"Engines of Creation 2000" needs your help (fwd)

From: S.J. Van Sickle (sjvan@csd.uwm.edu)
Date: Wed Apr 26 2000 - 12:59:12 MDT

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 26 Apr 2000 10:40:45 -0800
From: Foresight Institute <inform@foresight.org>
To: Foresight members <inform@foresight.org>
Subject: "Engines of Creation 2000" needs your help

"Engines of Creation 2000" Initiative

Budget: $95K-$145K ($40K committed as of April 25, 2000)
Watch our progress at: http://www.foresight.org/engines/index.html#fundprogress

Most of us were inspired to join Foresight by the 1986 book Engines
of Creation by
Foresight's fearless leader Eric Drexler. It was -- and still is -- a
great book,
and is now viewed as having been accurate in its key projections,
such as the coming
nanotechnology revolution.

But it is now seriously out of date -- e.g. it called for "hypertext
publishing" as
an aid to the evolution of knowledge. We have this now: it's called
the web, and it
is indeed extremely important, but now we have to fold it -- and the
other positive
(and negative) changes that have occurred since 1986 - into our
overall goals and

We ask you to join in supporting "Engines of Creation 2000" with your ideas,
energy, and funds. This ambitious project, at the heart of the Foresight
enterprise, will aim to influence:

* who gets nanotechnology first -- public or private, secret or open, in which
* intellectual property in nanotechnology -- tightly held or widely available?
* ownership of space resources (i.e. most of the universe) --
      government or private? winner take all, or distributed?
* which entities will have "human rights"?
* openness vs. privacy -- can we find a balance that works?
* encrypted private currencies -- can government panic be headed off?
* open source -- can we spread the model beyond software?
* can nanotech warfare be prevented?

Join the ongoing Engines Initiative as we picture our preferred
future, design a
pathway there, and implement using all the tools available. To get started,
let's raise the needed funds:

PHASE I: May 2000, Budget $30K, now committed $25K
We are working to complete funding for this phase by Friday, April 28.

Intensive in-person work at the Spring 2000 Gathering to generate and extract
participants' contributions to Foresight issues in the original
Engines of Creation
and the updated version now being initiated. Budget includes professional
facilitation, data capture, and physical environment support provided
by Iterations
(headed by Matt and Gail Taylor, co-sponsors of Group Genius 1999).

PHASE II: June 2000 start date, Budget $60K, now committed $10K

Writing draft of "Engines of Creation 2000" book, also to form core of website.
Draft to be done by Chris Peterson, editing and Foreword by Eric
Drexler. Draft is
posted chapter-by-chapter while in progress. Funds budgeted go to hiring a new
Executive Director to manage Foresight, enabling Chris to write the book.

PHASE III: July 2000 start date, Budget $10K-$55K, now committed $10K

Group annotation and critiquing of online book draft (and related "Engines of
Creation 2000" materials). A standard paper version of the book (title to be
determined) is planned for spring 2001 publication. The minimum budget, already
committed, includes use of existing open-source Crit software (sponsored by
Foresight) and existing open-source Slashdot software as the annotation and
critiquing tools. The higher budget includes new software tools as proposed by
developer Dave Krieger and Foresight Chairman Eric Drexler, see
http://www.foresight.org/engines/software.html for this additional proposal.

PHASE IV: May 2001

Process repeats, starting with Spring Gathering 2001 and continuing through
"singularity". Goal is continual extraction and incorporation of a wide variety
of high-quality input from within and outside of Foresight.


Find this all a little overwhelming? Not for us as a group. While it might feel
intimidating to sit alone, watching as this future comes charging at us, we've
found that jumping in and trying to tweak things for the better is great fun.

I hope you will join with us in continuing the "Engines of Creation" project.

-- Christine Peterson, President, Foresight Institute


How to donate to "Engines of Creation 2000" Initiative:

* Phone 650 917 1122 with Visa/Mastercard info
* Fax 650 917 1123 with same
* Email inform@foresight.org with same (not secure)
* Mail info or check to Foresight, POB 61058, Palo Alto, CA 94306 USA
     (let us know it's coming; thanks!)
* Web secure form currently unavailable. We are switching ISPs to fix
      this, but please don't wait for this change.

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