In this video, Theofilos Chaldezos describes a possible holistic approach to mitigating pandemics in a Global Resource Based Economy. Part I and Part II focused on the issues generated by incompetence and systemic operations that act against human wellbeing. Part III focuses on a systems approach to problem solving.
Isn’t it disappointing that despite pandemics occurring in the past1, governments seem to have learned very little2? Events that can be trapped early appear to be left to chance.3 What is happening?
Well, what we are seeing is the collateral damage caused by the pursuit of misplaced happiness. Artificial scarcity in the form of misinformation–planned and perceived obsolescence4 along with insecurity — allows a mindset of hoard, withhold, and deprivation5 to develop. This scarcity-based mindset seems to me to reinforce the age-old pursuit of happiness. The classic rat-race to accumulate property, wealth, and power. Not global well-being.
We have inherited the rules of the game that perpetuate and support the current system. I remember reading in the book, “The Mind in the Making” by James Harvey Robinson, that “In every age, the prevailing conditions of civilization have appeared quite natural and inevitable to those who grew up in them. The cow asks no questions as to how it happens to have a dry stall and a supply of hay. The kitten laps its warm milk from a china saucer without knowing anything about porcelain. The dog nestles in the corner of a divan with no sense of obligation to the inventors of upholstery or the manufacturers of down pillows. So we humans accept our breakfasts, our trains and telephones and orchestras, and movies, our national Constitution, our moral code and standards of manners, with the simplicity and innocence of a pet rabbit.”
Critical thinking6 is a prerequisite for a better world. I don’t mean overriding suspicion or over-interpreting evidence. We must aim for coherence while being receptive to evidence and view the system with a healthy level of skepticism. I mean scientific evidence, not anecdotal evidence. Anecdotal evidence7 has its place but it’s weak and can be dangerous and, in most cases, misleading. They can be convincing when they start using scientific jargon and a testimonial from a so-called scientist but it takes scientific literacy (meaning having a well-versed interdisciplinary background in this and related fields) to see through the smoke and mirrors. Why would they use smoke and mirrors? Because business is exceptional in the pool of ignorance.
In this series, my suggestion has been to move towards a Global Resource-Based Economy. A Global Resource-Based Economy is not like anything you have encountered before. Resist jumping to conclusions and pay attention.
A Global Resource-Based Economy is a concept that outgrows the current global operating system of profit and fosters the well-being of people and the preservation and restoration of the environment.
Systemic change comes by changing the environment. Changing the environment means the physical and social environment.
- In transforming the physical environment, we consider managing the Earth’s resources sustainably, conserving energy and resources–doing more with less. We would be designing an environment to reinforce behavior to a value system that perpetuates living systems.
- In modifying the social environment, we need to meet human needs equitably, providing education to an updated value system corresponding to a Resource-Based Economy. Evolve a new way of communicating, adopt universal functional ethics, and use scientific scales of performance or statistical data, evidence, and empirical methodology, assisted by computer algorithms to govern global operations.
Why change the physical and social environment? If we don’t change the conditions, we will see a repetition of the same old destructive patterns of behavior. That means whatever we decide to change them to would need to be sustainable.
Resource sustainability can be achieved by:
- using nonrenewable resources at or below the rate at which an alternative can be developed,
- using renewable resources at or below the rate at which the resources can renew themselves,
- if unavoidable, releasing pollutants at or below the rate at which they can be made immediately harmless by the environment.
Social Sustainability demands that we fulfill the deficiency and growth needs8 equitably by:
- Giving everyone access to:
- Clean air,
- Clean water,
- Arable land,
- Relevant education,
- Functional and resilient shelter,
- And an integrated health care system that cares rather than profits.
- Guaranteeing safety and security without the need for police, armies, and navies.
- Providing equal opportunity and encouraging all to pursue personal growth for the greater good.
- Ensuring systemic resilience through careful engineering and constant education, education that would bring about a competent public.
All of this would need global cooperation, collaboration, and trust. High social capital needs to be an outgrowth of the system bringing about a sustainable future.
That is why Jacque Fresco developed the idea of a Global Resource-Based Economy. Now what is it and how would it deal with global problems such as pandemics?
A Resource-Based Economy, in many ways, mimics the human body. Imagine the human body reacted to problems the way the current system does. For instance, you cut your toe and your immune system responded as slowly as governments do, discussing it for days on end and debating, denying, ignoring, downplaying, and voting. We would have gangrene up to our knees! Well, guess what? Here we are with ‘gangrene’ up to our knees.9
A systems approach to problem-solving is critical. A systems approach is an overall approach to a problem, one that manages the interacting variables thoroughly. A Resource-Based Economy looks at all the parts with an overall systems approach and manages them in a way that helps us achieve human well-being equitably. Equity not equality, meaning taking everyone’s well-being into equal consideration. A systems approach to problem-solving would have the healthcare system built in every area of human life. That would be an actual attempt to keep healthy people healthy!
What does this mean? A Resource-Based Economy would automate jobs identified as repetitive and dangerous. Automating tasks and at the same time giving access to the necessities of life would reduce stress-related health issues while minimizing the possibility of workplace injuries and fatal accidents. The system will strive to end the need for pollutants, transitionally accepting only pollutants released at or below the rate at which they can be made immediately harmless by the surrounding environment. Public areas, transportation, homes, furniture, devices, clothing could have sensors to observe people’s health10 and adjust our surroundings to manage everything from your desired arousal level to your general health.
If a disease enters or develops in your body, nanotechnology would be able to detect the threat quickly. The ambulance will be outside your door before you even feel any symptoms.
If due to unforeseen circumstances, a new infection were to emerge, this interactive system will help trap and mitigate the issue at the source before any further spread is allowed. In every area of the world, a special contingency team exists that will have protocols derived through interdisciplinary studies to ensure that any threat is isolated. Generalists respond almost as quickly as the immune system in our bodies. Again, most of these protocols would be able to be implemented to work automatically. We need data management for planetary and human well-being.
A Resource-Based Economy is not a one-way data collection scheme that benefits only a few, like today. There is no vested interest so there is no advantage to misuse and abuse the data collected from the population. A Resource-Based Economy is a transparent system that facilitates input from the environment and a competent public. Updating and improving it benefits all equitably.
Now, a Resource-Based Economy is not perfect, but, I am sure you can admit that the chances of a pandemic developing in such a setup are low. We have to make a change in the way we think about ‘problem-solving’ and societal operation to reflect a total global systems approach. Global cooperation and collaboration are necessary if we are to tackle global problems.
Adhering to present-day values, we won’t exceed our present-day problems.
For more, please subscribe below; don’t forget to like and share. To receive our latest news, subscribe to our newsletter and donate on our website: thevenusproject.com. 1. https://www.livescience.com/worst-epidemics-and-pandemics-in-history.html ;
2. https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/04/covid-19-how-spanish-flu-changed-world/ ;
5. https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/Antecedents-of-Hoarding-Behavior%3A-A-Marketing-DeMaria-King/e2ee6e42a89bc3585ab927fe9e8bdb71c2d0b44f ;
9. https://www.imf.org/en/Publications/WEO/Issues/2020/06/24/WEOUpdateJune2020 ;
10. https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/chemistry/biosensor ;
A seismic shift is under way. Against the backdrop of rising temperatures, collapsing ecosystems, and the threat of species extinction, technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics are now moving to transform the global order. Indeed, for the first time in our history, we have the tools and technologies to guide and shape our evolution. But what will this future look like?
I recently spoke with Roxanne Meadows and Nathanael Dinwiddie of The Venus Project to better understand their thoughts on the future. As they explain, the status quo is no longer working. Climate change, social inequality, and technological innovation are now disrupting a market-driven society. The key to resolving these global challenges, they suggest, is rooted in a Resource Based Economy.
The term “Resource Based Economy” was first coined by Jacque Fresco, the founder of The Venus Project. Fresco believed that a Resource Based Economy could support the scientific integration of automating technologies (AI and robotics) and engineering systems in providing the highest possible living standards. Meadows and Dinwiddie suggest that this kind of economy is the next stage in human evolution. But what do they mean?
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1. What is The Venus Project?
Meadows and Dinwiddie: The Venus Project is a non-profit organization that presents a new socio-economic model utilizing science and technology. For the past 40 years, we have maintained a 21-acre research center in Venus, Florida. We propose a new scientific foundation in transcending humanity’s current problems by testing a new social design for organizing our society as a global “operating system”.
Taken as a whole, the Venus Project fills the egregious gap between the sciences and the humanities by combining a social philosophy of the future with technical knowledge applied at a global scale to solve the problems of the human condition. Our methodologies are designed to realize the full potential of science and technology to achieve social betterment for all living systems— without exception. Our approach to social organization calls for changes in governance, economics, urban planning, education, human relationships, language, and values.
2. We appear to be in the early stages of a massive economic depression. What is your sense of what is happening politically and economically right now?
Meadows and Dinwiddie: We are witnessing an unprecedented political polarization and economic disruption around the world today. The status quo is no longer working. Many people are now beginning to understand how dysfunctional the management of nations, peoples, and resources has been. Human needs and the needs of our environment are far too complex to be managed by political means, arbitrary economic direction, or an elite without the relevant understanding of science and technology.
Compounding this problem, nature operates as a closed-loop system, but we do not. We extract resources without replenishing them, accumulate waste materials without recycling them, and we pollute our air, water, and food crops for the need to maintain competitive profit margins. There are many other factors converging at once besides the pandemic, all of which contribute to the system’s unrest.
3. Younger generations seem disaffected with Capitalism. Could you describe your vision of a post-scarcity society?
Meadows and Dinwiddie: The Venus Project recognizes that if we utilize a global systems approach as a basis for organizing and managing resources, we can design a much more humane environment for all. Our goal is to advance the health and the protection of the ecosystem, as opposed to the accumulation of wealth, property, and power. We do not have enough money to fulfill the needs of the world’s people, but we do have enough resources, if wisely managed. Ultimately, it is not money that people need, but unencumbered access to the necessities of life and self actualization.
Accomplishing this is a technical and engineering challenge requiring massive coordination by transdisciplinary teams of engineers and scientists in managing the Earth’s resources within its carrying capacity. This kind of scientific endeavor would eliminate the vicious rivalries over scarce resources and, in turn, generate very different behavior amongst people.
Briefly, this is what Jacque Fresco, founder of The Venus Project, termed a “Resource Based Economy”. This is a necessary step for humanity’s evolution. It could be thought of as a new science, a science of Earth Management where, by necessity, all of Earth’s resources become the common heritage of all the world’s people.
4. How does the Venus Project differ from Socialism or Communism?
Meadows and Dinwiddie: Rather than worker revolts and the forcible overthrow of the system (Communism), or the redistribution of capital (Socialism), The Venus Project approaches social change as a process of guided evolution. In our view, the challenges before us are a matter of engineering and design. The Venus Project calls for an experimental analysis of a new social system. This system is unlike any communist revolution, utopian commune, or coup d’état tried in the past.
In our view, the fundamental issue limiting social management in the past has been the lack of an effective data-driven methodology for evaluating and improving the system’s functioning. Full-scale blanket application of social policies to vast geographic areas— be it through revolution or legislation— without a means for evaluating their effectiveness, follows from an approach heavy in ideology but short in scientific method. The Venus Project calls for iterative prototyping of cities that we take as the unit of analysis in validating or falsifying hypotheses. All of this begins with testing a prototype, not a revolution.
Although Karl Marx did envision a society wherein money, private property, and social hierarchy were abolished, he could not begin to imagine how to implement this system at a technical level. In contrast to Communism, The Venus Project calls for the total redesign of cities (transportation, distribution, manufacturing, recycling, infrastructure) to produce abundance of goods and services. This is achieved through automation and optimized infrastructural efficiency.
5. What role does technology and automation play in The Venus Project?
Meadows and Dinwiddie: For the first time in history, we have the tools and technology to guide and shape our evolution. To accomplish this, The Venus Project advocates the humane and intelligent use of technology and the methods of science directed toward the well-being of all people and the environment which sustains all life.
In our view, technology and automation should be strictly used for social betterment and to eliminate repetitive, dangerous and monotonous work. If automation displaces a job, for example, that means all people would gain more access to the products those machines produce. The necessities of life are distributed without a fee with the aim of expanding to all goods and services. Consequently, there is no threat resulting from technological labor displacement. On the contrary, technology and automation have the potential for enhancing the world’s standard of living, enabling people to learn, spend time with their families, travel, and confront the new frontier of challenges in improving the resilience of the system as a whole.
6. How do you envision utilizing AI in decision-making?
Meadows and Dinwiddie: Applying the methods of science and technology (including AI) to the operation of the world’s societies will lead to a substantially more reliable functioning of support systems than we have today. Homelessness, starvation, war, and environmental degradation are consequences of today’s political and economic approaches to decision-making. A Resource Based Economy operates within a unified systems approach that utilizes the methods of science and AI to arrive at the most appropriate decisions at any given time. Unlike today’s implementation of technology, this new approach would be carefully carried out with the utmost human and environmental concern. The real-time influx of quantitative and qualitative data would provide real-time feedback, enabling humanity to constantly observe and continually improve the operation of the system over time.
7. What are the future goals of The Venus Project?
Meadows and Dinwiddie: At present, we are focused on formalizing and systematizing the body of work of The Venus Project’s founder, Jacque Fresco. In an age that is sorely lacking an approach updated to current knowledge and capability, we enter uncharted territory with the methods of science to help us through. This is the crucial job that no one has attempted, until now.
In the short term, we are focused on a systems approach to organize a holistic understanding of the natural world and human culture. This involves understanding economics and human social systems in the broader contexts of Earth processes and ecosystems, and communicating this understanding through books, videos, the internet, podcasts, transmedia storytelling, and course curricula.
In the mid-term, we aim to fulfill the desperate need for the strategic coordination of consilience by synthesizing the knowledge of academia and the know-how of industry. This network of intelligence will produce a transdisciplinary research agenda, research program, and global theory of change. Constructing a new planning center will function as a living lab and think tank devoted to designing the first prototype city.
In the long term, The Venus Project hopes to see the construction of new prototype cities for the purpose of testing the hypothesis of a holistic, technical design-solution for a social system. Iterations of these prototypes will form a worldwide network of cities. The study of these cities will function as the basis for a science of Earth management, the models of which guide the intelligent allocation of resources for the purpose of optimizing civilization to adapt and evolve in relationship with an Earth ecology.
The Venus Project is very excited to present the just-released new visuals of our next phase: the Center for Resource Management.
The below images show the current stage of development of the project and the design is subject to further improvements.
The Center for Resource Management complex:
Interactive exhibitions will be located throughout this central portion of the complex. Here visitors will learn what can be achieved when we direct our resources and efforts toward worldwide social betterment and sustainability.
This represents the entire site which includes all five rings:
Along with these new visuals, we have redesigned the Center for Resource Management page to better present this exciting new project. Completely new on that page is the Masterplan section, which includes a description of the various aspects and functions of the complex. The Masterplan also includes a step-by-step strategy to build the Center for Resource Management, and to realize The Venus Project’s goals of a collaborative global network of cities.
A better presentation of the progress we have made so far is also included.
Read more here