I am back in Germany after four months in Nepal. First impression? Germany is well-organized, super quiet, and populated by zombies. The living dead, you know. (Oh and, Germany is so flat. Very strange. Why u not hilly?)

It just does not make sense. If something like Germany is the endpoint of developing areas' development, what is development for? It has no meaning at all. Essentially, after all the development, people in Nepal would be

  • just as unhappy as people in Germany
  • all their earnings will be used up for so-called "living"
  • people won't talk to people anymore
  • there will be just as few options for alternative lifestyles as in Germany, where this is systematically minimized by forcing people into consuming and paying
  • people will work in brainwashing, marketing, SEO etc. to force-feed each other the useless products of their industries … consuming up the world's resources …

Essentially, all the Germans (and Europeans and U.S. Americans, for that matter) do is keeping their country up and runnning, with insane amounts  of energy and worktime. Their countries are "optimized" to maximize the amounts of energy and worktime to invest for just keeping the country up and running. The first is called "economic growth", the second "full employment". And all these aspirations to "wealth" that is not wealth and "wellbeing" that is not wellbeing in people make them miserable. Directly and indirectly. They never have enough. They are brainwashed by advertising since decades, and the advertising comes from capitalist monopolies whom they serve with their lifetime and money.

And then we have the audacity to call ourselves a "developed nation", to be imitated by the "developing nations" … . These "developed" nations do not contribute any significant amount to a better future for the planet. They are not engaged in any concerted effort to construct a meaningful and sustainable future. Instead, they just consume. And much more than their share. While villages in Nepal are much more sustainable, since most stuff is made from fieldstones and bamboo. In terms of our global future, that is more developed than the developed "nations" … . But currently, developed nations devour the planet, and fast. Wow. (Now the good thing about Nepal is, it has so many so remote places that global capitalism will not reach them in my lifetime cheeky Like Rolpa. It currently takes three days and nights of travelling by bus from Kathmandu.)

Ok … so if development according to the paradign of "developed" nations makes no sense, what makes sense?

  • Minimize resource and worktime usage in "developed" nations, to the levels in Nepal and below. No more economic growth, no more full employment. There is such a ton of interesting work to do for that, including medical research, frugality research, full transition to a minimal energy economy, etc. etc..
  • Real development has to be integrated. Like, set up and keep up a sustainably developed commune in a remote village in Nepal, or transform a whole village into such a sustainable model village with both low resource usage and a high standard of living. Serving as an example to be imitated in the thousands of other villages. It means for an educated group of people (from Nepal, from abroad, or mixed) to go there to live there. For the long term. To make that commune able to sustain itself through sustainable production. And help it minimize the resource and time efforts needed for that. (I collected a lot of relevant tech and knowledge for small-scale self-sustainable living in EarthOS already.)

Statistical Design Meeting and Workshop in Strasbourg, 2013-03-25 to -26.

We worked quite intensively and at the same time, everybody seemed to enjoy it – that's how I like work to be 🙂 Thanks to everybody involved!

All images on this page licenced under CC BY-SA 3.0 Unported, or at your option, any later version.
Please attribute to "Matt" and this page's URL (that is, do not use my real name).

Sorry for the bad image quality. My real cam broke down and I did not get around yet to repair it …

On a nice evening with a friend in Málaga this October, we developed this idea for political street art. (We were kinda oversugared from the best icecream in town … it explains something, doesn’t it? 😀 ) Initially we wanted to cut our own “Espere Revolución” signs and install them over the city’s normal push-button boxes for pedestrian traffic lights. But for now, it’s a mockup.

Political street art: Espere Revolución (small excerpt size 1024×768)

Political street art: Espere Revolución (large size 2048×1365)

The pedestrian traffic lights sign in the image reads: “Touch the button”. Then you push it, and it says then: “Expect revolution.” (It’s normally “Espere Verde” – expect green light. Plus a standing person with both hands down.)

Licence: Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 2.0

Credits: The original image was created by flickr.com user david buedo and published as flickr image 6949945397 under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 2.0 licence. Thank you!

Modifiable version: Just tell me in the comments if somebody wants the GIMP .xcf.bz2 file of this, with layers for easy modification to make other signs as well.

So I’m unhappy with my sleep patterns and already suspected it would feel more natural to have a 26-28 hour day-night rhythm (which would make me a Non-24 guy). Then a friend pointed me to the Da Vinci sleep schedule instead. Reading back and forth on the Internet, I found euphoric posts (see comment 13 on this one 😀 ) but also a ton of failed attempts and cautious resummées (here, here, here, here). And I found no well-documented case of any person doing the Uberman (that is, Da Vinci’s 6 x 20 min) sleep pattern permanently.

So I thought, well maybe the Uberman thing is not best for me, as I doubt I will ever have the motivation to keep that strict schedule (lack of bedtime discipline is a major ingredient for Non-24 people, I suspect – so I’m one of the last ones to try Uberman).

Great sources for my and your further learning and inspiration:

And these are my sleep experiments and their outcome:

(1) Just-in-Time Sleep with REM alarm clock, for rhythm finding

I bought ElectricSleep for my Android phone, which seemed like the best sleep-phase sensitive alarm clock app to me (there are alternatives and an article on the theoretic basics, actigraphy). I intend to go to bed whenever I’m tired enough, with no need to feel bad if I miss a certain bedtime – there is no fixed one any more, no pre-fixed rhythm at all. The only difference to Non-24 is that I want to sleep for only one REM phase and want to wake up at the end of the next one. For that, I set the alarm clock to a window of +1.5 – 2.5 hours, and it will use that window to wake me during light sleep (i.e. REM sleep).

The advantage is that, without a monolithic block of sleep, atypical sleep patterns are more compatible with society.

Note however, that this initial experiment is just to find out a “natural” 24-hour polyphasic sleep rhythm for me. Because in the long term, a sleep rhythm not aligned to nature’s day-and-night cycle can be hazardous by causing cancer. This seems associated to the suppression of melatonin production during disruptions of the circadian rhythm. As it was studied among nurses working night-shifts, it seems that the “disruption” refers to the transition periods at the start and end of a night-shift period, while within it and within a day-shift period, the circadian rhythm would function properly and melatonin production would work normally [source]. The contributing scientists compares animal experiments where animals’ circadian rhythms were disrupted by exposing them to light at night [source]; so it seems that melatonin production is blocked by exposition to light [confirmation]. However, right within a night shift people would have a rhythm where they are only exposed to light for a part of the day (darkening the room for sleeping during the day), so the circadian disruptions would be indeed the “hazardous” times, confirming my above supposition.

However, I will have to look that up more exactly in the original source. But if this assumption turns out true, a circadian rhythm of any kind should not be carcinogenous if it is indeed a rhythm (maybe even a non-24 rhythm, using artificial lights, or a polyphasic sleep rhythm). It is explicitly said that “[a] number of studies have concluded that a short period of sleep during the day, a power-nap, does not have any measurable effect on normal circadian rhythms, but can decrease stress and improve productivity.” [source]. Only not having a rhythm at all in sleep/wake times would equal to constant disruptions of having a rhythm and therefore to potentially increased risk for cancer, and potentially other risks. And maybe a polyphasic sleep technique without one “main” block of sleep might have adverse effects on the circadian rhythm  / melatonin production [TODO].

(2) My natural polyphasic sleep pattern?

I woul be glad if it turns out from the last experiment that the napping technique of the Italian Air Force is my natural sleep pattern, maybe a bit modified to make one block of sleep the main one (as a precaution against disturbing melatonin production):

04:00 – 08:00 main sleep

08:00 – 18:00 main wake time

18:00 – 19:30 sleep

19:30 – 23:00 wake

23:00 – 0:30 sleep

0:30 – 04:00 wake

It is shocking to see that adults are damned to stay as they are. Only children are supported to learn something new, but once they threw you into the world of the adults to go out and earn your own money, all support is gone. It seems they just intended to educate you as far as you need to earn tax payers’ money for paying taxes and buying commercial crap. But they do not support you to become a mature personality.

Of course there is self-education, but that is limited to technical things (electronics, computing, …) and does not help to overcome social problems (because of fear to learn what one wants to learn).

And of course, there is experience, but that does not help you to learn social things either, as they only allow you to gather experience (on the job) in areas where you already have some qualifications so that they can hire you. Also people will fear to accept a job that they fear to fail in (as it is about something they need, and maybe want, to learn yet).

And also, there are adult education services, but that is expensive, totally inefficient, and people do not have the time for it. Instead, education must be integrated into daily life.

Might this be a solution: we need hackerspaces for education in technology, and intentional communities for education in social and self governance skills, both with a semi-formal mentoring and evaluation program.

Today’s new verbalization for my life vision is: “The integrated lifestyle that I want to achieve and have permanently while I am on earth is three integrated elements:

  1. Xpedition community, a mobile, travelling, resilient, autarkic, effectively sovereign, powerful community of Christians and non-Christians, men and women, poor and rich alike, cross-secting races, cultures and languages, but only with special (nerdy, geeky etc.) persons who “want to live right”; also including some learning, vulnerable persons. The community is about the things that my own life is about then. Which is:
  2. international university teaching and research (esp. in developing regions) about such autarkic, sovereign, resilient communities, to help everybody achieve the same. And
  3. evangelizing: research and teaching about God in an authentic truth-seeking and truth abiding, hope-giving manner.”

This is such a beautiful, integrated vision, both technically, socially and financially doable 🙂 … in contrast to many versions before.

We hope to start living that way from 2015-01-01 on. Time will tell who will be “we”, the community.

Lifestyle is equivalent with personal culture, which is one instance of a culture. People with lifestyles that deviate from the surrounding culture of any known group in a large degree can be said to have a “unique culture”: just as unique as the culture of an ethnic group, for example.

Now the problem with having a unique personal culture is interoperability with other people: you will be a foreigner to them though you share their origin. However, if you have been intelligent enough to develop your own culture, you can also develop a social “compatibility mode”, which means talking and behaving with automated translation between their culture and yours. However, you will still not get rid of the impression that this is quite a lonely way of being, except if you find people who developed their own off-center personal culture in a direction that has sufficient overlap with yours, so that you can know each other without compatibility mode …

I know what I’m talking about. My personal culture differs quite widely from that of others in these areas: personal accomodation; my job; nutrition; theology; knowledge management; software environment; personal equipment; language use. And also music, poetry, gaming and movies, if you count my total non-interest in these topics as a cultural attribute of its own.