Issue 10: PD’s Rose Manifesto 1: Rose Thoughts
What is trust based on?
So many people have asked me why I insist on using the Rose language to test the Sparkers. To answer this properly, I must begin by explaining why Mark and I set up the MD Foundation. We started this foundation almost a decade ago, March of 2031. For the world we found ourselves in was not the one we wanted to pass on to our children, nor our children’s children. And unto the seventh generation? Forgeddaboudit.
At the rate we were using energy, polluting our atmosphere, and killing our children, there wouldn’t even be a fourth generation left on Earth—or anywhere else for that matter—let alone a seventh. Something had to be done. Oh, so many had turned to games and virtual reality—which is why Mark’s VeRity game gave us the freedom to fund the Foundation. At first, we tried to hook into the game culture to solve real world problems, tapping into the immense store of creativity and inventiveness gamers used to slay monsters and find buried treasure. This worked well, and we were able to find ways to work together to clean up some of our oceans, stave off some non-point source pollution from entering the tiny remainder of our potable groundwater.
Yet even here, we found that people lacked the spirit to continue addressing complex problems. People want simplicity, we were told. Can’t you put these problems into the five-second sound bytes, which is all that the news agencies can handle? Actually, no. In five seconds, you can’t even talk about the air currents over the inner mountain west or define atmospheric rivers, let alone touch on how these currents have changed as the earth warms. The complexity of our world, the interactions between a piece of plastic in the ocean and the particles of sulphur in the air just can’t be boiled down to a nice and sweet simple package. Rather, we needed to find a way to encourage people to think in complex terms.
Not black and white, but rather: black (b brave, l love, a apex, c unconventional, k fighting) or black (b fear, l hate, a the nadir, c conventional, k giving up in despair). So we set up the Foundation to encourage people, particularly our young, the next generation, to embrace complexity. To seek the challenges of science, technology, engineering, math, physics, and beyond. Rather than pinning their hopes of a good life on the lottery (which is usually rigged), they could dream of saving the world, of finding the solutions to one of the many problems that plague us. But we have to be able to trust them for the long haul. Once we accept a Spark, we work together for a long time to slay at least one head of the multi-layered, complex hydra that threatens our world today. And, like the mythical hydra, often when we solve one problem, two more rear up. So we need to continue to work together with people we can truly trust on these issues. Hence the Foundation will provide the venture capital, mentoring, and business planning to anyone with a winning Spark. And we gladly share a quarter of the profits of these ventures with the Spark winner.
Ahhh, now I can get back to my point. Why force anyone who wishes to enter the Spark Prize to go through the process of composing an essay on Rose? The reasons are as complex as the problems that face our world. If we are going to work so closely with the Spark winners to make their ideas reality, we need to ensure that these people are intelligent and innovative and willing to be flexible to face the unknown challenges that their ideas will encounter. We need people who are willing to face complexities, to understand that there are many more ways of looking at a problem.
As Rose provides so many ways of looking at a word, at an idea, it is the perfect vehicle for expressing thought and idea, passion and compassion. Rose elicits the nuances, the potential for a thousand shades, a million hues of meaning. Thus, only by the Spark candidates’ fluency in Rose can we determine their worthiness to make their Spark dreams come true.