Universal Athletics – Manifesto

Every self-respecting protest movement has at least one manifesto. Here is a first attempt to write one for Universal Athletics. Suggestions for improvements are appreciated.

1. Value God, your family and yourself above any sport.

2. Participate in sports and athletics that you find fun and keep you fit.

3. Cooperative sports are to be preferred to competitive sports.

4. Sportsmanship is the moral essence of the Athletes.

5. Many if not most competitive teams are wealth extraction organizations.

6. Team loyalty is nonsense, and pits your interests against those of a team.

7. Avoid sports related and other branded merchandise.

8: Exercising and playing is better than than watching others exercise and play.

 

Negative Gearing

I’m Precious Dollar. My role at the Unit One Collective is to discuss world economic issues.

Today, I’d like to report on the work of one of my heros, Yanis Varoufakis, once the Greek finance minister. He has written two influential books – The Global Minotaur and, most recently, And the weak suffer what they must? This week Yanis is in Sydney, Australia, to promote his new book. At a talk at the Sydney Writers’ Festival, he said that Australia could be a new Greece.

Yanis is not just someone who views Australia from afar. He lived and taught economics in Sydney from 1988 to 2000, and is an Australian citizen. There is an election campaign in Australia, and one issue being debated is that of negative gearing – a tax minimization strategy for property investors. Investors are being subsidized by taxpayers to invest in existing housing stocks, to the detriment of productive investments.

Yanis points out two unrecognized economic truths about Australia. There is massive private debt; the social economy is unsustainable. Private debt has created a (property) bubble in which the upper middle class are living an unsustainable, luxurious lifestyle,  despite a national current account deficit.

Companies are shuffling more paper, rather than producing more stuff. Chinese investors are buying more (subsidized) property, but car manufacturing stopped in 2013-4 with a loss of 200 000 jobs. This is a major error.

Yanis contrasts Australia with the United States. While American ideology focuses on a free market, American practice is for the state to invest heavily in whole networks of innovation and production: the military industrial complex, the medical industrial complex, even the prison industrial complex. They create networks of value creation, and actually produce things. In contrast, Australia is divesting itself of production.

Mariana Mazzucato in her 2013 The Entrepreneurial State: debunking public vs. private sector myths debunks the myth that the state is a lumbering, bureaucratic monster inhibiting a dynamic, innovative private sector. In a series of case studies—from IT, biotech, nanotech to today’s emerging green tech—Mazzucato shows that the private sector only invests after an entrepreneurial state has made the high-risk investments. Every technology that makes the iPhone ‘smart’ was government funded: the Internet, GPS, its touch-screen display and even Siri.

Mazzucato argues that the State has not only fixed market failures, but has also actively shaped and created markets. In doing so, it sometimes wins and sometimes fails. The State’s active risk taking role is unacknowledged. The public sector socializes risks, while rewards are privatized.

Yaris notes that capitalism is undermining itself.  Capitalism is failing to produce sufficient good-quality jobs. Millennials are getting heavily indebted to get a good education, and who are expecting to be able to land decent jobs. Simultaneously artificial intelligence is on the cusp of destroying hundreds of millions of good-quality jobs without replacing them.

Karl Marx predicted in the 19th century that the evolution of technology was going to destabilise the capitalism that created it.

Yaris ended his talk in Sydney with some simple questions for Australians: Do you need to have a crisis before you plan for the future? Are you going to move headlong into a crisis simply because you are refusing to plan ways of preventing the bursting of the bubble? Do you want to be forward looking or backward looking as a nation?

A more complete version of Yanis’ talk can be found here: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/may/25/yanis-varoufakis-australias-negative-gearing-is-scandalous

Precious

Universal Athletics – Logo & Motto

Today’s effort was to work on a logo for Universal Athletics. The first version has no text, the next ones incorporates the English language motto, “Having fun, Keeping fit”. This is followed by Norwegian and Swedish versions with the same motto in translation.

Without text

UA Logo

English Version

UA Logo + Motto

Norwegian Version

UA Norsk

Swedish Version

UA Svensk

Universal Athletics

The Olympic Games hold little appeal. They represent yet another example of how the world’s elite allow taxpayers to subsidize their participation at events, where a class of entertainers called athletes – many using performance enhancing drugs – compete.

The only way the majority get to see the Olympics is on their television screens. Rights to the events are sold to media corporations, who inflict viewers with excessive advertisements, to extract wealth for themselves – and the very exclusive 100 members of the International Olympic Committee.

The Olympic Games got off to a bad start. Nationalism was at the root of Greek interest in reviving the Olympic Games after the Greek War of Independence,  which ended in 1821. Games were held sporadically in 1859, 1870 and 1875.  The International Olympic Committee was started in 1894, organizing the 1896 Olympic Games. The committee focused on nationalism, inviting countries to compete against countries, rather than athletes to compete against athletes.

Participants outside the elite were also discriminated against, with an artificial distinction between amateur and professional. Two incidents were of particular importance. Jim Thorpe was stripped of his pentathlon and decathlon medals when it was discovered that he had played semi-professional baseball before the Olympics. Swiss and Austrian skiers boycotted the  1936 Winter Olympics in support of their skiing teachers, who were not allowed to compete because they earned money with their sport.

Jim Thorpe (1887-1953) is particularly interesting. Not only was he of mixed Native American and European ancestry, he excelled at many different sports. At Carlisle Indian Industrial school he competed in football, baseball, lacrosse and ballroom dancing. The pentathlon involves long jump, javelin throw, 200 metres, discus throw and 1500 metres. The decathaon features ten events over two days. Day 1: 100 metres,  long jump, shot put, high jump and 400 metres. Day 2: 110 metres hurdles, discus throw, pole vault, javelin throw and 1500 meters. Later, he played baseball, football and basketball professionally. An ABC Sports poll voted Thorpe the Greatest Athlete of the Twentieth Century in competition with 15 other world famous athletes.

Jim_Thorpe_Canton_Bulldogs_1915-20.png
Jim Thorpe

The Olympic Games were envisioned as a means for the aristocracy and other members of the elite to promote their own interests. This began to be eroded with Eastern Bloc state-sponsored full-time amateur athletes. Amateurism was gradually phased out of the Olympic Charter from the 1970s to 1988, when all professional athletes were made eligible to participate.

The reason behind this post is that Russian polevalter Yelena Isinbayeva says she will file a discrimination suit if Russia’’s ban from global track and field competition is upheld and she is barred from competing at the Rio Olympics. What this says is that the country, not the athlete is important. This is the wrong emphasis.

What I would like to happen is for people to forget about national teams and to encourage local athletics and sports. Athletics should be fun. I hope people will use their time between 2016-08-05 and 2016-08-21 to develop their own athletic potential, rather than sitting in front of a screen watching others.

If enough of us begin at the local level, a universal athletics movement can’t be far behind.

Pavel Golokin 2016 Yelena Isinbayeva
Yelena Isinbayeva

 

Unit One & Enhet Én

While Shelagh was helping me get my iPhone aps up to date, her alterego – Inger Færøl – was over at Enhet Én, helping the crew there make avatars of themselves. They kindly included an avatar of myself.

With Shelagh back in San Francisco, I was pressed into helping Karsk Skjenning when he needed some help  He is making a limited edition book(let) “Hyllest til Hylla” (Homage to Hylla, a village of about 370 people in Inderøy municipality). The 20 page A5 booklet is a collection of photographs taken there in 2015.

First, I cropped the rectangular photos in Adobe Photoshop, to square ones that Karsk prefers. Then he wanted an avatar for himself, similar to the ones Inger had made the week before, along with a logo for Enhet Én – Trøndelag. While I was at it, I made a derivative logo for Unit One – Cascadia. This involved Adobe Illustrator.  Once this material was available, I then used Adobe InDesign to pageset the photographs.

Hyllest til Hylla remains a work in progress, because Karsk is having a hard time deciding on photo captions.

Here is Karsk’s avatar, and the logos for Enhet Én – Trøndelag and Unit One – Cascadia. Happy McLellan, was very happy with the typeface selected. It is called Elephant, a fat face, ultra-bold serif typeface for digital display purposes. It was designed by Matthew Carter in 1992, and was originally released by Microsoft.

 

 

Thank you, Inger Færøl!

Inger gained valuable experience as a kindergarten teacher today. Her charge was 67 years old. In order to create a logo for the Unit One website, he only had to consult Shelagh eight to ten times for advice, in addition to the hour tutorial on using Adobe Illustrator.

This is a larger version of the image.While the house was made locally, the tree and apple barrel was downloaded from: http://www.pageresource.com/clipart/nature/trees/cartoon-apple-tree-clipart

Inger also made avatars for each of the members of the Unit One collective.

Billi Sodd

House

Poetry

I used to write poetry. Was it at Lester Pearson Senior Secondary  School, or was it Vincent Massey Junior Secondary School? Some of my poems were even published. To find out when and where will undoubtedly involve offline research.

Currently, I am undertaking an exploration of my soul, in yet another MOOC (Massive Open Online Course). Innovative Cascadia Poetry, offered by Cascadia College in Bothell, Washington, through the Canvas Network.

Looking for cargocollective.com, a personal publishing platform, memory failed me. I thought Cargo was called Canvas. Reaching the Canvas network I realized my mistake, but spent a few minutes looking at the free courses on offer.

We all know that just a few minutes of innocent diversion can have serious consequences, and so it happened once again. Another enrollment in yet another course.

Mindstorms

The past is such a haze.
I cannot remember
which are the true memories.

False memories are overrunning my mind.
Which are the deliberate lies?
Which are the innocent distortions?

It all would have been so much easier
If I had recorded it all:
video, audio, photos and words.

Film, tape, paper and hard drives
are more reliable than brain cells
with their endless mindstorms.

 

 

 

New Artwork

I’d like to thank Shelagh McLellan for her work making new artwork for me. These include both a personal avatar, as well as rectangular and square versions of a logo for Cliff Cottage.

Cliff Cottage-01
The rectangular version of the Cliff Cottage logo.
Brock
My personal avatar

The artwork was made using Adobe Illustrator. They use Futura typeface.

While I live !!!

Both my son, Alasdair, and my daughter, Shelagh, are at home, and I am trying to get some order into my blogs. I have three. This one is the first, and original. The second, which I forgot about until today, is www.designeeds.wordpress.com. It looks at design “needs, seeds and weeds”. The third, started yesterday, is www.unitwon.wordpress.com, (Unit One) which involves a number of personas interacting harmoneously and otherwise.

As of today, I retire in 232 days. I am looking forward to entering a new age of freedom, that ends with frailty, forgetfulness or death.

In my original post I mentioned “Prosperity without Growth” and our addiction to novelty. Now, I’d like to mention Nicholas Carr’s “The Shallows” which addresses internet addictions. I am now trying to spend at least an hour each day reading books.

My Citroën Evasion died in 2012, and was replaced by a Mazda 5. It is not the best of relationships. Every time I refuel I feel a twinge of guilt about global climate change and local emissions. I am looking forward to a future with three important forms of transport: walking as my primary means of transport,  a more occassional use of Lyft combined with autonomous electric vehicles, and – for intra and intercontinental travel – the hyperloop, which a couple of days ago had a successful test run of its propulsion systeum.

Literature

I am trying harder to avoid being inspired by the literature I’ve read as a child. I am actively trying to find new literature. Not many new authors of fiction, with the exception of works by Ivan Doig, Armistead Maupin and Colin MacInnis. Marc Reisner’s “Cadillac Desert” has been inspiring. Carmen Aguirre has been fun. Robert Riech, Joseph Stiglitz, Ha-Joon Chang have improved my understanding of economics.

Travel Goals

Islands and archipelagos continue to attract, especially British Columbia’s Gulf Islands, and Washington State’s San Juan Islands. In Europe, the islands of the B-7 Baltic Islands Network hold considerable appeal, Denmark’s Bornholm, Germany’s Rügen, Sweden’s Öland and Gotland Islands, Estonia’s Hiiumaa and Saaremaa Islands, and the Finnish autonomous Åland Islands.

Portugal and Portugese territories continue to attract, especially the Azores and Madeira.  In the USA, Hawaii attracts me, the wind, the waves, the geography, the geology, the volcanos and hot springs, the plants, the animals. With Shelagh living in San Francisco, I would like to explore more of California.

Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is still at the top of my travel list.

Winters

As mentioned before, Norway’s winters do not appeal, and I would still like a home in a winter warm area. Contenders still include: France and Portugal. There are large English speaking populations in Provence, the Algarve and on Madeira.

Languages

While I speak and write English and Norwegian, I have spent 500 days improving my French (and Swedish).

Unit One

House

Welcome to the Unit One collective.

We are a vibrant group of women and men, young and old, from a variety of backgrounds. Together we are united in our aspirations to transform the planet. Our goal is a happier, more democratic and more egalitarian world.

Members of the Unit One collective include:

Alexa Qvam is a children’s writer. She is concerned with social responsibility and the impact of technology. Like all Norwegians, Alexa was born with skis on her feet. During the green winter she migrates from cross country skis to roller skis –  effectively reducing the average speed of tourists, motoring along Norway’s narrow roads.

Billi Sodd has been in and out of prison most of his adult life. Billi is a pop artist, imitating the work of Marjorie Strider. His works include “Meat Soup”, “National Costume (female)”, “National Costume (male)” and “Modesty”, a series of eight paintings showing seven generational changes in swim wear. This last work is on permanent display at Vømmel Prison..

Brigand Brewer spends his days working as a museologist and writing about history. His nights are devoted to understanding the mysteries of the Salish Sea, and its peoples. He enjoys sailing, and dreams of circumnavigating Vancouver Island.

Jade Marmot calls himself an auteur, but in reality is just a bad filmmaker. Jade’s first film “Garden Party, Part 1” is still being edited, more than a year after it was shot. Jade is married to Daffy (Daffodil). He is inspired by Thierry Guetta.

Qwerty Asdf is a screenwriter. Between scripts he works as a water well driller and a caterer (on weekends).

Minor characters …

Liberty & Modesty Patience explore the world of Virtuous Reality. While Liberty has studied moral philosophy, modesty is a musician bringing philosophy alive.

Precious Dollar brings the world of economics into the collective. Befitting her training as a fresh water (neoliberal) economist, she asks critical questions about capitalism.

Proton Bletchley is an environmentalist, but with a taste for robots and artificial intelligence.

Mini characters …

Friends of Unit One include the photographer Karsk Skjenning, and professional muse Inger Færøl.