This was an excellent Futurist Salon last Friday. Thanks to everyone who came and participated. The last mohicans got kicked out of the restaurant and continued discussing standing in front of it until 1 am in the morning.
One part of a conversation about 'Previous Singularities' between John Abbe and Chris Phoenix made it onto the web already.
John also posted next months theme and book: "How did humanity come to be (and why do we continue) living in ways that are so un-fun for so many people so much of the time, and unsustainable to boot? *And*, What can we do about it? The focus is not so much on technology, but on the potential for a coming social Singularity. Just one book this time:Creating a Future That Works For All by Sharif Abdullah" John will be so kind to introduce it at our next Salon on the 16th of August.
We also agreed what we want to cover in two months. Shenly Glenn suggested Linked by Barabasi, which is challenging the Chaos theory and Michael Korns picked up the gauntlet and will make the case for the Chaos supported by the book with the same name written by James Glick. Our Future Salon on the 20th of September is going to be very interesting. I can't wait, Mark.
This article scares me. It reminds me not only of the East German Stasi, but also of the Blockwarts, (neighborhood watch dogs usually in brown shirts) during the Third Reich, my mother told me about.
"It was a time when everyone was scared, no one would trust anybody, and in the night they would come and take people out of their houses ... "
One of my experiences in East Germany also came to my mind: On one of my few visits to East Berlin. I was not very far from the wall and I asked a couple in my age if and were there is a place to go dancing that evening. We talked for a bit and the guy goes behind a house to take a leak. All in a sudden a car drives up three men jump out one running behind the house to check what is happening there.
They examined our papers and let us go after a while. I never forget the poor couple, they were very disturbed by the fact that this incident would end up in their file and that they shouldn't have been so close to the wall and that they should not have contacted/spoken with someone from the West ...
Scary stuff and food for thought for our 'Transparent Society' theme this Friday at the Futurist Salon.
Next Bay Area Futurist Salon is the coming Friday the 19th of July. One theme is copyright law and the consequences for the future described in the book from Lawrence Lessig 'the future of ideas'.
Second theme is what are the consequences of ever cheaper surveillance technology. Will we have to choose between freedom and privacy as David Brin covered in his book: 'Transparent Society'.
You don't have to have read the books to take part in the Salon, just bring your open mind :-)
Location: Barnes and Nobles bookstore at the Hillsdale Shopping Center just across the San Mateo Caltrain Station. Map (The star is a bit misleading. The Shop is right at the El Camino across from the Caltrain station.) 11 West Hillsdale Blvd., Hillsdale Shopping Center San Mateo, CA 94403 Tel: 650-341-5560 When: 7:00 to 9:00 pm, 19th of July 2002
As always please join us also for dinner afterwards next door at Romano's Macaroni Grill.
A look into the future trends of technology from Tim o'Reilly (He was one of the most interesting speakers at the last Foresight Conference): "So, what am I seeing today that I think the world will be writing about (and the venture capitalists and entrepreneurs chasing) in the years to come?"
A group to explore accelerating change in technology, science, society, business ... It is modeled after the L.A. Futurists.
What changes will come to humanity in the 21st century?
The computer and miniaturization revolutions will profoundly impact our local environment in coming decades. Many scientists now believe machines are becoming human-independent ("autonomous") at a faster pace each year, and must eventually develop their own independent intelligence.
Some say a "self-evolved" machine intelligence will arrive by 2030. Long before, the rate of technological (but *not* human cultural) change in coming decades will accelerate.
Futurists propose that humans, ever more integrated with our technologies, will gently begin to become "transhuman" during this Great Speedup.
How can we do this in a balanced fashion? How do we maintain our scientific, personal and financial foresight in a world of accelerating change?
We will introduce one new book each month (you don't have to read them, just show up!), in four areas: science and systems behind accelerating change, future scenarios, tools and insights for modern living, and financial and business futures advice to make our paltry paychecks go further. Join us!
Where: Barnes and Noble bookstore at the Hillsdale Shopping Center San Mateo 7-9pm. (Map although the star is slightly misleading, the store is right at the El Camino across the Caltrain station.) If you are in the mood you can also join us afterwards for dinner and a glas of wine next door at Romano's Macaroni Grill.
We are always meeting on the third Friday of the Month, so mark your calendar for the next Futurist Salons: Jun.20st, Jul.18th, Aug.15th, Sept.19th, Oct.17th, Nov.21st.