Category Archives: News

What ability do many Sustainability leaders lack ?

I think when people ask what is sustainable they take the answer from top 10 lists or their own experience. Now a lot of experience means you may know a lot but I believe that very few people know how to identify sustainable actions themselves. There is a lot of received wisdom and not enough knowledge about how to determine what is sustainable. This is important for a leader because they need to lead others to do the same. 

For this reason my small initiative called “Not another Sustainability Group” is working with select individuals to build a “Sustainable Concept model” to guide a methodology, not unlike Total Quality management and other methodologies. I intend it to be placed in the public domain.

I believe this is such a compelling way for people to address their triple bottom line in an innovative way it is now my primary focus.

That what is missing from most sustainability leaders – The ability to identify what is sustainable from basic principals.

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Personal Automation Tools

Smartphone and Tablet computers have a lot of technology in them and in fact can tell where you are, what network you connected to, the time of day and much much more.

I am endeavouring to identify opportunities to simplify my life to reverse the complexity of using these devices buy using automation principles to work for me. An Example would be my regular habit of turning the wifi or Bluetooth settings on or off. My main objective is to make my life simpler given the complexity is always increasing.

Triggers

If we stand back and look at what we may automate we discover that triggering an automated process is desirable lest we build more complexity into out lives. Imagine at every step of your life trying to identify and start an automated process, it may very well be counter productive. So first I am looking at triggers.

Triggers may need to occur at a particular time of day, after or during some kind of activity or in different places. Some places move such as the location of your car but others such as home stay the same. Other items are common but when and where may vary such as a meal and some triggers could be time sensitive, if X happens between the hours of 6pm and 8pm.

Dependable

On the whole automation needs to be dependable and tolerant of change and allow you to set and forget something because when we can depend on something we can forget it until it reminds us. We can forget the details and concern ourselves only with the Gist of it all, when we know we can detect an event and set an action then we can bundle all that may be required or even add a one off. Dependability can also be related to the order of events such as having bluetooth on before you arrive somewhere where blue tooth is used and a connection will be automatic. We also know that we have constraints, sure you could always have bluetooth always on, but it may thus use power all day for a only a half an hour use.

Of course with further development this can go a lot further and I will go there, one step at a time.

Thinking outside the Box, I am all for it but….

One of the problems I face daily is people putting things in the wrong box or just leaving them out of any box at all.

I am all for thinking outside the box when we need change but when we don’t please just use the correct box and if you must learn how to identify the correct box 🙂

Information Technology Dissonance

“Information Technology Dissonance” (I am coining the term) Policy that says you cannot do X or its opposite Y, but your business requires you do either X or Y

From decades of experience in and the customer of corporate IT help desks.

Also experienced when the Help desk insists your computer must be re-imaged not because it must, but because they do not know how to fix your problem.

Why I have little time for the belief in UFO’s

There seems to me to be a simple internal inconsistency in saying “I believe in UFOs” because if you expand that it reads “I believe in unidentified flying objects” because it is believing in something you don’t understand. What they really mean is I believe aliens or spaceships are present in earths atmosphere/ near space but they would not say it because it quickly looks stupid. I also believe there are things I can’t identify, sometime it lasts seconds before I identify it and in a few rare cases I still have not identified it – however until I identify it I can’t believe anything about it let alone pronounce facts about it. The UFO fraternity relies on two other structures to keep there “dreams” alive 1. Conspiracy theories 2. You cant prove (or in this case disprove a negative). As usual for Woo Woo it usually fails basic tenants of critical thinking. Just like other alternative medicine, evidence of UFO beliefs must immediately be put to the side pending further evidence because by nature they a prepositions that can not be tested using “Blind” or “Double Blind” research as by definition they require an observer primed to categorize it as a effective/observed. We can’t not easily if at all test the Null case.

Public apathy: how to engage the masses for resource management solutions for the future

I have participated in a LinkedIn Conversation “Public apathy: how to engage the masses for resource management solutions for the future” which I believe is full of very good contributions.

With in excess of 131 comments there is some very valuable ideas and information not to mention principals that have been highlighted. Why not join the conversation ?

Test Post – for Yammer RSS Feed

Body of Post

Forests and Climate Change

On Wednesday past I attended a presentation at the NSW Royal Society and a Talk “Climate change, regional drought and forest mortality: are we seeing a new global phenomenon?”

Speaker: Professor Derek Eamus

Professor Eamus – presented an interesting and well substantiated case that it was humidity in the canopy of trees that was critical to their survival not as commonly thought, Temperature and Water. He discussed how various factors influence each other and which factors are most important. Although not expert myself in this field I was able to draw the following conclusions, some of which I verified through putting some questions to the Professor on the night.

  • There is massive die-back occurring all over the world in forests even without human intervention
  • Humidity is largely conserved in the atmosphere as a whole, that is increased global temperatures, does not result in increased global humidity.
  • Normal weather relationships mean increased temperature, combined with reduced rainfall will cause a drop in Humidity in forest canopies and thus increased die-back.
  • Given that Humidity in the canopy is critical to tree survival;
    • Larger stands of trees are more resilient than isolated trees
    • There is evidence to support the concept of “Micro climates”
    • This is further support for the idea that coastal forests that run inland, help bring rainfall inland.
  • Soil health/depth/moisture is critical to resilience in forests.

In Closing, Professor Derek Eamus presented a well argued, evidence based comprehensive model to support his conclusions and was very professional in qualifying answers to questions outside his scientific specialisation. He demonstrated, that often false assertion that models are somehow weaker than empirical research is unfounded because these models we based on substantial empirical research. The models help extract the signals from complex data, enable us to ask “what if” questions we then test empirically, which will either strengthen or weaken the model.

Please note: these conclusions are my own and not that of the Professor and while I am well informed on the above subjects, I am not a professional scientist. Please follow standard scientific peer reviewed literature for a more in depth understanding.

Original Content – Anthony Muscio

Conceptual Model of sustainability

I am working on a “Conceptual Model of sustainability”. I am trying to build a simple yet all encompassing frame work that rather than Keep-it-Simple is Make-it-simple such that it can be applied to all the components of a system and system as a whole. Yes I do believe this is possible (but true – it is yet to be tested). Such a model can be applied to Ecological, social and economic systems. This permits people of very different knowledge and perspective to participate in transforming organisations to more sustainable ones.

I am happy to receive suggestions and references to others, that may have done similar things so feel free to comment.

The model should have the following qualities

  • Indicate existing non sustainable processes
  • Indicate how to transition to sustainable processes
  • Be scalabel
  • Allow black box modular structure
  • Include Reuse, recycle, life cycles wanted and unwanted outputs (waste)
  • Show how to integrate with other systems to achieve sustainable meta-systems
  • Encapsulate diversity resilience
  • Capture and control incident inputs and outputs such as sun and rain
  • Indicate the foundations on which the system stands and its dependance on these foundations
  • Easy to  communicate by telling a short story and building a framework or model that is easy to remember.

Please join my quest

The creative act of registering domain names

This week I registered some new Internet domain names. I love this playing with language and imagination to find helpful and attractive domain names. Using the reseller account I have with VentraIP, a great hosting service. I can register addresses at a competitive price and manage them all from a single interface.

So what did I register this week ?

atTheFalls.com.au for fresh@atthefalls.com.au – Internet domain addresses are not case sensitive (though the folders below them are) so you can always use capitalisation to make them more readable.

I registered ColabTeam.net for some teams I plan to provide collaboration tools for, a natural complement to the personal services address for individuals at  online121.net (registered previously).

In previouse months I registered letsbuildbigsolar-wentworth.org to support local action to promote “Big Solar in Australia”, this was done in  hurry for someone else and it shows in the domain name. So rather than stay with that we registered bigsolar.me and have both addresses going to the same self hosted WordPress site, a quick reconfig and now all the posts and pages at this site now refer to BigSolar.me but the longer address still works.

I often tie these domains to a google apps account, to provide the best email solution in the market. Another thing I discovered was someone else was leveraging Google Apps to build a local website. Having registered my local suburb name Randwick.com.au they were offering free gmail accounts. I have thus signed up for tony at randwick.com.au in case I want a local email address. This is quite simple and allows me to forward any mail sent to this new address to my regular gmail account, even better with a little more work I can now send email as this new address right from the inbox of my gmail account. Have a look for your own suburb name and see whats happening. Or consider registering your own domain – I can help you with this so don’t hesitate to ask.

I hope I have added some value

Tony