[FoRK] What we need

Stephen Williams <sdw at lig.net> on Wed Apr 23 01:50:21 PDT 2008

We have the technology.
We have the money.
We have the interest, manpower, communication, and good will in abundance.
We understand network effects, creating positive pockets in 
dysfunctional social groups.
We finally understand that ignoring festering morass of backwards, 
dysfunctional, primitive societies doesn't serve anybody well.
We even now understand that having a fun contest on extreme tech can 
bypass decades, billions, licensing tangles, and huge frustration.  (X 
Prize, Darpa challenge, $1million bioreactor meat.)

Now all we need is vision to create structures, relationships, 
competition, projects, and even agencies to push technologies forward 
and even create booms in:

Alternative Energy

Inexpensive, compact, safe, resilient living quarters - Imagine a wall 
of shipping container apartments with balconies facing the ocean / 
mountains / forest on one side and a super-efficient double-sided 2D 
elevator on the other, with all utilities modularly docked between 
modules.  Selling for $20K.  Imagine parts of housing highly replaceable 
and/or long-life.  High pressure clean bathrooms / kitchens.  Etc.

Thorough, complete, effective communication - electronic / RL, automated 
/ staffed  (OLPC, MIT OpenCoursework, +....)

Medical efficiency - Clearly, much can be done here.

Townforming - Making use of the gigantic amounts of space in the US and 
elsewhere to create new cities (Rockies, etc.).
etc.

Clearly these kinds of things are doable.  Many of them require little 
innovation, besides engineering the business and social, and in some 
cases governmental, aspects.


Our biggest problems are actually:
Lack of imagination / vision
Lack of risk taking tolerance in sane ways and addiction to questionable 
ones
Irrational constraints on ourselves and others
Government without leadership and vision
Endless types of protection of status quo and pandering thereof
Only a few companies that are run by those with vision, momentum, and 
resources and the no-evilness / invent-the-futureness needed.


Not to even mention AI, robotics, nano, energy storage, ultra-dense data 
storage, high end computing, etc.
Or new software to actually bring things to new levels.

Speaking of efficiency, there is a UWink opening in Mountain View...  It 
took me about a minute to remember the Wired article:
http://www.wired.com/gaming/gamingreviews/news/2005/06/67724

sdw


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