Monday, January 17, 2011

"Here be dragons" - how is technology altering society and government?

Arizona State University is a partner in Future Tense, along with the New America Foundation and Slate magazine. They are hosting a conference in Washington DC next month titled, "Here Be Dragons: Governing a Technologically Uncertain Future."

Maps in the old days often included depictions of sea dragons or lions to connote unknown or dangerous terrain. Unfortunately, when it comes to a future that will be altered in unimaginable ways by emerging technologies, society and government cannot simply lay down a "Here Be Dragons" marker with a fanciful illustration to signal that most of us have no clue. How does a democratic society both nurture and regulate -- and find the right balance between those two imperatives -- fast-evolving technologies poised to radically alter life?"

Future Tense is convening at Google DC a number of leading scientists, Internet thinkers, governance experts and science fiction writers to grapple with the challenge of governing an unchartered future.

Among the confirmed attendees are George Church, Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School; Michael Crow, President of Arizona State University; Francis Fukuyama, Senior Fellow at Stanford's Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies; Amy Gutmann, President of the University of Pennsylvania and Chair of the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues; Michael Specter, staff writer for the New Yorker covering science, technology, and public health issues; Neal Stephenson, author of Cryptonomicon, The Diamond Age, Snow Crash, and Zodiac; Robert Wright, Future Tense Fellow at the New America Foundation and author of The Evolution of God, The Moral Animal, and Nonzero; and many more...

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