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What would you do, if you had one billion US Dollars and you could use them on anything you wanted.
Please respond in folowing way:



There are so many things I'd want to fund. The biggest that comes to mind is:


Post-capitalist think tank/activist group


The core members of this organisation would be people like Thomas Piketty, Donella Meadows, Noam Chomsky, David Schweickart and Richard Wolff supported by research staff, publicists, campaigners, media experts and a whole bunch of admin staff. The purpose of this organisation would be twofold:

1) Raise awareness of flaws in modern economic theories, in particular conflicts between capitalism and the realities of modern life (unsustainable growth, technological unemployment, rising inequality etc)

2) Provide clear, detailed policy proposals so thorough that they could pretty much be implemented with few revisions.

These goals would be achieved through collaborative research efforts (both internally and with other organisations) with a blue sky goal of producing a document/book outlining how economic and political institutions could be structured to produce a prosperous post-capitalist society.


I think the majority of big problems that we face can be solved if it wasn't for the deficiencies in our political and economic systems. There's more than enough man power, intellect and resources for us to avoid the worst of the catastrophes were heading towards and ensure a good standard of living for all. Whilst there are a plethora of groups advocating for change in my experience there is a lack of unity and firm proposals for what to do. More often than not there is sentiment but little substance. With a billion dollars a group like this could be kept going for at least a few decades, or less if the money was spent on big projects like large scale studies, conferences and even small scale experiments. Obviously a bioln dollars isn't going to last a very long time but hopefully an organisation such as this staffed with the right people could produce work of sufficient quality with a high amount of awareness so as to attract further funds. Or at the very least provide enough recommendations and inspiration to get the ball rolling.
Can we use the billion, to say, kill all the people we think are deluded, or blow up the world?
Assuming that you can do that for one billion dollars... Yes!!!
(09-17-2014, 01:00 AM)Dalex Wrote: [ -> ]What would you do, if you had one billion US Dollars and you could use them on anything you wanted.

Create a scientific institution for the development of molecular nanotechnology and the quantum computer. All the research, conducted there, would be constantly released as public domain [ ] so that anyone could freely access the research and do whatever (s)he wants with it. (Although some restrictions may be necessary. Otherwise someone could take the research, patent it and sell it as his or her own. And then (s)he may be able to demand that the research already on the Internet, which was previously public domain, should be taken down. This scenario, where someone steals the work of others without contributing to science should be prevented. But this is a case for lawyers. Maybe something similar to the GPL license or the CC-license would be necessary instead of release as public domain.)

In any case the institute itself wouldn't directly profit from its research in any way. (Obviously all the people, working for the institute would get paid (high salaries if necessary) but all the research results would be free for anyone around the world to study. Take Grigori Perelman [ ] as an example; He released his work for everyone to study and refused to take the money.)

( Personally I wouldn't care about "losing" my money in this manner, because I would be investing this money into all of humanity and its future. Who needs one billion dollars in order to live a good life anyway? A few million dollars or even much less would be certainly many times more than enough for me to have a good life. ;-) )


The aim would be to cure most (if not all) diseases that plague humanity using medical nanobots.


After reading the following article on HIV a while ago

I admit, that I'm inclined to believe that "Big Pharma" (the notion that pharmaceutical companies tend to invest only in treatments and developments that are profitable to them and tend to ignore other paths towards cures for various diseases ) is real. Quote from the article:

Quote:"The potential is not being used," he said, claiming that pharmaceutical companies have until now shown little interest in investing in potential cures for Aids.

He and Buchholz said they would be looking for sponsors and public money for their future research.

As an example if a cure for aids would be found, certain pharma-companies would not be able to sell drugs to patients, which only prevent the outbreak of aids without actually curing it. But as long as there is no cure, patients are dependent on these drugs and have to buy them all the time. Patients are basically abused as "permanent money cows" by at least some of these companies. A one-shot cure against hiv, cancer or something else like Omnimed [ ], where one pill is enough, is just not profitable enough for the pharma-industry, who can probably profit much more by turning their patients into life-long customers.

Also look at this article about the exorbitant prices, certain pharma-companies are charging for their drugs:

Then there is also this article on Wikipedia about the supercomputer IBM Sequoia [ ]. Quote from Wiki:

Quote:Sequoia will be used primarily for nuclear weapons simulation, replacing the current Blue Gene/L and ASC Purple supercomputers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

Basically they build this system to simulate the detonation of civilisation destroying weapons. Personally I think that this is a waste of precious computing time(, electricity and infrastructure), which should instead be used entirely for medical purposes to find new cures against diseases, which plague mankind.

In general I think that too much money is wasted on warfare [ ] and the development of new weapons and not on technologies, which could truely "save the world" like medical nanotech. Of course maybe this last argument for the creation of the above institute is a hollow argument, because of the potential abuse of medical nanotech. After all the nanodisaster and the following dark age is a central turning point in the Orion's Arm setting. Nevertheless I still believe that the benefits resulting from the creation of medical nanotech and the quantum computer far outweigh the dangers. The quantum computer development needs to be accelerated in order to achieve human-level ai and initiate breakthroughs in genetic engineering, chemistry, physics and so on.

In any case I believe that the current system of capitalism cannot be overcome without mature nanotechnology and molecular assemblers. Right now there is no workable alternative to capitalism. I think that only a post-scarcity society (cheap energy provided by fusion reactors; molecular nanoassemblers; all diseases are curable; people can decide for themselves when they want to die (otherwise indefinite lifespan) and so on) would be able to at least have a chance to overcome capitalism.

The above "Institute for Molecular Nanotechnology and Quantum Computation" (IMNQC) would play its (probably small) part in accelerating humanity's development towards a Kardashev type I civilisation.