Making it the Future Sooner

Posted on August 13, 2013

I want a space elevator. I want to bind mortality. I want to understand the fundamental physics of the universe. I want to be able to speak to anyone, in any language. I short, I want the future, now. I want science and technology to advance quickly enough that I can live to experience the achievements I can’t even dream of today. I think I can hack society to get there faster.

It is my goal to create an open source future - a society where innovations and knowledge are shared, where collaboration is the norm and progress is made by anyone with the skills and inclination. The system of the present day involves tragic waste of effort and talent. We spend millions of person-hours duplicating engineering effort; we take the best thing about information in the modern era - that it can be shared with anyone anywhere for free - and make it illegal; and we empower large corporations to control the future of technologies through patents.

To get from here to there we need a mechanism for funding libre technological and scientific development. GlaxoSmithKline will not continue paying for drug discovery efforts if it cannot expect to profit from the resulting patents. Nor is Intel likely to give up the patents and proprietary designs that allow it to dominate the x86 processor market.

Incentivization is the key - our society should reward contributions to the common pool of knowledge in proportion to their value to society. There is value in technology, and that value can be gauged in monetary terms, but effecting the movement of money from beneficiaries to creators in a way that incentivizes open collaboration is tricky. Nevertheless, I believe it is a solvable problem. I do not yet have the whole solution, but I have some exciting ideas to share and I hope you readers can help develop things further.

Next time: less why, more how

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