Archive for June, 2009

Day one of Singularity University took place yesterday.  Background here, some video footage is here.

The Opening Ceremonies for Singularity University and International Space University included an amazing presentation of geospatial visualizations set to live violin music known as Bella Gaia (a tiny preview is here), as well as a personalized video message from Arnold himself (ending in “I hope when you leave California you’ll say, “I’ll be back”, awesome) and even a personalized message beamed down from the International Space Station…

I have met some of *the* most amazing people here… I spent half an hour talking to a Korean girl younger than me (the only Korean at ISU) yesterday while we were waiting for the opening ceremonies to start, and she just told me she works for the Korean Aerospace Research Institute (KARI), but what she somehow forgot to tell me in her completely down-to-earth and unassuming way is that she was actually an astronaut who has already spent 10 days on board the ISS, the first Korean in space, and a national hero in Korea.  (I found out from someone else after the fact).  Everybody else here seems amazing in all sorts of crazy ways, and it is *so* *cool* to be sitting in the cafeteria at lunch with people debating the reversibility of time in quantum theory while everybody sitting at the table is riveted on the edge of their seat, contributing thought-provoking questions.

The opening ceremonies were really good, far better than I expected, and all I can think is Wow, that’s a lot of pressure to do something worthwhile in the next nine weeks here 🙂

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Opening session:

Peter Diamandis

Ray Kurzweil

International Space University President, Michael Simpson:

  • “I can’t tell you how happy I am that you are here, because for 22 years ISU has felt very alone as an institution that felt it was crucial to study horizontally and not just vertically in addressing humankind’s grand challenges”
  • Exponential growth has always been happening, but it never happened fast enough before our lifetimes to notice it.
  • We stand on the threshold the world changing in unrecognizable ways.  We are in a position to influence that change for good.

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