Thorium as an energy source, particularly as delivered by the Molten Salt Reactor Technology known as LFTR (Liquid Flouride Thorium Reactor) may be the disruptive technology that is required to jolt us from the status quo. It promises to provide universal cheap safe green electricity and has to potential to deliver a bunch of other benefits, anyone of which would normally be incentive enough to have money thrown at its development.
This solution has been around since the fifties. The problem with promoting a solution that simultaneously solves multiple problems is that for some reason it gains less support than a focused single problem solving solution.
The following TED talk delivered by Bill Gates speaks of his one wish to halve the cost of energy while simultaneously reducing carbon output from the production of energy to zero. He speaks of energy miracles and explains his preference for a particular miracle he favours.
I started to wipe the sweat from my brow. I don’t have to do this “Save the World” thing. Someone else is about to do it. Not only that, it’s Bill Gates. He has a track record of performing miracles. He has more resources at his disposal than any other individual on the planet. This will get done.
Then again, if you take note of what Bill has to say 15:20 -> 17:00 into his talk about the 2020 report card. He realises his punt on a miracle may be wrong. To reduce risk, others must also take a punt. We must accelerate innovation in all realms and even he doesn’t have the resources to back all of it.
His releasing fireflies into the audience indicated that we need to think about all ideas as it’s ideas where innovation comes from.
Only a small proportion of the global population regard their individual role as one of Research and Development, yet it’s Research and Development that we hold responsible for innovation. Bill Gates pleads for Government direct investment and incentives for R & D and yet delivery mechanisms will only deliver investment to a small portion of potential innovators. This is conventional wisdom and doesn’t look outside the box.
Perhaps changing the system of innovation to increase individual participation is the way of meeting our new world goals. Not surprisingly, this smacks of Open Source Philosophy and hence not mentioned in his speech. What is mentioned in the Question and Answer session at he end of the Talk with Chris Anderson is Bills inability to share detail due to the conventional wisdom of non-disclosure agreements.
At this point I remember that Kahatika is a way of having your cake and eating it too.
As I pick up links offered through people I follow on twitter I find more and more stuff related to what I’m trying to do with Kahatika and my efforts to “Save the World”. I busily place talks in my favourites list on TED, Youtube and the likes to try and stay organised. Am I going to remember why they are related to Kahatika? I had better put them in my Blog and write what struck me as interesting before I forget.
Jonathan Zittrain offers a bunch of questions on the start of a problem in the video talk above. It caused me to ponder on the changing nature of trust relationships. I ran all concepts of Kahatika through the questions he raises and was content that in one way or another I had addressed them all. Perhaps crowd sourced problem solving techniques are more appropriate in closed networks where trust regarding true purpose can be verified and earned.
The following talk by Dr. Robert Sapolsky on, the Uniqueness of Humans, reinforced concepts within Kahatika on reward mechanisms. From a neurological perspective, it dovetails nicely into Edwards Deming’s ideas on the failings of compensation methods of western industry. Kahatika was born from ideas I gleaned from attending workshops on Deming principles. The last minute of Sapolsky’s talk provides inspiration to act. Whilst geared towards a group of successful academics, we all can take heart from his words.
When I speak of my “Save the World” goal I don’t mean saving the planet. After all, the known life cycle of the sun dictates the ultimate demise of our planet. Saving the sun is not on the agenda.
So when I say I want to save the world I actually want to save our species, or more correctly I want to save our species long enough for it to evolve into it’s next revision.
In the long term there appears to be only three alternatives for that to happen.
1. God rewrites the physical world laws to reveal a new reality that our species can survive in.
2. A more advanced extra-terrestrial life-form than ourselves takes pity on us and facilitates our escape from our doomed planet.
3. Our science and technology develops sufficiently for us to escape.
Both 1. and 2. I can only hope and/or pray for, and as I really don’t want the responsibility of saving the world, would be really cool alternatives.
Unfortunately in my reality, three is the only alternative that I can take action on.
OK, now that we are all convinced that without science and technology advancements we are eventually doomed. We being us and all our plant and animal friends. We necessarily can only use conservation and sustainability measures as a means to delay premature destruction of our planet long enough for our species to get off it. It seems logical to use science and technology as a means to advance conservation and sustainability to give us that time and as a byproduct keep our hand in; High tech conservation and sustainability techniques are sure to aid our escape.
I guess that means that only some of us will have the luxury of going back to a simpler less technology driven lifestyle, and only then, for a few billion years.
Some of us will need to carry on pushing the envelope of science and technology and converting our new findings into something useful using the change agent of business. This is where Kahatika fits in.
P.S. Yes I know about the “Big Rip” Theory. If it is real I guess I’m working to give us enough time for us to develop technologies that will enable us to pass to another universe. i.e. I’m on the road to the multiverse.