9a: Impossible Things RISE 2009

Five Impossible Things Before Lunch       RISE fall 2009 (Tuesdays 9AM-10:30)       v3

Jim Isaak – facilitator/agitator  -- posted on web at: http://www.jimisaak.com

“Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast."

Alice in Wonderland (The White Queen)

Context – the world is changing (maybe you noticed)

                See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cL9Wu2kWwSY  “Did you know” for some painful insight.
           feedback from creator Karl Fisch: http://thefischbowl.blogspot.com/2007/03/over-two-million-served.html

                And what will change everything? http://www.edge.org/questioncenter.html the 2009 question

                Try to view or read the ** items before our class (the rest are all optional)


1.         Memes – the concept, of a concept

a.    Books

                          i.              Richard Dawkins: “The Selfish Gene”

                        ii.              Susan Blackmore: “The Meme Machine”

b.    TED

                          i.               ** Susan Blackmore on Memes and Memeitics

                        ii.              Daniel Dennett – Dangerous Memes

                       iii.              Seth Godin - Tribes we lead (spreading memes)

                      iv.              Diane Benscoter on cults and viral memes


2.         Consciousness

a.    Books:

                          i.              Ian Steward & Jack Cohen: “Figments of Reality”; related keynote from Jack:

                        ii.              Jeff Hawkins: “On Intelligence”

                       iii.              Douglas Hofstadter: “The Minds Eye” (collection of related short stories)

b.    TED:

                          i.               **Jeff Hawkins – Brains

                        ii.              Daniel Dennett – consciousness

                       iii.              Michael Pollan - the plant/animal view of humanity

                      iv.               Jill Bolte taylor, Stroke of insight

c.     Other resources

                          i.              Nova Now: Emergence: www.pbs.org/nova/sciencenow/....


3.         Happiness and being in the zone

a.    Books

                          i.              Michaly Csikszentmihalyi: “Flow”

                        ii.              Richard Layard: Happiness : Lessons from a new science

b.    TED:

                          i.               **Michaly Csikszentmihalyi --

                        ii.              Nancy Etcoff – Happiness and why we want it

                       iii.              Matthieu Richard – meditation & mind control

                      iv.              Dan Gilbert, Synthetic Happiness

c.     Other Resources

                          i.              Richard Layard’s happiness lectures:
a. What is happiness? Are we getting happier? – http://cep.lse.ac.uk/events/lectures/layard/RL030303.pdf

b. Income and happiness: rethinking economic policy-- http://cep.lse.ac.uk/events/lectures/layard/RL040303.pdf

c. How can we make a happier society? -- http://cep.lse.ac.uk/events/lectures/layard/RL050303.pdf


4.         Intelligent, Conscious Computers, and the Singularity

a.    Books & articles:

                          i.              Ray Kurzweil: “Spiritual Machines”

                        ii.              The Coming Technological Singularity (1993), Vernor Vinge

                       iii.              Douglas Hofstadter & Daniel Dennett, The mind's I: fantasies and reflections on self and soul
(a delightful collection of short stories in this area)

                      iv.              Discover Magazine, Oct. 2009 issue article on Artificial Brain development

b.    TED

                          i.              Kevin Kelly, Evolution of Technology

                        ii.              Ray Kurzweil: The Singularity University, and How Technology will Transform Us
** http://www.ted.com/talks/ray_kurzweil_on_how_technology_will_transform_us.html

                       iii.              Juan Enriquez; the ultimate reboot (with some initial critique on the economy – but keep watching!)


5.         Practical Immortality & Transhumanism

a.    Books

                          i.              Ben Bova: Immortality: How Science Is Extending Your Life Span and Changing the World

                        ii.              Ray Kurzweil : "Fantastic Voyage: Live Long Enough to Live Forever."

                       iii.              Vernor Vinge: “Vinge on the Singularity” (short article on the web)
** http://www-rohan.sdsu.edu/faculty/vinge/misc/singularity.html

b.    TED

                          i.              Aubey de  Grey – Defeating Aging
** http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/aubrey_de_grey_says_we_can_avoid_aging.html

c.     Other

                          i.              The Quest for Immortality; 60 Minutes, CBS News; 2006

                        ii.              Nova Science Now on Aging :


6.         Epilogue (watch web site for additions)

a.    TED:

                          i.              Gregory Stock; BioEthics – To Upgrade is Human

                        ii.               Greg Petsko – Neurological impact of extended lifespan (even without immortality)

                       iii.               Richard Dawkins – Our universe is queerer than you can imagine:


Subpages (2): Conciousness Meme Outline