Better world engineering (2) – Intro – The Minecraft Philosophy

Human-being are commonly known to shift their eating habits to more agricultural based according to the history. From those ages when hunting and gathering were necessary to keep your love ones fed and alive, the lifestyle of be able to feed many more without risking a life going into the jungle. Human had been trying to make the life easier for themselves and the people around them. The discovery and evolvement of the starch-rich potato farming technique is also commonly recognised to have direct impact on the the boost in human populations. If life is a game, farming is the ultimate cheat-code.

The rise of the game Minecraft has been phenomenal. Originate from the idea of mining minerals in an procedurally generate world, to a children’s game with vibrant  colours, and finally arrived at a point to support 3D world creations in a creative ways. People had spend countless hours building worlds, some of them depicted franchise we love, cities in the lord of rings, the game of thrones and Star war, all of them have a blocky-version represented in Minecraft. Often, multiple people spend a ridiculous numbers of hours to create a Dead Star, not because they are paid nor asking people anything in return. They do it because they love it and they understand these hours they are going to spend are only once and for all. Meaning once the project is completed, it will literally be a result that is long lasting, nearly forever for the people who love their works to enjoy. The concept of permanent creation already sounds awfully familiar to the original intention of agricultural development in the human history.

For those aren’t familiar in Minecraft as a game, there is a system in Minecraft called redstone mechanics. The best way to describe it is that redstone me is a Minecraft block representation of logic-gates in electronic in real life. Electronic logic-gates is what make computer electronic possible in the first place. Enthusiasts have succeed in the redstone mechanics to create calculator, clocks, and even a 16-bit computer!

Now for those who aren’t caught up with multiplayer settings of Minecraft, there are communities which dedicate to creative builds and doing it in survival mode instead of creative mode. Meaning that building resources are limited, so as food items and any consumables. This is how the specialist of “food-farm”, later on item farm, emerged. These people make use of redstone mechanics and to create systems that “farm” and collect renewable items. The question is a simple but a milestone in human history: How to build a system to infinitely create a particular resource, building it once, to supply the need of everyone on the same server, and so no one would ever have to do it in the future?

Technological advancements we have today is already capable of “farming” of many resources with full automations, so as the automation of the resource chain all the way to raw materials that consumed in the farming process, and also the automation of recycling the waste and byproducts. Most of the goods we see today can mostly be produced fully automated, but this is not the case in actual production because two things gets in the way: the need of profit and the unwilling to do it once and for all. All because the wrong question was asked: how to build a system to create a predefined quantity of product, with lowest periodic input, and to maximise the profit.

Our motivations inspire our questions, the questions drive our discoveries, our discoveries enable us to build systems and foundations that shapes our lives. What lifestyles are we building when we change our question to: 

What do I need to maximise my profit?

from the original: 

What do I need to invent once and for all to supply enough food and the tailored transportation system so that no one will ever be hungry again?

In my line of work, as a software architect, I witnessed the many crossroads of creating a better inventions that benefits the user against a version for better profit / doing it passively by engaging the user for longer time. The food industry is one of the most infamous to make people eat things that do not benefit them the most, so as the many other industries. We constantly joke around to say, no one is willing to invent near-unlimited power that doesn’t breakdown because the inventor will be assassinated immediately by big corporations who prey on the power bills. In a world driven by profit, our world, it might not be too far from truth.

What do we need to do it once and for all to supply enough resources for our love ones, which should be defined as everyone, so work will forever be an optional task, and people just need to do what they like to do and only?

Right questions, right answers, one solution at a time, one article at a time – collectively.

 

The content will be updated and modified continuously. Feedbacks are welcome for any improvement and addressing any inaccuracy.

Copyright © Marco S.I. Leong, 2018

 

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Better world engineering (1) – Into – Let’s build the wall again

A question is the best way to start off our journey – Does the world today make sense to you? The common responses can be describing how bad it is or how good it is. Advancements, technology, happiness index, lifespan on one side, or another extreme, diseases, disasters, corruption, pollution, stress, war, etc. Some would response to the questions by describing how the history is contributing to the world we see today. Some would start of with defining “good” and arrive at the concept that there are different standard from person to person. Let me ask the question again: Does the world make sense to you? Yes or No.

If the answer is Yes. You are already living in a perfect world and wish you all the best staying in the cocoon. Ignorance does not imply innocence. In fact, some of you who said Yes might just be indifference to those would outside of your circle of care. You are not the target audience of the Better world engineering series. Let’s not waste your time of doing more read.

For those who said No, have you ever wonder why is it so? The social construct we are witness is working but there is something not quite right. Assume that the human society is group of gears – interconnecting with each other – the system we see today isn’t exactly smooth. People would say that the advancement to create a better world has not been invented yet. I argue, there are only two main reasons:

  1. Regardless of whoever is leading the development of the society. They are attempting to add new gears into the system while the system is running at 10,000 rpm – and people just wonder why there are so many social conflicts, unemployment, dissatisfaction and unfulfillment in life.
  2. The force to drive the development of the society has changed. The original idea should be to make live better for yourself and your neighbour. Now it turns into work for a job that you don’t like -> to increase the purchasing power -> to buy something that you are told you want.

These two concepts are correlated. The force to make living better has driven human race from hunting-and-gathering to invest their effort in agricultural advancement in order to feed more people. Later down the history, to build up the wall to shield oneself and people they care from the unknown at night. Bigger walls to protect their villages, better roads connecting city for safer trades. Better medicine to cure people we care. And more cities when we are overpopulated – when we see that quality of life drops. We have forgotten how to build new cities.

To be accurate, we are not allow to build a new city because we have insufficient funds in our bank account. In fact, we are not allow to build anything because of different laws, because the government suddenly owns all the lands some point in the history and we somehow need approval from them before we can even start exploring the option to build ourselves a life.

It is counter intuitive when we are told that moving to the city is the best things we can do – jacking up the pricing of the real estate and asking us to pay more for less – while the only right thing to do is to expand from the existing city. In our society today, we are told to the exact opposite for the benefit of those who came up and enforce the false story.

We used to surround people that we loved most, our circle-of-care, with the best resource and exhausting our ingenuity. The walls (resources) today we see are misplaced and beyond our control.

It is time to build the wall again.

The content will be updated and modified continuously. Feedbacks are welcome for any improvement and addressing any inaccuracy.

Copyright © Marco S.I. Leong,  2018