Looking back through my Medium history, you will see that I introduce abbreviations and acronyms, part of a shoptalk, which I then keep using.
GST was not my invention, as General Systems Theory had already taken off when I was still sucking a pacifier.
T4P, meaning Truckers for Peace, is probably in use already, I know Truckers without Borders is. I’d earlier worked on HP4E, even more abstruse. I’ll explain that one at the end.
GST is informed by Economics in that both disciplines consider the Earth’s energy budget, as fueled (powered) by cosmic inputs (sun, gravity, wind, rain), what value humans add, in terms of civilizations, and the thermodynamics of whatever happens (how it all obeys exceptionless laws).
GST is also informed by Physics, in adopting the same meaning for “work” meaning “expenditure of energy”. “Current” and “currency” are then linked, in terms of both using energy units (quanta) for a measure.
The electrical throughput of the human being, in terms of watts, or “light bulbs” enters the equations in many places, including as a replacement for horsepower. Our First Person Physics initiative moved us in this direction.
T4P is trucking logistics, inter-modal with ships, trains (including camel), and planes, with an overlay of citizen diplomacy and opportunities to build an academic transcript, part travelogue, part personal profile.
Truckers have to log already anyway, and in some parts of the world that means installing an ELD (Electronic Logging Device).
The basic idea is drivers, along with others in operations, swap jobs on a global basis and learn the ropes in other countries, to some finite extent. The intent is to cater to those actively volunteering for such experiences, not forcing unwilling drivers into an internationalist or globalist space.
The hassle of starting over from scratch in many ways, when adjusting to and compensating for different customs and professional practices, is not everyone’s cup of tea. Some cannot afford that much time away from some home base. Those with fewer attachments may also be younger and eager to see the world.
GST also bridges to science fiction as the canvas, the simulated spaces, wherein we collectively imagine alternative futures, an activity that helps with steering (such as investment banking), or so we may reasonably believe.
Figure One takes the Guns vs Butter axes of classical Economics and plots the usual opportunity cost curve. If you burn up all your resources preparing for war (guns) then you won’t have enough left to make your planet habitable in the longer term (butter shortage).
Civilizations face this puzzle over and over, but those of us inside a civilization have a sense that it’s cosmic (the struggle has archetypal elements).
Once technology has advanced to a point where, in principle, people could be taken care of at a higher standard of living than any had enjoyed hitherto, the counter-productiveness of the less rational course of action seems exponentially more obvious.
“Let’s go for the butter” think the CEOs, “as butter is better for the bottom line.” That view becomes more popular as the horizon of what’s possible gets pushed out further, past a tipping point.
However let’s agree that’s the debate we’re having right there.
To what level does our inventory of existing know how and know what portend success for the biosphere?
There’s lots of countervailing evidence and a sense of impending doom, though that’s not new. Have we really passed a tipping point in terms of choosing to go for butter?
Humans have been of a catastrophic mindset for many centuries, and not without reason. They have indeed endured a great many sufferings and catastrophic events, sometimes at their own hand given the autoimmune disorder humans seem to have.
Other times, an earthquake or tsunami writes the history books.
The solar energy cycle, which includes agriculture and wild growth patterns alike, takes the water capital and revectors it, over and over, through the lakes, rivers and streams.
The rains get sent inland by the winds in the form of vapor-filled clouds, and their wetness condenses over the forests, fixing the soil and promoting the growth of ever more complex forms of organic matter, including the mammalian branch whereon we find ourselves.
At this point, I somewhat diverge from the mainstream curriculum in that my version of the hydroelectric dam (“water wheel”), which we all use, veers into Martian Math as a topic, a science fiction story connecting to American Transcendentalism as a source.
The mainstreamers will maybe just learn about how generators work to transport the might of a mighty river, to home dwellers wanting to spin clothing in a washer and dryer. We learn about electrons, substations, voltage pressure, amperage, wattage.
The Martian component may be regarded as an optional detour for some, whereas for me, that’s how I’ve built up some of my gigs around town (Portland, Oregon), such as at Reed College in the summer of 2018.
You might be wondering what academic institutions are taking GST seriously these days. How about in nuclear cleanup?
There’s some delay in creating these new majors, entire branches of engineering, because the media have lots of phobias about what might happen if all these proverbial cats all get out of their respective bags. Do they dare investigate more deeply?
I’m not saying I know for sure either, what will happen with more disclosure (more glasnost and perestroika). I’m just equally confidant that a college education should prepare one for work in the real world, which world is by now infused with many ticking time bombs, in the form of radio-toxic substances swirling through the environment.
Micro-plastics present other challenges.
Biomedical engineers need to band together to tackle these challenges for generations to come. There’s paying work here.
Martian Math somewhat models the role of science fiction in microcosm, in focusing on the Orson Welles incident.
We had War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells, the science fiction writer (not to be confused with Jules Verne), and then we had the famous October, 1930 radio broadcast reading and re-enactment of said work, by the radio personality Orson Welles and his talented team.
Many listeners panicked, having tuned in in the middle and not realizing the genre was fiction. An invasion of Earth by ETs was well within the sphere of credibility even in the 1930s.
Hawaiians more recently went through a similar anxiety attack when their nuclear war beacons went off saying “this is not a test”. People had to hunker down, duck and cover, prepare for the worst. This was no joke.
That these terribly inauspicious portendings turned out to be false alarms is some consolation, but many take to heart the lessons learned, nevertheless. The existential crisis was plenty real.
Sometimes the alarms have not been false.
We’re wired by past crises and cataclysms, and are triggered to this day.
I don’t see Economists of the pre-GST variety needing to disagree much on these points. Human nature is what it is.
Wars include attacks on the mental and physical well being of something. They’re also integrity checks. You discover what survives and what does not. We win some, and we lose some.
There’s even the war against war, or call it a meta-war or Lamb’s War (Christian terminology). Science fiction such as Hunger Games is replete with this meta stuff.
I said I’d explain HP4E, or Hexapents for Everyone. The word “hexapent” is what to add to your spellchecker. What it means: “a convex polyhedron consisting of only hexagons and pentagons, with precisely twelve of the latter”.
In the rear view mirror, I discovered my efforts were highly consistent with the Hexagonal Awareness Project, a curated website.
With HP4E I was also making an allusion to CP4E, again not my invention. Guido van Rossum, the Dutch inventor of the Python programming language, wanted to pump computer programming skills to a much wider population. “Computer Programming for Everyone” (CP4E) was his at one time DARPA-funded strategy for doing that.
The new digital mapping systems were starting to use hexapents. Those wanting to band around a set of memes, relating to the aforementioned American Transcendentalism (geodesic domes, world games beyond war), might take their cues from a new kind of geometric awareness.
Back to T4P, a given company with footprints in many places might consciously introduce many consistencies in its equipment and business practices. Think of DHL and UPS.
If the assignment involves freeway driving, on the same side of the road, in essentially the same type of rig you’re used to “back home”, then that’s less adapting to worry about, freeing up cycles to work on the language.
There’s a kind of business English that works for a lot of drivers, but there’s no limit on where you might serve, to the extent your language skills give you entre. Driving skills matter too of course. Diplomatic skills matter most of all.