Over Fragmenten.blog

Jeppe Kleyngeld is redacteur en schrijft en publiceert veel over bedrijfseconomische onderwerpen via o.a. FM.nl, CFO.nl, MenA.nl en AccountantWeek.nl. Lees hier zijn uitgebreide profiel en bekijk hier een selectie van zijn publicaties. Op Fragmenten uit het Schemerland blogt hij over zijn andere grote passies: film, televisie, filosofie, psychologie en wetenschap. Momenteel werkt hij ook aan een Engelstalige website met wetenschappelijke en filosofische essays over bewustzijn genaamd Free-Consciousness.com. In het archief van deze weblog vind je een grote verzameling blogs, essays en verhalen. Een speciale selectie is ook in e-boek vorm gepubliceerd. Enjoy!

Van 51 miljard ton uitstoot naar 0

Hoe komen we van onze verslaving aan fossiele brandstoffen af? Laat die enorm complexe vraag maar over aan de rijkste nerd ter wereld: Bill Gates. De oud-Microsoft oprichter dook in het klimaatprobleem en schreef er het urgente boek over: ‘How to Avoid a Climate Disaster’.

Bill Gates (65), oprichter van Microsoft, multimiljardair en filantroop, is tien jaar bezig geweest de oorzaken en gevolgen van klimaatverandering te onderzoeken. Met behulp van experts in natuurkunde, scheikunde, biologie, technologie, politieke wetenschap en finance heeft hij in kaart gebracht wat er moet gebeuren om een klimaatcatastrofe te voorkomen. ‘Naar nul gaan zal heel erg moeilijk zijn, maar het is mogelijk’, aldus Gates.

51 miljard ton. Dat is de hoeveelheid broeikasgassen die we met de mensheid uitstoten in een jaar tijd. Dat moet terug naar nul omdat CO2 heel lang in de atmosfeer blijft en warmte vasthoudt. Dat levert allemaal vervelende (en extreem prijzige) problemen op, zoals droogte, bosbranden, stormen en overstromingen. En slechts een halve graad verschil – van 1,5 naar twee – kan tot een 100 procent slechter resultaat leiden.

Tegelijkertijd groeit de wereldbevolking naar tien miljard mensen in 2050 en zal de behoefte aan energie, voeding, spullen en transport op aarde flink toenemen. Dat zijn twee gigantische uitdagingen naast elkaar die we moeten oplossen. En de enige manier om dat te doen is schone energie zo goedkoop maken dat zelfs de armste landen erop over kunnen schakelen. Door de coronacrisis zal de uitstoot met slechts twee of drie miljard ton dalen. Dat is het bewijs dat we er niet gaan komen met minder vliegen en autorijden.

Een lege badkuip
Het doel is volgens Gates om naar nul uitstoot te gaan. De reden is dat het klimaat te vergelijken is met een badkuip die volstroomt. Als we minder uitstoten stroomt de badkuip nog steeds vol alleen langzamer. Natuurlijk zullen we altijd nog wel wat fossiele brandstoffen gebruiken. Daarvoor kan Direct Air Capture (DAC) -technologie worden ingezet dat atmosferische lucht aantrekt en vervolgens via een reeks chemische reacties de kooldioxide (CO2) extraheert. Kunnen we deze technologie niet gewoon massaal inzetten om het gehalte CO2 op het optimale niveau te houden? Helaas is dat technologisch niet mogelijk op deze schaal (Gates heeft wel het prijskaartje toegevoegd voor als dat wel zou kunnen: 5,1 biljoen dollar, 6 procent van de wereldeconomie). Al is het niet de ultieme oplossing, zal DAC wel een belangrijk onderdeel zijn van de weg naar nul.

Wat moet er allemaal gebeuren?
Fossiele brandstoffen zijn overal: plastic, cement, hamburgers, elektriciteit, wegen, tunnels, wc-papier en kleding… Of ze bevatten fossiele brandstoffen en/of ze worden vervoerd met voertuigen die fossiele brandstoffen verbranden. Per dag gebruiken we vier miljard vaten olie en deze olie is goedkoper dan frisdrank. Dus voorlopig zit stoppen er niet in. Maar het pad inzetten richting nul kan wel en dat vraagt om een complexe combinatie van openbaar beleid en technologische innovatie. Wat de transitie lastig zal maken is weerstand vanuit de energie-industrie die gebaat is bij de status quo. ‘Wat we moeten doen is de juiste incentives invoeren om het gedrag van mensen en bedrijven te veranderen. Dit zal niet makkelijk worden’, schrijft Gates.

>>> Lees verder op CFO.nl <<<

Jung, psychologist and idealist philosopher

Born in Switzerland, Carl Gustav Jung (1875 – 1961), along with Sigmund Freud, became the most well known psychiatrist of the twentieth century and possibly of all time.

In his little book ‘Decoding Jung’s metaphysics’, philosopher Bernardo Kastrup analyses Jung’s metaphysics. In other words: What is beyond what we think of as the physical world? Or in Kastrup’s words: A metaphysics of nature entails a certain view about what nature is in and of itself, as opposed to how it behaves (which is the study of science).

According to Kastrup, Jung hid his thoughts about this in his writing, because he was first and foremost a scientist. But Kastrup makes it obvious that Jung was also very much an idealist philosopher, which means that he thought that mind is primary in nature. In Jung’s view, the psyche holds the body rather than the other way around.

Famous principles in Jung’s work are archetypes, the collective unconscious and synchronicity, all principles that fit the idealist view very nicely. Jung considers the unconscious integral to the psyche. Sometimes, experiences in the unconscious can potentially cross the boundary and enter ego-consciousness. That is clearly an idealist position: There is only one mind (mind-at-large) and egos are localisations of this mind-at large or collective unconscious (or for the Dutch reader: Fragmenten uit het Schemerland). Content of this collective unconscious could potentially enter the ego-mind. Jung refers to these experiences as ‘psychoid’.

Jung describes archetypes as unconscious, but nonetheless active-living dispositions, ideas in the Platonic sense, that perform and continually influence our thoughts and feelings and actions. These ideas have effects which have an organizing influence on the contents of consciousness.

For instance, the inner life and behavior of a mother towards her child is largely determined by the so-called ‘mother archetype’, a mode of being and acting that is inherited by every woman and constellated by the presence of the child. These behaviours are thus not learned, but inborn. They correspond to the primordial templates of the collective unconscious (the larger mind) as they assert themselves by impinging on ego-consciousness.

The archetypes cannot be apprehended in and of themselves. All we can assess is the organising effects on our ego-consciousness. This is once again an idealist perspective. All we know, and can ever know for certain, is what we directly perceive. We cannot observe archetypes directly. All we have is the images, dreams and visions they help create. An archetype is a tendency that ‘tends’ to express itself in a certain way, Kastrup writes.

Each archetype can manifest itself to a variety of images, feelings and spontaneous behavioural patterns, all of which symbolize – or point to – a message. Our deeper dreams, visions, passions and impulsive actions thus have a meaning and can be interpreted, if only we pay attention to them. Taken together, the archetypal manifestations in our lives – in both dream and waking states – form a symbolic narrative meant to show to ego-consciousness what is going on in the unconscious. It is up to the Jung-analyst to unravel the meaning of these narratives.

Synchronicity is described by Jung as the simultaneous occurrence of a certain physic state with one or more external events which appear as meaningful parallels to the momentary subjective state. As an example, Jung famously reported an incident he witnessed during a therapy session. The female patient he was seeing related a dream in which she was given a golden scarab, an important archetypal symbol of rebirth. As she was recounting the dream, an insect began knocking on the window. Jung let it in and found it was a rose chafer beetle, an insect that looks very much like a scarab.

How can these strong links occur between the mind and physical world when there is only causality? According to Kastrup, who decoded Jung’s work, Jung believed in a non-local, organising foundation of nature. If the ego-mind and the physical world both arise from this deeper (mental) foundation, then these meaningful coincidences start to make a whole lot more sense. This is once again an idealistic proposition.

And so, the inescapable conclusion is that Jung was an idealist who thought that nature is in and of itself consciousness.

More on Kastrup’s writing can be found on his website.

The Verdict: Army of the Dead

When the great zombie revival began with Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later (2002), director Zack Snyder (300, Man of Steel) was one of the first to capitalize on it with a remake of Dawn of the Dead (2004). His innovation: running zombies. While it took some getting used to, it added to the suspense. In Army of the Dead, another breed of zombies is introduced: the Alphas. They’re some type of intelligent zombies. While the master of the genre George A. Romero experimented with this idea in Day of the Dead (1985) and Land of the Dead (2005), the Alphas are definitely the most advanced flesh eaters yet. They can communicate, they can hunt every effectively, and I’ll admit: they’re pretty creepy. There are also ‘normal’ zombies present in this apocalypse by the way.

The pandemic occurred in Las Vegas this time, and the US government managed to maintain it within the city borders. As they are about to nuke Vegas, a group of mercenaries go in to steal 200 million dollars from a casino safe before the city is destroyed. These bad asses have to deal with normal zombies, Alphas and double crossers amongst their own ranks. As can be expected, Snyder throws in his usual visual eye candy, and admittedly, Army of the Dead looks pretty stunning. Unfortunately, it appears as though they’ve fired their continuity officer before the shoot began. There are a bunch of really major errors, even for a film of this kind. However, a campy story like this is too delicious to resist and the largely unknown cast definitely do a great job. There is also no lack of gory zombie extermination action and funny side gags along the way (this is Vegas, so an Elvis zombie and tiger zombie – from Siegfried & Roy – are present). Snyder is having a good time again and it shows.

Army of the Dead is now available on Netflix

The verdict: to stream or not to stream? To stream.

Who are the Five Families in ‘The Godfather’?

There are a lot of references in Mario Puzo’s famous novel to ‘The Five Families’, which doesn’t seem to include the Corleone Family.

For example in the following passage: ‘For the last year the Corleone Family had waged war against the five great Maffia Families of New York and the carnage had filled the newspapers. If the five families include the Corleone’s, then why doesn’t it say: … against the other four great Mafia Families?

There are many other references, like: ‘The heads of the Five Families made frantic efforts to prepare a defence against the bloody retaliatory war that was sure to follow Sonny’s death.’ Or: ‘The Five Families and the Corleone Empire were in stalemate.’

Then the big meeting of bosses comes, so we can finally learn who the Five Families are and Puzo messes it up. It reads: ‘The representatives of the Five Families of New York were the last to arrive and Tom Hagen was struck by how much more imposing, impressive, these five men were than the out-of-towners, the hicks. For one thing, the five New York Dons were in the old Sicilian tradition, they were ‘men with a belly’ meaning, figuratively, power and courage; and literally, physical flesh, as if the two went together, as indeed they seemed to have done in Sicily. The five New York Dons were stout, corpulent men with massive leontine heads, features on a large scale, fleshy imperial noses, thick mouths, heavy folded cheeks. They had the look of no-nonsense busy men without vanity.’

Don Corleone is already there from the beginning, so you would expect five bosses to be introduced now, but we only get four: Anthony Stracci, Ottilio Cuneo, Emilio Barzini and Philip Tattaglia. What the hell?!?!

There is also another passage here pointing to five families besides the Corleones. It reads: ‘Of the five New York Families opposing the Corleones, Stracci was the least powerful but the most well disposed.’ That proves it: there is a family missing here.

Yes, in real-life there are five New York Families (Bonanno, Colombo, Gambino, Genovese, Lucchese) and not six, but these passages in the novel make it very clear that the Corleone Empire is NOT considered as one of the five. Why did Puzo create this unclear situation? This seems rather sloppy for a capable writer like him.

Francis Ford Coppola could have corrected this mistake in the movie, but he didn’t. The movie also includes a few of these references. Like Tom Hagen proclaiming: “All the five families would come after you, Sonny.…” Or Don Vito saying: “I want you to arrange a meeting with the heads of the Five Families.”

I have searched for an answer, but found nothing. We, lovers of popular culture, will have to live forever with this frustrating, inconsequent, mess-up. Good luck with that.