It is perhaps not very well known, or that is, I usually do not talk about it, but I did work in the Oil and Gas business. I was a consultant and the clients were the usual suspects in that business, you know, the big names with the ever so memorable logos. Although I have some level of permission to drop some client’s names, I am just not in the habit of dropping names even it is extremely tempting on occasions, because I have indeed rubbed shoulders with a few interesting names. Note that I did not write persons, although some of them names belonged to some interesting people.
However in doing a bit of thinking and reading geared to get me in the mood to create something that will be talked about within the label of “Knowledge Ownership” I have been listening carefully to the conversations that I have been having over the past two weeks. I mean the private and the public conversations. Is there a difference?
I know that looked at from the outside, it looks like I have been on idle here, however nothing could be further from reality. I have been pensive and in a state that comes as close to peace as anything that I can imagine.
Yesterday I had a chat with one of my Oil and Gas business contacts in Saudi Arabia that left me thinking about all of this that is going on in terms of information and knowledge. I am really not ready to go into details, but the questions are so fascinating! So, let me think out loud for a few paragraphs.
Sometime back when I started writing uncondition, I mentioned something about our needs being simple. They boil down to food, shelter, spirituality and connectivity. While our needs drive us, our wants shape us. Now, that I think about it again, I would further reduce the needs to three, that is, food, shelter and spirituality. Connectivity is within spirituality, but that is a bridge that I will build another day. Our needs implies that there is a we. Who are we?
In trying to understand the middle east and the world’s present conflicts there is only one thing that must be understood, that is, the interplay of land, water and oil. Yes, it is pretty basic, it is simple and it is a mess. I mean, the middle east is a mess. It sits on land that has exactly one resource, oil. Now, does it? Is that the only resource that the middle east has?
My awakening while living in Jordan had something to do with water. Water is at a premium in that country, and even the affluent neighbourhoods of Amman, like Abdoun, get water pumped in twice a week. Yes, pumped in via city pipes, to individual household reservoirs. There is no constant supply of city water. I had to think three times about the necessity of flushing each time after a simple pee. Was that really necessary? Watching the maid climb up to check the water level before deciding on when to do the laundry brought a new dimension to what managing an household with 700 square meters and five people meant.
It goes like this, if all you need is food, shelter and spiritually, then to have food, you need water and land, and to have shelter you need land and energy and perhaps a few bricks or stones, but those come from the raw of the earth anyhow. To have spirituality you need what? I say that to have spirituality you need to be alive and have nothing. Now the energy part is where oil and gas comes in. As an economy, the so called western industrialized society has an addiction to oil and gas. The food part is the one necessary need that we have, sex being nice to have, but a constant supply of it is not necessary throughout life. The shelter should also be equally obvious as a necessity, however it is a conditional one, since depending on climatic circumstances shelter, including energy, may be provided without the transformation of raw materials through labour. After all, cave man did well too, he just did not have a tablet PC.
Now tell me, what is this about information and knowledge that is relevant to basic necessities?
There are several ways of looking at this, however this is one of the fundamental questions that I will be exploring this year.