Tuesday, February 26, 2008

How We Look At Our World

Thanks to my friend David VanAmburg, who I met via Whole Wheat Radio, I was fortunate enough to catch the live stream of the 2007 Pop! Tech Conference last October. The entire conference was far greater than I ever could have imagined. And I would urge anyone, who is concerned about the future of our planet and the people who call it home, to check out Pop! Tech's archives from 2007. And put the 2008 Conference on your calendar of "not to miss" events of this year! I promise, you will not be sorry!

All of the sessions were incredible and the speakers who participated in these sessions were the top movers and shakers of their selected fields of study. So you'll have to go to Pop! Tech's website and watch the many, many presentations for yourself. But I'm noting one of them right now. Perhaps the reason I chose this one is because it was the very first session of the conference and the impact this initial speaker/artist had on me set the stage for the rest of the conference. In other words, once I watched this first session with Chris Jordan (The Human Impact)...I was hooked...and there was no way I could miss the rest of the conference!

Artist Chris Jordan brings the enormous scale of our mass consumption into high-resolution. He shares Running the Numbers, composite photographs of discarded cell phones, computers, aluminum cans and other modern detritus, urging us to consider the consequences of our consumer culture while insisting that each of us has the power to make a difference.

It's all about running the numbers. Add it up for yourself, and then you decide if this system of consumerism is a sustainable social model.

To me, it's important that we learn to look at our world and ourselves much differently if we are to acheive something greater than what we currently are offered. And it's important that our creativity be unchained, unbridled, and free to flow in the most natural way possible. There is another group of movers and shakers other than Pop! Tech. This other group is called TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design). I have only watched some of their archived material, but I have been impressed with what I have been exposed to so far. And I urge each of you to check for yourselves the huge library of media that is offered. But I want to share one presentation by Stanford professor and lawyer Larry Lessig. The title of his presentation is "How creativity is being strangled by the law"

The 2008 TED Conference begins this week...February 27th - March 1...to be exact! But it doesn't look as if TED offers the conference to us grunts out here who can't afford or who don't have the time to travel to Monterey or Aspen. So while TED looks to have some astounding speakers, and they will eventually make the conference available online, they would do well to follow Pop! Tech's lead and make the conference available to anyone via a live stream over the web.


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