A few years ago I put forth a proposal for a Global Voting System, which is a tool for democracy that runs on all internet enabled devices, giving anyone a way to put forth ballots (either local, national, or international) and then let everyone else vote on the issue.
Having read pretty heavily on the topic, weighed the pros and cons, I wondered why an elected representative couldn’t use online and in-person polling of constituents to decide the way he or she votes. Though we are living in the ‘information age’ and have rich communications media and opportunities for deep and accessible deliberation, we are getting by (poorly) with horse-and-buggy-era representation. In the spirit of science and because I think it’s legitimately a better way of doing things, I recently announced my candidacy for Vermont’s State Senate in Washington County.
So far, over 350,000 Kenyans have gained access to the smartphone known as IDEOS, which runs Google’s open-source operating system – Android – and gives users access to over 300,000 various apps.
Some of these apps are opening huge doors for ambitious Kenyans, like Medkenya, a tool that puts a library of health information at the user’s fingertips and performs other helpful tasks like guiding the ill to hospitals.
Another app, called M-Farm, lets farmers broadcast product prices and locations to the world via SMS. Other similar agri-apps can help diagnose and track the spread of crop diseases via crowdsourcing.
By empowering individuals and uplifting small businesses and farmers, low cost smartphones are sure to be one of the most integral tools to ever help ease humanity’s burdens.
It’s really happening! Our world is getting better by the instant, at a faster pace than ever before. Pretty soon the dark days of feckless infighting and battling over basics will be behind us.
We’ll soon enter a new era where we can focus our energy on more fruitful endeavors, like allowing the the human spirit to flourish throughout the universe.
When grocery chain Tesco wanted to expand their market share in South Korea, they came up with a brilliant idea: put a virtual store in the subway so busy consumers can buy stuff with their cell phones while they wait for the train.
Now, instead of relying on a brick-and-mortar storefront, businesses can just put life-size pictures of their wares in high-traffic public spaces. Sure, it doesn’t solve issues like rampant consumerism, wasteful food transport practices, or obesity, but it’s an interesting innovation nevertheless.
Well, it’s been a harrowing day and a half since my home connection went out, leaving me dazed, confused and wondering what amazing stuff I’m missing. Maybe a funny picture with a caption, or a witty tweet about contemporary social mores, or news about the death of some villainous figurehead.
Lacking new stimulus, I’m forced to recollect. This time, it’s about my nearly two decades of Netizenship. Here’s the executive summary:
While the exact age and speed eludes me, my first connection beyond my own PC came via a 9600 or 14.4 baud modem, used for kicks with local BBSs.
It was in ’94 that I first went online to the actual Internet, with a 56k modem and Trumpet Winsock serving as the lens to a world I’d never seen before. Wow, I had that connection going full steam for hours at a time, downloading movie snippets, entire songs, and whatever else caught my fancy.
A couple years later we had broadband… high speed, baby! I harnessed my LPB status to dominate Quake multiplayer (ugh I still can’t believe I played with keyboard only, no mouse!), and logged way too many hours in the WoW of the day – Ultima Online.
Since those formative years, I’ve never been without a connection for long. Some of my strongest ties are to a community that, in a way, helped to raise me… people who I’ve never met in person.
I’m so grateful for the Internet and for technology. Sure, there’s been some downs, but they’ve mostly been ups. And it looks like things will only keep getting better from here on in.
So I’m off for now, to check out whats going on with Twitter and Reddit while I’ve still got some battery left. Buh bye!
World Peace is Coming! Really! Within 20 years. 20 years… are you serious? Absolutely!
The truth is we’ve never been closer to a world where these great things become a reality. We’ve been approaching this day for thousands of years and soon the transformation will be complete. A world of peace, prosperity and equality is emerging. We will finally eradicate the scourge of extreme poverty and end institutionalized warfare. This is not some fantasy, nor is it based on some lofty idealist’s dream. This is firmly rooted in reality. Credible research, emerging trends, and the latest developments all bring forth rational arguments as to why our future holds these great things and more.
Our world has been improving at an exponential rate. With each step we take towards a better world, it becomes easier to take the next step. Gains in any of the key factors that lead to our world improving facilitate gains across all others. Our world is cyclically improving… we are, in essence, spiraling towards a better world at an ever increasing pace.
The prime factor driving us towards a better world is our technology, which, much like a world of peace, has been coming to us at exponential speed. Soon, new breakthroughs will allow us to meet the basic needs of all the world’s people, and, as we do, we will be removing one of the root causes of instability and suffering in our world… poverty.
Along with fostering a world of abundance, technology also brings unprecedented levels of uniting power. Sites like Facebook will allow us to create really big and well organized communities. And, instant messaging tools like Twitter will allow us to mobilize to action on a massive scale in real time.
These communities, harnessing the power of solidarity, will allow us to coordinate and mobilize in order to change the things we don’t like about our world. Our unity will allow us to eradicate extreme poverty. Together, we will effectively affront the entity primarily responsible for most of the armed conflicts in our world, thereby ending institutionalized warfare.
Furthermore, the technology we’ve been creating, when combined with the other key factors which contribute to a better world, will ultimately empower every single one of us on an individual level. The world of the future will be a world full of empowered people with empowered minds. The world’s power will be shifted into the hands of the people, setting us free to make our world everything we want it to be.
As we move forward into a new age, what will become increasingly evident is how the biggest obstacle preventing us from attaining a world of peace has been our belief. Believing in the possibility of a better world – having hope and being optimistic for the future – is perhaps the most vital part of a better world becoming a reality.
Here at u4ya.ca, we are excited to be spreading a message inspiring hope and optimism, and for you to truly believe in the possibility of a brighter future for all, because a far superior world is well within our reach. Please check out this video, starting off our new campaign to spread the message that World Peace is Coming!