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Ted J. Albrecht

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March 19, 1999

 

 

By

 

Ted J. Albrecht

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Wal-Mart Nanotechnology Scenario

 

Information is at the very heart of the new emerging E-based economy. Information is the most valuable resource, even more so than people. This dose not diminish the value of people, rather it is the logical extension of the on going and growing utilization of tool power to augment and/or replace the need for people resources to provide goods and services.

This obviously begs at least two questions:

1) What will people do if most work is automated?

2) If very few are working, who can afford to purchase the automated produced goods and services?

The answer to the first question is very simple … We have a universe to explore and populate. This will require humanities highest level of ingenuity to weave together our automation tools to create the space age infrastructure to teraform other heavenly bodies for human habitation. In addition I suggest you read Wayne Muller’s book “Sabbath : Restoring the Sacred Rhythm of Rest”, which explores the value of time versus money.

The answer to the second question is also very simple … If very few are working, then the goods and services produced via automation will be virtually free, since we won’t have to compensate very many for providing goods and services.

Now the question becomes:

What will be the incentives for the limited number of people needed to create and maintain the automation tools?

The answer to this question is NOT simple. The following is a portion of my paper “Transition” which addresses this:

 

III

 

GOAL

 

ABUNDANCE

 

Goals are never ending, when one has been achieved another becomes evident. Abraham Maslow did a great deal of research to identify the phases of living, ‘Hierarchy of Needs’ (Sustenance, Security, Societal Acceptance and Self Acceptance), which can enable people to become “fully human” … ‘Self-Actualized’. Abraham did this by observing people who had achieved a great deal, but yet remained humble and enthusiastically shared their attained knowledge/wealth. Abraham incorporated these findings into his own life, which enabled him to better study others and himself. So Abraham himself fully experienced the ‘Hierarchy of Needs’ phases of living, necessary to become ‘Self Actualized’, where ‘Peak Experiences’ become the prime motivating/reward force. ‘Peak Experiences’ are those times when a person does something which ignites a wave of: physical ‘tingling’; emotional glow and intellectual AH HA. This generally occurs when doing something involving a perceived higher humanitarian purpose/cause.

Abraham also extended his studies to suggest that whole societies could become ‘Self Actualized’. The need to achieve societal ‘Self Actualization’ is critical, in order to replace the monetary reward economy with a ‘Peak Experience’ reward motivator. Humanity can excel beyond our day to day earth bound existence, when we are no longer driven by the ‘Almighty Buck’.

Accepting this premise then leads to how can we achieve material abundance, in order to satisfy the Sustenance and Security phases of the ‘Hierarchy of Needs’? Well, I feel strongly that abundance is the first step. We are on the way and can speed up and ease the transition by adopting the ‘Continuous Adaptation’ process. The goal of the ‘Continuous Adaptation’ process is the management of information and automating the making of all THINGS. Ultimately all THINGS can be incorporated into their own unique Knowledge Module(s), which Nanotechnology can use to replace the making of THINGS, with growing them via an atom bonding process. The Knowledge Module(s) would contain the atom bonding recipe, which can facilitate humanity to grow a car, just like Mother Nature grows a tree. If you are familiar with Star Trek, Nanotechnology is the technology the ‘Replicator’ uses. Eric Drexler’s book “Engines of Creation” explains the technology and the ‘Foresight Institute’, WWW.foresight.org, is the focal point for the on going efforts to bring this technology to the market place.

Just why abundance is so critical will become more evident as we automate the making of things. That is it will become easier to bring to reality an innovative idea. This will have a tremendous impact upon concerns regarding intellectual property rights and security. Today the bringing of a new idea to market requires a significant commitment of time and resources, justifying patents and copyrights to provide the incentive for the effort. But as the effort to create new things, even the arts, diminishes, the monetary reward approach will give way to instant world wide recognition instead. This may also be the remedy to power seeking as well.

 

If humanity can agree on a long-range goal of populating the universe, then a short-term goal of abundance is reasonable. Following is a motivational poem I have written to help bring this about.

(Abraham H. Maslow was chairman of the Department of Psychology at Brandeis University and President of the American Psychological Association, from 1967 to 1968. Abraham died in June 1970. To further explore the terms used above, read A. H. Maslow’s book “The Farther Reaches of Human Nature” published in 1971.)

 

ABUNDANCE

When resources are limited, competition is the best allocator, but it creates a bias towards a win/lose mentality.

Whereas, when resources are abundant, cooperative venturing promotes equitable distribution and a win/win reality.

Therefore, let us synergistically employ technology to bring about abundance, freeing us up from our day to day earth bound existence, to achieve our destiny.

To explore the universe, yielding an abundant/caring humanity.

Thus attaining our creator’s expectations.

Ted J. Albrecht

 

WOW! Isn’t that exciting … NANOTECHNOLOGY to GROW our products and ‘Self Actualized’ ‘Peak Experiences’ to be humanities primary reward motivator.

Two quick points:

INFORMATION – Our products and services will be based totally on information. The investor elites understand this and that is why they are placing such a high valuation on key E-based commerce companies.

GOALS – ‘Continuous Adaptation’ is a process, which could enable ALL humankind to synergistically collaborate on ratcheting up our goal setting/attaining efforts. Attached is the table of contents for my paper “Transition”, which fully explains the ‘Continuous Adaptation’ process.

Now, how can we actually accomplish of all this and what is Wal-Marts or K-Marts or Targets role. I selected Wal-Mart because they seem to truly understand the value of information and distribution logistics.

First we will start with an overview of the concept:

Wal-Mart would negotiate with the federal and local governments to establish the stores as non-profit entities. This would be done by Wal-Mart selling the stores to the local community that would operate them as non-profit co-ops. Wal-Mart would remain as the product supply source for the co-ops and provide operational hardware/software.

The reason Wal-Mart would sell the stores to the local communities, is to raise the capital needed to develop Nanotechnology Replicators. The Replicators would first be installed in the Wal-Mart distribution centers. As the

technology is improved, Wal-Mart would then install the Replicators in the co-ops. Eventually each home would have a Replicator.

In addition, Wal-Mart would enable the co-op to become a community extranet. Initially providing access to the WWW and as telecommunications technology progresses, providing telephone (including cellular), television and download videos, music, books, magazines, newspapers, etc. And finally, Wal-Mart could provide small package delivery for products ordered via the co-op extranet from other suppliers. This would enable Wal-Mart to monitor all purchases and assist small communities in obtaining the lowest price.

Strategic Decision

If any of this makes any sense, then Wal-Mart needs to make a strategic decision. Should they wait, probably decades, for Nanotechnology Replicators? Or, can they start with the co-op approach NOW, providing the community extranet and small package delivery services to small communities. And become the leader in developing the first wave of Nanotechnology, by starting at the molecule level with liquid based products, like pop, beer and milk, let the home refrigerator/replicator add the water, thus reducing the bottling, packaging and shipping costs significantly. Then co-op the large community stores when Nanotechnology, at the atom level, is closer to reality. By starting with the small communities, this would provide an excellent laboratory to explore other offerings, like: on-line shopping; home delivery (cost covered by purchasing a hot pizza); financial services; educational services; medical services; travel services; governmental services; etc.

I could go into more detail regarding this scenario … how the co-ops would operate their stores via mostly part time (students, retirees, farmers) associates earning credits to purchase co-op goods. But I think it best to leave the many details to the fertile minds of those reading this scenario.

Make It A Great Day

 

Ted J. Albrecht


The following are pertinent readings in addition to those referenced in the paper:

Finkelstein, A.B.A., Maenning, M.K.B., & Cartwright, G.F., (1999). Nanotechnology and Cyberspace : two roads to the same city. Paper presented at the Ninth General Assembly of the World Futurists Society, Washington, DC, July 31, 1999.

Nelson, E.,(1999). As Web Retailing Surges, Where’s Wal-Mart? Wall Street Journal, May 17, 1999, p. B1.

Holstein, W. J., (1998). Data-Crunching Santa. US News & World Report, Dec. 21, 1998, p. 44-48.

Palmer, C. (1997), Believe In Yourself, Believe In Merchandise. Forbes, Sept. 8, 1999, p. 118-124.

TRANSITION

CONTENTS

 

FORWARD 3

Why and Thank You

OVERVIEW 5

What is Humankind’s Purpose?

I. CONTINUOUS ADAPTION PROCESS 7

New Infrastructure

Digital Interactive Multimedia Networks 9

Home, Community, Corporate & Web Servers 16

Change Management 20

Resource Administration 22

Feedback Engineering 26

Summary 30

II. ENTREPRENEUR VERSES SOCIALIST 31

Sharpen Our Focus

III. ABUNDANCE 34

Goal

IV. ‘MAKE IT A GREAT DAY’ 38

Motivation

V. ‘THE REALIZATION ECONOMY’ 41

Results

Last Updated: Sunday, April 10, 2005
©Ted J. Albrecht 651-735-4356 Email:
Tjalbrecht@cs.com