In his own words...
Larry describes himself as a skinny old (in his 70s!) nerd and non-conformist (on the inside). For someone his age he says he looks pretty good… after a youth and middle age of being plain at best. It's not that he got better-looking, he quips, it's that other people his age changed more than he did. :-) He claims to be overeducated (twice he almost got a PhD - two separate fields - but never completed the dissertation after meeting all the other requirements). He coaches youth sports (baseball, basketball, and football for 9-15 year olds) as his main "hobby". For his secondary "hobby" he has written the novel, "Invisible Hand," which we are always trying to get people to read.
Larry is forever on a quest for new ideas to learn from and pass on to others. He has what seems to many of us to be an incredibly thorough understanding of how things work in this world, and since he coaches compulsively Mr. Mason consistently tries to help people by explaining things. Besides after 8 years as a college professor, he loves to teach and lecture. "Just trying to save the world," he offers, his compassionate smile coming through with every word: "won't you join us? It's free."
Eight years as a college professor of Sociology and 27 years as a computer programmer and system administrator were a useful background for someone writing about possible solutions to the modern world's problems. It also didn't hurt that most of Larry’s youth and early adulthood were spent reading all the science fiction he could get his eager hands on.
In 1970, while lecturing on demography (a field in sociology) Mr. Mason made a statement to his class which, while he didn't realize it yet, was just plain stupid. His students rightly (and bravely) corrected him, but he was stubbornly persistent in his efforts to prove that he was in the right. To defend this position, which was indefensible utilizing current standards and monetary systems, he came up with a completely new system altogether. He didn't really understand at first what he had discovered, but in the days that followed he mentally worked it over like a cat with a ping-pong ball. The more he analyzed it, the more he realized that with that sort of system, a multitude of the problems he was seeing on the news would either cease to exist at all or, at the very least, be greatly reduced.
This led Mr. Mason to think about what all those problems had in common, which led to his first revelation. He then understood why every nation down through the ages has experienced the same sort of problems over and over no matter what their form of government or their religion was or how they structured their families. That, in its turn, explained why his newly-inspired system was such a vast improvement.
What he had stumbled upon was, literally, (in our humble opinion) the most important idea in history. And he was the only one who knew it and understood it. For the next 35 years he continued to work on the idea, telling others about it when they had the time and inclination to listen. He discovered that thinking "outside the box" is very difficult for the average person. It is, perhaps, similar to the early days of the automobile when people would look at it and say "where do you hitch the horse?" They just couldn't understand a vehicle which powered itself.
To make the ideas and concepts easier to understand, he decided to put them in the context of a story. That way, the reader (and now listener) would be able to have all the appropriate elements in their minds such that the system could be considered as a whole without the misconceptions that made understanding a simple description of the system so difficult.
The result is the novel "Invisible Hand" which is considered science fiction - since it takes place in the (near) future of the U.S. This fascinating novel is a series of short stories, an adventure story, and a series of lectures with two completely separate plots and... Well, the novel just doesn't lend itself to simple description any more than the system it explains does. It features a hero, (sort of) in addition to lots of interesting characters, humor, tragedy, and a computer that is ever-so-helpful: or is it ever-so-threatening? Did I mention that it's also a mystery?
But the important thing to note is that this book contains a remarkably simple and strikingly unique solution to almost all the world's problems. It isn't just a little different... it isn't even similar to, or even remotely approaching something that can easily be categorized. It's completely unlike anything anyone has ever considered before. This proposed solution can eliminate hunger, poverty, taxes, unemployment, inflation, debt (both national and private), organized crime as well as a variety of other crimes, lack of healthcare, government regulation of business and the social security mess; while increasing production of useful products and services by about 25% the first year (in the esteemed author’s estimation) and more in the years that follow. It will decrease pollution, make great strides toward eliminating discrimination, and just generally cause almost everyone to be nice to each other.
So you can see that he almost had to write the book. It means trillions of dollars per year in production, not to mention billions of lives improved and saved over the next 50 years.
The entire novel (in text and MP3) and accompanying educational
articles are freely available on this website.
(Oh yes, by the way, this solution also pretty much eliminates war.)
B.A. in Sociology from Texas Tech
M.A. in Sociology from Texas Tech
All but dissertation in Sociology from Florida State University
All but dissertation in Higher Education from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Making this world a better place