Take Control of Life


The world is changing and we all know it. Technology is taking over our lives. We are constantly buried in our smartphones, tablets and other technological devices that take our attention off of the real world. Prevailproject.org has the main goal of bringing us all together and collect the early warning signs that the future is being taken over by something we cannot control and that the fate of human nature is hanging in the balance. They believe that technology is ruining the society, which they may be right. They believe that there are three scenarios that include heaven, hell and prevail. In heaven, their inventions will conquer pain, suffering and stupidity. In Hell, their creators will wipe out the human race or life as we know it and prevail which argues that the first two are technodeterministic. On their website, you can see that there are blogs that you can read and different types of resources for their readers. They want everyone to know that the human race will continue to prevail, shape their own futures until their own demise, rather than being the end result of powerful technology. At this rate, technology is definitely growing at a rapid pace and the world as we know it will be forever changed and overrun by the ever-expanding technological advances. Yes, this may be great for medical advances, but as for society, it is a lost cause. 
The Prevail Project homepage

What Hasn't Changed
We see change every day, whether it is at home, school or work. One thing that we can say that never seems to change is the locksmith service. They seem to keep the same traditions that they always have. Let's take a look at what a locksmith really does and what effect they have on society. The locksmith service has been around for centuries, unlike cell phones and social media. Locksmiths started out using only their hands to make their locks and keys. Now, they may have a machine and power tools, but that is about it. There are no real technological advances that have been made in the locksmith industry. Yes, they use machines to make their keys, but they still have to use their hands and general knowledge to change a lock or install a security system. They still rely on their hands to do most of the work, unlike a cell phone or tablet. Today, we can just tell our cell phone where we want to go and it will give us directions. Locksmiths still need to use physical strength to help those in need. If someone needs a lock keyed, they call their locksmith and they come to help them out. Not only will they come to you 24/7, but they will do whatever they need to do before they have to replace something and charge you even more than you wanted. Unlike other businesses, locksmiths have a passion for what they do. They aren't out promoting their business on social media websites like other big businesses. They take pride in their work and do not let technology get in their way of what they are really meant for. What kind of technology is going to help someone who is locked out of their house? None, that is why the locksmith still exists. If you are looking for a good locksmith, check out  www.locksmiths-search.com. You will find all the locksmiths in your area and you can go from there whenever you may need one.

Technology is rapidly advancing and we all know it and there is nothing we can do to slow it down. The people who created Prevailproject.org want us to know that we do not have to bow down to technology and let it take over our lives. We should not give in to the technology and shape our own future that does not include the new technology. Our world is being transformed and in order to keep up, we need to intent our own futures, not the future that technology is making for us. 


Prevail and Progress

We try and stay out of partisan politics here at the Prevail Project, because nobody is right on the internet and everybody goes home with their feelings hurt. The Democratic National Convention, however, is reason enough to break our self-imposed silence, because these people understand Prevail.

Take for example keynote speaker, San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro. Not a worldshakingly powerful position by most metrics. Mayors don’t command armies, launch missions to the moon and Mars, or enact sweeping social reform. Being a mayor is about the little things, zoning disputes, public sanitation, underfunded schools and underfunded police departments. But mayors can make a difference.

“Twenty years ago, [my brother] Joaquin and I left home for college and then for law school. In those classrooms, we met some of the brightest folks in the world. But at the end of our days there, I couldn’t help but to think back to my classmates at Thomas Jefferson High School in San Antonio. They had the same talent, the same brains, the same dreams as the folks we sat with at Stanford and Harvard. I realized the difference wasn’t one of intelligence or drive. The difference was opportunity.

In my city of San Antonio, we get that. So we’re working to ensure that more four-year-olds have access to pre-K. We opened Cafe College, where students get help with everything from test prep to financial aid paperwork. We know that you can’t be pro-business unless you’re pro-education. We know that pre-K and student loans aren’t charity. They’re a smart investment in a workforce that can fill and create the jobs of tomorrow. We’re investing in our young minds today to be competitive in the global economy tomorrow.

And it’s paying off. Last year the Milken Institute ranked San Antonio as the nation’s top performing local economy. And we’re only getting started. Opportunity today, prosperity tomorrow.”

Imagine if we had 1000 mayors like Julian Castro. 1000 effective leaders for change, willing to invest in opportunities for the next generation rather than play it safe. We’d have a better, stronger, richer, more humane country.

“The days we live in are not easy ones, but we have seen days like this before, and America prevailed. With the wisdom of our founders and the values of our families, America prevailed. With each generation going further than the last, America prevailed. And with the opportunity we build today for a shared prosperity tomorrow, America will prevail.”

Prevailing isn’t about a hero sweeping in to save the day. It isn’t about The Killer App, or The Revolution, or Revelation, or whatever it is you dream about at night. Prevailing is what gets you up in the morning, what lets you look at the mess outside the window, and do something about it. It’s about moving towards the future while not forgetting the lessons of the past. It’s about being skeptical enough to reject a slick snake-oil theory on how to set everything right, while being optimistic enough to try something new. It is what America is best at. Progress doesn’t happen all at once, or by command from the self-proclaimed Masters of the Universe who tweak interest rates and tax policies. It happens every day with people who dive into a complex situation and try and make it better, whether they’re in government, business, education, art, or just their own lives. We can prevail!

((And if you need a little bit more of as jolt, nobody does it better than Bill Clinton.))

Why Decline to Accept the End of Man?

There are at least two clearly distinct ways of interpreting the word “end” in William Faulkner’s statement “I decline to accept the end of man.”

“End” could mean something like the downfall, obsolescence, or ruin of man. This would certainly be something worth rejecting.

Alternatively, “end” could be interpreted as a teleological projection of the developmental trajectory of mankind. In this far more interesting frame, Faulkner could be declining to accept the limitations of our cultural imagination.

It is this second sense of “the end of man” that I find so fascinating. Today one can find immensely variegated projections of mankind’s proper role on the planet.

Environmental indicators have produced a growing awareness that the modernist view of man’s end being conquest of nature and cessation of strife took precedence over the ethical aspiration to be good stewards of nature, leading western civilization to ignore the ecological impacts of its machinations.

Many civil society groups and religious organizations are beginning to speak out about the dangers of emerging technologies such as synthetic biology, arguing in effect that care must be taken to counteract mankind’s tendency to irreversibly alter the natural order through forms of ethical transgression. Often these groups would like to confine scientific experimentation to the laboratory. However, the logistical needs of an increasing human population combined with economic incentives provide an impetus to bring successful experiments beyond the laboratory, into the marketplace, into earth’s ecosystems.

Varieties of transhumanists, Singularitarians, posthumanists and others are beginning to gain attention with arguments that the end of man lay in some form of technology-enabled transcendence of the limitations of evolutionary biology. Developments in the GRIN technologies — genetics, robotics, information technology, nanotechnology — contribute a sense of urgency to such questions.

I could go on, discussing the competing values and visions of mankind’s “end” at work in thousands of unique cultural milieus, from the Horn of Africa to Taiwan and Teleuse.

It is the Prevail Project’s desire to build capacity for hosting the global conversation about the end of man. There are many reasons for declining to accept the end of man. If mankind is to thrive, overcome, and indeed continue, whither culture? Whither the body? What can be expected of man?

In developing a clear view of our ambition to become a digital clearinghouse for this capacity building, The Prevail Project has been forced to face its own contemporary limitations, from resource scarcity to the practical difficulties of developing a solid network of visionary content contributors. We are working to address these limitations in hopes of returning anew in the near future.

The Prevail Project lives.

Six reasons why firefighters are the most respected profession, and what this means for politics

Science policy scholars huddled in brownstone buildings, occasionally on the verge of hyperventilation, frequently express disbelief that firemen are more admired and respected than professional scientists, especially in the United States. This lament is frequently accompanied by discussions of policy gridlock related to climate science. These scholars seem to disregard the following characteristics of firefighting when they poo-poo the public’s ignorance and lack of respect for evidence, facticity, and advice.

1) Firefighters are in some sense professional scientists, of the “applied” variety. How would firemen save houses and victims from an inferno without understanding through a collective act of research and investigation what is the likely trajectory of the winds, the impact of chemical suppressants and water, etc.? When fire crews announce the inferno 80% contained, this is considered credible partly because onlookers can see less pointy red flames and smoke when they drive by on the freeway.

2) Firefighters respond regardless of what caused the fire. This is universally respected because everyone knows fire is hot. Fire is hot and dangerous. When you see a cigarette butt burning on a pile of loose mulch, you stomp on it out of civic duty. There is a civil allegiance the public can feel for firefighters. Do other professional scientists deserve more empathy, more sympathy?

3) The fires are not predicted in the future. They happen in the present, and often they happened in the past and have grown beyond control. In the words of a famous science policy writer, this is a form of “tornado politics” where everyone with eyes can agree something must be done, regardless of its likely or rumored causes. Firemen are tornado politicians, uncomplicated in their aspect. We appreciate their matter-of-fact agenda for its clarity.

4) If a fire is small but dangerous, capable of growing to a raging beast, there are procedures for containment. Firefighters take care of this with scientific precision, despite the common knowledge that wind conditions and precipitation patterns can shift on a dime, chaotically and without notice. There are further procedures for responding to forces of nature that extend beyond the powers of firefighters. There are strategies for fire mitigation that presuppose nature’s eventual cooperation. This produces a quality of perseverence that people find appealing. Firemen have this quality of perseverence in the face of chaos and heroic obstacles.

5) Firemen do not rant about their lack of perceived honor. When they take the podium they possess an unmistakable gait, beyond any capacity for fabrication or embellishment. Their credentials and evidence are written in the lines of their face. There is ax-handled passion fighting alongside intellect and tribal allegiance when fires are doused and outsmarted. Honor, respect, and admiration are communicated through narratives of fires fought.

6) No professional scientist operating without bias would withhold admiration and respect for firefighters.

As a result of these considerations — and there are more besides these — science policy scholars must needs face up to the realities of both human culture and contemporary science policy. Despite the tremendous difficulties these professional scientists face when communicating to the public and acting on chaotic ecosystems, whiners will typically score lower on the respect and admiration index than the smoke-streaked faces of male and female firefighters.

The contrast couldn’t be clearer. The firefighter vs. the de-territorialized polar bear. The domestic inferno vs. the wilderness imperilled.

This is the no-spin zone. You decide.

Celebrating the Independence of Rip Van Winkle

Independence Day celebrates the discord of jangling souls with dissonant convictions airing a racket of reasons in the tumultuous din of democratic fora. It isn’t discord per se that is noteworthy; it is the resilience afforded by the interplay of discord and institutions that animates this republic.

There will always be those free riders, however, for whom simple contentment and tranquility are the only governments worth enduring.

Washington Irving’s famous literary creation Rip Van Winkle, one of those free riders, awakes after 20 years of liquor-induced slumber to find the Revolutionary War over and gone. General Washington’s sword occupyies the place of King George’s scepter on town placards. Analyzing this story for his book Common as Air, Lewis Hyde isolates the reign of discordant views in an emergent public sphere as a startling cultural shift in Rip’s world.

Hyde does not, however, highlight the literary value of Rip Van Winkle’s habitual idleness; and it is the habitual idleness afforded by independence that I, for one, always celebrate on the Fourth of July. It is Rip’s capacity to enjoy life outside the din of voices for days on end that makes him a narrative anchor for a tale of discordant temporal frames.

“The great error in Rip’s composition was an insuperable aversion to all kinds of profitable labor,” writes Washington Irving. “His children, too, were as ragged and wild as if they belonged to nobody.”

He was, however, “universally popular” with the village-folk on account of his willingness to distribute the burdens of physical toil among neighbors.

Van Winkle’s favorite thing to do, once Dame Van Winkle had driven him from the house with her fiery lectures, was to convene with local sages, philosophers, and gossip historians at the local inn, where they would have a dapper gentleman read the latest newspaper. After a while, Dame Van Winkle would accuse even these men at the inn of encouraging her “hen-pecked husband’s” idleness. There was nothing for old Rip to do: he set out for the mountaintops with his dog and his rifle, away from that woman!

“The terrors of Dame Van Winkle” send Rip into the Catskills, where he meets a “short square-built old fellow” carrying a keg full of liquor up the mountainside. Together, these two proceed to a hollow in a ravine, shaped like an amphitheater, where Rip encounters a committee of bearded strangers, like “figures in an old Flemish painting,” amusing themselves with a game of nine-pin.

“He was naturally a thirsty soul,” and so drank himself unconscious at this bizarre gathering.

So far, a very beautiful American story — worthy of a cinematic treatment, I should think, in the near future.

Upon waking, Rip Van Winkle descends the mountain to witness the future he slept through. Strange names adorned the new houses — “every thing was strange.” When he happened upon his favorite village inn, Rip is crowded round by villagers curious whether his party affiliation is “Federal or Democrat.”

“Alas! gentlemen,” cried Rip, somewhat dismayed, “I am a poor quiet man, a native of the place, and a loyal subject of the king, God bless him!”

You can imagine the uproar that caused.

Suddenly thereafter, Rip is pointed to the location of his son, Rip Van Winkle the Second (as it were) — “apparently as lazy, and certainly as ragged” as his old man.

The situation gets sorted, and Rip resumes “his old walks and habits.” He is happiest to be free of the tyranny of his wife, Dame Van Winkle — “the changes of states and empires made but little impression on him.”

To authenticate the whole affair, the narrator claims the following: “I have seen a certificate on the subject taken before a country justice and signed with a cross, in the justice’s own handwriting. The story, therefore, is beyond the possibility of doubt.”

But what does this story teach us?

Two important themes emerge: civic republicanism and personal joy. Civic republicanism refers to the capacity to assist others in the performance of productive labor, whether this be carrying a wheelbarrow for your neighbor or contributing an invention or artistic product for the enjoyment of the public. Author Lewis Hyde places the story of Rip Van Winkle within a crucial sweep of time when the very form of the public sphere was taking shape. Men like Benjamin Franklin were publishing technical details of profitable inventions anonymously in newspapers, without asking for a penny in return. Others were building bridges in their hometowns out of a sense of civic duty. For Hyde, it is this lost history of civic republicanism that might offer today’s globalized nation-states and international economy alternative visions of independence to celebrate.

Rip Van Winkle himself was a man of the town, a public person. If he invented a lightning rod or a cooking stove, he would no doubt share the invention with the townsfolk, regardless of the personal profits to be made. Dame Van Winkle would throw a fit, and perhaps for good reason! After all, the house was falling apart.

This is the enduring question of the commons. It is a realm reliant upon tranquil personalities who consider personal identity a pluralistic and public construction, whose existence pre-dates and grounds the emergence of the private estate. The Founding Fathers were steeped in civic republicanism and the pluralistic interpretation of personal identity: Franklin, Madison, Jefferson, Thomas Paine, &c.

Beyond that, the enduring feature of Washington Irving’s tale is Rip Van Winkle’s enduring sense of personal joy. Despite waking up 20 years in the future, Rip manages to befriend the new villagers and become once again “universally popular” for his willingness to assist his neighbors. His idleness, once ridiculed, now is accepted as a natural feature of his advanced age. The fool has persisted in his folly and found wisdom, it seems.

Indeed, “it is a common wish of all hen-pecked husbands in the neighborhood, when life hangs heavy on their hands, that they might have a quieting draught out of Rip Van Winkle’s flagon.”

And my!, the enormity of what can happen in 20 years’ time. Governments can fall, names can change, and clothing and tools and houses!

Breaking News: Jaron Lanier Called to the Witness Stand in London to Discuss the Future of Hip-Hop Music

Tomorrow, Google is sponsoring a debate in London called “Hip-Hop on Trial” to consider the proposition that “Hip-Hop Doesn’t Enhance Society, It Degrades It.” The event will be streaming live on YouTube from 7-830 pm GMT+1 (1-2:30 pm EST) on June 26th.

Why is the Prevail Project interested in what promises to be a loud-spoken affair? (Jesse Jackson + Touré + KRS-One = loud-spoken) Because Jaron Lanier will take the witness stand!

That’s right. Jaron Lanier, champion of the Prevail Scenario and owner-operator of one of the largest collections of ancient music instruments in the world, will be called to the stand – literally – as a witness. For the prosecution or the defense? The press releases do not say; we will have to watch and listen for ourselves. My guess is that Lanier will share many of the same sentiments as The Roots drummer ?uestlove, and legendary producer-lyricist Q-Tip: hip-hop is culture, this culture is complex and complicated, and hip-hop “mos-definitely” has a bright future.

The Google event was sparked, in part, by the role of hip-hop in spreading the protest sentiments of citizens in Egypt and Tunisia. In February 2011 when NPR covered “The Songs of the Egyptian Protests”, hip-hop was a prominent feature of the protest fuel.

In January 2012, the New York Times covered a wider swath of revolutionary hip-hop in a piece titled “The Mixtape of the Revolution.” Hip-hop’s influence in the Arab Spring extends from Libya to Algeria, “from Guinea to Djibouti.”

One of those rappers, El Général, will take the stand Tuesday in London.

Hip hop is often recognized in English departments as the embodiment and progression of the personal essay form, sharing affinities with the best of American poetry from Walt Whitman to Bob Dylan.
As an avid hip-hop fan, the idea that hip-hop in toto “degrades society” is the sort of patently absurd claim that only a lawyer’s guild would make. The question in my mind is not about which side of the isle will win the case, but rather which hip-hop artists Jaron Lanier finds inspirational.

In an age when hip-hop records tend to be tightly controlled by major record labels, perhaps Lanier appreciates the initiative shown by Ghana’s Blitz the Ambassador, who managed to reach the top 10 most downloaded list on iTunes, for a brief spell, without a record deal? Perhaps Lanier fancies the futuristic strain of hip-hop, exemplified by Deltron’s 3030, with Dan the Automator’s vintage lo-fidelity soundscapes?

Tune in to find out, and share in the discussion online at the Google+ YouTube site. Tell them the Prevail Project sent you!

Pilobolus’ Seraph: Dances with Robots

Robot choreography! Now we’re talkin.

Rio +20 and the (UN)canny Future of Human Sadness

In 2011 Ray Kurzweil made headlines for pointing out that solar energy technologies had been subject to the Law of Accelerated Returns for the past two decades. “It is amazing how predictable this is,” he told an audience in Florida. By 2026, 100% of our energy needs will be satisfied by sunlight.

So sit back and take it easy. Nothing to worry about. Except, perhaps, the logistics of how such innovation will be implemented in time and space.

One objection frequently leveled against Kurzweil is that political and financial interests will not vanish into compliance as these doublings of information technology (bandwidth, processing, storage, etc) impart the capacity to solve global environmental crises, satisfy energy demands, and transform human nature. In response, Kurzweil in his book The Singularity is Near points out that the Law of Accelerated Returns has always taken shape in a context of social conservatism. The Law finds a way, come what may.

Try telling that to officials at the Rio +20 summit.

The official proceedings of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, or Rio +20, begin tomorrow. Much of the press coverage in recent days situates the summit in a context of “global pessimism.” Pessimism, naturally, has led many others to vocally announce that Rio +20 is the planet’s last chance to address environmental crisis and other long-term ills. Ban-Ki Moon, in a dutiful expression of sheer willpower, called the global summit “too important to fail.”

The pessimism I share with a large mass of humanity coexists with a long-term commitment to developing mankind’s capacity to will things into existence. I am therefore torn. This mixture of pessimism and brute force erupted today as I strolled through Cherry Hill Park in Falls Church, Virginia, on my way to a local coffee shop, into a form of laughter that expresses sadness. None of my reasons for feeling this way have anything to do with Kurzweil’s portrayal of inevitability, which, if accepted, would cast Rio +20 in a pitiful light. Far from seeing Rio +20 as sheer folly, I view such convenings in terms of an on-going international struggle among “the Three D’s”: Development, Diplomacy, and Defense.

Does Rio +20 offer yet another Archimedian pivot toward a world with a green economy, aware of environmental crisis, planetary boundaries, and human values beyond the GDP, as some have suggested? Or does the elaborate event planning, document drafting, and proclamation of institutional commitments crumble beneath the harsh weight of Development’s famous bodyguard, Defense, and spokesman, Diplomacy?

Is it not cause for sad laughter when 130 Heads of State convene to develop a working consensus about anything? Those of us cruising the Happy Hour scene in Washington DC are also induced to sad laughter by candid conversations with mid-level US officials, who almost universally see nothing substantive emerging from Rio. And if you think mid-level officials are uninformed, think again — they are the ones doing the prep work and back-of-stage negotiations.

In the United States, development never leaves the side of its defense-diplomacy entourage. Simply put, it is “the Three D’s,” rather than development per se, that frame the Rio +20 discourse. As such, attempts to frame sustainable development in terms of planetary boundaries and environmental crisis must contend with the mighty powers of state interest, national defense, economic competitiveness, and the martial arts of mass persuasion.

From this vantage, the UN Conference could be viewed in a light similar to the way Jacques Derrida viewed the global student movement of 1968: “It does not disturb” the institutions it seeks to modify. The moment it begins to disturb, dominance behaviors emerge. When specific countries insist on amendments to the language of proposed agreements, or refuse to sign on the dotted line, this is typically a sign that development’s entourage feels a bit uneasy about something.

If these remarks suggest I have made a statement of outcome before the event has officially commenced, that is exactly what living in Washington and studying public policy has done to me. There may be dozens of outputs, in form of documents, advisory panels, and commitments to further meetings, but there is quite a big difference between outputs and outcomes.

In defense of Rio +20, consider Kurzweil’s response to the objection of social conservatism: energy innovation, technology transfer, and international development have always occurred in a context of conservative forces. But then, sustainable development has never been attempted at this scale. There is no clear indication, even in the presence of new international agreements, that the distrubution of benefits from energy innovation, for example, will suddenly reach every hut and hamlet on the planet in the coming decades. While tremendous gains have been achieved in the past 50 years — one billion people saved from poverty, 80% reductions in global infant mortality, etc — development still entails a tough slog through history. UN Millenium Development Goals are a long way from achievement, even as the Rio +20 summit delegations seek to expand those goals to include environmental and natural resource features through new sustainability metrics.

But outputs are not outcomes.

The angel of my better nature believes this is what muddling through looks like. Good ideas must influence millions of human decisions in order to have systemic impacts. There is no magic formula for implementing solution options. I may find it sadly comical that convening 130 Heads of State is viewed as a recipe for anything successful, but who doesn’t love surprises?

Is Rio +20 subject to a collective act of will? Can we muddle through a swamp of social conservatism and achieve any of the goals frequently set by the UN, such as the Millenium Development Goals or the newly-proposed Sustainable Development Goals?

History remains a solid ground for measuring expectations of global social change. In my estimation, Rio +20 does not seem poised to overturn such deeply human madness as expressed in 2002 by the President of Zambia, Levy Mwanawasa, who refused to accept GM corn as emergency aid during a food crisis: “We would rather starve than get something toxic,” he said. (Who is this We he speaks of?) The result of this refusal was that rural Zambians were eating poisonous berries and nutritionless twigs for supper. As this stark example demonstrates, considerations of diplomacy and defense frequently trump aspirations for human flourishing through sustainable development.

When Rio +20 takes off tomorrow, the Three D’s will begin their elaborate dance. I am prepared for something uncanny, and wish the planet all the best. You can watch it unfold from your living room, from outer space, or from the middle of the jungle (ah, the Doubling!) here.

From Consumerism to Makerism with Neil Gershenfeld

MIT professor Neil Gershenfeld talks about the future of digital fabrication technologies via global Fab Labs.

At the recent Emerge conference at Arizona State University, Neil’s brother Alan Gershenfeld coordinated a design workshop exploring the future of Conscious Makerism, a sustainability-infused version of the Fab Lab movement. Alan and 20 artists, designers, programmers, students, and faculty — including one Nobel Laureate — designed a walk-through ‘prototype’ of a gaming console that could function as a technical manual for future Fab Lab units. Basically, a user inputs some basic design parameters into the digital fabrication machine of the future, perhaps through a verbal conversation with the software, activating a gaming architecture that the user can explore as a deliberative design tool. Instead of buying your fiancee a pair of shoes, you spend a few hours, or days, making dozens or hundreds or thousands of design decisions. Instead of printing the shoes, you send the specs and a digital demo to your fiancee, who critiques your judgments or accepts. The process allows sustainability considerations to enter the design process. It also could turn consumers into makers.

The Center for Science and the Imagination

Gentle Readers,

For the past year, Arizona State University and best-selling science-fiction author Neal Stephenson have been working together on a plan to use science-fiction to reignite America’s ability to undertake major infrastructure projects.  You can see Neal and ASU President Michael Crow talking about this at Google’s SolveforX event, and it’s finally come to fruition with the beta launch of the ASU Center for Science and the Imagination.  This is some very cool stuff, since Science Fiction is Technology Assessment for the Rest of Us, and I can’t wait to see where it goes.

I’ll let the Center’s director Ed Finn speak for himself.

Dear All,

I’d like to update you on the latest news about the proposed Center for Science and the Imagination at Arizona State University.

Hieroglyph Site Beta Launch

The beta launch of http://hieroglyph.asu.edu/ starts this evening with an announcement by Neal Stephenson at the EG Conference in Monterey, CA. The site is a collaboration between ASU and Stephenson’s Hieroglyph group. It will bring together science fiction writers, scientists, engineers, technologists, and the general public to think big and explore radical ideas through collaborative projects.

As early supporters of ASU’s partnership with Hieroglyph I encourage you to create a user account, explore the site’s Discussion Forums and Wiki, and share the site with anyone who might be interested in the project. If you are interested in actively contributing to the site collaborations, please let me know and I will make sure your user account has contributor-level access.

The site will continue to evolve over the coming weeks and months, and we will be making our own formal announcement about the Center for Science and the Imagination and Hieroglyph later this spring. During this beta phase, please share your feedback about the project and website on the Hieroglyph forums or with me directly.
Food for Thought/Interesting News
Here are a few recent articles exploring issues related to the Center’s mission that you might enjoy.
Putting Science in the Movies: A Conversation with Contagion’s Scott Z. Burns, Ed Finn, Slate
NASA Invests In Satellites That Beam Power Down to Earth, Rebecca Boyle, Popular Science
The Space Craze That Gripped Russia Nearly 100 Years Ago, Adam Mann, Wired

Thanks as ever for your support.