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Future Imperative

What if technology were being developed that could enhance your mind or body to extraordinary or even superhuman levels -- and some of these tools were already here? Wouldn't you be curious?

Actually, some are here. But human enhancement is an incredibly broad and compartmentalized field. We’re often unaware of what’s right next door. This site reviews resources and ideas from across the field and makes it easy for readers to find exactly the information they're most interested in.

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The future is coming fast, and it's no longer possible to ignore how rapidly the world is changing. As the old order changes -- or more frequently crumbles altogether -- I offer a perspective on how we can transform ourselves in turn... for the better. Nothing on this site is intended as legal, financial or medical advice. Indeed, much of what I discuss amounts to possibilities rather than certainties, in an ever-changing present and an ever-uncertain future.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Micronations Take Macroplanning -- Plan, SkiP, Soc, $$$

One of the key points of my last article on micronations was that anyone who seriously intends to create an independent microstate needs to muster serious resources and get their administrative house in order. John Pina Craven, the developer of ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC) power harvesting technology -- a technology often considered key by would-be ocean-going micronation founders, seems to have a similar idea.

As they note in this Wired article, "As proud as he is, Craven knows his marketing and administrative abilities leave much to be desired. In 2000, he placed his company stock in a blind trust, became 'chief scientist,' and let others take CHC forward as a for-profit business. Ke Kai Kealoha, CHC's project manager, is charged with the selling of his vision. Craven prefers to get things started, then have others manage the operation so he can wander on to something new. 'I get put to death every seven years as great kings do, until I start a new kingship...'"

Or to put it another way, here you have a brilliant, maverick inventor -- a classic iconoclastic outsider -- and what does he do? He puts together a company to develop his technology, and if he can't figure out all the details on how to exploit his technology, or handle the management issues involved, he delegates those responsibilities to others.

I mention this point not just for the sake of people who want to build their own microstates, but because many dreamers, including inventors and futurists, want to have the great dream and to either build it all themselves or present it to the world and watch everyone take it up spontaneously. (And lavish that visionary soul with riches and/or praise.)

The fact is, the world doesn't work that way. You need to be prepared to do some work on your own, but also be ready to gather a team that can handle all of the details and challenges that you can't take on alone. Considering how many creative people want to go on to their next project rather than devote their lives to just one, it only makes sense for people trying to launch an invention, a company, a research project, an NGO or even a microstate to be ready to let go of some of the work. Rest assured, most grand enterprises have more than enough work to go around.

If you want to get a sense of how strong your team is, think about setting up a "formal organization." It doesn't have to be rigid or complex, but simply registering yourselves as a non-profit or a corporation gives you certain rights and protections that informal gatherings of individuals do not. If that works out, set yourself some interim goals, and see how that goes.

I may seem a bit cynical about microstate and other grandiose projects, but that's only because I don't think people should waste their lives on a goal if they have neither the determination, the resources or the organization to achieve it -- and no desire to muster any of those attributes. If you have such an attitude, the only way you're going to succeed is if someone else comes along and does it all for you.

In which case, you need to take my above comments on delegation even more seriously than my goal-oriented readers. Either way, good luck.


Future Imperative

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