05 August 2010

Brian Wang Live Blogs Techonomy from Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe

Brian Wang of NextBigFuture is currently blogging the Techonomy Conference in Lake Tahoe. The conference brings together some exceptional visionaries, researchers, entrepreneurs, and philanthropists in an attempt to frame a new vision for the future.

Brian live-blogged the conference all day yesterday, when speakers discussed re-inventing intelligence, re-inventing the economy, and re-inventing infrastructure, and is presumably up and ready to take in today's feast for the mind. On Friday, Bill Gates presents the closing talk: "Reinventing Capitalism: How to jumpstart what the marketplace can’t". It looks to Al Fin as if Techonomy is about generalities and quasi-Platonic idealism.

This weeks events at Lake Tahoe will prime Brian's liveblogging skills in preparation for next weeks Singularity Summit in San Francisco. The Singularity Summit focuses on artificial general intelligence as a trigger for "the singularity" as the takeoff point to an infinite future.

You will probably find more practical singularitarians -- who are willing to get their hands dirty in implementing the subject matter -- than techonomists and similar abstract, clean-handed futurists at parallel gatherings. But even singularitarians can become stuck on the head of a pin with millions of angels, and find it difficult to get back into the real world.

It is not unusual for wealthy and gifted men and women to feel an obligation to the masses of those less fortunate than themselves. Such meetings as the Techonomy Conference allow them to mingle and discuss their latest ideas for saving the world and redefining humanity. But how much good actually comes from such gatherings and forums? Did most of the participants, for example, back the disastrous Obama Pelosi regime that is currently on a destructive rampage through national and international economies and relations?

Practical competencies and realistic perspectives can often be difficult to find among those whose wealth and/or postion isolates them from the mundane life or death concerns of most persons. Given that isolation, how can their ideas improve the existences of the masses of people whom they profess to care about?

The most good that entrepreneurs and venture capitalists could do is to bring about new and useful enterprises and industries at all scales of the economy, and to stop financing the very people and organisations which are destroying the future of humankind. We need more distributed productive enterprise and less parasitic bureaucratic infrastructure.

It is important to dissect our institutions and cultures in order to find ways we might improve our existences and futures. But between the present and the abundant future, lie a number of deadly obstacles that must be confronted. It is not clear that the participants of most of these organisations are concerned about these obstacles -- which are far more dangerous to the future of humans than the phantoms of climate catastrophe or peak energy.

When very wealthy, gifted, and powerful people pour their assets (and the assets of society) down rat-holes, most onlookers will not give it a second thought -- such waste is most common. But it would be better for mankind if such wealthy, gifted, and powerful people turned away from monolithic bureaucratic centers of redistribution, and put their excess assets into well-conceived, interlocking, scalable, future-oriented, profit-making enterprises which create opportunities for individuals.

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