“How cute and delusional”

Posted on April 7, 2013

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Since I was a kid I always had a hard time understanding the weird systems in our society. I really didn’t understand how some people could be poor while the rich walked among them doing nothing about it. I didn’t understand why people wasn’t running to the rescue to others in need. I never understood the concept of boarders. Why are there other countries? Why can’t we just live together, sharing the land?
Why can’t I move freely across the globe?
I really didn’t understand war. I didn’t understand why if one person killed another, it is called murder and it’s illegal but it’s okay for a country to kill thousands of people if it’s labeled war.
I for sure didn’t understand the concept of money. I remember talking to my dad about it when I was thirteen. There had been some natural catastrophe that was all over the news and they talked about the costs for society to fix it and how long it would take to restore it and that many businesses were completely destroyed. To me it felt like the most obvious thing in the world that the rest of the world should pitch in and help rebuild the city that had been destroyed. It’s not like there’s no resources to do it. The only thing that’s stopping it is that there’s not enough money to do it. On one side are people in great need of resources to survive. One the other side are the people with the resources just waiting for the magic word “we’ll pay”. To me it was absurd.

I didn’t understand the concept of jobs. Why do we have to work to get what we need to survive?
Today we have to earn the access to the things that keeps us alive, like food, water, warmth, energy, a roof over our heads and health care when we’re sick. I think we deserve those things by default. Society is our own creation. Why in the world have we created a system that doesn’t give us what we need to survive for free?
I think the main purposes of society should be to give all of us direct access to the things necessary to survive and flourish. I would gladly invest my time into supporting that type of society.

These were all things I was thinking about at a young age and seeing the dysfunction in the world I felt compelled to try and figure out another way of doing things. There has to be a better way. I wanted to save the world. But I also learned fast that isn’t something you can say to a lot of people and still be taken seriously. For some reason “Saving the world” is one of the most discrediting things you could say. It’s a one way ticket to be labeled as “A delusional dreamer” and no one will really listen to what you have to say. After being patted on the head and laughed at a few times I withdrew that part of me into my shell. As I grew older I still felt the urge to really do something with my life that mattered. I was working in different restaurants between the age of 20-24 and I knew it wasn’t my dream job. I decided to bring out my world-saving side again and ask it what context it could really do some great work in. What stood out to me was the title designer. It is a very creative industry and you basically get trained to solve problems in a very creative way. To me that meant getting to the core of it all. I went for it. Between 2004-2011 I was completely emerged in learning about the design process and practicing it.  I started to think about how you could apply this process on all kinds of development and the thought of re-designing society came to me one day and has been stuck in my mind ever since. The problems was that I had to spend all my time with my studies, since it was an intense and demanding education, so I had littler time left to dig into this new idea of mine and to be honest I wasn’t really sure how to handle it.

The first Zeitgeist movie blew my mind wide open. A lot of people see it as one of the worst mash-up of conspiracy theories out there, but I  got very intrigued. It was obvious that there was both some true facts in there but also so wild speculations and interpretations that aren’t necessarily true but they could be and who can we ever know the truth of it?
But what really caught me whas the description of the Venus project. Here was this big idea about a new type of society that wasn’t built on the monetary system. It was exactly what I needed to get my confidence back with my own controversial ideas. I started to speak up about it and do more research around every detail about our current society, it’s problems and ideas to solve it. I have both been met by agreement and total ridiculing.

The key things I bring up when I mention my ideas and thoughts on re-designing society are to take away the usage of money and with that the need to work to earn it, make everything you need to survive and flourish available for free, automatize and resource-optimize as many systems as possible (production, waste management, energy, transportation, construction etc) and revolutionize the education system. The first thing that people protest about is that it is impossible to not have money. No one would give up their wealth just like that and no one would do any work or contribute to society if they wouldn’t get paid for it. We are egoistic by nature and it’s the primary drive above all others, they say. I’m convinced that is not true and I will explain why I say that in this blog.

First of all it is one huge illusion that people wouldn’t contribute anything to society if they didn’t get payed for it. There’s A LOT of people in the world that do what they do because they love it and want to do something good for others. Money has nothing to do with it. But there are also a lot of people that do extremely monotonous, dangerous, degrading and mind-numbing jobs. Many of them being in production, waste management and the service sector. A lot of these jobs can and should be replaced by machines. It is a waste of human potential to let a human do a monotones job that is both destructive to that persons body and mind and can be better performed by a machine. We should really take a closer look on what people both want to do and are capable of doing and create a society that endorses the development of human potential. That way our society could develop a lot faster and to a more advanced state of civilization. We are still enslaved and are being treated as machines. Here’s a great documentary about the history of the concept of human resources.

We are definitely capable of egoistic behavior but it is not by nature our main driving force. The reason why most people in our society are acting like huge egoistic self absorbed assholes is because our society reinforces that behavior in many ways. But a lot of research actually points towards that empathy is a much more natural driving force and we are hard wired for it. Jeremy Rifkin gives an informative and inspiring talk about it on TED.

Today I’m 31 and an entrepreneur and a designer in my own company and I feel more compelled than ever to dig deeper into how our society works and what it could possibly be in the future. I started this blog so that I could have a place to document my thoughts and ideas on all of this. I’m convinced that we can do much better and that it is possible to create a society that supports a good life on this planet for all. I’m gonna dig up all the evidence I can find out there to show what is wrong with this world and why it is very plausible to think that the ideas I suggest can work.

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