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Blog Archive for the ‘Seminars’ Category

Frans Lanting, The deep past in the remote present

by Stewart Brand on April 30th, 02007

The deep past in the remote present It began on a New Jersey beach. Frans Lanting was photographing horseshoe crabs for a story about how they are being ground up for eel bait and at the same time their blood is used for drug testing—a $100 million industry. The crabs have primordial eyesight, which they…  Read More

Brian Fagan – Catastrophic drought is coming back

by Kevin Kelly on March 10th, 02007

Catastrophic drought is coming back There are two kinds of historians, Brian Fagan says, parachutists and truffle hunters. Parachutists command an overview of the landscape, while truffle hunters dig deeply to uncover marvelous treasures. Fagan is a parachutist. In his talk Fagan emphasized a wide view of human history as it unrolls in the landscape…  Read More

Vernor Vinge – What if the Singularity Does NOT happen?

by Stewart Brand on February 16th, 02007

Non-Singularity scenarios Vinge began by declaring that he still believes that a Singularity event in the next few decades is the most likely outcome— meaning that self-accelerating technologies will speed up to the point of so profound a transformation that the other side of it is unknowable. And this transformation will be driven by Artifical…  Read More

Philip Tetlock – Ignore confident forecasters

by Stewart Brand on January 27th, 02007

Ignore confident forecasters “What is it about politics that makes people so dumb?” From his perspective as a pyschology researcher, Philip Tetlock watched political advisors on the left and the right make bizarre rationalizations about their wrong predictions at the time of the rise of Gorbachev in the 1980s and the eventual collapse of the…  Read More

Phillip Rosedale – ‘Second Life:’ What Do We Learn If We Digitize EVERYTHING?

by Simone Davalos on November 30th, 02006

2nd Life takes off What is real life coming to owe digital life? After a couple years in the flat part of exponential growth, the steep part is now arriving for the massive multi-player online world construction kit called “Second Life.” With 1.7 million accounts, membership in “Second Life” is growing by 20,000 per day….  Read More

Katherine Fulton – “The Deeper News About the New Philanthropy”

by Simone Davalos on November 3rd, 02006

Philanthropic stamina 10,000 families in the US, Katherine Fulton reported, have assets of $100 million or more. That’s up from 7,000 just a couple years ago. Most of that money is “on the sidelines.” The poor and the middle class are far more generous in their philanthropy, proportionally, than the very wealthy. Philanthropy across the…  Read More

John Baez – Zooming Out In Time

by Simone Davalos on October 16th, 02006

Welcome to the Anthropocene The graphs we see these days, John Baez began, all look vertical— carbon burning shooting up, CO2 in the air shooting up, global temperature shooting up, and population still shooting up. How can we understand what really going on? “It’s like trying to understand geology while you’re hanging by your fingernails…  Read More

Orville Schell – “China Thinks Long-term, But Can It Relearn to Act Long-term?”

by Simone Davalos on October 4th, 02006

Giant contradictions “China is the most unresolved nation of consequence in the world,” Orville Schell began. It is defined by its massive contradictions. And by its massiveness— China’s population is estimated to be 1.25 to 1.3 billion; the margin of error in the estimate is greater than the population of France. It has 160 cities…  Read More

John Rendon – “Long-term Policy to Make the War on Terror Short”

by Stewart Brand on July 17th, 02006

Only connect John Rendon, head of The Rendon Group, is a senior communications consultant to the White Houses and Departments of Defense. His subject in this talk is how to replace tactical, reactive response to terror with long-term strategic initative. I think that people were expecting a silver-tongued devil, an accomplished spin-meister, arrogant but charming,…  Read More

Will Wright and Brian Eno – “Playing with Time”

by Simone Davalos on June 26th, 02006

Generative play In a dazzling duet Will Wright and Brian Eno gave an intense clinic on the joys and techniques of “generative” creation. Back in the 1970s both speakers got hooked by cellular automata such as Conway’s “Game of Life,” where just a few simple rules could unleash profoundly unpredictable and infinitely varied dynamic patterns….  Read More