Search FQXi


If you are aware of an interesting new academic paper (that has been published in a peer-reviewed journal or has appeared on the arXiv), a conference talk (at an official professional scientific meeting), an external blog post (by a professional scientist) or a news item (in the mainstream news media), which you think might make an interesting topic for an FQXi blog post, then please contact us at forums@fqxi.org with a link to the original source and a sentence about why you think that the work is worthy of discussion. Please note that we receive many such suggestions and while we endeavour to respond to them, we may not be able to reply to all suggestions.

Please also note that we do not accept unsolicited posts and we cannot review, or open new threads for, unsolicited articles or papers. Requests to review or post such materials will not be answered. If you have your own novel physics theory or model, which you would like to post for further discussion among then FQXi community, then please add them directly to the "Alternative Models of Reality" thread, or to the "Alternative Models of Cosmology" thread. Thank you.

Contests Home


Previous Contests

What Is “Fundamental”
October 28, 2017 to January 22, 2018
Sponsored by the Fetzer Franklin Fund and The Peter & Patricia Gruber Foundation
read/discusswinners

Wandering Towards a Goal
How can mindless mathematical laws give rise to aims and intention?
December 2, 2016 to March 3, 2017
Contest Partner: The Peter and Patricia Gruber Fund.
read/discusswinners

Trick or Truth: The Mysterious Connection Between Physics and Mathematics
Contest Partners: Nanotronics Imaging, The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation, and The John Templeton Foundation
Media Partner: Scientific American

read/discusswinners

How Should Humanity Steer the Future?
January 9, 2014 - August 31, 2014
Contest Partners: Jaan Tallinn, The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation, The John Templeton Foundation, and Scientific American
read/discusswinners

It From Bit or Bit From It
March 25 - June 28, 2013
Contest Partners: The Gruber Foundation, J. Templeton Foundation, and Scientific American
read/discusswinners

Questioning the Foundations
Which of Our Basic Physical Assumptions Are Wrong?
May 24 - August 31, 2012
Contest Partners: The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation, SubMeta, and Scientific American
read/discusswinners

Is Reality Digital or Analog?
November 2010 - February 2011
Contest Partners: The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation and Scientific American
read/discusswinners

What's Ultimately Possible in Physics?
May - October 2009
Contest Partners: Astrid and Bruce McWilliams
read/discusswinners

The Nature of Time
August - December 2008
read/discusswinners

Forum Home
Introduction
Terms of Use

Order posts by:
 chronological order
 most recent first

Posts by the author are highlighted in orange; posts by FQXi Members are highlighted in blue.

By using the FQXi Forum, you acknowledge reading and agree to abide by the Terms of Use

 RSS feed | RSS help
RECENT POSTS IN THIS TOPIC

Ross Cevenst: on 5/22/14 at 10:46am UTC, wrote Hi Shel, Thanks for an essay that was easy to read and a little different...

Shel Horowitz: on 5/10/14 at 11:20am UTC, wrote Vladimir - thanks for the song, which I enjoyed--and the sentiment behind...

Jonathan Dickau: on 4/27/14 at 4:26am UTC, wrote I greatly enjoyed your essay Shel, You make a lot of relevant points well,...

Vladimir Rogozhin: on 4/25/14 at 19:42pm UTC, wrote Dear Shel, Wonderful, life essay real program of action, actual management...

Shel Horowitz: on 4/6/14 at 14:07pm UTC, wrote I finally solved the website problem that was preventing me from...

Lawrence Crowell: on 3/27/14 at 2:17am UTC, wrote I think the upshot of your paper is that we have to begin to see the world...

John Merryman: on 3/26/14 at 0:05am UTC, wrote Shel, I really like your bottom up approach! Unfortunately the main...

Shel Horowitz: on 3/25/14 at 17:39pm UTC, wrote Essay Abstract We have the power to solve the greatest challenges...


RECENT FORUM POSTS

Eckard Blumschein: "In Darwinism/Weismannism there is no first cause, just a causal chain...." in First Things First: The...

Steve Agnew: "There are some questions that do not seem to have answers in the classical..." in Schrödinger’s Zombie:...

Steve Agnew: "Yes, there are two very different narratives. The classical narrative works..." in Schrödinger’s Zombie:...

Joe Fisher: "Today’s Closer To Truth Facebook page contained this peculiar piece of..." in First Things First: The...

Steve Dufourny: "lol no indeed it is not a lot,like I said I liked your general ideas.I have..." in The Demon in the Machine...

Steve Agnew: "There are three assumptions...is that a lot? The aether particle mass, the..." in The Demon in the Machine...


RECENT ARTICLES
click titles to read articles

First Things First: The Physics of Causality
Why do we remember the past and not the future? Untangling the connections between cause and effect, choice, and entropy.

Can Time Be Saved From Physics?
Philosophers, physicists and neuroscientists discuss how our sense of time’s flow might arise through our interactions with external stimuli—despite suggestions from Einstein's relativity that our perception of the passage of time is an illusion.

Thermo-Demonics
A devilish new framework of thermodynamics that focuses on how we observe information could help illuminate our understanding of probability and rewrite quantum theory.

Gravity's Residue
An unusual approach to unifying the laws of physics could solve Hawking's black-hole information paradox—and its predicted gravitational "memory effect" could be picked up by LIGO.

Could Mind Forge the Universe?
Objective reality, and the laws of physics themselves, emerge from our observations, according to a new framework that turns what we think of as fundamental on its head.


FQXi FORUM
October 14, 2019

CATEGORY: How Should Humanity Steer the Future? Essay Contest (2014) [back]
TOPIC: From Save the Mountain to Saving the World by Shel Horowitz [refresh]
Bookmark and Share
Login or create account to post reply or comment.

Author Shel Horowitz wrote on Mar. 25, 2014 @ 17:39 GMT
Essay Abstract

We have the power to solve the greatest challenges of our time: issues like hunger and poverty, war, and catastrophic climate change. As a microcosm, the essay examines an organization called Save the Mountain in Hadley, Massachusetts. Save the Mountain was founded to protect the Mount Holyoke Range, then under threat of a large housing development. While experts had abandoned hope of blocking the project, STM went out and organized a movement—and won a near-total victory in just 13 months. Not only did the group save the land, but it changed the entire relationships of the town's citizens to its government. The next step is changing the mindset of society as a whole. We have to show people that we have the systems and technologies and innovation to address these enormous problems. As with Save the Mountain, we must change the mindset from "impossible" to "which way will work best?" And second, we can use resources as a lever to accomplish change. Inequitable allocation of resources such as water, energy, food, timber, etc. is at the heart of all four of these major categories. To accomplish these goals, we will use these seven tools: Throw away our assumptions Work backward from the goal Count ALL the costs Focus on achieving abundance, instead of managing scarcity Eliminate the friction points Design for multiple uses Use nature as a model/close the loops As examples: if we work backward from a goal that every person has enough to eat, we create systems that advance that goal. If we stop externalizing costs of nuclear power, it becomes obvious that clean energy sources such as solar are far superior. If we look systemically, we can cut resource use up to 86 percent.

Author Bio

Shel Horowitz has been in both the marketing world and the green world since the 1970s. His first book, in 1980, was on nuclear power. His eighth book, Guerrilla Marketing Goes Green, shows that green is not only good for the planet; it can also be highly profitable. Six of his books have won awards and/or been translated and republished in other countries. After organizing an "impossible" movement that saved a mountain, Horowitz, founder of Business For a Better World, now turns to solving the world's biggest problems: hunger and poverty, war, and catastrophic climate change.

Download Essay PDF File

Bookmark and Share



John Brodix Merryman wrote on Mar. 26, 2014 @ 00:05 GMT
Shel,

I really like your bottom up approach! Unfortunately the main problem with the world today is the current top down structure and any bottom up attempt to disrupt it only creates a positive feedback loop for it, when these disruptions either slow its worst habits and thus protect it from itself, or instill fear on the part of others, when efforts fail, thus enforcing its vision of...

view entire post


Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate


Lawrence B Crowell wrote on Mar. 27, 2014 @ 02:17 GMT
I think the upshot of your paper is that we have to begin to see the world as a system of relationships. Much of our difficulties stem from our bias of ourselves as being somehow the masters of this world. We may or may not change our ways about these things. I have my essay in this competition where within another context I make commentary about our situation on this planet. My essay is focused largely on certain limits we face.

Cheers LC

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate


Author Shel Horowitz wrote on Apr. 6, 2014 @ 14:07 GMT
I finally solved the website problem that was preventing me from commenting. Please excuse the late reply.

Thanks, John, Lawrence, and Joe, for your comments. I've now put up a website to explore the vision of my essay: to find ways that business can turn hunger and poverty into sufficiency, war into peace, and potential climate catastrophe into planetary balance: http://business-for-a-better-world.com

John: Yes, people's movements are disruptive, and yes, the power structure sometimes cracks down with violence and repression (other times, it ignores us and hopes we go away). But I take a lot of hope from the successes of many of these movements, particularly the nonviolent ones: ending apartheid in South Africa, toppling the Soviet Union, kicking the Brits out of India, Arab Spring, ending segregation and the Vietnam war while putting severe limits on the ultradestructive nuclear power sphere here in the US (to name a few among many).

Re: money. Have you read Charles Eisenstein's "Sacred Economics"? Very interesting book. I agreed with much, disagreed with much. You can read my review at http://thecleanandgreenclub.com/?p=2968

Lawrence: Yes, relationships are part of it. So, too, are creativity, determination, and strong analysis focused on achieving action.

Joe: Thanks for your general support. I don't know enough to debate Einstein's theories with you--but I love the word "codswallop"--so expressive!

Bookmark and Share



Vladimir Rogozhin wrote on Apr. 25, 2014 @ 19:42 GMT
Dear Shel,

Wonderful, life essay real program of action, actual management of the future... Call for earthlings: "We start the path ..."

We must find the will for the future of our children and grandchildren!

Hope - our compass earth

I wish you good luck!

All the Best,

Vladimir

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate


Jonathan J. Dickau wrote on Apr. 27, 2014 @ 04:26 GMT
I greatly enjoyed your essay Shel,

You make a lot of relevant points well, which should be considered if we are to survive the mess we are in. I must confess that at one point, the story nearly brought me to tears, as it is such a moving tale.

I find a lot to like about your paper, but I have a few reservations as well. I think that reduction of consumption and waste is good, as are renewable sources of power generation - for example - but this can only take us so far. Fusion could be a source of almost endless clean energy in the near term, if we hadn't dragged our heels on development and scaled down our involvement in projects like ITER.

My guess is that part of the reason is PR since Fusion is viewed by the public as a variety of Nuclear power, similar to the heavily polluting atomic reactors - which are fundamentally different. And I have likely contributed to that problem, by working in the Music business on songs and albums by anti-nuclear activists. You see; I've worked with a lot of Folkies over the years, including Pete Seeger.

However, it seems ironic to me that some of the very folks who are clamoring for sources of clean energy, and protesting their pollution, have created so much friction for one of the cleanest and least consumptive sources we have ever discovered. So there are dangers for activism that works too well. I have a lot more to say about what you have written, both pro and con, but for now I'll just say it's a good start. If you have time, you could check out my essay as well.

All the Best,

Jonathan

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate


Author Shel Horowitz wrote on May. 10, 2014 @ 11:20 GMT
Vladimir - thanks for the song, which I enjoyed--and the sentiment behind it. I just did a TEDx talk two days ago that started, "I'm an optimist. I don't believe in 'impossible.'"

Jonathan--thanks for your positive feedback. My very limited research into nuclear fusion certainly shows more promise than the disaster of nuclear fission, but from what I've learned, the technology is unproven, has a few hazards of its own, and will be wildly expensive to develop. I'm not aware of a single commercial fusion rector in the world, despite 40 or 60 years of people working on it.

I'm always in learning mode, and would welcome a link that backs up your claim that it's so safe and clean.

Bookmark and Share



Ross Cevenst wrote on May. 22, 2014 @ 10:46 GMT
Hi Shel,

Thanks for an essay that was easy to read and a little different from the others here! Its quite interesting to hear such a personal experience that illustrates a much broader point. I think you're right to raise the issue of using resources in a smarter way. There's certainly endless examples of some pretty poor resource use in our current environment. Your example of Interface is a pretty good one for illustrating how we can improve our strategies on that front. Thanks again, and I hope you get a chance to check out (and perhaps rate!) own entry if you have the time!

Ross

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate


Login or create account to post reply or comment.

Please enter your e-mail address:
Note: Joining the FQXi mailing list does not give you a login account or constitute membership in the organization.