Novi: the last unit of currency. Gershwynn Jay
What I am about to propose is a work of science fiction. Soft science, since it deals with psychology and human nature. It is PsyFi. The hardest thing to change is the human mind, and in this piece, the assumption is that the minds have already been changed.
My aim, and I am not entirely alone, is to end money. I know, it sounds impossible, and that is the task to which I have delegated myself for some time now: how to make it seem possible. I feel I’ve achieved a certain level of confidence in the steps I am about to present, except the last one.
The first step is to create a global currency to replace all others; to end conversion rates, and to end cash transactions and crimes. It could well be the Dollar since it is basically a global currency, but it would be completely digital (no more Benjamins). Or it could be a form of cryptocurrency which I call the Novi (noh-vee), which is Latin for “new”. I like Novi simply because it is something new and different from what we already have, and it will have the connotation of change for the better. With little work, it could be a decentralized exchange much like is used for Bitcoin. This would of course absorb all other currencies, including Bitcoin, at their current market value, for the sake of transition. I have not called it a ‘bank’ because of the practical connotations associated therewith, but it would be a virtual vault for our transitional currency.
Once the shift is made, all transactions are transparent but protected. This means everyone can see where the money is at all times, but can’t steal it. (This means numbers pertaining to transactions and balances, not necessarily itemized receipts of purchases.) At this time, fair and global prices are set for all things, especially basic necessities. Rice and beans cost the same around the globe.
Upon birth, every person is given an account using their name, region and timezone code, and their numerical date of birth in the Day/Month/Year format. (Surely, a more advanced, yet easy to remember method will be thought up by some genius redditor or something.)
The second step is to tax personal wealth above 5 million a year at 100%. No one needs more than that. No one needs even that much, but for the sake of transition, it’s a tax on the super-wealthy. The 1%. Yes, this means the end of billionaires, the end of the 1%. That money will be used in all subsequent steps until it’s ultimate deletion. Anyone under the 5 million will not be taxed a cent.
Corporations will continue to operate under the umbrella of sustainability and also of automation and demonetization. Essentially, no more greed or acting in the name of profiteering. Companies can still make ‘profits’ so the ‘profits’ can be put back into the company for research and innovation, but the leaders at the top will not be super rich, and those leaders or CEOs will also be expected to be good people who have the interests of humanity in mind. Examples of leaders whom I personally see as good (within the confines of the current economic system) are those who are part of the Giving Pledge program (Bill and Melinda Gates, Warren Buffet, etc.), plus Elon Musk, Sundar Pichai (CEO of Google), and surely many more.
We use the insane and arbitrary amounts of Novi on hand to immediately end world hunger and poverty around the world. The amount of money which will be available is unheard of. (If I’m being totally realistic, this whole process is pointless and arbitrary in itself since we could simply ‘create’ all the money we need until we reach the goal of a moneyless, or resource-based economy (RBE). But I digress. Maybe this is just easier to swallow.)
Using modern distribution algorithms and logistical infrastructures, we could easily deliver a surplus of food and water to everyone on Earth. Basic things at first, of course. Over time, we would accelerate the arrival of every ‘nation’ on the planet to ‘First World’ status, just to keep everyone on an equal footing moving forward. Likewise, using automated systems such as 3D-printed homes, we can give everyone proper shelter as needed. Then, as we move forward in this endeavour and technology advances even further, more and more people will be living in sustainable, modern, and cool 3D-printed homes.
Alongside this comes the temporary implementation of Universal Basic Income, for those who need it as these steps are put into practice.
The remaining money will be used to continue the already begun work of building an automated infrastructure. If we can stop worrying about “the loss of jobs”, we can make strides in automation innovation. We’re already pretty far along with driverless cars and totally automated warehouses and GPS-guided tractors, and from where I sit, the few things keeping the reservoir of singularity from gushing forth its binary flood include the floodgates of governmental regulation, the unfounded fears of many people, and the dam funding. Having conceivably moved past this roadblock, true automation in all industries can move swiftly.
As a part of this goal, the creation of what I call “Eu-novation” competitions will keep the motivation high. These friendly competitions will focus on the creation of new and friendly technologies for the well-being of the Earth. While current similar competitions all over the world offer cash prizes or scholarships or the promise of funding for future projects, their central appeal is money. With money no longer a concern, I know the natural competitive spirit between the elite nerds in all fields will still drive us forward.
ONE, “Look what we made, and it does this really great thing.”
ZERO, “Oh, yeah, that’s nice, but look at this! It’s even better!”
ONE, “How did you do that?”
ZERO, “Let me show you…”
Simply put, I trust in the goodness and natural curiosity of our brightest minds. They will not stop wanting to make things better. The end goal is to eliminate all ‘jobs’, and I may concede that there are things which a robot cannot do, but the field of robotics is still young. For now, the aim will be to determine how much we can automate and determine which human industries are absolutely necessary in the present, and which ones only exist to give people ‘jobs’. For example: cashiers - no longer necessary. Plumbers - probably still necessary for a while; and even in my own estimation, plumbing will not be a job in the future, but basic plumbing needs will be done by each of us on an individual basis. Think about it, we won’t have a job taking up all our time, so we can give a little bit of ourselves to home maintenance.
Step 5 -
This step involves the overnight deletion of insurance companies forever. Insurance is such a racket, and it only exists due to our fears of losing even more money due to outstanding circumstances or accidents. This will no longer be the case. In terms of insurance on material goods and possessions, this makes sense as money becomes obsolete, and I only distinguish it from health insurance specifically because that is mainly a United States thing. The healthcare system in this country is so screwed up, it’s unbelievable. I literally can’t stand it, and it needs to go away. And it will go away...overnight. BAM! Just like that, healthcare will cost nothing, as it will be initially paid by the tax on the wealthy. Once the profit cycle is out of the picture, the cost of healthcare will decrease to a level equal to the rest of the world, and then globally shrink to nothing. The question you have is, “Who will be the doctors and surgeons when there is no money?” The answer is simple: the good people who want to be doctors and help their fellow humans.
Implement sustainable living protocols to end our destruction of the planet. End deforestation and contamination of water. End the use of fossil fuels ASAP. (Am I the only one who thinks that, even now, oil should be a free global commodity like water and air? I find it completely absurd that the surface geography of the planet, along with political boundaries, gives ownership of the oil beneath to the people directly above.) At any rate, humans are already hard at work on this task, which is supremely great news, but the efforts will be redoubled and retripled once greed and capitalism are out the window. Solar technology is advancing at a rapid pace, and the use of low energy products will make sustainable living possible. I will not sit here and say all these problems are worked out yet, especially in the energy storage (battery) discussion, but advances are being made.
I, for one, envision a poetic return to times past when the living was done in the daytime. The sun provides us light and energy during our waking hours, our useful hours, and when it gets dark, all non-essential gadgets go away, much like in the days before the proliferation of electricity. This would immensely reduce our dependence on huge batteries needing to be charged all day to run all our unnecessary crap at night. Yes, maybe an LED light here and there to read a book or to make a meal, but maybe we can adapt away from such energy-hungry lifestyles. (Ironic fact: I am typing this on a computer at night.)
Step 7 -
The next step involves a modern approach to education, population control, and the hyperbolic rise of creativity. Education will be based on the model “from each according to their abilities”. This means, as Einstein pointed out so long ago, that we will no longer judge fish by their abilities to climb trees. Each of us is unique. Each of us has so much to offer. Each human brain and body is a super powerful processor, but we are all programmed differently.
First of all, we must allow children to be children. This arms race to make every child an academic genius plus a top notch athlete plus a prodigious musician plus a renowned humanitarian is nothing short of madness. Sure, I understand the current reason for it: currency. We want the children to be the best so they will be easily successful and therefore have sufficient money and a secure life. Blah blah blah. This will no longer be an issue. We can give kids time to play and learn in their own way, then we can spot their natural talents and allow them to focus on the ones they like best and the ones most beneficial to society.
The sorting method will remain basically unchanged: only the best of the best will make their way to the top, but the difference is so many more people will have the chance to show their talents. No longer will robotics teams from ‘third world’ countries be considered underdogs (there will be no political countries anyway). No longer will creative geniuses wear away in monotonous factories.
Without money and with mostly eliminated human jobs, people will have at least 100% more time to explore their creativity. I say 100% based on the model of 8 hours of work, 8 of leisure, and 8 of sleep. I know this is way off the actual numbers, but to my point, most people work way more than 8 hours per day and sleep way less, so their gain in leisure will be even greater. More important than the physical relief from work, the mental relief from worrying and stressing about money all the time, day after day after day, will be incalculably beneficial to the state of mind. Think of it: the freedom from financial pressure forever. This alone will create an unimaginable spike in creativity and mindfulness. I can’t wait to see what comes from it. Even now, we live in the golden age of television, and I would include film, but most films today are repackaged money-makers. We live in a super-connected time when anyone can break through and be seen and heard, and to elevate that on a exponential scale will be something wonderful. “I may not live to see the glory, but I will gladly join the fight.”
Education will not only change our life paths, or ‘career paths’, it will also greatly help control the global population. We can and will transcend outdated cultural roadblocks which keep people from behaving in a responsible and informed manner. It’s that simple. Reproductive health and education will help to plateau and perhaps even reduce the population, and we can avoid the chaos toward which we are headed at this very moment, if this growth is left unchecked.
This step is where it gets tricky, as if it wasn’t already. In this step, we seek to end terrorism. Hopefully, even those with violent hatred and the desire to harm and kill will see the great things which are being done around the world and realize there is no need for radical extremism of any kind. Many will say that terrorists are religious idealists and they don’t care about money, but I don’t think that’s totally true. Money is definitely a huge factor, but a large issue is the ideological education given to the youths of these terrorist groups. They are ‘radicalized’ at a young age, but it’s no different than all other radicalized teachings throughout history. We simply change the philosophy, and the way to do that is open communication: i.e. the internet.
The end of terrorism must be achieved so we can then eradicate and erase all political boundaries. We must realize that we are all equal humans on this planet, and while we have different cultures, they shouldn’t keep us from traveling freely around the globe and enjoying the Earth and each other in a natural and peaceful way. Like the winds which flow freely across the land; so, too, will humans come and go without political barriers to stop them.
Embrace the changes. We have to understand that everything will change. I don’t know how much will remain similar to what is now, but many things will take on a totally new form as our future is shaped by this necessary evolution. As we reach ‘singularity’, or near autonomy, jobs will be mostly depleted, a UBI will be in full effect and soon followed by a full RBE, and that is going to make things happen which even I can’t predict. Celebrities may continue to exist, but they won’t be more wealthy than anybody else. Athletes, musicians, actors, etc. will have a different feel. Suburbia will perhaps cease to exist, as the ‘American dream’ goes out the window. Retirement will mean something different, if anything at all. I, personally, envision a future in which self-driving RVs replace the common home, and people live to travel and move about the planet at their own pace, stopping at shared rest homes to enjoy that particular area; and then moving on to the next stop. Leisure will be redefined, as will scientific study and creativity. Prisons will not be prisons, as crimes will almost entirely disappear. The quest to conquer space will seem more real than it ever has, and our fears about what lies ahead will change from images of destruction and apocalypse to something which I can’t even imagine, perhaps a severe new existential crisis will emerge as we wonder what our purpose is. I don’t know. I really don’t, but my biggest dream is to reach that point when we don’t know what’s going to happen next, but we are there because of how good things are. Oh, and at all costs, we must avoid the eerily possible future as depicted in the movie “Wall-E”. I would accept something more like “Surrogates” starring Bruce Willis, but not as dark.
I call this Step Zero because this really is the first thing that needs to happen before any of the other steps on the list can take place.
We, all of us, all humans all around the world, must come together and agree that a great change needs to take place. Not a revolution, but a renovation. A renovation of cooperation and siblinghood and amicability and purpose. We are divided by the stupidest things (their importance lacking in so many ways), and yet we hold steadfast to these old ideals which we let guide us into division, seclusion, and demonstrable hatred.
We need to work together, to cooperate, in the way we do when natural disasters take place. There is no blame when a hurricane blows through; we immediately say “Yes, and…” we help each other in any way we can without question. We need to realize that the world is in a total natural disaster right now, and we need to make fast our hands to one another and feel the human spirit flow through us as we begin to rebuild.
We are all siblings. We are all of the same species, and we need to act like it. Simple as that. Hatred may be taught, but it is also generational, which means that in twenty years or so, we can have a whole new perspective, if we don’t pass on our most negative aspects to the new generation.
We can all be friends. Money divides us. Greed corrupts us. We get rid of those, and there will be very little to fight over. A few folks pop up here and there with mental issues which can’t be helped, but most of the vitriol and viciousness we see today is man-made (I guess that would include some mental issues, as well), and almost all of it centered around money. The beautiful thing about humans is we have a natural tendency to be nice to each other, so we need to use that and make it a practice to see the positive in others.
We need to find our purpose. Our individual purpose, yes, but we also need to find our purpose as a people. We need to renew our mission statement, if we ever really had one. Our purpose is definitely NOT to be born and work all our lives for a little bit of money to then get old and broken and then die. It shouldn’t be a matter of luck or unbelievable chance that one or two of us here and there ‘make it’ and reach a ‘higher level’ and then can have an easy life. When this happens, it is money that divides us even more because those who ‘make it’ feel they’ve earned it, and they want those below them to know that to really appreciate this higher level, they have to break their backs to reach it, as well.
This is just nonsense. The cycle must break, and it will, and when we are all together in the same level of freedom from money and we achieve true equality, we can work together to step over the threshold into the new era. But we have to start that process now. We have the ability to do it. We have the technology; all it takes is an app on a smartphone and an initial set of good leaders who can see beyond their political borders and past the ‘interests’ of their own citizens. We can create a virtual, digital town square where everyone can come together, discuss the issues and vote in a comprehensive manner, in real time, while at the same time holding leaders instantly accountable. This is happening already, as we can see on various social media sites. People are seeing the horrors and the injustices taking place, and we are making changes and enforcing accountability by the sheer volume of our voices. This is a great shift in enforcement. We are being heard; we just need to take it to the next step. Let’s take the first step, you know, Step One.
I’ll be the first to admit that this is all a bit rough, even though I’ve been thinking about it for a while, but before a house can be built, there needs to be a set of blueprints, and before the set of blueprints comes the idea for the house. That idea which is hastily sketched out on a napkin before the neurons leave the station and start firing in some other part of the brain.
That’s what this is. This is a quick sketch, a rough draft on a piece of paper, and it will need the input from many, many minds much greater and more erudite than my own. It will need chunks ripped out and details added in, the chronology may change, there may be twenty steps or five steps when all is said and done, but my sincerest hope is that, at the very least, people will read it and not dismiss it. (Actually, if it is dismissed, that would be okay, too. I always remember the words of Ghandi. “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”) I don’t personally want to ‘win’, however; I want all of us to win. I want all of us to win the future.
While writing this, I went out hiking, as corny as that sounds. I was on a trail on Mount Charleston, headed to Cathedral Rock. I wasn’t a pioneer; the trail was blazed before me, and I thought,
“I’m okay with this. I don’t mind following the footsteps of others; it’s how we got to where we are, but we do have other frontiers to explore. We have explored almost every square centimeter of the Earth, we have seen the blackest depths of the ocean, we have reached our fingertips to the sky and touched the moon!! We have even kissed the rings of Saturn and looked Jupiter in the eye. We have high-def pictures of Uranus; yet we still can’t get along with each other on a basic human level. Pity. But, you know, I’m not that worried about it, for it is only another stepping stone in the evolution of humankind.”
If you’ve read this and have productive criticism, please send me an email at [email protected]
yahoo, gmail, or hotmail.com take your pick.
I am Gershwynn Jay.
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