December 10, 2009
Here I go. Start off with something like “Bryan got to speak at H+ Summit 2009 and spotted some neat numbers.” Maybe this will end up in GBM or H+ magazine as a small blurb?
Patri Friedman. Meeting him in person is like meeting with a living legend. Hell, he wrote the book on seasteading. His talk was short and to the point: let’s make startups for governments and ways of organizing people. You know how everyone says let a thousand flowers bloom? Same thing going on here, except he’s serious about it. The Seasteading Institute is a 501c3 non-profit organization dedicated to living on the high seas and promoting a diversity of ways of living and organizing groups of people. At the end of the talk he gave a shout-out to the DIY scene: 12 miles off the coast, there is no FDA. The talk was recorded and is somewhere here, and here’s the transcript. I didn’t catch the Q&A because I was up next! What a talk to follow.
Todd Huffman also talked (transcript). Todd organized BIL, the simple and free alternative to TEDtalks. Todd spoke about whole brain emulation and his startup, 3Scan. He showed some really amazing videos collected from his team back at TAMU running off of a knife-edge microscope. His plan is to slice and dice brain tissue so as to scan in details all the way down to mitochondrial positions in order to parameterize and seed emulations and simulations of brains.
Gregory Benford (transcript) also showed up and talked about personal genomics, or what he calls “nutrigenomics”. It turns out that he bought the original Methuselah flies. The Methuselah flies were super-longevity flies living well beyond average lifespans. With these flies he sequenced their genome and found particular up-promoted and down-regulated genes that might be causing the flies to live longer. The idea is to then synthesize custom pharmaceuticals that enable and disable gene regulation for different (but targeted) genes in the human body. Greg is really amazing in person, although maybe that’s just me being a fanboy for his scifi after all these years? At some point you go “wtf, I’m having a one-on-one with Gregory Benford!” (He was also at the Singularity Summit earlier this year.)