Be sure to check our Coming
AC2005: Last Four Days for Early
On Monday, August 1st,
our conference registration price goes up $50. Sign up now if you
will feature 45+ 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 accelerating trends are
shaping our future.
meet Vernor Vinge, Ray Kurzweil, George Gilder, Daniel Amen,
Esther Dyson, Steve Jurvetson, Peter Thiel, Harold
Morowitz, Marcos Guillen, Beth Noveck, Janna Anderson,
Philip Rosedale, Eric Boehnisch-Volkmann,
Blake Ross, David Fogel, Robert Hecht-Nielsen,
Ron Kaplan, Patrick Lincoln, Ruzena Bajcsy,
T. Colin Campbell, Scott Rafer, Cecily
Sommers, and special host Moira Gunn.
See all speakers
confirmed to date.
up now using your Accelerating Times discount code
(AC2005-ATIMES, entered in all capital letters)
and get $50 off! This
special $400 conference rate is available to ATimes
readers until August 1st. Will you be coming? If so, tell
your friends! Post a "Meet
me at AC2005" button at your site.
Anderson, George Gilder, Ron Kaplan, and Patrick Lincoln join AC2005
added speakers include Janna Anderson, Elon
U. Professor, head of the Internet
Predictions Database, and author of Imagining
the Internet, 2005; George Gilder, Editor
in Chief of the famous Gilder
Technology Report, Chairman of Gilder
Publishing, and author of the bestselling books Microcosm,
1990 ; Telecosm,
2000, and Silicon
Eye, 2005; Ron Kaplan, Fellow in the Intelligent
Systems Laboratory at Palo Alto
Research Center; and Patrick Lincoln, Director
of the Computer Science Lab
at SRI International. These technology
scholars, researchers, and futurists have some fascinating things
to say about today's technology trends. Together, they are great
complement to the entrepreneurs, social change leaders, and other
forward-thinkers at Accelerating Change 2005. Come meet
them all at Stanford this September!
Free Advance Copies of Singularity is Near
speaker and internationally-renowned futurist Ray Kurzweil
will present free signed advance copies of his upcoming book, The
Singularity is Near, which will
be released nationally four days after the conference, to the first
200 registrants at Accelerating Change 2005. Additional
copies will also be available for sale to conference participants.
One of 2005's most anticipated new books, The Singularity is
Near extensively makes the provocative case for accelerating
and increasingly human-surpassing technological and computer advances
in coming decades, and proposes a global "phase transition"
circa 2040 where many forms of higher human thinking may be exceeded
by global computing systems.
argues these systems will be seen not as separate from us, but as
our increasingly personalized electronic extensions. If true, how
can we ensure this will be an economically productive, socially
stabilizing, and individually empowering transition? What are the
major risks to be avoided? How do we protect the freedoms of those
not interested in participating in this "digital future?"
What might prevent or delay this scenario?
will have ample opportunity to explore these issues in an extended
Q&A with Ray at AC2005, moderated by science radio personality
Moira Gunn, host of NPR’s Tech
Nation. Mr. Kurzweil is an inductee of the National Inventors
Hall of Fame, a winner of the Lemelson-MIT prize and the National
Medal of Technology, and the founder of nine very successful technology
companies. His internationally best-selling 1999 book, The
Age of Spiritual Machines: When Computers Exceed Human Intelligence
has been published in nine languages.
Next in Commercial or Consumer Robotics? Win A Roomba at AC2005
pioneer iRobot has
donated five Roombas
to Accelerating Change 2005. We will raffle all five for
the best 100-word (or less) answers to the question "What's
Next in Commercial or Consumer Robotics?" by AC2005
attendees by 2pm on Sunday, Sept 18th. These brief, paragraph-length
ideas can propose new commercial or consumer robots, new features
for future Roombas, new and untapped market segments for existing
or future robots, new technologies, or any other innovation you
think needs to be or will soon be addressed. The time horizon can
be as short as next year, and should be limited to ten years. You
can discuss research, development, production, marketing, or any
other aspect of the business model. All ideas are released to the
The five winners
will be picked anonymously (but subjectively) by our panel of judges
Sunday afternoon, and all ideas will be forwarded to Colin
Angle, Rodney Brooks, Helen Greiner,
and the other smart folks at iRobot after the event, along with
the email addresses of the submitters. Are
you an AC2005 registrant? Want to share your thoughts on what could
or should happen next in this important space? Send your 100 word
entries to mail(at)accelerating(dot)org,
or give them to us when you arrive at the conference. No more than
five entries per AC2005 registrant, please. Can you make a clean
Future Salon Looking for New Members
Two forward-thinking Seattleites, Marc Goodner
and Brad Mewhort have signed on to start a Seattle
Future Salon and are looking for folks to attend the free discussion
and presentation groups. If you live in or near Seattle and are
interested, you can sign up for their Yahoo
group here to join online discussions and to receive emails
about coming events. To learn more about ASF's Future Salon Network,
check out our Future
Salons start page.
of Strategic Foresight at Regent University
A new online MA with a strategic leadership and futures studies
emphasis is being developed by Regent University, a private Christian
university, starting Fall 2006 (press
release). This will complement the university's MA in Organizational
Leadership, which currently has 150 students. It
will operate in the School
of Leadership Studies, which is focused on Christian Leadership,
but the MA
curriculum will be ecumenical and open students of all faiths.
About 15% of students are expected to be from religious professions.
It is being developed by Christian futurist Jay
Gary with the assistance of Peter Bishop (Director,
Houston MS Program in Studies of the Future) and
ASF is heartened to see Regent continue move in a more ecumenical
and universalist direction with their programs. As a unitarian universalist
(or "deist") myself, I believe improving global appreciation
of all the world's faiths and wisdom traditions, without imposing
any one of them as a uniquely privileged value set, is the future
of spiritual leadership in an age of accelerating scientific learning
and technical advancement.
is no technological terrorism scenario [nuclear, biological,
chemical, etc.] I can envision today that would be likely
to match the damage potential we had in the 1980's from one
Soviet nuclear submarine." —
most violent element in society is ignorance." —
"The end of our foundation is the knowledge
of causes, and secret motions of things; and the enlarging
of the bounds of human empire, to the effecting of all things
Bacon, The New Atlantis, 1626
Alzheimer's: The Eight-Step Plan
by John Smart] At our July Los
Angeles Future Salon, we had the rare pleasure of learning about
how to protect the aging human brain, from one of the foremost Alzheimer's
researchers in the world, Dr.
Greg Cole, professor of medicine and neurology at the
David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, associate director of the
Disease Research Center, and associate director of the Geriatric
Research, Education and Clinical Center at the Los Angeles Sepulveda
and other age-associated dementias are a prime concern for all of
us as medical science keeps us alive longer than ever before. Something
like 80% of us over the age of 80 will have some degree of the neural
plaques and tangles that constitute Alzheimer's. Many of us will
have advanced cases. In some cultures, primarily due to poor diets
rich in saturated fats, these plaques and tangles will be as widespread
as atherosclerosis and cancer, two other progressive diseases of
aging. In other communities we see much less of them. We are just
now learning how to optimize our diet to prevent major dementia
and mild memory loss as we age.
Cole has spent his life conducting rigorous research on the etiology,
pathogenesis, and "amyloid reduction strategies" for the
prevention of Alzheimer's and related dementias, and has done some
detective work gathering evidence for the best preventive therapies,
including the most important one that has been discovered to date,
curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric (Indian curry spice).
The following is my summary of his data-packed sixty minute presentation
(77 slides), including my interpretation of the strategies we should
all be using right now to significantly reduce memory loss and prevent
mild to severe dementia as we age. While several of the following
may also be your doctor's recommendations, it is very unlikely that
your doctor will have the same global set of recommendations, or
place them in the same order of importance. Be sure to go over these
with your physician before you begin them.
Curcumin (900-1800 mg, or 1-2 capsules/day) [Best
2. Omega 3 Fatty Acids/DHA (1200-3600 mg, or 3-9
capsules/day) [Best Source: Costco's
Enteric-Coated Fish Oil Capsules]
3. Vitamin E (400 iu/day) + Vitamin C
(500 mg/day) [Best E Source: Bronson's
Mixed Tocopherols with Tocotrienols. Best C Source: Doesn't
4. Folate (400 mcg/day) [Best Folate Source: Doesn't
5. Exercise (sustained aerobic). Get it however
you can, do it in moderation every day, and keep it up for life.
6. Education (enriched mental environment). Get
it however you can, do it in moderation every day, and keep it up
you have a family history of Alzheimer's on any
side, or are "Apo E" gene positive (single
or double allele, it is easy to get tested), you should seriously
consider the following two steps as well, for life:
(400 mg, or 2 capsules/day, liquid softgel) [Best Source: Costco]
8. Statin (Lovastatin/Mevacor, Atorvastatin/Lipitor,
20-40 mg or 1-2 tablets/day or as doctor recommended)
1. Curcumin is the active ingredient in turmeric, Indian
curry spice. Indians have only 25% the Alzheimer's and dementia
rates of other countries. Dr. Cole and others have discovered this
is primarily due to curcumin, a major ingredient in the Indian diet.
Curcumin crosses the blood brain barrier and is the only substance
known that actually reduces plaques and tangles (Dr. Cole has proven
this in Alzheimer's mice) in vivo in mammalian brains.
It is also the only known therapy, other than caloric restriction,
that reliably extends lifespan (about 10-12%) in laboratory mice.
It is an amazing natural pharmaceutical that people will only learn
slowly about because, as Dr. Cole points out, drug companies cannot
make any significant money off it. It is vastly more useful than
any patentable Alzheimer's prevention or cognitive improvement drug
that has ever been, or may ever be invented. Its safety profile
is very good, and very well known. Get on it now if you aren't already!
DHA Fatty Acids are natural antioxidant molecules that make up about
30% of your brain's cellular mass, by weight! Fish oils have an
excellent safety profile and are known to be valuable for a wide
range of diseases of aging. You should be taking fish oil supplements
every day. Cultures, like Japan, that eat lots of cold water fish
(high in DHA) have much lower rates of dementia and better overall
health profiles. The enteric coated capsules are best, as you won't
have fishy burps after you take them, but they are more expensive.
You can take the non-enteric coated fish oil at night, as you go
to bed, and you'll get fewer fishy burps the next day..
Vitamin E and Vitamin C together have been shown in studies
to slow cognitive impairment. Studies with E and C alone have not
shown this. Don't take too much E, and be sure to take the good
"mixed Tocopherol" E. In low doses these have excellent
Folate has also shown mild prevention of cognitive impairment, and
is an excellent supplement for expectant mothers, as it reduces
neural defects. It has an excellent safety profile.
Exercise and Education should be self explanatory. Long term epidemiological
studies (eg., the Nun study) show significant preventive effects.
Ibuprofen can half your Alzheimer's risk in some risk groups.
They stop your brain's immune system from overeacting to plaques
and tangles, and making them worse. Long term use of ibuprofen can
cause stomach upset in about 15% of people, so take it on a full
stomach and with doctor's supervision. There are some new profens
(flurbiprofen, or flurizan) that cause no stomach upset and have
also shown cognitive improvement in Phase II trials, so you may
be able to switch to a a better profen just a few years from now.
Statins can also half your Alzheimer's risk in some risk
groups. They appear to do this by many different pathways, lowering
cholesterol and also lowering your immune systems overreaction to
plaques and tangles. If you don't want to go all the way to a statin,
there are over the counter remedies you can take, like Red Rice
Yeast and Niacin (get the non-flushing formulation) which will go
a long way toward cholesterol lowering but don't require a prescription.
You should still get your doctor's advice on these if you use them.
ideal Alzheimer's prevention diet is "Piscaterian:" Lots
of curry, lots of fish, particularly cold water fish (like salmon,
mackerel, and sardines), lots of vegetables (including dark vegetables,
like broccoli, kale, spinach) and fruits (including dark fruits
like blueberries, and grapes). Low in saturated fats, low in alcohol,
no smoking (though nicotine patches sometimes give mild improvement
to Alzheimer's patients).
long, smart, and prosperously, fellow futurist!
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, can be told as a story 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 3,200 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)
"New way to peek
inside Earth: Researchers discover tiny particles from deep within
planet," MSNBC, Robert Roy Britt, July
[Commentary by Iveta Brigis] When rocks decay radioactively,
subatomic particles called geoneutrinos are released carrying a
signature of its chemical origin. Neutrinos have no electric charge
and negligible mass (though not non-zero), and can pass through
matter unseen. Enabled by KamLAND,
a Japanese tool that measures neutrino oscillation, scientists are
now beginning to use these geoneutrinos to look far below the Earth's
crust. Prior to this development, published in the July 28 edition
of the journal Nature, researchers relied solely on seismology
to further their understanding of the composition and activity of
the Earth. Despite the tremendous advances in recent years in what
we know about cosmology and the workings of outer space, scientists
remain relatively in the dark about what is going on beneath our
feet. While scientists are optimistic about the contribution the
study of geoneutrinos will have to our understanding of the Earth,
the current detector spots an average of one geoneutrino per month.
Researchers hope to build bigger and more detectors that could increase
this to one a day in coming decades.
bodies (biology, health, neuroscience), behavior (business,
education, foresight, governance, innovation, pre-digital technology,
society), minds (psychology, spirituality), human systems theory (ecological
Rise of the Participatory Panopticon, ITConversations,
Jamais Cascio, May 2005 (text)
Cascio gave a keynote presentation at this year’s
on rapidly increasing transparency entitled, “The Rise of
the Participatory Panopticon”. The talk, which makes clear
that transparency is happening from the bottom-up (“souseveillance”)
as much as from the top-down (surveillance), is now up for audio
download at ITConversations with a text
transcript available at WorldChanging.
From the abstract:
“Soon - probably within the next decade, certainly within
the next two - we'll be living in a world where what we see, what
we hear, what we experience will be recorded wherever we go. There
will be few statements or scenes that will go unnoticed, or unremembered.
Our day-to-day lives will be archived and saved. What’s more,
these archives will be available over the net for recollection,
analysis, even sharing.
And we will be doing it to ourselves.” Jamais
will further explore these issues in an interactive Explorations
session at Accelerating
energy, small tech (nanoengineering, miniaturization),
computer "bodies" (automation, computer hardware, nanotech,
robotics), inner systems theory (acceleration, efficiency, miniaturization,
Gambit: Flash Gigamemory to Replace Hard Drives, ComputerWorld,
Martyn Williams, June 30, 2005
Here it comes! Flash Gigamemory for your laptop and cellphone
that is truly "instant on", is far more shock resistant,
and with a battery life to die for. With flash memory you can run
a tablet PC or a wrist computer that is fast and reliable enough
to replace paper, but with all of e-Paper's digital storage,
modification, and sharing advantages. Samsung's first large (16
Gigabyte) flash hard drives roll out this year for military and
industrial markets. Expect lower cost commercial units by next year,
and 100GB flash drives in 2007.
memory prices have dropped 40% in the last year, and with a Sony
Micro Vault 5GB flashdrive now available for $180 street price,
it's now possible for bleeding edge tinkerers to consider replacing
their hard drives. Give it just a bit more time and you won't need
a specialist to do so. Samsung is by far the #1 leader in flash
memory supply (twice #2 Intel's revenue here), while it is #5 in
hard drives, so it has major incentive to make this happen soon.
This will be a tremendously empowering advance. Let's hope Intel
and the other leading chipmakers get into the flash hard drive game
soon as well. Thanks to Jeff Thompson.
(co-evolution, automation, symbiosis), computer "minds"
(computer software, simulation), cyber systems theory (holism, information,
intelligence, interdependence, immunity)
Cell Phones Become Oracles" Wired News, Ryan Singel,
July 25, 2005
[JP] Wired News
has a great article on tracking and predicting human behavior with
information collected via cell phones. The article centers around
research performed by MIT Media Lab researcher Nathan Eagle,
organized under the Reality
Mining Project. Eagle gave out 100 customized phones to MIT
students and researchers that he usedto log 350,000 hours of data
over nine months including location, proximity, activity and communication
of the volunteers.
the article, “Given enough data, Eagle's algorithms were able
to predict what people, especially professors and Media Lab employees,
would do next and be right up to 85 percent of the time.”
The volunteers could also use the data to create diaries of their
lives. Eagle notes, “"I can go ask it, 'How much sleep
did I get in October?' 'When was the last time I had lunch with
Adam?' 'Where did I go after that?'" On the topic of data-mining
our lives, the article also mentions a book by Chris Stakutis
Data. Stakutis says, “We want to have our life choreographed,
cataloged, witnessed and archived. Now we are heading to a world
where this is possible without effort … We are going to be
a planet of 5 billion data magicians."
models of our planet that Google and Microsoft are competing to
build with Google Earth and Virtual Earth will progressively be
used as fields to display this inescapable data. Jon Udell
will give a presentation on the topic at Accelerating
Change 2005 entitled Annotating
the planet: Freedom and control in the new era of interactive mapping.
“The explosive innovation triggered by Google Maps produced
a shock of recognition. We always knew that our meatspace coordinates
would merge with our cyberspace addresses. Now that it's really
happening, familiar topics—identity and privacy, grassroots
collaboration and centralized control, ownership and use of data—will
be newly refracted through the geospatial lens.”
(muh-sheen-eh-mah) is filmmaking within a real-time, 3D virtual
environment. The majority of Machinima uses video games as the platform
for their development. To see some funny samples, check out these
Independent Film Channel’s shorts
made using The Sims 2. The
reality comes in with the first homemade Machinima using Google
Earth, a virtual recreation of our planet. It’s only a
short zoom in from outer space to just above street level, but you
get the picture. It was made using FRAPS,
a program that saves video from programs using DirectX directly
to the hard drive. FRAPS is a common tool for capturing footage
that will be edited into Machinima. You
can learn more about Machinima at http://machinima.org
or check out the book, 3D
Game-Based Filmmaking: The Art of Machinima by Paul
It Up For a Good Cause, Terra Nova Blog,
Betsy Book, July 25 2005
[JP] In a piece
of breakthrough philanthropy, the American
Cancer Society will hold an online Relay
For Life fundraiser and community awareness event this August
27-28th in the user-created virtual world of Second
Life. The event will be a cyberspace extension of the society's
decades-old real world Relay For Life walkathons,
and donations will be made in the form of virtual dollars converted
to US dollars through Gaming
event (see picture right) is being spearheaded by Randal
Moss of the ACS's Futuring and Innovation Center, prominent
Second Life resident Jade
Lily, and ASF's very own Jerry Paffendorf.
to Randal, who took home the National Human Service Assembly Award
for Excellence in Technology Innovation for his role in pioneering
this digital philanthropy project. Randal and a number of his Futuring
and Innovation Center (FIC) colleagues will be colocating an ACS
FIC meeting at Accelerating Change 2005. We look forward
to seeing you there!
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)
Change: The Computer Revolution in Science and Mathematics,
Douglas Robertson, 2003
Doug Robertson is a U. of Colorado Geologist and
Environmentalist who enjoys taking a big picture look at information
technology. His earlier work, The
New Renaissance: Computers and the Next Level of Civilization,
1998, discussed the transformational impact of information processing
on human culture from the pre-linguistic to the modern age. Unfortunately
the last chapter of this book, "On Growth", has some shortcomings
with regard to its exploration of exponential growth. For one, Robertson
overemphasizes the human population growth problem, which most demographers
now say is on track to disappear entirely by mid century due largely
to the pervasive impact of global development on birth rates. More
seriously, Robertson appears to misunderstand the exponential nature
of information processing growth, which is the only known aspect
of universal change which has never run into resource limits to
growth, as it continually jumps to new more efficient computing
"substrates" over time. Yet even with these shortcomings,
The New Renaissance is a valuable broad look at the developmentalist
nature of our increasingly technological culture.
Change deepens Robertson's exploration by examining the role
of computer as a tool changing the nature of sciences and mathematics.
He demonstrates that paradigm shifts, broad "phase changes"
in our understanding of science, have often been triggered by the
availability of new visualization tools (the telescope, the microscope),
and new computational tools (the digital computer, the supercomputer,
the internet) and shows how such tools allow investigators to ask
questions previously unamenable to scientific exploration. A modern
particle accerator, for example, is a very computationally intensive
tool for peering into subatomic structure. How intensive? A particle
accelerator generates more data (albeit significantly lower level
data) in five minutes of exploration than was accumulated in the
entire Library of Alexandria between the 3rd and 4th centuries AD.
Robertson notes a profusion of new computationally-aided tools our
physicists, chemists, biologists, engineers, geologists, astronomers,
and other scientists are gaining access to. He shows how many of
these open up permanent phase transitions in the nature of the scientific
environment, creating dynamics that were unpredictable prior to
the computational advance, yet are predictable today within the
new scientific language that has emerged. On the mathematics side,
computers are becoming so powerful that specialized, computation-intensive
domains of mathematics, such as cellular automata, covered most
elegantly in Stephen Wolfram's A
New Kind of Science, 2002, are now opening up their modeling
insights for us to discover. If you are looking for a book to update
your understanding of the way computers are permanently changing
the nature of scientific exploration, this is good choice.
all deserve a little fun every day. Send your entries for the next
Get ready as Google Earth reaches escape velocity! Zoom
in all the way and you may be surprised. Be sure to click on the
hosting and research center" in the FAQ under "More
about Google Moon" if you'd like to know Google's secret plans
for a moon base, and their new goal to "organize all the useful
information in the universe and serve it to you on a lightly salted
[IB] This is prescient and
poignant poem about dealing with change in our own lives. The poem
comes from Hermann Hesse's Das Glasperlenspiel
(The Glass Bead Game), the novel for which many critics say
Hesse won his 1946 Nobel Prize in literature.
Hesse, from The Glass Bead Game, 1943
flower fades and as all youth
Departs, so life at every stage,
So every virtue, so our grasp of truth,
Blooms in its day and may not last forever.
may summon us at every age
Be ready, heart, for parting, new endeavor,
Be ready bravely and without remorse
To find new light that old ties cannot give.
In all beginnings dwells a magic force
For guarding us and helping us to live.
let us move to distant places
And let no sentiments of home detain us.
The Cosmic Spirit seeks not to restrain us
But lifts us stage by stage to wider spaces.
If we accept
a home of our own making,
Familiar habit makes for indolence.
We must prepare for parting and leave-taking
Or else remain the slaves of permanence.
hour of our death may send
Us speeding on to fresh and newer spaces,
And life may summon us to newer races.
So be it, heart: bid farewell without end.
over to Edge.org
for some cool summer reading suggestions—40 new books from
members of the Edge community. Yowzers! Titles include the forthcoming
Singularity Is Near by Ray Kurzweil, Everything
Bad Is Good For You by Steven Johnson,
(Mis)Behavior of Markets by Benoit Mandelbrot,
Minds: How a Child Becomes a Scientist by John
Brockman. If you are coming to Accelerating
Change 2005 and would like a free copy of The Singularity
Is Near, register soon!
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. Also
please submit your feedback on Accelerating Times articles
to the Future Salon
Weblog, beneath each article as posted. Thanks!