According to Rory Sutherland, in his revent TED talk, the effectiveness of a solution is inversely proportionate to the amount of money~force used (though his diagram up there doesn’t actually show this very effectively, does it? – he must have hired an expensive consultant to make it… :-), and so Sutherland very much wants to create positions in the world where people have:
“Immense amounts of power, but no money at all.”
I tend to agree. The solutions that people come up with when they can’t just go out and buy a “band aid” for the problem tend to be far more innovative and deeply researched, and thus more universally effective. Money tends to lead to the superficial decorations of a more bling-covered world, while the ability to really look at the core of the problem and understanding what people truly want and need is something that happens when money is mostly out of the picture. And as those “poor” people who are looking more deeply into the problem and coming up with more universally available solutions are given the power to enact those solutions, the world will become a more honestly better place at it’s heart. Perhaps, the meek really should inherit the Earth, if we want to truly solve the world’s biggest problems…
Because, ultimately, the universe is not Newtonian, and is instead, a chaotic, quantum place, where even the smallest changes in position and direction have a huge effect on even the largest masses.
And Mr. Sutherland’s challenge to us is to come up with a term for this. What is it that we do when we look into the core of what people want and need, and find a way to give it to them with the least possible resource allotment?
I suggest filling that unlabled box with the word:
Or possibly SPIRIT, as in the original meaning of the term: “breath of life” and the rare spark that makes the difference between life and death.
Love is about the personal care and attention given to others, rather than the superficial decorations of business. And spirit is about that small but powerful difference that makes all the difference in life. Because now that the industrial age is over and we are in the age of communication, we don’t need to spend as much time and energy on making machines and policies that can take care of our basic needs so that people can survive, and we can instead spend much more time and energy on understanding how to make machines and policies that help people truly thrive.
And perhaps this is what the geeks will become, once they let go of their money and their technobling, and are finally free to spend their geeky passion on making the world a truly good place.