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Forward Intentional Invention
Red Boudaine invented Temporal Networking merely by intending to do so. He has not designed or engineered a Temporal Router, and does not know how the black box interfaces with this not-yet-invented Router. He has, however, in fact enabled the use of the technology before its invention, and, in the process, discovered a new engineering methodology he calls Forward Intentional Invention, or FII.
FII takes advantage of a simple principle: any solvable engineering problem is solvable in a finite period of time. If Temporal Networking can be developed, it can be developed in a finite period of time. Once it has been developed—if it can be developed—it will enable transmission of data from the future to any point at which a device capable of receiving such transmissions has been built. Because it enables such transmissions, and such transmissions would permit those with access to them to amass sufficient capital resources to solve the engineering problems posed by Temporal Netowrking, Temporal Networking, if possible, is certain.
The same course of reasoning which lead Boudaine to discover Temporal Networking has other important implications. Any solvable engineering problem, given the existence of Temporal Networking technology, is instantaneously solvable. The most difficult research tasks require near infinite time to solve, but the ability to transmit results back in time permits effectively instantaneous results.
Such results, however, are possible only when present institutional frameworks are designed to fund and sustain such long-term projects. In many cases, present-day access to precise information about solutions to difficult engineering tasks only solvable in the relatively distant future undermines the necessary stability of the company or institute formed to solve the problem, hence making eventual solution logistically impossible.
At Boudaine Temporal Enterprises, Futurefeedforward’s predecessor, Boudaine realized, once the black box was operating, that, in order to exploit the market for FutureData, he would have to also devise a database of immense scope and scalability, and software capable of searching that data for answers to queries submitted from the present. Rather, however, than design now a system that would most certainly be inadequate and outdated once the Temporal Router was invented, Boudaine reasoned that he could rely on future company programmers and engineers to eventually design the appropriate information systems in response to the present-day demands of the company and its business model.
Boudaine realized that, in fact, any current knowledge of the way in which Temporal Routers work, or of the design of the databases to which they permit access, would undermine the company’s advantage by making it possible for present-day competitors, either through government regulation, corporate espionage or a hostile takeover during the company’s fledging days, to acquire proprietary technological information and undermine our first-mover advantage.
The soundest course for R&D at Futurefeedforward is, consequently, to intend to invent without actually engaging in any stealable or acquirable research. When a major client asks us to develop a custom database of FutureData, we take no concrete present day steps to do so. Instead, we record the client’s needs in corporate research notes with the knowledge that future R&D will satisfy them and enable transmission of the results to us in the present.
We, in fact, make careful efforts to produce no original research of any kind. Boudaine’s black box—all of the original prototypes and the current functioning boxes—are built with commonly available, off-the-shelf components. Company legend has it that the first box was built around a classic Simon electronic toy Boudaine picked up at a local thrift shop. We likewise make use of readily available web technologies both for our corporate site and for the custom FutureQuery portals we design for our largest customers. Any funds we dedicate to original research now undercut our lead in the industry by signaling to our competitors the direction in which our eventually successful research will head.
In Futurefeedforward, Boudaine has developed a firm tailored to the conditions of the eventual discovery of Temporal Networking, built a company prepared to use, in the present, the fruits of its eventual innovations, and, by anticipating a future information empire, discovered a revolutionary technology.
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