Tuesday, September 23, 2008

22nd of September - World's Carfree Day

Today is the World's Carfree Day. Yeap, 22nd of September. Nevertheless, the traffic in Sao Paulo is as intense as usually. For today being Monday, it actually seems even heavier than normally in the beginning of the week.
I know that because I take a bus every day for at least 45 minutes to work and depending on traffic, minimum 1 hour, maximum 2 to get home. My work is about 40 km from home.
Well ... at least it's a bus of about 50 people in it, not a car, right? and runs on biodiesel, not petroleum. So a bit better? And the company neutralizes carbon emissions. Should be alright then?

Yeah, I guess that's a pretty good option for commuting. Just that ... there's NO MORE SPACE on the streets! And even if someone wanted to choose a public transport or a bicycle, then ... the public transport is crowded, and for the second option - you'd be suicidal, if you wanted to bicycle in SP!
Quick fact: in a city of 13 million (with Grange Sao Paulo about 18 million) there's about 4,5 km bicycle roads outside of parks.

AND...here come some Sao Paulo traffic stats:
- more than 6 million cars on the streets, which, when lined up would almost reach around the world (40 000 km)
- 48 571 new cars in March alone (64% increase compared to the previous year)
- in 12 month period the number of cars increased 6,7% compared to the year before, which is 16 times more than the rate of population growth in Sao Paulo (0,41%)
- Daily, 1000 new cars are bought, in March the number grew up to 1500
- Average speed at the peak hour is 27 km per hour for cars and 12 km/h for public bus

One of the strategies the city implements is "rodizio": depending on your plate number, you are not allowed on the streets on certain days or hours (to alleviate the burden on the streets to accommodate the cars).

When I asked my friend, what would he do if the "rodizio" became tougher, he simply said, he'd get a second car.
Well, can't really blame him. Depending on a route, to cover a distance of 1 hr car ride, it could sometimes take up to 3 hours by public transport!!

They say, the metro system has been under financed for the last 28 years... as well as the bicycle roads ... and I think, there's quite a work to be done for responsible consumerism as well.
I wonder how much would the mainsteam ways of working change in the future due to traffic conditions (home office, flexible working hours etc.). It is already happening, I am just wondering about the mainstreaming effect...

I am curious about the future of our Sao Paulo.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Going to the depths of things ... until loosing sight of the measure of right and wrong, truth and false
Going to the depths of things ... breaking down of what once seemed an "absolute"
Going to the depths of things ... discovering
Going to the depths of things ... understanding
Going to the depths of things ... unlearning and relearning
Going to the depths of things ... loosening the grip of what had seemed complete and clear, setting it free, setting myself free
Going to the depths of things ... being guided by intuition (I didn't know it speaks to me!!)
Going to the depths of things ... sensing the direction, consolidating

The path feels right.
There's no hurry.
But excitement.


Time is a partner, not an enemy.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Reflections on ethics and the process of making things happen

Effective implementation of solutions for critical sustainability equations.

Insights of Oscar Motomura during Tallberg concert that followed a session of the Moral Boundaries Workshop, Summer 2008

IF ETHICS is the CHOICE for the COMMON GOOD (global reach and including all living beings): ...

deciding not to act because it is difficult and there are uncertainties involved ... is not ethical;

deciding to act small because it is more comfortable ... is not ethical;

deciding to hold back (your proposals, ideas and actions) because you don't want to go against "the group" ... is not ethical;

deciding doing the possible instead of trying to make the impossible possible ... is not ethical;

deciding to use just a part of your potential (to "save" it for self interest purposes) ... is not ethical;

deciding not to persist up to the limits of your forces ... it is not ethical;

deciding to conform to existing limitations (even the ones in the form of inadequate laws) ... is not ethical;

deciding not to act, to stay silent, letting fear stay in the way ... is not ethical;

deciding to conform to the "letter of law" instead of persisting on the path defined by the "spirit of law" ... is not ethical;

deciding to "delegate" your natural power, as a world citizen, to others ... is not ethical;

deciding not to try because nobody tried before ... is not ethical;

deciding not to act on the challenges of scale and complexity because they look overwhelming ... is not ethical;

deciding not to pursue the perfection and conform to what seems "negotiable" ... is not ethical;

deciding to postpone bold actions again and again "waiting for the right moment" ... is not ethical;

deciding not to act pressed by the conventions established by your own "professional community" ... is not ethical;

deciding to hold back because you may not be recognised as the author of the solution ... is not ethical;

deciding to "play the game" and pretend that you are not seeing the manipulations underway ... is not ethical;

deciding to live in the realm of ideas, diagnosis and theories instead of taking the risks and going for action ... is not ethical;

deciding to act only when all is scientifically proven, even when the truth is self evident ... is not ethical;

deciding to reject all radically creative ideas (yours including) when the "traditional-not-so-radical" ideas have not been working ... is not ethical;

deciding not to act because the process of reaching the perfect solution is too complex and difficult to implement ... is not ethical;

deciding to reject every proposal that looks "idealistic" and "utopic" ... is not ethical.

Saturday, September 06, 2008


I started a running practice this week, organized by the company I work for, they hire professionals to train the ones that have interest. In contrary to my initial thought, it was not just a jogging in a park, but a real running practice!! Some people of the group run marathons!!

To my own surprise:
- After the first training, I felt like part of me had re-awakened. The part that used to be in all sports competitions in high school, brought home medals, the one that thrived on sports, the strength, speed, heights, distance... I realized how much these things have not been part of my life in the last ...um...10 years.
I think from what I am sensing now, some forward going movement might come out.

- It reminded me how much I learned by doing sports. I think at some level, the sports really bring out and shape some particular characteristics like persistence, for example.

- And then the realization of how much ones mindset determines the outcome of loosing or winning. I do remember the judo matches when I lost in 10 seconds or sprints where I was paralyzed by fear. And then some other times where I focused on strength and success and it actually did work...

- Thought after 8 km run yesterday (aihh these long distance runners!!): sometimes the big picture doesn't matter a thing. If you know you are on the right track, just keep your eyes on the heels of the guy in front of you and keep going and keep going and keep going.
And damn it's hard to keep on going when the one in front steps aside and there's no one else on sight to hold on to and the finish is still far away.

- A thought on potential: how often do we give up because we think that we have reached our limits? And how much of the undiscovered we would reveal if we didn't stop just there yet! And after that just reached out even a bit further?
I think that applies everywhere. How often does 8 km seem just way too much to run in one go? or how unachievable do certain dreams seem to be at times?
Is it really too much then?