AC2005: Last Two Days for June
Saturday, July 2nd, the
conference registration price goes up another $50. Join us now if
you can! AC2005
will feature 40+ world-class speakers and 350+ distinguished attendees
discussing the increasing intelligence of machines (artificial intelligence
or AI), the evolving effectiveness of technology-aided humans (intelligence
amplification or IA), and how these twin trends are shaping our
meet Vernor Vinge, Ray Kurzweil, Daniel Amen, Esther Dyson,
Harold Morowitz, Marcos Guillen, Beth Noveck, Colin
Angle, Philip Rosedale, Eric Boehnisch-Volkmann,
Blake Ross, David Fogel, Robert Hecht-Nielsen,
Ruzena Bajcsy, T. Colin Campbell,
Steve Jurvetson, Peter Thiel, Scott Rafer,
Cecily Sommers, and special host Moira
Gunn of TechNation. See
confirmed to date.
up now with your Accelerating Times discount code (AC2005-ATIMES,
entered in all capital letters) and get $50 off! This
special $350 post-discount conference rate is available to ATimes
readers until July 1st. Coming
to AC2005? Tell your friends! Get
and post a "meet me at" button (see right) at your site.
Times Articles Posted at Our FutureSalon.org Weblog!
this month, Accelerating Times articles will be posted
courtesy of ASF Board Member Mark Finnern. Have
any feedback to share on these articles? Post it there for everyone
in our community! RSS-savvy? You can RSS-subscribe to posts and
comments as separate feeds. The leaders of all four of our physical
world salons (Palo Alto, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Diego) have
posting privileges to this weblog. Link to it and visit us regularly
to stay in touch.
for 3D Online Community? Last night ASF held our third Second
Life Future Salon (picture right, speaker line-up here).
This was streamed live in audio and video to the Second Life
homepage—a first for virtual events, and a new direction for
salon participation! We had over 50 participants onsite, temporarily
maxing out the local area, and got great feedback on improvements
for next month. For more, see our Second
Life Future Salon Blog, run by ASF Director Jerry
Paffendorf. Download Second
Life and join in!
Salons Start Page to see where our Salons are presently
located and the Upcoming Calendar for each. Don't see your city
there yet? Email us
and let us help you create a Salon in your area.
Our Executive Director Iveta Brigis starts her
UC Irvine MBA program this fall, so ASF is hiring a new ED to start
with us in August. We are starting interviews next week. See ASF
positions for more. Know anyone
who would be a great fit for our service
mission? Interested yourself? Please inquire with ivetabrigis(at)accelerating(dot)org.
Google Director of Search Quality and Research Peter Norvig's
informative talk "Web
Search as a Force for Good" now available as a podcast
(streaming or download) courtesy of Doug Kaye at
our media partner, IT
Conversations. You can regularly check the free AC2004
audio archive at IT Conversations, or register for email
notification of new postings.
except in self-defense, is a failure of moral imagination,
political nerve, and diplomacy." —
all manifestations of power, restraint impresses men most."
love and grace are not man's to control. They come from identifying
with life, and rejoicing in its splendor, vitality, and beauty.
Although pleasure, love and grace are ephemeral, trust them
and follow them, for they contain the meaning of life."
Wolfgang von Goethe
for the Future @ Anne Arundel Community College (Arnold, Maryland)
Steve Steele describes IF & AACC (http://www.aacc.edu/future)
as "a growing vehicle to deliver future thinking by acting
locally." It is a great model for building a futures network
at the community college level. At IF, Professor Steele has collected
a range of AACC professors with interest in the future into a speakers
bureau available for anyone seeking a talk on present trends and
future "P's and a W": possible, plausible, positive, preferable,
preventable, and wildcard future scenarios within their field of
interviews with futurists at: http://www.aacc.edu/future/qandaarchives.cfm
Browse their online ezine, Future Portal, at http://www.aacc.edu/future/futureportalarch.cfm
Sign up at http://www.aacc.edu/future/form/interested.cfm
Wi-Fi, David Pogue, New York Times,
by John Smart] Great article about Verizon's EV-DO
Wireless Broadband. A $70 Kyocera KPC650 card (the best option)
plus $80/month to Verizon will get you wireless cellular broadband
for your laptop, with 400-700 Kbps download (cable modem speed),
and 100 Kpbs upload (crippled to keep you from using it as a wireless
server). Fortunately, Skype
will work on a minimum of 34 Kbps, so you can now use your EV-DO-equipped
laptop for unlimited-length free calls to PC users anywhere with
Skype, or super low-cost calls (see SkypeOut
global rates, often just 3 cents/minute) to any standard or
mobile phone in the world.
$1 billion, true 3G network presently covers 32 major U.S. cities,
and will cover half the country by December. Fortunately, Sprint
will also offer EV-DO by the end of this year, so the $80/month
corporate-level rate may fall to a consumer level as early as 2006.
This is a very empowering development!
Sonicare IntelliClean Toothbrush and
Here are two great new tools for healthy teeth. The first is the
$120 Philips Sonicare toothbrush, whose sonic technology and liquid
toothpaste dispensing system is "one step closer to daily flossing,"
for those millions who don't floss regularly as there is as yet
no convenient way to do it.
second is a new oral rinse for combating one of the most common
diseases of aging, gingivitis, or inflamed and shrinking
gumlines. Rather than killing natural oral bacteria, delmopinol
hydrochloride (Decapinol) takes away their ability to stick to teeth,
gums, and each other, reducing bacterial plaque and the toxins they
release at the gumline. Decapinol has just been approved
by the FDA, so expect it in U.S. stores soon. In the meantime,
you can call your friends in the United Kingdom who have had it
for years and have them mail you some.
Decapinol also doesn't interact with toothpaste, unlike anti-gingivitis
treatments like chlorhexidine, so with luck we may even see it added
to liquid toothpaste in these sonic systems a few years hence. Sounds
like intelligent cleaning to me! Thanks to Bryan Hall
for the Decapinol link.
Acceleration Story in Five Spaces
covers world news and insight in five "spaces," giving
one to three briefs in each space. The story of accelerating change,
the most fascinating story of our time, appears to be one of movement
from outer, to human, to inner, to cyber, and ultimately, to hyper
space, the world beyond the present. Each of these deserves understanding
for a multidisciplinary perspective on the future:
Space (the world around us: science, the natural
and built environment, universal systems theory)
Human Space (the human
world: our bodies, behavior, minds, human systems theory)
Inner Space (the world
below: energy, small tech, computer "bodies", inner
Cyber Space (the virtual
world: computer "behavior", computer "minds",
cyber systems theory)
Hyper Space (the world
beyond: new paradigms, phase transitions, hyperphysics, hyper
you have important stories to share with our 3,100 acceleration-aware
readers, we'd love to hear from you
science (biology, chemistry, geology, physics, research),
the natural and built environment, universal systems theory (developmental
physics, hierarchical substrates)
Geographic's Genographic Project.
Get your Participation
Kit here. Map your Deep Genetic History for $99, and get a neat
map and DVD in the bargain. An inspiring application of rising transparency
in our genetic heritage, driven by falling sequencing prices, the
partnership of an innovative computing company (IBM), and inexorably
improving science. In the same way that cosmology is narrowing in
on 13.7 billion years as the rough age of our universe, paleontologists
have long told us that modern
humans emerged in Africa just over 150,000 years ago, and migrated
out in a series of waves. Since the mid-1990's, population geneticists
have estimated the last great wave began less than 100,000 years
ago, but the most recent estimates have narrowed this down to just
over 60,000 years ago. Using Y chromosome and mtDNA, we can assign
individuals to populations haplogroups, and begin to map roughly
when and where they diverged from other common ancestors. It is
a beautifully interlinked picture that is emerging. Did
you know that even as a species we humans have less genetic diversity
than does a single troop of baboons? Thanks to Johann Gevers
for this edifying link.
bodies (biology, health, neuroscience), behavior (business,
education, foresight, governance, innovation, pre-digital technology,
society), minds (psychology, spirituality), human systems theory (ecological
A Visit to the University of Advancing Technology's Tech
by Iveta Brigis] Last week, John Smart and I traveled
to Phoenix for UAT's Tech
Forum 2008 (they say they are three years ahead of the curve).
Twice a year, the university flies in industry leaders to speak
to and network with their students at a three-day conference. The
ASF was privileged to have
John present How to Be a Tech Futurist (slides available
UAT is a haven for teenage techies whose parents want them to have
a solid liberal arts education along with their CS, video game design,
and network securities classes. And the administration really cares
about preparing their students for jobs in the real world, which
is why they bring in experts from companies like Microsoft, Red
Storm Entertainment, and Security Horizon. I sat in on some very
informative sessions, like Anna Sweet's presentation
on Women in Gaming and Evan Robinson's
Software Development Practices: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.
Anna shared some personal experiences being one of the few women
at Microsoft Game Studios and recommended that all the students,
not just the women, jump on the chance to work on games tailored
for women because it is such a large potential market. Evan shared
some practical management tools and tips for working in software
UAT's balance of hard-core techi-ness and liberal arts is a boon
for young adults growing up in this time of accelerating change.
We applaud UAT for their work and look forward to seeing where they
End of War?: Explaining 15 Years of Diminishing Violence, Gregg
Easterbrook, The New Republic, 05.24.2005
Excellent coverage of a worldwide trend that seems a direct result
of our increasingly interdependent, media-saturated environment.
Synopsizes the recent findings of Monty Marshall
of George Mason University and Ted Robert Gurr
of the University of Maryland. Unfortunately, TNR doesn't
have an option for you to buy this without a subscription, but you
can read the first paragraph. Fortunately,
another recent piece, "Warfare
Waning Across the World," by David Sands,
Washington Times, 06.27.2005,
synopses the same findings and is freely available.
In fact, there
are a host of developmental processes we can statistically predict
today with increasing accuracy given past history, such as more
globalization, higher GDP's and per capita incomes, more democracy,
transparency, less warfare, faster and smarter computers, etc. ASF
believes futurists need to be making that special class of things
much more obvious to the general public, and we will do our part
in coming years to advocate for statistically-backed prediction
as a core futurist methodology. Thanks to Jerry Paffendorf
for the link.
Collaboration; The Voluntary Economy
Power of Us, Business Week, 06.20.2005
Concise coverage of the way the positive sum opportunities of easy
collaboration have turned our online lives into a cornucopia of
the commons. They discuss the radical disruption of free P2P VoIP
systems like Skype, the 180,000 (and counting) new independent service
businesses created by eBay, the way Microsoft is losing global ground
to Linux in servers, commodity OS environments, and in emerging
nations (China, Brazil), the vast value of Amazon's millions of
freely-created product reviews, the advancement of collective online
innovation communities like InnoCentive, the continuing wonders
of Google, the creativity of 3D worlds like Linden Lab's Second
Life, and the emerging sophistication of free open source platforms
like SugarCRM, a tool that will redefine the lower end of the market
for large customer relationship management companies like Siebel
Systems and Salesforce.com
The easier and more powerful collaboration becomes, the more stunning
the new products and services we will see. What's more, we are still
only at the beginning of what we might call the "Voluntary
Economy." Business visionary Gary Hoover, in
his excellent online article, "Beyond
the Corporation," summarizes the work of Nobel-prize-winning
economist Robert Fogel (The
Fourth Great Awakening and the Future of Egalitarianism,
2000) who tells us that the lifetime discretionary hours of first
world residents has risen from 43,800 in 1880 to 176,100 in 1995,
and will reach 246,000 in 2040. The longer people are able to live,
and the less total lifetime hours they need to work to support a
voluntary lifestyle, the more freely-given, nonprofit, and other
creative projects the world will see. Our life in the voluntary
commons is just beginning.
The more we
all become digital activists, the faster we improve the quality
of these products. How do you keep track of all the cool stuff?
You can't, but you can have fun trying. Pick of the month: deli.ciou.us,
an open source tool for managing and collaboratively sharing bookmarks.
This lets us all continually discover the current
most popular sites, by consensus.
energy, small tech (nanoengineering, miniaturization),
computer "bodies" (automation, computer hardware, nanotech,
robotics), inner systems theory (acceleration, efficiency, miniaturization,
Water-Treatment Group to Unveil Its First Major Project, Kathryn
Kranhold, Wall Street Journal, 6.24.2005
[IB] General Electric
has announced plans to build what will be Africa's largest seawater
desalination plant in Algeria. The Hamma Water Desalination SpA
will produce 53 million gallons of potable water each day, enough
to supply 25% of the capital city Algiers' population. Due to relentless
advances in nanotech, today desalination is a $5 billion market,
growing between 10% and 15% annually, according to the WSJ.
very exciting to see that desalination costs have declined sharply
(see this interesting piece
on desalination in Israel by Dr. Pinhas Glueckstern)
because of accelerated progress in desalination technologies. GE
has plans to build and run water treatment plants all around
the world and accordingly expects to earn 60% of its desalination
revenue growth in emerging markets in the next decade. By providing
a consistent, inexpensive source of drinking water for people all
around the world, desalination really has the potential to increase
quality of life for many individuals. One pioneering industry group
that is working on the desalination solution is the International
(co-evolution, automation, symbiosis), computer "minds"
(computer software, simulation), cyber systems theory (holism, information,
intelligence, interdependence, immunity)
Pages and NewspaperDirect.com
The Newseum's exhibit of front
page PDFs of 300 English language newspapers is an interesting design
idea. Just mouseover the mini pictures and click, and a popup (turn
your popup blocker off) will give you a readable PDF of the daily
front page, as well as a link to the paper's homepage, where you
can often read the rest of that day's stories for free. Their "list
by region" interface is very slow for finding papers, but this
is a free site, and they were the first to do this kind of aggregation,
beginning back in 2001, so give them credit where due.
is a newspaper portal site with free access to an astonishing selection
of American and autotranslated international newspapers. It's also
worth a look, but the time lag between click and view will be an
issue for some.
those wanting the best commercial solution, for $10/month, Press
Display/NewspaperDirect will electronically download thirty
one newspapers to your regular or Tablet PC. They now have
200 papers from 50 countries available. Their web display updates
with the top half of front page pictures every day, and is quite
fast. The ability to bookmark is limited, and text search is currently
restricted to only one of your subscribed papers, but this is an
excellent next step for scanning multiple papers daily.
the future? Imagine your favorite story subjects, culled from every
participating newspaper globally, all autotranslated and downloaded
to the Media Servers that connect to our Tablet PCs, lightning-quick,
annotatable and searchable using Google desktop. Major new subscriber
base! Reader heaven! Thanks to Clive Pearce, and
to Harland Harris of Newseum.
new paradigms (including evolutionary development),
phase transitions, hyperphysics (black holes, multiverse, string
theory, supersymmetry), hyper systems theory (computational limits,
emergence, phase transitions, technological singularity hypothesis,
developmental singularity hypothesis)
in a Voluntary Economy
the Ethical Need Apply, Susan Llewelyn Leach,
Christian Science Monitor, 03.30.2005
How will the first world workforce transform over the next two generations,
as people increasingly work as they choose, on ever more abstract,
"high-touch," service-based jobs? Leach cleverly outlines
the position of Dick Samson, Tom Malone and others
that as automation replaces our more rote cognitive and behavioral
tasks, workers will transition into an increasingly transparent,
highly connected society. In that environment our ability to be
fair, responsible, dependable, trustable, and credible (doing what
we promise), as well as our ability to empower and help others,
as determined by their public feedback, will become the primary
propositions differentiating our value to the system.
are excellent insights into a world where technology will increasingly
replace even today's knowledge worker jobs, pushing us all into
ever-more-abstract sectors of the service economy. The basic liberal
arts education that stresses good communications skills, civics,
and a broad understanding and valuing of diversity will never have
been more valuable. The more things change, the more some things
stay the same.
are game theories for successful conflict resolution, and as the
change of pace increases successful conflict resolution will continue
to increase in importance, even as they get more refined. Looking
for good books to guide you in your increasingly high-stakes, high-value
interactions? Joseph Grenny and Kerry Patterson's
Conversations 2002, and Crucial
Confrontations, 2004, are excelent places to start. For
corporate interpersonal skills training, see also the VitalSmarts
all deserve a little fun every day. Send your entries for the next
If you like this online humor site, you'll enjoy their parody of
our mid-century future. A few precious bits, like "Million
Robot March Attended by Exactly 1,000,000 Robots." Hilarious!
Thanks to Brent Bushnell.
example of the amazing variety that evolution hides in reserve.
The Chinese Crested Hairless toy dog (more
crazy pictures) is pictured here. These dog's aren't shaved,
these are their natural features! A curious fact is that a number
of hairless or nearly hairless breeds, including the Chinese Crested,
have sweat glands all over, not just on their paws only, like a
typical dog. Combined with panting, their heat
management must be excellent, though they will sunburn without protection,
just like us. Extreme genetic variety usually also has a hidden
cost: hairless dogs have more variation in the quality of their
nails and teeth. So... if dogs developed technology, would the hairless
ones become genetically preferred? Thanks to Marc Goodner
for the original link.
is always seeking interesting submissions for our Accelerating
Times (AT) web publication. AT is a "free
and priceless" monthly newsletter covering scientific, technological,
business, policy, and social dialogs in accelerating change. Anyone
may submit scan hits, mini-articles, pictures, artwork, quotes and
questions to mail(at)accelerating.org.
Accepted work will appear, fully credited, in future issues. Please
submit your feedback to the Future
Salon Weblog, where these articles are posted.