Back to Dmytro Taranovsky's home page.
Dmytro Taranovsky
July 29, 2002;   Last Modified:  September 7, 2002

Changes for the Future

This document describes some aspects of how the society should work and why.  The emphasis is on simple changes from the current society.

Current Problem:
  The food most Americans eat is bad for health--it has insufficient nutrients and too many calories.  Restaurant food is expensive (and much of it is still bad for health).  Cooking food is time consuming (especially if the food is to be tasty and with variety), requires special equipment (kitchen), and special knowledge.
Solution:  Experts will develop combinations of foods that are nutritionally complete, that is have all nutrients in the correct amounts.  Such combinations are mass produced to justify the initial investment on their development and keep the costs low.  Since the number of acceptable combinations is very large, by selecting appropriate combinations, healthy food would be cheap, tasty, and have a large variety.  Food sales tax will depend on how good the food is for health.

Current Problem:
  Travel is required to go to work, to shop, to meet people, and for entertainment.  Travel often requires cars.  Cars are expensive to own and require special maintenance; traffic congestion makes safe driving impossible.  Public transportation often does not meet the requirements.  Taxis require special ordering and waiting and are expensive because of the large time investment on the part of the driver.
Solution:  A comprehensive public transportation system will be developed.  Such system will also solve road congestion, reduce the waste of driving time, and greatly reduce air pollution.  Telecommunication will replace some of the need for transportation.

Current Problem:
  Services are not cheap and are either very expensive or of low quality.  Product prices are inflated because of the human services involved with the products.
Solution:  The problem is one of the most difficult and important porblems for the twenty-first century.  However, improving basic education and access to knowledge, streamlining and automation of services, and separation of products from services will alleviate the problem.

Current Problem:
  Although humans have discovered so much knowledge, knowledge is often very difficult to find.  Technical knowledge requires a very long preparation.  Internet has much information but websites are often of low quality; webpages sometimes disappear.
Solution:  A comprehensive and logical knowledge base will be compiled. The knowledge base will allow quick searching and acquisition of knowledge.  Unneeded interdependencies of technical knowledge will be greatly reduced.  The government shall subside private discovery of information and high quality informative websites.  
    Archiving of internet preserves disappearing websites (along with multimedia content).  Books are preserved by scanning and then distributing electronic copies.  Digital copies of audio and video are preserved (in a readable and not copy "protected" format).  Software, including games, is preserved through archiving (with copy "protection" removed so that the software can be used), preferably on the internet.  Emulation is used to make non-native software workable.  (Lack of archiving would cause irreparable loss of knowledge.)

Current problem:  Education takes a very long time to complete.  Despite twelve years of schooling, most Americans lack much of basic knowledge.  Learning often requires unneeded detailed knowledge, long meaningless practice sessions, and understanding poorly written (low information density, and/or imprecise and with explanation gaps) texts.
  Textbooks should be logically and compactly written to convey enough knowledge.  The curriculum should be comprehensive and cover all basic knowledge.  Learning should consist of learning of information, practice of knowledge, and development of thinking skills. Learning should be done at individual pace.  Most practice must be individually customized because of the large differences in relative learning abilities and preferences.  Special sessions are used to encourage logical thought and creativity. Teachers should answer questions, guide practice of knowledge, provide opportunities for further study for interested students, and assess the students.   Most education (starting with time that this choice becomes feasible) should involve computer for easy selection of information, powerful presentation of information, interactivity, and relatively easy communication.  High school diploma should reflect achievement of basic knowledge plus reasonable achievement of student-chosen additional knowledge.
    Practice should be used primarily for internalization of knowledge and development of (subconscious) skills.  All significant knowledge should be easily available in the ordinary form instead of just through practice.
Learning from textbooks and from computers should be used to save costs.

Current Problem:  People spend much money on clothing; yet, the clothing is often inconvenient.  Clothing has unneeded qualities and messages.  Convenient clothing may be difficult to find.  Some clothing is expensive.
Note:  The problem is relatively minor.
Solution:  Clothing is clearly separated into normal and additional clothing.  Normal clothing is clearly separated by type.  Normal clothing is designed to serve its physical function-to shield skin, to protect from cold, to protect from pressure of contact with a hard object, etc.  Normal clothing should not cause undue restraints on movement.  When the purpose of clothing is simply to cover skin, then the clothing should be thin, flexible, and of a smooth texture not irritating to the skin.  Shoes (including sandals) should be designed for convenience of movement.  Normal clothing is carefully designed and then mass produced to keep prices low.  Additional clothing is used to serve fashions.

Independent Life:
  Living independently requires a lot of specialized knowledge and skills.  While such skills are supposed to be gained through childhood experience, many people lack the required skills.
Solution:  Required knowledge and skills should be easily accessible--public education should include these skills, and the knowledge should be described in easily accessible places.  Moreover, items required for independent life should be made easier to use and, as appropriate, automated.  (Difficult to use but important items must be retained for those who know how to use them.)