Sustaining principle of energy:
True hope resides in symbol use that embraces the reality of continuous, universal change and personal stewardship.
Delusive hope (misery) resides in symbol use that denies this reality.
Chapter seven of Energy?! is a 2013 draft 24 cartoon exploration of the relationship between the human ego and our use of the “power” symbol. This potent word generates and reflects the fundamental cognitive orientation and behaviour of an individual or society in most profound ways.
Our compassionate use of “power” opens us to a reality of vast, sustaining possibilities.
Our ego-driven (non-compassionate) use of “power” restricts and corrupts our perception of reality, resulting in waste, misery and even self-destruction.
Energy is the vast, universal potential, all of which is active. Power is the rate the universal potential is manifest and this manifestation may be measured in terms of any form of energy e.g. horse-power, man-power, electron-power, sun-power and derived symbols such as joules/second and watts. Power is paradox: power is a measure of the rate of change of all forms of energy; power is no form of energy except its measure.
Reality is continuous, universal change. This alarmist Radio New Zealand broadcast in 2007 illustrates the ingenious capacity of the ego to deny reality. In this instance, the ego of our broadcasters has them conflate and confuse “power” with both “energy” and a few of the myriad forms it can be manifest in.
In so doing, Radio New Zealand generates fear and craving responses in us that drive addictive behaviour.
In cartoon No 2 the ego, ever in denial of the continuous, universal transformation, conflates “power” with “electricity” – in particular a Bulk-generated electrical product.
The compassionate element of our psyche questions this exclusive language with its associated myopic worldview and addictive behaviour. It suggests that if Queenstown is truly without energy and is powerless, then surely the city and its region are not of the universe.
This 2007 New Zealand Broadcasting Standards Authority decree on the Radio NZ broadcast demonstrates the state of non-science and delusion prevailing in the Anglosphere. Observe how the NZBSA ruling is in complete denial of the principles of physics and enforces the fatally flawed equation:
Energy =Power = Electricity =a Bulk-generated electrical product.
A few extremely powerful Anglosphere corporations have dominated global trades this past century and generated a dangerous Anthropocene. This ego-driven empire is founded in severely delusional notions of the nature of energy.
See discussion in previous chapters of Energy?!
These profound delusions result in vast addiction, planned obsolescence , waste, pollution and warfare.
The compassionate (scientific) element in us reminds us in wonder and awe at the grandeur of the vast, universal potential. We measure for moral value so we can live in greater harmony with all.
The non-compassionate (ego-driven) element in us denies that bounteous reality, generates non-science and confounds us so we make addictive use of a few forms of energy. We measure for amoral price and live to acquire short-term profit.
Etymology , the study of the true sense of a word, can tell us a great deal about the degree of sustainability of a culture at any time. Subtle differences in the meaning given to words can generate entirely different world-views and behaviours.
The belief that energy is change (transformation) while power is the capacity for change is entirely different to the belief that power = energy. The latter delusive belief denies the universal flux of forms in which we are stewards. The conflation of energy with power means we have no measure of our actions and tend to act in amoral ways.
In many cultures the “power” symbol is associated with deities or gods i.e. beings of divine nature. Thus to equate some finite form of energy, such as an electrical product or mineral, with “power” is to deny the principles of energy. This flawed equation means we tend to use a finite form of energy as though it is as bounteous as the universal potential. Our addictive us of it then causes us to react in desperate, even suicidal ways when its supply is interrupted.
The Combustion Revolution, aka the Industrial Revolution, arose from the belief of a few people, an oligarchy of merchants in particular, that they are somehow deities and not subject to the principles of physics. They believe it is their divine right to (1) burn all the biomass ( living and fossilized) on Earth and (2) use our electrical potential so as to acquire the wealth of our planet for their personal gain.
Some more compassionate individuals search for ways to use our electrical potential so all human beings can be sustained.
Some less compassionate individuals use our electrical potential as a means of exploitation and waging warfare.
The cartoon illustrates how since the advent of reticulated electrical products a few brutal merchant bankers have used electrical grids to kill humans and other creatures for their private profit. They have used our electrical potential to deplete minerals and to industrialize warfare to an unprecedented scale.
Information is physical. It is inherent in all forms of energy. It is inherent in the design of all devices. It is inherent in the electrical products and the reticulation wires. This cohort of ego-driven merchant bankers have understood this from the advent of the first grid in the 1880s. They have used their control of the information of our electrical systems to configure it to serve their own vain interests.
For a range of subtle reasons, we all use symbols so they reflect the importance we give to our particular endeavours.
Engineers are no exception. Like any group of people with a special interest or expertise, they tend to develop language that reflects their focus.
Without care, our language becomes ego-driven and very exclusive, even destructive of the common good. So it has been that electrical engineers have provided the language enabling the worst traits of merchant bankers to flourish and prevail.
Existence involves paradox.
For example: reality is constant even as it is continuous, universal transformation.
We live the paradox of information: a form is transformed by all even as it transforms all. The universal reality is that all forms are transformers in the continuous flux.
Engineers have compounded the denial of reality inherent in their use of the “power” symbol by symbolizing a device for altering the electrical potential (voltage) of a “power” product as “the transformer”, thereby giving it supernatural status.
Thus, however unwittingly, electrical engineers in the laboratories, in the universities and in the streets have supercharged the psychopathology of the merchant bankers and enabled the wholesale destruction of the state of science in our communities.
The ego is the master of deceit. Its deceits breed deceits. Its denials breed denials. Its non-science breeds non-science. The “power” symbol has been corrupted in myriad ways this past century in the Anglosphere. A once sustaining symbol now imperils us all.
Most people of our current Anglosphere generation have little idea of how the majority of their ancestors lived in the countryside until the 1960s. It is even more difficult for us to imagine the horrors our grandparents experienced in the terrible wars and collapsed social systems in the first half of the century. So it is nearly impossible for people today to appreciate the prevailing distrust of “Robber Barons”and corrupt politicians to provide heating, cooking and lighting through extreme events such as storms, floods, snow-dumps and financial crisis.
The human ego is fundamentally hostile to democracy and the free sharing of information. It acquisitive of nature and can generate incredible deceits. The grossly ego-driven merchant bankers have invested huge sums of money this past century to ensure their control of the rich information inherent in our regional and national electrical grids even as they have maintained the public deceit that only the wires, nuts and bolt of these systems have any value.
In New Zealand and elsewhere, citizens realized by the first years of the 20th Century that privately-owned grids lacked resilience and innovation while being sources of exploitation. So communities in every region established their own freehold networks. A foundation principle of each system was the right of every citizen to vote every three years how his or her local grid was configured and the information (intelligence) of it was used. This social contract ameliorated many of the fears and distrust of centralized grids.
These social contracts enabled and encouraged citizens to participate in their community grid. The contracts also acted to ensure local networks could be designed to enable the optimal use of both local resources and sustaining technology. Most of the requisites were in place so that local democracy and global sustainability could operate in a virtuous circle.
In the 1980’s a generation, sometime described as “The Baby Boomers” began to assume positions of power in Anglosphere societies. This cohort has never experienced the horrors of war or the dystopia and deprivation of societal implosion such as occurred in the 1930s. They grew up inculcated in the belief that the wealth of mineral oil is eternal and it exists for them to burn at will. Ego-driven to the extreme, they have talked much about care, sustainability and equity even as they have systematically destroyed our ability to use our electrical potential in sustainable ways.
The extreme ego-driven nature of this generation is reflected in the use of the English language that prevails now in our media, including our schools, It is characterized by the complete denial of the principles of physics, so much so that our contemporary English language now imperils the existence of humankind in an unprecedented way.
The human ego acts to incredible ways to deny our role as a steward amidst the universal transformation. This is because each act of stewardship forms an inconvenient reminder to the ego that all things, including human beings, are finite. It abhors any intimation of our mortality.
One ingenious trick of the ego is to have us abrogate responsibility for our own actions to other people or to some abstract social construct such as “THE GOVERNMENT”, “THE CROWN”, “THE LAW” or “THE MARKET”.
Another ingenious deceit is to reverse the meaning of a symbol so, for instance “freedom” is associated with the destruction of democracy.
The unsustainable whims, dictates and cravings of the ego have increasingly framed the laws of Anglosphere countries like New Zealand since the 198Os. Legislation governing the use of our electrical potential has effectively made energy efficiency practice illegal.
Dwelling meters form the interface of the citizen and their local grid . This makes the information of the meter very powerful. Law reforms since 1986 have stripped citizens of their rights to own this vital information. The laws now instead stipulate that this valuable information is the property of private corporations.
The pivot role of the ego in the human psyche means that , in the absence of compassion, it can easily make each of us our own worst enemy. It can subtly subvert the finest of intentions, as is seen below.
Observe how national institutions charged with conserving civics instead act as the prime agents of destruction of the state of science in our communities.
This corruption of good intentions and the associated deep dissonance of those involved is best understood with compassion.
Oscar Wilde defines a cynic as ‘a man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.‘
In summary, the ego, our most cynical and non-conservative element, blinds and dis-empowers us with all manner of miserable deceit. It has us act in non-compassionate, self destructive ways whereas our compassionate element opens us to all manner of sustaining potential.
We are all electrical beings. Compassion enables us to embrace the wise principles of physics so we can transcend the trickery of the ego and enjoy our sustaining electrical potential.