Building a better world

Jacques Fresco is not angry with the government. But this 86-year old industrial designer is dismayed with how little the government seems to use engineering and technology to solve many of society’s ills.

In his book, The Best That Money Can’t Buy, Fresco advocates sociocyberneering — using science and technology with human concern to improve the lives of all the world’s people. His approach includes many common-sense ideas enabled by modern technology. For example, instead of posting a sign indicating that a road is slippery when wet, Fresco suggests using abrasives on the highway so that the road is no longer slippery when wet.

Fresco, along with his colleague Roxanne Meadows, formed the Venus Project to develop many of his ideas for a close-to-utopian society (http://www.thevenusproject.com). “I I tried to present ideas rather than just say that the crime is on the increase and we need more prisons. What do do you have to do is provide an alternative. It’s not enough to criticize without offering an alternative.” Fresco asserts.

Part of his initiative involves modifying building methods. The structures on his 25-acre compound in Venus, Fla., are his models. Fresco explains, “They’re all made of concrete so you don’t cut down the forest. You don’t need to termite sprays. You don’t need to fire insurance. You don’t have wood rot. And it’s earth-weight resistant because it’s got a web structure throughout. We have 10 buildings that we erected to do a research and find answers rather than saying that people ought to learn to live together in peace and harmony. These are beautiful words but they offer no methodology. This is what’s so wonderful about the engineering. If a bridge caves in, an engineer come do what a politician does and say, ‘It’s those damn foreigners.’ They say ‘Let me see your calculations.’ So engineers have a good connection with reality.”