Archive for apprentice

Container Houses

Posted in Alternative Energy, Classic Sci-Fi, Lucerne Village with tags , , , , , , , , on July 3, 2012 by javedbabar

After the nerd had presented his idea for a floating city – floating in air, not water – came a girl with a more sensible idea – container houses. Bobby was enjoying the Devils’ Den event at the New Ideas Show. He was looking for ideas to start his own business in job-poor Lucerne.

“The essential problem is not lack of housing,” said the presenter, who had neglected to mention her name. “It has to do with distribution. Just like with food – where some become obese, whilst others starve – people have too much or too little shelter. For example why does a childless couple have a ten thousand square foot house in Strattus that they use one month a year, while someone in Mumbai has a hundred square foot room housing three generations?”

“Isn’t that their reward, and their choice?” said Arthur Choo, ex-chief economist of the Bank of Canadia. “They are wealth creators, and every dollar they spend is multiplied within the economy.”

“That may be true,” said the presenter. “But I believe they should be encouraged to make better choices. Shipping containers provide an equitable, flexible solution. They are easy to load, unload, stack, transfer and transport. Everyone should get one. Isn’t that a basic right of democracy, fair housing? A house is the basis…”

She was interrupted by Amisha Jordan, promoter of traditional and low-tech solutions. “I like the idea, but it’s been done already. There are offices and hotels made of containers in port cities.”

“Not underwater,” said the presenter. People gasped.

“What? You are hoping to build underwater housing?”

“Yes, in international waters. They belong to everyone so people can live where they like. There’s no need to be oppressed by the outmoded paradigms of nation states. We can…”

Arthur Choo said, “I’m afraid it’s not that simple. International waters have regulations too. You can’t just live where you like; in the same way you can’t just fish where you like. There are guidelines.”

“I will look into the legal framework later. Right now I’m concerned with mastering physical, chemical and biological environments; looking at things like pressure, temperature, humidity and light; water, food, waste and toxins; sea creatures, microorganisms and fungi. Once those are managed, everything is possible.”

“Okay,” said Arthur Choo. “I’m willing to look at this at a conceptual level. Go on.”

“I’ve also located undersea methane vents, and begun work on dolphin communications and plankton farms…”

Uh-oh, thought Bobby. This girl is all out to sea. Why are young entrepreneurs obsessed by the sea? He’d heard ideas for boats made of recycled bottles, floating cities and marine farms. He didn’t realize they were in tune with the soul of the planet, the global unconscious, and being drawn towards the creative source.


Devil's Den

Posted in Lucerne Village with tags , , , , , , , , on July 1, 2012 by javedbabar

Bobby had lived in Lucerne for six months. It was in truth as beautiful as when he’d first seen it – those stunning black and white mountains at opposite ends of the valley, with forests, lakes and rivers between – but its sheen had worn off somewhat. Just because a place is beautiful, he’d realized, doesn’t mean that you can find work there. He was fed up with selling muffins and pumping gas. He needed to start his own business; he had some ideas but no clue what to do with them.

He was delighted to hear that their glassy community centre, commonly called the Transparent Temple, was hosting a New Ideas Show. This was a forum for business start-ups, and those providing ancillary services, to promote themselves in a community-minded atmosphere. He saw many trucks coming on Friday, setting up for the weekend show.

On Saturday morning Bobby entered the Great Hall, which was full of bright stalls and banners. There were sandwich and massage franchises, internet hosting and search engine optimisation services, all competing for your attention. There were also branding and shipping specialists, designers, printers, accountants and lawyers. They all introduced themselves, presented data, gave you their cards, and wanted yours – to receive special offers and enter prize draws, they said. Their chatter was overwhelming.

Bobby came to a quieter area set with chairs, and joined the audience there in expectation of something interesting. The scheduled event soon started. He recognized the host, Collette Vapinski, a glamorous lady famous for being famous. She said, “Hello everyone! Welcome to Devils’ Den, a place where our panel of expert investors quizzes amateur entrepreneurs about their business proposals, and if they are impressed, offer funding in exchange for shares.”

“Without further ado, I will introduce our expert panel. First we have Amisha Jordan, known for her faith in traditional and low-tech technologies. She is quoted as saying, “When the world runs out of fuel and you’re living back in the Stone Age, I will be dancing with Leonardo in the Renaissance.” There were boos from the crowd.

“Next we have Arthur Choo, once chief economist of the Bank of Canadia, now author of the bestselling book, “POP: Principle of Profit”, which promotes the open market as the most rational medium of exchange.” There was polite applause.

“Finally there is Juno Osh, founder of Farmbook, who believes that open source technology and social media not only build healthier communities, but will actually save the world.” People cheered wildly.

“Okay, who is brave enough to be the first to enter the Devils’ Den?” She looked around before her eyes settled on Bobby.

Was this his moment? he wondered.

In business isn’t it now or never?

He recalled the term prime mover advantage from a business book he’d browsed at the library. This is where initiative meets opportunity and the winner takes all.

He waited too long though. Collette Vapinski’s gaze moved on. She pointed to a tall guy with glasses, who got up and walked to the stage.