Category Archives: Roboeconomy

A Roboeconomic Response to Carbon Warming

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The Roboeconomy is the economy that is technologically advanced but does not use fossil fuels. It doesn’t use nuclear energy either, it basically does not soil its own nest or externalize lethal factors. It uses solar, wind, geothermal, wave energy, fusion maybe. It is different from the fossil credit economy we are in today, because there is no way to centralize power by centralizing the distribution of credit and energy.

The choice is simple, but we are on borrowed time

The banks and centralized energy producers are mutually dependent and create the illusion that money buys anything anywhere. Even though this is not true (the money only buys stuff where it can be supplied) cash has a lot of power as a result. You can still use USD almost anywhere, the bills will find their way, flow towards places where they can be used to buy stuff, because they are usually more valuable than the local currency (which will flow in the opposite direction). In the Roboeconomy there will be no global currency, at least not in the beginning.

The roboeconomy is characterized by having and using less currency of any kind, simply because one of the primary reasons money flows will be eliminated. Right now when you buy a product you have to pay for the fossil ‘content’ of it, for the fossil consumption of whoever was involved in the production. If today you don’t pay in a currency that buys fossil fuels you simply can’t get the product or service. When less energy needs to be bought by the producers the costs drop and they will also require less payment.

Picture a solar electric logistic system that has barely any maintenance and does its job nearly automatically. That will drop the cost of shipping, of supplying to manufactureres, and thus the overal cashflow and need for currency. It will also be competitive in the ‘market’ but it will not make banks happy, because banks see less money flow, less need for credit. Eventually all need for credit and currency will dry up, as every step in the logistics system becomes renewable energy autonomous and fully automated (including maintenance).

Todays response of our economic system to this threat of losing returning (fossil fuel credit) customers is to propose to use another fuel, hydrogen or natural gas in the interim. Smart people skip that step and go electric, and invest in solar and battery storage. Simply because then you are closest to done for the next millenia and you can focus on optimization of a system you know. Of course we will see many innovations, the more when banks get weaker and can’t coordinate the suppression of disruptive patents anymore. But view all your production costs as something that can be eliminated by the application of renewable energy sources and you are a Roboeconomist.

The way to view the climate situation is to think “This is a great opportunity to use the solar radiation that will be abundant to bring comfort instead of drought and heat”. You are not supported by the current economic system in that thought. You are supposed to ignore it, buy a bigger airconditioner, go on holiday, shop till you drop. This is all simply an attempt to keep selling fossil fuel based products and services. If you know better you look for the golden lining, and not in cities, not in places where the concentration of money is high and leading, but in the other places.

Take the coast of Mauritania, its desolate and dry, it has some salt mines, pretty stubborn people who don’t like infidels. If you can keep potential ideologist at bay you can start a new city on the coast, you will have no problem desalinating the water with high efficiency (ionic, freeze) desalination methods. No shortage of sun to cool your compound, which you preferably build under ground or recessed. Can be out of the sand of the deserts you find there, the sun can melt that sand into anything you want. Can you grow crops in a partially shaded space? Sure. Can you maintain systems semi autonomously? Of course. Global logistics is a for profit activity, not a necessity!

If I had more cloud I would start pulling on thin film solar production. It is not happening, and it seems this is because silicon solar just generates more cashflow. Lithium batteries keep dominating because they generate more cashflow, this is evident. Using the lightest possible battery for home storage is a waste of its utility in vehicles. Roboeconomists must put pressure on companies, banks, industry, polticians to produce things in the most energy efficient way. Reverse Osmosis desalination is nonsense if you want to utilize the available energy optimally. You are pressing water through a sive to get out the salts, while if you freeze the water the salts will be pushed out by the watercrystals themselves. Saves 60%+ of the energy, so you can desalinate 40%+ more.

The above may sound like a list of random technologies but the author of this has had~15 years to observe new innovations being sidelined both by lack of investment and ‘over’ investment and by time, because people grow old and run out of steam. This has all been to protect products that performed well for the banks and energy companies (generated energy cashflow) but sucked for future generations and most life on Earth. Take the SUV, unweidy, unsafe. Basically just a way to extract more fuel profit from rich people. Same principle as “Hey you need a fidget spinner”. Nobody needed them, they waste metal, energy, time. But they generated profit for banks and producers.

To respond like a roboeconomist start making the factors for wealth operational : Produce energy, increase skills or automate, make materials available for others or recycle them for yourself.

When will peak Civilisation happen?

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We live in an accomplished world today. In the developed world you can recieve medical care second to none in known history. We can (with some drawbacks) fly anywhere, although the umbrella of security once enforced by the USA seems to be degrading fast. One can say that in the period that the International court of Justice and human rights enjoyed wide support we have seen the best we will achieve. From now on, due to climate change and peak fossil fuels, nature’s degradation etc. it is all going to be downhill.

Quite a depressing thought that Millenials might be the generation that grew up in the peak of what humanity had to offer. Quite arrogant also to pretend to be able to determine that. There are many who do. They argue we are to much people on this planet, we need to throttle back. They see resources running out, as do we, but why do they not see the clear dawn of something better than we can imagine today?

Technology is not at its peak, especially technology that can make the use of fossil fuels redundant. They flared up after the oil crisis and because of alarming analysis regarding the climate in the 70’s. The first large scale solar power plants where being build. Since then big oil and banks have steadily burried all kinds of technology, from low energy desalination to alkaline metal solar thermal power generation. You won’t know, but we do. Even today the breakthrough for shipping is the application of Lithium Ion batteries. Of course ships don’t need light batteries, but heavier Potassium Ion batteries have been burried or moved to research limbo.

So one reason to expect improvement (if we can beat fossil and banks) is because we have technology we are not using. If we use the technology a lot becomes possible, near zero cost desalination and irrigation for instance.

Another reason why we think we are not near the peak of human civilization is that there is so much more energy to harvest from renewable sources than we squeeze out of fossil fuels today. It is 2500 times as much each year. We can run 2500 world economies in terms of manipulation, logistics, internet, construction etc. etc. And we are only doing one (1) now, and a very inefficent one for that matter.

Another reason is that robotic systems are developing at an accelerated pace, due to advanced modelling, 3d printing, neodynium magnets etc. AI is a component of that, better understanding of engineering and materials is another. We are close to mass production of usefull robots, not toys, with inbuild safe behaviour and easy interfaces.

Other technologies like quantum computing and pharmaceutical labs on a chip are not even needed to improve the lives of billions. The main obstacle is that there is no goal to do so, there is reasoning from a ‘100% renewables’ perspective in 2050 maybe, because the fossil fuel industry and banks keep politics ‘well oiled’ and humanity impatient or distracted. The fossil industry and banks are not only the problem because they keep us from responding to climate change faster and stronger, they also push forwards, maybe even out of our lifetimes, the benefit of plentifull renewables.

We can see clearly that EVs are now much better than combustion cars, and we also know that GM killed its EV program 20 years ago. What if it hadn’t? Where would we be now. How much faster would LithiumIon batteries have dropped in price? What would that have meant for the world economy? Electric trucks? Not only less emissions, but also less running costs. More wealth per human manhour spend toiling (which may be a good performance indicator, even though its a subjective one).

If we are pessimistic about the future it is because we do not know what our options are. Once we do we can see we need to get this fossil industry under strict control or it will keep delaying improvements in our lives we need. We need energy to deal with climate change, we need energy to produce food and comfort for the elderly. Fossil fuels are like an annoying guest that never leaves, a bad family member that guilt trips you with all kinds of social issues to distract you from seeing them out the door.

Renewables are dropping in price so fast that some calculate the US could be on 90% solar and wind in 2035. But why not 200%? Also you have to make them with renewables, not with fossil fuel, to be absolutely sure.

The position should be : Good al this luxury and fine you want me to consume etc. But lets also maximize the growth of the renewable energy sector and use batteries, solar and wind at every turn. The more we do the less everything will cost, at least, if you keep fossil and banks out of cooking the numbers!

Become a Roboeconomist

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We all know the story of the faxmachine : At first there where no fax machines and people said “Why would I buy a fax machine, I can send nothing to nobody”. But from the few owners the use of faxes grew and soon they where a necessary part of every office. This dynamic has repeated itself over and over again in other situations, the use of phones, the growth of Paypall (which was driven by investments).

Roboeconomics, with its simple principles must compete with the current economic doctrine (which gives energy no special role and relies on fossil fuel credit to work). There is only one Roboeconomist now, namely me as far as I know. Thomas Piketty or Kate Raworth are just moving the deck chairs around, in a counterproductive manner. They are promoted for a reason, they create a bank-protecting narrative for people to jostle with while banks go about their business as usual.

Wealth = Energy x Skills x Materials

The disruptive concept of an economy build entirely on renewables, and what this means for credit creation needs promotion too. The starting point is a redefinition of “Wealth”, “Capital” and “Money” and a rethink of what it takes to create it.

What is Wealth

Wealth is what people need and enjoy in their lives. Food is wealth, clean water is wealth, a nice home is wealth. Wealth is subjective, and what counts as wealth differs from person to person. Wealth can satisfy a person, and make him/her require no more resources to be happy. The goal of human activity is to create and enjoy wealth.

What is Capital

Capital is what you use to create wealth. A hammer is capital when you use it to build a bed or table, something people need or enjoy. Capital can be a machine that weaves cloth or a truck that moves products around. Capital can also mean knowledge and understanding. An expert on breeding plants is capital. A computer that can optimize designs is capital. Even a myth can be capital, so a fantasy in the minds of people can be used to produce wealth. Christianity in Germany is capital for example, it dictates a person has to work hard to serve God.

What is Money

Money is a token for exchange, nothing more , nothing less. It solves timing issues (the thing offered is not available when it can be accepted) in trade. Money only works if capital or wealth exists. Because of this function money can help organize activities that would otherwise be impossible, like having airlines and railsystems.

Banks like to call money capital, and say they are capitalist because they create money against assets. They also like to call money wealth, and try to make you believe people with a lot of money are very wealthy. But if the owners of wealth and capital refuse to part with it for the money of the bank, there is no way that money can pretend to be either.

Because banks know they are lying, they must put people into debt. Debt ensures the need for money. Without any debt in society, wealth and capital would be enough to make it work, the time buffering function of money can be replaced by simple IOUs or shares. We could all have railroad shares and enable a railroad system we could all use when we needed to. Of course normally this would be arranged by the biggest organization, the government, through taxes (this was the primary purpose of government besides protection).

The Relation between Money and Energy

The biggest insight that is necessary to understand Roboeconomics is that money allocates energy in our economy, mainly fossil energy. If you use money to buy a product or service, your money will eventually be used to buy energy. Even if you buy an apple from a biological farmer he/she probably used a tractor, and your money is going towards some diesel for that tractor. This specific trade, your ‘time delay token’ vs. fossil energy, is both the core of our economy and its biggest problem.

Why is it a problem? Because nobody makes fossil energy, it is found and used up, no new fossil energy is created like apples or cars or musical compositions. It is a one way process, find fossil fuel, get it to the ‘market’, trade it for money, burn it, find more fossil fuels. Until there are none to be found (in theory). We all pretend we work, but we should consider how much of our work is done by fossil fuel, how much we use it. This is like a crutch we walk with, we do not realize we can not walk at all without it, because it gives us no discomfort to use it (although smog and a dying planet).

When we think we need money, we really need fossil fuel money, because that never comes back if we spend it. If we where a 18th century town with five people, farmer, baker, butcher, tailor, doctor, we could keep each other alive with NO money. But today that would be impossible. We would all need energy for plowing, baking, cooling, sowing (not much but ok) and production of pharmaceuticals, we would ask customers for money because we could not buy supplies with credit that can’t buy fossil fuels.

The Roboeconomy sees a Light

The above has consequences :

  • The power of banks is based on the availability of fossil fuels.
  • Distributed renewable energy (RE) threaten banks
  • Own renewable energy and you can create wealth freely
  • The potential to RE wealth creation far exceeds that of our current system (2500 times!)

The Roboeconomy is about focussing on this wealth, to start organizing the combination of renewable energy, skills and materials to create wealth, preferably without any involvement of banks or outside trade (so called Extraeconomics). In the current economy pure debt free RE wealth creation results in accumulation of money without having a use for it.

About the Formula for Wealth

The formula for wealth is:

Wealth = Energy x Skills x Materials

Let’s explain the terms, so we can see it is a general formula.

The term Energy can mean manpower, solar or wind electricity, or solar heat or nuclear power or fossil fuel energy. To make a car you need to manipulate the materials (say stainless steel) in such a way it takes the shape of a chassis in all its details. The steel resist this manipulation and this requires energy to overcome. To make a cake in an oven the ingredients need to be heated to undergo chemical changes, that requires heat energy. But the mixing of the ingredients with a machine required electricity, and the loading of the machine by a baker burned metabolic glucose.

The term Skills is also general, it means the ability to choose actions to achieve a specific outcome. A skilled racecar driver is faster around the track with the same car than an unskilled driver. It is the ability to link actions in sequences, to recognize choices that need to be made, to recognize a target is not yet reached. People have skills, but machines can have skills as can computers. You need skills to create wealth, because wealth is not random. A man can create a beautifull graden or grow crops, and create wealth, but without the ability to choose his actions to reach these outcomes he would not succeed. If you consider a paperclip wealth the machine making them embodies skills as it succeeds in bending and cut a wire to make it, a sequence of specific actions. We are close to an age in which AI is so potent it will be able to imagine and create almost anything we ask it to, so ‘skills’ will become widely available.

The term materials is also general. Materials can be any input into a production process. It can be ore for steel or water to make ice cubes or old clothes to make paper. You could come across a situation where wealth itself is a material, to be recycled. Old sneakers still usefull could be recycled into new ones. Crumms of a cake can be fed to pigs to make pork.

There is a fine line between what can be used as a material and what is wealth, this is one of the biggest problems if your energy source is fossil fuels and you have banks. Because banks want to see cashflow they promote the use of fossilfuels to turn materials into wealth. They call it ‘economic growth’ and ‘the economy’. It is a destructive process. This results in wild unsustainable raising of natural materials from places that are expensive to reach. This happens because the cost of fossil fuels is arbitrary. For a plane or containership the cost of fuel is set such that it can fly and travel. In our current economy the goal is maximize fossil credit cashflow, NOT WEALTH. Banks don’t mind creating massive debt in order to secure their cashflow, they know nobody can really repay for the buring of fossil fuels. Banks or ‘the economy’ do not care about anything else.

What is a material and what is not in the roboeconomy is decided by those that enjoy the wealth, as wealth is only recognizable by people that enjoy it or dream about it. Wealth is what is being maximized, not cashflow. Money is created at the RE energy sources and distributed by the state or owner of the energy source. Excluding non renewables, leaving everything free but only monitoring average reported wealth per capita can be enough to make the Roboeconmy work. This can be an objective metric (of a subjective experience) because there is no pressure to sell anything to anyone as cashflow is not important. This is a stark contrast with today where there is immense pressure to sell fossil fuels by the banks and fossil fuel producers.

Steps Towards the Roboeconomy

  • More renewable energy sources
  • Reduction of debt by bankruptcies (denial of bank control)
  • More debt free energy, materials and skills
  • Creation of wealth in small ‘Extraeconomic’ systems
  • Creation of RE based communities outside the fossil logistic network

If the above makes sense to you you can become a roboeconomist. Working with the basic principles you will find that there need to be no dense cities, in fact they are problematic. RE can be produced almost anywhere, and so can wealth especially if you embody skills in robots or automated systems. If materials are a prerequisite for wealth then it makes sense ot create more, meaning plant more trees, clean up nature, recycle plastic, etc. etc. The Roboeconomy is about maximizing wealth, and a gorgeous planet thriving with life is wealth. The upside is that it is now achievable with very little effort.

Don’t Fight them, Ignore them

The arch enemy is anyone that promotes business as usual, fossil credit creation, ‘economism’, that wants you to envy rich people or be angry if someone steals a lot of money. That is all banks dangling a promise in front of your eyes, a promise they count on you to fullfill! Ignore them, focus on the factors of wealth and build an independent network that serves you, not banks or fossil fuel companies. It is the state of the future, no matter how long the fossil/banking pressure on politics will surivive, eventually it will give in. The trick they use is to distract you in a million ways, with pain and pleasure, so you don’t realize you can be the master of your fate without them. You may realize it now, and start to practice this knowledge to your advantage..

Money in the Roboeconomy or How ‘Teslas’ Could Become the Global Currency

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Many are after money. It seems like money is some kind of magic tool that can conjure up anything you like. In many places this is more or less true today, but it is because those that you pay want you to feel like this (Amazon for example), not because there is some intrinsic mechanism to 1. make stuff and 2. to get stuff where it needs to be.

Money is just a token. It fixes one problem in the economy : That you may need something when you don’t want to realy part with something. If you have something you want to trade today, but need nothing (or need something that is only available next week) you accept money because you know it will work to get you what you want next week. This is how money is said to be “a store of value”. This is a mistake, it is not. If nothing is available to buy with your money next week, the money is worthless.

Another thing about money is that it does not solve the delivery of what you want to buy. This is essential for trade. If you are in a desert and you have $1000, it will have no value at all. Whatever you order from that desert has to come to you, which adds cost, the more remote you are the less value your $1000 has. Logistics is often associated with trade, but it has to be associated with money. It is an essential requirement for money to function.

We barely notice the weaknesses of money today because fossil fuels for logistics is kept dirt cheap. This is the “well oiled machine” fossil fuels created. We order something online and it comes with ‘free shipping’. This is of course a huge enabler of trade. It is also an illusion. Container ships produce massive emissions, require incredible amounts of fuel. Some shipping companies (Maersk) own their own oil wells. All this is to keep the illusion alive that wherever you are, your $100 bill will buy you something.

The downside of this illusion is that large regions of the world remain unused. This is because before anything can happen anywhere there needs to be a road and a gasstation. The (fossil) energy needs to be there so people can move stuff and trade. Fossil fuels are connecting all productive members of the economy, not only consumers and producers. Because this is a hassle we have factories and cities and towns, where we concentrate wealth creation so the cost (and human effort) involved is minimized. Also to protect the human lives but that is a lesser concern in most of Europe.

From the above it is easy to conclude that our current financial system is fundamentally married to the fossil energy sector. It has a nice trick it pulls on us. It borrows money to us, and we buy fuel with it to move ourselves and our products around. This absorbs a certain percentage into the fossil industry accounts, but we still have to pay back what we borrowed. We never can, and so banks gain ownership as the weak playrs in the system go bankrupt, The economy is a system that continuously increases the control of banks.

In the Roboeconomy money’s weaknesses will be exposed. Money can only be a token of exchange if its relationship with energy for logistics is somehow neutralized. A renewable energy producer should be allowed to create credit so people can buy its energy in the future. But the further you get away from the energy source the more energy has to be produced to deliver the same amount to the customer. Also the energy needs to be transported. This means that economic activity will happen close to renewable energy sources and along existing energy distribution networks.

On the other hand, renewables allow new centers of activity to sprout up in places that have enough renewable energy potential, such as our deserts. There will be a critical mass of economic skills and materials needed to make it work, but when those two conditions are met there is no reason to doubt a community can grow almost anywhere, on land or at sea. This is a great positive effect of moving on from a fossil basis of world trade to a renewable one. At the same time the pressure to trade will drop significantly, because banks are no longer able to rake in control over assets. The world will become many seperate communities creating wealth to their best abilities. Of course any technology can be used to do it, robots, AI, computers.

In such a world there could be a new system, created to bring comfort to travellers. It can be a lot like the Starbucks and Burger Kings we see wherever we (pre covid) used to fly. The simple fact is that although every place may need a different exact energy input to produce certain kinds of wealth (say a capucino), if the energy source is dirt cheap (like solar panels already are) then you can deliver the wealth for a currency that you can use with establishments set up this way. The total independence of say a Starbucks or fast food chain from a fossilcredit and logistics system would make it a super stabile entity in the experience of people moving around.

If you imagine Tesla setting up charing points all over the globe, where you can buy 1 kwh for 2 ct or something, put it in your car, drive home, power your home (in one of these remote places) etc. Then Tesla could use its own currency to deliver that energy, and a real productive economy could grow on the basis of that currency. Earning enough Tesla’s to power an electric plane to fly you to Baghdad (where the big covered pools and gardens are) would be a motivator to create wealth for others as a citizen. This is exactly what banks do : They provide the illusion that our money has a fixed value everywhere, and that we can save it. We find comfort in that illusion, and we work because we believe we can experience wealth in the future (from our savings). Sadly banks are lying, because they are using fossil fuel as a basis, and this is bothe a finite and toxic resource to use.

Who Owns the Land? Who makes the Rules?

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We are born on this planet the same way we where born a thousand years ago. With less casualties amongst mothers and babies but otherwise the process has not changed. You may think that’s a wierd thing to accentuate, but other things have definitely changed. One of them is that the freedom of a newborn has been drastically reduced. The freedom of the parent in an EU country is also highly limited, maybe most so in the most wealthy member states. For one, when you are born, you are landless.

Even a farmer that welcomes a new son or daughter, is highly unlikely to be owner of his land. He is paying a bank for all kinds of equipement and the bank took the land as asset to loan against. Rich people can really own stuff, but barely ever permanently. The vast majority of people are allowed to own some land, sometimes in an organized way. Rural countries like France do allow you to own land, but the use of it is stricktly managed. The point I try to make here is that most people do not own the means to survive.

Wealth is a result of combining skills, energy and raw materials. In its most atomic form these conditions are met by a farmer that works the land. Banks worked to intermediate this process, and both the ‘farmer’ and the ‘land’ suffer.

That is a significant difference with 1000 years ago. Then all life hinged on hard work, and there where a lot of ways to earn your keep. The daily energy expense of people was 3000 Calories, what they needed to live. Now it is much more than that, because of all the modern support systems like this, the internet and much more stuff going on to keep society working. It is a luxury, but it has a downside. You can become homeless and starve to death if you don’t have your entry ticket to the theme park : Money.

The theme park is called the economy, and it makes all the trappings of modern life, what you need and what you like. Condition is that you participate in a usefull way, and as you do that you earn reserves that will get you through your later years. This all seems very sensible and sounds like a solid system you have to rejoyce of finding yourself born in. This would be 100% true, and great gratitude would be due, if it where not for the specific direction the system had, with a specific set of preferred industries and activities, which as we all know are depleting our planet of the life that supports our lives.

A basic income guarantee is something similar to granting land to each individual as a birthright. But it only works when all energy sources are renewable, or those fighting over fossil credit will try to abolish the UBI to have more fossil energy left for themselves.

I am dutch and I consider Holland a very wealthy country with a social society and lots of freedom. Yet we find that we are not moving away from destructive practices at any significant speed. Ok, if you believe wildly optimistic predictions of our remaining climate budget as well as allow for the fossil industry to keep itself alive at least until 2050, then we’re moving along fine. But this is of course NOT the case. And it is odd that our highly developed nation does not have the true agility to take exactly the most effective actions. There is a simple reason for that : We are not free and we own almost nothing.

If we listen to a citizen speak we want him/her to be neatly dressed, live in a nice house, have a bookshelve as a background, speak accent free dutch, conform to all the current hypes and memes (so wear a mask today), in short the majority of us wants to listen to one of us. A lot of the talking heads are people that seem like 99% normal, with maybe one or two elements that are a bit more inspired. This means all live in the system that is causing the problems. All are more or less afraid to insult someone and face being pushed out of the wealthy life.

On the other end of society, the poor, the consideration for climate action is on the backburner, because the lives of these people is just made too hard, either because of lack of talent or circumstances created by banks (homes in Holland are in rediculously short supply). As in the US influence starts with some kind of economic security, some kind of status. The reason for this is that land is not free, access to it is highly restricted. You can use parks etc. for free no problem, but you wil never escape the financial system that ties all the factors of life together, the system created by banks.

What can you do? You can plead like Greta Thunberg, to the highest level. The problem is because of this system, this economic system, people barely have time to develop an accurate idea about what would be an alternative. They are invested in it, they fight for it. They get very angry if you would build cheap homes, because that would reduce the value of their homes. Banks made everyone believe home prices would go up, but this is just inflation, caused by economic expansion. Its a bubble because the real value of a house is negative. It has a cost. You have to go out and have income of some kind to live in one. We all know how the rules of this system work, but if you consider the complete system a vehicle with a direction, then how do you change the direction, or how do you get off the vehicle?

Of course you can. You can go to some commune, to live alternatively. But this is never presented as a nice option. You can go into a gated community, within the system. You can rent or buy a place in a foreign country. But you can not take land and say “This is land where the financial system has a different objective. One that is not destructive. This is our coin, we pay with this so we don’t help the outside blind economistic system. We run a roboeconomic system here!”. You can not create a zone with different economic rules as a mere ‘consumer’.

Large companies can do that. Logistics companies can do it. They can run zones around harbours and airports where different rules apply. But nobody can live there. How come we where once a planet with vast open spaces, where banking and trading where thing, where money was created by the people who protected you from marauding armies, to a world where your “leaders” are constantly debating how to undermine your bargaining position versus companies resulting in an increasing amount of people ending up destitute and on the street? One in which a constant deterioration seems to have become the trend, and for no other reason it seems than that people fighting over money have become better at it, lying has become more accepted and thus confusion of the poor is near complete.

You can call for a revolution, but until now those have mostly been managed by members of the same system, to result in nothing. We’ve seen “Occupy Wallstreet” which should have been “Occupy Wallstreet Bank Offices” but was quickly turned into a hippie camp for people to freeze and juggle. You would expect there to be more neat people wanting change, but rest assured, those are all to exhausted and scared to do anything. They have been fighting for the life of their fathers and mothers, or something better, and giving that up is not a plan.

“Use politics!” Some will say. That is a common trap. It doesn’t work if all the politicians earn 120.000 Euro and insist on wealth or hang on to it by never leaving. On the right you can clearly see a servant attitude towards banks and their biggest customers. You can be a socialist and make people angry about rich people (which serves the banks) or you can be a liberal and pretend entrepeneurs will save the day. Or you can be a labour party for workers that want to work work work, flocking into the factories like hypontized moths to a lamp (a kind of Stockholm syndrom). The only party that stands out a bit is the Party for the Animals.

It is not that I propose to do something stupid and idealistic, but simply that I want to be able to focus on my craft, say software development, while there is not some dreadfull murderous and destructive activity being financed by the same neat people of my bank, or while the world is eating itself because neat economists tell us there is room for economic growth. Don’t finance the trade of firewood (biomass) when it destroys ancient forests that provide oxygen and store CO2. There must be limits to the profit seeking, a direction set by human related considerations.

A true revolution would come if people, cities and provinices layed out investment rules, rules for trade, that excluded the harmfull activities. A specific mechanism to boycot the general disinterest for the future of economic players. Banks want everything to be traded, so they can provide credit for every activity and control it. This is how they started, and they have frankly met with to little resistance. We would love to see a vegetarian city or state, a state without biomass burning, without plastic bottles. This is becoming harder due to trade agreements. There are to much limits to the power of small regions. These need to be simply asserted. Laws that restrict these choices need to be broken.

An important role of bank credit is to allow energy to be supplied to communities. Therefore it is necessary to replace those energy sources to become independent of banks.

The best way to depower banks is to go bankrupt. Nobody wants that, but if you all agree it is no big deal. Banks have to constantly be pushed back because they want people to be personally tied to their debt, and bankruptcy to be impossible, but they are in a bind because they need bankruptcies to work for big companies to get rid of responsibility after some distructive act. A good example is Tepco of Fukushima. They went bankrupt quickly. All the cost where for Japan, and it deliverd the country to gas dependence, hurting its solar PV development.

There must be other ways to conquer land from debt and rent seeking owners. This is not the time for the attitude of permanence that rentseeking banks try to maintain or establish. We need a different spirit, and this must be codified into rules that control money flow. Or we have to suffer a real war and restart the system under government authority, centralized, basically returning the land to its proper owner.

The World Model

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It is easy to say that we should fight climate change. Most people that do don’t actually fight. Fighting is uncomfortable, it is dangerous, you have to adapt constantly because you are facing constant resistance. Almost nobody is doing that, for a large part because political positions are occupied by people preselected for their acceptance of the destruction of our planet, partly because the media (and add industry) are biased to where the money comes from, and climateactivists don’t have a bank yet.

It is clear politicians make promises and break them, their game is to lie to ensure their power and find new lies to distract people when their earlier lies are being called out. The memory span of the average voter is limited, and if you’re not into politics you can’t link events logically further back than about 2 weeks. Trump is a hardcore example of that, he goes by the adagium that “people only know what you tell them” and so he flatly denies he did things in the past, counting on the fact that the majority that see his denial are not exposed to the debunking of that denial. Its high precision lying, and very effective in keeping people behaving predictably.

Now, due to the coronacrisis, a lot of people are demanding recovery funds are spend in an environmentally sound way. These are almost promises. We don’t know what the power of these people is, sometimes none, sometimes they are in a bank or some other institution. We don’t know what they vote when push comes to shove. We have plenty of fake political parties that always vote anti-social right wing but talk social-left wing, and look slippery and clean the rest of the time.

We need a world model, a simulation of what happens if we do things. What happens if we build a dam, what happens if we give USD to this company or that company. What happens if we mine here or dig there. It’s no longer beyond our abilities to do so. We can model the money and resource streams, simply from satelite data. We know what prices are, we know what is offered in the market, we know what skills people aquire (when their brains are not shut down by their smartphone). We can model human behaviour, aging, we can model everything. Many lives are similar, that’s been the goal of industry to create consumer ‘flavours’ that feel unique enough to join massive groups. But really a person without any sense of electronics or physics, what is he going to do? The only option such a person has is hold and use tools made available to him/her, and the result of that is highly predictable.

Most new industrial designs are cat drawings, so when the end products are in the field they can be understood completely. If they are not you can send drones to scan them, to listen to them, to measure radiation and make a profile. We are very close to thinking AI that has no problem intergating such knowledge in to a model. AI is already used to create and tune models of all kinds. We need to start working on a model of our world, so that we can run accurate simulations of policy decisions.

The political realm is incredibly dated. You as a voter think you have influence over some options that are presented to you, but you don’t control vast parts of your world you depend on. Fossil fuel emissions dropped 8% during this corona crisis, and where dit the other 92% keep going? Industry. Did you notice from your locked down home? Nope. Do you notice the hunger in Sudan, Egypt, Syria, India? Nope, so much pain you are shielded from, not only by yourself but also by the media. This crisis is not over yet. As banks free up money to hand out and try to restart this monster economy promises are made about the climate sanity of it all. How can we be sure any of those promises are kept? What do they entail? We must go through with the “Green Deal”! But what does that actually mean? Can’t we do better? Is it going to save us?

We have climate models, like smoke detectors, but we need to see the actual fire, and know what actions yield what results. There should be a scientific field optimizing a world model created from a combination of the weather, climate, air pollution, logistics, gaming and many other models that are already being created. Al the users can then tap into this model and optimize it. Then we can at least see the actual situation, we can control divices to take action where needed or possible, we can extrapolate based on best knowledge. This should be a global effort, to finally know what the fuck we are doing to it and how we can do better.

Roboeconomic Currencies

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Earlier we wrote about the need to separate credit that can be used to buy fossil fuels from credit that can be used to buy labour or renewable energy. We proposed to introduce two new currencies in the EU, the Auro and the Joule. Every citizen would have an account with three values one for each currency. The goal would be to minimize the use of the Euro to drive the transition.

The rules would be as follows :


The Euro could be created by the EU governed banks in case of need for fossil fuels by the reciever of the currency. The Euro can only be used to buy oil, gas, coal or biomass. If you assume the accounts of the energy suppliers are also under government of the EU there would be no interest over the Euro loans, no requirement to repay them, they would be spend with the fossil energy suppliers and then destroyed. This way banks are not incentivised to loan out maximim amounts, nor can they base a power structure on their right to create the currency. Like today the creation would have to be in line with supply, and carefull consideration would have to be given to who gets these ‘carboncredits’.


The Auro is a currency for labour. It could be gold backed, because the amount of gold can not be increased arbitrarily. They could take the form of gold coins or true gold credits in an account. There should be almost no friction to get to your gold if you have any. Historically gold has been a good currency because both the amount and the number of abled workers would not vary greatly. To ensure new labour intensive projects can be started the EU central bank should have a considerable store of Auro. On creation it should be distributed equally over citizen. Each would simply get 1000 Auro in cash or in their account. As much production will be automated and running on renewables there is little reason why anyone would amass large amounts of Auro. It would indicate the balance in effort of people in their communities.


The Joule is a credit for renewable energy. It can be ‘sold’ by the state or by individual owners of renewable resources. As renewables will be the ultimate base of all economic activity the tax office of the EU or member state should be in charge of assiging Joule to itself or whoever owns a “Joule source”. The Joule can not be freely usable in any region because the energy you buy with it may not be there. There can be zones that are so well connected by a grid or other means of energy transportation, that you could practically have free use (say in an industrial zone or densely inhabited region). The Joule as a currency doesn’t have to be dumb though, it can simply have a property of depreciation exactly calculated on the loss of energy transport to where you spend it. So say there is a wind turbine owned by X in Amsterdam, who recieves 4 MJoule per year to sell to people who need energy (in return for Auro for maintenance personel?), then the reach of that offer is not global, its regional. The buyer wants a Joule that will ‘perform’, to use to heat his/her home, or to power a pizza oven. As a rule you could say that a Joule ‘was’ a Joule at its source, so you can have weak Joules from Amsterdam or strong ones from Goningen (in Groningen). Someone in Groningen may be able to get the last Houles the owner wants to sell cheaply, but of course his Joules are not as powerfull after you take away the cost of transport. One can imagine a Joule exchange where people trade surplus Joules into more performant Joules. This could also be an automatic system.

The Joule is the most complex currency in this system. Because of the different nature of a “Roboeconomy” or economy run 100% on renewables, the Tax office that creates the Joules would always first reserve its own cut. That way no need for taxation. Then it would distribute a lot of Joules evenly over the citizen as a basic income. This would mean that if you have a Joule source in a region, your Joules would be distributed and not all Joules would be yours to sell. The question if you did would be “what would people use to pay you”. The aim is to prevent large concentrations of Auro with Joule producers (like Iran hoarded gold when it required it to be used as payment for oil/gas). The real Euro today buys much less in Switzerland than in Italy, so its not new that a currency can have varying efficacy. It would be a process of optimization to make this system work. Of course every added reneable energy resouce and local production facility would reduce this variability.

One could start with simply creating the Auro against the gold reserves, and the Joule from a new EU tax related office. Then introduce laws that enable owners of Joule sources to recieve Joules from the tax office. Of course these owners would have to be set up to deliver their Joules. State or EU owned Joule sources would be used to pay taxes and distribute buying power to citizen. It would be in the interest of the EU to constantly build more renewable Joule sources.

To be continued..

How AI is Taking Jobs

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Automation has been taking jobs since the first mechanical loom was constructed. It replaced many small workshops where women wove fabric with big factories where minors ran under weaving machines to replace spindles. You could say it improved life because it made fabric cheaper while it reduced happyness by stealing the bread from the artisans. Since then our economy has adopted automation wherever it made economic sense and this trend is not stopping, in fact it seems to be accelerating. It does lead to better products at lower prices in large volumes, it allows more people to share in the western lifestyle, more dreams and desires can come true, and this is a good thing.

AI is adding a new aspect to this trend, and this will be a challenge to the economy. The economy needs consumers, people that buy the products and services it produces, and for that to happen people need jobs. Its obvious that if the production machine cuts jobs it reduces the demand for products and services or at least pushes demand down to the level of the “basic income” (also named social security). We have written before that to see the dillema we can ask ourselves the following question:

If we had a machine that made everyting everyone needed, would that mean nobody has a job, so nobody has money to buy anything and everyone would strave, or would that mean everything the machine produces is free? 

We wrote before that in a fossil fuel powered economy humans compete with machines for the -same- fossil fuels.  Because we distribute fossil fuels to anyone with money, money is the distributing medium for fossil fuels, and so machines compete with humans for money. Machines win because they require less money themselves, while generating profit, than humans in most cases. In short, producers will replace humans with machines whenever they can.

“I profit therefore I exist” (the primary economistic directive)

In an economy based on renewables one can facilitate human consumption with renewables, as well as running the machine, so both don’t compete. A factory with solar panels on the roof may be able to run its machines so cheap its products don’t need to be expensive, and as a result the humans have more to spend and can live wealthier lives. This was also the case in parts of the west during the oil glut. Being wealthy was easy, now it is getting harder.

Now we are facing a new variant of machine vs consumer, and this is RPA or Robotic Process Automation. This is about the tedious jobs, but soon it will be about every job. If you sit behind a desk staring at a screen, or you interview people and then process the information, chances are RPA will get your job. This is because RPA uses next generation classification and detection systems of the kind produced from soo called deep learning AI. This kind of AI can do advanced recognition at the level and speed (sometimes higher) humans can, which includes reading texts, classifying items, recognizing items, dealing with variations in form input etc. etc.

Inbox Outbox life

Inbox Outbox life

RPA is like robotics but more geared to services, not products. So for example a company recieves invoices from different suppliers, these need to be scanned and entered into the accounting books. The lady that did that is replaced by a digital system that takes documents from an inbox, reads them, fills in the necessary fields in the accounting application, sends an email to request additional data etc. etc. Many many jobs are like this, just keeping things working administratively.

So small companies are being competed against by large ones more able to automate (and lose jobs), and both small and big companies will automate administrative tasks and will lose jobs. And these jobs will not be replaced! Today some AI based companies advertise drones that fly autonomously through factories to check machines, reading the gages into the digital system. This would require perhaps serveral workers before. Artificial intelligence is still developing, in terms of language processing and process modelling, so we are just at the beginning of a profound reduction in the need for skilled people.

Making people redudant

Making people redudant

The way our economy deals with this is the same it as it deals with anything : As long as profits are being made, nobody should worry. So we are told people will do other things and find other jobs, this was always the case. The flaw in this argument is that this expectation is baseless. If you make people that do basic paper shoving redundant you lose a lot of jobs while no new ones are created, except perhaps that of RPA system consultants. So it is possible that the economy will suffer because the new jobless can’t spend anymore. The incentives in the economic system are causing it to eat itself. The machine that makes everything anyone needs is growing, but the number of people that can share in this wealth is dropping.

It is quite clear the economy does not listen to public outcry. Right now politics is so pro economy that you can see it making every effort to keep polluting and destroying nature even though the public wants this to stop. Humans are not setting the limits to what is done in industry, industry still behaves as if it ist working on the moon or some dystopian wasteland. With surveillance anyone with to little credit can even be kept away from places where they can demonstrate, they certainly can be discouraged from it and manipulated based on social media behaviour. This is without the obvious attempt to divide people in harmless camps by the media and politics.

It seems that if you care about all people, you need to start handing out cash to ensure consumption. If you don’t care about all people, you can keep going the way it is, and hope the people that become poor die early. The reason this seems to be the approach is because we use fossil fuels, and fossil fuels are finite. Because the allocation of fossil fuels can only be optimized by competition (including between human and machine) humans are not protected. The way to make this all work is thus to increase renewable energy use in automated production chains, so that the product costs can drop and the machine does not compete for the same energy as the human (of course the energy allocated per human is used to grow food, provide healthcare and education etc. the cost of of which can also be reduced by using renewables). That is the way towards what we call the Roboeconomy, which is the economy in which robots make most of what we need, using renewables and are used to restore the ecology and fight climate change. In this economy the basic income is a renewable energy credit that can be allocated to the products and services of choice.




Millenium projects

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If you try to look past your coffee and tasklist in front of you to see what climate activists are worried about, you may run into several optimistic misconceptions. One of them is that if our food, transportation and housing could be climate neutral suddenly this would not halt the warming process. CO2 has to mix and spread through the atmosphere over time, so if emissions stopped today the insulating effect would still grow for 20 years or so. Then if we try to fight the warming with tree planting (and not bruning the wood!) that needs to go on for a while. Some headlines my suggest there is a fix for the climate, that shading particles spread at high altitudes will help (it will cool things down), it can only cause a delay in damaging effects. We are going to have to face some changes.

Dry barren places, inhospitable to humans (parts of India and the Arabian peninsula) can be used for CO2 large capturing installations

To someone who likes to think of solid solutions we think it is time to start so called millenium projects. These projects will exist for a millenium as the name suggests. Because of that they will have to be automatic. Humans can not run such a stabile activity not geared towards satisfying primary human urges. If we take the premise of a group of individuals going to a hot and barren place to sequester CO2 through some technological means, you are talking a closed community, which is vulnerable to many inbalances. People may starve, get sick, a leader becomes despot. Factions form. All these problems can not be allowed to hinder the process. The only places where we have seen such communities is of course in ancient times and science fiction (on space ships) and the simple truth is that in those situations people with deviant behaviour would be quickly killed off.

The Earth atmosphere may be restored as people live in orbit..

So back to the idea of a CO2 sequestration project that lasts 1000 years. They can take many shapes. They will occupy vast areas, but hopefully areas hard for humans to live anyway. There are several options but one example is to create desalination installations and plantations in desert regions, out of reach of normal citizen. These plantations will have to run and maintain desalination plants (on renewables) autonomously. The plantations for biomass will not serve any market other than the CO2 indicator.

The process will be simple :
1. Grow biomass
2. Remove anything but C and H as much as possible
3. Dump the biomass in a place without oxygen out of reach of people
4. Do this at the fastest pace and largest scale all running on renewables.

These installations will need to be out of bounds for humans. That gives them the best shot. At least they will have a mode that they will go into if no human is present or taking control. That way they can be controlled but will run autonously otherwise.

What do you think are good examples of autonomous activities that can continue for hundreds of years, and what places are a good fit? How would you organize this from a governmental point of view. We would use gobal meetings to designate ‘extraeconomic zones’ which will be hot and inhospitable, and allow industry to suggest projects (which won’t be aimed towards profit, because nothing will be sold!). This should be so called millenium projects, and their design can be part of a millenium prize contest.

Roboeconomy Technology : TreeRover

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Yanko Design developed a walking tree planiting robot which we don’t think has been build. The challenge of tree planting is huge and it seems people are still the best way to quickly plant trees. However in the Roboeconomy remote regions with next to no people suddenly become viable for building resource buffers using renewables and robots. For now as CO2 needs to be sequestered, remote new forrests won’t be buffers, but simply a way to increase carboncapture and provide habitats for animals (thus protecting species).