phenomenon, a trend, I want to point out. It's a cause for real hope and optimism about the way the world is headed, and not just because these people are a political weather vein, but because they have actual resources.
I'll let cynics argue if this is business as usual. To my mind, it is clearly happening, and the interesting question is not if, but why.
Some people say that the pictures from Apollo, seeing the earth as a whole, changed in an instant the way we view the world. Buckminster Fuller also used this moment as a milestone, not only of our psychology, but in technology.
He said at that moment, the pieces of technology had finally been assembled that can allow everyone in the world to prosper.
Of course, Bucky always was ahead of his time. But maybe not too far. Maybe only a generation or so.
As the pace of technology quickens, I hypothesize, the rich and famous are increasingly devoting themselves to good works because they can.
Today we see through new media into people's lives all over the world. We seek to analyze complex systems like the weather and eco-systems. We see our direct impact on these things with ever more clarity as our impact grows and our tools of observation and analysis improve.
And at the same time, technology, business and inventors are producing an ever greater menu of solutions to problems as we identify them.
Depending on how you tilt your head, we seem to be on the verge of an unprecedented disaster, or an unprecedented golden age.
And an increasing number of us are beginning to get the idea, "I, personally, can help to tilt the balance from one to the other."
Not only are we identifying the problems, from poverty and economic development, and the environment, to health and education, but we are getting excited as we see so many solutions, so close at hand.
It's really the greatest adventure of all time, the greatest opportunity. Dinosaurs couldn't have done what we can do. Pharaohs and kings of yore couldn't have ushered in a golden age of prosperity for all people, for all beings in the world. Not even maybe.
But we can. Maybe. It is worth a try.
It's not just a matter of responsibility. The rich and famous are devoting themselves to improving world conditions because it is an opportunity. It is the Grail quest of our time. And the grail is real. We can actually do this.
And we are not alone. It is a trend bigger than us, but including us. Standards of living have been improving dramatically since the technology boom 300 years ago in England. Earlier, the technology boom of agriculture sped us towards improved lifestyles.
The technology boom of today is like those, but it is the big one. If we manage it correctly, it could make life great, not only for every person, but for animals and plants and even bacteria.
But right now, in the face of this potential golden age, 5 billion people live in poverty, 1 billion are desperate, eco-systems are in crisis, even people in the first world face dire problems. The issues are not ho hum.
So why are the rich and famous hearing the call? There are big problems. There are solutions. The consequences are huge. Failure would be dire. The prize is unimaginably good, for everyone.
If you have a $billion or the social capital of a star, there is no question that you can influence the outcome of this important game.
The tools of Selfport will put the resources in every individual's hands to help solve these world sized problems, and in the same way as for the rich and famous, for whom good work can make you even more rich and famous, or at least no less so.
This is the proposition our world offers us today. For the rich and famous, the course of action is a no brainer. Let's extend that same obvious opportunity to personally wrestle with dragons to everyone.
The big evils are no longer people. Maybe they never were. They are circumstances, and we can tame them.
note worthy characters: Angelina Jolie, Richard Branson, Pierre Omidyar, HH The Dalai Lama, Larry Page, Bono, Madonna, Ray Kurzweil, Muhammad Yunnus, Jeffrey Sachs, Bill Gates, Bill Clinton, Buckminster Fuller, Opera