Intolerance and apathy knows no bounds. Even among religions that purport to be based on love and tolerance many find it easy to fall prey to behaving and thinking in a very intolerant way. An open mind is needed to hear the message behind this insightful discussion by Sam Harris as he talks about profound fundamental religious challenges and how they can and often do translate to intolerance of others and increase the danger of keeping peace around the world.
Memetics is an intellectually rich but controversial field which seeks to explain how our minds and cultures are designed by natural selection acting on replicating information, just as organisms evolve by natural selection acting on genes. Sue Blackmore, one of the field's leading thinkers, skillfully unfolds the major arguments for a meme's-eye view of the world, and explores the implications for humanity. Are our brains best seen as machines invented by and for propagation of selfish memes?
In this talk from Pop!Tech 2005, Bunker Roy describes his Barefoot College, a school that is only for the poor. Roy asserts that rural India is full of professionals who are not recognized for their skills, such as water diviners and traditional midwives. His college is open only to people without a formal education and seeks to combine the knowledge of the local people with modern technologies.
Personal fabrication may one day put the power to make anything in the hands of everyone. Neil Gershenfeld entertains and educates in this fascinating tour of projects from MIT's Center for Bits and Atoms. First inspired by students in his "How to Make (Almost) Anything" course, global outreach with the digitization of fabrication has led to unexpected opportunities, not only to build cool objects, but also to empower people world wide through invention.
When he attended school, Cameron Sinclair, founder of Architecture for Humanity, was led to believe that architects were supposed to create "little jewels". However, he now thinks that if you can't provide shelter, you can't be an architect. In this presentation, Sinclair discusses the importance of community involvement in design. He also presents some examples from some of the organization's projects, including Kosovo, Africa, and other areas.
This talk from the Habitats session at Pop!Tech 2005 features Robert Neuwirth, a journalist who looks at the habitats where we live. Squatters steal water and electricity to make their lives livable. They use scavenged materials to help create better living conditions and as they gradually build more permanent living spaces, cityscapes begin to be established. The community rises in a free-spirited way and eventually we reach a suburban ideal. Neuwirth explores what he considers to be the cities of the future.
Flock is a new browser designed with the modern web in mind. In this talk, Bart Decrem demonstrates a variety of cool features which the Flock team hopes will transform web browsing from the static consumption of documents to more active participation in a shared stream of integrated services, bookmarks, tags and blogs. This new paradigm of social web browsing is likely to appeal to early adopters looking to immerse themselves in the new, social life of the web.
The networked economy is transforming the way we capitalize business and culture. Yochai Benkler, one of the top thinkers on commons-based approaches to managing resources, weaves together several fascinating threads to argue that decentralization and collaboration are shifting the balance of power to the people in the production of knowledge, goods and services; creating an economy where resources are not owned and outputs are shared.
This talk from the Habitats session at Pop!Tech 2005 features Ingo Gunther, an extraordinary artist who sees the world where we live and puts it into perspective in his portrayal of the reinvention of the globe. He has been capturing the essence of globalization and urban technologies, illustrating the world around us in ways that bring it to life in ways we could not have imagined.
Nicholas Negroponte wants to give every school child in the developing world a laptop computer. He has established a non-profit organization to design and produce $100 laptops for sale to governments in quantities of no less than 1 million machines on the condition that they are given to school children. In this talk, he describes his and his colleague Seymour Papert's experience with educational computing in developing nations as well as the machine design.