24 February 2012

On the Need for Thinking Large, and Living Dangerously

Brian Wang has begun linking to various "Solve for X" talks, oriented toward confronting and solving some of the big problems that seem to have humanity stymied.

More on Solve for X:
Solve for X is a place to hear and discuss radical technology ideas for solving global problems. Radical in the sense that the solutions could help billions of people. Radical in the sense that the audaciousness of the proposals makes them sound like science fiction. And radical in the sense that there is some real technology breakthrough on the horizon to give us all hope that these ideas could really be brought to life.

This combination of things - a huge problem to solve, a radical solution for solving it, and the breakthrough technology to make it happen - is the essence of a moonshot.

Solve for X is intended to be a forum to encourage and amplify technology-based moonshot thinking and teamwork. This forum started with a small face-to-face event co-hosted by Astro Teller, Megan Smith, and Eric Schmidt - the Solve for X talks are now being posted here on this site. We encourage you to watch the Solve for X talks, join the G+ conversation, and post your own Solve for X talks._WeSolveForX
Science Fiction author Neal Stephenson looks at why modern humans seem to have shrunk back from the great dreams and ambitions of just a few decades ago. He is almost embarassed to mention one of the most likely suspects, given how well-indoctrinated most modern groups of "right-thinking" persons are expected to be.

Can the "Solve for X" talks shake us out of our downward looking collective trance? The big money is certainly against it.

Just a few decades ago, humans were on the threshold of outer space, and of the entire expansive future. Now, humans are beginning to have have more and more trouble just keeping the lights on, the water clean and running, and their houses heated and cooled.

Rather than to have entered a dynamic and expansive destiny, humans seem to be willfully submerging themselves deeper and deeper into a dysphoric quagmire, where most of our resources are devoted toward averting non-existent risks, and catering to our weaknesses, superstitions, and dysfunctional fears.

If humans are to break out of this self-woven web of stasis and decline, it will occur due to isolated - but - networked groups of persons working essentially outside of the established order. Working outside the mainstream is dangerous. It is likely to get you ridiculed as a sceptic, fired from your job, denied tenure, and cast into the outer darkness. But in a world where tight constricting bands of mutually reinforcing conformity are enforced by governmental and inter-governmental decree, mandate, and penalty, there may be no other choice than living dangerously.

Over at Al Fin, the Next Level, we are running a series on "The Dangerous Child." Dangerous children do not have to be told to beware of manipulated conformity and group-think. But for now, there are damned few truly dangerous children of the variety being discussed over there. We would like to change that.

Groups like Edge.org, TED, and a number of incentive prizes such as the X Prize, are attempting to lead to a wider conversation oriented toward larger, more important questions. Perhaps "Solve For X" will become a useful addition to the wider effort.

But truthfully, the wider community of intelligent minds is made up mainly of people who are either well indoctrinated in the small-minded risk-aversive mentality of the static green welfare state, or who have learned to profit from and be empowered by the small-mindedness of the majority.

If you want something done, and done right, you may have to do it yourself.

Labels: ,

Bookmark and Share


Post a Comment

“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act” _George Orwell

<< Home

Newer Posts Older Posts