Monday, June 11, 2018

Circular Cities 2030 -1- Operation BeeHive

Circular Cities 2030
Operation Beehive

“Congratulations Debbie, we are pleased to announce your acceptance into Singularity University.”

I closed my laptop, slowly “I got accepted...?” could it be?

“What honey?” Micah questioned from across the room

“I think I got accepted into Singularity University?”

“Into where?” He asked

“Singularity University”

“...okay...?” For Micah, this was one those subjects. Singularity University was one of those places. He was never very interested in talking about Circular Cities, let alone the chain reaction of a World’s Fair event. 
Circular Economy? Huh…? Most of the time, he simply quelled my outward enthusiasm with a certain lack of interest whenever it was I did try talking with him about such things. “What was that you said?” he asked again.

I brought my laptop over and sat down next to him. “I think I got accepted into Singularity University” 
I hadn’t told him that I applied this year. He knew that I applied for the Global Impact Challenge a couple 
years ago and was denied, and he did tolerate my obsession when I flew down to Mountain View, that 
mythical place, just to attend the Global Solutions Program opening ceremony. I stayed in a hotel close to
NASA Ames and I got to explore SU’s campus on the base. Why did I want to go to the opening ceremoniesfor the program I was denied entry into? I guess I just wanted to feel what it was like to sit in a room full of people determined towards solving the Global Grand Challenges, along with the mentors, those who would come to foster the ambitions of those bold enough to dedicate their lives  towards helping the human race 
evolve. I know. I know. There is nothing you can do. Blah, blah, blah. I hear it all the time “don’t worry, be 
happy. You’ve got it good. Stop complaining.” Etc., etc. I opened my laptop slowly, refreshing the view, and there it was in bold print, CONFIRMATION:

“Congratulations Debbie, we are pleased to announce your acceptance into Singularity University”

“I got accepted into Singularity University!” I read the rest of the email out loud “You’re invited to join us 
for an 8-week residential program at Singularity University’s campus at NASA Ames. Are you ready to takea vision quest in design revolution? Attached to this email is your complimentary flight ticket. Please 
respond ASAP to confirm. Sincerely, Darlene Damm”

“Oh my god! I got accepted AND it’s free!” I opened the attachment, finding the ticket. “It’s a ticket for an ANA test flight from Tokyo to SF. My ticket is for boarding on a stopover at Boeing Field.” I read the date 
“it leaves in two days”

“Two days...?”  He sounded irritated “Good thing we didn’t buy tickets to Hawaii”  

“I know, right?” I could feel excitement rising I’m leaving in two days.

“Do you think you can even get the time off work?” he asked sarcastic. In truth, he was always a bit 
frustrated with my inability to get time off from work. We planned our vacations, but, it was never enough 
time away for either of us and now I was going away for eight weeks. I could feel his frustration.

“Of course I can!reflecting - when I attended the 2016 Global Solutions Program Opening Ceremony, I 
kind of felt like a KOOK. I mean, all I had was a brochure presenting an idea for a new school proposal - 
Georgetown: Health & Industry -  websites in need of development, and a mind in need of release. I had 
never actually attended a University and I had never really written a paper. In fact, I struggled with the 
application every time I applied, as I was always lacking the credentials needed and because of the fact that I was always lacking the free time to simply write down what  I really wanted to say. Instinctively, I knew I needed their help to develop this idea and I stressed this point in all my applications: I need eight weeks 
away from friends and family to get this idea for Circular Cities out of my head. I was determined to find
my way in. My highlight of that trip was that I got to see Ray Kurzweil speak in person, and I was 
successful in catching a moment to intersect him as he slipped out of the Computer Museum. All I had was my business card and as I captured his attention “excuse me, Ray?” he paused offering  me a moment of his time: “can I give you my card, please?” and with that I was able to hand it to him just as he was getting 
into the backseat of his car. I was proud of myself. I had accomplished what I had set out to do: make 
contact and as his driver shut the door he had my card in his hand and was looking it over. My journey was a success!

“I got accepted into Singularity U”

“Better call Leanne & Ryan and let them know you’re planning on leaving in two days!” This was a hard 
call to make. I had been working with them for over five years selling hydroponic supplies and over the past two years we had successfully converted the front of our Garden Store into a pizzeria and now I was a 
pizzaiola. Fun stuff. Our next goal at Sodo Hydro is to one day grow some of the goodies in house that we 
serve to our pizza fans/customers. Very circular. The Epcot Tomato is our inspiration and as a garden store
pizzeria, our motto is from Flower to Flour. We’re pretty cheesy. Our location is key, we are located right in SODO, in the Industrial District next to the Stadiums. We are slammed at lunch and are set-up for 
high-volume game day pizza sales. We too are located close to many urban farms (i.e.  the warehouses used for growing Cannabis for the underground medical-black-free market), however, after legalization, all the 
big growers of the underground secured their license with the state and began buying their supplies direct. 
And then, some of the biggest black-market/medical growers now licensed with the state, began to lobby 
against us, or should I say anyone who couldn’t afford a state sanctioned operation -Yes! (can you believe 
that some of the most organized black-market profiteers lobbied our government after legalization for 
protection against the black-market, against anything DIY, and they were so successful that they achieved 
the unthinkable, they convinced the state into imposing a new registry required by anyone who wanted to 
grow flowers at home, medically)- and, poof with one lousy law, regulation became the new prohibition and the state protected it’s Golden Carrot like a Cartel.

Anyway, I needed to call them right away and tell them the good and the bad news “They’re going to be so 
stressed out when I tell them…” I sighed, looking to him for guidance

He had nothing to say. I replied to the email, confirming my scheduled departure. “I’m going to Singularity University!” The room filled with a thoughtful silence. He knew why I was going.  Circular Cities was a 
touchy subject between us, as it was with many, if not most of my friends. Especially my friends connected 
to Georgetown. Tech was already a boom in Seattle and property values were skyrocketing. Rents were 
going up and if you couldn’t keep up, displacement came swift. It was scary for all of us locals. And, I guesswhat I was promoting with Circular Cities was what many considered gentrification with a capital /G\ 
Literally.  Of course, I see things differently.

I decided to just forward the email to them and wait for their response. It didn’t take long.

“Oh my God Debbie, GO! We’re so EXCITED for you!” What a relief.  I could now put Leanne & Ryan out of my mind for awhile and focus on my own dreams:

“I did it Micah…” I took a deep breath “I did it! I’ve always told you that one day I was going to get a betterpaying job and this course will definitely look good on my resume. I am going to get healthcare and paid 
vacations, with multiple weeks off at a time, just like you. You will see. We’ll be able to go and explore 
more places, more often! And, I’ll probably make more money too...”

“Don’t worry honey. Do what you need to do. I’m proud of you.” He was serious, I could see it in his eyes. 
“I knew you could do it...” he said kissing my cheek. “Now. What’s for dinner? I’m hungry!”

I’m going to Singularity University!

Micah dropped me off around 8am at the King County International Airport terminal as instructed. Neither 
of us had ever flown out of Boeing Field and I had no idea what to expect. “I’ll call you when I settle in.” 
We said our goodbyes and I watched as he drove away.

That was when the high began. I have yet to come down.

Boeing Field is nothing like SeaTac and as I walked into the terminal there were very few people to be seen. I began looking for direction and that is when Lisa approached, inquiring “Debbie?”

“That’s me” I said

“So nice to meet you” She said extending her hand “my name is Lisa Satomi.”

“Nice to meet you, Lisa” We shook hands. “I’m so excited to be here!”

“You should be...” she said smiling somewhat hurried “I am a representative of All Nippon Airlines and the Boeing Company and I will be your escort today… Please follow me and we’ll get you to your plane.” I 
followed her across the main lobby towards a pair of doors to the outside where a black suburban with blacktinted windows was waiting. The driver opened the back door for us.

Wasting no time, she asked “So, I hear that you’re on your way to Singularity U?”

“I am...” I said feeling proud

“Congratulations! I love it there...” she smiled, “you’re going to have a lot of fun!” The driver returned to 
the driver’s seat and we proceeded south around the perimeter of the airport. He wasn’t wasting any time.

“Did you take a course there?” I asked, curious

“It’s been a few years since I’ve spent much time in the Valley.  I graduated from Stanford a LONG time ago and I used to spend a LOT of time at Moffett Field.” She said, now changing the subject, almost hurriedly 
“Today you will be flying on our new ANA Boeing 787 Dreamliner.” She pointed across the runway. I couldsee the logo on the plane in question. “It has just arrived from Tokyo. It is the first plane in history to be 
equipped with HIVE technology.”

“HIVE technology?” I asked, speculating “You mean like Human Intelligence/Virtual Environments 

“Exactly.” she smiled, inquiring “... you’ve heard of HIVE?”

“Well, kind of…I experienced it in a dream…” It was hard for me to explain

“Well" she paused, "as you may know HIVE is a newly integrated on-board entertainment system. It offers 
the user a very intimate, deeply immersive, out-of-this-world experience” she explained, now revering 
“I like to think of it as the mind reader...”  

...and as she spoke, I was experiencing deja vu  “Strange… the mind reader?” again deja vu “I’ve dreamt of this device.”  But, when?

“Excellent…” She said, connecting the dots, “then you’ll know exactly what to do.” I could tell that she wastaking mental notes of our time together and even though I had a million questions as we pulled up to the 
plane, I didn’t know what to say. Deja vu lingered.  The tarmac was hot as we stepped out onto it. I grabbedmy bag careful of my computer and slung it over shoulder. “I’ll show you to your seat and get you situated.”she said breaking the weird Deja silence. I followed her up the boarding stairs and onto the plane 
“You’re assigned to seat C14”  ...clearly, she had done this before.

The plane was almost empty, maybe 25 people or so were seated randomly throughout the cabin. And, they were all absorbed in one way or another with what it was they were doing. Some had their computers out 
and were typing fast, while others were in the recline position with headsets on. Strange! When we arrived 
to seat C14 I stowed my bag in the overhead and took my seat.  Lisa kneeled down in the aisle next to me, 
giving instruction “this is your headset. It is activated, all you need to do is put it on when you’re ready. It 
was nice to meet you Debbie. Have a great flight.” she said calmly and abruptly

“It was nice to meet you too...” we shook hands and then she exited the plane.

Within minutes, our pilot’s voice filled the cabin “Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome on board Flight 008 in 
service from Tokyo to San Francisco. We are second in line for take-off and are expected to be in the air in 
approximately five minutes. We ask that you please fasten your seatbelts at this time  and secure all baggage.Enjoy your flight.” Minutes later the pilot offered his final instruction “Cabin crew prepare for take-off”

The headset itself was black and soft like a sleeping mask. Compared to the other headsets I had seen,  this 
one was soft and sleek, with simple design. I put it on just as our plane was racing down the runway for take
off. Right away the feeling of the headset was very comforting as all my anxiety associated with flying 
dissipated. A calming sensation surrounded me as I was transported to a world my mind would soon 

Welcome to
Human Intelligence | Virtual Environments
You are are now free to roam inner space

The beginning phase of immersion was very much in line with a psychedelic experience, instinctively, my 
thoughts began to form clusters; games of self-awareness. It’s true I had been obsessing over the narrative 
surrounding  Circular Cities for many years and now I was on a airplane to Singularity University to share 
this idea, in an attempt to bring it to life. Then came the fear(s) What have you gotten yourself into Debbie? Who do you think you are to even propose such a thing? … and now with the headset on, I was able to focusin ways I had never done before. Soon I was fully  engaged. I began to focus in on the game AS IS - it was an  Ancestor Simulation Game - one that allowed the user to become a time traveler so to speak as it began 
to follow timelines based on surnames. I entered my birth name Byron, it was my birth mother’s maiden 
name found on my original birth certificate and remains the only name I have in reference to my ancestry 
and in an instant I was surrounded by poetry, numbers, symbols, mathematics, as the simulation became 
more and more like the gears in the universal thinking machine. Suddenly I realized I can go into the future?I let it run its course… circa 2037

Our pilot’s voice filled the cabin “Ladies & Gentlemen we  have begun our final descent into the San 
Francisco area. I estimate our arrival at the gate around 10:34am. The current temperature is a pleasant 64 
degrees with a light breeze out of the east. Flight Attendants prepare for landing.” And now, strangely, the 
headset was gone and I was sitting in the window seat A14 looking out just as we were coming into view of the Golden Gate Bridge. It had been awhile since I had flown into San Francisco and instantly I noticed that a lot of the familiar landscapes had changed. The row houses surrounding Golden Gate Park leading into 
San Francisco University were mostly gone and in their place were structures with foundations that kind of 
reminded me of the Eiffel Tower, very erector set like, exhibiting seismic design, with spires of apartments 
rising high into the sky and plants were growing everywhere. Design wise, these structures allowed ample 
light to hit the ground, where underneath these structures green grass and gardens grew. In fact, you could 
see gardens, plants, shrubs, and trees growing in every direction. It was beautiful.  What happened to the 
row houses? I was spared the anxiety of the cultural loss of these urban landscapes as I had remembered 
them, yes, the row houses were gone but in their place was something new. Something modern. Even the 
roads that used to be grey seemed greener in every way, and the cars that used to be parked everywhere weregone. Where are all the car? I pressed my face as close I could to the window and I began to notice that 
there were cars, they just seemed fewer in number and always in motion. I began to question the view. Whatwas going on? And, then I remembered the headset:

I turned away from the window and looked around my surroundings just as we landed. My headset was 
gone, and now I was the only occupant on board. Strange! I carefully grabbed my bag from the overhead 
and headed towards the door. Oddly, the flight attendants seemed to be busy doing something and were 
completely unaware of my presence as I departed the plane. Very peculiar.

It is hard  sometimes to describe the psychedelic experience.

The airport terminal was busy and I  just wanted outside as quickly as possible and as I exited the terminal I saw a woman holding a sign with a Bee on it. She waved as I walked in her direction. She looked as if she 
could have been Lisa’s sister “...are you looking for me?” I asked

She smiled “Yes, I am Bee -Welcome to San Francisco 2037- my name is Abby and I am your guide today.”

“Nice to meet you Abby” I said as we shook hands - “2037?”  Wait. What? ...and then I remembered the 
nature of the headset and played along- cool  “where are we going?”

“To Treasure Island” she said as she hailed a cab. Treasure Island? This is where things got interesting. A 
little pearly white four seater with ample windows pulled over to pick us up and it was driverless, in fact, all vehicles in motion were driverless, and, they came in a variety of sizes and most all of them were white. 
Very utilitarian. “You have a lot to learn” she said presenting herself as a new friend.  “I’m here to answer 
any questions you have” the door opened automatically and we took our seats. Once we were fastened in 
Lisa gave the command “Treasure Island, please”  and off we went.

It was surreal heading down Highway 101 in a driverless vessel seeing all the other little white cars full of 
people with no one in control and most importantly nobody looked stressed out. Abby began to describe the process of change that happened to each of the districts and neighborhoods as we passed by them. She did 
her best to explain that processes of deindustrialization, seismic reinforcements, and the rehabilitation of the shoreline through  community investments in natural infrastructure like parks, in fact there were parks 
everywhere I looked. The downtown corridor had more than doubled in size as it’s buildings thrust high intothe sky. It was a lot to take in and as I said it had been awhile since I had been to San Francisco so I wasn’t 
too familiar with what was here before, but I will say this, restoration and rehabilitation is a good thing and 
it makes people happy. As we approached the downtown corridor I have to say that the skyline was beautiful.

As we exited Interstate 80 off the Bay Bridge unto Treasure Island road, we were greeted  by the artistic 
beauty of one of Marco Cochrane’s sculptures capturing the female form in all our glory. This sculpture had to be at least 50 ft tall and it was a beautiful sight to see. And then, as I looked out across the island  I could see that his sculptures of female form where a theme here and that Treasure Island itself was blanketed in a vast array of topiary delights. The road ended in a cul-de-sac terminal where we exited the vehicle, and off itwent.

And that’s when I saw my first circular craft rising up into the sky. I watched as it continued to rise until it 
suddenly disappeared. That’s odd. “Where did it go?I asked squinting my eyes, lookin hard to find it.

“Where ever they want it to go….” was her answer. And, then another craft lifted off. This one flew off to 
the east slowly. “Are you ready to take a ride?” she asked

“Are you kidding me? Let’s go!”

We jumped on a couple of bicycles that were scattered about and rode off toward the launch pad. She 
described the history of  Treasure Island; of the 1939 World’s Fair, and thereafter of the Navy occupation, 
and of the return of the World’s Fair when the artists took it over creating the space we were in today.

As we arrived at the launch pad a lone circular craft was waiting. There were other people ahead of us in 
line but that didn’t stop Abby from arranging our advantage. After a short conversation with an attendant wewere escorted to the front of the line. We stepped into the craft accessorized with eight seats following the 
perimeter.  The doors closed behind us. We were going on a solo journey. And then without any apparent 
input from either of us the craft began to ascend, slowly, and silently. The overview effect I was 
experiencing as I took in the beauty of the New San Francisco cityscape was intoxicating.

“I think you will appreciate this” she said as the craft descended towards a particular building that I soon 
realized was a beautifully productive vertical farm. We circled around it. “This is one of the first Vertical 
Farm projects ever erected in the states, it was sponsored by Amazon and it is based on design principles 
that you helped propagate in Seattle.”

“That I helped propagate in Seattle?” I questioned? Again, it is hard to describe a psychedelic experience.

“That’s right” she said smiling sending my mind in a whirl. I was speechless, perplexed. And then, she 
spoke those magical words ... “You see our cities are circular as are the craft we fly!” ... those were the 
trigger words that I had heard in a dream in my youth, words that continued to haunt me throughout my life and all I could do was smile, content. I knew what was going on and in response to my inner wonder, she 
began to direct the tour showing me everyplace I needed to see, to inspire hope and the will to carry-on and  to keep chasing those dreams for a better world for all.

I had to ask “how did we do it?  How did we save ourselves from ourselves?”

And she just smiled calm, looking out: “Honestly, every city is one natural disaster away from having to be 
rebuilt, this is as true today as it was yesterday, and tragically, after the summer storms of 2019 every major city located close to sea level was put on notice. We had to formulate a new plan concerning the nature of 
our development and future ambitions. But first, we had to figure out a way towards putting an end to all the bloody wars and revolutions raging throughout the world.  We had learned the hard way that we were only 
as strong as our weakest link. We knew that if we were to succeed as a species then the future must be 
inclusive for all of us. No one could be left behind. And that’s where the Circular Cities 2030 proposal of a 
global world fair event came into view and in the end evolved into the perfect storm and solution.” She 
grabbed onto my hand, smiling “Your suspicions were correct, no one could resist Fun & Games - and, thiswas the paradigm shift that we had been waiting for. Finally, we had a plan to put forward that when enactedwould  work towards unifying the global community and it spread like wildfire. By 2020 every major city 
around the world took the Circular City challenge and the global community was now on a unified mission 
to redesign everything:

“Almost immediately, “Goods. Gear. Gadgets.” the community owned superstore won the day...” she said 
with a sparkle in her eye “...What Made on Demand did for the global community was it set into motion the first major chain reaction as designers everywhere went mad with delight as they began uploading their 
designs for just about anything imaginable. “Goods. Gear. Gadgets.”  was a brilliant idea Debbie, because 
you set it free, this was the first step towards the localization of everything. Bravo!” she cheered 
““Goods. Gear. Gadgets.” set off a creative chain reaction that represented everything good in human 
ingenuity. This disruption alone reduced the number of cargo ships needed to support a global economy and it wasn’t long thereafter that all the major shipping companies went bankrupt. And beautifully, as a result, in a rush of continuity, the whales song once again filled the oceans and all the mammals and fishes rejoiced - as they were  now free from the tyranny of human want and greed. In turn, we learned quite quickly that as 
cities became more circular, they became more unique,  evolving into bioregions of industry & trade, 
setting into motion one cultural chain reaction after another. In a heartbeat, an entire generation gave 
themselves to building bridges towards the new world. No longer would we allow ourselves to become 
fodder for fools games. We were going to create a  world where we were all free. We soon learned that the more we automated everyday systems we could in-turn put parks everywhere and as a result we 
transformed the historic trade routes into modern day tourist traps for everyone’s pleasure. 
Another chain reaction.

Debt relief came next. It evolved as a by-product of the space age. It was from our quest for more gold that we were successful in creating a new source for gold, the first ever biofactory where bacteria could 
convert waste into gold on an industrial level. Soon there was nothing left to base the gold standard on.  Of 
course, we used this to our own advantage, disrupting the global banking institutions of the day. We were 
not going to fall into the same trap. We were going to put an end to it. The world economy would no longer be based on profit but on fun, we learned that we could take capitalism even further if we organized 
commerce  more like a non-profit, where we could, on a community level, invest in mission statements 
whose goal was for the greater good. Because of this, capital as access became obsolete almost overnight. 
We were now Global Citizens unified with a common goal. This was our Game changer.

“And then, of course” she said with a seriousness to her voice “we had to create GOD -  what Guidance on Demand did was it set the human mind free. Instinctively, intuitively, throughout history, humanity has 
always been searching for that higher power to help us make sense of the world and culturally we have 
come up with some pretty provocative tales and myths throughout the ages...” she paused,  “We had to 
create the system designed to govern all systems and once we had succeeded in doing just that, we went 
zero to one, from Alpha to Algorithm, almost overnight.  We had successfully built the universal computer, our master of ceremonies, the big MC and as master craftsmen we tend diligently to the thinking machine:

A pilot’s voice broke through “Ladies & Gentlemen we  have begun our final descent into Moffett Field. Weestimate our arrival on the tarmac around 10:34am. The current temperature is a pleasant 64 degrees with a 
light breeze out of the east. Flight Attendants prepare for landing.” I took the headset off and looked around the plane, towards the other passengers and again upon landing they remained tied to their work. It didn’t 
appear as if anyone else other than myself was going to depart the plane and as we came to a stop and the 
flight stairs were connected with the door open wide, my suspicions were correct. I was the only one to exit 
the plane and as I stepped foot on the tarmac the door closed behind me.

What a trip.

A woman stepped out from the  back door of an extended black suburban to greet me “Welcome Debbie, my name is Darlene and I am assigned as your mentor. We have a lot of work to do.” she smiled and I trusted 
her. We both got into the back seat of the suburban where I was greeted with the most wonderful experience,for there playing inside was the very recording  of everything I had just experienced while wearing the headset.

The mind reader, wow “is this the recording of my experiences in the game?”

“Yes it is” she confirmed

What kind of file is this?”

“It’s name has yet to be decided….” she teased. “I’m going to get right to the point: After reviewing your experience in the HIVE we would like to help you bring these ideas to life. We want to help you build the 
game Circular Cities 2030...” at this point all I could do was watch the screen and as we pulled up to the 
front of Singularity University she spoke up “Are you ready for this?” she asked

I sat in pause for a moment, feeling satisfaction and relief like never before. “I want this more than anythingelse in the world” I said trying not to cry with absolute joy “I don’t know how to feel right now”

“Good. Then let’s get you settled in!”

I took a deep breath “I’m ready.”  We exited the vehicle and walked to the front doors. My heart was 
pounding with excitement. I needed to take a moment for myself, to call Micah. “Is it ok if I take a walk andmake a phone call to my boyfriend?”

“Most definitely,” she said “...come on in when you're ready”

“Thank you!” I said “Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I’ll be right back...” I walked swiftly south aroundthe side of Singularity University. I had some place I needed to go. I had a memory I needed to check. I 
continued south towards Bailey Rd and followed it to Edquiba Rd where instead of going left I went to the 
right, into a parking lot in front of the building where inside resided that memory. I called Micah just as I 
walked up the steps of the doorway, to the double glass doors. I wiped the dust away and adjusted my visionfinding the column on which the clue was left. His phone went straight to message “Hi honey. I have landed.I love you! I will call you later.” I said hanging up and silencing my phone and as I looked through the 
dusty window I saw the memory I was searching for written on six post-it’s turned on their sides forming the pattern on the center post-it was written  [Beehive] and on each one surrounding the center was the words [Dryden], [Glenn], [Goddard], [JPL], [Langley]

Houston, prepare for lift-off!”

Let the games begin!