The Acceleration Studies Foundation (which BTW is rocking a freshly redesigned and rather sporty website) is starting up a new monthly Future Salon series in the user created 3D online world of Second Life. Existing Bay Area, LA, San Diego and Las Vegas Future Saloners and Salon newbies alike are invited to come check it out.
The Second Life Future Salon blog is up at http://slfuturesalon.blogs.com with more information, including a rundown of how to join and who's presenting at the first Salon next Thursday evening (April 28th, 5:30 PM PST). There will also be an informal meet-up tomorrow (Thursday, April 21st, 5:30 PM PST) for those who want to come in, check it out, and say Hey. Instructions for how to do that are here.
Second Life is easy to join and only costs $9.95 (one-time payment with the first week free if you just want to jump in and check it out) so don't be bashful if you're interested. I'll be moderating the Salons so drop me a line, send questions or RSVP your attendance to jerrypaffendorf(at)accelerating(dot)org.
The SL Salon will be held in a digital world so we'll view a lot of topics through that lense, but we'll also include all the broad technology, business, and social foresight dialogues of the other Future Salons. Hope to see some of you dyed-in-the-wool Salon-goers and mailing-listers in SL. This is going to be interesting...
Once there tell us on the chat how good the connection is :-) Server: irc.freenode.net Channel: #futuresalon (Choose your IRC client if you don't have one already.)
My "Go to MIT" comment in one of my previous posts needs some explanation. Neil often takes his kids to MIT and then they create for example chairs for their Teddy bears. Now instead of Toys 'R Us they rather go to MIT to create what they just dreamed of.
I read a pre-release copy and it made it to the top of my favorite books list, which is not an easy task. It is mind expanding in many ways, shows the way to a better future not only in fabrication, but also in education and general mindset and it is funny too. His Kids don't say: "Let's go to Toys'R'Us, no they say let's go to MIT and create what we just dreamed off.
You owe it yourself to check out these new possibilities. Books Inc. from Palo Alto will be there with 60 copies of the book. I am not sure if that is enough, so come early if you want one.
> Exponential growth...of what? Knowledge? Yes knowledge as well as technological change. Would I have loved to have Google and Wikipedia at my fingertips when I grew up. Would have made a world of a difference to me. I love Google's define: <word> feature.
> What's more what portion of the world is and isn't involved in this? Or is not affected? As our friends at Worldchanging are posting almost every day the whole world is affected. Third world contries are less restricted by old ingrained systems for example through intellectual property rights, therefore they may leapfrog us in many areas.
If you really want to hear it first hand come this Friday the 15th to the Future Salon with MIT Professor Neil Gershenfeld. He took his Fabrication Laboratories to rural areas in India and Norway. The kids there were so excited, that they didn't want to leave the lab. That also opens new possibilities regarding education. It is happening everywhere, may be not with the same pace.
> This "Change" is it a thing in itself and not really effecting the rest of the world? If so then to what extent? As Kurzweil writes, this accelerating change looks like it is a fundamental law of the universe. Big bang at the beginning with incredible things happening in the first seconds of the universe and then rapidly slowing down.
A great illustration for that is Carl Sagan's Cosmic Calendar, where he is shrinking the lifetime of the universe 13.7 billion years into one calendar year.
By the way if last second before midnight equals Voage of Christiopher Columbus, then the follwoing calculation can't be true: Within the scheme of the Cosmic Calendar, an average human life of 70-80 years is equivalent to approximately 9 cosmic seconds! Because having lived about half of my expected life I should be 4 to 5 seconds into the cosmic calendar, but I didn't witness the (re-)discovery of America. From a cosmic perspective our lives are more in the area of 0.09 cosmic seconds. Equivalent to a finger snip :-) But may be I am missing something.
Nice little article about Moore's law in the Mercury(free subscription). What I didn't know was that Carver Mead coined the term and that Moore was embarrassed about it:
All of the fuss over Moore's Law comes as a bit of a surprise to Moore himself. He says he was embarrassed when his friend Mead coined the term ``Moore's Law,'' and he couldn't bring himself to utter the phrase for about 20 years.
Followers of the Future Salon and Accelerating Change know that this exponential growth is not only happening since the beginning of the computer industry, but as Ray Kurzweil observes in his The Law of Accelerating Returns since the beginning of time:
Indeed, we find not just simple exponential growth, but "double" exponential growth, meaning that the rate of exponential growth is itself growing exponentially. These observations do not rely merely on an assumption of the continuation of Moore's law (i.e., the exponential shrinking of transistor sizes on an integrated circuit), but is based on a rich model of diverse technological processes. What it clearly shows is that technology, particularly the pace of technological change, advances (at least) exponentially, not linearly, and has been doing so since the advent of technology, indeed since the advent of evolution on Earth.
If that is true, you should get to know more about it and there is a whole conference focusing on this theme again this year: The Accelerating Change 2005. We are happy to announce that Ray Kurzweil will keynote the event.