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The Five Elements Map
Transcript of The Five Elements Map
Control, Manipulation, re-encoding of..
Control, Manipulation, re-encoding of..
Control, Manipulation, re-encoding of..
Soil & Food
"When those that need to be regulated
write the laws to get absolute power and
absolute ownership over seed, which is life
itself, while freeing themselves of all ecological
and social responsibility of the impact of monopolies and genetically engineered seeds associated with it, we do not have just a crisis of food and agriculture, we have a crisis of democracy".
5 Multinational corporations control 75%
of all seeds available on the world market
Top 10 food companies own 70% of
"Who controls the seeds
has the global control
Seed Sovereignty (
Food Sovereignty (
Water Sovereignty (
Land Sovereignty (
Who controls energy controls weapons, food, clothes, medicines, transportations...
The US Military is the single largest consumer of energy in the world
In 2006 Air Force consumed around 2.6 billion gallons of jet-fuel which which is the same amount of fuel US airplanes consumed during WWII (between December 1941 and August 1945
An F-16 jet on a training mission ignites more fuel in a single hour than the average car owner consumes in 2 years
It costs between $20,000 and &30,000 of fuel per hour to fly an F-16
Oil accounts for nearly 80% of total Department of Defense energy consumption, followed by electricity (11%), natural gas and coal. Less than 4% of the DoD'S.
Water, Climate, Energy
Water scarcity already affects every continent.
Around 1.2 billion people, or almost one-fifth of the world's population, live in areas of physical scarcity, and 500 million people are approaching this situation. Another 1.6 billion people, or almost one quarter of the world's population, face economic water shortage (where countries lack the necessary infrastructure to take water).
Utah NSA Data Center experienced severe
electricity problems in October 2013 and now
there is a big secret on how much water is using for refrigerating the computers...
Water has become the most commercial product of the century
Water is to the 21st century, oil was to the 20th century
Rising population and changing lifestyles have increased the need of fresh water
The consequences of the decline in water supply are Water Wars
Approximately 98% of our water is salty and only 2% is fresh
Of that 2%, almost 70% is snow and ice, 30% is groundwater, less than 0.5% is surface water and less that 0.05 is in the atmosphere
Climate change has several effects on these proportions on a global scale
"Current technologies that will mature over the next 30 years
will offer anyone who has the necessary resources the ability to modify weather patterns and their corresponding effects, at least on the local scale. Current demographic, economic and environmental trends will create global stresses that provide the impetus necessary for many countries or groups to turn this weather-modification ability into a capability".
Weather as a Force Multiplier; Owning the Weather in 2025
", US Air Force Research Paper, 2006)
"The goal of the CIA-backed NAS study is to conduct a:
" technical evaluation of a limited number of proposed geoengineering techniques" according to the NAS website. Scientists will attempt to determine which geoengineering techniques are feasible and and try to evaluate the impacts and risks of each (including "national security concerns").
One proposed geoengineering method the study will look at is solar radiation management - a fancy term for pumping particles into the stratosphere to reflect incoming sunlight away from the planet. In theory, solar radiation management could lead to a global cooling trend that might reverse, or at least slow down, global warming.
The study will also investigate proposals for removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.”
(CIA Backs $630,000 Scientific Study on Controlling Global Climate, 2013)
“We’re moving on to other ways of managing the ionosphere, which the HAARP was really designed to do,” he said. “To inject energy into the ionosphere to be able to actually control it. But that work has been completed.”
(David Walker, deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force for science)
Who controls codes controls memory, media, education… and viceversa
Who governs the Internet
Climate, Weapons & Geopolitics
What is biocultural diversity and why we should care
Digital representation and knowledge control
Standards, cultures, and code hegemony
The geopolitcs of the network
Margins strike back: southern and local epistemologies
Plan of the Talk
Diversity in both nature and culture
Languages, cultures, knowledge and ecosystems are interdependent
Tropical forests are home to over half of the world's plant and animal species
The "converging extinction crisis"
Indigenous peoples and local communities are affected most directly by the loss of biocultural diversity
Why is Biocultural Diversity important?
It’s (among other things!) a matter of
The loss of cultural and linguistic diversity represents a drastic reduction of our collective human heritage (“extinction of experience”)
We are losing both the rich biodiversity that supports humanity and all other species, and the wealth of traditional knowledge that helps sustain biodiversity
It’s a matter of survival: biocultural diversity is Earth’s life insurance…
A biodiversity hotspot is a biogeographic region with a significant reservoir of biodiversity that is under threat from humans
Around the world, 35 areas qualify as hotspots
They represent just 2.3% of Earth’s land surface, but they support more than 50% of the world’s plant species as endemics and nearly 43% of bird, mammal, reptile and amphibian species as endemics
The map of hotspots overlaps with the map of the natural places that most benefit people…
“This disturbing map is from the Pentagon’s new war on terror; part of their new, more aggressive strategy under the Bush presidency. (…) what is interesting about it is that it contains these regions marked out with dotted lines, called the boundary of the non-integrated gap, which end up encompassing the center of the world. The heartland and origin of civilization is now defined as the non-integrated gap, that’s where we all came from.” (Bowker 2010)
The Reality Show
and linguistic diversity
Areas of high biodiversity also abound in linguistic diversity
The world is undergoing a massive extinction crisis of human languages and cultures
“The accelerating extinction of languages on a global scale has no precedent in human history... It is happening much faster making species extinction rates look trivial by comparison” (Harrison 2007)
“An estimated $85 billions in profits per year is made by pharmaceutical companies on medicines derived from plants first known to indigenous peoples for their healing properties”
Eroding Human Knowledge Base
Index of Linguistic Diversity (ILD) shows that since 1970 there has been a 20% decline in global linguistic diversity
Along with the erosion of linguistic diversity comes the erosion of the
traditional environmental knowledge
(TEK) encoded in the languages
The trend in the loss of global linguistic diversity closely mirrors the trend in the loss of global biodiversity
for the same period of time
This is another indication that what happens with diversity in nature goes hand in hand with what happens in diversity in culture
Lost Words, Lost Knowledge
Knowledge is fragile and may be lost in translation
This is particularly true for cultures without writing
Languages package and structure knowledge in particular ways
A single word may reflect generations of close observation of the natural world
As languages fall out of use into forgetfulness, entire genres of oral tradition – stories, songs, epics – rapidly approach extinction
Entire worldviews, religious beliefs, creation myths, observation about life, technologies for how do domesticate animals and cultivate plants, histories of migration and settlement, and collective wisdom
But we may loose also even more…
“our mother tongue radically influences the act of perception itself and the image of the world it derives from…”
Vanishing Cultural Heritages
What does it mean to be human?
"Hunting and nomadism are neither backward nor primitive, but intelligent and conscious choices" (Harris 2007)
Primitive vs. primordial: "those who live the essence of the human being"
Is our future our past?
Is Human Diversity still
possible o desirable?
Cultural diversity is as necessary for humankind as biodiversity is for nature. (…) Cultural pluralism gives policy expression to the reality of cultural diversity. Indissociable from a democratic framework, cultural pluralism is conducive to cultural exchange and to the flourishing of creative capacities that sustain public life. (
Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity
AUS, CA, NZ, US voted against the UN
Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People
. They have their origins as colonies of the United Kingdom, and have large non-indigenous immigrant majorities and small remnant indigenous populations
The Constitution of Ecuador
(2008) is the first in the world to recognize legally enforceable Rights of Nature [Pacha Mama], or ecosystem rights. Article 71-74 prohibits the extraction of non-renewable resources in protected areas
The Rights of Diversity
Digital representation and knowledge control
“All forms of communication imply a bias” (Innis 1951)
Geopolitical / institutional hegemony
Semiotic / linguistic hegemony
“The control of standards is a central feature of economic life… classifications and standards are material, as well as symbolic.” (Bowker & Leigh Star 1999)
“Any attempt to create an obligatory system of classification, rigid and universal, will result in residual categories (…) It is necessary to root the awareness of what happens every time one tries to standardize. In other words, in this creation there is someone who wins and someone who loses. (Leigh Star 2006)
Standard VS Culture?
"What matters more, the ‘languages’ of computers, the meta-linguistic codes and algorithms of electronic communication which are revolutionizing almost every facet of knowledge and production, of information and projection, are founded on a sub-text, on a linguistic ‘pre-history’, which is fundamentally Anglo-American (in the ways in which we may say that Catholicism and its history had a foundational Latinity). Computers and data-banks chatter in ‘dialects’ of an Anglo-American mother tongue." (Steiner 1998)
Linguistic hegemony and global powers
Who does control standards?
Board of Directors
So, in Indic scripts aspects of a graphic nature prevail over the reading order of the graphemes. Unicode experts argue that Indic scripts are represented in its system according to a “logical scheme” that ignores “typographic” details (Perri 2009)
The encoding bias
“But why on earth should the order of characters corresponding to the phonetic segment be considered logical by an Indian literate? Who says that the linearity of Saussure’s alphabetic signifier should play a role in his writing practices?
It is therefore all too evident that the alphabetic filter, the rendering software and the automatic process of normalization of Indic scripts are the result of a choice that reflects the need for structural uniformity as opposed to the emic cultural practices of the real user” (Perri 2009)
The Encoding Bias
“In Unicode – an idealist, abstract, Platonic standard – there is a clear distinction between the abstract character – which is the thing that Unicode provides a code for – and the glyph, or image, of the character.”
“When a symbol is to some degree iconopoeic, it is even less possible, less defensible, to divorce the abstract entity from its visual manifestation.”
Texts have a material and graphic dimension… in other words, design is information. (Walsh – Hooper 2012)
A Platonic Standard
Writing is not simply a sequence of characters!
Markup evolved from early Word Processors
Markup languages (SGML, XML…) are hierarchical but texts aren’t really
Markup represents one perspective (interpretation?) of the text
Markup is unable to record variation adequately
The more you mark up your document, the less you visualize...
Can we really represent our cultural written heritage in the future with a tool that is rooted in the past?
Markup VS Cultural Diversity
Controlling the development of HTML means:
Masters of the Web
What is this?
Manila Folder comes from banana tree from the Philippines
Where we can find it?
In all american offices starting from the '60..
On our deskstops from the introduction of GUI, Mac, and later Windows.
It is the metaphor of the virtual filing cabinet
Does it loook like ‘our’ folders?
What does have to do with writing?
Digital Interfaces and Culture
“Kiss my butt is a rude way of saying, ‘Be quiet’, or ‘Leave me alone’...”)
Visual digital interfaces
Second Life traps...
The largest providers, known as tier 1 providers, have such comprehensive networks that they never purchase transit agreements from other providers
As of 2013 there are only seven tier 1 providers in the telecommunications industry
Current Tier 1 carriers include: Level 3 Communications, TeliaSonera International Carrier, CenturyLink, Vodafone, Verizon, Sprint, and AT&T Corporation
“Everything private is now done, potentially, in public – and is potentially available to public consumption; and remains available for the duration, till the end of time (…)
“This erosion of anonymity is a product of pervasive social media services, cheap cell phone cameras, free photo and video web-hosts, and perhaps most important of all, a change in people’s views about what ought to be public and what ought to be private”
“The choice between the public and the private is slipping out of people’s hands, with the people’s enthusiastic co-operation and deafening applause”
The Geopolitcs of
ETH Zurich 2011 study shows that “transnational corporations form a
structure and that a large portion of control flows to a small tightly-knit core of financial institutions”
This core can be seen as an economic “
147 tightly knit companies - all of their ownership was held by other members of the super-entity – control
40 per cent
of the total wealth in the network
Less than 1 per cent
of the companies are able to control 40 per cent of the entire network
The top 20 included
Barclays Bank, JPMorgan Chase & Co, and The Goldman Sachs Group
(with some suggestions on possible alternatives)
We need to develop some key analytical tools:
- sociology of absences (fight monocultures of knowledge)
- sociology of emergences (map the marginal diversities)
- ecology of knowledges (preserve and defend alternative way of thinking)
- intercultural translation (increase mutual understanding)
The transformation of the worlds epistemological diversity into an empowering instrument against hegemonic globalization points to a new kind of bottom-up cosmopolitanism
It would promote a wide conversation of humankind, celebrating conviviality, solidarity, and life against the logic of market-ridden greed and individualism and the destruction of life to which world populations large and small are condemned by the dominant forces of globalization
How can we survive epistemicide?
"All knowledge is local" (Bowker 2010)
Western Modernity provided the knowledge underlying the long cycle of colonialism followed by global capitalism
These historical processes profoundly devalued and marginalized the knowledge and wisdom that had been in existence in the global South
Today, working against epistemicide is imperative in order to recover and valorize the epistemological diversity of the world
«There is no global social justice without global cognitive justice» (De Sousa Santos 2007)
Knowledge is action not only with respect to power in society but also with respect to the object of research
After the knowledge process the object will never be the same
The role of codes and languages in shaping these processes is crucial
“The evocative character of language and its vague, ambiguous status introduces uncontrolled leaps of meanings, metaphors, and the pre-scientific arguments” (Evelyn Fox Keller)
Knowledge is Action!
Almost 1/3 of symbols encode teletype symbols and not text!
They were adapted to provide a user interface to early mainframe computers and minicomputers, sending typed data to the computer and printing the response
ASCII developed from telegraphic codes. Its first commercial use was as a seven-bit teleprinter code promoted by Bell data services
- Where does it come from?
American Standard Code for Information Interchange
- But what does ASCII mean?
Most commonly used web languages, like HTML e XML, are still based on the 126 symbols of the ASCII table
ASCII old style (126 characters) was the encoding standard of the Net until 2007
- Google (1 member)
- IBM (1)
- IMS - Appature (1)
President of the Executive Office: Mark Davies, Google engineer since 2006
UC Berkley is the only educational organization (Technical officers)
How Google Represents Culture?
But who does own those who own us?
Standards vs biocultural diversity
- Code Hegemony
- To determine how texts and information on the Web can be searched and connected, making the definitive migration from a search for documents to a search for data
- Controlling competition between the types of software used to access the Web
- Controlling mobile applications that can now compete at the same level as desktop applications, without being forced to adopt or implement competing solutions
Facial expressions / gestures available on:
- Boo (disappointment, fear)
- Excuse me (?)
- Kiss my Butt (...?)
Project Coordinator --- Domenico Fiormonte
Editing --- Valeria Pizzichini
Graphic Designer --- Eleonora Marangoni
The State of Power 2015
Six Corporations Control the Media in USA
Languages of the World
Linguistic and Cultural Diversity
Linguistic Rights and Linguistic
The Politcs of Code
Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity
BRICS and the Internet
Who Owns the Owners?
Global Empires - Financial Might
World Crude Oil Reserves
World Largest Oil and Gas Companies
The US Military and Energy
Global Food Crisis
Behind the Brands
The Law of the Seed
Vandana Shiva on Earth Democracy
The World According to Monsanto
UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People
Forests Facts (
Animal Species across the Globe
Tribal People's Right
The Constitution of Ecuador
Geoengineering and Climate Change
Owning the Weather in 2025
Climate and Corporations
The Business of Controlling Global Climate
Water Statitics Indicator
Water Scarcity Index
Water Availabitly and Changing Climate
NSA and Water
cover much of the tropics, indicating a huge number of species. The world’s high latitudes and its deserts are blue, indicating relatively low vertebrate diversity
Knowledge is Action in Orissa, India
(Team for Human Resource Education and Action for Development) - training centre
A network of 2240 tribal ecovillages
Working on the common lands
Sharing the production
Building seed banks and rice banks
Common savings deposit for emergency
Interchange of best practices, ideas, future perspectives at the weekly district market
Stress on education
Nari Samaj women’s group, a federation of 54 tribal women's organizations In Orissa campaigning against OGM