Video

Where is humanity headed?

I came across this guy Jason Silva the other day and he’s got some really interesting ideas to share with the world. As a self-described filmmaker, futurist and epiphany addict, Silva produces stunning videos with radical ideas about the potential future of our species. I love the idea that everything that has ever been created, initially began as an idea in someone’s mind.

As humans, we have the unique ability to take the thoughts on our minds and bring them into the physical world. It is a very empowering idea to understand the concept that anything we can imagine can be turned into a reality. As Jason states, if we can think it, why not make it so? I am very hopeful about the future because whenever I ask myself the question of where humanity is headed, I am confident that the answer is wherever we want it to be.

I believe, therefore I can.

-Taylan

Advertisements

Video

Children of the Stars

When you look up into the night sky, what do you see? How do you feel? Do you feel fear? Are you scared? Do you feel alone?

Life exists in individual moments. And these moments live on eternally through our memories. It is our memories, our experiences, our journeys that create this grand picture that we have painted and continually evolved throughout the history of time. And through this picture we share and collaborate.

Everyone wants to feel connected; everyone wants to feel like they are a part of something. We are a part of the universe, and we are in the universe, but most importantly the universe is in us. So next time you are alone and gaze upon the night sky, know that you too are as beautiful and as impactful as the gleaming stars.

I believe therefore I can.

-Taylan and AK

Is water abundant?

waterplanet

At the surface level, this seems like a very simple question. Considering the fact that about 70% of the Earth’s surface is covered by water, it is one of the most abundant resources on the planet. So if water is so abundant, what’s the deal with this whole global water crisis? Why do 780 million people in the world not have access to clean drinking water? Why do 3.4 million people die each year from drinking contaminated water? With 97.3% of the water on the planet too salty for consumption, and another 2% locked up as polar ice, only .5% remains as fresh, potentially drinkable water. In this context, the question of whether water is abundant takes on a new meaning. Considering that less than 1% of water is available for consumption, it is much easier to justify all of the violence, disease and death that is a direct result of this scarcity. Recently, I finished reading the book Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think, by Peter Diamandis. Throughout the book, Diamandis examined some of the most innovative water-related technologies and discussed how they are paving the way for a world with abundant water for everyone.

Innovators are people who do not accept the status quo. They challenge conventional wisdom and find creative solutions to everyday problems. Peter Diamandis presented a great lesson that we have learned through the innovations surrounding aluminum. In the 1800s, aluminum was considered the most valuable metal in the world. Its rarity can be explained by chemistry, given that aluminum never appears in nature as a pure metal. In reality, behind oxygen and silicon, aluminum is the third most abundant element in the Earth’s crust, making up 8.3% of the weight of the world. The only problem was figuring out how to extract the aluminum from the Earth’s crust. In 1886, a new breakthrough technology known as electrolysis was discovered, which uses electricity to liberate the aluminum from its naturally occurring form called bauxite. With this innovative technology, suddenly everyone on the planet had access to vast amounts of cheap, light, pliable metal. The lesson to be learned here is that technology is a resource-liberating mechanism, which can make the once scarce the now abundant.

Returning back to the topic of water, it is not difficult to see how the example of aluminum abundance could relate to our current situation with fresh water. As an innovator, I refuse to accept the conventional idea that we only have access to less than 1% of the water on the planet. Just as electrolysis liberated aluminum from the Earth’s crust, so too will technology allow us to tap into the 97% of water that is held in our oceans. Personally, I believe that access to clean drinking water is one of the most important issues facing humanity today. One of my goals in life is to make an impact towards reaching the Millennium Development Goals that have been outlined by the United Nations. As I continue my research regarding these development goals, I have come to realize that access to clean drinking water is at the very root of almost all of our problems. Fortunately, I am not the only person to make this realization, given that many innovative technologies are emerging in this field.

Although there are many water-related technological breakthroughs, I would like to discuss the two that have given me the most hope and inspiration. The first is a water distillation device called the Slingshot, about the size of a dorm-room refrigerator, named for the technology that David used to bring down Goliath. Although distillation technology has existed for many years, the reason that the Slingshot is so revolutionary is that it has 98% energy recovery. To put that in perspective, the current version can purify 250 gallons of water a day using the same amount of energy it takes to run a hair dryer. In his video, Dean Kamen explains the potential impact of his invention:

Along with the Slingshot, there is another innovative technology, which uses a slightly different method of producing safe drinking water. Rather than purifying water through a process of distillation, the Lifesaver bottle uses a very advanced filtration processes to produce safe drinkable water. The Lifesaver bottle is revolutionary because it is able to filter at a much smaller scale than previous filtration systems, allowing it to remove all waterborne pathogens in seconds. Inventor, Michael Pritchard, demonstrated his confidence in the device during his TED Talk, “How to make filthy water drinkable”:

With a combined global effort, achieving the Millennium Development Goal of halving the number of people without access to clean drinking water is well within our reach. As the Slingshot and the Lifesaver bottle have demonstrated, innovative technologies are capable of turning the once scarce into the now abundant. Water is one of the most fundamental human needs, and without it, life simply could not exist. The lack of clean drinking water is at the very root of many of the problems faced by humanity; therefore finding a solution to our water crisis should be our top priority. The day when every person on this planet has access to clean drinking water will mark a very triumphant time for our species…and that time may not be that far away.

-Taylan and AK Continue reading

Can we be better?

Einstein

Knowledge is power. Man I wish I would have known this at a younger age. It’s such a cliché, but its one of the truest things that I have ever come across. Knowledge to the brain is like biting into a luscious nectarine, and feeling the refreshing sweetness being absorbed by every cell in your mouth. Some people are content living with the old norms that have bound them to the ideologies of society that has been engraved in our very fabric of existence. The real question is why? Why are things the way they are? How did they come about? These are questions that race through my mind night after night. This curiosity, this quest for knowing the unknown is something that fuels me and has ignited a flame that I can’t seem to extinguish. Instead of shying from the truth, I embrace it. Instead of turning my back, I run towards it.

In the words of Linus Pauling, “Satisfaction of one’s curiosity is one of the greatest sources of happiness in life.”  What is intelligence without curiosity? Where would we be if we had never asked why? What is so liberating about bringing a candle to a dimly lit room? As we travel further and further down the continuum of time, we dive deeper and deeper into the DNA of what makes us, “us.” The real question is, what will happen when you face the truth? Will you run away and turn your back, or embrace it?

Are you willing to take a walk into the unknown? Are you willing to bring light to areas of your mind that have been in darkness? Then join us as we embark on our journey of making sense of the world around us and finding answers to questions that few have thought to ask. We will be guiding our voyage through a series of thought provoking content, such as documentary films, publications, technological breakthroughs and any other material that is nectar to the mind.

Imagination is the greatest gift that evolution has endowed upon the human race. Our ability to innovate allows us to turn the abstract ideas in our minds into concrete realities in our physical world. Have we forgotten that we are still pioneers? That we too can transcend our future? Our destiny isn’t laid out ahead of us; it lies within us.

Find the light at the end of the tunnel and never ever look back.

– Taylan and AK