Looking forward and down – in a good but freaky way

Whoa! Garden geeks listen up. Is it just me or do the latest brilliant ideas from Jeremy Rifkin, prolific writer, lecturer, and advisor to heads of state, sound familiar? In his latest book, The Zero Marginal Cost Society, he explains his theory about “the emerging Internet of Things”, a “global Collaborative Commons and the eclipse of capitalism.”

Bear with me.

Basically he’s suggesting that we’re heading towards a new Industrial Revolution. (No surprise there. We’re due for one.) This revolution is already in motion and it’s all about the Internet. He’s saying that the Internet will extend beyond economic and social capacities to include energy, logistics and material fabrication. In fact, that’s already happening.

Watch the video below as he explains his ideas. You’ll be impressed at how easy he is to follow (I was) even if you aren’t an economics major (I’m not).

Then watch the video “6 Ways Mushrooms Can Save The World”. See any similarities? I do.

Paul Stamets is riveting as he talks about mushrooms but he’s also giving an albeit unconventional lesson in how the soil ecosystem works. Basically, it’s a relatively stable environment (when humans don’t screw it up) in which mycorrhizal associations (dirt’s version of the internet) use a trio of elements (water, carbon and minerals) to create energy, deliver energy, communicate between organisms and build pretty much everything needed to sustain that environment. So, this is a complete system functioning at zero marginal cost.

If it works under our feet already, I think chances are Mr. Rifkin isn’t too far off the mark in suggesting it can happen above ground. If we don’t screw it up.

What do you think?

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