Welcome To Ted's Brief Autobiography


Ted - 2014

Jan 3rd 2024, simple update of this page, moved the links below up to the top.

My wordpress blog is now where I do most of my writing. My current activities.

I guess the big news is being noted in the 2022 New Year's honors list as recipient of the Queens Service Medal (QSM) for services to conservation (alongside Ailsa).

My major mission remains creating global peace and prosperity and empowering individual freedom/responsibility, such that we all get a real option of living a very long time as the ability to extend lifespans indefinitely becomes generally available.

Evidence is now building that about 2035 is the likely date for achieving longevity escape velocity (adding more years to our health span than we age). Creating conditions that give potentially long lived individuals a reasonable probability of actually doing so with reasonable degrees of resources and freedom will require substantive changes to many levels of our very complex systems (social, political, technological, economic).

Five of the bigger changes required are:

  • A general acceptance that every level of complexity is necessarily built upon a new level of cooperation, and any level of competition that does not respect the boundaries required to sustain that cooperation is a threat to the existence of that level of complexity. Competition is not the friend to liberty that many simple dogmas propose. Without real limits, competition is actually an existential level threat.
  • A general acceptance that every level of freedom demands an appropriate level of responsibility, or it is necessarily destructive. Freedom is essential, and it must respect the boundaries required for the existence of itself and others. When multiple levels of agents are present simultaneously, that can get extremely complex.
  • Any real expression of freedom results in diversity, and any instance of diversity that is not an unreasonable thrat to the life or liberty of anyone else must be accepted and respected. That will be difficult for many.
  • Science and mathematics and logic have now established beyond any shadow of reasonable doubt that the reality in which we exist contains multiple classes of fundamental uncertainty and unknowability. It now seems very probable that there is fundamental uncertainty, even as it must also be true that at some levels reality does very closely approximate classical causality. That difference is profoundly important for any deeply interested in the nature and limits of freedom and creativity (and those a very deep subjects).
  • All models and understanding of whatever reality is must be simplifications of it, and thus necessarily wrong in some situations. Very simple models do have the sometimes very useful characteristic of allowing rapid decision making, and often speed is essential to survival, so we all necessarily have a strong and deep tendency to simplify when under stress, the more stress the more simplification. In an age of exponential change, this is not necessarily a useful characteristic. When faced with a charging predator, or rapidly approaching bus, it can be very useful, but most of the issues we face today demand profoundly more complex and nuanced decision making if we are to have any significant chance of long term surival.
  • I am a husband, a father, managing director of Solution-Multipliers NZ Ltd (and designer, programmer, support technician and office cleaner), a keen politician, philosopher, fisherman, cyclist, pilot, hunter and conservationist.

    Since 2015 Ailsa's banded dotterel project has grown significantly, and now consumes a significant fraction of my time. I am licenced to band the birds, and also do surveys over several kms of coast each week during the season.

    In 2005 I was a founding member of Te Korowai o Te Tai o Marokura (the Kaikoura coastal management group) and I remain active in that as of 2022. That led to the formation of the Kaikoura Marine Guardians, and I was and remain a founding appointee. Following the Kaikoura Earthquake I was appointed by the Guardians as their representative on the Restoration Liason Group (the oversight committee for the road and rail rebuild), which role kept me busy into 2021.

    In 2002 I joinded Kaikorua Forest and Bird, and was a frequent attendee at meetings of the Huttons Shearwater recovery group. In 2015 I joined the Hutton's Shearwater Charitable Trust, and have chaired the Trust since 2016. Since 2017 I have had prime responsibility for the Te Rae o Atiu artificial colony. That role means grounds maintenance, fence repairs, grass cutting, mouse control, maintence of elecrtonic recording equipment, data gathering and analysis (including software design and update), that requires at minimum weekly and often daily involvement. I am also primarily responsible for banding and PIT tag insertion for Hutton's Shearwaters.

    In 2011 ECan called for expressions of interest in local water management. I was an original appointeed to the Kaikoura Zone Water Management committee, and have chaired that committee since 2015. I was until 2021 also involved in the regional committee, and I remain a member of the Northern Region Biosecurity committee.

    In 2007 I joined the Kaikoura Lions Club, and have held many roles, and am still on the board, with heavy involvement in the Lions Family Fishing Contest each year.

    And I still do some golf, tramping and cycling. Am on the committees of each club, and in early 2021 got my handicap to its lowest ever at 11, with my best round being 78 on our par 72 course. Not that I have played anywhere near that well in the last 10 months.

    And there remains my online work with many groups on future of humanity, risk mitigation, awareness of complexity, and AI development. [end of Jan 2022 update - historical stuff follows.]

    Had a go standing for Mayor of Kaikoura in the 2016 Local body elections. (failed but got my deposit back)

    Our Christmas 2010 newsletter was the last such update - facebook and wordpress now seem the dominant mechanisms of communication.

    My websites (now local copies remain 2022) solnx and Vision 2020 give a good outline of much of my earlier thinking. I am getting more concerned that we are running out of time. We have passed the latest solar activity minimum, and the Sun's activity will pick up significantly over the next few years. If the downturn in the US economy leads to any reduction in jet aircraft traveling across the northern hemisphere (the vapour trails and ices crystals from which reflect back much of the sun's energy to space), then we could see some very rapid increases in the effects of global warming (these two things have masked most of the longer term trends over the last decade - if both reverse, we, as a species, could have real problems). We need tools that can let us deal with these possibilities, or the opposite (like dust from a major volcanic explosion blocking the suns rays and leading to crop failure over much of the planet). That demands exponential technology deployed in space.

    On 19th June 2010 I had an oncologist tell me that the melanoma removed from my temple 2 years ago had metastacised and spread thoughout my body. He said that while 3 tumours had been removed from my jaw and neck, there are at least two more on my liver, and there is nothing proven that can alter the survival probabilities more than placebo. The median is 5 months, 2% make 2 years, and a few make 20 years (details at my wordpress about blog ). While initially somewhat worried by that statement, I can now see that it is possible to live more than 20 years on placebo - ie the belief that it is possible. That has become a major focus of my thoughts. Avoid further surgery, and do what it takes to survive.

    As at April 2013, I seem to be surviving well, with more than 2 years since the last tumour showed up.

    It seems that there are many things that contibute to cancer, and diet is a major one (others include various chemicals {like poly cyclic aromatic compounds, and lots of others}, lots of particulates {like asbestos, and potentially many nanotechnology products}, and many parts of the electromagnetic spectrum).

    If you look at the statistics, in northern Japan people who smoke a lot have low rates of cancer, but they have very good diets, very low in meat and dairy, and very high in fresh vegetables (high in natural vitamin C, antioxidants and minerals). This is just one example. I am working at shifting as many as possible of the different probability curves in my favour, and getting my immune system into the best shape possible to locate and deal with these cancers (which nicludes dealing with as many sources of stress in my life as possible).

    I have altered my diet, take high dose Vitamin C, am exploring all alternatives that have shown some indication of shifting the probabilities in my favour without serious risk.

    The Lions Club had an interesting trip to Bluff Station on March 5th.

    Ted - on Rainbow 106km bike ride, 19 March 2005

    I got the cycling bug thanks to Bill Edwards, and began training for the Rainbow Rage on 20th Jan 2005. The miracle (for those of you familiar with the old couch potato Ted) is that I did it and loved it. So much so that I did it again in 2006 (2hrs and 8 mins quicker than in 2005).

    I have moved slowly (say my kids) into the modern communication with a Facebook page for TedHowardNZ.

    I also now run a tedhowardnz.wordpress.com blog at Wordpress, which I keep updated semi regularly.

    Recently I have had some wordpress blogs that have gained a little attention, like this one what is a human, and this one on being human Part 2 ( which got an interesting reference from this site ).

    The picture of me holding a 31lb Hapuka (below) was taken on 9th May 2004. The fish was caught in 270m (900ft) of water, about 4 miles from home. Now that I am on a strict rave vegan diet I don't do a lot of fishing.

    When not delving into matters fish or computing, I spend a lot of time considering our history, our current trends, and thinking about the future of Humanity, and life on this planet (and beyond), and considering how we might maximise freedom and empowerment for people while caring for the ecosystem around us. Solnx.org is the result.

    I joined the Zaadz (seeds) community which transformed itself into the Gaia community where I kept a semi regular blog that has now been destroyed by a bunch of short sighted capitalists at GAIAM - a corporation I will do all in my power to avoid in future. I managed to save a few of the several thousand entries I made, and a couple of them are here on this site.

    This entry on Freedom has generated more interest than most.

    This one on honesty was also interesting.

    Here is a collection of many of my pod posts from Gaia.

    Ted - with 31lb Hapuka, 9 May 2004

    Some of that thinking has led me to publish some ideas. After one such publication in July 1991, a few people responded (some not too sympathetically) and one person (Roy Edmundson) came and talked about the possibilities involved. Ideas flowed freely for a few months, then things started to jell. Based on my beliefs, our conversation, and a lot of work, by both Roy and myself, the germ of a new project was born Vision 2020.

    As part of a process towards that objective I am involved in many community activities, training myself in the realities of politics, and project management, while being of service to others (a win-win outcome).

    "Ted for Mayor" was on again for 2004. I stood for Mayor of Kaikoura, this time as an existing councilor. I came 4th (out of 4), but enjoyed the process, and gave it a good effort. Being completely straight works when talking to people, it just takes time.

    Other areas of interest

    I have always had an interest in philosophy, and have found this site Philosophers Notes to be great value. I have a different interpretive schema, in that I think it unlikely that there is any sort of God that has any sort of intention for us, so for me studying this stuff requires translating all of these concepts to language that involves the holographic processing abilities of the human mind, and it is a great source of wisdom and tools.

    I stood for the Act Party in 2008 click here to see why. In 2005 I stood as an independent for Kaikoura Electorate, it was a lot of fun, and 170 people voted for me. I think most of them had a good idea of what I was standing for, and thank them all. I am still to the idea of individual freedom, exercised responsibly, and the need for coordinated activity with a vision of sustainability and freedom to deal with problems like ignorance, war, poverty and global warming.

    If you are at all interested in Physics or Quantum Mechanics the these articles by John Murphy are a must read. Perhaps there is no wave/particle duality - only matter excitation. Local copy as at August 2000

    If you are interested in a powerful paradigm from which to consider existence, one that can deliver breakthroughs in being effective in your life, then I recommend The Landmark Forum. It's great for becoming complete with your past, and putting it behind you. It also gives a very powerfuul view of what is possible.

    More recently I have found another very powerful paradigm for considering humanity - Vision Force. Here Michael Skye shows how the mind resolves inner conflict by compromising our highest values to get rid of feelings of guilt, and gives powerful ways of staying present to our highest values by looking to the feelings of honour we have when we think about the heroism that exists all around us, when we look at what people stand for and stand in the face of feeling.
    I did the Vision Force Bootcamp in May 2006, and strongly recommend it to anyone who is up to making a difference in the world. It is a powerful way to relate to yourself, and to others. I didn't turn on a TV in the 2 weeks after doing it, and TV wasn't even mentioned on the Bootcamp. Old habits crept back over time, through lack of discipline on my part in putting in place new structures to support the new paradigm.

    During 2007 I was active in several fora. www.global-mindshift.org was very interesting. The paradigms they use differ from mine in some significant ways, and the exercise was well worth the effort.

    I have spent a few days working with Edward De Bonos global council Edward de Bono. I have also been working with the team at Flow.

    Many days in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010 spent with Te Korowai in meetings and producing the website and helping on the characterisation report.

    Since 2006 also saw many days working with Scott, Trish and the team at Option4 working on many reports and submissions in my capactity as president of the Kaikoura Boating Club.

    2008 saw an improvement in my golf handicap - to 17, and continued involvement in fisheries, once again president of the Kaikoura Boating Club, while also active in commercial circles, Forest and Bird, and now also on the executive of the NZ Recreational Fishing Council.

    Best book to read "The Selfish Gene" by Richard Dawkins (available from University Bookshops).

    About me.

  • My family in early 2004.

  • I was born 1955, 6'2", married to Ailsa (nee Ailsa McGilvary), and father of William (1985) and Jewelia (1996). I have a long involvement with the fishing industry (since 67) and also a long involvement with politics (since 75), computers (since 73) and considering the future of humanity (since 62 - Cuban Missile crisis following Bay of Pigs).

    Spent 34 years at Waitakaruru, where Dad Mum & I started Bill's Place - a little shop behind the house selling flounder.

    My interests include my family, community, flying (kites, Cesnas, Cherokees and gliders) boats - power and sail, fishing, tramping, traveling, reading, skiing, golf and most events, Looking at the view (contains a 130K JPG panorama view).

    My favourite walking companion runs Short Walks for Guided walks in the Kaikoura Area.

    I was a candidate for ACT New Zealand in the 1996 & 2002 general elections, and was again in 2008. A political movement that was at least initially in the classical liberal tradition of supporting values of sentient life and liberty; but seems to have degraded to place market freedoms above human values. In 1984 I stood for Labour in Tauranga against Winston Peters - a very interesting exercise. From 1983 - 1990 I was a member of the Primary Producers Council of the NZ Labour Party (with many other local and regional offices). From 1974 - 1978 I was active in the Values Party.

    I have now come to the understanding that the very way in which we use markets to value things in our society poses a great risk to the vast majority of people. We can do much better, and need to, sooner rather than later. So while I still retain the classical liberal values of individual life and individual liberty, I now see "free markets" in an age of exponentially expanding automation as the greatest risk life and liberty for the majority of people.

    If any very advanced entity is reading this - please help me.

    Authorised by:

    Ted Howard, 1 Maui St, Kaikoura, NEW ZEALAND
    Ph (+64) 27 442 4281
    Location: 42°25.123'S 173°41.626'E
    email: ted@fishnet.co.nz