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Participant Statements

Prior to ACC2003, all registered attendees are requested to submit a brief, optional participant statement of personal passions (topics of interest, information to share, resources to recommend), and current and open problems for which they are seeking solutions. These statements are then assembled into the Conference Handbook to optimize peer-to-peer networking and discussion. To submit your participant statement, click here.

The following are participant statements that we've received from registered attendees.


Jan Amkreutz, Author, Digital Spirit, Principal, Digital Crossroads

Passions and Futures

In the 1960’s I read Theilhard de Chardin’s phenomenon of man. I was seventeen, fascinated by his explanation of evolution, and mystified by his Noosphere. Throughout my thirty-five years in Information Technology, as a researcher, scientist, university professor, consultant, executive, and entrepreneur, the fascination grew. Today, with digital technology – artificial intelligence, internet and everything else ‘digital’ – a new era of evolution has started. Technology, however, is ‘just’ like a finger on our hand. We admire the finger. Ask questions about it. Wonder about its future shape. But do we know the direction of the finger as we point it towards the future? And there you have it: understanding that direction of evolution, and understanding the dance of knowledge and technology that will determine our future, is my passion.

Evolution is what brought us here. Not just biological evolution that covers less than a third of our history, but evolution from the Big Bang to the Bursting of the Dot.com Bubble. Evolution it is what will carry us into the future, with or without humans in their current form.

We need to embrace evolution with a new passion that turns the defenseless passivity of ultra-Darwinian thinking around, and transform it to new élan of proactive creativity. As I describe in my book Digital Spirit, we are in the midst of the biggest evolutionary singularity since life emerged on our planet. A singularity that is at the source of the technological singularity we talk about at the ACC2003 conference. The acknowledgement of this deeper evolutionary singularity will change the way we think in the coming 30 years. This will lead to the start of a redesign of our political, social, economic and religious institutions.

I dedicated the September issue of my ‘Digital Reach Letter’ to the subject of this conference. Those interested please visit at http://www.digeality.com/September-2003.html, where you can also find a few questions that I would like to ask Ray Kurzweil.


Underlying all of the divides on our planet today – poverty, extremism, famine, disease, and so forth – is the Knowledge Divide. Digital Technology exposes this divide like nothing else, ever. This is a source of hope, as it points us to the locations of the bridgeheads that we have to build. Accelerating change does not ‘just happen’ in a vacuum, but is driven by mindsets shaped by the knowledge at their ‘disposal’. My hope is that the construction of better knowledge bridges is (high) on the agenda of the ACC2003 community that John Smart has started with so much passionate energy. Bridging the knowledge divide is simply a matter of life or death.

Recommended Resources

John Smart’s websites offer a wealth of information, and links to many other thought-provoking sites. I’d like to add http://www.edge.com for a look at the frontier of scientific thinking, and, of course, my personal website at http://www.digeality.com.


Dennis Arter, The Audit Guy, American Society for Quality

Passions and Futures

For most of my business life, I have studied means of controlling the quality of products, processes, and systems. I am a well-known author of books and articles on measuring business practices and using the results to improve the enterprise. I am an early adapter of technologies and use them to improve others and myself. I became aware of the NBIC convergence about a year ago and fully expect it to continue. Huxley was right, however, in his reference to the Alphas, Betas, and Gammas. Humanity will continue to have a certain percentage of those who will never understand, much less accept, the evolution of life on this planet.


As an expert in quality management practices and the evaluation of those practices, I am trying to understand if we will reach a point where the human has little or no control over the making of goods and delivery services. Machines now control much of the quality of these tasks. Do we reach a point where the human cannot measure, much less understand, the inherent variation of manufacturing? As certain businesses master perfection, what does that do to their competitors? To less developed nations?

Recommended Resources

I have a personal web site at http://www.quality.org/arter/, but it is only used to sell my services to others. I use the American Society for Quality (http://www.asq.org) for my professional networking and intend to start a web log shortly. I subscribe to several Linux and Open Source news feeds, in order to understand this new community of software developers and users.


Michael Austin, Advanced Technology Group, Xbox

I'd have to say I'm most fascinated with learning; how it works in humans, and how it can work in computers. Learning is at the core of what makes us higher-functioning creatures; adapting within the context of our minds rather than through successive generations. I think the acceleration of technology is largely due to the increase in the proportion of society devoted to technological research and advancement; we still have many years left, but I don't see it as a limitless phenomenon.

My current project deals with a compressed method of storing information to facilitate induction. I'm applying it to form a loose grammatic structure of arbitrary language. I'm interested in ways to look for patterns as part of general relationships, rather than having to specify the format the relationships can take (i.e. proximity relationships for grammar, order relationships for numbers, group relationships for clustering).


Christian A. Bain, Senior Agency Business Analyst, Agency Association

Evidence from a variety of sources hints at a law of nature governing evolution of life from its inception to the development of technological planetary societies.

Computer simulations of evolutionary processes have demonstrated that autocatalysis may have been a significant accelerant in the early evolution of increasingly life-like pre-biological systems that in turn might have evolved and combined into single-cell organisms.

Other computer simulations have shown that evolution occurs most rapidly in systems that operate at the edge of chaos, neither rigidly held in place nor entirely disordered. They also show that systems governed by rules that encourage cooperation tend to be more evolutionarily dynamic than those based on purely competitive rule sets.

In nature and in computer simulations, evolution seems to speed up as the evolving system becomes more complex and diverse. It took a billion years or so for single-cell organisms to evolve into multi-cell life forms, but significantly and progressively shorter periods of millions of years for multi-cell organisms to evolve into arthropods, fish, land animals, mammals and eventually human beings.

This progressive shortening of evolutionary cycles continues through human evolution into civilizations and lately into technological societies. Accelerating technological change would appear to be merely the most recent, visible and rapid manifestation of a general process of accelerating change as our society and its planet becomes ever more complex and integrated.

Ultimately, for those who dislike the entropic death of the universe predicted by the second
law of thermodynamics, this observable process of apparently negentropic evolution holds out
the tantalizing possibility that our universe may be neither as closed nor as random as many
physicists have predicted.


Elaine Baran, President, Baraness Ventures

Passions and Futures

The subjects that fascinate me most are a) how humans can interact and grow with the ever increasing rate of technological change while evolving the appropriate moral and ethical systems to remain human, b) how do we pass on to each new generation fundamentals that work while still allowing them their experience of the new and c) how does our understanding of the sweep of history inform our future? In 30 years, I hope to be ever challenged by youth, enlightened by elders and entertained by my peers. Accelerating change is here, I just don't think the rate will progress in a pure line, but there will be slower and more rapid periods - the slower periods allow for more integration and assimilation - we'll just have to learn to do this more effectively. Our development priorities will need to include evolving our human mental, emotional, unconsious and spiritual systems to accommodate the change.


I work in the area of business strategy and find the ANYTHING that expands my thinking beyond the normal information available through mass media is beneficial in the long run. Sometimes it's a matter of gathering new data; sometimes I find new ways to look at problems that can be applied in my discipline, sometimes I run into ways of relating that are so foreign that I have to really stretch myself to figure out where someone is coming from. All of these experiences add value and create a framework and discipline for accommodating the changing pace of the world more easily and gracefully. The most difficult area that I find challenging and would like to discuss with the group is the changing moral structure of our society.

Recommended Resources

I've written a series of articles called "The Human Strategist", available online at www.virtualstrategist.net, dealing with some of these issues and pontificating on our need to remain human through it all. For business/world perspective, I recommend reading a non-US source, such as The Economist, for a more complete grounding on basic politial, financial and social changes going on around the world. My personal webpage, including a recommended reading list, is www.baranessventures.com.


Gary Boswell, Concept Development Manager, Business Futures Group

Passions and Futures

Trying to understand what the future could be like and explaining it to others not only fascinates me but absorbs by working life. I am a great believer in Alan Kay's quote, "The best way of predicting the future is to invent it." However, you can't invent everything! So what are the implications of things you don't yet understand? I find it hard to believe Moore's Law will continue for 30 years but see no obvious signs that it won't in the foreseeable future. So, to which mast should your colours be nailed? The implications of continued acceleration will have a massive impact on Inclusion / Exclusion – who will be taken along, who will be left behind? Should priority be on inclusive technology to limit social backlash?


My main challenge is to understand the dynamics of exploiting change in different marketplaces and when to apply new solutions. What will be the next big cultural / behavioural / inspirational technology and how will it change us? On a personal basis, dealing with information overload and the pace of life impacts social relationships. How can you 'get out' without 'getting off' and find time for relaxation and enjoyment?

Recommended Resources

Some of the web sites, news and information sources I use are:
http://www.ananova.com, http://www.bbc.co.uk, http://www.fastfuture.com, http://www.theregister.co.uk, http://www.silicon.com, http://www.wired.com, http://www.theitportal.com, http://www.computerworld.com.


David Clemens, Monterey Peninsula College

Passions and Futures

My passion is teaching and positively affecting students’ lives. I devised a literature/film class that engages some of the issues of human destiny (and human definition) in terms of the way Hollywood has depicted them (such as Blade Runner, 2001, Gattaca).
The next 30 years are filled with conflicting potential—I would like to see the human race focused on exploring the universe but I realize we could also become omphaloskeptics, cowed by indifference of cosmic nature.

The greatest risk is continuing erosion of human dignity from further redefinition of when and what a human being is—that is, technology proceeds blindly providing expanding opportunities for control and supposed perfectability. I would not want to live in the world of Gattaca, and I hope that sensitizing students to such a possible future will cause them to seek humanizing avenues for change rather than “inhumanizing” ones.

Finally, I think that to be human involves encountering and coming to terms with mortality. In 30 years I expect to be dead, but, as Heinlein’s character says when going into battle, “C’mon you apes! What do you want to do, live forever?”


Primarily educational—I’m trying to put my “robot class” online even though I find online education a shadow of real education. As Martin Pawley once said, all technology acts as insulation against human contact. Futurist issues need to be more infused into the schools so that students have some sort of mental construct about the potentials inherent in the developments around them. Most students have no image of the future at all, or the past either, for that matter; they are ahistorical and cocooned . What sort of government eventuates from the ahistorical and cocooned?

Recommended Resources

Class website: (http://www.angelfire.com/realm2/singularity) I am affiliated with the Association of Literary Scholars and Critics, the National Association of Scholars, and the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education.


John K. Davis, Independent Contractor

Passions and Futures

I am fascinated by all emerging technologies. This is manifested in the gadgets I use, the ways that I spend most of my time, the products and services that I offer and the spiritual calling I pursue.

The world will be radically different in 30 years. New technologies will continue to emerge at an accelerating pace. Dangers and benefits will expand. Our priority should be to move quickly toward the future with transparency, distributed systems of security and control, and compassion for one another.


My mission is to assist people to cope with accelerating change. Over the past year this has meant offering Scopeware (a simple, elegant knowledge management system) to business customers. I want to embellish my technology advocacy by adding new products and services to my portfolio.

Recommended Resources

Visit my blog at http://johnkdavis.net to learn more about Scopeware and the many interests I have concerning accelerating change.


Terry Frazier, Principal, Cognovis Group, LLC

Passions and Futures

I am fascinated by the growth of ubiquitous connectivity and its impact on society, groups, and individuals. I believe the greatest challenges of the next 30 years are human rather than technological. We will be living longer and must have new ways to be productive and add value to society. The greatest risk is that our technology outstrips our ability to deal with it -- that we fail to address the massive shifts in culture, politics, and economics that will accompany the science. To the best of our ability we must understand what technology will bring, and then we must focus on preparing our society to make best use of it.


For the past 20 years I have been involved in the creation, distribution, and management of information products. Today I work in three areas where accelerated change is needed to survive and prosper.

Printing and Publishing - I work with executives in both these industrial-age industries to help them develop strategies for survival. From newspapers to magazines to the music industry -- change is slow despite the obvious alternative.

e-Learning - We're beginning to understand that when a whole society must be retrained in perpetuity it cannot be done with traditional educational methods or institutions, but that e-learning is far more than just e-books for text and a web browser. Much more experimentation, recombination, and innovation is needed to find the best blend of on-line, off-line, and traditional learning.

Business Innovation - Mastering the information flows within a company -- from customers, employees, competitors, and vendors -- is the fastest way to know what's happening before it happens. Ubiquitous connectivity combined with emerging, grass-roots publishing technologies is bringing this closer than ever, yet few companies are taking advantage of this opportunity.

Recommended Resources

My personal web page is www.terryfrazier.com where I track many of the issues that affect the projects listed above. I also work with the CRM Association (http://www.crm-a.org) which is the only non-profit, user-centered organization aimed at helping businesses improve their relationships. Resources I use regularly include the A-OK Network (http://www.kwork.com) for excellent knowledge work discussion and news, Dave Pollard (http://blogs.salon.com/0002007/) for insightful business innovation, Weblogg-ed News (http://www.weblogg-ed.com/) for educational and e-learning insight, Oligopoly Watch (http://www.oligopolywatch.com) for tracking the ever-growing impact of MNCs on our society, and Dr. Lynn Kiesling (http://knowledgeproblem.blogspot.com) for economic analysis.


John Geis, Director Center for Strategy and Technology; Ted Hayles, Deputy Director, CST

As a representative of the Air University Center for Strategy and Technology, our passion and mission is to research the strategic implications of emerging technologies and advise the Air Force leadership on the long-range impact of technological choices. The Center is already the premier research institution within the U.S. Air Force, and by some measures, the U.S. government, on strategy and technology related issues. The Center is funded almost entirely from outside sources. Thirty years from now it is our hope that the Center will continue to be a valuable contributor to the national debate on how best to invest scarce taxpayer dollars to ensure the best possible defense for the United States and freedom-loving peoples everywhere.

The Center for Strategy and Technology has a working relationship with Headquarters Air Force Directorate of Plans and Programs; conducts research supporting the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board; advises the Commander, United States Special Operations Command on future technologies; and occasionally conducts studies for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. The Center is currently involved in the design of new wargame simulations which the Air Force will use to model various future force structures to determine the optimum mix of new systems to achieve the best value for the taxpayer dollar. The Center teaches courses at the Air War College and Air Command and Staff College in emerging technologies and their
consequences. To these ends, we have an ongoing need to understand technology trends and future ramifications and to cultivate relationships with others who study these issues.

The Center for Strategy and Technology web page is accessible to the general public, where many of our publications are available for free download. The web site address is: http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/awccsat.htm


Malo Girod de l'Ain

Passions and Futures

What fascinates me most are 2 things: -- the low level of general awareness regarding the ineluctable acceleration of change -- the high level of needed implication of governments and citizens worldwide to cope with the impressive evolutions to come


I am currently working on the 2010 Saga, a multi media development including a book, a novel, a community web site, a film... to analyze and play with the idea of our evolution towards a more and more virtual world with our increasing ability to "live" virtually. More info at: http://www.2010virtual.com/en/saga.shtml

In the course of my research and writing, I come across new concepts, ideas and products, some just fun to write about and some real products or services able to generate very large businesses (one concept alone has the potential to generate a multi-billion$ industry). I am interested to discuss with members of the group wanting to participate, team, invest... in such new developments.

Recommended Resources

New community site with an open wiki to freely discuss evolutions to come:

French association of "Vigilants" (in French only) http://www.clubdesvigilants.com


William Grosso, Author and Software Architect

Passions and Futures

I have no idea where I, or the world, will be in 30 years. I do expect that, unless we develop ways to augment human intelligence, that the growth of knowledge will, for all intents and purposes, cease by 2020. By which I mean, the current fragmentation of knowledge, and the ever-more-microscopic areas of specialization will have rendered most fields of study completely without application to the real world (and hence, sterile and pointless).

Therefore, I would assert that the single most important priority for development is working on devices that augment human intelligence. From memory and recall aids to devices that help us learn to ... without these devices, human knowledge will grind to a halt.


See above. The most interesting thing we can do right now is figure out how to build software better, and build better software. In much the same way that "augmenting intelligence" is the bottleneck for the development of knowledge and the integration of the sciences, software is the bottleneck for augmenting intelligence. We need to get to a point where true experimentation is possible and where ideas can be implemented, tested, and discarded in a matter of days, not months. Until we make it easier, and cheaper, to develop software, we're going to be stuck.

Recommended Resources

I spend a fair amount of time volunteering at SD Forum, http://www.sdforum.org, and running Emerging Technology SIG, http://www.sdforum.org/sigs/emerging. In my spare time, I also built a fairly nice application to help people find web pages they've already seen. You can download the beta for free at http://www.seruku.com.

Past that, I think the web is too fluid to make it worth mentioning specific sites by name.


Jennifer Henderson

Passions and Futures

Presently, as a professional with nine years of progressive management experience in the operational areas of Supply Chain, Manufacturing, Distribution, Procurement and Research and Development, I’m passionate about simulations and anticipatory design science for the purpose of improving direction, decisions, and response-ability.

As a digital media artist, new technology and its capabilities are my raw material in the process of extending technology to applications other than originally intended and exploring the impact of that technology. New technology also allows me to mine the gap between new and antique technology to create something of critical import.

Social networking is a core interest of mine. (See below) One future challenge includes managing the degrees of separation with the right people while remaining unfound by the rest in an era of telepresence, nanoswarms, and personal information broadcasting devices such as the Lovegety service offered in Japan.


Most recently, I have researched and presented the impact on socio-economic class of occupational dreams and goals in a capitalist society. Currently, my digital media work is focused on social networking. The first project concerns dynamic representational methods for an individual’s network as it grows from person to person interactions… a sort of trip map with a trajectory and a past present and future. Ants leave a decaying pheromone trail. These power structure networks should also have contact reminders triggered at a certain decay level. The second project concerns diagramming power structures of corporations based on social networks rather than organizational design and structure both similar to the work that Marc Lombardi does in that it shows the interrelationship of things and similar to www.theyrule.com but for all individuals in the corporation rather than just the board members. Thirdly, my mine the gap project includes combining digital and antique photographic processes to comment both on the digital and the film worlds.

Recommended Resources

Personal Websites: http://www.jennifer-henderson.com for resume, exhibits, and publications.

Also, http://www.alternativeprocessphoto.com, a website about the handmade in the era of the digital.

For reviews of books on social networking, technology, science, social culture and politics see http://www.jennifer-henderson.com/id77.htm

Switch Journal issue on Interface: Software as Cultural Production: http://switch.sjsu.edu/~switch/nextswitch/switch_engine/front/front.php?o=mp&cat=44&show=

Leonardo Journal: http://mitpress2.mit.edu/e-journals/Leonardo/index.html


Tom Huffman, Foresight Senior Associate

The trajectory that brought me here comes through early encounters with Disney's Tomorrowland visions, books by Wernher von Braun and Willy Ley, and the 'juvenile' sf novels by Robert A. Heinlein. That trajectory also led through attempts to build a positive vision of the future in the very pessimistic days of the 70's; R. Buckminster Fuller and the late, Dr. Gerard K. O'Neill were major influences here. I actually started a chapter of the old L-5 Society in Tulsa, OK, in the late
1970's; I must admit that was a resounding failure. Currently, my only involvement with the space movement is taking part in the Pro-Space Foundation's yearly "March Storm" – you can get more information on March Storm at the www.Pro-Space.org website

In 1986, I attended the International Space Development Conference in Seattle, where I first heard K. Eric Drexler mention the concept of molecular nanotechnology. I was hooked – I could easily relate molecular nanotechnology to my earlier interest in space, and to the Bucky Fuller's inclusive vision of the future. It also offered the possibility of life extension – an idea I've liked ever since first hearing about it.

For the past few years, I've been a Senior Associate of the the Foresight Institute; I joined because I wanted to take part in the dialogue on the uses of molecular nanotechnology. I've attended the Foresight Senior Associate Get-Together where I've taken part in seminars on: Building dialogue with religion, preventing polarization (between nanotech advocates and environmentalists), and spreading the benefits of nanotechnology. That last issue is what concerns me most at present: I still associate nanotechnology with Bucky Fuller's vision of "Advantaging all – while disadvantaging none."


Craig Kaplan, CEO, iQ Company

Passions and Futures

I am actively researching the subject of Collective Intelligence – the idea that many minds can be linked over the internet using special software so that they can function as a group mind.

Along with Vernor Vinge and others, I believe that in 30 years individual human beings will no longer be the most intelligent beings on Earth. Instead, I expect there to be a number of superintelligences – intelligent networks composed of human minds, AIs, and hybrid bio-mechanical systems – smarter than any single human. With luck, these superintelligences may combine in a network of networks resulting in planetary intelligence.

Technology cannot continually accelerate forever. At some point we will get an S curve – or perhaps some other more abrupt curve. The only question is when?

Risks and opportunities will reflect our inner selves. If we seek power and domination, then we will likely create superintelligences that have these same values. If we seek to help everyone, then perhaps superintelligences will take their value cues from us – especially if humans are part of the superintelligent networks. Basically the risk and opportunities are the same as with any power tool. You get more results faster – for good or evil – depending on how you use the tool.

Priorities will reflect our inner values, so the first thing is for each of us to know him or herself and to try to act with good intentions toward others.


My company consults on the invention, design, and implementation of Distributed Work System technology. The value proposition is a 50% cost savings with high quality and faster cycle time than many businesses get with their current temporary or contract workforce.

iQ is also conducting R&D in the area of collective intelligence in general, and in using collective intelligence to make financial forecasts in particular. The PredictWallStreet project is one example of a Collective Intelligence project that is represented at this conference.

Personally, I enjoy meeting people who have ideas about the future and the future of cognition.

Recommended Resources

iQ company website: http://www.iqco.com

An interesting experiment in Collective Intelligence for those interested in the stock market: http://www.predictwallstreet.com

There is an international group that has put on conferences on the topic of the Global Brain. More at: http://pespmc1.vub.ac.be/GBRAIN-L.html


Jack Lewin, MD, CEO, California Medical Association

Passions and Futures

As a physician leader and CEO of the California Medical Association, I am interested in how barriers to already-demonstrated technological innovation can be reduced to allow improvements in the quality of health care, particularly in reducing an estimated 100,000 serious or fatal medical errors annually, and in reducing the estimated 20% of health care costs that are attributable to paper transactions. But, the true forefront of health care innovation relates to the frontiers of life extension, genetics, bionics, nanotechnology, and biotechnology in general – we are vitally interested in what to expect in these regards.


We am working on designing and promoting a consumer-driven health care future that will allow individuals to work with physicians as partners in individualizing health care goals and strategies, involving all of the above technological frontiers. Such a future will likely be organized around sophisticated decision-support-oriented personal health records, owned and maintained throughout one's lifetime by each of us, rather than by our hospitals, physicians, or health plans. Sophisticated non-invasive annual scans using next-generation safer scanning technologies, along with concomitant biotechnological blood chemistry analyses covering many 100s of disease detection and monitoring factors, may become available in the near future. Privacy and financing strategies related to such innovation will be challenging considerations.

Recommended Resources

CMA has launched MEDePass, a PKI digital internet ID system for physicians and other health professionals. Doctors of tomorrow need to have a medical license, a DEA number, and a spoof-proof digital identity to practice. MEDePass takes care of the latter newest essential license need...


Peter McCluskey

Passions and Futures

I'm interested in molecular nanotechnology, idea futures, uploading, cryonics, life extension, open source software, anarchocapitalism, and pan critical rationalism.


I'm currently a stock market speculator. I've worked as a programmer in the past, and have been part of a nanotech startup (see http://www.molecubotics.com).

Recommended Resources

My home page: http://www.rahul.net/pcm


Paul Miller, Researcher, Demos

Passions and Futures

I've always been fascinated by the leading edge of science, amazed by the people and ideas that can repeatedly blow apart our view of the universe and create a new one in its place. I'm also fascinated by how governance is changing in an increasingly interconnected world. As a researcher at Demos I get the chance to explore both.

Over the past couple of years I've been wondering quite a lot about the role of openness in technological development. There's the obvious example of open source software development but can we apply similar principles to the development of government policy on technology for instance?


I'm currently putting the final touches to a book on the future of regulation that proposes a new model of regulating based on principles from complexity science and systems thinking. It's due out in November.

I'm also working on a project that will explore new methods of public engagement in the development of nanotechnology in the UK funded by the UK Economic and Social Research Council.

Finally, I'm co-editing a collection of essays bringing together thinking about networks from a number of disciplines including sociology, political science, biology and physics. Contributors will include Fritjof Capra,
Howard Rheingold, Mark Buchanan and Larry Lessig. It's due out in December.

Recommended Resources

More info about Demos available at www.demos.co.uk
The Demos weblog is www.demosgreenhouse.co.uk
My personal weblog is www.paulmiller.org


Jesper Nielsen

Passions and Futures

I am specially interested in the long term future of the human race. Are we capable of becoming a space faring race? Is our intelligence, embedded in a very slowly developing biocomputer, capable of accelerating and carry us to the stars or is our brain so limited that we will be left behind on earth (and/or die out) while the machine intelligence we created expands into space after the singularity?

Will machine intelligence be benevolent or get out of control? Are we smart enough to manage spaceflight and machine intelligence? The distances and vacuum of space is unforgiving: if you make a mistake you are dead.


I want to participate in discussions related to the above and generally broaden my horizon speculating on the future of accelerating technologies.

Recommended Resources

My bio is at: http://www.zymaxusa.com/zymaxenviro/staff/nielsen.htm

My latest interest:

Victor J. Stenger: Where Did the Laws of Physics Come From?

Victor J. Stenger: Is the Universe Fine-Tuned for Us?


Henry H. Pang, Bio-Imaging Engineer, Aureon Biosciences

Passions and Futures

Quantum computing and nanotechnology fascinate me the most. The global capitalism will retreat and an unknown new world order will emerge in the next 30 years. I expect continual acceleration of technology. The risks are the misuse of nanotechnology and the mass unemployment due to the acceleration of technology and the opportunities are in the synergy of nanotechnology, biotechnology, and information technology and in the commercialization and the colonization of space. Nanotechnology and quantum computing should be our development priorities because they will enable the advancement of other technologies.


I would like to work on the software tools for nanotechnology and quantum computing. Areas of collaborative opportunity are quantum computing, nanotechnology, and business. I want to discuss the impact of accelerating change on entrepreneurship, global capitalism, and high skilled labor market in the group.

Recommended Resources

I am affiliated with Optical Society of America, http://www.osa.org, and Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, http://www.ieee.org.


Stan Pecavar, Thermal/Mechanical Engineer, Sun Microsystems

Among other things, I do package level qualification work on various Sun products. My interests include: (1) better understanding the path to the "singularity"; (2) development of "conscious" artificial intelligence; and (3) human enhancement technologies.

An issue that concerns me greatly is the probability of a catastrophic event occurring during the coming decades due to error/failure/accident of advancing technologies. What are some proactive measures we can take to improve chances of this not happening?

How will advanced "conscious" artificial intelligence change the way we feel about what it means to be human? Is it even possible for an artificial machine to fully relate to human experiences?


John Peterson, President, The Arlington Institute

1. I believe that we are living in an era of global transition, to a degree that our species has never seen before. The exponential increase of human knowledge, and the acceleration of its application through technology, is propelling humanity towards a new era of thought and endeavor. Society, science, ecology and commerce are converging at the intersection of danger and opportunity. A complexity and unpredictability that is beyond our past experience characterize the challenges at hand. If humanity's preferred future is to be realized, new tools for strategic planning and problem solving must be invented and combined. We must think differently.

At The Arlington Institute, it is our priority to facilitate this transition, and to connect and associate with like-minded people so that we may together embrace the opportunities of this future.

2. Existing Project: The Arlington Institute’s Large Integrated Search and Analysis (LISA) tool is an information collection, storage, extraction, and analysis capability for tracking global trends that we believe is unequalled outside of the intelligence community. It brings together a variety of innovative components to provide an "information and knowledge engine" that can globally track emerging ideas around any selected topic from thousands of sources.

Potential Project: The River to the Future is a breakthrough visualization system that allows analysts and futurists, in real time, to assess the significance of ongoing incidents in relation to the wider global system. It also allows the analysts to create and consider, through a database of scenarios, a wide variety of futures that may arise from these ongoing events.

Potential Project: The Arlington Institute and the Global Future Forum will host the Zero Harm Technology Conference in April of 2004 in Washington DC. With world-renowned speakers, this conference will explore – at a systems level – the positive, negative and interconnected impacts of rapid technological change so that solutions can be forged which do not further exacerbate conditions for humanity and the planet, even as they attempt to ameliorate them.

3. President, The Arlington Institute – www.arlingtoninstitute.org. Other alliances and networks: Mr. Petersen is a network member of the Global Business Network and a number of other professional and interest groups.


Gregor J. Rothfuss, Vice President, Business Development, KAYWA Ltd.

Passions and Futures

I am interested especially in nanotechnology and artificial intelligence. I expect the rate of change to increase in the next 30 years as various previously unconnected technologies begin to interesect. I hope that the world will see the first pre-singularity technologies being put to use within 30 years, and hope that I can be a part of the ride by learning and teaching about these changes. The risks and opportunities have been written up cogently elsewhere, let me add that I consider the creation of friendly AI to be key.


One of the biggest problems facing us today is for society to adapt to change. The collective intelligence of society has to grow much quicker than it does today to tackle the complex problems of today and the future. I hope that social software and weblogs can be a first step in that direction. I design and promote weblog software.

Recommended Resources

Personal web page, if any. Groups you are affiliated with or promote. Web community and other info sources you use and recommend (e.g., sites you regularly read/participate in, news sources, magazines, tools, techniques, courses, other "conversations" you value).

Weblog: http://greg.abstrakt.ch


Abiola O. Samuel, CEO, Invent Corporation

Passions and Futures

I am fascinated by the PC, the Internet, and nanotechnology.

The PC was born in 1981 when IBM introduced it's first personal computer. Since then, humanity has never been, and will never be, the same. The pathway into the known and unknown world was paved. Today, PCs are not really personal. Tomorrow, they will be so profoundly personal that they'll be in everything and everywhere, yet will appear to disappear as they become embedded in everything from our clothing and eyeglasses to our bodies and brains. "Wearable" PCs will soon become common place.

The Internet is still at it's infancy and will metamorphize soon. We're just a short while away from the 'big bang,' the Evernet, the always-on, high-speed, ubiquitous, mutiformat Web. When this occurs, downloading a 100GB high speed motion picture movie will be like changing a channel from your remote control. How long does that take?

Nanotech always keeps me in awe when I ponder over it. The part that makes me dread is the impact of molecular electronics: the science of manipulating matter at the atomic level. Around 2030, we will be building machines that are a million times more powerful than today's PCs.

The mere thought of where the world will be in the next 30 years is enough to make most reasonable people feel as though their heads might explode. Where we will be is going to shake the very foundations of our faiths and beliefs. In the next 30 years, everything about us will have changed from the way we think to the way we compute. We will have more power and ability to enhance our living style, comfort, safety, and environmental friendliness. There will be continuous acceleration. Computing power will ignite extraordinary revolutions that will transform our world and make all of this possible…for better or worse. The risks are as great as the opportunities, but we're curtailed not to pursue a particular kind of knowledge.

I suggest ASF should work on the Human Genome Project. It involves proteomics, cloning, and developmental biology. This is one area that can never be ignored. The other area is distributed clean power, transportation, and water for the tens of millions of people globally who live on less than a dollar a day. I believe that each of these sets of technologies could be as important as the Net and maybe more profitable.


Right now, I'm working on two core projects: Mobile Electricity and BioMode.

Mobile Electricity: This is aimed at solving the pressing problem of every mobile device. According to The Global Mobile Commerce Forum, the mobile device has become the era's defining personal technology. Mobile technology is bringing about fundamental changes in how we do business, and even in how we live.

According to Silicon Valley, Wireless mobile access to the Internet is expected to exceed access from fixed PCs by 2004. But all this may fail without an always-on mobile device. This is a great problem chip makers are facing because as they put more and more transistors down and flip them at higher frequencies, they dissipate more and more power, which means that PCs running with a P4 will exhaust their power faster than PCs running a P3. My device uses almost less then one tenth lithium ion battery than a normal laptop battery, so environmental risk and emission is minimal. I still need to seek expert advice to perfect it, and believe ACC2003 is a great opportunity for me to do that.

BioMode: This is aimed at making e-commerce easier. BioMode is a fingerprint device, like a mouse for verification and authentication. I would prefer to not go into this further because the principle behind it is simple, unlike any other fingerprint device.

Regarding issues that I want to discuss with the group: I have a strong interest in discussing nanotechnology and Artificial Intelligence with attendees.

Recommended Resources

I'm affiliated with http://www.kurzweilai.net and it's affiliates, http://wfs.org/ and http://www.wired.com/, so please see their web sites. Right now, my web site is under construction, but I'll provide the link to ASF as soon as it's up.

As we go into the world of the inevitable, I pay great tribute to the men and women who have gone ahead of me, and to the speakers at ACC2003. See you in Palo Alto.


Wrye Sententia, Director, Center for Cognitive Liberty and Ethics

Passions and Futures

Profound advances in cognitive technologies & neurochemistry are further accelerating our ability to manipulate and enhance the brain. In the next few decades we will see even more intricate breakthroughs in neurotechnologies & neurochemistry. How will society respond to new options, new possibilities for treating, improving, or modifying the mind? What sorts of freedom to benefit from these advances will we have, what sorts of limitations should/will there be?

Just as environmental diversity is a requirement for maintaining and fostering a healthy ecosystem, so too, mental diversity ensures creativity and flourishing open social systems by encouraging a multiplicity of approaches to thinking about, and solving, problems.

Today, new drugs and other technologies developed for augmenting, monitoring, and manipulating cognition require social policies that will promote, rather than restrict, free thinking. Applications of these technologies can benefit from forward-looking principles that ensure cognitive liberty.


I am a co-director of the Center for Cognitive Liberty & Ethics (CCLE), a nonprofit law and policy institute working to advance sustainable social policies that protect freedom of thought. I will be happy to meet with fellow ACC2003 attendees who have a personal interest, professional focus, or expertise in fields that intersect with cognitive liberty issues.

Here are three core principles the CCLE team works to ensure:

  • Privacy: What and how you think should be private unless you choose to share it. The use of technologies such as brain imaging and scanning must remain consensual and any information so revealed should remain confidential. The right to privacy must be found to encompass the inner domain of thought.
  • Autonomy: Self-determination over one's own cognition is central to free will. School boards, for example, should not be permitted to condition a child's right to public education on taking a psychoactive drug such as Ritalin. Decisions concerning whether or how to change a person's thought processes must remain the province of the individual as opposed to government or industry.
  • Choice: The capabilities of the human mind should not be limited. So long as people do not directly harm others, governments should not criminally prohibit cognitive enhancement or the occasioning of any mental state.

Recommended Resources

For more information, or to participate and support the CCLE's work, visit: Center for Cognitive Liberty & Ethics, http://www.cognitiveliberty.org.

To receive "Top Cognitive Liberty News" e-mails, sign-up at: http://www.cognitiveliberty.org/topnews.html

Zack Lynch's "Brain Waves" is an informative and thoughtful column on emerging neurotechnologies and their social implications: http://www.corante.com/brainwaves


Antonio d'Souza, Student, University of Waterloo

Passions and Futures

The subjects I am most enthralled with include quantum physics, linguistics, machine learning, and genetic engineering.

Three decades from now, I foresee widespread use of quantum computers that can pick up new abilities by observing them in practice. These machines will be able to hold conversations with human beings with sufficient fluency to pass the Turing test.

Barring some major international disaster that sets us all back technologically or culturally, I expect the pace of change to continue accelerating for the next few decades.

The main risk is that we might do something stupid and dangerous in the quest for short-term gain and that this will destroy our lives.

Offsetting this is the opportunity to create a new generation of machines that will be able to do for modern society what the slaves did for the ancient Greeks, thereby enabling us to focus on higher pursuits like philosophy.

Our development priorities should be to encourage the public understanding of the technologies that we use so much on an everyday basis.


Something I've been thinking about a lot recently is the creation of a genetically programmed neural net that can learn how to make sense of human vocal utterences using fuzzy pattern recognition. Because humans do not learn through auditory input alone, a way of simulating multiple physical senses will need to be developed. The machine will need to interact with a wide variety of people to provide it with a useful range of input data. However, any results from such a project are likely to prove invaluable to automatic translation services.


Phil Steele, ASF Supporter

Passions and Futures

Ethical aspects of artificial intelligence. What will be the legal status and responsibilities of AI's as they emerge, and how do we demarcate their passage from "childhood" to "adult" legal status? How do we motivate and enforce responsible behavior in AI's?


Currently plotting a science fiction novel involving AI and singularity issues. Currently participating socially with ASF members and looking for a more productive involvement with this community. Wondering how to apply my professional skills (predominantly writing/editing/copywriting/web-content/usability) to help advance the cause. I would welcome opportunities to consult in these areas.

Recommended Resources

I'm a newcomer to these disciplines, so I think I have more to learn than to offer in this area.


Elizabeth Theiler, Director Consultant, Futurity Fitness

Passions and Futures

As I am writing the script for a Documentary on Women in Accelerated Change I would be very interested to talk and perhaps video some conversations with people on their views on this topic. Personally, I have a fascination with the leaky body' concept in feminist philosophy and its relation to matters trans-human. There seem to be some fascinating links to be made.

I am also passionate about new ways of thinking in an era of Accelerated Change. I have a longstanding admiration for Gilles Deleuze, a continental French Philosopher, and his take on thinking that is beyond signification and representation. I think his philosophy has a lot to offer in a world of accelerating change.

I am also fascinated with the window of opportunity that a singularity may present us. I feel this could be the moment to be ready with a whole new set of tools based on new principles for a much more egalitarian and enjoyable life for all.


I am currently setting up an organization in Australia that attempts to bring together
Accelerating-, Changing- and Trans-Humans in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific and beyond. We hope to set up a conference/gathering in Australia for the Pacific and beyond making an opportunity for all accelerated and trans-human folk to meet regionally. Please contact me if you are interested: Theiler@bipond.com.

I am looking for funding to make a film on Women and Accelerated Change.

I am writing a Phd/book on Women, Singularity and Change.

Recommended Resources

I have set up an organization called FUTURITY FITNESS, http://www.futurityfitness.com, that aims to be a psychological resource for people in accelerated change and transiting to post-human stages of development. Sooner or later I will have to make a living from this work. I am very keen to talk and share with other psychologists developing their expertise in matters future, change and the trans-human. Please contact me on info@futurityfitness.com.


Liisa Valikangas, Managing Director, Woodside Institute

Liisa Valikangas is managing director at the Woodside Institute. Previously, she was the director of research at Strategos, a management consulting company. A researcher and consultant for the past 15 years, she has explored world competitiveness at IMD in Switzerland, leadership and organizational change at Keio Business School in Japan, organizational learning at Stanford University, and innovation and knowledge management at SRI Consulting in the U.S. She has published widely in the areas of strategic management and organization design and consulted for many of the leading companies in the United States, Europe, and Asia. Dr. Valikangas is also a cofounder of a research project on regional and organizational knowledge networks at Stanford University and a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Knowledge Management. The Strategic Management Society recently awarded her a prize for integrating theory and practice. She holds a PhD in business administration from Tampere University in Finland.

Woodside Institute: http://www.woodsideinstitute.org


Jennifer van Stelle, Ph.D. Student, Stanford University

Passions and Futures

I’m incredibly interested in social networks, networks of organizations, etc. – I’ve been inspired by Mark Granovetter, Duncan Watts, and others. My current work (more on this below) involves trying to understand the changes network structures go through during economic crises – and how networks of organizations can best weather such crises.

I’m also fascinated by team dynamics – my partner is a team-building trainer who uses team-based treasure hunts as the vehicle for lessons about organizational dynamics, collaboration, innovation, you-name-it. I enjoy helping him organize the treasure hunts and then sitting back and watching what happens… :)

I’m curious about cutting-edge biotechnology and nanotechnology; I love speculative (science) fiction that goes into detail about possible near-future technologies and their uses (more on this below).

I think that while the development of technology may continue to accelerate, it will take a serious shift in global culture – a transformation of the way we deal with (accept/use) technology – in order for such technology to be introduced effectively at anywhere near the rate at which it is/will be developed. So I think that one of our priorities should be to work towards a more technologically educated global population. Greater openness to new technologies will (arguably) only come when they are not such a mystery to the average world citizen.


My current (dissertation) project involves understanding the venture capital industry’s evolution over the course of the past 30 years, particularly the impact of economic crises on this industry’s network structures, patterns of investment, and economic performance. I’m taken with applying the concept of robustness, or resilience, to network structure and seeing what bearing it might have on networks’ survival/success in such crises. I’m also interested in understanding how and why regional differences in network structures exist.

In addition, I’m working on a study of the evolution of managerial control systems in high tech organizations. We are hoping to identify the best practices in each phase of the organizational life cycle, in an effort to provide entrepreneurs with a better blueprint for organizational development.

Recommended Resources

My two research groups are:

My partner owns the team-building training company that I referred to earlier: http://www.drclue.com. His experiential programs draw participants’ attention to facilitating innovation, cross-team collaboration, and improved communication in their organizations.

I’ve found Duncan Watts’ 2003 book on networks, entitled Six Degrees, extremely interesting and think it would be useful to network novices and experts alike. Additionally, I suggest that anyone interested in multidisciplinary collaboration in the various sciences (physical/ biological/ social/ computing) visit the Santa Fe Institute’s web site: http://www.santafe.edu.

On the lighter side, in the realm of speculative (science) fiction I highly recommend Neal Stephenson’s work (particularly The Diamond Age with respect to nanotechnology, and Cryptonomicon with respect to encryption and privacy issues). I also recommend Donnerjack by Jane Lindskold and the late Roger Zelazny, for a (somewhat) fanciful look at virtual reality. Enjoy!


Peter Voss, Founder, Adaptive AI Inc.

Passions and Futures

My interests include: Artificial General Intelligence (AGI), philosophy, ethics, futurism, technology, and psychology. All indications are that in less than 10 years we'll hit the singularity, and who knows what things will be like... AGI is the key – it will happen before full-blown nanotech, bioengineering, or radical life-extension – it will make these other advances possible.


Adaptive AI (a2i2) is building an AGI system: http://adaptiveai.com/. We are always looking for additional team members & collaborators.

Our AGI engine is based on a specific theoretical model of high-level intelligence developed over the past decade. Our immediate goal is the creation of a fully functional, proof-of-concept prototype of all the foundational elements of General Intelligence.

We currently have seven full-time members on our team, who in a short period of time have created a significant framework of core functionality and tools for our AGI engine. For more information about a2i2, see our Research, Project, and Company page.

Recommended Resources

Peter Voss: http://www.optimal.org/peter/peter.htm


Shannon Vyff, Nutritional Student, LR Society

Passions and Futures

Other than mapping out where the Earth will be in 4 dimensional space in 30 years, I'm going to wish that society and technology has grown as my neural map, life experiences, ideas of morality can now portend. The emergence of cyber beings, the world's economy switched from the 548 billion now spent by the U.S. and Allies on Military Spending -- when 31 billion is spent on education here in America and a mere 13 billion would provide food for the world's poor -- to something more rational, with the balance and bulk of resources going towards science... our ever lasting, since we became aware of our existence, quest for the meaning of it all.


An issue for me is education/awareness. To learn about our world, to understand others, to share the need and knowledge with others.

Recommended Resources

I read New Scientist for its weekly digest of new science, Mother Jones for investigative reporting, Discover, Nutrition Action Health Newsletter, Harvard Health News Letter, University of CA Berkley Health Newsletter, Scientific America, Discover, Newsweek, Mothering magazine, New Beginnings (the La Leche League publication) I am a member of the CR society (calorie restriction with optimal nutrition) I read those digests on-line and those of the cryonics group. I am planning on being cryogenically frozen when I de-aminate.


Kennita Watson, Software QA Engineer

Passions and Futures

What subjects fascinate you most? Space travel and colonization. The meeting of virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and psychology (for example, as they could be applied for rehabilitation of criminals or for reacclimatization of reanimated cryonics patients). Biomedical technology (neural regeneration and repair).

Where will the world, and you, be in the next 30 years? Most of the world, particularly the third world, may be held to approximately its present state by political inertia and the slow diffusion of ideas across linguistic, cultural, and ideological boundaries. For those in developed countries, death from aging and disease will be greatly reduced, as will unplanned procreation. Other than that, I really don't know, which is part of the point.

Do you expect continual acceleration of technology? Yes, although I don't know what that will look like.

What are the risks and opportunities? Risks include that technology will be used for violence and destruction, or that it will push humans out of their accustomed niches without giving them time to adapt to new ones. Opportunities include that it will be used to free up the creative energy of billions who are currently unable to use it effectively due to poverty and disease.

What should be our development priorities? A general priority, not connected to any particular technology, should be safety. Many technologies are in the works or on the horizon that have the potential to get out of control, or to be purposely developed and used, to the detriment of millions or even billions.


I'm interested in AI-assisted psychology and education. Think The Diamond Age: or, A Young Lady's Illustrated Primer. I have long thought that grades (in both senses) should be done away with in schools; now I think that schools themselves (as we have come to know them) should be done away with. I'd like to hear others' views of how those brought up in the 20th century will deal with an economy turned topsy-turvy by coming developments, and how our social structure will integrate people who live much longer and healthier life spans. Will people retire much later? Much earlier? Not at all? Will they even have to (or be able to) work as we know it?

Recommended Resources

Personal web page: http://www.kennita.com. Groups you are affiliated with or promote:
Foresight Institute, Alcor Life Extension Foundation, Extropy Institute, Libertarian Party. Other info sources you use and recommend: The only one that comes immediately to mind at 5 AM is http://www.feelinggood.com, particularly the Tutorials section.


Dr. James Wilsdon, Head of Strategy, Demos

Passions and Futures

I work as head of strategy at Demos, one of the UK's leading nonprofit think tanks. Over the past decade, the relationship between technology, society and public policy has been a central focus of our work. Demos is strongly pro-innovation, but our research tries to help policymakers navigate the complex webs of economic, social and environmental risks and opportunities that new technologies create. Issues of accountability and governance are particularly important to us. For any new technology, we tend to ask questions about whose technology it is, whom it would benefit, who bears the risks, what purposes are driving R&D, and how it might change our society.


We have several projects underway that relate to the themes of the Accelerating Change Conference:

a) New technologies and progressive governance - Demos led the research and policy input for the technology strand of this year's Progressive Governance Summit, hosted by Tony Blair in London in July 2003 (http://www.progressive-governance.net). The summit, which was attended by a dozen world leaders and around 400 policy experts, was based around seven themes, one of which was emerging technologies, risk and the environment. Our paper - "From Bio to Nano and beyond" - was debated by ministers from the UK, Germany, Sweden and South Africa.

b) Nanotechnology and sustainability - We have recently embarked on a two-year study of the social and environmental implications of nanotechnology, with the aim of moving the site of public debate and dialogue on these issues further upstream within R&D processes. This work is funded by the UK's Economic and Social Research Council, and is being carried out in partnership with Lancaster University's Institute for the Environment, Philosophy and Public Policy.

c) Open source democracy - In October, we will be publishing a pamphlet by Douglas Rushkoff (http://www.rushkoff.com) on the lessons that progressive politics can draw from the open source movement. This is the latest in a series of Demos reports on the ways that open source models of innovation can help to transform politics and the delivery of public services.

Recommended Resources



William Wiser

Passions and Futures

I am currently most interested in learning about potentially world changing technologies, such as superhuman intelligence (either computers or human augmentation), nanotechnology, and biotechnology. I am also interested in the sociology of technology development, international military relations, and the politics of technology, war, and freedom.

I don't know where things will be in 30 years. I do expect technology to keep accelerating. Risks and opportunities are too many to mention. Development priorities for me would be inevitable technologies with dramatic effect or anti-aging science.


My current top project is learning potentially dramatic technologies and keeping up on them. Methods for tracking technology are interesting to me. Current health and productivity is also a big interest for me - teaching and applying what is known, stimulating interest. My main focus for now is learning and teaching (mostly by writing) technology and ways to avoid death. Technology with high, near-term profit potential and long term value is also interesting to me.

Recommended Resources

I like Foresight Institute. I generally hang out with a life extension, future oriented crowd but I have few novel recommendations. I have a good knowledge of general life extension topics.


Late Additions

Michael Annissimov, Volunteer, Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence

Passions and Futures

Given the continuous improvement of computing power and cognitive science knowledge across the world, I believe it’s only a matter of time before we flesh out the essential algorithms of intelligence, instantiate them on a silicon substrate, and watch those algorithms conduct improvements to themselves at milions or billions of times the human rate. When this novel form of intelligence gains the ability to conduct architectural, recursive improvements to itself – say, by
obtaining built-to-order proteins from a custom synthesis lab, and using those proteins to bootstrap Drexlerian assemblers – then we have every reason to expect that intelligence will go “FOOM” (what some have called a “hard takeoff”). The possibility of this event occuring in the next couple of decades makes it incredibly important that the top-level goal of a nascent general AI be complex enough to value life, and help other entities in the ways they want to be helped. Some call this top-level goal “Friendliness”, and the thinking behind it "Friendliness research".


I participate in the transhumanist community by volunteering for the ASF and the Singularity Institute. I’d be happy to explain the Singularity Institute’s work to the best of my ability to anyone who is interested. I co-direct the Immortality Institute, a nonprofit organization devoted
to spreading information regarding extreme life extension. My goal for the remainder of this year is to get a strong San Francisco Bay Area Transhumanists organization going. I’m interested in all topics related to accelerating change.

Recommended Resources

http://www.singinst.org, http://www.imminst.org,
http://www.acceleratingfuture.com, http://www.sysopmind.com/beyond,
http://www.transhumaninstitute.com, http://www.nickbostrom.com,


Benjamin James Bush

Passions and Futures

I am fascinated by the human brain, the organ of our consciousness, emotions, subjective experience and identity. I am fascinated by computers, the fast evolving artificial brains which will soon become sentient and surpass their nature-made counterparts. I am fascinated by
the symbiotic relationship that these two brains have already begun to develop. I eagerly, boldly, curiously, and excitedly look ahead to the merging of human brains with computers. I want to augment my intelligence and expand my consciousness. I want to create worlds and visit the worlds that others have created. I want to explore the unimaginable and imagine the
unexplored. I stride forward toward the Singularity at full speed and without hesitation, because for many people the singularity may come too late. Death takes it's toll every day; Extropy succumbs to Entropy, ashes to ashes, dust to dust. However, I must do everything within my power to ensure that nobody is left behind. For this I must increase awareness and education about the accelerating progress of technology. Many, many people have are unaware that their entire world is drastically changing right before their eyes. We must increase awareness, so that as a society, we will all be prepared.


One of the great things that will come from the increasing knowledge of the workings of the human brain and the accelerating progress of technology is the ability to use technology to monitor and influence the human brain's functions. In the near future, when technologies such as
portable PET (Positron Emission Tomography) scanners become available, we will be able to monitor our brain function in great detail and in real time, without having to go to a hospital or enter a large chamber. This technology, in conjunction with biofeedback techniques, will allow a
person to exert conscious control over many brain functions which are at present controlled unconsciously. These functions includes alertness, attention, time perception, and pain sensation, to name a few. It is interesting to note that some people can achieve some level of control over these functions through meditation, however, biofeedback techniques will allow people to achieve this control in a much shorter time and with much less effort. We do not yet have portable PET scanners. However, another method of using technology to monitor brain function exists: EEG (Electroencephalogram) Biofeedback. EEG biofeedback uses electrodes
placed on the scalp to monitor brainwaves. Different brainwave frequencies are associated with different states of consciousness and attention. With EEG biofeedback, one can train oneself to consciously control many aspects of their brain function. I am currently involved in the OpenEEG project (http://www.OpenEEG.org), an open source project which makes it possible for a layperson such as myself to build an EEG biofeedback machine from scratch. Professional
Biofeedback machines and professional biofeedback therapy are at present prohibitively expensive (thousands of dollars), especially for college students. However, the OpenEEG project makes it possible to get an EEG machine up an running for around $200. You can find my own "Project Beta Wave" EEG Biofeedback project at http://www.csulb.edu/~bbush

Recommended Resources

I am a member of LA Futurist Reading Group:
I helped set up our first Accelerating Change BBS. Look for me, my screen name
is Nebson. http://www.accelerating.org/bbs/

Personal Web Page: "Operation Beta Wave" http://www.csulb.edu/~bbush
OpenEEG project: http://www.OpenEEG.org

I recommend SingularityWatch.com, KurzweilAI.net, Transhumanism.com (World Transhumanist Association), SingInst.org (Singularity Institute), Extropy.org (Extropy Institute), for the latest news, discussions, and social implications of technological breakthroughs and accelerating

Personal networking on the internet is a growing trend that is quickly allowing people to meet other people with similar interests, organize themselves in mass, have important discussions, and form business partners. I currently use and recommend four such personal networking

Ryze Business Networking: http://www.ryze.com/
Friendster: http://www.friendster.com
Livejournal: http://www.livejournal.com
Meetup: http://www.meetup.com

The latest Scientific American issue (September 2003) is a special issue titled "Better Brains." It includes lots of wonderful, surprising information on the latest trends and discoveries in Neuroscience. I highly recommend it to everyone.


Rodney C. Hill, Co-Director of the Institute for Applied Creativity, Texas A&M University

Passions and Futures

My first exposure to the future was in 1968 when I and another graduate student were hired to teach the first undergraduate course in Futures at UC Berkeley. Since that time I have incorporated creativity and future studies into my courses.


Students in my always changing creativity/futures class have to produce knowledge rather than reproduce knowledge. They sign a non-disclosure statement to get into the class and are expected to create hybrids for the future.

Creativity is the currency of the new Millennium and the ability to produce knowledge will accelerate. I worry that most university curriculums deal with the past and present and rarely, if ever, explore the future. Since a third of the jobs that will be available in ten years have not been invented yet, universities should be more open to experimental curriculums that deal with fields of the future. If Intellectual Property is the coin of the realm, can we avoid a depression in our universities?
I wonder about the recent developments of extending life to 120+ years when the earth is reaching it's limit on food and water supplies. Who decides which life is extended?

When the time comes that birth defects and diseases can be corrected in the womb, can insurance companies deny insurance to the non participants? Can your DNA limit your job possibilities when you have a questionable future?

Will we be a totally transparent society at the hands of Homeland Security? Who will control who?


Todd Huffman

Passions and Futures

Over the next thirty years my interest will be captured primarily by the advances in neuroscience, and more importantly, the integration of those advances into our society, economy, and our bodies.

While I differ with some 'Singularitarians' on inevitability of accelerating change, I do expect it. The changes occurring over the next 30 years do pose some risks, but we have been on the same technological curve for centuries now and we can expect a continuation of the same ratio of risks to opportunities. My feeling, and one shared by many, is our world is better than it was a hundred/two hundred/et cetera years ago. The future is likely to hold in this phenomenon, there will be drawbacks, but they are very likely to be heavily outweighed by the improvements.

Our developmental priorities should be in nanotech. Every advance in nanotech will result in numerous advances in AI, neuroscience, computing and so on.


In addition to the standard technological advances I am interested in the human issues surrounding accelerating change. Currently I am working on projects dealing with death in the face of accelerating change.

Increasing technological sophistication is leading to a blurring of the once fine line surrounding death. Society is grappling with death, arguing over persistent vegetative states and abortion. I am currently involved with two projects involving death and accelerating change. I am an assistant
researcher for the Alcor Life Extension Foundation, a cryonics organization. I am working to help people who want to fully experience the benefits of accelerating technological change. I am also working with Arizona Death with Dignity organization, helping create a packet of information for families and patients struggling with decisions surrounding death. Technology is progressing faster than many people realize, and the dying are faced with complex and difficult decisions regarding technology.

In two years I will be leaving Alcor and going to medical school or graduate school (in neuroscience). I am currently in the process of exploring how I want to contribute to our society in the future. On one hand I am drawn towards focusing on human interests, helping individuals integrate technology into opportunities. On the other hand I want to directly contribute to scientific knowledge.

Recommended Resources

The LA Futurists group was an important resource to me over the last few years. Since I moved away from LA I have become fond of betterhumans.com. For more general information regarding technological progress I rely on Slashdot and other news feeds.

Community, like every other important aspect of human existence, is rapidly changing in the face of technological development. I cannot recommend specific communities, because I have assembled a distributed community across thousands of miles using a hodgepodge of technological devices. What I am currently using to maintain my community: friendster.com,
livejournal.com, AIM, cell phone, e mail, and soon my website www.vim-vigor.net. For real time interaction we meet at events such as Burning Man, LA Futurists, and the Accelerating Change Conference.


Marlea Welton, Senior Research Analyst, C J Corp

Passions and Futures

My ongoing passion is to find the fulcrum where humanism, journalism, law and science converge. My background is anthropology; my day job is spent reading and researching journal and mass communication; my hobbies at night are Nichiren Buddhism and peace studies. The next 30 years is happening now. We need to create and live by an entirely new set of ethics. If we are already cloning pets, what next?


Always ongoing is my quest to discover the global baseline; in other words, what parts of which cultures are going to be the standard/compromise/compendium/benchmark? Intercultural communication has been and is a given, but what do we hope to achieve from all the talk? In order to answer these questions, I have been fortunate to find and volunteer at the Boston Research Center for the 21st Century (www.brc21.org) to arrange dialogues among world citizens and intellectuals. I am also writing a book to be called “Enlightened Democracy.”

Recommended Resources

Two other organizations I have found very helpful in answering my questions about the future are the Toda Peace Institute (www.Toda.org) and the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation (www.wagingpeace.org)


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