Monday, November 11, 2002

odds and ends

(originally posted at

I never updated the journal on last week's NYTA meeting. Guest speaker was Andrew Zolli, editor of TechTV's The Catalog of Tomorrow. Which presents dumbed-down descriptions of cutting-edge and future technologies for lay-people. The "grandma" demographic. He was a cogent and coherent speaker; intelligent. He brought to the table degrees in Computer Science, Cognitive Science, and Philosophy - precisely the areas i'm interested in pursuing.

He understood that to be an effective speaker, especially to special interest groups such as NYTA - you have to go against the grain a bit. Preaching to the choir bores everyone involved. So he talked to us about trends and statistics and presented the view that our full-speed-ahead attitudes were admirable but probably unrealistic. And in a way, he's right. His talk wasn't meant to discourage us - though some seem to have come away feeling more discouraged... I came away feeling empowered. He understood what many transhumanists don't - that we can't leave the rest of humanity behind. The way society and the (human) world works is far too complex for that.

I came away from the talk feeling reaffirmed in what I already knew to be true - that an effective transhumanist has to focus on more than just science and technology.

An interesting sidenote: hanging out in the transhumanist circles I'm seeing and hearing extropians berated more than I'm used to. Perhaps my defense of them is more emotional than logical; as that community was how I was introduced to futurism/transhumanism. It's something I'll need to explore more in-depth.

Tonight I meet Elaine for the NYC-Geek dinner. Wonder how that'll be. She says the group has been meeting for many years now. Hope all goes well.

I've decided to explore my life insurance options. If they can pay for cryonic suspension, I'd be a fool not to go for it - as I have no dependents. I told my boss that I plan to use my company's policy on me to fund being frozen after death and he had a good laugh. We'll see. Drexler's book paints too pretty a picture. :)

Also; as it's still National Novel Writing Month, I came up with a wonderful scene for a novel - if I ever write it. I'm letting my subconscious work it over for a while before I put it on paper. But I think it's pretty good. The problem is finding a plot to glue all these pretty scenes together.

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