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Global Changemakers

More and more I found myself troubled by following worldwide news on daily basis. It's not that I have lack of free time to filter them all out. More, it is that recently I started feeling certain reluctance reading the headlines filled with conflicts, wars and civil fights, religious and cultural animosities, political and all the other disgusting affairs, political elections full of poorly casted actors, stories that you have to use superb power to read them between the lines, worldwide armed conflicts and warfare in foreign countries that I have not the slightest clue what initiated them all and why, mediocre journalism and sensationalism in the worst meaning of the word, etc... The list is endless and believe me I'm not even referring to all those black chronicle stories with unappropriated articles where i.e. somebody killed his parents with an ax or mass murder of cinema crowd by a lunatic in batman suit or worse. Or in today's case and what inspired me to revive this blog post, the mass murder in Belgrade by a 13 years old.

Day after 7th Grader Opens Fire at School in Serbia*

If you read news every day then there is no reason why you shouldn't ask yourself this question: "What is wrong with the World?" Well, If I have to answer it by using the "Occam razor" logic it would be: "Sadly, everything is as usual as always. It is in human nature to act like this from the beginning of time." Its simple, before we didn't have mass media in the scope we are having today and luckily for us we didn't know much further out from our own neighborhood. Today is different. It's more like that immediately when something terrible happens, somebody thinks it is extremely important to put it into news feeds filled with dramatic plot so we wouldn't be spared the sick feeling in our stomach after seeing the photos and videos in accompanied articles. I am not trying to sound shallow and I do sympathize with all the innocent victims and I truly was on the verge of tears almost every time after those events happened. It's just too incomprehensible and over the edge of my intelligence and capacity to dazzle. Once I performed an experiment - I didn't watch or read any local, regional and worldwide news for a long period of time and replaced the activity with more work and fun stuff and only read RSS feed of chosen feeds in science, technology, environment and nature. It was just like I anticipated, I started to fill much better and it was like placing me above and outside all the world's problems. But, it was only the illusion and its not really possible to live like that or to stay hidden from the 21st century full of gadgets and information sources. Not if you are software developer fused to computer screen with fast internet running in behind. The news always finds the way to you, one way or another.

Actually, until we find the way and train our mind to pass through all unwanted news entering one ear directly toward another and out, without bothering brain cells, there is nothing we can do. The world will stay the same. Globally unhealthy from many points of view.


Hmmm, ok, let's leave bad news aside for a moment and try something else entirely - let's try to think and enumerate all the things need to happen or invent in order for the World to be a better place. For the World to be relatively healthy and free of bad news. Impossible you say? I agree - it is totally one of those impossible missions or thought experiments if you will, but nevertheless following is the list of what should be done to make it so. I also tried to make the list "in order of importance" and it is a mix of technology achievements and social dogma we need to either invent, understand or deal with.

These seven global changemakers or wonders, once achieved, might have power of changing the World globally. Following is a brief explanation for each one.

Complete Scientific Awareness

The most important is like always, pure knowledge. What we are, why are we here, what are we made off and where are we living. Don't think of these questions spiritually, we can leave this for poets. What I meant is literally - how we came to be in the first place, what is life as we know it, what is universe we are living in made of and what is our place in it. Science is slowly advancing toward definite answers but this will take lots of time. Some areas are researched better than others but I have this feeling that science is going in right direction. Experiments are performed on daily basis, theories are proven or rejected and slowly this process is going forward. I will give you just one example to get the better picture of how hard it is. In physics, astronomy and cosmology we have learned a lot but still many theories are waiting for the right time or technology to be tested. Right now even though laws of physics apply very well in current equations we still don't have pure knowledge of the Universe itself. Is it all there is or there are others universes out there? Is space-time continuum the last frontier we need to solve or there are more dimensions above our four? Is everything made of particles or we will find strings if we dig deeper? Or the last frontier is just one tiny holographic dot placing all of us in one giant and incredible simulation?

Albert Einstein

You might ask why do we need to know everything? Who cares whether our universe is made out of nothing or it was just a side-product of some natural or artificial phenomenon? Think of it like this, one day Universe is going either to expand over the boundaries of pure existence or something unknown will happen and it will start crunching back into singularity. It is long way until that, but who knows, we might learn how to make another Universe before it happen and escape on time. The Sun is going to collapse much before Universe's ultimate fate and only pure knowledge can save us on that very day.

To conclude, we need to keep funding all kind of scientific thoughts. One day it will be literally worthwhile.

Removing Political Influences

I spent my university days in a country named Yugoslavia governed by socialism utopia. Many of my friends who live in democratic societies from the birth don't understand the stupidity of many things in former socialist societies. For example, one of those stupidity was within my university where I signed to learn electronics and computer science. Socialist government forcibly added more than couple of additional classes within first four semesters where we had to learn about Socialism, Communism and Military Defense. Imagine that. You desperately wanted to continue your education and learn to build and program computers and they forced you to learn about Lenin or Marx or tanks and rifles. I am proud to say that I have the smallest grades from those classes possible. However, one thing is still poking my mind from one "defense" lecture. Retired general or who ever he was who gave the lecture told us definition of war with exactly these words: "War is nothing else but simple continuation of politics only by using force and violence." So there you go. If you listen to him all we need to do is to get rid of politicians. You know what, sadly, even though all wars we had in the past didn't originated in bad politics, the most of them were. Actually in big percent of all military conflicts he was right. Politicians are the ones to blame fully. So how to do this small thing and remove politicians out of equation?

Politicians in action

Actually the answer is simple, we replace them with technology. In the beginning of developing democracy, politicians were nothing more than just intermediaries between people and government. It was necessary back in Greek times but today we don't need a politician to ride a horse for days between his village and capital city in order to represent his community and vote for government's agenda. Today, people can do that by themselves by using smartphones. There will be turbulence as politicians today infiltrated every aspect of governments worldwide but sooner or later democracy will evolve and big decisions will never be in one man alone, metaphorically speaking. Even today with current technology, simple census can be organized for everything imaginable. For example, if some government comes to think into going into any war they must first ask people for approval and I can't imagine what kind of conflict must exist in order majority of voters to allow going into war and send their people into possible death.

Anyway my second post in this blog was about this and you can read it entirely at Real Democracy System. It was one idea of how to expand democracy and replace politicians with technology. The same like human workers in automobile industry are replaced with industrial robots. Not a big deal. Only cars are now better and assembled with greater perfection.

Dismantling Religion

Can you imagine a world without religion?

I can.

I know this is sensitive subject so I am not going to "preach" against religious dogma. Instead, let me just tell you one story what we would be missing in hypothetical religion-free world. Couple of years ago, I was a god-father on the baptism ceremony for my best friend daughter. She was about two years old and genuinely terrified with the procedure of washing her body with cold water, cutting her cute curly cowlick out and most of all with appearance of the priest. He was truly scary character, wearing long black dress, greasy long hair and messy even longer beard. With his thick-rim black glasses and couple of teeth missing he was blabbing a prayer in a way nobody could understand. Until the very end of the ceremony when his ability to talk dramatically improved and we all understood when he said something about how primitive and impolite her parents were when they failed to raise their daughter not to be afraid from priests and house of god. Truth is, even we adults would be heavily scared seeing this guy in the middle of the night and I completely understand children suffering in his not so cheap baptisms. If you add to the scene that we had to circle three times around some totemic item in the middle of the church and in every turn forced to literally spit on the floor while saying "I hate the devil" you could probably get full understanding how ridiculous all this was. When I said earlier that not all wars are triggered by politicians and their agenda it was because I am sure that remaining wars in the past directly or indirectly are caused by worldwide religions. All the cultural conflicts, dozens of crusades and wiping out native civilizations during colonization have religion in background.

The Creation of Adam, Michelangelo

Unfortunately, dismantling religion is next to impossible or one of those Sisyphean tasks. Even if on this very evening friendly aliens land on the top of UN building and say that there is nothing up there, worldwide believers would not believe them and continue worshiping the divine, only with slightly modified prayers with heretic aliens included.

Respecting Earth and Biodiversity

Broken natural equilibrium between humans and especially degraded relationship of humans and everyone else is one of those doomsday scenarios directly caused by us. It seems that one point in time will come in the future where everything might collapse whatever we do. This is the point when natural balance on Earth will be inevitably reached. It is simply impossible to prevent the energy and the resources failure for all of us if we continue damaging local and global ecosystems we live in. In the world with billions of humans we are literally unprepared for the major collapse of the biodiversity, either caused by us directly, indirectly or by any doomsday catastrophe caused by natural phenomenon.

Diversity of ecosystem

Simply put, if we would take care of our planet and our neighbors (and I don't mean just humans next door, but everything with DNA molecule in their cells) like we take care of ourselves, this issue would probably not exist.

Mastering Gravity

While previous four changemakers are more about how to deal with current issues or dogmas, following three are all about breakthrough discoveries in technology and engineering. There are numerous potential discoveries capable of changing the world but eventually I selected these three as all of them needed lots of more work to get in production and once they do the door would be open for many more.

Stephen Hawking and zero gravity fun **

Let's start with gravity. Even though it is still uncertain what it is exactly, is it another field governed by graviton bosons hinted by particle physics or it is just a property of curved space and time continuum or perhaps something else, learning the basics of gravity eventually would provide us ways of how to master it. If we succeed, the consequences would be extra ordinary. Imagine the world with new transportation capable of reaching the distant point on Earth within minutes. Astronauts would finally escape zero gravity issues and you would not have to be athlete in order to go into space. Speaking of astronauts, yesterday I was picking up my son from the school and I found him and his friend arguing about whether or not small space shuttle toy they were playing with was actually a plane or a shuttle. Boy's father ended discussion by explaining them that miniature "Discovery" is actually both since it flies in orbit like a shuttle and lands like a plane. Well, if we manage to master gravity in the future there will be no planes any more. Just shuttles.

I have to admit that this changemaker is maybe the most difficult one to achieve, but if proven possible, one day it would add additional wind blow in many other areas. Imagine construction machines with gravity drive and tools, home appliances floating around, safe space travels, weekend houses on the Moon or Mars, cheap solar system exploration, robotic mine facilities in asteroid belt and beyond.

Mastering Nano-Technology

Close your eyes and think big and imagine construction materials stronger than strongest known currently in existence. Imagine space elevators between Earth and captured asteroid acting as counter-weight on the other end. Imagine literally unbreakable bridges and skyscrapers. Now blink and now think small and imagine atom-sized semiconductor and molecule-sized integrated circuit. Imagine personal computer of the size of thimble that will never overheat and work without changing batteries. Imagine nano-robots floating in your blood stream capable of delivering medicine only to infected cells. Imagine animals tagged in a way that we would know their exact position at any times.

Space Elevator ***

Now blink again and try to think big and small in the same time and spot humanoid robot with processing power larger than thousands personal computers combined with artificial intelligence programmed in its memory cells. All this would be possible when we finally end our research of manipulating one single thing. The carbon atom. The atom so powerful of making both organic molecules interacting with hydrogen and oxygen and also capable of creating perfect crystal structures on the atom scale creating the most durable and solid materials possible to create in laboratories. Contrary to gravity changemaker, scientific research advanced significantly and we might expect first results in near future, especially in construction and computer engineering.

Mastering Human Body

Finally, the area that is probably the most advanced and almost reached the title of "Mastering" is medicine. We have come long way since humans invented civilization and started taking care of each other. But we are still not there yet. Some areas in medicine like fight the simple cold is still far away from victory. There is still a list of diseases and conditions with unknown medicines and drugs. DNA sequence is still far from final decoding and understanding, especially in context of junk DNA. Perhaps further research in electronics and nano technology would provide additional tools for further breakthroughs in medicine.

Understanding DNA

When I am imagining a final understanding of humans I am thinking of body sized home appliance capable of frequent non-invasive scanning of human body in order to give us either clean bill of health or diagnose potential hazards much before it might appear.

So there you go, call it fantasy of one leisured blogger or whatever you want but I wish I could see the status of this list say 200 years from now. I am sure lifespan of one human being could be even much longer than 200 years if some or all of above changemakers came to life.


Global Changemakers
Initially published in November 2012, republished and slightly edited in May 2023

Image references:

* 7th Grader Opens Fire at School in Serbia, Killing 8 Children

** Pop Physics: Gravity

*** Space elevator

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