In "Money and Responsibility" I mentioned my latest vision of an ideal world, whose focus is on preserving and proliferating life, especially ours, through commonly held values, understanding, and management of resources. It can be described, with some refinement, by a set of requirements that would apply wherever humans are (on Earth and in space):
- V: All of us agree to a common set of basic values and standards for developing them
- The main value, which dominates all others, is the preservation and proliferation of life for as long as physically possible
- U: All of us agree to a common understanding of reality and standards for developing it
- That understanding will be based on observation, logic, and verifiable predictions
- M: None of us can take, or render useless, the means of basic survival ("the commons") used by anyone else, including members of other species critical to maintaining those means, beyond the constraints of natural predator-prey relationships
- E: Everything not in the commons may be distributed among people in a socially acceptable way, such as in an economy
- This includes rewards for risks incurred in expanding the commons, which may be kept for a fixed time (not to exceed one lifetime)
- R: We are all responsible for maintaining the commons
For convenience, I'll refer to these requirements by the acronym VUMER, and its implementation "VUMER World." The main value is the driver for all of the requirements; and an accurate and commonly-held understanding of reality is critical for taking appropriate and effective action in implementing values, especially those involving survival, and well as maintaining a cohesive society. Values "V" and understanding "U" therefore take precedence over the other requirements, which deal with implementation.
It is of course possible that an actual global agreement about values and understanding (which itself is pretty "ideal," and would involve everyone, rather than just officials of dominant political entities) would preclude my preferences for them and everything that follows from them. I wouldn't be surprised if such an outcome represents a compromise between VUMER World and the "Dead World" we are currently creating, which might delay our demise by a few more years, but at least we would all be invested in the outcome rather than, as many of us are, going along for the ride.