Nanotech education via comic book

from the whatever-it-takes…even-if-it's-fun dept.
Senior Associate PatSalsbury writes "Alan Moore, a long-time (and fantastic) writer of comics and graphic novels, and Dan Jurgens recently co-wrote a story ("Tom Strong", #7) set in the year 2050, where nanotech was part of the daily world…I think comics are an excellent way of reaching youth…" So do we. Read More for Pat's full post. To better understand this communication format, Foresight chairman Eric Drexler highly recommends the appropriately-named book Understanding Comics.

Burning Man 2000: Project Singularity

from the party-time dept.
rlsnow writes "Project Singularity at Burning Man 2000 has begun rabid self-organization. The first theme camp in the history of known civilization inspired solely by ideas of Singularity starts in Nevada's Black Rock Desert on August 28th." Senior Associate John Smart is co-organizer of this project; a number of other Senior Associates attend Burning Man.

Applied Memetic Engineering: the IdeaVirus

from the now-it's-a-business-tool dept.
Senior Associate Jack Hughes writes: "this is the new e-book by Seth Godin on how to unleash the IdeaVirus. I think you'll find it interesting — he's giving it away for free now, but publishing it for money in hardcover come September." Warning: the download can be tricky.

Yudkowsky's Scale of Future Shock Levels

from the weirdness-comes-in-degrees dept.
How much change can you handle? Find out by seeing where you fit on Senior Associate Eliezer S. Yudkowsky's Shock Level scale showing various levels of coming technologies and potential applications. Which level can you face with "calm acceptance"? You've probably picked your level correctly when lower levels seem boring while higher ones look flaky. This scale, or one very like it, is a key tool of memetic engineering. Read More for caveats.

"Prepare for nanomania" says New York Times

from the nanomania?-sounds-fun dept.
From BradHein's site we find The New York Times reports: "Once it is possible to create molecular circuits (as opposed to silicon-based chips) on a mass, affordable scale — by about 2010, according to some industry researchers — prepare for nanomania…If this vision turns out to be accurate, then we will find ourselves, before too long, in a previously unfathomable medical and ethical terrain. Our relation to aging, to mortality, to the messages sent us by our own bodies may be forever altered by infinitesimally small computers that diagnose our diseases, repair our ravaged cells and ultimately transform — for better or for worse — what it means to be human." CP: But can we live without mortality?

Allocating our Altruism Effectively

from the all-we-need-is-love dept.
Strongly recommended by Foresight chairman Eric Drexler is this essay by David H. Miller: "If one wants to understand how a political order, a constitutional structure, or an economic system will actually work, one must understand how effectively it makes use of the limited altruistic impulses available among the members of society. If a society is to avoid widespread misery and suffering, it must make effective use of the existing potential for altruism, and it must not require levels of altruism exceeding that which is available. In short, it must do an adequate job of economizing on love." CP: Those of us able to direct our altruism to longer-term goals have a comparative advantage in doing so. How are you leveraging your limited supply of altruism?

Newt says 20 years to nanotech

from the molecular-rotor-rooters-fan dept.
Senior Associate TomMcKendree alerts us to The Age of Transitions by Newt Gingrich: "Nanotechnology is probably twenty years away but it may be at least as powerful as space or computing in its implications…This approach to manufacturing will save energy, conserve our raw materials, eliminate waste products and produce a dramatically healthier environment. The implications for the advancement of environmentalism and the irrelevancy of oil prices alone are impressive….Imagine drinking with your normal orange juice 3,000,000 molecular rotor rooters to clean out your arteries without an operation." Read More for further comments from Tom. Comment below on your views of Newt: useful to us or not?

Beginner's Guide to Complexity

from the might-as-well-learn-to-love-it dept.
Think you can handle complexity? We ain't seen nothin' yet. Get ready by tooling up at the Guide to Complex Systems. It's nowhere near complete, but it's complex enough to get you started if you're new to the field–better start now if you hope to be able to handle the next few decades. (If you know of better sites for this purpose, please comment below.)