Secret of luck and getting over the fear of rejection

The videos from TedXManchester3 seem to all be up now. I wrote about the event already. Which reminds me of the excellent Motivate, Learn, Do by the wonderful Carrie Green.

We at some point afterwards had a coffee and a long chat about the event and talked about each others background.

During the conversation I mentioned Derren Brown’s Secret of Luck and my thoughts on the fear of rejection. I also talked about dealing with my fear of needles with hypnotherapy (Belonephobia).

But the biggest thing was my own TedxManchester talkThe Story of Me.” Ever since my brush with death, I have not let things stand in my way. I just go for it or make things happen. People are paralyzed by their fear of what might happen, that they won’t reach out and grab whats in front of them. And thats pretty much what I did.

There were about 900 people in the venue and not a single person put their hand up. As soon as she said, I was there to help. Carrie couldn’t see me at first, so I had to run to the front and wave right in front of her. When she finally saw me, getting on to the stage was a small nightmare. The stage is made to keep people off not for me to climb on to, so with a chair and a lot of upper body strength I was able to climb up. Walk across the stage and say my name and collect £20.

Opportunity met and now £20 better off because of my push and drive to do things, others reject.

How can you still be single?!

Killer Prom Date - Dig The Grave Black & White

I opened OKCupid to find a message which brought a smile and with some time a puzzled look to my face. The message was…

I’ve lurked your profile on and off since we spoke. How can you still be single?! :)

The lady in question is lovely but the distance is too far and shes quite young. Whats the rule again? (Half your age and add 7?) Ok if I go by that rule it wouldn’t be so bad, but I generally go for slightly older it has to be said. But she’s quite mature, going by the things in her profile.

But as I said, I had a puzzled look after a while.

I answered her message with…

Honestly… I think my modern attitude and values seems to cause conflict with women my age. I tend to go for older women but they also tend to be in relationships or have old school views. Distance tends to be a problem and for some reason I end up falling for the same type each time…

Keep lurking…

I thought about it quite a bit since and even had a discussion with my sister.

First thing, I’m not one of those guys who believes I should be in a relationship. This isn’t a goddamm right of being born. Secondly I know the lady in question meant it as a honest question rather than a slap in the face.

So why am I single?

Some suggest I may actually like dating (well I do enjoy meeting new people). Others say I just haven’t found the one (yeah right, I don’t believe in the one) others think I might be a secret playa and even a womanizer! (cheers sister) Of course I totally disagree (although I can see the haters, laughing this one up). Another friend in Manchester thinks I’m making everything up and I’m actually not going on dates. MancNewgirl recently said I was a ex by ex… “Dating Expert by Experience”  something she came up with on the spot. I certainly liked that, and fits nicely with my unofficial tag line of the wikipedia of online dating.  Wikipedia because my advice is made up of lots of experiences and trust me its not made up. Sheila promised a book to me which explains exactly why I’m single (but even after 4 years) I still have not seen this mystery book? (I don’t even know the title of it). Some say its the clothes I wear, I have already had a offer to take me shopping for new clothes in a Queer eye for the straight guy remake. Although I agree, sometimes I should get the clothes out the washer/dryer a little quicker or do a tiny bit of  ironing (which I bloody hate).

All interesting but brings me no nearer to understanding why I’m single. I mean who wouldn’t want to go out with a modern geeky gentleman who has modern views and is a feminist? I get I’m not exactly in shape and have a face which is better for radio. But I’m confident, funny, smart, tall, dark and handsome?

My sister also suggested my comfort with female kind might be putting other women off? I can’t understand why, and to be honest if a potential women is put off because I have quite a few friends who are female. Then that’s simply crazy and I’m not going to give up being friends with women because of her insecurities. The fact I might have dated a few of them might be some area for concern but within the first hour of chatting with me, it should be clear there is never going to be anything questionable

This whole thing reminds me of a Single Black Male post I saw a while ago. Am I a picky or patient dater? Maybe I am too picky and settling isn’t such a bad thing? This also seems consistent with my recent lack of speed dating dates. The ones I’m interested in, don’t seem to be interested in me? Don’t even get me started on my very bad tinder activity. But at least the online dating side isn’t going so bad.

The idea of settling does bug me and give me much to think about. On the whole, I feel too young to settle (don’t ask me what age this changes as I have no idea). However everything I read seems to indicate this isn’t necessarily the case, for example this is something I read while putting together slides for Dating, Lies and Algorithms recently.

“The future will see better relationships but more divorce,” predicts Dan Winchester, the founder of a free dating site based in the U.K. “The older you get as a man, the more experienced you get. You know what to do with women, how to treat them and talk to them. Add to that the effect of online dating.” He continued, “I often wonder whether matching you up with great people is getting so efficient, and the process so enjoyable, that marriage will become obsolete.”

Why settle at all? Now some of you may say “Well this is typical of your generations lazy self-centered and selfish attitude. In my day, we had kids by the age of 22” And it would be hard (but certainly not impossible) to debate against the first part of the statement. But bear in mind I was married at the age of 23! Its not like I wasn’t open to everything.

There seems to be a connection between education (will find the reference later) and the amount of kids you may want/have… Now you could take the statement above and say well I’m being selfish but I disagree, my parents (I’m sure many others did the same) encouraged their kids to pursue their dreams by getting a decent education and making something of themselves. That push to better thy self, leads to finding a partner who is equally ambitious?

Why would you settle for less?

Amateurs not killed the professionals, Andrew!

Andrew Keen Interviews

I was in the bar after Primeconf with Chris Dymond and Hwayoung.  Discussing something and somehow me and Chris mentioned Andrew Keen. If you don’t know Andrew Keen, he’s basically the man who’s been shouting about how the professional sector is going to be swallowed alive by the amateur sector. From Wikipedia…

He is particularly known for his view that the current Internet culture and the Web 2.0 trend may be debasing culture

Well 8 years later, his book The cult of the amateur seems as silly as it then. In actual fact we were discussing how the amateurs have moved across to pro-amateurs. An example is blogging! The number of blogs like mine has certainly dropped and most are now “professional.”

Not kept up with what Andrew’s point is now but frankly he was wrong then and I called him out at multiple events for this view. I have also called out a few people for a similar and embarrassing point of view (no names, but they know who and should know better!)

2 conferences in 1 week (Sheffield Doc Fest & Primeconf)

This week just passed and I got to say it wasn’t half as bad as it seemed on paper or at least my calendar.

Sheffield documentary festival

Variable Documentary preview

I headed across to Sheffield on Sunday to give a talk with Tony Churnside at the Sheffield international documentary festival about Perceptive Media. It very went well and I kind of wished I stayed over so I could keep some of the conversations going and there was plenty else going on which I wanted to check out.

The festival seems to take over the whole city and the weather was great on the Sunday and Wednesday. Wednesday I didn’t talk but rather supported some collages who showed an early preview of the variable length documentary.

Next year I hope we will have a lot more to show, and next year I hope to spend more time at the rest of the festival.

Best of British / Primeconf

Primeconf: Best of British

This conference which started out on kickstarter and became a real conference arranged by long time friend Thayer Prime. It was a bit of a crazy idea but the result was something worthwhile and maybe the start of something new and interesting.

The speakers were as you can imagine by the title, British speakers.

It really was something special, and it was a joy to be a small part of the whole event.

I gave a shorter version of the dating, lies and algorithms talk I have been wanting to give. So look out it may be back sooner or later as a more involved talk. It went down well although I certainly did take out all the personal stuff and non PG-13 stuff to fit with the code of conduct. Something which sadly later in the day seemed to have got forgotten, with swearing and a questionable slide.

Regardless, I learned a number of things including Priya is behind changify.org  (something which we tried to do ages ago in the form of wedreamthecity) and could be helpful with gentrification and communities. Some other stand out presentations include Pete Duncanson, Chris Thorpe, Herb Kim, Dr Tom Crick, Amy Mather and a special mention of Mazz Mosley’s super low budget style of presentation. Love it! Good to finally meet her too.

Is Thayer going to do it again? I certainly think she should… I’m actually thinking Herb and Thayer could create something which is special? The venue was great (Royal Institution, yes the one they do the Royal Christmas lectures from!) and a good turn out.

Both events were well worth effort of attending and speaking at… For such a packed week going to London twice and Sheffield twice, I actually feel ok. Just a shame my treat of going to Thorpe Park wasn’t anything like when going in March/April.

Patent reform starts with bold pioneers

Tesla Visit 2

You got to hand it to Elon Musk CEO of Tesla motors. He just opened up the patents they had on the electric car for anyone to use.

When I started out with my first company, Zip2, I thought patents were a good thing and worked hard to obtain them. And maybe they were good long ago, but too often these days they serve merely to stifle progress, entrench the positions of giant corporations and enrich those in the legal profession, rather than the actual inventors. After Zip2, when I realized that receiving a patent really just meant that you bought a lottery ticket to a lawsuit, I avoided them whenever possible.

So it sounds pretty interesting so far… Specially the stifle progress part.

Given that annual new vehicle production is approaching 100 million per year and the global fleet is approximately 2 billion cars, it is impossible for Tesla to build electric cars fast enough to address the carbon crisis. By the same token, it means the market is enormous. Our true competition is not the small trickle of non-Tesla electric cars being produced, but rather the enormous flood of gasoline cars pouring out of the world’s factories every day.

We believe that Tesla, other companies making electric cars, and the world would all benefit from a common, rapidly-evolving technology platform.

This is pretty incredible and its amazing to see and hear, bold and  altruistic sound decisions like this from the very top.

Google along while ago talked about Patent reform but then they bought Motorola’s mobile patents and we heard nothing more till very recently.

Maybe one day we’ll see many more bold moves like Tesla’s?

America and the beautful game?

Canada vs Team USA Woman's Semi-Finals in Football

What is it with the United States of America and the “beautiful” game of Football?

I like many others always wondered why American’s just don’t get football. Interestingly on the eve of the World Cup, those freakonomics guys explores the issue with some substantial depth and some things I never really considered… Well worth a listen.

With the 2014 World Cup getting underway in Brazil, we’ve just released an episode called “Why America Doesn’t Love Soccer (Yet).”

A variety of TV networks now broadcast European club matches all year long. MLS, or Major League Soccer — the U.S. and Canadian professional league – continues to grow. Next year it will add a twentieth team,NYC-FC, or New York City Football Club, which is co-owned by the New York Yankees and Manchester City,which has won England’s Premier League two of the last three seasons.David Beckham, the sport’s biggest star of the past few generations, is trying to start another MLS team, in Miami.And indeed, if you take a look at a magazine rack this week, it’s hard to find a magazine without the World Cup on its cover. Every four years, we hear the same mantra: this time, soccer will really take root in the U.S., the way it’s taken root elsewhere in the world. But let’s be honest. It probably won’t. Many of the people who are most fanatical about the sport in the U.S. have some kind of ties to Europe or South America or Africa.

My own experience also has me puzzled.

When I first met Sarah, I went to the states in 2002 and besides the mild culture shock. The lack of news about Football was shocking. You got a major world wide event and there was little to no mainstream coverage! Heck the funny thing was, America actually made it to the quarter finals that world cup. But no one in America seemed to be aware or cared. I think I actually found out more about the American team in Wired magazine at the time.

Also during the London 2012 Olympics, there was very little interest. I think the female football may have gotten more support than the male one? Of course they then went on and won the female football competition… Will Football one day make up America’s top 5 sports? Maybe but its going to be a long while before I can see that happening. Which seem a bit of a shame…

The BBC a long while ago did some research into people and tv sport. There were a few different groups, and the group I recognized myself in was the ones who get caught up in big sporting events like the worldcup and olympics. I feel the universality of it really unites and ignites something in most people around the world. Even those who don’t normally follow sports.

Solomon DUBNER: Well, it definitely unites the whole world because it’s in some ways it’s a universal language. Almost everywhere in the world plays and follows football, in every country pretty much. And it just unites everyone somehow, it’s kind of crazy.

Making your playlists really tangible

Tangible Playlist machine

Today my Desert.FM playlist went live to the front of the site.

Wrote about Desert.FM a while ago and also talked about the CX Tangible playlist machine/project with Lancaster University.

I connected the two of them in my mind, but it wasn’t till I saw the link to the spotify playlist. Thats when it really hit me, I could easily/will be creating a physical playlist for my desert.fm playlist. Then when its done, I’ll customise the playlist band to reflect my  music choice (unlike this).

Tangible Playlist machine

The tangible machine we built supports BBC iplayer, Spotify and YouTube. (BBC Redux and others were considered and may make it in to any updates). I noticed there is a slight difference in the Spotify version and my whole list but as I imagined Spotify hasn’t got everything. However Youtube can nicely fill in the rest, just as the guys on Desert.FM have done. For example Time to get ill by 4 Hero, which doesn’t seem to be on Spotify?

I can see a unique little collaboration coming from this, how great would that be? Imagine it, you create your list on desert.fm, it prints a nice band out for you and creates adds NFC tags to it. You then get it in the mail. Or even better you create it for someone else, you design the band and they send it out to a contact. Just need a nice way to mass produce the machines :)

Tangible Playlist machine

I can’t wait to explore video playlists and share some of the great ideas we’ve been thinking about.

Keynotes from QSEU14

I mentioned the keynote speakers in my blog post about the Quantified Self Europe 2014 review. The videos are now available with transcripts on the QS site.

The Weight of Things Lost by Kaiton Williams

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How do we incorporate the perspectives of the many who can’t participate here, are overlooked and marginalized, but whose lives will eventually be affected by practices that spiral out from ours?

Such a great quote and excellent to hear Kaiton talk about this in detail.

Quantified Self Europe 2014

Leaning Into Grief, by Dana Greenfield

Wondering how to hold tight to her memory, I would spend time in her basement office, meditating over her huge collection of books, files, multiple white boards and notebooks and calendars, awards, and gifts from patients. I thought–there must be a way to capture it all. she had already left such a profound footprint in the world—between her websites and students and patients. How could we make it last a bit longer?

Even yesterday at the Quantified Self Manchester meetup, there was some discussion about how uncomfortable Dana’s talk was to watch due to the subject matter.

I thought it was incredible and very telling that even now it divides people.

25 Things #OnlyinManchester says Buzzfeed

I don’t really look at Buzzfeed because frankly its, well. pretty bad… Anyway Sarah Moran sent me a tweet to say I was on Buzzfeed…

Ian, you’re on Buzzfeed!

Really? I thought? thinking spam, but then I had come across Sarah’s tweets before. So I checked it out, expecting to be mentioned down the page. I wasn’t expecting to be at number one!

“Oh Manchester, so much to answer for,” especially judging by the #onlyinmanchester hashtag.

A pie butty from @leosfishbar WTF! #onlyinmanchester http://t.co/emUZBvsU

I said it then and I’ll say it again… WTF! Seriously… This is insane, just like chips and gravy! *lights the flamebait/fuse and runs away!*

Gatecrashing a party with confidence

Tim Dobson is on a roll recently, another recommendation sparks a quick blog post.

Not sure what the programme is but its fascinating to see the gatecrasher techniques being used on camera. This also plays on the ability for most people not wanting to see conflict. If you can push through the imposer syndrome somethingwhich was talked about at the recent BraCamp by Technancy. Gain some confidence I can certainly see it working.

The lack of conflict can lead to situations like compliance (which is a true story), I wonder how much further he could have gone with the gatecrash? Maybe order more drink, order more food, leave without paying? Who knows? Dare I say, its worth looking at The Psychology of Being Scammed.

Ok! The dark side left alone, this reminds me of the fun challenges Celeb and 40days does. I saw him at TedXManchester3 and thoughts about pushing yourself outside your comfort zone was fascinating.

Tim asked if I could do this?

I would give it a go, but to be fair I can’t imagine i’d get far because I don’t quite have the tolerance for ignoring things. The lady not buying anything would have me walking away, heck I would have bailed and said “oh my goodness wrong table, sorry guys…” with a cheeky grin of course… Although I have gatecrashed parties and leaving do’s before.

Interestingly Alan told me at BraCamp, the timeline of how the BBC CodeClub hoax got going and how Raspberry Jam and Hack to the Future grew and grew. It started by gatecrashing a leaving party for George Auckland in MMU.

It goes to show… gatecrash but do it for good!

Learning from nature with biodiversity

Biodiversity

I had attended the Manchester girl geek barcamp (aka BraCamp) on Saturday at MMU. It was well attended and great to see so many people and it really makes me think there is till room for another Manchester BarCamp?

There were a range of good talks and I did a few myself including one about diversity which was a bit of Blaise’s amazing talk from Thinking Digital and my thoughts from Singleblackmale. I thought I didn’t do a good job explaining where I was coming from, but I left enough room for debate afterwards.

I got speaking to Laura Gordon afterwards to see what she thought of the talk, see if I drew enough web between the two (on paper) quite distant subjects. Laura said something so profound that I was scrabbling to write it down in Evernote afterwards.

She basically said, yes… In biodiversity in life/nature/tech is essential. Then proceeded to give examples of what happens when there is little or no biodiversity. One such example was what happens when you get pure bred animals.

I had never really thought about diversity in these terms before, but I was aware of biodiversity however hadn’t linked the two in such a way. Thank you Laura!

A few cool events over June

I don’t know about you but my June is pretty packed solid. But theres a raft of events which you may not know about. Here’s a few… (I really feel like I should turn them into microformats or rather RDF/a)

The Best of British Prime Conference – Friday 13th June at The Royal Institution of Great Britain, London. I will be talking about Dating, Lies and Algorithms, as I mentioned before.
Tickets and details are available and if you use the discount code of iknowaspeaker you may get a nice little surprise on ordering tickets.

Sheffield Documentary Festival 2014 – running from 7th – 12th June in Sheffield. Myself and Tony will be presenting at the Shefdocfest (8th June) about Perceptive Media. And Matt Brooks and Rhianne will be showing off a research preview/alpha of the previously mentioned variable length documentary (11th June).

Film Data HackathonAbandon Normal Devices (AND), in partnership with the BFI are running a weekend (28 – 29 June) hackathon about everything cinema  – from selecting the right movie, to how we watch them, and what we think to how we share our thoughts afterwards and everything in between. Tickets are available now.

More Bubbles Than Balls reception - for drinks, conversation and a celebration of all things Urbanista. Tuesday 24th June 5:30pm – 7:30pm at Velvet Central, 2 Mount Street, Manchester M2 5WQ.
Tickets are free and can be booked.

House Party 14 – is the first unofficial housing fringe event, providing a grassroots alternative to the annual CIH housing conference in Manchester on Tuesday, 24 & Wednesday, 25 June.
The waiting list is available.

Re:Fest! - Tuesday 17th and Wednesday,18th June at the Black-E Community Centre in Liverpool. This is the second Re:Fest! event, building on the success of last year’s event in Nottingham.
Find out more and book free tickets.

TVX Hackfest – June 25th at Culture Lab, Newcastle University. ACM international conference into interactive experience for TV and new media experiences is 26-27th June but there is a hackfest before hand.
To find out more including team sign up.

Derren brown is back in the Lowry theatre in Salford Quays with the new show infamous. Very limited seats left…13-21st June

Thanks Jane and Hwayoung for the heads up…

Uber for public transport…?

OXO Bus

Chris writes

…there’s been lots of innovation around the open data of public transport, but not of public transport itself – where are the startups aiming to disrupt First and Stagecoach?)

When I first heard it I thought well that can’t work but the more and more I think about it. It certainly can with the right data access.

I want to go to MediaCity, I’m walking in the right direction from Piccadilly and the app knows where I’m going because its in my calendar. Rather than show me a load of options, it should show me the public transport which I could catch to head the right way. As I keep walking the options change as I walk near a tram stop, a new option is highlighted but its going to cost me more and I’ll have to change more. The option goes away as the tram pulls way, leaving me with the option to wait for the next one or walk around the corner for the bus. Its easy to imagine, so why has it not happened?

As Chris indicated earlier in the post. Google now, could do a lot of this. But it strikes me as something you use in passing rather than spend lots of time looking at. The bulk of such a thing might rely on Googlemaps?

What ever happens, it will be powered by people like Opendata Manchester. Lazyweb make it so…!

The best of the rest of Thinking Digital 2014

Thinking Digital 2014

As mentioned in the previous 2 blog posts. Thinking Digital 2014 was excellent and further proves this conference is getting better everytime.

I pulled out 2 great talks and already wrote about them previously…

But there were more great talks, worthy of talking about.

Thinking Digital 2014

Jeni Tennison
Got to love Jeni, shes wonderful, warm and so down to earth. I’ve known her from my XML/XSLT days. Her talk reminded me of the struggles and endless fight to liberate data when I was leading BBC Backstage. Those fights are almost never ending… Glad to hear some of the battles are finally being won.

Thinking Digital 2014

Meri Williams
I have known Meri for years and years and always associate her with Newcastle. But I knew she worked very internationally. Her talk was great and had me thinking alot about my own position. She said we should all be asking ourselves, “Can someone like me can be successful here?” I specially like pointers to Dan Pink’s Drive and the term seagulls management. Great talk Meri, lots to take away…

Thinking Digital 2014

Mariana Mazzucato
Never heard of Mariana but after an introduction from Chi Onwurah the local MP for Newcastle or Gateshead. Mariana launched into a massive talk, outlining how the public sector should/could act more like the private sector. Ultimately she started to debunk the myths of public vs private as she does in her book entrepreneurial state (must look into this). This renew my faith in the public sector again.

Thinking Digital 2014

Erin McKean
Returning to the Thinking Digital stage again, Erin this time turned her talk towards new types of discovery. She said discovery should be ambient and contextual. Almost feeling like serendipity. I would suggest perceptive as a way to think about this stuff?

Thinking Digital 2014

Jennifer Gardy and Peter Gregson
Another returning speakers and this time teaming up together to do something new. This time Jennifer and Peter decided to visualise DNA through the medium of music. Some artistic direction was applied but the result was beautiful.

Thinking Digital 2014

Hayley Parkes
Hayley provided more music and what stunning music. So stunning that I dare not take a picture while Hayley was playing because the sound of the prism spinning might distract from the music. I was amazed at the story of Hayley and further provides me with the joy to know that the debate over nature vs nurture is wide open.

Thinking Digital 2014

Suzy Muclahy
Following Jennifer and Peter, Suzy Muclahy explained a number of the processes in the brain and body. The most interesting one for me was the stroke, which is something like #mybrushwithdeath. I later spoke to Suzy about a number of things including #mybrushwithdeath. Such a shame we didn’t get to spend more time talking, because we were bouncing from subject to subject.

Thinking Digital 2014

Steve Mould
Wasn’t expecting much but Steve’s talk about science and ultimately self siphoning beads was funny, witty and entertaining. I especially love the dubstep remix.

Thinking Digital 2014

Jemima Kiss with Christian Payne and Meri Williams
In a nice turn around for Thinking Digital, Jemima chaired a panel discussion mainly about the post-snowden era and whereables. As you can imagine, it was all about post-snowden and Aral’s recent talk. The last 5mins was about whereables and to be fair it wasn’t anywhere as interesting as the rest of the debate. Great to hear Jemima go through the timeline of what changed since last year.

Thinking Digital 2014

Tom Scott
After Aral’s talk and the panel discussion with Jemima Kiss, the mode and tone was low. Not because of the great talks but because there was a feeling that things were not right in the digital world.

Tom Scott’s finishing talk was Tom in 2030 looking back and talking to us in 2014. The main message was don’t panic, humanity will live out and we will prevail. And he’s right, don’t get me wrong. Everything is worth fighting for, but in the end we will prevail. We owe a lot to each and everyone of the whistle-blowers, hackers, journalists, etc which help us make sense of whats happening out there. Privacy is a human right and there will be a massive backlash once people feel its gone too far. The question is when enough people think its gone far enough…?

Thinking Digital 2014

A very fitting and uplifting end to another fantastic Thinking Digital conference. I’ll be clear and say all the speakers were great and although they may not have gotten on to my highlights list, they were all great. Thanks Herb and his wonderful team for putting on yet another great show, I especially like the Q&A by the way (more questions from the crowd please!)

Tickets for 2015 are live now by the way. Looking forward to another exciting thinking digital…

TDC14: Forget skynet, female-kind is ready for the shift

Thinking Digital 2014

I love conferences which have me almost punching for the sky in a FTW! (for the win) style. Thinking Digital 2014 almost had me at points punching the sky. Now in its 7th year! Thinking Digital hasn’t lost any of its impact and is still a pleasure to attend and take part in.

There is always great talks from the stage and I always have a hard time writing up the best ones to me. But this year I have had to separate out a couple of talks which really got me going for different reasons.

The one previous to this post is Aral’s talk from Thinking Digital and my personal thoughts interleaved. The next one I had to separate out is part two of Blaise Aguera y Arcas’s talk about machine intelligence and social changes. I got the feeling Blaise, had wanted to do this talk for a long while but never really had the platform to do so till Herb Kim allowed him the space to bring his thoughts together.

The basic talk was…

machine intelligence + (gender selection + sexual and lifestyle freedom) = post subsistence economics.

Each one Blaise wrote about on his blog a while back.

He started off talking about everybody is worried about machine intelligence over taking human intelligence, the singularity, etc. Replacing jobs isn’t new and actually the move away from back breaking jobs isn’t such a bad thing. The move away from these back breaking jobs which require a lot of testosterone to jobs which are collaborative in nature is a good thing.

Then on to trends showing what females earn as a whole against their male counterparts is increasing but the amount of females university and beyond educated is growing massively compared to the males. Aka there will be many more women earning much closer to what men earn. We may see the end of the glass ceiling at long last?

Thinking Digital 2014

Right with all that in mind, less testosterone driven jobs and finally a culture more accepting of collaboration plus a workforce to suit. You got a different mindset writing the machine algorithms and code to power the machine intelligence.

Thats the basic premise (and I know it hinges on a lot of stereotypes and questions, I may be doing Blaise a disservice but to be honest you need to hear Blaise talk about it and making the points. The crux is that women will dominate economically and society will reflect and favor a less testosterone driven approach going forward. The idea of machine intelligence given a cock and balls was floated as a very bad thing. Interestingly

This for lots of male kind is worrying as they suddenly feel the strangle hold they held for so long slip away. There will be a backlashes and your already seeing some of it including the redpill community.

Thinking Digital 2014

In a surprising move by Herb, he opened the floor for questions. Of course knowing me I had to ask a question. I thought about it but had to tell the question is something I didn’t really think too much about because there was plenty of thoughts and connections floating around my head. The question came out and with some clarification I made the hole a little deeper for myself.

The question I was trying to ask was about the social backlash from female-kind (Blaise had only talked about the male backlash). I also used stereotypes to illustrate the point including the height factor, suggesting women may want a testosterone driven man over the alternative. By this point it was pretty much over and I gave up making the point. But interestingly Jemima understanding where I was going with the question, chimed in and gave a better question based on what I meant.

It was a truly fascinating talk and my number one highlight of Thinking Digital 2014. I really feel like I’ve not done Blaise’s talk enough justice… Hopefully once the videos are up, I will link to them and revisit this one. I said Blaise’s talk could be summed up like this. Machine intelligence + (gender selection + sexual and lifestyle freedom) = post subsistence economics. Somewhere in there diversity of ideas and thought is changing the way we think about machine intelligence and this is a very good thing. Not everything has to be zero-sum and like it or not that seems to be a testosterone fueled thing.

Here’s Blaise’s thought from his blog which gives a lot more insight and information, than I could.

Documentarlly did a great little interview with Blaise on Audioboo

Machine Intelligence

I think that just as the Inter­net has been such a great dri­ver of change across so many spheres over the past 20 years, we will see machine intel­li­gence in the same role over the com­ing decades.

Today, we are as an intel­li­gent species essen­tially sin­gu­lar. There are of course some other brainy species, like chim­panzees, dol­phins, crows and octo­puses, but if any­thing they only empha­size our unique posi­tion on Earth— as ani­mals richly gifted with self-awareness, lan­guage, abstract thought, art, math­e­mat­i­cal capa­bil­ity, sci­ence, tech­nol­ogy and so on. Many of us have staked our entire self-concept on the idea that to be human is to have a mind, and that minds are the unique province of humans. For those of us who are not reli­gious, this could be inter­preted as the last bas­tion of dual­ism. Our eco­nomic, legal and eth­i­cal sys­tems are also implic­itly built around this idea.

Now, we’re well along the road to really under­stand­ing the funda­men­tal prin­ci­ples of how a mind can be built, and Moore’s Law will put brain-scale com­put­ing within reach this decade. (We need to put some aster­isks next to Moore’s Law, since we are already run­ning up against cer­tain lim­its in compu­ta­tional scale using our present-day approaches, but I’ll stand behind the broader state­ment.) When we reach this point, we will find our­selves no longer alone. It’s dif­fi­cult to over­state the impor­tance that moment will have in our future history.

It may well result in fur­ther non­lin­ear­ity in the “rate” of his­tory too, since minds and what we’ve dreamt up with them have been the engine behind his­tory and its acceleration.

Gen­der Selection

For many thou­sands of years we’ve lived in a male-dominated soci­ety. I don’t think that we’re shift­ing toward “female dom­inance” so much as I think that the whole idea of dom­i­nance is a male par­a­digm, and that it is this par­a­digm that is being selected against— by increas­ing pop­u­la­tion den­sity in the urban cores, increas­ing edu­ca­tion, larger work­ing groups, increas­ing col­lab­o­ra­tion, ris­ing tech­no­log­i­cal lever­age, global trade and so on. It may be dif­fi­cult to imag­ine this now, when the vast major­ity of the world’s cap­i­tal is still in the hands of men and many of the STEM fields (which are also among the highest-paid) are still over­whelm­ingly male, but I think that men— and espe­cially “manly men” exhibit­ing many of the clas­si­cal cor­re­lates of high testos­terone— will be at a dis­tinct dis­ad­van­tage in 30 years time. This rep­re­sents a pro­found upset of the patri­ar­chal sys­tem that has defined vir­tu­ally all of recorded his­tory, so … it’ll be a big deal.

Post-subsistence Economics

As machine intel­li­gence, robot­ics, and tech­no­log­i­cal lever­age in gen­eral increas­ingly decou­ple pro­duc­tiv­ity from labor, we will con­tinue to see unem­ploy­ment rise even in oth­er­wise healthy economies. The end state is one in which most forms of human labor are sim­ply not required. In 30 years, if not sooner, we will be fac­ing this unprece­dented sit­u­a­tion— and whether it’s heaven or hell depends on whether we’re able to let go of cap­i­tal­ism, eco­nomic Dar­win­ism and the Calvin­ist ethics that implic­itly under­lie these sys­tems. With­out a change of course, we will see mass unem­ploy­ment drive a rad­i­cal accel­er­a­tion of the already dra­matic imbal­ance between the very wealthy few and every­one else, lead­ing to ugly con­di­tions in the cities and ulti­mately vio­lent uprising.

On the other hand, if we are able to set aside our Calvin­ism, we will real­ize that given the tech­no­log­i­cal effi­cien­cies we have achieved, every­one can live well, with or with­out a job. Cap­i­tal­ism, entre­pre­neur­ship and other sys­tems of dif­fer­en­tial wealth cre­ation could still func­tion on top of this hor­i­zon­tal base; but every­one must be fed and housed decently, have access to free health care and edu­ca­tion, and be able to live a good life. I assume the nation-state will still be a rel­e­vant legal and eco­nomic con­struct in 30 years (though I’m not sure, as cor­po­ra­tions or pos­si­bly other struc­tures will com­pli­cate the pic­ture); my guess is that we will see both paths taken in dif­fer­ent parts of the world, lead­ing to mis­ery and war in some, where either the ben­e­fits of accel­er­at­ing tech­nol­ogy are slow to pen­e­trate or Dar­win­ian eco­nom­ics are left unchecked.

Sex­ual and lifestyle freedom

In 30 years, I think that not only will the more pro­gres­sive places in the world have fin­ished rec­on­cil­ing them­selves to the wide spec­trum of sex­ual ori­en­ta­tion and expres­sion, but also to a wide vari­ety of life con­fig­u­ra­tions beyond the nuclear fam­ily built around a sin­gle life­long pair-bond. There are many forces con­tribut­ing to this shift, and I sus­pect that an empir­i­cal case can be made for this in much the same way as for the gen­der ideas above. This is the least devel­oped of my six ideas, but one that I think will have pro­found implications.

Thoughts and ideas of a dyslexic designer/developer