Tag Archives: thinkers

Visiting Lecturers at the Singularity University or The Evangelists of the Singularity Order?

The NASA Ames is the campus for SingularityU, would it ever become part of the 'Stanford Torus' (by Donald Davis) ?

The NASA Ames is the campus for SingularityU, would it ever become part of the 'Stanford Torus' (by Donald Davis) ?

“A number of exponentially growing technologies (biotechnology, supercomputing, nanotechnology, robotics, communications technologies and more.) are giving tools for change around the world. These technologies and sciences build on each other: a medical advance may rely on supercomputers, robotics, and sophisticated programs such as machine learning. Singularity University is an academic institution whose students and faculty will study these technologies, with an emphasis on their interactions.”

Angelica, Amara D., Academic Model/Curriculum Lead, Singularity University Arrison, Sonia, Senior Fellow, Pacific Research Institute Barry, Dan, President, Denbar Robotics, former NASA astronaut Bennetsen, Henrik, Assoc Dir, Stanford Humanities Lab, Stanford University Black, Sarah, Kurzweil Liaison, Singularity University Blakely, Dave, Director of Technology Strategy, IDEO Bloom, Howard, Author, The Lucifer Principle, and Global BrainBoshuizen, Chris, Project/Events Planning Lead, Singularity UniversityByers, Tom, Prof, Stanford Univ; Stanford Technology Ventures Program Byrd, Troy, Education/Business Development, Singularity University Canton, James, CEO and Chairman of the Institute for Global Futures Cerf, Vint, Vice President and Chief Internet Evangelist, Google Inc.Damer, Bruce, Founder CEO, DigitalSpace; Dir The Contact ConsortiumDator, Jim, Prof & Dir of the Hawaii Research Center for Futures StudiesDebat, Yves, Monterey Institute of International Studiesde Grey, Aubrey, Chair & Chief Science Officer of the Methuselah FoundationdeCharms, Christopher, Founder, Omneuron, Inc.Diamandis, Peter, Founder, X PRIZE FoundationDiBona, Chris, Open Source Program Manager, Google Inc.Ebenstein, Lanny , Professor, UC Santa BarbaraEpstein, Kevin, Executive in Residence, Mohr Davidow VenturesFerriss, Timothy, Author, The 4-Hour WorkweekFletcher, Lauren, Engineer, Astrobiology, NASA Ames Research CenterFonseca-Klein, Susan, VP of Operations, Singularity UniversityFord, Daniel, Senior Mathematician, Google Inc.Freitas, Robert. A., Jr, Sr Research Fellow, Inst for Molecular Manufacturing

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Objectified The Film

I recently saw the UK screening of Objectified at Curzon Chelsea cinema and really, really enjoyed it. Objectified is a documentary film by Gary Hustwit about product designers and their obsessions with the conception of the objects we interact with on a daily basis. Hustwit’s previous work was the succesful Helvetica film that explored the world of the typeface and their creators.

The Objectified film does not necessarily offer a critical in-depth comparison between different perspectives of how to apply design thinking in industry but what I did enjoy was its sensitive approach to unraveling some aspects of the various design practitioners personalities (I particular loved the juxtaposition between Dieter Rams and his Bonsai pruning and Karim Rashid and his white nail varnish)

Yet it does explore and discuss the detrimental impact the designers contributing role has on the eventual impact of littering the earth with stuff, from over production and the constant built in obsolescence mentality of striving to design and develop new and “better” products. Rob Walker an amazingly critical journalist from New York Times for the “Consumed” column gives a very insightful perspective on consumption and it’s impacts on the world. He is a great wordsmith and examines “those who buy things”‘s behaviour from a hybrid business-and-anthropology standpoint. Its definitely worth checking out his greatly titled blog Murketing.com

If you want to go see this film ( i highly recommend it) then there will be some screenings at the Barbican towards the end of May.

High Anxieties: The Mathematics of Chaos

High Anxieties: The Mathematics of Chaos was an ace bbc4 doc that was on last week and shown at just the right time in amidst the economic MELTDOWN that is all around us!! David Malone has put together a film about the mathematics of chaos , why things happen the way the do and can they be predicted with a model? From the mechanicalreliability of Newtonian theory, through the shock of the Great Depression and the rise of equilibrium theory  to chaos theory, which suggests that we are roller-skating in the dark, with no idea of when we’ll hit the one-in-three downward slope that lies somewhere ahead of us.

The Fourth Quadrant: A map of the limits of statistics by Nassim Taleb



Random Walk—Characterized by volatility. You only find these in textbooks and in essays on probability by people who have never really taken decisions under uncertainty.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb, the man who wrote of the black swans, the highly improbable and unpredictable events that have massive impact, has recently written an essay for EDGE about how those who are putting society at risk are “no true statisticians”, but merely people using statistics either without understanding them, or in a self-serving manner. its entitled THE FOURTH QUADRANT: A MAP OF THE LIMITS OF STATISTICS and can be found on the EDGE site here>

Statistical and applied probabilistic knowledge is the core of knowledge; statistics is what tells you if something is true, false, or merely anecdotal; it is the “logic of science”; it is the instrument of risk-taking; it is the applied tools of epistemology; you can’t be a modern intellectual and not think probabilistically—but… let’s not be suckers. The problem is much more complicated than it seems to the casual, mechanistic user who picked it up in graduate school. Statistics can fool you. In fact it is fooling your government right now. It can even bankrupt the system (let’s face it: use of probabilistic methods for the estimation of risks did just blow up the banking system).

Clifford Stoll and how the best futurists are kindergarten teachers

This man defines himself an astronomer but could quite easily talk about anything else in the universe. As he says so himself..[I am a scientist] “Once I do something, I want to do something else.”

One thing that did light up my buttons was when he spoke of how he is asked quite alot about the future and actually the best people to talk to our kindergarten teachers who spend their days with children..children of today will be voting tomorrow. I have also been reading a book about the history of the future and one person that springs to mind who also has been quoted with a similar way of thinking was a british journalist called John Langdon-Davies (he was also known as a Cassandra, someone who foretells predictions that do not come true, allegedly that is a bad thing but is their a bad prediction?) .He was sent to boarding school when he was a child and he recalls sitting in a chapel with 400 boys all of whom “like myself had come to be trained for a future about which certain guesses had been made.” So children are actually a self fulfilling prophecy, a product of what they are told what could be their possible multiple futures.

Lectures at the James Martin 21st Century School

Check out these video lectures online with the various directors of the schools of thought at the James Martin C21st School:

Director Interview: Science and Civilization
Professor Steve Rayner

Director Interview: Environmental Change
Professor Diana Liverman

Director Interview: Migration
Professor Stephen Castles

Director Interview: Future of the Mind
Professor Baroness Susan Greenfield

Director Interview: Emergent Infections
Professor Angela McLean

Director Interview: e-Horizons
Professor William Dutton

JG Ballard on South Bank Show