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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
The roller-coaster ride: today's economic situation Printable Version PRINTABLE VERSION
by Sharat Buddhavarapu, United States Apr 14, 2009
Technology , Globalization , Environment   Opinions

  

Today's economic crisis is real. Let’s face it, people: it may or may not be here to last, but it is here now, and we can do no more than deal with the now. The realization that we are not as all-wise as we have pretended to be, leads to another revelation of sorts: We can no longer fully trust our ability to predict the future.

To most, that fact is not new, but almost all of us put aside our dreams and visions of a green world for later whenever it becomes hard. What else can explain the response to the energy crises of the 1970s in America? What else can explain the Bush administration’s refusal to sign the Kyoto Protocol, which was championed by the US under Al Gore’s and Bill Clinton's administration? What else can explain that most consumers would rather buy a Ferrari, which eats up gas quicker than you can say “Grandma!” than a Tesla Model S?

If Sherlock Holmes used his clear, precise logic on society today, he would be able to predict our inevitable destruction. A society ready to flush its future down the toilet for a momentary thrill- that is ultimately the end to which our actions point But among the frays of our destructive acts lies hope for survival and, indeed, improvement. Human creativity and the ability to detach ourselves from situations so as to realistically plot out all the possibilities gives us a distinct advantage for survival, one that we must now harness willingly and without a care for the pain the truth may cause.


The fact is, every time we say that something might be good or might turn out for the worse, proper risk management proposes to plan (at the very least) for a bailout in case of the worst case scenario. In the case of Global Warming, it is clear that the worst is going to happen if we do not change. Each time an IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) report comes out the predictions are worse than before. The solution: change our paradigm, and act according to that new paradigm.

The paradigm we must adopt is one of logical interpretation. It will chart out the hundred or thousand most likely futures and then decide how to reach the most positive future from the current position. This paradigm would allow humans to leverage, for the first time, the power of inventors and ingenious scientists who design things outside the structure of companies and large industry. Bringing in a bit of human compassion, we should develop economic ecosystems within which these people can thrive and be justly rewarded.

Laws on copyright and intellectual property must be rolled back. Yes, artists, I agree that you should be recognized for your own artwork, but a Creative Commons License should suffice for that purpose. All other attempts at locking in people to certain uses of content only restrict humanity's ability to move forward.

The days when any artist wanted to restrict the use of certain content simply for personal gain belong to the past, an age of personal greed over collective benefit. I do not propose that the creator should not be compensated but, rather, content should be available to change, modification and adaptation to every situation. That way, technologies, ideas etc. can be used to enable eco-friendly living and bring all families the sustenance they require.

This type of model is the answer to today’s economic problems, simply because it exploits all the talent available to complete the tasks at hand. In the past, due to restrictions on networking capabilities, collective benefit from nearly every action might have been pushed aside as the stuff of dreams, but today it is possible. Groups of people who may not know each other at all physically can collaborate on projects that can gain widespread attention and cause lasting change.

I ask that you, as members of the TakingITGlobal community, consider these arguments and continue to take action, aware that your consciousness of problems and willingness to tackle them in ways that can be replicated easily puts you at the head of your field. Continue to act your credos out and to live your faith with the knowledge that you are doing your part in pushing the world forward.





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Sharat Buddhavarapu


I am 17 years old, male, extremely driven. Want to be a tennis player, other passions include writing, tackling environmental issues, and learning to live in a healthful way. My idols include Albert Einstein, Carl Sagan, Jesus, Buddha, and other spiritual masters.
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