Next Up: Take-Home Thoughts @ AC2005

The final panel discussion here at Accelerating Change 2005
had quite a line-up of people:

  • George Gilder, Gilder Technology Report
  • Joichi
    , Neoteny
  • Steve Jurvetson, DFJ
  • Beth
    , NY Law School
  • Rudy Rucker,Computer Scientist, Author
  • Cecily Sommers, PUSH

Steve Jurvetson is a local VC who has a lot of foresight and great analysis skills.

Cecily Sommers talked breifly about the two constants that they watch – change and human nature
– which seem to forever dictate how things occur in the future.
She mentioned that collaboration is one way that we can escape our
fixed beliefs of the world, and maybe see new possibilities emerge from
these collaborative conversations.

Joi impressed me with his thoughts yesterday, and he mentioned that he
is very involved in non-profits. He really believes that the next
phase of the growth of the internet is more and more growth from the edges
… not central authorities. He commented on the evolution away
from the larger commercial players – from Microsoft, to the telcos, and
even Hollywood – to continue to open things up. He commented on
BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) and how they are starting to do
their own thing when it comes to the Internet.

Beth had three core points (as “the lawyer”) that she realized from the
conference – the brain (understanding the individual brain, and also
the collective brain – the mind of the group), inviting more people
from the arts, and lastlyhow to better use technology to serve social justice.

I’m a long fan of George Gilder and his ability to synthesize such a
wide range of high-level topics. What he saw in the conference is
that the growth curves that we are seeing – including Moore’s Law – are
actually learning curves. These are reflecting human progress,
and learning is a core aspect of that learning. It’s all about

Rudy was the final panalist to comment. He commented on his new book The Lifebox, the Seashell, and the Soul … and how everything breaks down to computation. I like the subtitle: What Gnarly Computation Taught Me About
Ultimate Reality, the Meaning Of Life,
and How To Be Happy … pretty good.

There was a breif discussion about Intelligent Design … and I feel
that George had some good comments on this. As Rudy had suggested
that the entire universe is one huge computation, George suggested that
a computer is
intelligence … which would make the universe a form of natural
intelligence. It was interesting to hear this discussed … I know that
I have not heard enough of the debate to truly understand the theories
in depth.

Of course Intellectual Property came up in the discussion, and I liked
what Joi had to say which was that he is not against IP, but he knows
that it has become very skewed from what the founding fathers had
intended.  He added that places like Brazil and China might be
screwing up now, but they have the opportunity to look at things fresh
… to think about new models, or resetting them back to where they
make sense.

There was a final discussion that explored the potential threats to all
of humankind … or a big portion of it … by all of the technology
that we are creating.  How do we ensure that it is not used for
“bad” purposes.  Even the financial aspects of capitalism were
debated … even though it has brought huge gains to the countries that
have embraced it.  That was a close.  I’m off to the airport!

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