We choose to do the other thing – reinventing the future of:

I have been thinking about which sectors are ripe for re-invention and new thinking. I like data visualisation because it gives us the tools to engage and deal with ever increasing amounts of knowledge. I also work in infosec because I live and breathe online projects everyday. However what makes me leap out of bed each day is the quest to reinvent everything (pretty much.)

Anyone who is an active parent will tell you that one of the joys of parenting is another chance to look at life through your children’s eyes. It is a cliche but actually true. Some of the best conversations I have are with my daughter.

I want her to see the possibilities and encourage her to flip perspectives. She was lucky to attend philosophy for kids classes a few years ago. Imagine a posse of 9 year olds discussing existential angst – delicious.

Anyway what caught my eye this morning was this comment by Neil deGrasse Tyson.

Which triggered me to remember this speech by President Kennedy September 12, 1962

We choose to go to the Moon! … We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard; because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one we intend to win.

 

And back in March last year I wrote There are no crew on spaceship Earth -mixed messages about Mars. At the time the video wasn’t released. Here it is now.

Let’s not use Mars as a backup planet for more background or see clip below.

This section is what caught my attention last year. ( Watch video see the transcipt)

“But though these Martian vistas resemble the deserts of our own home world, places that are tied in our imagination to ideas about pioneering and frontiers, compared to Earth Mars is a pretty terrible place to live. Consider the extent to which we have not colonized the deserts of our own planet, places that are lush by comparison with Mars. Even in the driest, highest places on Earth, the air is sweet and thick with oxygen exhaled from thousands of miles away by our rainforests.
 
I worry — I worry that this excitement about colonizing Mars and other planets carries with it a long, dark shadow: the implication and belief by some that Mars will be there to save us from the self-inflicted destruction of the only truly habitable planet we know of, the Earth. As much as I love interplanetary exploration, I deeply disagree with this idea. There are many excellent reasons to go to Mars, but for anyone to tell you that Mars will be there to back up humanity is like the captain of the Titanic telling you that the real party is happening later on the lifeboats.”

 
I love that “go to the moon” speech – not because I give a rats a** about anything on the moon but because it represents a different way to seeing the world and everything in it. It gives us a much clearer perspective that we can use to re-invent everything.

Depending on who you talk to around half of all jobs in the U.S will be transformed in the near future See 47% of all jobs in the U.S are at risk of computerisation. Or my post Will a bad robot take my job?

It is very clear to me as a post grad and someone who has worked in education that one sector that needs to be changed dramatically is education – at all levels. Steve Jobs was thinking about this just before he died – according to biographer Walter Isaacson.

This recent news story has a crap headline Meet Jamie Beaton, the 20 year-old worth $40 million but what Jamie is doing is to re-invent the way that we educate ourselves. He has found a market that will to pay for extra help to get into some of the Ivy League universities in the U.S. Regardless of whether those places are useful – they are expensive and to invest that much time, money and opportunity you need to be extremely motivated.

I say good on him for his own educational achievements and for seeing a market that needs to be re-invented. I will point out that the first Princeton grad that I ever met was farming in Northland back in the ’70’s. He clearly saw something in NZ at the time that many of us didn’t and that is what I believe Kennedy meant when he said “do the other things.”