What’s the Big Idea?

What’s my big idea for doing this blog? Well it all comes down to jigsaw puzzles. My wife loves them. But I hate them because:

  • You already know the solution before you start

  • Someone else has decided how you are going to solve it

  • Loads of people have already solved it

 I can’t see the point in using my precious, irreplaceable time doing something that someone else has already done. Don’t they call that “re-inventing the wheel”? And it’s not as if there are no more problems to solve so that the only way we can kill time is to go over the same old problems. In fact, there are now more problems than ever to solve in the real world so why not solve them instead.

 Over thirty years ago I was set a puzzle: a big puzzle. It all start innocently enough with what sounded like a simple little puzzle. The pastor of our little local church asked us to think of ways of making the message of the Carpenter more accessible to people in our little island. So being the compulsive problem solver I am, I started looking at the problem. It became pretty apparent that it was not a simple question. In fact, it was a Trojan Puzzle. Inside it’s belly were hiding a whole bunch of puzzles – and they were armed with swords and teeth. After fighting with loads of little puzzles, it became clear that in fact, there was only one big problem:

Is it actually possible to eliminate pain and suffering?

That is the one problem behind

  • Can we solve world hunger?

  • Can we stop human trafficking?

  • Can we stop war?

  • Is there some way to be happy?

  • Can we defeat drug abuse? and domestic abuse?

  • What about disease? What about death?

  • And a gabblezillion more questions that blight and tarnish our lives

 As you can imagine,. it has been like the scariest bits of a rollercoaster ride and a maze and a ghost train combined. But I finally have an answer.

 So, is it actually possible to eliminate pain and suffering?

Yes, it is using the internet

 You see people make the mistake of thinking the internet is just an exobrain; and it is.

 But that is not its biggest strength.

It is also an exoskeleton – like the one Ripley had in Aliens, but bigger, much bigger. In fact, this exoskeleton allows me to connect with (and so influence) anywhere on the planet at the same time. Say I come up with a design for a better solar panel and people want to buy it. I can organise for manufacturing companies in (say) America and India to manufacture them and ship them to fulfillment companies who will ship them on to my buyers. And I can do all of that from a laptop in a coffeeshop on a little island in the English Channel.

But that is not its biggest strength.

It allows me to connect with people who have shared interests. And if we are prepared to do something about those shared interests, we can join together and form a swarm or a superorganism like a colony of bees. The scary thing is that with each person who joins the effect is geometric – so two people are 3x more effective than one; three people are 7x more effective and so on. So a small number of people can have a huge effect.

This strength of the internet has hardly been tapped yet. Yes there have been flash mobs and viral fads but nothing serious yet. However, it has started. Wikinomics and Crowdfunding has shown that you no longer have to deal with loads of middle men and expensive structures to support something – you can now go direct and give a small amount of time or money or something else to that one project. You have complete control over what you can do.

So, the question is no longer: can we eliminate pain and suffering. It’s now:

What pain and suffering shall we join together to eliminate today?

 So its over to you, what particular pain and suffering would you like to see eliminated?


7 comments on “What’s the Big Idea?

  1. Hi, Phil. I liked your comment on Puttylike and so clicked over to see what your blog is about. Just wanted to say I enjoyed several of your posts and like your conversational “voice”. You do have a way of getting to the heart of the matter.

    If I were asked on the street whether I thought pain and suffering could be eliminated via the internet, I would probably laugh and say no. And yet, when I think about it, I’m an example of it. It wasn’t until I started researching novel writing on the net several years ago, that I pulled myself out of a depression. My long-dormant creativity emerged and I had an interest in life again.

    I like the idea of eliminating the loneliness and isolation that leads to depression that spirals down to other worse things. I know it’s possible. But like any other solution, it requires the person to take that first step, go looking for answers, looking for help.

    Thanks for the very interesting thoughts and question!

  2. Hi Mr Phil Maguire from M-Powered,

    You are right about the Internet, via which you have (cheekily) summoned SoundEagle to shed some light on menus.

    Firstly, you can/should ask yourself whether you need another menu in your blog. Proceed if you answer in the affirmative.

    Since you reckon that “the explanation given by WordPress as clear as pea soup”, the best way to tackle the problem is to go to https://mpowered79.wordpress.com/wp-admin/nav-menus.php and drag and drop things around to see what and how new menu items behave. Save the changes and load or refresh your blog page to see the changes. Repeat the process until you have learned as much as you like and are satisfied by the results. It is fine to learn by trial and error, as you can always add, (re)arrange and/or delete menu items to your heart’s content.

    If this is still to daunting or not to your satisfaction, then you would need to ask someone to physically show you how to do it, or give someone whom you can trust the permission to access your blog to put whatever menu items where you want.

    SoundEagle would greatly appreciate it if you could kindly copy and paste your comment and question “By the way, I do like the background music. It is reminiscent of Tangerine Dream, New Atlantis and perhaps Jean Michel Jarre. Is it designed to induce a meditative state?” to one of the following posts or pages (which extensively feature the philosophy and aesthetics of soundEagle’s music):





    Your comment will be responded to and your question answered.

    Kind Regards,

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