5 Jan 2009
Shitty cars, crap economy, broken planet
Found this at Mike's new site.
I am very impressed by the look of Mike Armstrong's new blog, he has several, he is a key Green Party activist in Croydon, take a look.
My skills are so poor, it would be great to make this another green world look as nice as his blog,
by the way very generous of him to link to me as he is a keen atheist, I don't believe in God and if I did who would believe in a God trivial enough to be concerned about our believe in her/it...however I am quite keen on religion as a Zennist and friend of the Sufis and other cool tolerant religious practices. So atheist may not see me as the real deal. Must blog about the super article about the Sufis in the Economist Christmas issue....
Any way Mike and I both agree about bailing our shitty car companies...(don't get me on to Richard Dawkins, though).
We need to talk about conversion getting car manufactures to produce something a bit more useful...not just types of cars no one wants to buy any more.
Mike Cooley in the book 'Architect or Bee' did this he was a union shop steward at a firm going under in the 1970s and even came to talk about his plans at an Ecology Party conference.
It would be great to get him back
Here is what the wiki says:
Towards the end of the 1970s, Mike Cooley was a senior designer at Lucas Aerospace, and chaired the local branch of the technical trade union TASS. He was one of the militant activists behind the Lucas Plan , a radical strategy to avoid workforce layoffs by converting production at Lucas from armaments to civilian products.
The vision of the plan was to replace weapons manufacture with the development of socially useful goods, like solar heating equipment, artificial kidneys, and systems for intermodal transportation. The goal was to not simply retain jobs, but to design the work so that the workers would be motivated by the social value of their activities. The proposals of the alternative plan were not accepted by Lucas management and, in 1981, Cooley was dismissed.
 Architect Or Bee
In 1980, Cooley published a critique of the automation and computerization of engineering work under the title Architect or Bee? The human/technology relationship. The title alludes to a comparison made by Karl Marx, on the issue of the creative achievements of human imaginative power.
Since departing from Lucas, Cooley has been active as an advisor on numerous public and private sector projects. He is a founding member and president of the International Institute of Human Centred Systems. He has published over 100 scientific papers as well as fifteen books, and has been a guest lecturer at universities in Europe, Australia, the USA and Japan. Cooley is aa adviser to the technical periodical Artificial Intelligence and Society.
I think we need to be more imaginative in the Green Party and look at these solutions again, well thanks Mike for reminding me!
The radical technology mag Undercurrents, which I was very briefly involved with the 1980s, dealt with this kind of stuff.