Friday, January 30, 2009

What will you do to fix the worldwide financial crisis?

As the 2009 World Economic Forum comes to an end, there's one thing that everyone there can agree on: the solution to the financial issues facing our world are not going to go away anytime soon.

They also aren't going to be easy to solve.

But one thing is certain and I think everyone sees it: the solution is going to have to involve all of us and that is my question for you in the video tonight: what will you do to influence the crisis?

Thursday, January 29, 2009

The merging of human and technology

Over the last few days, I've been investigating Transhumanism. While it sounds like a strange term, what it represents is something even stranger: fields of thought and research that are pushing the edges of science and knowledge so close to their limits that it sometimes feels like you're acting in a science fiction movie while you're discussing them.

But the ideas transhumanism represents are nothing short of revolutionary:

- anti-aging
- human/computer integration
- mind and body enhancement
- performance enhancement on all levels
- the preservation of consciousness past physical 'death'

Sounds strange? It is. But while most people will bluntly tell you these things aren't possible, transhumanists will tell you these things are not possible right now.

Some of the brightest minds on earth from some of the largest research institutions are putting in a serious amount of time and money into researching technologies that will allow us to transcend and expand our very humanity.

Using computers and nanotechnology, we might soon be able to fully blur the lines between the virtual and the real thereby expanding our reality exponentially. We might be able to stay the hand of death by, not just several years, but possibly by several decades and eventually centuries. Not quite immortality, but pretty nice.

I don't know a lot about transhumanism right now, but I'm learning. I've joined the World Transhumaninism Organization and belong to a few of their mailing list. I have to say I'm both intrigued and awed by the new frontiers of science and tech I'm discovering there. Cutting edge stuff that I've only dared think about in my oddest and most off the wall fantasies.

But these aren't fantasy.
These are the future of reality.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Getting to know your social friends

Over the past year, I've found that I'm quite addicted to social media. It started out small then grew to where every new social network just has to have a CajunTechie on it. It's an addiction I can live with though because, let's face it, it's fun to meet new people!

Unfortunately, all too often, we find ourselves connected with people on these networks we simply don't know. We don't know anything about their lives, their families, or the places they live and visit and that alone makes it really hard to connect with them on a deeper, more meaningful level. I have to admit that I, like many others, have fallen victim to this and pretty tightly control what small parts of my life is shared.

So I'm going to try a little experiment:

Every day, for the next month, I'm going to step out of my comfort zone and either take a picture, video, or maybe even just record audio, of something around me. It might be something as mundane as a video tour of a building in my town or a talk with a local person who nobody knows and isn't famous. The idea will be to give those that 'friend' me in social media a more intimate glimpse into my real life; not the tightly controlled version.

Sure, I'm not a celebrity or Internet rock star and you probably aren't either. But if people are friending you on different social networks, they probably value what you have to say and would appreciate the chance to get to know you better.

So here's the challenge for you too:

1. If you don't already have one or if you'd rather not use your existing one for this project, get yourself a blog. Use this blog just for posting the uncensored, personal stuff. The 'get to know me' type stuff. I recommend getting either a Blogger account or a WordPress account to get started quickly and easily.

2. Share the URL of that blog in the comments of this post so we'll all know you're doing the experiment.

3. Now, here's the hard part: every day for the next 30 days post to that blog. It doesn't have to be a long writeup. Post a picture, a video, an audio, whatever you like. But there is a catch. It has to be personal. That means no 'hey, look at this cool YouTube video I found today'. It has to show some glimpse of your real life. It doesn't have to be long.

I personally really want to get to know the people I'm connected with on the different social networks. I want to see them 'off stage' so to speak and learn what makes them unique and interesting. I'm sure your connections do too.

So what do you say folks? Up for the challenge?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

One of the most inspiring 5 minutes I've ever watched