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Archive for October, 2005

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Mountain Gorilla Memoires

October 30, 2005 by  

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There we were in a hotel lobby doing a podcast with John Furrier earlier this month, when John looked up and said, “Hey, there’s Jane Goodall.” The same Jane Goodall who I’ve met a few times over the years at the TED Conference, the same Jane Goodall, who is so well renown for her work in eastern Africa. It threw me and did so, because it seemed so out of place for where we were and more importantly, where my mind was at the time……around a product launch, no two, no maybe more. Technology product launches, a far cry from my life in Africa, which now seems not only like it was another life, but another planet. And this was only two weeks prior to hearing a group of talented Africans speak on the future of their continent, on a panel in Maine of all places. For a moment, a long moment, my mind rewound a tape and traveled back in time, back to the late eighties when I had spent a chunk of time in eastern Africa, traveling, teaching, writing and playing, that magical word ‘play’ that I clearly don’t do…

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MIT’s Ray and Maria Stata Center

October 29, 2005 by  

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I tried to connect with Rodney Brooks at MIT in Boston on my recent trip, but the damn rain and overcramped schedule kept me away. He’s been telling me about their new building for awhile now, encouraging me to stop by. I had no idea what I missed. The MIT Ray and Maria Stata Center for Computer, Information and Intelligence Sciences has posted 46 images which can be enlarged for better viewing. Astonishing.


Africans Speak Up on Change

October 28, 2005 by  

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Last week, Fortune Magazine’s David Kirkpatrick led a panel of ten young African fellows, who spoke on change in local government, healthcare issues, the impact of technology and suggestions on what we can collectively do to make sustainable change. Pa220427 Here’s the line-up of the fabulous voices who spoke out: Neema Mgana, 30 years old from Tanzania, who is a 2005 Nobel Prize for Peace nominee, a HIV/AIDS and youth leadership activist. Elleni Muluneh Gebremariam, 20 years old from Ethiopia, who is an education and communications specialist. Lydia Muchodo from Uganda, who is a promoter of peace and tolerance through sports. Khaddiatou Diedhiou Diop, 30 years old, from Senegal, who is the youngest member of Parliament of Senegal who is focused on reducing child mortality and improving maternal health. Rotimi Olawale, 22 years old from Nigeria, who is a reformer of the private sector in the areas of partnerships and media. Clement M. Bwalya, 27 years old from Zambia, who is an advocate of social change through sports and a reformer of the health sector. Brian

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The End of Faith

October 22, 2005 by  

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Sam Harris pronounces to the crowd – “I’m very concerned in our belief in faith. We have Christians against Muslims against Jews……I know I’m going to offend many of you in the room. But I’m worried, so I need to be worried out loud for the next 40 minutes…” Sam is author of: The End of Faith: Religion, Terror and the Future of Reason. The End of Faith provides a harrowing glimpse of mankind’s willingness to suspend reason in favor of religious beliefs, even when these beliefs inspire the worst of human atrocities. He argues that in the presence of weapons of mass destruction, we can no longer expect to survive our religious differences indefinitely. Most controversially, he maintains that “moderation” in religion poses considerable dangers of its own: as the accommodation we have made to religious faith in our society now blinds us to the role that faith plays in perpetuating human conflict. Endoffaith He provides us with some stats:
90% of people in the world believe in a ‘God.’ 83% of us believe that Jesus rose from the dead. 40%


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Sinclair on AIDS in Africa

October 22, 2005 by  

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Cameron Sinclair is speaking to us on the PopTech stage in the morning session of the last day. A disclaimer, “I’m Scottish,” he says. That can mean all sorts of things. I was married to a Scot, so I know. And life was always interesting and adventurous! :-) And it appears he has this quality too, as a recent winner of two prizes, including one from TED. Pa210412 “Who is Architecture for Humanity?” asks Cameron, as he starts to describe his program, which is a non-profit set up to seek and promote architecture and design solutions to humanitarian crises. “I’ve created a system which is completely open source,” he says. He has implemented a number of programs, including housing ideas for returning refugees in Kosovo; mobile health clinics to combat HIV/AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa; mine clearance programs and playground building in the Balkans; and earthquake recovery assistance in Turkey and Iran. Pa210411 He shows photos of some of his projects including the creation of a healthcare facility for young girls in Somkhele in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.…

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Thinking in New England Oranges…..

October 21, 2005 by  

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We proudly wear the colors of New England Fall in Camden Maine, outside the ice cream social tent at PopTech this year. What does the bright orange scarf say? PopTech of course. The leaves are falling, dispersed on the grass below our feet. The sun is shining and fabulous inspiring conversations are flowing. Does it get much better than this? Pa200386 Tag: Tag:


This American Life Captures….

October 21, 2005 by  

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Davy Rothbart, founder of Found Magazine is on the PopTech stage reading us stories, letters and although he doesn’t have any physical visuals, he gives us many. He is probably more widely known for his work on This American Life, a public radio show that captures stories from the lives of Americans around the country. Look familiar? (credit from American Life’s website)
Mccall_brill Davy Rothbart is hilarious on stage, as he reads letters that have hit his desk from teenagers, mothers, and Americans from ‘every walk’ of life……they’re remarkable and so authentically capture our combined tragedies, life’s transitions, rites of passages and moments of sheer laughter. Speaker173_large Tag: Tag: Tag:


The Economics of Virtual Worlds

October 21, 2005 by  

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Edward Castronova is first up on the PopTech stage in the afternoon session of Day 2. He talks to us about the economics of virtual worlds. Odd theme given that he’s actually a professor of telecommunications at Indiana University. He transitioned into this ‘other world’ in 2001, when he started to apply value measurement techniques to the economies generated within online video games or “synthetic worlds.” His initial paper reporting these findings, “Virtual Worlds”, continues to be one of the most influential works of economics on the net, with over 30,000 downloads at the Social Science Research Network as of May 2005. He gives us a sample of numbers to think about: Star Wars made $50 million as of May 22, 2005
Spiderman 2 made $116 million from June 30-July 2, 2004
Halo 2 made $125 million as of November 4, 2004
Game industry annual revenues, $10 billion in 2004, $7.6 billion of it was software. And its growing. There are 10 million people playing synthetic world games. Real money trade, for example, when someone pays $$ for a magic wand or a gold piece…..numbers are $100 million to $1 billion. and


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