Re: Confronting The Singularity Conference

From: phil osborn (
Date: Mon Jun 05 2000 - 22:36:11 MDT

Jeff Davis <> wrote
>Subject: Re: Confronting The Singularity Conference
>Date: Wed, 31 May 2000 14:14:24 -0700>

>Clearly, in the ordinary party setting, only those present for the
>discussion get to hear what is said and contribute. By preserving the gist
>on whiteboard or paper, the ideas become available to be worked on by all.
>An elegant, almost embarrassingly obvious way of enhancing the event.
>The holding of a conference in a semi-posh setting--hotel with meeting
>rooms and catered dinners--is familiar as the conventional "way it is
>done". It needs no rocket scientist to conceive of alternative, less
>expensive, ways of accomplishing the same end. On motorcycle rides through
>the hills of the California central coast (not all that far from Asilomar,
>in fact), I have often stumbled upon underused rustic park facilities which
>could easily accomodate a campout/cookout variation of the conventional
>conference, some even with substantial accomodations and meeting halls. I
>am certain that the various list members know of similar facilities in each
>of their various locales. This is doable on the cheap and on the cheaper.
>In fact, taking it to something of an extreme, the cost can be so low in
>terms of food and lodging, that even the expense of bringing special
>friends from faraway (and not so faraway) places might be subsidized at not
>unreasonable expense.
>What it takes more than anything is the will, some leadership, some
>cooperation, and a modicum of organization. But it's a great idea.
>Before I put this post to rest, one last comment. As enthralled by these
>futurist events as I am, I have entertained the idea of taping them
>prefessionally and packageing them for wider media distribution--the Extro
>TV idea. (I pitched this idea to the Alcor folks re the upcoming Life
>Extension conference, but they turned me down.) This same possibility
>exist re the independently organized retreat/seminar/party/poster event.

Sometimes these things can really be made to click. A local SF fan group,
the "Jedi Knights," used to have marvelous monthly events - sometimes even
more often. For years, they went to Big Bear for the weekend, had serious
water battles in the local parks, excursions to Universal City, boatings,
the Renaissance Faire, amazing parties, you-name-it. The costs per member
were astonishingly minimal. I rarely spent more than $10 on an outing that
might last two days. It was all volunteer effort. I only dropped out
because I just couldn't afford the time.
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