Good futuristic practice is to shift traditions, not being bound by them. This time we break three of our traditions. First there will be no Future Salon in July. It's to bring in some European 'savoir vivre', take a break in the summer time, they all do over there. I actually will be gone most of July in Germany. Although rumor has it, that some people can't wait until the 12th of August and will do a Future Salon without me.
I would really appreciate this, because it would mean that the Salon can stand on it's own, that the concept is worth while for enough people to keep it going.
Second as we have done before we break with the 3rd Friday of the month tradition. It worked out better this month to have it in the second week, with the advantage, that the time until the next Salon is shorter.
Third, for the first time we are not having the event on a Friday, but on a Thursday night, and no it is not because the Friday falls on the 13th. I am not superstitious, but the Long Now Seminar Series is having - Phillip Longman to talk about "The Depopulation Problem". I am interested in that, this is why the Future Salon is a day earlier Thursday 12th of August 7pm. Location probably in San Francisco, I will keep you posted.
This months theme is: Get my hearing back! We will have two very interesting speakers to cover this area.
Mike Chorost: Cyborg first hand experience. Recommendation by Joe Quirk: My friend Mike Chorost the cyborg should address our Futurist group. He sold his book to Houghton Mifflin, and I am halfway through it, and God damn is it good. Mike was born hearing-impaired, then he lost his hearing entirely in 2001, and he got an neural implant installed in his skull behind his ear that sends sounds directly to his auditory cortex that lets him "hear." He is a great speaker, a deep thinker, and a great guy. He's thought a lot about the ethics and technology of neural implants, and he has experienced the change first-hand, and the Futurist group will eat it up.
Then we will hear from Dr. Eric D. Lynch Scientist and co-founder of Sound Pharmaceuticals:
Sound Pharmaceuticals (SPI) is a privately held biopharmaceutical company in Seattle, WA. Our goal is to develop prescription drugs that will enable doctors and patients to prevent and treat hearing loss, a disease that affects over 30 to 40 million Americans. Estimates from the NIH and the CDC place the total annual costs of hearing loss at approximately $50 billion per year in the U.S. alone.
Crude suggested schedule from Mike:
Why people go deaf, in general terms
How cochlear implants work
Successes and limitations of the technology (i.e., what I can and can't
Cochear implants essentially overpower the nervous system and force it to do what we want it to do; they work, but crudely compared to normal hearing
Future generations of technology may be able to work with rather than
against the body, taking advantage of its own regenerative powers
Eric (just a rough idea, because of course I don't know his exact focus):
The biology of hair cell deafness
Transitional technologies: neurostimulation combined with pharmaceutical delivery
Fully biological technologies: otoprotection, chemoprotection, regeneration
The role of companies like Sound Pharmaceuticals
Likely timeline of technologies reaching the market
This sounds all very interesting. Make sure to free up your calendar for this.