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Monday, December 27th, 2004

Can we design a better future for humanity?

Designing the World’s Future

Jan Hearthstone

Today, the future of most of the people, and indeed the future of the whole world, is decided by only a few, who, in most cases, do not even represent anybody else, but themselves and their groups. Thus no matter what most people’s wishes that would regard their future might be, those wishes are doomed to non-realization for a lack of representation and consideration by those who actually do influence the course of future events. 

This unsatisfactory state of affairs could be remedied by creating a model of an ideal Earth, accessible and inputtable by virtually anyone who could use a computer, in which all the various ideas and wishes that the people participating in contributing to maintaining of such a model might have about their futures would be synchronized with all the knowledge that we have about the Earth and of social processes. This model would be continuously and dynamically being created by people at the “grass root” level, and thus would actually represent the combined and synchronized wished for futures of all of the participants, rather than what a possible haphazard design of what only a few might want would be.

Most disputes and problems that occur in this world today are solved (if they ever do get solved at all) unsatisfactorily, because in most cases the parties involved have different ideas about what their mutual coexistence in the future should be, and have very limited chances for resolving differences constructively, because, in most cases, the negotiating process is conducted by power entities who might not really wish for a satisfactory outcome that could even be contrary to their partisan interests. Sadly enough, that a war is good for business still holds true, – big business benefits by wars, people who are busy with fighting each other are easier to exploit. Therefore it is easy to reason that big business that drives our present day globally dominant culture is not really interested in making peace; the suspicion could be held easily that the opposite is true.

The model, continuously worked and improved upon by all those involved in disputes would be helpful in solving those disputes. Naturally enough, not two opinions of what would be optimal for everybody would probably be identical ever, but the model would serve for the purpose of deciding what the most likely outcome of particular actions would be, and why some ideas for improvements should be better than some other ideas.

Naturally enough, experts from all fields of human enterprise and any non-generalists, non-specialists should be able to contribute their ideas to the model, and because this planet is such a complex gestalt, the model should be inputted by as many diversely minded people as possible. This model, in essence, would function as an always in session, permanently held “round table” for all those who are concerned about the welfare of the world. The main advantage of this model, in comparison to existing ways of settling inter-group disputes, would be its accessibility by anyone, not only by representatives of factions currently in power, without the exclusion of any minorities. This model could become a universal learning and teaching tool from which people could get informed about what issues might be connected with their respective desires, and suggest ways of how to get closer to theirs ideals without inconveniencing any neighbors.

At first it might seem that an existence and maintenance of such a model would be a colossal undertaking that would require a huge institute with the latest model supercomputer and a staff the size of an army, but with today’s state of technology this would not be necessary at all. The model could be started with only a handful of people who would link up their computers to enhance the computers power (in effect thus creating a “supercomputer” – existing systems are already there, using Linux OS that makes this possible), and then, gradually, with more people (generalists and specialists alike) joining the project and sharing their data bases (Shared File System), the whole Earth population would be eventually represented in the model. The coordination of the different fields of expertise and knowledge could be done by ad hoc committees that could be overseen by input from the ongoing discussions. Many basic functions of the model could be done automatically by customized programs that would develop with time.

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