X-Message-Number: 13653
From: "john grigg" <>
Subject: a coming gathering of Senior Associates at the Foresight Institute
Date: Thu, 27 Apr 2000 15:36:47 PDT

Those Senior Associates at the Foresight Institute have all the fun!!!  I 
hope if any of you attend this, you give a report back to the list about it.

best wishes,

John Grigg

"Engines of Creation 2000: Confronting Singularity"

Spring 2000 Senior Associate Gathering
May 19-21, 2000
Palo Alto, California

Register by May 1 to save $100

See who's coming at:
including Eric Drexler, Bill Joy, Marvin Minsky, Tim O'Reilly, Eric Raymond

Foresight's Annual Brainstorming-Planning-Actionfest & NanoSchmoozathon

The 21st century: every day in every way, weirder and weirder. Not to worry 
-- there's still time to tweak this early phase of the "run-up to 
Singularity". At this event we'll be exploring what can be known about the 
world we're being pushed into-closer every second-and how we can influence 
the outcome by influencing initial conditions. Our tools? Memes-infectious 
ideas-which we create and launch, with excellent success to date. Come help 
improve the next batch, and help design open-source software to refine and 
spread them.

We'll be aiming to influence:

*  who gets nanotechnology first -- public or private, secret or open, in 
which country?
*  intellectual property in nanotechnology -- tightly held or widely  
*  ownership of space resources (i.e. most of the universe) --
   government or private? winner take all, or distributed?
*  which entities will have "human rights"?
*  openness vs. privacy -- can we find a balance that works?
*  encrypted private currencies -- can government panic be headed off?
*  open source -- can we spread the model beyond software?
*  can nanotech warfare be prevented?

Join Foresight and our special guests as we picture our preferred future,  
design a pathway there, and implement using all the tools available.  When 
you leave you'll have the clearest picture possible of what's on the 
horizon, who's stepping up to the challenges in each area, and what your 
options are for optimizing how nanotechnology and other powerful 
technologies play out.

Find this all a little overwhelming? Not for us as a group. While it might 
feel intimidating to sit alone, watching as this future comes charging at 
us, we've found that jumping in and trying to tweak things for the better is 
great fun.

Most conferences have "talking heads", with a little Q&A discussion if 
you're lucky. Not this time: instead, launch yourself into the topics of 
your choice in workshop-style sessions of 10, 25, or 80 participants. 
Explore the edges of what we know today and can reasonably project over the 
coming decades:

*  Figure out which scenarios are preferred, and how to get there by
influencing the process now: still early on.
*  Design an action plan based on the skills and resources available to us - 
start a company, write  a constitution...whatever it takes.
*  See how all this affects you personally - your career, your investments 
of time and funds, your health and life expectancy, your family.

Think we've missed a major issue? No problem - add a session on that topic. 
Your group's output gets folded in as input to the next stage of the 
process, equal in priority to output from pre-scheduled groups.

How the process works:
1. Select your personal pathway through parallel workshop-style sessions
   taking on the topics you're most interested in, from nanotechnology  to 
AI to surveillance.

2. Explore widely, then focus down, and finally drive for consensus on these 
tough, exciting issues. Produce a result, your "product": a recommendation, 
a warning, an estimate, a graphic, an unresolved controversy, or whatever 
your group feels needs to be communicated on this issue. A condensed 
example: "Public surveillance data must be kept confidential except under 
court order" or "Public surveillance data must be made publicly available".

3. Your results are fed into the next round, where they're used to tackle 
the next stage of problem.

4. By Sunday night, we'll have an action plan with specific goals, dates, 
and commitments. Work continues online throughout the year to implement - 
then in spring 2001, we "course-correct", folding in new reality checks, new 
resources, new ideas, new skills from new people. It's an ongoing adventure, 
running right up to Singularity itself. Check out the "Engines of Creation 
2000" webpages for more detail: http://www.foresight.org/engines/index.html

Why come to this event: Because it's the year 2000 and sure enough, just as 
we expected, things are getting technologically weird.

Because even though we're in the "run-up to Singularity", there are
things we can do now to help ourselves, our organizations, our fellow homo 
sapiens, and our (current) biosphere to survive and prosper through the 
bizarre times to come.

Because this meeting is the Burning Man of ideas on our technological 
future. It's the TED of 2020, held today. If the ideas described here 
intrigue you, there is no better place in the world to explore their 
interactions, with help and moral support from others who share your 

Because you'll meet some of the folks implementing these goals, and maybe 
get invited to join them. Ya gotta meet 'em before they can offer you that 
dream job in nanotechnology R&D-this has already happened to a few of us.

Because it's great fun, and we deserve a treat.

To join as a Senior Associate and register for this event, use the form at:

Or phone us at +1 650 917 1122.
Get Your Private, Free E-mail from MSN Hotmail at http://www.hotmail.com

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