Your Calendars and Ready Your Avatars: First ASF Second Life
Future Salon on Thursday, April 28th.
Currently in four US cities, ASF’s Future Salons are monthly
mini-conferences for foresight, networking, and fun with a local
futures community. This April 28th will see the launching of our
newest salon inside the 3D digital world Second
Life (SL). Like its real world
counter-parts, the SL Future Salon will provide an open opportunity
to explore social, business, and technological futures with two
or three specially invited speakers and a great group of guests,
this time within the virtual frontier of the early 3D metaverse.
ASF Community Director Jerry
Paffendorf is organizing the SL Salon as well as
a preliminary meeting in Second Life on Thursday,
April 21st (one week in advance).
never used Second Life before, the preliminary meeting
may be helpful for familiarizing yourself with its controls
and working out any technical issues with your hardware so
you’ll be all set for the April 28th event. We
also encourage you to get into SL and do some exploring
of its remarkable user-created world on your own.
Click on picture for larger image
has a free seven day trial period (with credit card; 18+ only),
and a payment of $9.99 will get you in for life. Once you’re
in SL, there’s no recurring cost to attend the Future
Salons (though you might end up wanting to purchase a virtual creation
or two with virtual or real cash from one of SL’s
many, many talented builders). And since real world geography doesn’t
matter one lick in cyberspace, we hope to meet a lot of you there
who don’t live near enough to attend any of our regional salons.
More news about
the SL Future Salon in the next ATimes as well
as regular updates on Jerry’s blog, Setpoint
Originator . If you plan to attend the first SL Salon,
please RSVP to
Jerry. Volunteers, questions and suggestions for the event are
very welcome. We hope to see a lot of you “in-world”
for the first chapter of this innovative salon series!
Retreat for ASF Future Salons
March 5th Andrew Breese, Iveta Brigis, Gilda Cabral, Mark
Finnern, Star Fitzgerald, Marie Kacmarek, Kevin Keck, Mike Korns,
John Smart, and Rob Sperry attended a
one day Salon Leaders Retreat to discuss the "Future of the
Future Salons." Would you like to join us? Contact
us about starting a salon in your
own community! At the retreat we discussed a number of ways to improve
our Bay Area, Las
Angeles, and San
Diego Future Salons.
As part of our
meeting we came up with a new "elevator pitch" for the
ASF. A pitch isn't necessarily
a tagline, but a short sentence that explains the core benefits
of the foundation, the conference, and the future salons. Here's
our first draft:
a rapidly changing world fascinating, manageable, and profitable
We would really
appreciate your feedback. Do you like the pitch? If not, what could
make it better? Is it concise enough? Too long? How does it make
you feel about the organization? If you have edits or alternatives
to suggest, let us know at mail(at)accelerating.org.
Feel free to use a free service like: http://www.pcgraffiti.com/anonymous-email.htm
if you want to send your comments anonymously. Thanks in advance
for your input.
Gillmor's talk "We,
the Media" and John Smart's talk "Simulation,
Agents, and Accelerating Change" are now available as a
podcast (streaming or download) at our media partner, IT
and listen at your computer or download to your iPod Mini and get
mobile enlightenment! You can regularly check the free AC2004
audio archive at IT Conversations, or register for email
notification of new postings.
the Date: AC2005
Change 2005: Intelligence Amplification and Artificial Intelligence,
will be September 16-18. We will also have tutorials
all day on Friday, Sept 16, on the Stanford campus. More
The Arlington Institute's 3rd Annual Conference,
for the Development of Humanity, will be this April
25-26, 2005 in Washington, DC
conference asks "What can we do and what is available to facilitate
rapid, large-scale, global social value change?" TAICON2005
provides a venue for a spectrum of provocative and insightful speakers
covering everything from social technology and new human institutions
to large-scale personal enlightenment. The more than 300 participants
will have the unique opportunity to personally engage and interact
with provocative speakers and thought leaders throughout the varied
program format. For more info and registration, visit http://www.arlingtoninstitute.org
man can duplicate a blade of grass, nature will laugh at his so-called
scientific knowledge." – Thomas
"Technology is destructive only in the hands of people who
do not realize that they are one and the same process as the universe."
2.0 (free download).
by John Smart] Good news: your PC's Outlook and
OE contacts are now accessible online through Plaxo 2.0 (I'm not
sure if this includes your contacts who aren't in the Plaxo network).
Calendar, Tasks, and Notes can be remotely accessed too, if you
want them. Plaxo 2.0 will try to get you to update your Outlook
contacts, but that might not be wise if you've got hundreds or thousands.
At this early stage of internet intelligence it seems to me like
mass spamming. Maybe in another year or so I'll try their update
feature, we'll see. Plaxo 1.0 blew up on me but so far 2.0 has been
well behaved. You can turn off all the email alerts when you configure
it so it is minimally intrusive. If you can cut and paste HTML they
show you how to put a Plaxo link on your homepage (see bottom of
my bio page for an example)
so netizens can add your contact info to their Outlook with one
click. Overall, a nice improvement.
650 Smartphone, PalmOne
("2.5G") finally comes to a smartphone (integrated camera,
QWERTY thumb keyboard for email, and organizer). Take a picture
of something cool, annotate it, and email it to your friends: symbiotic
life! This one's also Bluetooth-equipped for a wireless earpiece.
Cost: $400 for the phone, voice access costs $40/month for 1,000
anytime minutes (and unused minutes accumulate), and data cost is
$20/month (unlimited? probably not). Thus a $70 monthly bill, after
taxes. Get access to Google from anywhere, to answer any question
on the run. Still some software compatibility issues, but this is
a very usable little device. See the BlackBerry 7520 for its competition.
Thanks to Paul Grasshoff for the update.
Launched in February 2005 by Aussies Mick Stanic
and Cameron Reilly, this is the first of what will
be a legion of portal sites aggregating free downloadable audio
blogs and radio programs for myriad unique interests. Thousands
of folks are now downloading podcasts (homemade music or spoken
word audio programs) for their portable audio players. Wired's
March issue is devoted to the revolution in radio (satellite
radio and podcasts).
Think of it like Audible.com,
but at a price everyone, even emerging nations can afford ... free!
Acclaimed concise weekly briefing of world's top stories, pitched
at U.S. movers and shakers. Just 30% ads allowed, unlike 48% average
ads for most magazines. Interesting fact: they lift and edit stories
directly from other publications, attributing sources and citing
"fair use". Publications generally don't mind this free
advertising and now even call to get their stories placed.
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 (science, environment, universal systems theory)
Human Space (bodies, behavior,
minds, human systems theory)
Inner Space (energy, small
tech, computer "bodies", inner systems theory)
Cyber Space (computer
"behavior", computer "minds", cyber systems
Hyper Space (hyperphysics
(black holes, multiverse), hyper systems theory)
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),
environment, universal systems theory (developmental physics, evolutionary
development, hierarchical substrates)
Tunnel Opening Found at Residence, Richard
Marosi, L.A. Times (free registration), 3.1.2005
Law enforcement is always finding tunnels, but this story mentions
two interesting technological developments that change the game:
1) "The tunnel was discovered last week by U.S. federal agents
using high-tech earth-probing equipment that detects subterranean
anomalies." and 2) "Agents used a robot to pinpoint the
location of the tunnel exit on the U.S. side." Robotic reconnaisance
further limits risk to the police.
we just need a campaign to use these underground imaging systems
nationally in every developed country, combined with well-publicized
felony charges for creating underground structures without a license,
and well-publicized busts for those structures we discover. We might
even offer an amnesty period for anyone declaring unknown unlicensed
underground structures that currently exist, as long as these locations
haven't been associated with foul play. I think making a big public
show of these transparency technologies would put a big damper on
the number of underground meth labs, and on all the unfortunate
people vanishing every year who never turn up again. I sometimes
lose sleep over that thought, in fact, knowing that we can now do
something about it, in terms of a widely publicized transparency
campaign. Would any law enforcement or political leaders on this
list like to take up that challenge?
bodies (biology, health, neuroscience), behavior
(business, education, foresight, governance, innovation, pre-digital
technology, society), minds (psychology, spirituality), human systems
theory (ecological psychology, memetics)
Age of Egocasting," Christine Rosen, The New Atlantis,
The smarter our media gets, the more we use it to isolate ourselves
from what we think we can safely ignore and to connect ourselves
more closely to what we want to experience and to be. But what we
think we want to know and to be isn't always our best social choice.
As Christine Rosen notes in this piece for the
Judeo-Christian-oriented magazine The New Atlantis, today's
mass media cater largely to our desire for passive escapism, consumerist
fetishes, and isolation from the real world, and can thereby easily
erode the quality of our social life.
as first-generation customization comes to the media scene, things
could get worse before they get better. Various commentators have
noted that today's early versions of customizable media may be fueling
the increasing polarization we've seen in our political dialogs,
e.g. the "Foxification" or "Moorization" of
various news channels, a two-sided oversimplification of our much
more complex policy landscape. I think we should be concerned that
this process doesn't get out of hand in the near term, but in our
networked and blogcasting age the proliferation of special interest
NGOs and community groups seems to be a strong counter to this process.
I may be mistaken, but haven't we seen a mild trend empowering additional
political parties and independents on the local level in recent
of minor change, media customization technology now moves rapidly
every year. TVs with remote controls have morphed into TiVos, and
TiVos will be accompanied by affordable IPTV and HDTV before this
decade is out. The Sony Walkman has been trumped by the Apple iPod,
and we can envision voice-commandable portable audio systems that
will eventually entertain or educate us in a thousand different
ways, as we choose. Games and mini-movies are coming to cellphone,
and 2.5G GPRS-equipped phones now browse the web at useable speeds.
Some of these new systems will be misused, particularly in that
subset of individuals who are easily addicted. As Australian neuropsychologist
Murat Yucel's recent research suggests (story
here, registration required), some of us may have brains whose
frontal cortex is chronically underactivated, making it hard to
quit compulsive behaviors once we begin them, regardless of consequences.
Yes, in the
age of IPTV and smart tablet remotes there will still be cocooning
and overuse, particularly among the older generations, but we'll
also see the beginning of a whole new era of intelligence and customization
in our news media for those who want it. Personal growth may be
painful and unpopular for those who haven't had much self-determined
education in their youth, but it seems clear we'll have a lot more
of that in the next generation's intelligent digital platforms.
In the long run, I believe we will grow through the early adopter
and abuse issues and learn to use these tools to develop a whole
new level of social complexity. Thanks to Wayne Radinsky
for the links.
Therapy Is Facing a Crucial Hearing, Gardiner
Harris, New York Times, 3.3.2005
A valuable update on the continuing difficulties faced by gene therapy
research over the last fifteen years. Thousands of government grants
have been awarded with little demonstrable progress as of yet. Many
of the gene therapy biotech startups have since wisely moved on
to other challenges, as this is truly an academic effort at present.
Kohn, one of the lead researchers in the trials currently
under review, makes an analogy to monoclonal antibodies, which took
30 years to move from lab to clinical therapeutics. He suggests
the gene therapy timeline might be similar, with another 15 years
before we can expect the first therapies for broad use. I'd like
to believe that, but I think he's overoptimistic with regard to
anything but the blood and immune systems. Everything I've read
argues that gene therapy in differentiated adult organisms is much
more complex than monoclonal antibody production in juvenile immune
cells. It's also much more ethically difficult to run exploratory
experiments on humans in gene therapy, which greatly limits the
"empirical" side of scientific research in this space.
Gene therapy in stem cells seems much more promising, and would
still have potentially valuable effect in adult humans in many organ
systems. Thanks to Joschka Fisher.
energy, small tech (nanoengineering, miniaturization),
computer "bodies" (automation, computer hardware, nanotech,
robotics), inner systems theory (acceleration, efficiency, miniaturization,
Robot: The Future Is Here, (Registration Required),
Anthony Faiola, Sydney Morning Herald, 2.14.2005
Great story about Japan's robotics exhibit for the upcoming 2005
Expo (World's Fair) in Aichi, and how advanced the Japanese
consumer robotics industry has become. Japan has long dominated
the global industrial robotics industry, and now they are spending
billions of dollars annually on commercial assistive robotics. Take
a look at NEC's PaPeRo
for a cutting edge example of a childcare robot. There are so many
consumer versions of these first generation systems that the Japanese
Government has drawn up safe robotics guidelines. They may seem
like toys at present, but they are already satisfying real human
needs, like providing companionship to lonely elders, as the vignette
about the robotic harp seals describes. Robosecurity will be another
huge benefit. Eventually we can look forward to robolaundries, robokitchens,
and robogardners for all those plants we'd like to grow but don't
always have time to water.
London's security cameras are imposing to criminals? Roboguards
will take crime deterrence to a whole new level. I can't wait to
see a young woman running in Central Park at midnight accompanied
by her audiovisual broadcasting, gps-, and cellular-equipped robodane.
That's one way to "take back the night" in all our cities.
All the benefit of a canine protector but one you can keep in a
small Manhattan apartment, one who never dies, one who can monitor
your workout routines, one who can already beat you at chess and
one whose brain gets smarter by auto-upgrading over the net for
the rest of your natural life. Eventually, your robodog will learn
to speak, and will be able to scoot down the sidewalk do simple
shopping errands for you at the local market when you're too busy.
One day it will even do your driving for you. One day it will know
you so well it can complete your sentences when you're having a
senior moment. Think
people will be able to stop falling in love with that? Thanks to
Gaurav Gupta for the link.
(co-evolution, automation, symbiosis), computer "minds"
(computer software, simulation), cyber systems theory (holism, information,
intelligence, interdependence, immunity)
the Head of an Applicant, Tara Pepper,
Newsweek, 2.21.2005 [Commentary by Iveta Brigis]
Anyone who's ever sat down to an SAT, GRE, Myers
or MMPI knows that achievement and personality testing is widely
perceived as a useful screening process for educational institutions
and corporations alike. Doubts over the validity of these inventories
are not uncommon, though the doubts are often set aside for lack
of a better tool for sifting out the best applicants from a large
pool of candidates.
A new generation of personality testing has entered the examination
room, though in this case, testees won't be squeezing themselves
under tiny high school desks or sitting at testing lab computers.
Turhan Canli, a Psychology Professor at SUNY
Stony Brook, and his colleagues are using functional magnetic
resonance imaging (fMRI) and transcranial magnetic
stimulation (TMS) to read personalities. His lab
examines how participants react to images and words and deduce a
personality type from the observable brain activity. For example,
the brains of neurotic personalities will light up more when they
see ugly or averse images like rotting food or mutilated bodies,
and the brains of extroverted people will light up for sunsets and
of this are widespread. The potential for Gattaca-like discrimination
immediately comes to mind but is mediated by the possibility of
using brain scans to not just keep unworthy individuals out of certain
jobs, but of finding an accurate tool to help individuals find their
innate talents and their special way to contribute meaningfully
to society. While there is definitely value in the introspection
process of deciding what you want to be when you grow up, a tool
that can push kids, young adults, and adults transitioning between
careers in the right direction would certainly save a lot of money,
time, and effort for anyone involved in human resources, college
and career counseling, job training, hiring, and firing. I'm looking
forward to seeing the replicated scientific studies that will show
us how successful this new generation of personality testing will
be. Thanks to Wayne Radinsky for this link.
hyperphysics (black holes, multiverse, string theory,
supersymmetry), hyper systems theory (computational limits, emergence,
phase transitions, technological singularity hypothesis, developmental
Studies, Phase Transitions
of "A Possible Declining Trend for Worldwide Innovation,"
Jonathan Huebner, Technological Forecasting & Social Change,
September 2005 (forthcoming), by John Smart
brief review of an article proposing that global innovation has
been declining in recent decades, since 1914 by an analysis of U.S.
patents, which seems to be contradicted by recent data, and since
1873 by a subjective analysis of "important innovations,"
which may have greater merit. I disagree with the author's analysis
with regard to technological innovation, which appears
to be increasingly autonomous and is occurring increasingly below
the threshold of human perception with each passing year, while
a number of technogical capacities (Moore's law, etc.) continue
to grow at objectively measurable exponential or slightly superexponential
rates. But it seems at least plausible that there has been a decline
in subjective or apparent innovation, specifically, environmental
changes that are easily observable by human beings, in service to
obvious and limited human needs. If replicable, this article has
important implications for better innovation metrics in a world
of continuously accelerating change. [Full
all deserve a little fun every day. Send your entries for the next
I cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg.
The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid! Aoccdrnig to rscheearch
taem at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the
ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist
and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses
and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the
huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as
a wlohe. Amzanig
huh? Yaeh and yuo awlyas thought slpeling was ipmorantt. Thanks
to Clive Pearce.
[IB] Visit the NetPl@net
Gallery at the Tech Museum
in Santa Clara, CA. Get tested on your netiquette (internet etiquette),
arm wrestle someone miles away with a mechanical arm via the internet,
create your own character and interact in a virtual world, check
out internet trends (what do the 2 billion+ web searches conducted
every day look for? hope those search results are filtered...),
and take out your frustrations in the Whack-A-Spam video game. Great
for kids and adults!
is seeking submissions for our Accelerating
Times (AT) web-based publication. AT
is a "free and priceless" monthly to bimonthly newsletter
covering scientific, technological, business, and social dialogs
in accelerating change. Anyone may submit scan hits, article links,
original papers, questions, reader feedback, and artwork to mail(at)accelerating.org.
Accepted work will appear, fully credited, in future issues.