[FoRK] [tt] [wta-talk] The future of politics. Can politicians prepare society for the major technology challenges ahead? With Darren Reynolds.

Jeff Bone jbone at place.org
Tue Feb 9 19:42:15 PST 2010

"Can dinosaurs help rodents prepare for their upcoming ascendancy?"

This is hilarious.  Really.  GMAFB.  

Politicians in general cannot and do not understand or cope with, much less help society adapt to and capture the opportunity of, *yesterday's* technology.  Instead, the political system is often the tool of those with entrenched interests in inhibiting new technology.  Tubes, remember?

Looking at the presenter's bio-blip, makes perfect sense.  Hit us with that irrational exuberance about the positive effectiveness of government, Mr. Chairman.

Can (existing forms of) government have a positive impact on society?  Of course.  Does this actually happen?  Rarely, and increasingly so.

Let us not mince words.  Every single technological innovation of any significance on the horizon is a disruptive threat to any centralization of control, be it within markets or within social organization.  That is *the nature* of disruptive innovation vis-a-vis establishments.  Not only is it unrealistic and pollyanna to think that government *could* play a constructive role in this --- in fact the opposite incentives and motivations are intrinsically baked into our systems of governance themselves --- whatever individual intentions and motivations "politicians" might have.


On Feb 9, 2010, at 3:13 PM, Eugen Leitl wrote:

> ----- Forwarded message from estropico <estropico at gmail.com> -----
> From: estropico <estropico at gmail.com>
> Date: Tue, 9 Feb 2010 16:28:26 +0000
> To: wta-talk at transhumanism.org
> Subject: [wta-talk] The future of politics. Can politicians prepare society
> 	for the major technology challenges ahead? With Darren Reynolds.
> Reply-To: Humanity+ Discussion List <wta-talk at transhumanism.org>
> The future of politics. Can politicians prepare society for the major
> technology challenges ahead? With Darren Reynolds
> Venue: Room 416, Birkbeck College, Torrington Square, London WC1E 7HX
> Date: Saturday 20th February 2010
> Time: 2pm-4pm
> About the talk:
> With the rapid accelerating changes in many fields of technology and
> society, there's a risk we'll wake up one morning in (say) 2015 and
> realise that our politicians have failed to play their role in
> anticipating and preparing for major risks and opportunities -
> politicians were focusing on issues of the past, and neglecting issues
> of the future.
> What should we be doing, now, to change the topic of political debate,
> to bring more focus on the transformative potential of emerging
> technologies?
> How should the role of politicians evolve, over the near future, to
> improve the technological leadership of this country (and beyond)?
> And what role can non-politicians play, to improve the way society
> makes collective choices about the allocation of funding and
> resources?
> About the main speaker:
> Darren Reynolds is a pro-technology campaigner and local government
> councillor for the UK's Liberal Democrats. In his professional career
> he has helped many public and private sector organisations to
> introduce new technology and improve the way they work. Darren
> believes in putting choices in the hands of ordinary people and
> ensuring that tomorrow's technological developments flourish in a
> balanced regulatory framework.
> Darren is Chair of the Burnley Liberal Democrats.
> In 1998, Darren was part of the international team of philosophers and
> activists who produced the original "Transhumanist Declaration"
> Opportunity for additional speakers
> The meeting will also feature a number of 5-minute pitches from
> audience members (agreed in advance) stating cases for specific
> changes in the allocation of national budget - for example, which
> areas of research deserve a larger share of funding (and which areas
> deserve less).
> Anyone wishing to take part in this section of the meeting should get
> in touch asap.
> There's no charge to attend this meeting, and everyone is welcome.
> There will be plenty of opportunity to ask questions and to make comments.
> Discussion will continue after the event, in a nearby pub, for those
> who are able to stay.
> ** Why not join some of the Extrobritannia regulars for a drink and/or
> light lunch beforehand, any time after 12.30pm, in The Marlborough
> Arms, 36 Torrington Place, London WC1E 7HJ. To find us, look out for a
> table where there's a copy of the book "Citizen Cyborg: Why Democratic
> Societies Must Respond to the Redesigned Human of the Future"
> displayed.
> ** About the venue:
> Room 416 is on the fourth floor (via the lift near reception) in the
> main Birkbeck College building, in Torrington Square (which is a
> pedestrian-only square). Torrington Square is about 10 minutes walk
> from either Russell Square or Goodge St tube stations.
> www.extrobritannia.blogspot.com
> www.uktranshumanistassociation.org
> _______________________________________________
> wta-talk mailing list
> wta-talk at transhumanism.org
> http://www.transhumanism.org/mailman/listinfo/wta-talk
> ----- End forwarded message -----
> -- 
> Eugen* Leitl <a href="http://leitl.org">leitl</a> http://leitl.org
> ______________________________________________________________
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