In the meantime

It’s been now a long time since the last post, but I’ve kept finding utterly interesting things around the 3W, and as it suits the subject and purpose of this blog, I find rather appropriate sharing them with you.

Let’s start with renewable energies. I assume that at some point you’ve read or heard sea is an untapped energy source. Indeed, it contains an incredibly high amount of energy, but both engineers and experience say that it’s very difficult to transform that energy into something we could ultimately use to obtain electricty or any other kind of usable source of everyday energy.

Until now, tidal, wave and ocean winds were the main electricity-generating technologies. Some examples:

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Pelamis wave farm
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Tidal power plant in France
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Wind turbines in Norway

 

 

 

 

 

A few days ago, however, I found an exciting new way of producing electricity out of wave power. It’s called Wave Star, and the corporate website claims that “the concept was created by two sailing enthusiasts around 16 years ago. Let’s have a look into this concept:

Visual Tour of the Wave Star Machine (opens in a new)

For further info, you can watch this video here, about the company and the technology used by Wave Star.

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Lets move on to the second item I wish to show you. If Wave Star is aimed to power around 400 households (for a plant consisting only of 20 floats), this gadget is only meant to charge your phone, tablet or any similar device. Its name is Bioo and it’s been designed by Autonomous University of Barcelona and Ramon Llull University students, in partnership with the startup Arkyne Technology.

The concept is quite simple: get electricity from the normal metabolism of a plant. The tricky part is how to realize this idea. Well, they managed to! It seems that it’s all about the plantpot. The upper part is like any of your plantpots at home, with the soil and the plant itself, but what’s new is the base of it. It contains some sort of biological cell which produces a decent amount of electricity (5.0v, 1.0A). I’m sure that this video explains it way a lot better!

The startup launchpad Indiegogo website has the rest of the information.

Thanks for reading!

Down to work (part 1)

Down to work (part 1)

I’m really glad you are reading this words right now. That means I somehow managed to arise some sort of interest in the by-product of my thoughts. In these “Down to work” series I’m going to look over the three elements that make up our theory, namely: capitalism, social concerns and ecology.

 


 

CONCERNING CAPITALISM

It’s time we start laying down the foundations of the so-called “E-S Capitalism theory”. Now, which parts or elements of neo-capitalism diserve to be saved? Without any intention at all of trespassing into economists’ or philosophers’ respective fields, capitalism, as I see it, is one of the various possible ways of organizing the economical activity. I have two main arguments I’d like to share:

  • Creative, hard-working people are the ones who eventually achieve “success (arguably this term is very very subjective, but let’s keep it simple): my point is, given the current state of things, someone who has a great idea -of any kind- and makes a display of willpower strong enough, will become successful. Of course, there are many legitimate arguments against this (luck, available opportunities depending on the birth place, family resources, …), but still, there is a wide array of outstanding stories out there (Angus Deaton tells us one in the preface of his work The Great Escape (recommended at all times), that show that is possible indeed. I would like to remind my readers that this is not about criticising Capitalism; instead it’s about collecting the ocasional good things it might have.
  • Greed is goodif you’ve seen Wall Street (1987) you know what I’m talking about (a great film indeed). Nevertheless, I’m not referring to that kind of greed, but to a different one: I call it hunger (reference: Steve Job’s Commencement at Stanford in 2005). It’s some sort of thirst for success that pushes people forward, ultimately leading them beyond the breaking point. Unfortunately, in today’s world the currency within success is not personal fulfilment nor self-achievement, but money; so this is what we are looking to.

[I’m noticing that all these ideas might be a little bit messy; that’s why I’m going to ask my reader to be patient: it takes time to fit it all the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, but when they finally do, a beautiful image shows up.]

So, it’s about making money through great ideas, networking, personal skills, leadership, teamwork, financial backup, economics of scale, exports, … Let’s put aside all this concepts for a while, because they’re going to be the first ingredients of our pie.

An explanation would be nice

Please, be very welcome my very personal laboratory, in which I plan to pour my thoughts about something that’s been running through my mind for quite a long time now. Not a long time ago, whilst I was discussing this matters with some aquintances, I needed to quickly set a convincing yet precise name for it, in order to avoid making the wrong impression on them. Capitalismo eco-social (I first named it in Spanish), or Eco-Social Capitalism, English version (hence the very name of this blog).

I consider a straight-forward explanation to be pointless, even counter-productive for a variety of reasons:

first, and probably the most imporant, I still don’t have a clear vision of where I sense this journey would take us;

second, if I just wrote a post with everything I’ve got in mind, what would be the fun in writing a blog?

and third, in an article many things can be said, but through the way a blog works, every idea that dares to cross in our path can be explored in-depth.

However, with the sole purpose of avoid losing my potential readers, I’ll give you somewhat of an advance.

Recent -and not so recent- History has shown us that capitalism neither in the original Adam Smith’s layout nor in the one of modern neo-capitalism works, at least not completely. I see no point in wasting time or space here to enlist all the flaws, extensively treated by renowned authors [way too much wing-sided, but Carlos Taibo’s En defensa del decrecimiento is a nice work to read]; as for the goal of this post, common knowledge about the matter will suffice. Despite all the previous , I still can see the brilliance of the system.

So, how is my idea of capitalism any different from the current statu quo machine? Because I have really serious concerns about two more subjects apart from pure economical greed: social issues (please do not get confused with socialism) and ecology (no, I don’t wear 10-inch-long beard, big round glasses or flared jeans, and no, I’m not hippy).

The point is, how these three blend together? That’s exactly what I mean to find out…