This was never perfected and is reproduced here for historical context. At the time I wrote it, I thought it was pretty good….
Hi, My name is Michael and I feel like a failure. I thought I might put it all out there and see what the rest of the world thinks.
I’ve spent the last 20 years coming up with great ideas, but
have been unable to follow through with them. I can learn the knowledge
and skills, I can put together a plan, but I’ve little ability to connect with
the larger community, raise capital, manage staff and bring any of my ideas to
I’ve built a fairly successful business but not successful
enough to build wealth or provide regular, decent holidays to my family.
I’ve given up on new cars and now buy second hand cars by drawing down on
If I keep going the way I am, I’ll work myself into a stress
driven physical breakdown. My nervous breakdown has probably been ongoing
since I was 13 (I’m now 48).
About 3 years ago I got diagnosed with severe depression.
Anti-depressants and psychologist appointments didn’t really make much
difference. 12 months ago I got diagnosed with ADHD. After 10
months I got an appointment with a psychiatrist who has now tried me on Ritalin
and Dexamphetamine. I wouldn’t say I’ve noticed any real positive effects
from any of these drugs, however my wife thinks they make a marginal difference
to my stress and anger management.
This morning I read an article on Asbergers, which seems to
fit me too.
I have no real hope for the human race, our country, the
environment or the future in general. My observations are that most
people are generally good, however as a group we are a selfish bunch that
prefer personal consumption and exploitation over practical, sustainable
existence. Hell, I wanted those things too, until I got this jaded.
In the last 10-15 years I’ve put together a number of
business plans for sustainable systems and associated, future looking products
and services. But I’ve always figured there were others out there more
qualified, better connected, and generally just in a better position to make
However, our political representatives are too self absorbed
and too focussed on short term political tactics to be able to implement
appropriate systems, solutions and programs to make any real difference.
Even if the Australian parliament turned around today and
sorted out our countries sustainability issues and did everything to an
exemplary level, the rest of the world is likely to take us down with it.
The only way to make any real difference is to take the
power away from the politicians and build systems and solutions that everyday
people around the world will embrace.
World security issues will never be resolved whilst
governments are eying off and exploiting resources in other countries, the
The issues between the US and North Korea can never be
resolved when the leaders of both countries are focussed on their own self
agrandissment and attempting to appear ‘strong” to each other, their
consituents and the rest of the world.
The way forward seems fairly obvious to me and I just can’t
understand why there is so much haggling and partisan politics going on.
Our governments (well, the democratically elected ones) are there to work
for the betterment of the country. That should be their number 1 priority,
not fighting each other and defending their own beliefs and policies.
1. Introduce the concept of abundance. Bringing
an abundance of low cost, clean energy to the entire world will remove major
barriers to cooperation and the need to agressively attempt to expand
territories and exploit fossil fuel resources
2. By having an abundance of energy, excess energy can
be diverted to new technologies such as:
* Extraction of CO2 from the atmosphere
* conversion of CO2 into new building materials
– combine CO2 with H20 and there are the building blocks of organic chemistry –
Alcohols, Petrolem fuels, plastics, carbohydrates and fats
* extraction of Hydrogen from H2O for shipment around
the world as replacement gasified fuel that can also be used in fuel cells
not to mention being used for more traditional industries
such as concrete manufacturing, aluminium smelting and other mineral
extraction, manufacturing and transport industry.
I see one of two things happening. The world will
either implode with runaway climate change, food scarcity, nuclear or
conventional war, disease epidemic; or, the human race will learn to cooperate
regardless of cultural, ethnic or other percieved differences.
In the last 10-20 years we’ve seen the overthrow of various
governments, either via internal, violent uprising, the intervention of
external “rescuers” primarily the United States of America supported
by Allies, either with or without the sanction of the United Nations.
Lately, some democracies have started to overthrow more progressive
government elements through “democratic” election of backward
looking, protectionist, out of date politicians.
Whilst I certainly recognise the appeal of those politicians
(and especially non politicians) proscribing a “revert to traditional
values of the old days”, this is backwards looking.
The world is always evolving and ideas and technologies
change. Ideally, each generation of people and ideas makes more sense and
is “better” than the previous generation. As with all things,
sometimes this is more a case of 2 steps forward, 1 step backward, but, over
time, things have gotten better.
Except we are now at a turning point. The world can
retreat to protectionist, inward looking values, which may look good and
provide tangible benefits in the short term. However, this type of
behaviour, especially from the larger, more developed nations will leave the
smaller, less developed nations to face significant issues with food
production, disease and development to themselves. When people are hungry
or cold, it’s very difficult to expect them to avoid burning coal, cutting down
trees or otherwise exploiting their immediate environment for survival.
Frankly, the most logical and best outcome is for the human
race to lose 98% of it’s numbers in a sustainable way. Nuclear war
doesn’t meet that criteria as it will destroy much of the remaining Earth for
any survivors. A worldwide epidemic would seem to make sense, but it does
have a rather nasty side effect for everyone. Even the survivors would
suffer enormously with probably most of them losing all friends and family
(unless of course it is engineered by a technical elite…). Imagine what
it would do to the construction industry – developers would be out of business
for hundreds of years!
So that leaves coming up with better solutions.
So, whilst the Donald Trumps and Pauline Hansons of the
world have highlighted the disatisfaction of many voters with traditional
politicians, that doesn’t mean they are the only option.
It is time for a new breed of politician to arise – one that
puts values and progressive, smart innovation ahead of internal party politics.
But that is a topic of another document I wrote a number of years ago.
The big corporate community isn’t much better than the
politicians. Big companies are run for the profit of their shareholders.
This was an amazing step forward in the 17th century and was instrumental
in moving people from subsistence farming and small scale warfare to the
exploitation of the world and large scale conflicts. Whilst it could be
argued that it may have been better if the human race hadn’t made this step,
it’s too late now and knowledge, once learned, cannot often be unlearned.
The only way is forward. And it is time that the
benefits of shared ownership of enterprises was more widely shared amongst all
members of a society and, ideally, the world. Unfortunately, I can’t say
I’ve figured this bit out. If everyone in the world was equal in terms of
education, health, housing, food, opportunity and satisfaction, then there
would be nobody to profit from and no point in trying to build enterprises.
With that said, one of the key principles I’ve discovered
over the last 18 months is that of “figure out who you’re going to take
advantage of”. Whilst this goes against the ideal of equality, the
reality is that just about everyone is either taking advantage of someone else,
or they are being taken advantage of (and probably both at the same time with
For those of us with a more advanced idea of fairness and equity, that principle could be worded “figure out who you’re going to take advantage of and take advantage of them in a way that they are happy with”.
The idea of Win-Win relationships is often just an illusion.
Sales and marketing theorists talk about win-win, but what they often
mean is each party gets something different from the relationship that they are
generally happy with.
There are no truly wealthy individuals that have not taken
advantage of someone. A wealthy farmer might have the advantage that his
great grandfather bought land under less than equal conditions, perhaps even
killing or driving off native occupants of the land. Mark Zuckerberg has
taken advantage of peoples willingness to spend inordinate amounts of time
engaging with computer screens (at the opportunity expense of producing
something of actual value). Apple computers have come up with iTunes that
sucks people into the Apple world and won’t release them (when was the last
time an Apple iPhone user switched to an Android device and threw away 10 years
of iTunes library???).
Your local GP is either a highly overworked person that
genuinely spends as much time as is required for each patient (in which case
the GP is probably being taken advantage of), or is focussed on the business of
being a Doctor – spending as little time as possible with each patient, getting
as many patients through the door as possible and then billing as much to the
government and/or the patient as possible. I suspect it is rarely will
you find a GP that has found the ability to provide health care to those that
need it whilst maintaining a work/life balance for themselves that allows them
to run a successful practice that pays their insurance, staff costs, university
training costs and return a reasonable level of income for the GP.
This probably applies to most small business owners – either
we take advantage of our clients, or we allow them to take advantage of us.
Long term wealthy (or their ante-cedants) may have exploited the land. Others take advantage of those with little negotiating power, rip off their staff or exercise their additional knowledge to overcharge clients for products with no intrinsic value. Others take advantage of the government.
But I digress…..
My proposal is this:
1. It is time to take the power away from the
politicians. They serve a useful purpose from a legislation point of
view, but they are generally not business or other community leaders.
Many of them have little real world experience apart from politics.
They cannot be allowed to determine the future of the human race.
2. Australia is a minnow on the world stage. Our
population is less than .5% of the world population.
3. Australia needs to develop forward looking
technologies, but, more important, ensure that all Australians benefit from
this future industrial capacity. Leaving all the profit in the pockets of
wealthy individuals, large corporations and overseas companies needs to be
avoided as much as possible.
4. Where is the rule that says that all members of a
society have to pay taxes to support the government? The government
should be putting in place strategies and policies that enables it to
provide the necessary services at the smallest price possible to its members.
A truly effective government would run for the benefit of the
constituents, not the other way around
5. Our government must actively seek out opportunities
to build the wealth of the country and store that wealth in such a way that a
long term benefit is derived.
6. Shuffling internal services and processes to
transfer funds from one group of the population to another is just smoke and
mirrors. The government must put in place policies that allow all
Australians to profit from the exploitation of its resources and reduce
that exploitation as much as possible.
7. A sovereign wealth fund of which every Australian
is a member should be established with the objective of developing and holding
intellectual property, and future looking enterprises for the benefit of all.
These enterprises will focus primarily on exporting massive volumes of
sustainable energy, sustainable products and associated services at such a low
price that we become the powerhouse of the world at such low prices that the
fossil fuel industries close shop.
8. Funding this sovereign wealth fund is, of course, a
significant challenge. If every Australian contributed $1000, it
would start with capital of $25 Billion. If everyone could inject
$10000, that would be $250Billion. This level of funding should enable us
to build massive thermal solar farms to harvest solar power and convert it to
Hydrogen and other exportable mediums (perhaps ammonia storage).
9. Ideally, Australia does need to address it’s own
internal power issues, but the current government is unable to set policies or
strategies to sort this out. A commercial enterprise that aims to export
100x the value of Australia’s power use would, of necessity develop new methods
and technologies and profits that could be used to address Australia’s energy
Here are some more ideas:
* convert old mine sites to industrial hubs,
surrounded with thermal solar farms (and/or wind farms, solar chimneys, etc)
* move manufacturing to the site of the power
* promote more technology based food production
methods, ideally citing greenhouses alongside (or as part of) the power
* Use left over heat from thermal solar power to
heat/run sustainable farms
* integrate sustainable living/working arrangements with the
power generation facilities. Providing forward looking, power generation
faced communities amongst the technical infrastructure of the future provides
learning and training opportunities whilst providing future generations an
opportunity to move out of big, overcrowded cities into sustainable cities
planned that way from the beginning
* take the knowledge and systems developed in
implementing these overseas as technical and construction services to provide
the same level of amenity to 3rd world and other suffering communities
So, now you can see why I think I’m not the person to make
this happen. Whilst I can imagine and visualise it, research individual
technical components and put it together, the main requirements are:
* leadership and communication – needs someone that
can communicate the vision and engage the entire country in what could be a
nation building enterprise
* technical innovation and development
* building and design services
* actually enticing people out of the cities
* fighting against the entrenched politics and
existing agendas of big companies, international governments, etc
The challenge I face is that, if I genuinely do have ADHD
and Asbergers, then I have a significant amount of personal issues that are,
and have always been, standing in my way. To proceed with this, I’d need
to have a team of specialists that can protect me from myself, whilst
extracting what I think I know from me and turning it into operational plans.
So, my questions to you is “what do I do with
this?”. Do I:
a. save this to my drafts like so many before it and wonder
forever more if I should have somehow distributed it
b. select the best elements and go for it the
traditional way (i.e. raise seed funding from friends and family, get started,
raise venture capital funds, then IPO and run it as a standard big corporation,
hopefully with a better level of coporate repsonsibility
c. find someone to create a reality tv show about this
which will allow us to appeal to and engage with the Australian public as a
whole as we get this started
d. Seek out corporate and other leaders to help get
this thing going and rapidly lose control to those that know better
e. Stop now before I make this harder….
Let me know in the comments below:
- If you think I’m a madman and should ask my psychiatrist to have me locked up
- If you pity me and want to make a donation to help me quit my business and take a holiday
- If you think I should do this and wish me luck
- If you think I should do this and you want to purchase a foundation membership (that provides no specific benefit that everyone else won’t also have, except acknowledgement)
- If you want to buy shares in the corporation, click here to register your interest (note, we cannot sell actual shares at this point)
- If you want to donate time, expertise or otherwise support this endeavour