The Man in The Ivory Tower: Reason (Part 2/3)


From the ivory tower, Kamal wanted to change the world. And the world needed him, badly.

Back to part 1/3.

The Third Challenge

Early in the next day, Kamal stood at the window facing the great city of Oir’yn. It challenged his eyes with its metropolitan complexity. At its center, an island of tall glass towers where the beautiful people of Oir’yn lived punched the sky. The towers were surrounded by an immense circle of slums were the poor people of Oir’yn lived. He saw that division and thought of how unfair it was. It was time to work on his third challenge: to derive a new social contract.

Kamal worked for years till he accomplished it. There were three problems to tackle: economic growth, which granted the wealth of society as a whole; inequality, which was source of social instability and low quality of life of the poor people of Oir’yn; and heritage, which for centuries rendered the children of the beautiful people of the city an unfair advantage over the children of the poor people, in their future competition for the best opportunities.

First he focused on the growth problem. He devised a market regulatory system to raise productivity, through stimulating free initiative, infrastructure development, and stable institutions. He established the optimal balance between macroeconomic variables, to reach monetary stability, but maximizing employment and economic growth.

As for the inequality problem, he redesigned the tax system discouraging over-concentration of wealth. He refocused the city’s savings investments on universalization of social security and basic infrastructure. He proposed new political institutions to forge democratic stability, where the power of corporative lobbies was tempered down. He created certification seals to stimulate consumption of products out of fair-work conditions.

Finally, he tackled the heritage problem. Kamal wrote rules to professionalize the access to public jobs, eliminating nepotism. Then, he remodeled the educational system, making it universal. A new pedagogy was developed to optimize learning and creativity, by tailoring communication and content not only to different ages, but also to diverse psychological profiles. He redesigned the school progression system to identify and award skills.

Kamal was happy and ready to move to his next challenge.

The fourth Challenge

In the next morning, Kamal was awaken by an explosion. He looked through the window facing the conjoined cities of J’lem and G’zar in time to see a dense column of black smoke rising from a bombing in the central market of G’zar. A swarm of arrows shot from G’zar draw a nasty dark parabola in the sky before falling on J’lem. The nightmare scenario was completed by high-intensity red-laser blasts from J’sem diffracting in the smoke before burning some of the arrows.

Kamal wondered about how irrational that war had been being. Resting for centuries, no one in either city could tell the true reasons of the war anymore, and when asked about, they would blame the other side, resorting to nonsensical tails of millennial rights granted by ancestral prophets. The truth was the war had become their way of living. The economy of both cities revolved around it and generation after generation their leaders had become comfortable with that cruel unstable balance.

It was time to face the next challenge, to reach a peace agreement between the two cities.

For the next years Kamal worked on that. He drew terms for the fairest land partition and share of resources. He proposed economic reforms to allow a transition from a war into a cooperative economy. He designed new justice institutions, amnesty conditions, diplomatic protocols, and intercultural actions, targeting at healing ages of mutual hate.

Kamal was satisfied. A new challenge was await.

The Fifth Challenge

In the next day, Kamal looked at the forest of Amzan. He knew the forest was in danger. For years in the tower, he had observed how people from all land had been keeping their lifestyle through a savage exploration of energy and raw materials from the forest. For his amazement, the people-of-the-forest readily helped in this process, without even noticing that they had been impoverishing themselves.

Kamal mourned the loss of billions of years of stored knowledge with each extincted species. Even worse, the forest was essential for regulating the climate of the land, and by destroying it, a real risk of disrupting the food production was at the horizon.

Kamal knew what he had to do. Then, for years he worked on a way to balance current economic needs, future ecological demands, and the well-being of the people-of-the-forest. He developed a new energetic matrix based on renewable sources to reduce the impact on the forest. He invented new photovoltaic organic polymers for multiple-ending solar-energy harvesting. Then, he synthesized efficient water-splitting photocatalytic agents for massive chemical energy storage.

He also designed a sustainable model for the forest exploration, fairly incorporating the work force of the people-of-the-forest. Finally, he designed efficient recycling chains and created means to clearly account for externalities into the commodities’ price.

Once more, Kamal was satisfied. Only one more challenge remained: death.


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Categories: Fiction

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2 replies


  1. The Man in the Ivory Tower: Reason (Part 1/3) – Much Bigger Outside
  2. The Man in the Ivory Tower: Reason (Part 3/3) – Much Bigger Outside

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