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Exploring Micro and Macro Frontiers: Using the Lever of Accelerating Change. John Smart Space Frontier Conference 2004 (accelerating.org/slides.html). The Extraordinary Present. “There has never been a time more pregnant with possibilities.” — Gail Carr Feldman

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exploring micro and macro frontiers using the lever of accelerating change
Exploring Micro and Macro Frontiers:Using the Lever of Accelerating Change

John Smart

Space Frontier Conference 2004(accelerating.org/slides.html)

© 2004 Accelerating.org

the extraordinary present
The Extraordinary Present

“There has never been a time more pregnant with possibilities.”— Gail Carr Feldman

Quiet happiness, careful confidence, and flow (after Flow, by Csikszentmihalyi) are the natural state of the human animal.

Our accelerating world adds regular surprise to the mix. If you aren’t surprised (occasionally even astonished) at least once a day, perhaps you aren’t looking closely enough.

© 2004 Accelerating.org

the future is now
The Future is Now

“You will never again be as good looking as you are today.”

“Things will never again be as slow or simple as they are today.” — You (in front of the mirror every morning).

More than ever, the Future is Now. It’s just not evenly distributed yet.

— William Gibson (paraphrased)

We have two options: Future Shock, or Future Shaping. Never has the lever of technology been so powerful. Never have we had so much impact, and potential for impact.

We need a pragmatic optimism, a can-do, change-aware attitude. A balance between innovation and preservation. Honest dialogs on persistent problems, tolerance of imperfect solutions. The ability to avoid both doomsaying and a paralyzing adherence to the status quo.

— David Brin (paraphrased)

Tip: Great input leads to great output. Do you have a weekly reading and writing period? Several learning and doing communities? How global is your thinking and action?

© 2004 Accelerating.org

institute for the study of accelerating change
Institute for the Study of Accelerating Change
  • ISAC (Accelerating.org) is a nonprofit community of scientists, technologists, entrepreneurs, administrators, educators, analysts, humanists, and systems theorists discussing and dissecting accelerating change.
  • We practice “developmentalfuture studies,” that is, we seek to discover a set of persistent factors, stable trends, convergent capacities, and highly probable scenarios for our common future, and to use this information now to improve our daily evolutionary choices.
  • Specifically, these include accelerating intelligence, immunity, and interdependence in our global sociotechnological systems, increasing technological autonomy, and the increasing intimacy of the human-machine, physical-digital interface.

© 2004 Accelerating.org

evolution vs development the twin s thumbprints
Evolution vs. Development“The Twin’s Thumbprints”

Consider two identical twins:


Brain wiring

Evolution drives almost all the unique local patterns.

Development creates the predictable global patterns.

© 2004 Accelerating.org

the left and right hands of evolutionary development
The Left and Right Hands of “Evolutionary Development”

Replication & Variation

“Natural Selection”

Adaptive Radiation

Chaos, Contingency

Pseudo-Random Search

Strange Attractors


Selection & Convergence

“Convergent Selection”

Emergence,Global Optima


Standard Attractors


Complex Environmental Interaction

Left Hand

Right Hand

New Computational Phase Space Opening

Well-Explored Phase Space Optimization

© 2004 Accelerating.org

marbles landscapes and basins complex systems evolution development
Marbles, Landscapes, and Basins (Complex Systems, Evolution, & Development)

The marbles (systems) roll around on the landscape, each taking unpredictable (evolutionary) paths. But the paths predictably converge (development) on low points (MEST compression), the “attractors” at the bottom of each basin.

© 2004 Accelerating.org

understanding development
Understanding Development

Just a few thousand developmental genes “ride herd” over massive molecular evolutionary chaos.

Yet two genetic twins look, in many respects, identical.

How is that?

They’ve been tuned, cyclically, for a future-specific convergent emergent order, in a stable development niche.

Origination of Organismal Form, Müller and Newman, 2003

© 2004 Accelerating.org

every substrate has its niche
Every Substrate Has its Niche

The entire evolutionary history of life involves each organisms increasingly intelligent (value driven) modification of their niche, and environmental responses to these changes.

“Organisms do not simply 'adapt' to preexisting environments, but actively change and construct the world in which they live. Not until Niche Construction, however, has that understanding been turned into a coherent structure that brings together observations about natural history and an exact dynamical theory.”

– Richard Lewontin, Harvard

Niche Construction, Odling-Smee, Laland, Feldman, 2004

© 2004 Accelerating.org

niches are increasingly more local in spacetime space and time
Niches are Increasingly more Local in Spacetime (Space and Time)

Biogenesis required a cooling Earth-crust, and billennia.

Multicellular organisms required a Cambrian Explosion, and millennia.

Human culture required a Linguistic Explosion, and tens of thousands of years.

Science and technology revolutions required a Social Enlightenment, a fraction of the preserved biomass of Earth’s extinct species, and hundreds of years.

Intelligent computers will apparently be able to model the birth and death of the universe with the refuse thrown away annually by one American family. In tens of years?

© 2004 Accelerating.org

how many eyes are developmentally optimal
How Many Eyes Are Developmentally Optimal?

Evolution tried this experiment.

Development calculated an operational optimum.

Some reptiles (e.g. Xantusia vigilis, certain skinks) still have a parietal (“pineal”) vestigial third eye.

© 2004 Accelerating.org

how many wheels are developmentally optimal
How Many Wheels are Developmentally Optimal?

Examples: Wheel on Earth. Social computation device. Diffusion proportional to population density and diversity.

© 2004 Accelerating.org

stratellites a developmental attractor
Stratellites: A Developmental Attractor?

Inventor: Hokan Colting


180 feet diameter. Autonomous.

60,000 feet (vs. 22,000 miles)

Permanent geosynch. location.

Onboard solar and navigation.

A “quarter sized” receiver dish.

Why are satellites presently losing against the wired world?

Latency, bandwidth, and launch costs.

MEST compression always wins.Don’t bet against it!

  • Border monitoring(low altitude drug flights)
  • City monitoring
  • Early warning radar
  • Urban broadband

© 2004 Accelerating.org

em mass drivers a developmental attractor
EM Mass Drivers: A Developmental Attractor?

Cost of launching to LEO orbit: $10K/kilogram.Escape velocity: 8 km/second.

Mass drivers (linear electromagnetic induction in vacuum) and Slingatrons (spiral or circular EM acceleration, Derek Tidman), are both potential launch system candidates.

“The actual energy cost of putting a pound into Earth Orbit would be very low, only about 25 cents per pound if electric energy were directly [100% efficiently] used to accelerate payloads to an orbital velocity of 8 km/second.” (Maglev 2000 of Florida)

Problem: Deformation when the projectile hits atmosphere at the end of the tube.

MagLifter Solution: Subsonic non-vacuum (600 mph) launch vehicle, replacing first stage (1/10th the cost).

Long-Term Solution: Not yet apparent.

© 2004 Accelerating.org

railguns em proof of concept
Railguns: EM Proof of Concept
  • Railguns (a 2% efficient, simpler EM technology) are actively being developed by the U.S. Navy for antimissile defense. Rails can be as short as 1 m.
  • They presently fire small projectiles (at 300,000 G’s, using two-story generators for sufficient current) at velocities up to 10 km/sec. Performance goal is 15 km/sec. 150 km/sec is considered possible.

© 2004 Accelerating.org

hurricane control a new nasa noaa mission
Hurricane Control: A New NASA/NOAA Mission?

Hurricane Ivan: $11B in property damage. 11 named storms in 10 months in 2004, 7 have caused damage in U.S.

NOAA expects decades of hurricane hyperactivity.

Controlling Hurricanes, Scientific American, 10.2004

Ross Hoffman, use Solar Powered Satellites (SPS’s).

In 1968, Peter Glaser, microwave-relay SPS’s for power on earth, tuned away from climate. These would be tuned to water vapor (like microwave oven). Low pressure centers disruptible by atmospheric heating. Very sensitive to hi pressure side steering. Cyclones, monsoons, blizzards, possibly even tornados.

Research: Russian mylar mirrors, 1993, 1999 (failed).

23 m mirror (above), 5 km light circle on the ground.

Arrays would raise surface temp. several degrees.

© 2004 Accelerating.org

something curious is going on
Something Curious Is Going On


(Don’t look for this in your physics or information theory texts…)

© 2004 Accelerating.org

from the big bang to complex stars the decelerating phase of universal ed
From the Big Bang to Complex Stars: “The Decelerating Phase” of Universal ED

© 2004 Accelerating.org

from biogenesis to intelligent technology the accelerating phase of universal ed
From Biogenesis to Intelligent Technology: The “Accelerating Phase” of Universal ED

Carl Sagan’s “Cosmic Calendar” (Dragons of Eden, 1977)

Each month is roughly 1 billion years.

© 2004 Accelerating.org

a u shaped curve of change
A U-Shaped Curve of Change?

Big Bang Singularity

Developmental Singularity?

50 yrs ago: Machina silico

50 yrs: Scalar Field Scaffolds

100,000 yrs: Matter

100,000 yrs ago: H. sap. sap.

1B yrs: Protogalaxies

8B yrs: Earth

© 2004 Accelerating.org

eric chaisson s phi a universal moore s law curve
Eric Chaisson’s “Phi” (Φ): A Universal Moore’s Law Curve


Free Energy Rate Density

Substrate (ergs/second/gram)

Galaxies 0.5

Stars2 (“counterintuitive”)

Planets (Early) 75

Plants 900

Animals/Genetics 20,000(10^4)

Brains (Human) 150,000(10^5)

Culture (Human) 500,000(10^5)

Int. Comb. Engines (10^6)

Jets (10^8)

Pentium Chips (10^11)


Source: Eric Chaisson, Cosmic Evolution, 2001

© 2004 Accelerating.org

saturation a biological lesson
Saturation: A Biological Lesson

How S Curves Get Old

Resource limits in a niche





Competitive limits in a niche


Curious Facts:

1. Our special universal structure permits each new computational substrate tobe far more MEST resource-efficient than the last2. The most complex local systems have no intellectual competition

Result: No apparent limits to the acceleration of local intelligence, interdependence, and immunity in new substrates over time.

© 2004 Accelerating.org

understanding the lever of ict
Understanding the Lever of ICT

“The good opinion of mankind, like the lever of Archimedes, with the given fulcrum [representative democracy], moves the world.” (Thomas Jefferson, 1814)

The lever of accelerating information and communications technologies (in outer space) with the fulcrum of physics (in inner space) increasingly moves the world. (Carver Mead, Seth Lloyd, George Gilder…)

"Give me a lever, a fulcrum, and place to stand and I will move the world."

Archimedes of Syracuse (287-212 BC), quoted by Pappus of Alexandria, Synagoge, c. 340 AD

© 2004 Accelerating.org

simplicity and complexity
Simplicity and Complexity

Universal EvolutionaryDevelopment is:

Simple at the Boundaries, Complex In Between

Simple Math

Of the Very Small

(Big Bang,

Quantum Mechanics,


Simple Math

Of the Very Large

(Classical Mechanics,

General Relativity)

Complex Math

Of the In Between

(Chaos, Life, Humans,

Coming Technologies)

Ian Stewart, What Shape is a Snowflake?, 2001

© 2004 Accelerating.org

the meaning of simplicity wigner s ladder
The Meaning of Simplicity (Wigner’s ladder)

Complex systemsare evolutionary.

Simple systems are developmental.

The universe is painting complex local evolutionary pictures, on a simple universe-wide developmental scaffolding.

The picture (canvas/intelligence, in the middle) is

mathematically complex (Gödelian incomplete),

and trillions of times evolutionarily unique.

The framework (easel/cosmic structure, very large, & paint/physical laws, MEST structure, very small) is uniform, and simple to understand.

© 2004 Accelerating.org

our universe has an evolutionary developmental purpose
Our Universe Has an Evolutionary Developmental Purpose

The more we study the dual processes of Evo-Devo, the better we discover the simple background, and can create a complex foreground. Take Home Points:

  • Evolutionary variation is generally increasing and becomes more MEST efficient with time and substrate.
  • Development (in special systems) is on an accelerating local trajectory to an intelligent destination.
  • Humans are both evolutionary & developmental actors, creating and catalyzing a new substrate transition.
  • We need both adequate evolutionary generativity, (uniqueness) and adequate developmental sustainability (accelerating niche construction) in this extraordinary journey.

© 2004 Accelerating.org

cosmic embryogenesis in three easy steps
Cosmic Embryogenesis(in Three Easy Steps)


(Chemical Substrate)


(Biological-Genetic Substrate)


(Memetic-Technologic Substrate)

Pierre Tielhard de Chardin


Jesuit Priest, Transhumanist,

Developmental Systems Theorist

Le Phénomène Humain, 1955

© 2004 Accelerating.org

the challenge in managing technological development
The Challenge in ManagingTechnological Development

Since the birth of civilization, humanity has been learning to build special types of technological systems that are progressively able to do more for us, in a more networked and resilient fashion, using less resources(matter, energy, space, time, human and economic capital) to deliver any fixed amount of complexity, productivity, or capability.

We are faced daily with many possible evolutionary choices in which to invest our precious time, energy, and resources, but only a few optimal developmental pathways will clearly "do more, and better, with less."

© 2004 Accelerating.org

inner space and outer space
Inner Space and Outer Space

“I ask you to look both ways. For the road to knowledge of the stars is through the atom., and the important knowledge of the atom has been reached through the stars.”Stars and Atoms, 1928

The fundamental constants of nature, such as the mass of the proton and the charge of the electron, may be a "natural and complete specification for constructing a Universe." Fundamental Theory, 1946

Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington

Mathematician and Physicist

© 2004 Accelerating.org

unreasonable effectiveness efficiency eugene wigner and carver mead
Unreasonable Effectiveness/Efficiency: Eugene Wigner and Carver Mead

The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences, Nobel Laureate Eugene Wigner, 1960 After Wigner and Freeman Dyson’s work in 1951, on symmetries and simple universalities in mathematical physics.

Commentary on the “Unreasonable Efficiency of Physics in the Microcosm,” VSLI Pioneer Carver Mead, c. 1980.





In 1968, Mead predicted we would create much smaller (to 0.15 micron) multi-million chip transistors that would run far faster and more efficiently. He later generalized this observation to a number of other devices.

© 2004 Accelerating.org

moore s law
Moore’s Law

Moore’s Law derives from two predictions in 1965 and 1975 by Gordon Moore, co-founder of Intel, that computer chips (processors, memory, etc.) double their complexity every 12-24 months at near constant unit cost.

This is one of several abstractions of Moore’s Law, due to miniaturization of transistor density in two dimensions. Others relate to speed (the signals have less distance to travel) and computational power (speed × density).

© 2004 Accelerating.org

some tech capacity growth rates are independent of socioeconomic cycles
Some Tech Capacity Growth Rates Are Independent of Socioeconomic Cycles

There are many natural cycles: Political-Economic Pendulum, Boom-Bust, War-Peace…

Ray Kurzweil first noted that a generalized, century-long Moore’s Law was unaffected by the U.S. Great Depression of the 1930’s.

Conclusion: Human-discovered, Not human-created complexity here. Not that many intellectual or physical resources are required to keep us on the accelerating developmental trajectory. (“MEST compression is a rigged game.”)

Age of Spiritual Machines, 1999

© 2004 Accelerating.org

example holey optical fibers
Example: Holey Optical Fibers
  • Above: SEM image of a photonic crystal fiber. Note periodic array of air holes. The central defect (missing hole in the middle) acts as the fiber's core. The fiber is about 40 microns across.
  • This conversion system is a million times (106) more energy efficient than all previous converters. These are the kinds of jaw-dropping efficiency advances that continue to drive the ICT and networking revolutions.
  • Such advances are due even more to human discovery (in physical microspace) than to human creativity, which is why they have accelerated throughout the 20th century, even as we remain uncertain exactly why they continue to occur.

Lasers today can made cheaply only in some areas of the EM spectrum, not including, for example, UV laser light for cancer detection and tissue analysis. It was discovered in 2004 that a hollow optical fiber filled with hydrogen gas, a device known as a "photonic crystal," can convert cheap laser light to the wavelengths previously unavailable.

© 2004 Accelerating.org

smart s laws of technology
Smart’s Laws of Technology

1. Tech learns ten million times faster than you do.(Electronic vs. biological rates of evolutionary development).

2. Humans are selective catalysts, not controllers, of technological evolutionary development.

(Regulatory choices. Ex: WMD production or transparency, P2P as a proprietary or open source development)

3. The first generation of any technology is often dehumanizing, the second is indifferent to humanity, and with luck the third becomes net humanizing. (Cities, cars, cellphones, computers).

© 2004 Accelerating.org

many accelerations are underwhelming
Many Accelerations are Underwhelming

Some Modest Exponentials:

  • Productivity per U.S. worker hr has improved 500% over 75 years (1929-2004, 2% per yr)
  • Business investment as % of U.S. GDP is flat at 11% over 25 years.
  • Nondefense R&D spending as % of First World GDP is up 30% (1.6 to 2.1%) over 21 years (1981-2002).
  • Technology spending as % of U.S. GDP is up 100% (4% to 8%) over 35 years (1967-2002)
  • Scientific publications have increased 40% over 13 years (1988-2001).

BusinessWeek, 75th Ann. Issue, “The Innovation Economy”, 10.11.2004

© 2004 Accelerating.org

revisit 1929
Revisit 1929

Business Week’s First Edition:

  • IBM has an ad for “electric sorting machines.”
  • PG&E has an ad announcing natural gas powered factories in San Francisco.

Could we have predicted that one of these technologies would sustain a relentless, profound, accelerating transformation while another would, on the surface, appear largely unchanged?

Can we predict this now?

© 2004 Accelerating.org

areas of accelerating innovation 1929 2004
Areas of Accelerating Innovation, 1929-2004

“The Microcosm” (the “ICT” domain)

Materials Science (“Substrates”)

  • Synthetic Materials
  • Transistor (Bell Labs, 1948)
  • Microprocessor
  • Fiber Optics
  • Lasers and Optoelectronics
  • Wired and Wireless Networks
  • Quantum Wells, Wires, and Dots
  • Exotic Condensed Matter

BusinessWeek, 75th Ann. Issue, “The Innovation Economy”, 10.11.2004

© 2004 Accelerating.org

areas of accelerating innovation 1929 200439
Areas of Accelerating Innovation, 1929-2004

“The Microcosm” (the “ICT” domain)

Systems and Software

  • Television (1940’s)
  • Mainframes (1950’s)
  • Minicomputers (1970’s)
  • Personal Computers (1980’s)
  • Cellphones/Laptops/PDAs (1990’s)
  • Embedded/Distributed Systems (2000’s)
  • Pervasive/Ubiquitous Systems (2010’s)
  • Cable TV, Satellites, Consumer, Enterprise, Technical Software, Middleware, Web Services, Email, CMS, Early Semantic Web, Search, KM, AI, NLP…

BusinessWeek, 75th Ann. Issue, “The Innovation Economy”, 10.11.2004

© 2004 Accelerating.org

areas of accelerating innovation 1929 200440
Areas of Accelerating Innovation, 1929-2004

“The Macrocosm” (the “human-ICT” domain)

Defense and Space (“Security-oriented human-ICT”)

  • Aircraft carriers, nuclear weapons, ICBMs, cruise missiles, lunar landers, nuclear powered submarines... (major open problems (security))

Manufacturing (“Engineering-oriented human-ICT”)

  • Lean manufacturing, supply-chain management, process automation, big-box retailing, robotics… (major open problems (rich-poor divide))

BusinessWeek, 75th Ann. Issue, “The Innovation Economy”, 10.11.2004

© 2004 Accelerating.org

areas of accelerating innovation 1929 200441
Areas of Accelerating Innovation, 1929-2004

“The Macrocosm” (the “human-ICT” domain)

Social and Legal (“Fairness-oriented human-ICT”)

  • Civil rights, social security, fair labor standards, ADA, EOE, tort reform, class actions, Miranda rights, zoning, DMV code, alimony, palimony, criminal law reform, penal reform, education reform, privacy law, feminism, minority power, spousal rights, gay civil unions... (“accelerating refinements” (vs. disruptive changes), consider E.U. vs. U.S. vs China.)

BusinessWeek, 75th Ann. Issue, “The Innovation Economy”, 10.11.2004

© 2004 Accelerating.org

areas of accelerating innovation 1929 200442
Areas of Accelerating Innovation, 1929-2004

“The Macrocosm” (the “human-ICT” domain)

Agrotech/Biotech/Health Care (“Bio-oriented human-ICT”)

  • Green revolution, antibiotics, pharmaceuticals, transplants, medical imaging, prosthetics, microsurgery, genomics, proteomics, combinatorial chem, bioinformatics… (“accelerating regulation”)

Finance (“Capital-oriented human-ICT”)

  • Venture capital (American R&D, 1946), credit cards (Bank of America, 1958), mortgage derivs (1970’s), mutual and hedge funds, prog. trading, microcredit…

Transportation and Energy (“Infrastructure human-ICT”)

  • Jet aircraft, helicopters, radar, containerized shipping
  • Nuclear power, solar energy, gas-powered turbines,

hydrogen (“accelerating efficiencies (hidden change)”)

© 2004 Accelerating.org

ict a 2030 vision
ICT: A 2030 Vision

Entertain a Radical Proposition: “Human-ICT” computational domains are saturating. “Microcosm” ICT is not.(Human pop. flatlines in 2050 (“First World effect”). 2nd order deriv. of world energy demand is negative. ICT acceleration continues.)

Defense, Security, Space, Finance, Social, Legal, Agrotech, Biotech, Health Care, Finance, Transportation, Energy and Envirotech all will look surprisingly similar in 2030 (with major ICT extensions).

We see evolutionarily more and better of the above, but now global, not local. Our generation’s theme:

“First World Saturating, Third World Uplifting.”

Condensed Matter Physics, the Nanoworld, and Cosmology have continued to surprise us.

ICT (Sensors, Storage, Communication, Connectivity, Simulation, Interface) now look, and feel, very different.

© 2004 Accelerating.org

physical space is biotech a saturated substrate
Physical Space: Is Biotech a Saturated Substrate?

21st century neuropharm and neurotech won’t accelerate biological complexity (seems likely now).

  • Neural homeostasis fights “top-down” interventions
  • “Most complex structure in the known universe”

Strong resistance to disruptive biointerventions

  • In-group ethics, body image, personal identity

We’ll learn a lot, not biologically “redesign humans”

  • No human-scale time, ability or reason to do so.
  • Expect “regression to mean” (elim. disease) instead.

Neuroscience will accelerate technological complexity

  • Biologically inspired computing. “Structural mimicry.”

© 2004 Accelerating.org

physical space technological cephalization of earth
Physical Space: Technological “Cephalization” of Earth

"No one can deny that a worldnetwork of economic and psychic affiliations is being woven at ever increasing speed which envelops and constantly penetrates more deeply within each of us. With every day that passes it becomes a little more impossible for us to act or think otherwise than collectively."

—Tielhard de Chardin

“Finite Sphericity + Acceleration =

Phase Transition”

© 2004 Accelerating.org

u s transcontinental railroad promontory point fervor
U.S. Transcontinental Railroad: Promontory Point Fervor

Built by hard-working immigrants

The Network of the 1880’s

© 2004 Accelerating.org

it globalization revolution 2000 20 promontory point revisited
IT Globalization Revolution (2000-20):Promontory Point Revisited

The more things change, the more some things stay the same.

The coming intercontinental internet will be built primarily by hungry young programmers and tech support personnel in India, Asia, third-world Europe, Latin America, and other developing economic zones. In coming decades, such individuals will outnumber the First World technical support population between five- and ten-to-one.

Consider what this means for the goals of modern business and education: Teaching skills for global management, partnerships, and collaboration.

© 2004 Accelerating.org

the pentagon s new map
The Pentagon’s New Map

A New Global Defense Paradigm

© 2004 Accelerating.org

shrinking the disconnected gap
Shrinking the Disconnected Gap

The Computational “Ozone Hole”

© 2004 Accelerating.org

the disconnected gap our planetary ozone hole
The Disconnected Gap:Our Planetary Ozone Hole

Global Polarization (Core vs. Gap)

“Disconnectedness (tech, economic, cultural) defines danger.” (Thomas Barnett, Pentagon’s New Map)

  • Strategy: Encircle the Gap, Support the Seam States

-- Plant resources in “supportive soil.”

-- Greatest comparative advantage for shrinking the hole (eg. Koreas).

  • Strategy: Don’t Stir Up the Ant’s Nest

-- This is difficult, as due to differential immunity, our cultural memes (materialism, democracy, etc.) are as powerful as the germs that wiped out up to 90% of the less immunologically complex cultures (Rome: 1-200AD, Europe: 1300, America: 1492-1600)

© 2004 Accelerating.org

physical space a transparent society panopticon
Physical Space: A Transparent Society (“Panopticon”)

David Brin,

The Transparent Society, 1998

Hitachi’s mu-chip: RFID for paper currency

© 2004 Accelerating.org

virtual space is inner space the final frontier
Virtual Space: Is Inner Space the Final Frontier?
  • Mirror Worlds, David Gelernter, 1998. Large scale structures in spacetime are:
  • A vastly slower substrate for evolutionary development
  • Relatively computationally simple and tractable (transparent)
  • Rapidly encapsulated by our simulation science
  • A “rear view mirror” on the developmental trajectory of emergence of universal intelligence?
          • versus

Non-Autonomous ISS

Autonomous Human Brain

© 2004 Accelerating.org

interface oil refinery a multi acre automatic factory
Interface: Oil Refinery (A Multi-Acre Automatic Factory)

Tyler, Texas, 1964. 360 acres. Run by three operators, each needing only a high school education. The 1972 version eliminated the three operators.

© 2004 Accelerating.org

interface understanding process automation
Interface: Understanding Process Automation
  • Perhaps 80-90% of today's First World paycheck is paid for by automation (“tech we tend”).
  • Robert Solow, 1987 Nobel in Economics (Solow Productivity Paradox, Theory of Economic Growth)“7/8 comes from technical progess.”
  • Human contribution (10-20%) to a First World job is Social Value of Employment + Creativity + Education
  • Developing countries are next in line (sooner or later).
  • Continual education and grants (“taxing the machines”) are the final job descriptions for all human beings.

Termite Mound

© 2004 Accelerating.org

understanding automation
Understanding Automation

Between 1995 and 2002 the world’s 20 largest economies lost 22 million industrial jobs. This is the shift from a Manufacturing to a Service/Information Economy.

1995-02, America lost 2 million industrial jobs, mostly to China. China lost 15 million such jobs, mostly to machines. (Fortune)

Despite the shrinking of America's industrial work force, our country's overall industrial outputincreased by 50% since 1992. (Economist)

“Robots are replacing humans or are greatly enhancing human performance in mining, manufacture, and agriculture.  Huge areas of clerical work are also being automated.  Standardized repetitive work is being taken over by electronic systems.The key to America's continued prosperity depends on shifting to ever more productive and diverseservices.  And the good news is jobs here are often better paying and far more interesting than those on we knew on farms and the assembly line.” (Tsvi Bisk)

"The Misery of Manufacturing," The Economist. Sept. 27, 2003"Worrying About Jobs Isn't Productive," Fortune Magazine. Nov. 10, 2003 “The Future of Making a Living,” Tsvi Bisk, 2003

© 2004 Accelerating.org

an ict attractor the linguistic user interface
An ICT Attractor:The Linguistic User Interface
  • Google’s cache (2002, % non-novel)
  • Watch Windows 2004 become Conversations 2020…
  • Convergence of Infotech and Sociotech

© 2004 Accelerating.org

today gmail
Today: Gmail

Free, search-based webmail service with 1,000 megabytes (1 gigabyte) of storage. Google search quickly recalls any message you have ever sent or received. No more need to file messages to find them again.

All replies to each retrieved email are automatically displayed (“threaded”). Relevant text ads and links to related web pages are displayed adjacent to email messages.

© 2004 Accelerating.org

tomorrow social software lifelogs
Tomorrow: Social Software, Lifelogs

Gmail preserves, for the first time, everything we’ve ever typed. Gmailers are all bloggers (who don’t know it). Next, we’ll store everything we’ve ever said. Then everything we’ve ever seen. This storage (and processing, and bandwidth) makes us all networkable in ways we never dreamed.

Lifeblog, SenseCam, What Was I Thinking, and MyLifeBits (2003) are early examples of “LifeLogs.” Systems for auto-archiving and auto-indexing all life experience. Add NLP, collaborative filtering, and other early AI to this, and data begins turning into wisdom.

© 2004 Accelerating.org

personality capture
Personality Capture

In the long run, we become seamless with our machines.

No other credible long term futures have been proposed.

“Technology is becoming organic. Nature is becoming technologic.” (Brian Arthur, SFI)

© 2004 Accelerating.org

your digital you digital twin
Your “Digital You” (Digital Twin)

“I would never upload my consciousness

into a machine.”

“I enjoy leaving behind stories about my life for my children.”

Prediction: When your mother dies in 2050, your digital mom will be “50% her.”

When your best friend dies in 2080, your digital best friend will be “80% him.”When you die in 2099, your digital you will be 99% you. Will this feel like death, or growth?

Successive approximation, seamless integration, subtle transition.

When you can shift your consciousness between your electronic and biological components, the encapsulation and transcendence of the biological will feel like only growth, not death.

We wouldn’t have it any other way.

Greg Panos (and Mother)PersonaFoundation.org

© 2004 Accelerating.org

action items
Action Items

1. Sign up for free Tech Tidbitsand AcceleratingTimes newsletters at Accelerating.org

2. Attend Accelerating Change (AC2004)

November 5-7 at Stanford, Palo Alto, CA

3. Send feedback to johnsmart@accelerating.org

Thank You.

© 2004 Accelerating.org