Vision of the Future

Change the World!
~ Roads, things we can do without ~
Change the Way you Travel

Fancy a Sequel? The hydrogen-powered Honda FCX (fuel cell) has been used by the city of Los Angeles since December 2002. Hydrogen power is taking off in a big way. A hybrid hydrogen-powered bus is used by SunLine Transit. Hydrogen can be generated by a wind-powered facility.

 Angel's nest: Taos, New Mexico

At AngelsNest, water is captured from the roof and is recycled. Power is generated by solar panels, wind turbine and hydrogen.

 Hydrogen and veggie-oil powered hummer at Angel's nest

Communities without roads

Why not be more radical? Have a look at the Segway and imagine it - communities without roads! Instead of driving a car, just walk to your local restaurants or meeting places. Also have a look at the iBot which is great for people who need wheelchairs - because it can climb stairs it gives easy access to many places. How about letting everyone who needed it use an iBot, instead of pouring money into improving wheelchair access to buildings?

 Segway (left), bike and iBot (right)

Think about it! About half the urban area is taken up by roads and greenstrips between roads. A substantial part of roads, buildings and gardens is also used to park cars. Without cars and roads, we could live closer together; that would be great for people who complement each other in one way or another; they could live closer to each other and see each other more often.

 M400 Skycar T-shirts M400 SkyCar T-Shirts $20.00
colors: black (S - M) and royal blue (S - M - L)

If we used personal aircraft such as helicopters, microlights and the Skycar for long disance travel, we could also do without airports, and instead take off and land in our backyards. Removal of the legal restrictions on taxi services would stimulate development is this area.

 The M400 Skycar
 The Airscooter - current pricing estimates are under $50,000 - requires no pilot's license!

Change the Way you Work

Instead of working in an office, we could do most things from home. In fact, you could work anywhere. The cell-phone motto appears to be: anything, anywhere, anytime!

 PCS Phone Hitachi G1000 (Sprint), CDMA-compatible Pocket PC Phone with 240x320 pixels touchscreen, GPS location chip, built-in VGA swivel camera (640 x 480 pixels) rotates 180 degrees, Internet Browser, modem, MMC/SD slot Nowadays, you can not only make video phone calls with your mobile phone, you can browse the web, use email, take pictures or record sound and video. It's also TV, a radio, a video player, an alarm clock with alert messages and a GPS locator.  Nokia 3650 Phone (T-Mobile), GSM-phone with vibrate alert, Web through GPRS, Java downloads, email, MMS, VGA camera for 640x480 stills or MP4 video recording (15 fps), 3.4 MB on-board storage, 16 MB MultiMediaCard slot, Bluetooth

And what about your watch? You can have a TV-watch or a GPS locator watch. You can have a watch with built-in flash-memory and a USB-cord that folds back into the armband. Dick Tracy eat your heart out! Have a look at the watches list for more!

Change the Way you Learn

Of course, the same goes for learning. Why go to University, when you can follow courses online? Homeschooling has long proven to be much more effective than school.

 Ivan Illich - Deschooling Society Books like Deschooling Society by Ivan Illich and the books by John Holt are classics, pointing at the many shortcomings of school  John Holt - Learning all the time  John Holt - Teach Your Own  John Holt - Growing without Schooling

Change Health Care

Once the grip of the University over health care has been broken, we can also have a closer look at how we deal with health issues. Just have a look at the excellent DVD called Patch Adams. Isn't health closely related to lifestyle, to what we eat, the way we eat, how we move around, how we meet people? Read on!

Change the Way you Live

Do you see a picture emerging here? In communities without roads, urban design could be changed dramatically! Houses could be smaller, as there's no need to put cars in garages. Without roads, houses could also be built much closer together - that in itself could reduce travel time. Simple pathways would be sufficient! Imagine it: communities without roads, bridges, tunnels, airports, railway tracks and railway stations! Such a new lifestyle could result in huge savings on cars, roads, office buildings, carparks, garages, petrol stations, etc. How much time and money could we save by reducing our daily travel between home and work? And how many lives would be saved if we had less car-accidents?

 Solar powered machine extracts water from the air (sterilised and filtered)

Afraid that without roads, you won't have other infrastructure, such as sewerage, running water and electricity? Here in Australia, we've got a long tradition of waterless toilets, composting, rainwater tanks and dirt-roads. Alternative lifestyles have, in their aim for self-sufficiency, often rejected high-tech solutions. But why not use technology to our advantage? A mud-brick or sand wall can indeed provide excellent insulation to protect you from heat or cold, and it can also block out noisy neighbors. Add headphones and we can further avoid unnecessary animosity and enhance privacy; noise-cancelling technology in headphones and speakers can reduce background noise to a fraction. Security systems can further help avoiding hostilities between people. Solar-powered motion sensors can trigger floodlights and alarms, which in combination with cameras can enhance security and lower health risks. Why not use satellites and interconnected WiFi LANs, instead of Cable-TV and phone lines? Mobile phones and GPS-technology can make great contributions towards our safety and security. The iPod shuffle fits in the palm of your hand and looks great around your neck. With the Flash Trax you can back up your files, view photos and videos and listen to music. Store your photos and data at multiple places and you need to worry less about theft or loss in fire or accidents.

 Toshiba's new 3.8mm x 62mm high x 35mm lithium-ion battery can recharge to 80% of its 600mAh capacity in one minute - a full recharge takes just a few more minutes

All such devices need ever less power, while new technologies extend the usage-time of rechargeable batteries. If we used more GPS-enabled devices, motion detectors and surveillence cameras, we could increase safety and security in and around the home, thus requiring less emergency services. Indoor and outdoor lanterns, solar-powered by day, can light up the home and garden in the evening. A combination of a rechargeable battery and a wind-up clockwork is successfully used by FreePlay in products such as radios, flashlights and mobile phone chargers. Grundig has a radio that is powered either by either AC, by 3 AA batteries or by hand crank - a built-in charger can be "cranked up" by hand. At MultiPowered Products, many such items can be ordered online. Solar panels can now provide enough power to run run 12V lights, pumps, fans, and small appliances such as TVs, VCRs and stereos. The ColdMate, a small portable fridge, operates quietly and ozone-friendly on a thermoelectric (peltier cooling) system and comes with a 9 ft detachable 12V DC power cord.

 Mobile phone charger combining a rechargeable battery and a wind-up clockwork Mobile phone charger combining a rechargeable battery and a wind-up clockwork (left)  Dynamo Flashlight squeeze it for about 30 seconds to get 5 minutes of light
Dynamo Flashlight squeeze it for about 30 seconds to get 5 minutes of light

Change the Way you Eat and Shop

Currently, the most fertile land is taken for urban use, most of it for roads and gardens (with grass as the dominant crop). With more land available for hobby farming, growing fruit and vegetables could be cheaper and the cost of food could come down dramatically. In a new urban design, houses could be built around restaurants and meeting places. People can more easily go out to eat in restaurants, because there's no traffic and parking hassle, it's just a short stroll or ride on the Segway instead. Many restaurants have embraced wireless services, so take a notebook with you and you're really connected for a business lunch! Or, take a Tablet PC and use a stylus to scribble down your notes and share them! Eating out means less shopping, since food makes up most of our shopping. It also saves a lot of time - no more shopping, cooking, diswashing and cleaning, no rubbish to get rid of. Most items we need can be ordered by mail-order, so get a good mailbox and get a Post Office box at a post office. By the way, why should we have to pay extra to get such a box? After all, doesn't it save a lot on postal delivery cost? And shouldn't we similarly get a discount when posting the mail at the Post Office, rather than at a remote mailbox?

Fuel cell powered fan

 Fuel cell powered fan
Show your friends and family that direct methanol PEM Fuel Cell technology can power your laptop computer, cell phone or other portable equipment for hours on end.

Specifications of this fuel cell:
Voltage = 0.5 V
Fuel Cell = 10 mW
Weight = 60 g
H x W x D = 95 x 100 x 100 mm
Fuel 3% methanol in water solution

Portable lie-detector  Portable lie-detector
Uses voice analysis to determine stress, tension, and excitement in a person's voice.

You would Change the World

Wouldn't all this change the world? Wouldn't dictatorial government have less control in communities without roads? Speed-cameras, parking fees and fines, tax on cars and petrol, all too often they have become revenues that government has become dependent on. Roads are typically government-owned, police are most visible on roads, people are controlled by traffic rules, car licence plates and driver's licences. Further control is exercised through public transport, taxi licencing, etc. If we wanted to make people free, wouldn't it make sense to start looking at roads?

[Earlier versions were posted in November 2003 at the Optionality and the Libertaria groups at Yahoo! It can also be found as the guide Change the World at Also see the novelties list.]

More in the series 'Change the World':

Communities without money
~ what makes them tick? ~

Fasing out the use of money was discussed back in Optionality Magazine 1992. The idea was that anonymous and global shares would gradually become more attractive than any national currency.

A further thought was added by the concept of a Libertaria where everyone is free because everything is free. The idea here is that crime and poverty will disappear as prices of products and services keep falling, as discussed at Libertaria: where everyone is free, where everything is free

The idea is further based on a perceived trend of a shift user-pays to advertiser-pays, as discussed at Eight trends leading to Libertaria
Also see Ten Visions of Libertaria

Communities without schools
~ taking back control ~

Can we do without schools, without universities or other educational institutions? Couldn't we study at home? What are our rights?

Feel invited to post comments and suggestions, and to submit photos, links and details at:
Libertaria at Yahoo!

 GM Sequel  Honda FCX (fuel cell) was the first fuel cell vehicle to receive certification from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and California Air Resources Board (CARB)  Honda's Home Energy Station (HES II), a home-based hydrogen refuelling solution for fuel cell vehicles, provides hydrogen from natural gas for vehicle refuelling, heat for domestic hot water use and electricity for the home  SunLine Transit hybrid hydrogen-powered bus  hydrogen generated by wind-power  Peugeot's 4WD Quark, air-cooled fuel cell, noiseless operation, no pollution, recovers energy when braking and decelerating  Segway  iBot  Segway  Segway's Centaur features four wheels  Electric scooter with pneumatic wheels and front/rear suspension  microlight  microlight  M200X Skycar  M400 Skycar T-shirts  M150 Skycar  Robinson R22 helicopter  Springtail EFV-4B  Max Speed 113 mph, Cruising 94 mph, Range 184 miles, Endurance 2.2+ hours, Max Payload 358 pounds  The PALV - personal air and land vehicle, noise 70 decibels, max speed 195 km/h, fuel efficiency 30km/litre @ 100 kmh, Range 600 km air, 550 km road  GPS on your wrist - Calculates your speed, location and altitude. Integrated mapping function displays your progress along your planned route. Save locations to mark spots where you've been. Waterproof.  Collect and compare heart rate data and altitude data (e.g. vertical gain when climbing), and download them to your PC  Cell phone with Palm OS, CDMA 800/CDMA 1900 frequencies, speakerphone, 320 x 320 touchscreen, 0.3 megapixel VGA camera (640 x 480), Bluetooth, web browsing, email, IM, SMS and MMS messaging, QWERTY keyboard, slot for SD and MMC cards  TV receiver (Off Air or Cable), store and play video (such as DIVX, XVID, WMV9, AVI and ASF), MP3 and WMA files, JPEG slide show viewer and audio/video recorder (Analog Video In/Out), 2.2 inch diagonal OLED display (521 x 218 pixels), NTSC Cable Tuner, USB 2.0, Dimensions (inch): 2.7 (W) x 4.68 (H) x .78 (D), weight: 5.1 ounces (with battery)  Wristwatch TV  The Wherify GPS Watch allows you to monitor the wearer's whereabouts by phone or the Internet  Laks watch with built-in flashmemory and USB-cord that folds back into the armband  Using MSN Direct wireless (FM) service you can receive stock quotes, news, personal messages (through MSN Messenger) and appointment data (synced with Outlook calendar) on your watch.  Patch Adams: Everyone is a doctor and everyone is a patient!  Using headphones can avoid hostilities and enhance privacy; noise-cancelling can reduce background noise to a fraction  Apple 40 GB iPod photo  Flash Trax - store files, record and play videos, MP3s and more!  Solar light lantern automatically turns on at dusk and off at dawn  Grundig radio, receives AM/FM/SW1/SW2 has a light and a built-in power generator that can be cranked up by hand  Flashlight with rechargeable battery and a wind-up clockwork  The ColdMate personal cooler, operates quietly and ozone-friendly using thermoelectric (peltier) cooling  Juice Bags feature built in solar panel with an output of nearly 7 watts  Rollable and flexible solar panel. Waterproof, using non-breakable solar cells. Weighs less than 2 lbs - you can wear it over your backpack. Output is approximately 50 Watt-Hrs/Day - 3.5 Amp-Hrs/Day (based on 5 hours of average daily peak sunlight hours).  Camera in lighter, records images at preset time intervals, self-timer (10 seconds), holds 150 pictures@640 x 480 or 310 pictures@320 x 240, video recording with sound (30 sec) or audio recording only (12 min), USB  A 8 GB CF memory card  Itronix Duo-Touch Tablet PC with shock-mounted hard drive, resistant to water and dust, operating temperature up to 60 degrees Celcius, optional heater, integrated GPS  Leapfrog's Fly, a pentop computer, write a word in English and hear it translated into Spanish, or draw a piano keyboard and play it! Hover over each picture to get more detail!

If you know any further items to feature here, submit photos, links and details at Libertaria
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