Grass is always greener

April 6, 2014

…on the other side. Yet when we get there, often times we realize our perceptions deceive us and it was only a trade off. A dichotomy in our human-ness makes us seek stability and improvement at the same time. We know that staying the course with “business-as-usual” mentality will lead us to unadaptable climate change for us. Social and political unrest over access to resource scarcity will cause violent conflict and mass migration to “greener pastures.” The oceans have absorbed most of the carbon in the air, yet we’ve burdened it to the point of ecosystem collapse through ocean acidification. Where then can we put the carbon? What about in the grass itself? What if it was possible to capture and sequester carbon in the prairie grasses and soil itself, increasing natural capital and relieving socioeconomic pressure? Management-intensive grazing experts says yes. In his TED talk, Allan Savory talks about how Holistic Management can help reverse desertification and global warming. Understanding the relationships in our natural ecosystems, including those between carbon, water, soil, grass, and herbivores, will help us create the abundance and greener world we know is possible.

Joining Apitronics

March 28, 2014

I studied Computer Science in college. My mom always nudged me to study another field, but I never did. At the time, I didn’t understand, thinking CS was both intellectually stimulating and career-marketable. My “aha moment” didn’t happen until arriving at Practically Green. Working at this mission-driven startup, I learned so much about the world we live in, system dynamics, our culture, and most importantly, myself. Technology is great, but it’s our interrelated cosmology, social/economic structures, and resources that reminds me this Jeff Goldblum quote from Jurassic Park:

‘..your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should.’

To this end, I’m excited to announce I’ll be joining early stage startup Apitronics to work on appropriate technology to further our shared mission of improving agricultural systems. Working out of Greentown Labs in Somerville, MA (come visit us), Apitronics builds the internet of things for farming. Here’s our Kickstarter from last year to help describe the platform. If you know of any farmers in the area, please shoot me a note; I’d love to get to know them. Let the marathon begin!

Apitronics platform

PDC: Part Deux Recap

March 23, 2014

Just returned home from weekend #2 of a permaculture design course. Very exhausted. Was an intense three days crammed with information.

We touched upon many topics, including water capture/store techniques like keyline design, carbon sequestration initiatives like carbon farming, and financial permaculture. We even held a talent show Sat night. I did a skillshare on a tool for behavior change. Much knowledge learned and connections made this weekend. Hope to apply some of it in support of regenerative agriculture.

Lifetime impact using collaborative consumption

March 14, 2014

Being a digital native, I use a decent amount of collaborative consumption services. I wondered over the span of my life, how many interactions and how much money I would spend on these services. This is what I came up with. My favorite part is the 1,000+ experiences shared with others.

Open Full Infographic

View spreadsheet data

Reading List

March 7, 2014

I love learning about the world through reading. At any given time, I’m reading or listening to many books. Here’s a snapshot of my current reading list. Have you read any of these books? Let’s discuss!

Bullets don’t kill people. People kill people.

February 27, 2014

Technology, tools, and teachings. A glorious showcase of the creativity of the human mind. In and of itself, they do not create or solve any problems. They are utterly interdependent on how we use them. Do we act out of love, compassion, and serenity or hate, ignorance, and desire? The global networkification of humans and machines is accelerating and jumps in complexity (ie. personal computing, internet, Bitcoin) will inevitably cause paradigm shifts in our cultures. There will be unintended consequences of course, but it’s futile to resist an idea whose time has come. As we design for the future in a global community with more and more powerful tools, let’s not forget to reflect on the human element of any technology, since bullets don’t kill people; people kill people.

Cryptoeconomy and Humanity

February 24, 2014


I was reading a blog post Cryptocontracts Will Turn Law Into a Programming Language.  It talks about how the protocol that powers bitcoin can and will be used to democratize contractual agreements.

“The emergence of cheap and plentiful self-enforcing contracts means that we can codify simple transactions and agreements. We will be able to reprogram our lives based on self-enforcing cryptocontracts.”

Lawyers in the US take 10% of GDP. Bankers take another 10%. Cryptocontracts and crytocurrencies have the opportunity to fundamentally disrupt both broken legal and financial systems. Here’s another blog post on How Bitcoin Could Revolutionise Accountancy.

On cryptocontracts, a thoughtful commenter writes:

“we developers have a habit of wanting to abstract and code everything – forgetting the importance of human trust, intelligence and relationships in agreements that we make.”

Coincidentally, I just re-watched Equilibrium. It’s a dystopia where a draconian police state has outlawed human emotions as “sense crimes” which is punishable by death. Quote from the movie:

“Father: Prozium – The great nepenthe. Opiate of our masses. Glue of our great society. Salve and salvation, it has delivered us from pathos, from sorrow, the deepest chasms of melancholy and hate. With it, we anesthetize grief, annihilate jealousy, obliterate rage. Those sister impulses towards joy, love, and elation are anesthetized in stride, we accept as fair sacrifice. For we embrace Prozium in its unifying fullness and all that it has done to make us great.”

The possibilities of decentralized technologies are endless and exciting. As we approach the future sci-fi world of invisible cryptography and decentralized trust embedded in our everyday lives, will we remember to relate to and value our trust in each other? Will we remember what it is that makes us human, for better or worse? Embracing technology may give us the illusion of saving the world, yet we’ll need to embrace our inner landscape to save ourselves. I’m cautiously optimistic and optimistically cautious.

Expression, form, self-knowledge

February 21, 2014

If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth a million. Here’s a couple Bruce Lee videos showcasing his art. Black magic or mastery?

Future Teachers

February 14, 2014

I was talking with a friend on the topic of education. One problem is that primary education teachers with 15 years experience in the US make an average annual salary of $45,225. When he’s president, he’d pay teachers 3x what they’re making now. Basically, as a society, putting much more value on education. I agreed education has many long-term benefits. This got me thinking. What would future teachers look like and do a hundred years from now?

In the future, I believe we’ll make the transition from a culture that values making a killing living to something more akin to the gift economy. When that happens, teachers will have the opportunity to do what they love and be truly valued for it. They will incite curiosity in young minds to question, learn, and grow. They will guide our culture to explore both intellectually simulating and whole-hearted, purposeful experiences in the beautiful world we live in. They will instill values of earth stewardship, generosity, and well-being. The teachers of the future will be the mentors and elders of our society who have mastered and applied their skillful art of storytelling, play, communication, and all other worldly things. They will be rewarded with trust, gratitude, reciprocation, status, and recognition for the thousand acts of kindness they do, day in, day out. That will be the day when society truly values education and the role of teachers.

Consuming Collaboratively

February 7, 2014

Lately, I’ve been using more and more collaborative consumption services and the infrastructures that support and enable them. What about you? Have you noticed CCC (collaborative consumption creep) into your daily lives? Any good ones I should check out?

List of services used in the last couple month:


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