Three Things The World Needs Right Now: (Or in the next 30 years.)
From Agriculture to Eating Habits
Eating is one of humanities most basic activities, yet the suspicion is growing on me that, in 25 years on the planet, I've never really learned how to eat. Here are my findings:
A. My eating habits go against well documented best practices: I know this, and I still don't change them.
B. The world I see is increasingly hooked on festival items as staples.
C. The worlds poorest farmers don't use simple techniques that could feed them and their countries.
Furthermore, our state of knowledge in nutrition seems to be in constant flux - is the rule, "Don't apply best practices too adamantly, because they might not be best practices next year?"
Conspicuous Consumption Change
From the Material World to the Digital Realm.
I don't want to see China end up with the amount of used stuff that I see in dumpsters, garages, and Craigslist ads in Los Angeles. If we can not completely change from a consumer-based society to a knowledge-based society, I hope that we can transfer some conspicuous consumption to the digital realm (fed by power efficient data centers).
A. Transfer consumption to digital goods where the marginal cost of physical production approaches "free".
B. Value knowledge more than physical things.
C. Apply our knowledge to long-term physical solutions (like permaculture residences and zero-till farming).
Organizations run the world, but they could do it more efficiently.
Here are my thoughts:
A. Organizations are inefficient because people interact inefficiently. Making them more efficient will require changing behaviors.
B. You can't make the most efficient workforce without understanding simple human interactions.
C. Jobs should be designed with a deep understanding of cognitive and relational capabilities.
Right now, I think that jobs designed for a human's capabilities (rather than an organizations perceived needs) would go a long way towards greater efficiency.
The common thread that runs through these three issues is knowledge. The difference between a Permaculture dwelling and a pre-fab is that the former applies more knowledge and has to account for more variables over a longer term. The problem is we don't have the time or the patience to master the knowledge or prepare for the variables. I hope that we can make this change.
Josh Penman, 2010-08-05 0223