee and perpetuate slavery. James
Madison, principal writer of the Constitution, was particularly
concerned with slave revolts, having lost his grandparents in
such a rebellion. Several states joined the Union for reasons
directly associated with slavery - e.g. Florida was admitted as
a slave state so owners could chase after their runaway slaves,
called "Maroons," from Georgia.
D. In Russia, with over 80% of the population serfs, the
entire economy was structured on the system of forced labor. In
Russia, military service of the serfs was provided to the State
free of charge by their owners, creating a stable, long-lasting,
hierarchical social order. Slaves were never more than one fifth
of the total American population, and only exceeded the population
of whites in a few Southern states, like South Carolina and Virginia.
Most slaves in America lived on smaller plantations, with between
20-100 individuals. Russian serfs lived on vast estates with hundreds
or thousands of inhabitants. Some estates had tens of thousands
of serfs, and absentee owners were the norm.
E. Building Empires on the backs of slaves and serfs
The expansion Westward in North America - the second "Middle
Passage," and the Russian move to the Far Eastern Siberia
were both built on captive labor. Serf and slave rebellions were
brutally suppressed and the historical evidence is still missing
in the histories of both countries.
Slavery and serfdom represented tremendous profit sources for
the owners, in both America and Russia. Slave and serf-owning
classes controlled their societies, and imposed their ways on
the governments. Profits earned from the slave trade provided
the starting capital that built Manchester, Bristol and Liverpool,
and launched the industrial revolution in Britain in the 17th
and 18th centuries. Decisions made at certain possible turning
points led to huge differences, such as Jefferson and Adams accepting
the onerous terms of the slave owners.
Slavery in the Protestant United States differed from slavery
in Catholic Latin and South America, where there was more intermarriage
and actual integration of Black, native American and whites. Latin
American culture accepts more integration than North American,
where black music, life-style, humor, even language, is markedly
divided from white. There were more slave rebellions in Latin
America than in the North.
The tremendous power and wealth generated by slavery in America
and serfdom in Russia explains why the owners insisted for so
long on maintaining the "Peculiar Institution"
- of owning other human beings.
II -- Abolitionism, Emancipation, Integration, Jim Crow,
Civil Rights, Ghettos
A. Tsar Alexander freed the serfs in 1861, but the act
was not enforced, so there was little change in society. After
the serfs were "freed," there was little immediate change
but many peasants lost their farm workplaces, and migrated to
cities and industrial areas. Russia became an industrial giant
in the 1880s with a steady flow of cheap wage labor.
B. The North's Civil War victory was due, in part, to more
effective social management, the advantages of wage-earning workers
in place of a chattel system that enabled a fast-growing early-industrial
society in the North, compared to the South. Lincoln was the only
president until Kennedy (tried) to use the government's Constitutional
power to print actual "Greenback" US Dollars issued
by the US Treasury. No other President has done so since. He openly
chose to pursue the war for monetary reasons, not for the principle
of freeing the slaves. (The Emancipation Proclamation of 1863
only applied to slaves held in rebel territories, so slaves in
other states had to wait until the 13th Amendment to the Constitution
to be freed.) Lincoln's assassination was fomented by agents,
who it seems, were hired by European banking interests. The Union
Army enforced the Emancipation of slaves in the South, making
it a reality. However, the brief period of progress in the Reconstruction
period was soon rescinded and the harsh Jim Crow post-slavery
variant set in.
Lynching became more common in former slave states after Emancipation.
Slave owners before 1863 were reluctant to destroy their slaves
for financial reasons. Capital punishment is a direct extension
of lynching; both forms of revenge rationalized as a "deterrent"
or an example for other possible felons.
and Paul Robeson were good friends in Princeton, NJ,
and they worked together publicly against lynching, which was
especially rampant in the South after World War II. Lynching
became more prevalent as some Blacks returning triumphantly
after fighting the Nazis were considered uppity and "had
to be taught a lesson." In 1947 Einstein and Robeson wrote
a piece on lynching for the New York Times Op Ed page but it
was refused for publication.
became an extension of slavery in America and serfdom in Russia.
The same overseers and the exact same methods from former plantations
morphed into the South's criminal justice system.
Wacquant, UC Berkeley: "Several 'peculiar institutions'
have operated to define, confine, and control African-Americans…
slavery, Jim Crow racism, the ghetto." We now have "the
novel institutional complex formed by the remnant of the dark
ghetto and the carceral apparatus - the super ghetto, the prison
US – lead
incarcerator in the world: The US has 1/20th of the world's
population, and 1/4 of the world's prisoners. For black males,
1 in 15 is behind bars.
With 2.4 million people in prison, the US now surpasses Russia
with the world's highest percentage of population behind bars:
one in 99 Americans.
The US is currently world leader in prisons. But until the collapse
of Soviet power, the world leadership in incarceration was the
USSR. In the 20th century millions of Soviet citizens were imprisoned
and millions died in the Gulag.
in “Gulag Archipelago” wrote that Stalin’s advisors
recommended a dual-purpose policy:
1) Round up masses of outspoken peasants on accusations they
2) Use them as free labor to build the new society
projects, the Moscow and White Sea Canals, vast apartment complexes
and factories still in use today were built by slave prison laborers
- "zeks" - in the 1930s.
III – Long term effects
We are descendants of slave/serf societies and it shows in our
mind-sets, our ways of life and forms of employment. We've inherited
a high rate of violence in society, and we use incarceration and
police violence to settle socially caused deviations. We keep
trying to solve problems by locking people up. Future trends may
Dr. Joy DeGruy
Lear, Portland State University, Post-Traumatic Slave Syndrome,
has pioneered a theory - Enslaved people suffered trauma from
the horrors of slavery; a disorder passed down from one generation
to the next. The trauma is now exhibited in slave descendants
as "adaptive behaviors" - obstacles to progress in
the African American community.
Did the natural selection
of the brutal "Middle Passage" and the daily horrors
of outright slavery, make Black people even more survival oriented?
Until the breakdown of the Black church and matriarchal society,
Blacks had a much lower suicide rate than the general population
- but now it has risen to the society norm. Black America, were
it a nation by itself, would be the 10th largest economy in the
world. Blacks are 12% of the U.S. population and they spend over
$100 billion a year as consumers and taxpayers.
The Future: New technological means of coercion - "Cattle-prod"
internal zapper chips have recently been patented that can be
implanted surgically, even without a recipient's assent, and can
be triggered from a distance to punish the person. The chips can
be inlaid in such a way that scar tissue grows over them, making
them removable only through deep surgery.
Another variant patented uses an arm-band with a needle turned
in against the wearer. Tampering with the arm-band sets off a
zapper with a knock-out drug injected to the person.
Christie, Professor of Criminology at the University of
Oslo, Norway, has done comparisons of different countries’
rates of incarceration, length of prison terms sentenced for
the same crimes, length of actual time served, demands for parole
and release, and rates of recidivism. The US and Russia rank
among the world’s highest in all categories. The Scandinavian
countries are some of the lowest. Why?
What factors make
societies like ours so concerned with dealing out harsh punishments
to citizens who disobey the rules? CIA torture techniques, black
sites, detention prisons and extraordinary renditions are the
new forms of these same forces.
Until just over a hundred years ago, there were despicable exhibitions
of live human beings - Human Zoos. As late as 1899, Zurich, Basel,
many other European and American cities had places where throngs
of people would be entertained by viewing caged human beings from
Africa perform all life functions under the glare of spectators.
Several Eskimos were brought back to New York by Robert Perry
in the early 1900s. They were housed in the top floor of the American
Museum of Natural History. When an elderly Eskimo gentleman died,
his son was consoled with a funeral and fake burial in New York,
but later the son was horrified to see his own father's body stuffed
and mounted in an exhibit in the museum.
Are we going backwards as a society? Will we return to these horrible
times of slavery and coercion or are today's versions - wage slavery,
prisons and unemployed masses - more enforceable, higher profit
and more efficient?
Portrait: Dave Evans
Chief Futurist, Cisco Innovations Practice Internet Business Solutions
A Cisco veteran of more than 21 years, Evans joined IBSG from
IT, where he most recently managed the global architecture innovations
team, focusing on IP telephony, unified messaging, wireless, networked
home, and Internet-related technologies.
Evans has a passion for applying technology innovation to real
business needs. He is also respected outside Cisco as an expert
in emerging technologies and has numerous relationships with thought
leaders, including those in the venture capital community.
Evans has garnered numerous awards and recognitions throughout
his Cisco career, including the CEO’s “Unsung Hero”
award, which he has received twice, and numerous other awards
for technology innovation and teaming.
Prior to Cisco, Evans held varied IT positions at both AMD and
MMI. Evans has pursued computer science and computer engineering
at San Jose University in San Jose, California.
Dave Evans about
the Future (Cisco HQ) - Part 1
Season Events 2011/2012
13, 2011 the
future of the Living Room
13, 2011, 18:30 - 21:15
Museum Geelvinck, Keizersgracht 633, 1017 DS Amsterdam
November 3, 2011
future of the Future
Utopia versus The
End Of The World As We Know It November
3, 2011, 18:30 - 21:15
Location: VKG, Wibautstraat 150, 1091
GR Amsterdam [ former Volkskrantgebouw building]
March 29, 2012
of Language - more than just words March 29, 2012, 18:30 - 21:15
Breakfast Club will soon announce the next events!