Activism Climate Change Education Environment Food Video

Commentary on Billions to Be Served: Meeting the Needs of the People and the Planet

Panel discussion from the the Aspen Ideas Festival.  Thanks to the Breakaway Cook Eric Gower for the tip.

Billions to Be Served: Meeting the Needs of the People and the Planet
The United Nations has determined that, in the next 40 years, we must double crop production to feed, fuel and clothe nine billion people. How do we meet this challenge with converting every forest and savannah into agricultural land? What are the unexpected alliances that can lead the way forward?

My thoughts:

Panelist Jason Clay mentions that one of the ways to increase agricultural yields is to open up patents and other research information to foster innovation and increase equality of access of food production technologies.  Controversy over genetic engineering aside, I can agree in principle with that strategy.  He makes the unfortunate use of the words “intellectual property,” an overreaching and unhelpful term.  What is at stake here is patents specifically, as well as research data (scientific facts, whose protection as “intellectual property” under copyright is questionable).  Patents and copyrights are temporary monopolies designed to promote innovation.  “Intellectual property,” is a confusing and problematic umbrella term that conflates this kind of monopoly with actual physical property.  (See Richard Stallman’s article for more)

Art Audio Fun Music

From the Vaults: Teenage Compositions

Here are  some of my earliest musical compositions (dating from the early and mid 1990’s, when I was just entering high school). I started playing around with MIDI sequencing and audio processing during this time, and here are the results of my experimentation. At times cringe-worthily cheesy, and other times still surprisingly brilliant 10 years later (If I do say so myself).  In any case, I present my nostalgic tasting menu of teenage angst and experimentation.

A.G. – Weird erratic/eclectic General MIDI madness
Drama Queen – Smoky night-time eyes, tape hiss, and more drama
Dream – MIDI-powered koto and shamisen Orientalism, oh my!
Fondue – Minimalist mating music for robots
Hymn – A terrifying deconstructed Taiwanese hymn
Last Song – Just when you thought it was over, last but not last
Prozac Piano – Pop a pill before you listen

You know you want to download them all in one ZIP file.