Upgrade yourself

developing the capacity to go far is the prerequisite to going far
The first step of helping the future is to develop our own understanding and competence.

The most important reason for developing understanding is to be able to choose a course of action that is actually helpful. This is the same problem at the global level of risk and asset management: we need to do an assessment first or else we can incur significant opportunity costs. A high level of education is also helpful to reduce the risk that we will fall prey to various ideologies and end up as magical thinkers or even terrorists. A good education provides rapid benefits if it is well-designed. A curriculum might include:
  • basic thinking skills, such as writing, maths, business basics, critical thinking
  • natural sciences and natural history
  • enough psychology and sociology for efficient self-management and to understand the general layout of modern trends
  • global risk and asset management

As well as education, we need to develop relevant skills or else our efforts will not be par for the task — improving skills is higher priority than just trudging ahead. It can be difficult understand this because we may have trouble imagining:
  • degree of skill that we need so that we can be effective enough for the challenges facing the future
  • that we are capable of developing the skill to act and think beyond our current level

Note that the line between preparing to help the world and just doing it is a little subtle: even if many world-helping or charitable activities are not be useful in the bigger picture, the hands-on experience can still be a useful supplement to education or to situational assessment.