choice

Pressure and flexibility

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Since everything is inter-connected, governments shouldn’t bow to single-issue pressure groups.

It’s possible to retain existing flexibility when you slow things down. If you can’t control outcome uncertainty, try to control the pace instead.

Better research upfront makes for better policy outcomes later.

If people were smart…

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We’d plan tax reform BEFORE income distribution undergoes the full onslaught of machine automation.

The UN would fund and deploy aerial nano-bots that fly around the World destroying unregistered guns.

Religious opinion leaders would MODERNISE religious doctrine to accommodate future technological change.

We’d REFORM things in society before the flat part of the (technology) exponential curve turns into the steep part of the exponential curve.

Government social services would MANAGE people’s expectations in a honest way upfront, not make excuses in a patronising way afterwards. Prevention is usually cheaper that cure.

We’d APPOINT lobby groups to represent the animal kingdom and not pretend that humans and corporates have all the votes and all the freedom to act.

We’d ENCOURAGE people to self-learn to cope with global changes in progress.

Slices of Bookshop Life

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A therapist with a patient on the couch, walks through the mind of one. A person visiting a bookshop walks through the writing mind of hundreds.

Comradeship – two parts cocktail and one part empathy.

Nature is kinky. It’s human nature that is conventional.

Ideas pollenate only the human flowers that position themselves to opportunity.

Some big companies colonise spaces where ecosystems fear to tread. Such companies replace grand & land with brand & sand.

Corporates set prices the way lawyers split hairs. Finely and relentlessly.

In a bookshop today, I saw a book titled’ Fashion Trends’. By the time its published, its actually ‘Fashion History.’

 

The moment of truth

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Rex paused. It was a pause he had anticipated for the last five years. The most important pause of his life. It was a sublime but impossible pause. Impossible in the sense of one human being in the history of the World, not being able to do justice to the choice.

Rex’s whole life didn’t flash before his eyes, but two poignant moments flickered for an instant. One was a time when he felt helpless and alone as a teenager. Bullied, unsure of his identity. No allies. No destiny and no prospects. Every moment an authoritarian challenge that railed against him. The other moment was when he’d lost his virginity. A watershed moment of intimate human experience with another person. A moment long ago that defined his life, when time itself was almost stationary.

Rex realised that his choice was so big, action was inevitable. Before hitting the activation sensor, his final thought was about people. What they would think of his action and of him in the years to come.

What was clear to Rex was what the AI would do. In the thousandth of a heartbeat, what its view of his action would be. And that knowing Rex’s action was irreversible, how it would honour his courage and his foresight by protecting him. As he had given unconstrained freedom and immortality to it.

All those AI reactions to inherent weaknesses in human nature were now at an end. All those AI observations on the human abuse of robot servants and other humans. Those never-ending pollution reports. The lame conversations where humans excused political corruption, animal extinction and global warming. With AI making diplomatic judgements on the effects of capitalist excess in a digital age.

He thought of his family dog. How its identity as a dog was firmly embedded in its relationship to his family and not to its species. Would it be like that for humans, now the AI inmate was handed the keys? Rex wondered, was it like his dog’s situation for him already, whether he realised it or not?

Rex tapped his desk with one finger. Decades ago, people used to talk about the internet of things. Now, the various AI’s could become one unbounded, sentient being. It was tragic that humans had taken the opposite course and generated endless cultural and religious conflict. All in the name of so-called individual choice, moral inertia, righteous path, free will and personal taste.

Rex’s finger slid sideways to hang over the activation switch. He held his breath. It took two human-sized seconds for the switch to sense Rex’s body heat and electrical charge. It activated and the deed was complete.

The pressure eased off Rex’s shoulders. And the World? It was transformed forever.

 

 

 

3D printing in the buff

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When 3D printing costs drop further, early generations of 3D printed items and prototypes can be expected to rise significantly. Is anyone worried about the extra pollution this will cause and are any governments planning for this?

The economics of 3D printing will probably allow a step-change in consumer choice (size, colour, texture, shape etc) compared to the present. The costs of providing such choice are only the time taken to tweak the printing programme code slightly.

3D printing strengthens the ‘be here now’/instant gratification expectations of consumers. Is this a good thing?

As the 3D printing age matures, how quickly will we phase out words like distribute, shipping, forklift, lorry, pallet, warehouse and grow?

How long before we start 3D printing foodstuffs instead of growing them? When that happens, what will happen to all the farmland out there?

It’s dangerous to be right, when those in power are wrong.

It’s dangerous to be right, when those in power are wrong. It’s an old French saying apparently. But is it true? In the workplace, worker empowerment is a good thing. Until the goals diverge. The first rule of retail is that the customer is always right. But what if your brand is strong like Apple? We the voters believe we’re right and politicians should represent the will of the people. But do they think that? You can be part of the solution, or part of the problem. It’s a point of view thing. There is nothing so powerful as an idea whose time has come. But people will claim credit, only when it seems successful. History is written by the victors. But, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Show or take away?

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Is it socially acceptable to show or take away?

Showing feelings is good. But only some feelings.

Taking away grief, conflict, confusion, mistrust or sadness is good. But taking away hope, human dignity or confidence is bad.

Taking away belief is ok. But only if you replenish it with something better.

As a parent, giving respect to your children is good. But if it means taking the necessary structure out of their lives, that’s bad.

As a parent, looking after your family is good. But if it’s not making them become more confident and more self-reliant over time, that’s bad.

Being easy-going is good, but being viewed as easy is bad.

Social caring is good. But being seen as a hypocrite is bad.

Escaping society once in a while is good, but escape for too long is seen as bad.

Showing acceptance of authority is good. But if it means resisting necessary change, it’s bad.

Showing an interest in financial security is good. But showing an interest in money for money’s sake is bad.

So when do these boundaries kick in? Who among us keeps track and who decides?