December 4th, 2006

johnny cash

Signs and Wonders

It's a Christmas Miracle!

That's right, I show up to do a class in Harrisburg, PA and the classroom is properly set up!. I didn't have to hold anyone's hand over the phone, I didn't have to answer stupid questions, or deal with incompetent people who couldn't understand "It's a wizard. Just keep hitting next and accept all the defaults. NEXT! NEXT!" No, I just said, "Follow the directions in the setup guide." I show up, and discover that the setup guide was followed and that everything's ready for class.

Small wonders.

The Million Year Project

In a recent thread, I got into a discussion that terminated with a question: "What tools and technologies do we need to start planning out into geological time-scales?" (It wasn't worded that way, I cleaned it up a bit).
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I propose the creation of The Million Year Project, a not-for-profit corporation and think tank geared towards advocating and promoting the creation of technologies that will allow us to begin thinking on such long time-lines. Because, it's true- we have a very difficult time thinking beyond the measure of decades. The threat of greenhouse powered warming seems distant. The span of human human history seems eternal. Our brains are very small, and very weak. We amplify their powers through the use of tools, in the same way we amplify our bodies. We need to make ourselves large, and we need tools and technologies that enable us to be wise, to see beyond the horizon, and to predict the growth of our species, and the species that will branch from our own. We need to safeguard the heritage of humanity, and its offspring (including machine intelligences) and not only ensure that we have given them worlds to inhabit and share, but a vision for their future, a destination and a goal.

The Million Year Project's goal, again, would be to create the tools, scientific, computational, physical, that encourage and allow humanity to plot their existence not merely over generations, but over epochs. Eventually, in a few centuries, the Million Year Project could even begin to formulate the first Million Year Plan- a chart of goals, obstacles and concerns to address over the course of the next million years of human development. To even contemplate such a thing, as a species, would be an incredible statement of optimism and hope- because it means that we are planning to still be here a million years from now- maybe not humans, but our genetic and technological offspring. In fact, such a plan would allow us to ensure that homo sapiens doesn't become the be-all-end-all of being human.

Now, I'm rambling. But this gets the data-dump out, in a public forum, for feedback.