|The first book, The Ultimate Philosophy, established the simple premise that since it is up to Humanity to make its own way, and everyone dreams of a better life, we should work toward Utopia, which is the best life attainable.|
Chapter I ..... Consensus
Chapter II .... Best Use
Chapter III ... Wisdom
Chapter IV ... Discovery
Chapter V .... Fix the System
Chapter VI ... Wise Spending
Chapter VII .. Simplicity
Chapter VIII . Roots
Chapter IX ... Try
Chapter X .... Summation
"Utopia" is simply a word used to define what can generally be described as the consummate dream of the best level of Human existence. Every person has thought, at least once in their life, that it would be nice if there were no disease, no crime, no poverty, and/or for some other improvement in the Human condition. Since everyone has dreamed of a better world, it is fair to say that Humanity has a common dream. However, instead of recognizing our commonality, we have created artificial differences among ourselves through concepts such as nationality and religion. While no two humans are exactly the same, we are all of one race, the human race, and we all share the experience of life in an essentially identical carbon based life form structure. We all work for continuing survival while in this structure, and hope for a happy, safe, and good life for ourselves and loved ones. Therefore, everyone has a common desire for the best life attainable. Since Utopia offers the best life, we should jointly try to achieve Utopia.
Additionally, it should be noted that without a goal, happenstance determines a traveler's destination. Instead of leaving its fate up to chance, Humanity should select its own destination for its journey through time. If one has to choose a goal, it might as well be the best. Since Utopia is the best life attainable, it is the best goal for Humanity.
The first step in reaching a common goal is to identify and agree upon the same. Humanity already has a consensus for a better world, and simply should recognize this fact. The next step, after a consensus is reached, is to take action toward the same. Therefore, Humanity should focus its efforts on reaching its dream of Utopia.
Knowledge should be the focus of Humanity's efforts, because knowledge is the key to Utopia. With the right knowledge, we can cure all illness. With the right knowledge, we can feed the hungry. With the right knowledge, we can stop pollution. With robots, machines, computers, and new technologies beyond our current knowledge such as molecular rearranging mechanisms, we can have unlimited production capabilities. With the right knowledge, we can solve any problem, and achieve any desired result. In sum, Humanity can achieve Utopia by simply accumulating sufficient knowledge.
History has shown that anytime humanity wants to learn how to do something, such as land a man on the moon, the answers can be found if money and resources are devoted to the cause. One desired technology is cheap and clean energy. Sunlight provides more energy than humanity could ever use, we just need to find how to harness the same. Plus, solar energy is environmentally clean. A massive research effort could find the answers to this cheap and clean source of energy within a relatively short time. If we had started such an effort during the gas shortage 25 years ago, we would probably have this technology now. Once the savings and benefits of abundant clean solar energy are achieved, those freed resources can be rolled back into other beneficial research, and any freed resources from the results of that new research can be rolled back into other beneficial research, etc. until we have Utopia.
Knowledge is like a snowball rolled from the top of a snow covered mountain. It starts small, but exponentially increases. In the last 30 years more information was processed than in the previous 5,000 years. If humanity recognized this reality, and devoted more resources toward acquisition, dissemination, and use of knowledge, we could accelerate the pace at which we reach a better world.
It should be noted that knowledge and technology are not synonymous. Technology is simply a tool that can be used when the benefit to society exceeds the benefit of other methods. If natural methods provide the best results, then clearly they should be used over manmade methods. Knowledge is cognition of truth, insight of justice, awareness of the best way, and wisdom in behavior.
The rest of this book proposes some ideas for resource realignment toward the goal of Utopia. Resource realignment simply involves finding current ways that effort and material are being used wastefully, and then diverting these efforts and materials toward the most productive use. Since the ultimate goal is Utopia, and knowledge is the key to the goal, then as many resources as possible should be diverted toward knowledge. The following resource realignment ideas are not exclusive, so please feel free to develop other ideas, and disseminate that knowledge for the benefit of all mankind.
"Use from Awareness"
The three basic ways of interacting with knowledge, are:
1.) acquisition of new knowledge from research, through experience, or from other avenues of discovery;
2.) dissemination from accessing stored information, through teaching, or from other methods of communication; and
3.) use through actions based on awareness of knowledge.
The remainder of this chapter will discuss dissemination and use of knowledge. The next chapter will discuss acquisition of knowledge.
Humanity has achieved proficient methods for dissemination of information, and thereby means for easy access to use current knowledge. Computers offer an efficient and economical way to store information, and the Internet provides a method for fast and easy access to information. However, the full potential of the Internet is not being utilized. The solution could be a master web site for each area of man's accumulated knowledge, a virtual library of all accumulated knowledge. For example, in the field of medicine, the American Medical Association, in cooperation with universities that teach in the field of medicine, could create and maintain a web site which contains all knowledge about medicine, so that anyone could access the information. Government should initiate a consortium effort in conjunction with organizations, institutions, and/or industry to create a master web site for each area of knowledge, or encourage the creation of such master web sites through financial incentives and/or financial support. Such a system has minuscule costs in comparison to the benefits that could be derived therefrom. The full power of current knowledge could be unleashed by such a universal system providing fast and easy access to Humanity's accumulated knowledge.
Dissemination of knowledge includes education. Everyone benefits from education, both the individual taught and society. Yet universities continually increase the costs to obtain higher education, even though means exist for providing education in a more efficient, accessible, and economical manner. Most degree programs simply consist of courses comprised of the reading of a text book, discussion of the same in a classroom, and the taking of tests to show knowledge of the subject. It would be a savings of both time and expense for one to attend college over the Internet, via a virtual school system where one learns from computer programs developed by the best educators. Such a system allows each person to learn at their own pace, from the comfort and safety of their home. The time and expense of commuting to and from school, or residing at school, would be eliminated. The expense of school land and buildings could be eliminated. In fact, all expenses could be eliminated, except for the cost of the computer programs, the cost of online experts to provide student assistance as needed, and the cost of administrative staff to oversee the system. Reducing economic and other barriers to education, and the better life it generally offers, should be the goal of every public school system. An education revolution is easily available through current technologies that provide the means for people to learn more, at less expense, and with greater ease. Any teachers displaced because of implementation of an Internet school system should be offered research jobs, where they could continue using their expertise by seeking new and better knowledge for the advancement of Humanity. The expense of these new research jobs can easily be funded from the savings resulting from a virtual school system.
Technology has opened the door for cheap and easy access to knowledge, which includes education. The public has a right to the accumulated knowledge base of mankind, and that right includes access to the same without having to hurdle prohibitive economic barriers. The Internet is technologically accessible anywhere in the world, and transcends political, national, and other boundaries. Those who cannot afford their own home computer, can find access to the same at public libraries, and should have their own system if needed through methods such as education loans, charitable programs, recycling of discarded machines, etc.. Any and all means to provide access to knowledge so that people can increase their wisdom, and thereby increase their ability to have positive instead of negative impacts with their actions, should be pursued. Knowledge is power, power to the people.
The ability to have Utopia simply requires acquiring the right new knowledge. Subsequently, a comprehensive global effort to discover new information in all fields of knowledge is highly desirable. Other than discovery by luck, most discovery of new knowledge results from "research and development" (R&D). Therefore, Humanity's knowledge can be increased by simply increasing funding for R&D. While knowledge infrastructure, such as easy access to information and an increased education level, will facilitate research for new information, money is needed for scientists, physicists, engineers, etc., and the equipment they need, in order to find new knowledge. Less than 2% of current global productivity is being devoted to R&D. Clearly Humanity could and should be investing more in its future.
Top priority should be devoted toward discovering methods that may allow humanity to leapfrog knowledge acquisition capabilities. Some such methods are discovering how people can use more than the 10% average of brain power, or how to make computers that think. If all people could think at genius level, the capabilities of invention and creation would exponentially increase. Computers with thinking ability could develop new knowledge from large volumes of data. Thinking computers would provide the ability to build robots that can perform labor tasks, which would free more resources for R&D.
Individuals, industry, governments, universities, and nonprofit organizations are the different types of entities engaged in funding R&D. All of these entities can find ways to increase the amount of resources devoted to R&D. Individuals could make and/or increase their donations to organizations funding research to find beneficial knowledge, such as medical cures. Individuals can undertake their own invention efforts, or increase such efforts already undertaken. Individuals can become expert in a field of knowledge and find a research job in that field, or start an organization for the same. Industry is by far the largest spender on R&D. Therefore, financial incentive to encourage both industry and individuals to pursue R&D must be continued through venture capital systems, patent systems, and other viable systems that encourage these privately funded R&D efforts. Industry could utilize research consortiums to increase the effectiveness of their R&D investments. Governments could increase their funding of R&D by eliminating wasteful government spending and reinvesting those savings in R&D, without any additional sacrifice to the public, and with a huge potential benefit from the same. Universities could consolidate, and/or move toward a virtual teaching system, and refocus any savings therefrom on finding new knowledge. Nonprofit organizations engaged in R&D could consolidate and/or find other means to create efficiencies in operations so that a higher percentage of their funds reach the intended target of research.
Efficiency of funds spent on R&D could be increased through a global research consortium that monitors all such activity to help coordinate and guide all R&D efforts. Such a system could eliminate wasteful duplication of effort, and provide a mechanism for sharing of available research knowledge with and between the different R&D undertakings. The consortium could fund a committee of experts to track promising technologies and provide guidance in spending allocations. In sum, all viable means and methods to increase the finding of new knowledge should be utilized. The wise use of what we have now can lead to a lean, mean, knowledge finding machine.
Fix the System
Those who have money can make campaign donations to influence laws for their benefit. This is legal bribery, which constitutes a system design flaw. Politicians spend allot of time raising campaign funds in order to get elected or reelected, and subsequently they make promises in exchange for donations. We then have government representatives stuck in a system where they must spend time raising money by making promises and selling influence to the money givers, instead of spending time making a better world for the people. This flaw has resulted in tax credits and deductions for specific groups totaling $535 billion a year. The non-profit organization Americans For Fair Taxation, at http://www.fairtax.org or 1-800-FAIRTAX, has developed a consumption based tax plan (fair tax) for America that will eliminate all tax loopholes. This fair tax plan will raise the same amount of taxes as the current federal income tax method, but in a simpler, more equitable way that will stimulate economic growth by encouraging investment and savings, while eliminating most compliance costs of the tax system. The current estimated yearly cost to society for tracking, calculating, documenting and filing taxes is $225 billion. The fair tax system could reduce these compliance costs by as much as 95%. These potential savings in wasted resources (over $200 billion), could be reinvested in research for a better way of life. Multiply these savings by the global potential, and add savings from other wasted resource realignments, and a concerted effort toward reaching Utopia could be funded without any real sacrifice.
While there is no researched estimate of the additional costs of this legal bribery through wasted taxpayer spending on moneyed special interests (such as farm price supports), costs in terms of damages because of necessary laws not passed (such as pollution bans), and costs to consumers because of unnecessary laws passed to protect special interest groups (such as tariffs), it would be fair to estimate such costs as immense. The simple solution is to eliminate all the problems of a representative democratic system, by converting to a true democratic system. All Americans have to do is pass a constitutional amendment to reflect the changing technological capabilities available for fulfilling the self-government principles America was founded upon. We can cut out the middleman, the politicians, and use available communication mechanisms to allow each citizen of legal age to vote on which laws to pass. A true democratic evolution, provided for by the information revolution. We no longer have to rely on others to vote in our best interests, but instead can vote for ourselves. This principle should be carried up to the global level, and down to the local level. Such involvement and direct control over our destiny should revitalize each person's sense of value and self-worth.
The outline of such a system is simple. Keep the three branches of government system. The judicial system could stay the same except that the highest court in each state and the supreme court would be replaced by a system providing for decisions by majority vote. An elected committee could decide which cases to accept on appeal, public debate could ensue along with drafts of opposing opinions, and the people then vote as to how they believe the law should apply. The executive branch could be remodeled to fit the corporate method. The voters would act like shareholders and elect a board of directors, who then pick the management team (president, department heads, etc.). After each annual report on the state of affairs from an independent audit team, board members would be elected by the public from the available candidates. Congress would continue to function as oversight of the legislative branch, but their law making authority would be limited to expert proposers of laws only. Any laws proposed by congress or from a public proposal system, would be voted on by the people, after the proposals are publicly debated as to their cost, benefit, etc.. All the wasted taxpayer spending on moneyed interests, and costs of laws passed or not passed to protect these moneyed interests, can be reinvested in knowledge acquisition to further improve the Human condition. Americans have a constitutional guaranty to a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. We deserve this government of true democracy, and not the current system of government for the people who donate money to the politicians. In sum, vote for yourself, instead of voting for a politician who votes for his best interests.
Government functions in a monopoly environment with no competition to weed out waste. In fact, government accounting methods encourage waste through yearend frivolous spending of excess budget funds by government departments. Runaway government spending is also fueled by unnecessary duplication of agencies. For example, six military branches, Army, Air Force, Marines, Navy, Coast Guard, National Reserve, means six administrative staffs, six payroll systems, etc.. Consolidate, and instant savings. Government also wastes resources through under-utilization. For example, military personnel could assist police departments, during times of peace, by patrolling public places with the authority to make arrests should they observe a crime. In sum, there is a massive amount of waste in the way government spends tax dollars to provide services to the public.
Government should utilize methods of operation that provide the greatest efficiency in the least costly way. Government can easily learn how to utilize operational efficiencies from the business world's accumulated wisdom. One simple solution to inefficient government operations is to hire a consulting firm to study government operations and make recommendations of how to increase efficiencies and cut waste. These consulting recommendations may include necessary controls to stop fraud against government, efficient centralization of information systems for easy coordination within and between agencies, consolidation to create efficiencies and eliminate redundant costs, etc. In fact, universities and nonprofit organizations could also use consultants to increase efficiencies so that more of their funds reach the intended target.
Any savings in government spending could be used to find ways to stamp out crime, disease, pollution, etc., in order to make a better world now, without any additional sacrifice. Total annual state and federal government spending in the U.S. is 2,350,000,000,000 (2,350 billion dollars). Each 1% savings of this spending (23.5 billion dollars) could constitute a large increase in R&D funding for knowledge acquisition.
Plain old common sense should be used in making public decisions. There is an old adage, "give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach a man to fish and you feed him for life". Most governmental and charitable efforts at problem solving take the "give a fish" approach. Public problem solving efforts need to be refocused toward correcting the problem causing the undesirable circumstance, instead of treating the resulting symptoms. For example, the expanding of the focus for helping the disadvantaged to gaining self-sufficiency costs a little more in the short run, but pays off in the long term. Each displaced person who achieves self-sufficiency, results in multiple positive impacts on society, because there is a happy person no longer using public funds, while producing through earning a living, and contributing to the tax base.
Additionally, more effort should be devoted to avoid public problems. Public policy is unnecessarily focused on management by putting out fires, instead of making things fire proof. It is less costly in both Human and economic terms to avoid a problem, than to fix a problem. For example, it is easier to not pollute, than to clean up pollution. Public policies should take a proactive approach, instead of a reactive approach, whenever feasible. This is a simple matter of wise planning.
In sum, let's use wisdom to avoid problems, and to solve the problems not avoided. As our knowledge increases, we will have expanded capabilities for problem resolution and/or avoidance. For example, Humanity may discover most if not all harmful antisocial behavior is the result of mental disease, and may find a cure. Each such solution has a multiplier effect, in that people are no longer subjected to the negative effects of the problem solved, the quality of life is improved, and the resources that had been consumed because of the problem can be used in other ways to further improve the human condition.
The earth is one large interconnected ecological system. People are part of this system and must currently rely on it for survival, by breathing its oxygen, drinking its water, etc. If this system can no longer provide these life sustaining functions, Humanity will no longer exist. We should recognize our oneness with our environment, and our unity with all life on earth. The globe is the house humanity resides in, yet we are trashing the same like drunken adolescents at a large party. This attitude of indifference is best exemplified by the fact that Humanity waged two world wars just in this century, not to mention numerous other wars. This lack of respect of a life form for itself, would explain its lack of respect for other life forms, which includes the living earth. As a human, I must admit I am totally ashamed of this aspect of our species. On an individual level, most people are very nice and caring. Collectively, we should be the same. Every individual can develop a respect for their life, learn how to appreciate the beauty and sanctity of all life, and recognize the oneness of being part of the same. We should then be able to find this individual good in our collective actions.
There are many current ways knowledge can help humanity live as one with the world, such as energy conservation, recycling, etc. We need better coordination of such efforts, and dissemination of this knowledge for use now. Part of the solution is to decrease Humanity's demand on the environment. An increase in global population of 78,000,000 (78 million) per year indicates it is time to work on population control. Education, economic disincentive, better birth control methods, and/or other ways should be used to reduce growth in population and alleviate the increasing strain on nature's systems. Trees absorb carbon dioxide and produce oxygen, which is a reduction of gasses from the burning of fossil fuels and an increase in clean air. Therefore, a simple partial solution is a global tree planting campaign. We can use better development methods that preserve more land in its natural state, etc.. Since we do not yet have the benefit of future knowledge, we must simply do the best we can at peaceful interfacing with nature now, while seeking better methods for the future.
Let's wise up and obtain the new knowledge to fulfill our needs while preserving the beauty and sanctity of nature. We must find the ability to live as one with the world. For example, agricultural pollution is the most prolific form of pollution, yet knowledge will provide the solution to this pollution, through genetic engineering of plants that may alleviate the need for pesticides, and/or natural means to use as countermeasures to disrupt breeding of insects, and/or through some other method or methods. Manufacturing pollution may be eliminated through means to recycle this pollution in some useful non-harmful manner, or by enzymes and bacteria that break toxins and pollutants back down into basic non-harmful elements. In sum, with increased individual awareness, proficient use of current knowledge, and further research, the world will learn to live as one.
"Sing the Song of Change"
The simple reality is that all systems made by humans, can be changed by humans. Every person has some influence upon the people with whom they have regular contact, and those people have influence with others, and the others have influence on people they know, who in turn have influence etc., which means each individual can influence the world through their actions. The total of all Human actions determines whether the world is like a heaven on earth, or a living hell. Everyone makes a vote as to the type of world we have with their lifetime efforts. One can influence these voting results by stuffing the ballot box with an increase in the number and size of actions for change. The most important decision one makes with their life, is the course of action they will take with their life.
The very least an individual can do for a better world is to be a good and productive citizen. This simply involves focusing on the positive part within oneself, and avoiding the negative side. Like a movie where you root for the good guy over the bad guy, just root for yourself to be a good guy in real life.
The next level of involvement is to join in the dialogue for a better world. This is a simple matter of communication.
The highest level of involvement is to spend some time and/or money toward making a positive difference. There are many simple actions that people can engage in at this level with little sacrifice, but great reward. The type and amount of one's involvement for a better world is purely a personal choice. Donate some time and/or money to one or more of the many noble organizations devoted to making the world a better place. Get involved with one of these organizations, or start a new one. Write a representative about a better world, or run for political office on a better world platform. Get involved with your community, or start your own Utopian community. Increase your knowledge and/or facilitate the education of others. Discover wasteful spending that can be redirected toward R&D. Donate to research, or become a researcher. There are many ways to contribute. Simply choose your way, or ways, and do it.
One caveat is that the Utopian evolution is a peaceful transformation, and any actions toward the same must only be positive actions. Therefore, negative actions with the intent to get positive results are inappropriate, unnecessary, and a violation of the Utopian principle.
Like a chorus, the more people who sing the song, the louder the sound waves resonate. Join the chorus for change. Everyone has the chance to leave an everlasting imprint on mankind. Make the most of this opportunity by being the best you can be in your interactions throughout life. A noble direction in life rewards the individual with a feeling of satisfaction and fulfillment from the act of giving a pure and true gift, while resulting in a better world to increase the enjoyment of the noble life.
"Nurture the Seed"
With the right nurturing, that seed will grow into something beautiful.
A simple message of hope, that can be fulfilled by a unified effort.