The purpose of this writing is to provoke thought and the consideration of ideas. It's meant to be a conduit for a conversation among ourselves on how we might solve the problems of our time, and build a better world.
The ideas it proposes in furtherance of that end are numerous, and they pull few punches. But that is because they will work. They will work because their purpose is to work. Their purpose isn’t to sell a hidden agenda – their purpose is to sell a transparent agenda: how we can, as last chapter concluded, bring hope to a world it has long-since forsaken.
That is what this writing exists for, and that is what the systems this writing has envisioned are here to do. And of the ideas it contains, the use of technology to address resource scarcity, a re-evaluation and upgrade of our political systems, government structure and social priorities, I believe that they can actually deliver that. They are designed to represent an alternative to the afflictions of our time, an alternative that we can actually get behind because it forces actual change. Change that isn’t just an abstract promise, change that exists within a strategy that has been meticulously detailed so that there is zero doubt on what we intend to accomplish.
In the existence of this strategy, of these frameworks and the ideas behind them, I suppose you may wonder why I took it upon myself to make this writing a reality. As you’ve honored me with your time to read it, it’s not a question I can deny to you in good faith.
So, what’s my kick?
The answer's a combination of many things, and I'd venture to guess most of them are shared by you in one form or another. But among them, the most important of all is the reality of our potential – our true potential – juxtaposed with something called the great filter.
To help explain what that is and why it’s important, it’s necessary to first make mention of the Fermi Paradox, which is a question that has stumped scientists for decades. Succinctly defined, that question is:
How can our universe, in all its unimaginable vastness, present such an immense likelihood for sentient life, yet at the same time we can’t seem to find it?
I’ll phrase this another way to help clarify:
Our planet, Earth, orbits our Sun along with seven other planets, comprising our solar system. It is only one out of roughly 300 billion solar systems in our galaxy, the Milky Way. Our galaxy, itself, is only one out of an estimated 2 trillion galaxies in our observable universe by the last known estimate. In another way of saying, if we were to take every person alive today and send them each to a unique galaxy, we’d only be able to visit 0.37% of them.
As each galaxy has hundreds of billions of stars and there are trillions of galaxies, it makes the odds of Earth being the only planet to support life in the universe to be nigh impossibly low.
Presently, scientists estimate that our universe contains at least 100 octillion stars (that’s 27 zeros). If even only one out of 1 million stars had orbiting planets that sustained life, that would still leave 100 septillion planets that did. That’s 100 billion individual groups of 1 trillion planets, with 100,000 planets in our galaxy alone for the record. Think about that for a second.
It’s so impossibly unlikely that we’re alone, yet at the same time, we haven’t heard from another lifeform beyond our planet – not so much as a peep. That is the Fermi paradox, in a nutshell. But within that paradox are theories as to why this is the case, which is where the notion of the “great filter” comes in.
The “great filter” is a postulation that all life faces a threshold that it must cross in order for it to ascend beyond its planet and survive for the long term, and in order to truly advance as a species it must overcome a series of obstacles that would otherwise stop its ascent – or bring about its destruction.
Indeed, if all of Earth’s history were combined into one 365-day year, humanity emerged at 11:55PM on New Year’s Eve, and we only reached the modern era at about 10 seconds to midnight. By 7 seconds to midnight, we had created the means to cause our own extinction. By 5 seconds to midnight, we will have well run out of the resources that sustains our rapidly expanding population. And if this problem remains unsolved, it will destroy us before the clock strikes 12.
That is the great filter. It is something that we are facing right now, today.
And it is our generation, our time, that is tasked with passing it.
Presently, short of embracing a transformational initiative on the scale of the frameworks proposed by this writing, the test that the great filter lays before us is a test that we are posed to fail. If we fail, then within our lifetimes, we will see what happens when short-sighted politicians execute short-sighted strategies in a world where there are five times as many nuclear weapons as there are cities.
Thus as a people we are left alone to pass through this gauntlet of unforgiving truth: we will either take the next step as a civilization and become resource-independent, or the human race will run out of critical resources and fight over ever-dwindling supplies until there is nobody left to fight. That is the stone-cold reality of our present state of affairs.
For that reason, this project was started. That's not an acceptable end to our story. I think all of us agree on that, and are looking for the right way forward to improve our present and future circumstances. That's why everything within this writing defines blueprints for organizations that can act on a large scale, and also why everything is open source. It's a proposal of ideas that can be adopted, modified, improved upon or extended by collective action should people wish to do so - a proposal that's now in your hands.
But just as importantly, this project was started because it should not need to exist. Because the problems it discusses shouldn’t exist. The coming resource crisis should not be coming, nor should it be a crisis – this problem should have been seen and solved long ago. Elections shouldn’t be funded by legal bribery. Our government should not be corrupt, our laws should not be unjust, and political gridlock is something that we should be reading about in history books, not our newspapers.
Worst of all, the horrors of our time should not be in our time. We should not be seeing things like resource conflict, mass social unrest, failed states and the inhumane atrocities that come with them, the endless parade of violence and destruction that has continually held us back as a species. These horrors disgrace our pedigree, and they tarnish our collective soul. They deny us our true potential, what we are capable of when we can work together and set aside our petty differences, and stop playing childish, selfish games with hatred in our hearts.
It is just so ridiculous, so mind-numbingly pathetic that we still have to put up with this kind of insanity in the modern era. That 45 years after we put a man on the moon, we’re still fighting over resources. That in the same decade we land a rover on Mars, militant groups are recreating the dark ages on three continents. That billions of people live in squalor and that millions of people die every year from famine and water-borne illnesses. That 1 in 5 American children are impoverished and our bridges are collapsing as our government is sold to the highest bidder. That every generation born after WWII has lived with the possibility of nuclear extinction as a fact of life.
This situation isn’t “the way it is.” This situation is madness! All the more so when compared with the luxuries we all take for granted in a first-world society and how immune we foolishly feel from the world's afflictions. And that’s the thing. We aren’t immune – we are far from it. With the way things are unfolding, the next 10-40 years are going to be a very interesting ride for the human race, and history has shown a prior track record that, to put it mildly, does not encourage optimism.
Yet this problem and all that surrounds it defines our time only because it exists in such contrast to the things we have accomplished by embracing a higher path. The charity, benevolence, selflessness and compassion that has stood up to the negative aspects of our nature are the things that have gotten us this far, and are the things that will carry us farther. As creatures, we have an intelligence that our natures have not yet caught up to. We are capable of limitless brilliance, yet are still held back by the primitive aspects of our predecessors.
We are brilliant, hateful primates with giant hearts and arsenals of nuclear weapons, and as people, we uniquely have a choice on which parts of our nature we value and thus feed.
That is what makes us special, and that is why the cynics are wrong when they suggest we’re not worth saving. Because we can choose for those better natures, if that’s what we invest in.
But at the same time, that’s something on us to prove. We know this in many ways, yet we’ve been unable to do so because we don’t really know how to even identify the causes of the problems of our time, let alone stop them – let alone get ourselves to the doorstep of something objectively better. And as change does not come, the problem does not get solved, and as it does not get solved it gets worse toward ends that cannot be accepted by any society interested in its continuance.
The harshness of this reality makes objectivity an uncomfortable prospect. Yet viewing it through an objective lens drives a critical epiphany, one that does not fit the convenient political narratives of our world today. And that is this: malice, as we know it, is largely a lie. We can certainly be its executor, as proven by the endless instances of cruelty and violence people have committed over the ages, but the willful adoption of malice on a large scale is extremely rare among human beings. We see its frequent results not through mindful embrace, but rather through the foothold it carves in the mind in the form of scarcity-driven need.
One should never attribute to malice that which can be attributed to need. In this analysis with that filter applied, you realize that most people on the large scale, even those who exhibit ugliness in times of strife, are not wicked. Most people are good – but they are only as good as their resources allow them to be. And for every horrible action, there are incredible actions of people doing amazing and inspiring things, who give us so much benefit even if we don’t realize it in our day-to-day lives.
This realization phrases the true nature of our circumstances as a dichotomy, one that fundamentally echoes the struggle between good and evil. But good versus evil is the wrong way to look at it because those are not the true forces we are working within. They never were as that perspective is distorted, based upon reductive theological duality. The correct lens to view the age-old human struggle is not good vs. evil, it’s supply vs. need. That is the true dichotomy of the human condition. And the conflict that stems from need is the enemy that we now face.
At the end of the day, the root of our hardships, our struggles and the horrors that have comprised our history, the fault of nearly all of it rests at the feet of need. That has been the paradigm the entire human condition has developed in, and no matter the horrors or the struggles, we have overcame them. We have accomplished goals that were once deemed impossible, and we are so, so close to taking the next technological leap.
These accomplishments were made possible by the sacrifices of millions, sacrifices that words will never adequately describe, each one a story of incomprehensible personal fortitude, and each just a drop in the bucket alongside the millions like them. For 200,000 years, people just like us gave everything they had for our future, for us to have the opportunity that they did not have to make things permanently better, an opportunity that we now hold in our hands.
Simply stated, I can’t imagine anything worse than failing them, to not carry the torch they gave us toward the victory they could not reach – the victory that we uniquely can. To me there is nothing more important, and I’m tired of being encouraged to ignore that. I’m tired of being encouraged to ignore the reality of our world and our potential to change it. I’m tired of being told to find meaning in society’s dog and pony shows: celebrity news, celebrated complacency and fleeting consumerist materialism, the professional wrestling matches of today’s bribed political dynamic – all washed down with diet cola and light beer.
I’m not interested in being a part of that game anymore, nor will I stand by idly and watch this clown parade continue with the obedient consent of my silence. I have one life to live, and it will not be for that. And I believe the same is true for you.
Complaining about the problem solves nothing. Ignorance toward the problem solves nothing, and the same is true for apathy. Proposing a better option to solve the problem is the only thing with any potential to solve it, so that is the only action worth concentrating any effort toward.
The eternal problem of human civilization is resource scarcity and the economic damage caused as a result, which is in turn the core cause of conflict. Thus if you can build a team that solves resource scarcity, it solves resource conflict, which thus solves the zero-sum game, which thus solves every social problem tied to resources and economy. So the idea is to deploy the best energy technologies in the world based on the requirements of what it would take to functionally end resource scarcity, and plug in the pieces.
This came to a modular energy framework that could power other modular frameworks, frameworks that address social problems not by mitigating their symptoms, but by curing their cause. We create a method that can end the concept of need; that can indefinitely produce every core requirement of humanity, and that can allow us to devote the resources we once spent on need toward our continual social advancement.
That is how we defeat the monster. That is how we win.
In this effort, I have no doubt that cynics will say this aim is impossible, that it’s too big, too radical or too ambitious to work. And maybe they are right. Maybe we can’t do this. Maybe this problem is too big to solve, or worse, maybe we are inexorably doomed to fail.
I am not here to judge those who would speak to that effect. But I am here to say that they are wrong.
Need has brought us a pestilence of misery and conflict, and the concept of need must be permanently retired. We now have the means to accomplish that and we can choose to engage them if we choose to. We, all of us, are faced with this choice. And as one of us, I made a promise to devote my best efforts toward proposing an actually effective way to reach that end, something that could be given away to anyone who wished to adopt these ideas and begin discussing how we can work together to make them real.
Nobody asked me, paid me or qualified me to make that promise. I did this on my own, and I made that promise, to myself, and to you, to see this task fulfilled because I chose to. I made this promise to you because I don’t answer to the cynics and the apologists of the status quo – I answer to you. I answer to you because we are all in this together, and I believe in our shared capabilities, in the potential that we have if we can set aside our differences and work together. And not only is that statement not cliché, I am miserably – miserably – sick and tired of hearing that it is, or that any movement in furtherance of human betterment is somehow grounds for ridicule. It’s not. It should be our top priority, and in a sane world, it would be.
We see the problems in our society, and we feel powerless to do anything against them. Well, I am here to tell you that there is something we can do. That we have an actual chance to fix these problems, and fix them well, that we can one day wake up in a world that is spared of the afflictions that plague it.
We’ve been looking for this chance for a long time, we’ve been looking for something better for a long time, and I believe this is the best chance we have.
So I’ll ask you directly: do you want this? Do you want these ideas implemented?
If you do not, then I have failed, and I am sorry that I wasted your time.
But if you do, if you believe in the future that I believe in, the only thing that stands in the way of making it a reality is your willingness to support it. If you do, then so will others, and as do others it will empower others to do so as well for as iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.
Why did I pen this writing? Because I believe in a better world, and I choose to fight for it. Because you know what this fight is for, what we’re fighting with and the stakes that we all face, I believe that you will fight for it as well.
And that is what I ask of you now.
I will ask you to fight for this, if you believe in it. I will ask that you make these ideas yours and make them important, to share and discuss them as you deem fit. To take stake in political affairs and to make informed choices when voting on them, to be inspired to make things better because you can make things better.
It might be difficult to realize in the face of present circumstances, but although our future is not yet written it is still ours. It belongs to us as we have the ability to shape it and steer it toward whatever direction we choose. This ability comes to us in the most unique of ways, for never before has humanity faced such risks to its existence and never before has every individual person had such power to change tomorrow through their actions today. As is appropriate for the stakes that we face, we rightfully all have the ability to choose for ourselves.
And should we choose for this, we once again would be the model for the rest of the world to follow - allowing us to supercharge the global economy and address lasting global problems. Eventually, over time, as technology expands and satisfies more and more needs through indefinite resource production, conflicts will reduce, economies will grow, as will relationships and trade agreements. International relations will become more transparent and straightforward, and the United Nations will be a venue of greater effectiveness. Development and modernization will begin in regions that were once war-torn, and the echoes of human conflict will fade into memory like all other plights of our nature that technology has allowed us to banish into the past.
From there, as technology greater connects us and brings us closer together, exploration beyond Earth will become more and more sophisticated and we will discover what there is to discover in the vastness beyond our planet. We will reach not just the next tier of civilization, but also a critical realization, that we are not just members of individual countries, as that isn’t the label that should define us. We are all human beings, we are all people – that is the label that should define us. That is because we all share this rock in space together, and whether we live on it together or die on it together, one way or the other, ultimately, it will be so together.
It is my greatest hope, whether in success of these goals or not, that we can be able to realize that one day. We place boundless faith in gods we cannot see. Perhaps we could strive to see the day where we might place faith in each other.
So I will start by placing my faith in you.
I have faith that you may choose to look at things differently, to expect more from your government, to support the areas of society that make us better as a people. I have faith that you might choose to place less emphasis on social distractions, knowing that there is more to life than them, and that as you have one life to live, that you would live it honorably and fully, to be happy and to make the world a better place. I have faith that you will stand and fight for a better world because I have faith in you to stand and fight for a better world, because that is exactly what we need to have happen right now. And if enough of us stand for that goal, then it will be realized.
That is where I choose to place my faith. If you would do so as well, let us work in harmony to build something greater, a future worth having. To that end, and for that end, may we get there together. As one people, for all people - a people united.