• Shaking out the big ideas

    by  • October 16, 2008 • Personal • 0 Comments

    So this is one of those time periods during which I go through and cull things – what ideas are workable, which ideas are fail-laden monstrosities. There are a bunch of critical mass phenomena all heading in roughly the same direction at roughly the same speed, and now its a case of figuring out what the critical places I can apply leverage are to get some results.

    At a deep theoretical level, I’m largely done with with disaster relief and the hexayurt. I first started thinking about this stuff in 2002, and it’s now nearly 2009. I’ve got one or two more rounds of diagrams to draw – “six ways to die” for organizations and nation states, and maybe some software to produce – but, fundamentally, I haven’t had a really radical new idea on this stuff in about three years. I had a fallow year in 2006, 2007 was CheapID and getting STAR-TIDES off the ground. 2008, to date, was the first attempt at hexayurt commercialization, and the Global Swadeshi Network. The six ways to die video really convinced me (when I watched it again) that Six Ways To Die (needs renamed) is formally correct and technically accurate, so that nails down some of the namespace management problems (“what problem does this technology solve?”) that we’ve had since about mid 2003…

    This stuff is all pretty much done. It’s not fully matured and out in the world, but barring some loose ends, I am out of profound intellectual challenges here. There’s code to write, there’s details to arrange, there’s work to finish, but to a fairly high degree of certainty, I’m now convinced that this is all entirely practical, reasonable and doable.

    Next steps? Learn enough medicine to make a meaningful contribution to the $10 per year health insurance plan or, god help me, make enough money doing something to self-fund actual implementations of some of these ideas.

    The other option is to admit that, at root, these are all governance problems. At that point the questions are “why are our national priorities – in whatever nation – so utterly broken?” I know four dozen people who could just fix countries if people would listen to them – smart, practical engineers who believe in things like strong education and preventative medical care. So that’s the other option: move towards converting some of this base into the kind of political clout it would take to get implementation.

    I mean, c’mon, this is the best game in town, guys. With a couple of million dollars of development money I could deliver a new civilization. I’ve gotta think about that.

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    Vinay Gupta is a consultant on disaster relief and risk management.


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