Bracing against the wind  

Sunday, August 04, 2002

Humanist Blackout : Part 2

OK, so after I arrive, I immediately head over to South Street which is a bit sold out, but still has some remnants. The mosaic building at 10th is a sight to see, didn't have a camera through. Bought tickets to a concert The Vines. Ate a falafel. Made it back in time to hear the opening ceremony where they discussed the trends toward infertility and underpopulation that may cause problems in the future (i kindof like that trend). I'm a firm believer in reduced reproduction and increased longevity. It was sad to note that cultures that allow women to be abused, and who don't allow them to vote, and who don't provide them with education have the highest birth rates. IE: We're breeding a planet of immoral rapists.

The concert was cool. The lead singer kept falling down and breaking things. Reminded me of a cross between Radiohead and Greenday. Went to a nice goth club called Ulana's. They may dress fancy, but no matter what - PA people are still boring compared to NY ;P. After getting drunk and moshing with faux-supremacists who were probably embarrassed or frightened by my skinny Jewish rhythmic antics, I decided to head back to the hotel. No, not alone, and no, I'm not going into it in detail.

The second day, I went to some talks on nanotech and genetic engineering. They were OK. Note: 80% of processed food in the U.S. contains some form of genetically engineered crop - and it's yummy! Anyway, I'd rather have GE crops than chemical pesticides. Chemicals are way scarier to me for some reason. The nanotech discussions prompted me to price out a home nanotech development lab: computer with autocad ($3K), a used photolithography kit and mask ($24K), and a nanopositioner ($12K). Despite what they say, it's a still too expensive for a garage (at least my garage).

The luncheon was completely bizarre. The two speakers Joyce L. Gioia and Roger E. Herman went back and forth discussing their vision of the "corporation of the future". The content was fine, and pretty standard stuff (incentivized workforces, decentralized management, smaller corporations selling to larger, global markets, etc.). But their eerie style was reminiscent of 70's L5-society hype and was so off-putting that they prompted a lively discussion among the attendees about how *not* to promote futurist concepts (IE: not a whiny duet).

However, it dawned on me that the real goal of the society was not the promotion of futurism and thinking about the future. This was the foundation, but the ultimate goal was to use futurism and predictive methodology to guide corporate engineering in their image. IE: It was half prediction, half best-wishes, and half politics. Still, even their hidden-agenda intentions seemed so benign, with goals of equality and economic freedom, that I'm continuing to support their efforts.

Thinking of putting together a U.S. conference on transhumanism, since they're all in Europe these days.


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