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.
I’ve not posted a new Blog for a while because I’ve been playing an online game called UrgentEvoke. I came across it through following a Linkedin group called Social Impact Games. The objective of the Game was to “Save the World” although I note from their latest Home page they are now purporting to only “Change the World”. Never-the-less the essence of the game is to make positive change by crowd-sourcing support for ideas that impact on issues identified through crowd-sourcing. Ultimately the game wants to inspire its participants to act in the real world by taking action based on ideas. It is run by the World Bank and directed by Jane McGonigal who designed the game.
Given that their were prizes of mentorships and seed capital I thought I would give it a go. Another opportunity to further consolidate and document my thoughts about Kahatika.
I have long since realised that the design of Kahatika could be interpreted as a never-ending slow moving game. In today’s real time communication environment you may observe that the attraction of something that moved slowly might have limited appeal. Like only appeal to those that engage in postal chess. Kahatika has elements in it’s design to ensure engagement and to retain interest between rounds of participation.
I have contributed multiple items related and unrelated to Kahatika over the last Month or so to UrgentEvoke, some of which contain circular references back to this blog. My Profile on UrgentEvoke is the access point for all of this content and can be found here.
As I finale of the game and a mechanism to make yourself eligible for prizes there is a process of submitting a final blog to say what you would do if you were successful in attracting seed capital from the World Bank. Combined with a private email to the game administrators my final submission can be found here.
The content I submitted which relates to Kahatika is as follows:-
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.
David Cameron suggests the wisdom of yesteryear can be brought to fruition through modern technological tools.
“The gross national product does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education, or the joy of their play; it does not include the beauty of our poetry of the strength of our marriages, the intelligence of our public debate for the integrity of our public officials. It measures neither our wit nor our courage neither our wisdom nor our learning, neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country it measures everything in short except that which makes life worth while.”~ Robert F Kennedy 1968
“Of the 100 largest economies in the world, 51 are corporations; only 49 are countries (based on a comparison of corporate sales and country GDPs).” ~ Institute of Policy Studies 2001
“I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country; corporations have been enthroned, an era of corruption in High Places will follow, and the Money Power of the Country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the People, until the wealth is aggregated in a few hands, and the Republic is destroyed. I feel at this moment more anxiety for the safety of my country than ever before, even in the midst of war”~ Abraham Lincoln 1864
In 2007, the wealth disparity grew to its highest number on record, based on US tax data going back to 1917. ~ University of California-Berkeley economist Emanuel Saez 2007
If management of corporations is just as influential if not more influential than management of our countries then systems of corporate management are to be scrutinized and upgraded in the next wave of global change.
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.
Sherwin Nuland speaks of hope and the indomitable “Human Spirit”. About half way through he makes the statement “The world will not be saved by the internet, it will be saved by the human spirit”. This is as true now as the day the first humans learned to draw, the printing press was invented, and the first telephone conversation took place.
At the end of the Cuban Missile Crisis, Nikita Khrushchev’s Human Spirit was what “Saved the World”. However, without the technology of Radio, the message that he was ordering the pull out of missiles from Cuba it would never have been delivered fast enough to have had any practical effect.
Without Tesla and Marconi I may not be here to write this blog. This all goes to show that we all have our part to play and communication is the key.
The following is a TED talk by Dan Pink. Sixty years ago Edward Deming understood the strange counter-intuitive results of experiment Dan explains and railed against the motivational techniques being used in business. Are we finally coming of Age?
Twelve and a half minutes minutes in he speaks of Autonomy, Mastery, and Purpose.
The business tools to to help proceed down this new path are being invented now.