Preparing to leap across a continent and an ocean to speak at TEDx…about…

Soon, on November 22nd I’ll be at TEDxBrussels, speaking with a lot of really clever people, each of us with a little less than 20 minutes. I’ll be desperately trying to hold my own with such luminaries as Rudy Rucker, David Brin, Jacques Vallee, and many others, listed here: http://www.tedxbrussels.eu/2011/

Here’s a little sample of my talk–or the notes from it, as I’ll be speaking off the cuff to a large extent. This is an almost randomly chosen swatch: …in a lab in Glasgow, UK, one man is intent on proving that metal-based life is possible. He has managed to build cell-like bubbles from giant metal-containing molecules and has given them some life-like properties. He now hopes to induce them to evolve into fully inorganic self-replicating entities.

“I am 100 per cent positive that we can get evolution to work outside organic biology,” claims researcher Lee Cronin. If he’s right we could breed the next form of technology. And it’s a little worrisome when you consider that researchers in Seoul Korea and in Bristol England using the venus flytrap as a model have developed plans for something they’re calling an “ecobot” – it’s a robot that eats. It will be able to ingest flesh and turn it into fuel…Put that together with the evolving inorganic self replicating entities planned by the scientist at the university of Glasgow and feel a long slow chill at the thought.

It’s time for a philosophy of technology–one that acknowledges its dark side and thinks pro actively about the consequences of new technology so that technology can be tweaked and negative consequences prepared for…

One great advance that I believe will come from the real singularity—developed by the new computing power and perhaps by the collective intelligence described by researchers at MIT—will be a redefinition of what money is, and how it will flow. There’ll be nothing Marxist in this—probably we’ll move toward ever more efficient versions of the free market and socialism—but it will be propelled by a computerized awareness of nearly every significant financial transaction…

This talk and the others can be found streaming live on the 22nd of November, at http://www.tedxbrussels.eu/2011/

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