Friday, December 17, 2010

The Era of CCC Part 4: How it all comes together

I've been working from home without my 40 minutes of peace in the subway since my last post, which explains the delay - apologies if anyone was actually waiting for this!

Now that we have determined the 3 areas in which humanity could go forward in leaps and bounds in short order, how do we bring it all together? How can creativity, communication and collaboration live together in perfect harmony with us and for us?

The biggest hurdle in this is probably the need for people to remove themselves from money and personal gain, for creativity to be possible at a level I described in part 1. This would require a massive, rapid shift in our society, one that would revolutionize the way we think and act. But evolution has always been slow, using trial and error to improve upon itself, one small step at a time. Perhaps we'll find a way to make this shift in enough time for the general population to accept it, who knows? One thing for sure though, both collaboration and creativity must stem from the removal of personal monetary incentives. Perhaps, as I said, a form of evolved communism (neo-communism?) could be put in place differently than is Soviet Russia, or it's something else entirely that's necessary.

But even assuming that we simply did not have to work because the hardest menial jobs would be handled doesn't mean no one would have a job. There is always something to do in a world such as ourselves and whatever amount of automation exists, there will always be things to do. Politicians, even without the monetary greed, still lust for power so that wouldn't change. Automated systems need upgrading and repairing, research must be done to evolve the sciences, etc. Even if you have an automated farming system for your crops and some forms of food are automatic, nothing can truly replace the skilled hands of a chef preparing a meal in a restaurant. People get hurt, doctors are still needed to diagnose and treat them. Of course, humans are still prone to hurting each other so a police force is still necessary.

The difference would be that the greatest majority of people doing this work would be the ones that want to - that were happy to do it because it brought them the satisfaction and the recognition they wanted. I myself would most likely not stop writing, whether as a technical writer or as a science-fiction one (if I had the time, y'know?) and I'm sure a lot of people are just like me.

I'm not sure that I was really able to capture my vision in these 4 posts. I'm not even sure I really understand all of this stuff myself and perhaps I'm just a rambling fool. But if I made a few people think about it, if at least one person brought us one step closer to this reality, then I'll be happy. I know I didn't give anything concrete to make this future happen, but perhaps that will happen in the future if I finally start writing short sci-fi stories.

And as this blog's motto should be: not that anyone reads this anyway...

Monday, December 06, 2010

The Era of CCC - Part 3 : Collaboration

The third C is for collaboration in it's purest form, between every single human being on the planet and traversing all fields where more collaboration is possible. Artists working together through the network, scientists sharing their data and results freely, software tools available to and built by all. An open source worldwide community where everything, or almost, is available to all. 

I say open source because it is the closest parallel I can make to something that already exists. Dozens, hundreds and even thousands of individuals working to perfect the code of a single piece of software, preventing bugs and security flaws before they become an issue for the population at large that uses it. People with nothing specific to gain from it, other than a bit of acknowledgement and the great satisfaction they get from contributing to the community.

If this principle were to be applied to other fields, such as scientific research, what could happen? If, instead of dozens of different laboratories competing to be the first to discover a marketable cure for AIDS or a smaller processor, the scientific community were to unify its worldwide talents into a single force capable of solving this world's problems... What would become of us? 

I believe that we would accelerate our development exponentially, assuming of course, as according to my previous posts, we were to remove the need for individuals to work to survive by replacing menial tasks by automation and artificial intelligence.

This would be especially true in the pharmaceutical field (and others I'm not aware of I'm sure) where different companies all struggle to be the first to create a pill to fix each ailment of the human race. If, instead of having 4 different colors of pills to get a hard-on, they were to work together on making one of each (the best, we hope), so much more would get done.

Of course, complete collaboration in fields other than art is somewhat impossible in the current state of affairs. In a capitalist society one cannot spend resources on creating something that doesn't benefit them personally since everyone works hard for their money. Perhaps communism wasn't such a bad ideas after all - it was just badly implemented!

Right now, collaboration works well with both arts and software. In both cases it's because acknowledgment and reputation precedes cold hard cash in the order of priorities, or at least until one is known an appreciated enough to make it on their own. It's more intuitive this way. 

Stay tuned on Wednesday for the 4th and final part, the conclusion. In the meantime, what do you think we could achieve with perfect collaboration between individuals in this world?

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

The Era of CCC Part 2 - Communication

With how many individuals have you communicated today? Think hard for a moment, and start counting with whom you had any sort of exchange, either way. Your twitter followers, and those that you follow; All your Facebook friends that updated their statuses and others that read yours; Everyone with whom you exchanged an email or a phone call; Authors of the articles you read in the paper, companies with ads on a billboard or the subway; The clerk at the gas station that gave you your newspaper. If you're like me, the total probably ads up to at least a few hundred a day.

Communication, even when it's single-sided, is an important part of our everyday life. Without it, our lives would be as boring as we are individually - think about staying, alone in a room with no outside contact, for a day or a week. You'll probably find it hard to imagine or know you'd go completely bonkers pretty fast, right?

Now imagine the contrary; imagine having the ability to communicate with whomever, wherever, whenever you (and they) wanted; having all the information of the world directly accessible to you, and experts ready to answer any question you could possibly think of at any moment in your life.

And then think that this would happen both in realtime and unobtrusively. That is to say, talking to anyone would be done simply by thinking of them, then turning to talk to them and they would be standing right in front of you.

We are getting closer to this, albeit slowly, every day. Think about it, 100 years ago there was barely any TV to think of, the telephone connections were handled by live operators and lines were shared, and letters too days or weeks to arrive to destination. Today anyone can pick up a smartphone, open email or chat, and be in direct contact with anyone they know. 

Communication has gone a very long way in a very short time, and it can only go farther even faster, along with the rest of the technology out there. I can't wait to see what'll be next, and how we are going to use this to our advantage.

What do you think? Do you think better communication is a good thing, and what do you thunk the next step is?

And guess what the third C is... Before I reveal it tomorrow ;)