Thursday, January 13, 2005

More About BizMos

So why would the US Navy want bizmos, which are here conceived as dry land mobile units equipped with telecom and various sensors? Well, aside from being like little subs on wheels, serving as simulators for more pressurized (i.e. under water) team-based living, there's always the recruitment angle. Most USA schools are still on dry land. In other words, if the Army already has them on the drawing boards, then the Navy won't settle for less.

Obviously Mercy Corps needs bizmos. Yes, in major disaster situations we must resort to helicopters and other airlift technologies, both for resupply and emergency evacuation, but not all situations are major disasters. Sometimes you just need the average reconnaissance vehicle looking for mosquito breeding grounds or other precursors to epidemics, having to do with sanitation, irrigation, water management in general.

The teams need technical expertise, GIS/GPS, access to data bases, and ways to alert follow-up teams better equipped to actually deal with the biohazards. These teams may well be entirely indigenous, thanks to the comm tent and DVD library left behind, combined with folk wisdom, which is often intact and just needs a chance to operate minus interference from myopic absentee landlords who only care about resource extraction, ecosystem be damned.

In my case, it's more just this middle class family, like you find at camp grounds, tucked away with some fire in the grate, glowing in the moonlight. Kids and their parents mosey over to see what this tricked out little RV is about, not realizing that it's really a BizMo in disguise. There's this InFocus projector, DVD juke box, GIS/GPS, and stuff you might think would make more sense in a submarine. It all feels vaguely science fiction, like some Hollywood prop that escaped the lot, but everything works and is for real, and that's cool and reassuring. Apparently, there's this futuristic lifestyle available, and some Americans are already living in their dream machines.

"So where do we get training and access to BizMos?" the average camper wants to know. Well, there's the military, as I was saying, and Mercy Corps type operations. UNICEF has a fleet. Really, you have lots of options, so think about your philosophical commitment and figure out what you want to say. Maybe you're like Charles Kuralt, out to see America, and chronicle your findings for viewers tuning into your network. You've got a CBS logo on your BizMo. That'd make sense, even in an overseas context.

The bigger picture, as I see it, is Project Renaissance. Private R&D is collaborating with the public sector to prototype what may not yet be ready for prime time, in terms of safety or eventual utility, but is on the way to commercial viability thanks to test pilots, pioneers, Navy Seals or whatever (thinking of Jay Baldwin's kid). I see retreat centers sprouting up which give average Americans exciting opportunities to train on the new equipment, which includes more stationary radome-like living quarters, some sponsored by corporations (CEOs will want first dibs, per their usual greediness), or by tribal casinos for their young people.

Faith-based organizations will want a piece of the action of course (Church of the Brethren has a cool camp near Remote, Oregon). I'll probably set up a few such high tech faith-based encampments myself. Maybe we'll draw a giant pentacle on the ground to show the helicopters where to land. Like, we liberal Quakers at least have already forged some strong alliances with Wicca, a fact which, as a reader of this blog, you probably already know.

Related Readings:
Brainstorming on BuckyWorks
What's a BizMo?
Project Renaissance
(some other classified stuff)