2005 Los Angeles Future Salons

January February March April May June July August September October November December

January 28th, 7:00-9:00pm
Theme: Health and Longevity, at UCLA
Updates: New member intros, catchup, and article sharing about our accelerating world.(7:00pm)
Speaker: Dr. L. Stephen Coles, M.D., Ph.D., Assistant Researcher, Stem-Cell Technology and Longevity Medicine, Department of Surgery, UCLA School of Medicine, Los Angeles, California (7:30-9:00pm)
Talk Title: "Fantastic Voyage: Live Long Enough to Live Forever"
Dr Stephen Coles is a UCLA physician researcher and head of the Los Angeles Gerontology Research Group (http://www.grg.org/). LA GRG meets monthly on monday evenings at the UCLA School of Medicine, and their meetings are open to the public. Their website has a treasure trove of interesting research on epidemiologic, organismic, cellular and molecular mechanisms of aging. For his talk, Dr. Coles will review and lead discussion on Fantastic Voyage: Live Long Enough to Live Forever, by Ray Kurzweil and Terry Grossman, M.D., 2004, and discuss its scientific and medical merit from his perspective. To order at Amazon, and read customer reviews:
Synopsis: Renowned futurist, entrepreneur and technologist Ray Kurzweil has teamed up with longevity MD Terry Grossman to write a thought provoking book on the future of health. Through three distinct "bridge programs" (near term, medium term, and longer term) they propose that many people living today may be able to live forever, if they take care of their health using today's best insights (bridge one), actively sponsor research in better drugs, implants, genomics, and biotechnology (bridge two), and do their best to stay healthy while waiting for bridge three (nanotechnology, artificial intelligence, and related technologies) to emerge.
Another topic that we hope to cover will be recent advances in the area of stem cells, another topic in which Dr. Coles has expertise. If you have a moment, take a look at the following fascinating article: Korean Scientists Succeed in Stem Cell Therapy, Korea Times, 11.26.2004
This may be the first successful use of stem cells to partially repair spinal cord injury in a human patient on right, taking her first steps after 19 years. The physicians used omnipotent umbilical cord stem cells, which apparently are able to reconfigure their surface antigens to minimize immune rejection. Note the inquiries in the comments section at the end of the article, from individuals worldwide who have suffered spinal cord injuries. Korea, Singapore (Biopolis), and Taiwan have taken the lead in stem cell research in recent years. We don't know yet if this can be replicated, so say your prayers to the universe on this one. The team (Chosun University professor Song Chang-hun, Seoul National University professor Kang Kyung-sun and Han Hoon, Ph.D, from the Seoul Cord Blood Bank (SCB)) has applied to replicate the experiment on four more patients, and will report their results to the scientific community in the first half of 2005. Thanks to Peter Voss for the link!

February 25: 7:00-9:00pm
Theme: Cryonics

Speaker: Tanya Jones, Alcor, Inc. (7:30-8:30pm) Introduction to Cryonics
Cryonics is a technology for the very low temperature preservation of human bodies and brains beginning shortly after death. Practitioners believe we will eventually be able to revive the 1,000 (and counting) individuals who are presently preserved this way, using technology significantly more advanced than what is available today. It is not yet known whether the subtle structures of the brain that are responsible for our unique memories and personality are perserved in this process, but increasingly the evidence suggests that they are.

Tanya Jones is Chief Operating Officer of Alcor, Inc., the nation's leading cryonic suspension company, based in Scottsdale, Arizona. She holds special responsibility for the maintenance of Alcor's Emergency Response, Transport, and Cryoprotective systems, oversight of all the clinical aspects of the process including training of new and existing Transport Team members as well as other contractors and volunteers), and the integration and implementation of improved and evolving technologies and procedures.

Come learn about cryonics history, research, and social issues from Ms. Jones, and bring your questions. You may also enjoy the following links, which will give you more of an understanding of the achievements and remaining challenges in this fascinating area of human endeavor:

Cryonics FAQ
Problems Associated With Cryonics (and some possible solutions)

March 18: 7:00-9:00pm
Theme: Robotics and the Future

Speaker 1: Dr. Maja Mataric
, Director, USC Center for Robotics and Embedded Systems (homepage)
Talk Theme: The Challenge of Creating Helpful Robots
Talk Abstract: ``Robots are about to enter our daily lives'' ... or so we are often told, but what does it take to put robots into human environments, why aren't they there already, and what will happen when(ever) they do get there? This talk will briefly survey the current state-of-the-art in robotics, consider its directions and trends, and then focus on assistive robotics as a major area of potential growth and societal impact.
If robots are to enter our lives, their roles will need to be assistive, involving helping people through interaction, rather than operating in isolation (as on assembly lines for DNA or for cars) or interacting purely for entertainment. In assistive domains, robots must perform truly challenging tasks of aiding people in need, whether it be in structured and controlled environments (hospitals, elder care facilities, schools, etc.) or unstructured settings (homes, cities, roadways, rubble piles, etc.). Assistive human-robot interaction requires the juxtaposition of efficacy and engagement: a friendly robot may not be the most effective, much as is the case for for human nurses and teachers. This is just one of the many challenges of assistive robotics we will discuss. The potential of the field is tremendous, both in terms of open scientific questions and societally-relevant impact. To illustrate the issues, the talk will include videos of current research on robots that interact with and help stroke and cardiac patients, individuals with disabilities, children, doctors, and teachers, as well as other robots.

Bio: Maja Mataric is an associate professor in the Computer Science Department and Neuroscience Program at the University of Southern California, founding director of USC's interdisciplinary Center for Robotics and Embedded Systems (CRES) and co-director of the USC Robotics Research Lab. Prof. Mataric´ received her PhD in Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence from MIT in 1994, her MS in Computer Science from MIT in 1990, and her BS in Computer Science from the University of Kansas in 1987. She is a recipient of the Okawa Foundation Award, the NSF Career Award, the MIT TR100 Innovation Award, the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Early Career Award, the USC School of Engineering Junior Research Award, and the USC Provost's Center for Interdisciplinary Research Fellowship.

Speaker 2: Dr. Douglas Thomas, Associate Professor, Annenberg School of Communication at USC (homepage)
Talk Themes: Bodies, Bots, and Borders: Technology and the Future of the Hacker Imagination
Talk Abstract
: This talk examines the ways in which new technologies have shaped and been shaped by what Dr. Thomas describes as "the hacker imagination." From the earliest days of the personal computer to present concerns about security, viruses, and terrorism, the hacker has stood as a complicated figure in the midst of some of our most pressing social, cultural, political, and technological issues. This talk will examine the historical importance of the hacker ethos and speculate on that the future may hold for those who consider themselves at the forefront of digital exploration in the areas of encryption, robotics, and security.

Bio: Douglas Thomas is an associate professor in the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in Communication in 1992 and specializes in Critical Theory and Cultural Studies of Technology. He is author of Reading Nietzsche Rhetorically (Guilford Press, 1998), an examination of the role of representation in the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche and Hacker Culture (University of Minnesota Press, 2002), a study of the cultural, social, and political dimensions of computer hacking. Currently, he is working on Technology and New Media: An Introduction (New York University Press), a survey of recent approaches to technology and new media and their impacts of society and Viral Style: Information, Subculture, and the Politics of Infection, a book which examines the underground production of computer viruses as well as cultural representations of and responses to them.

He is co-editor of Cybercrime: Law Enforcement, Security and Surveillance in the Information Age (with Brian D. Loader, Routledge, 2000) and Technological Visions: The Hopes and Fears That Shape New Technologies (with Marita Sturken and Sandra Ball-Rokeach, Temple University Press, 2004). He is director of the Thinking Through Technology project, which examines the redefinition of entertainment in the digital age, the relationship between technology and learning, and the user cultures surrounding emergent new media and technologies. He is also co-investigator (with Sandra Ball-Rokeach, PI, and Marita Sturken) on the Metamorphosis Project, a $700,000, three year study that examines the impact of technology on Los Angeles and studies the historical and predictive implications of dystopian and utopian narratives about technology.

April 15th, 2005 8:00 - 10:00pm
Virtual Worlds

Moore's law is enabling the explosive growth of persistent virtual worlds. These environments present an opportunity for great advances in game play, social interaction, education, and business. Come meet three distinguished gentlemen who have a lot to say about the role of virtual worlds and video games in society: a pioneer of video games and founder of Atari, a virtual world journalist, and the director of USC's Center for Advanced Research in Technology for Education.

Speaker 1:
Wagner James Au
Embedded Reporter, Second Life
8:00 - 8:30 pm

"New World Notes: Highlights from a two year career as an embedded journalist in an online world, April 2003-April 2005"

A homeless hacker with a virtual mansion; a flying avatar controlled by nine disabled people; an online Burning Man and an in-world Oz; a virtual simulation of schizophrenia; weddings, funerals, wars, memorials, and tax protests; politics, religion, sexuality, economic shifts and general social upheaval. Highlights from two years of articles from the embedded journalist in an online world-- and thoughts on what they say about the future of online community and journalism."

Freelance writer, game designer, screenwriter, Wagner James Au has covered on high tech culture for Wired, Salon, and other publications. Since April 2003, he's been "Hamlet Linden", the official embedded journalist for Linden Lab's Second Life ), a 3D digital world imagined, created and owned by its residents, documenting it as an emerging society for a blog called New World Notes.

Speaker 2:
Dr. Lewis Johnson
Director, Center for Advanced Research in Technology for Education (CARTE)
8:30 - 9:00 pm

"Learning Foreign Languages in Virtual Worlds"

Virtual worlds inhabited by virtual speakers of foreign languages offer ideal milieux for learning foreign languages and cultures. Advances in artificial intelligence and speech recognition technology now make such virtual worlds possible. This talk will present one such virtual world, Tactical Iraqi, developed at USC's Center for Advanced Research in Technology for Education. Trainees learn to establish trust and rapport with the local people of a fictional town in Iraq, Al-Wardiye, and in the process develop proficiency in spoken Iraqi Arabic. Learners who otherwise would be intimidated by a difficult language such as Arabic are able to progress quite rapidly, and have fun doing it.

Biography: Dr. Johnson is a Senior Project Leader at USC / Information Sciences Institute and Research Associate Professor of Computer Science at the University of Southern California (USC). Lewis Johnson received his A.B. degree in Linguistics in 1978 from Princeton University, and his Ph.D. degrees in Computer Science from Yale University in 1985. He is secretary and past president of the Artificial Intelligence in Education Society, associate editor of the journal Automated Autonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems, was program co-chair First International Joint Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems, and program co-chair of the 2003 Intelligent User Interfaces conference.

When not working with computers, Lewis sings professionally in concert and on stage. He is a member of the American Guild of Musical Artists and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. His wife Kim and he produce and sell 100% Kona Coffee on their coffee farm in Hawaii. See http://www.isi.edu/~johnson/ for all the cool projects he manages.

Speaker 3:
Nolan Bushnell
CEO, uWink; Founder, Atari
9 :00 - 9:30 pm

"Making the Future Happen Faster: Past, Present, and Future Innovations"

Biography: Mr. Bushnell founded and was CEO of Atari Corporation, a manufacturer of video games, from 1971 to 1978. He founded and served as CEO of Chuck E. Cheese's Pizza Time Theater, a restaurant chain featuring electronic entertainment, from 1977 to 1983. From 1983 to 1986, Mr. Bushnell served as the sole proprietor of Catalyst Technologies, a source of technical advice and venture capital for Silicon Valley entrepreneurs. He served as Chairman for several Catalyst companies, such as ETAK, Androbot, ByVideo, Magnum Microwave, Axlon and Octus.

The three talks will be followed by a panel Q&A session from 9:30 - 10:00 (we usually end up staying later talking and answering questions). After the salon, we will walk down to the California Pizza Kitchen restaurant at the corner of Broxton and Weyburn in Westwood Village.

May 20th, 2005 8:00 - 9:30pm
Stem Cells & Star Wars

Featured Speaker: Dr. Lili Yang
Postdoctoral Scholar, California Institute of Technology

"Towards Instructive Immunotherapy"

Abstract: “We have combined three leading edge technologies, stem cell therapy, gene therapy and immunotherapy, to program a mouse to develop large numbers of cells that can kill a tumor. We call the method 'instructive immunity'. It takes advantage of the longevity and self-renewal of blood stem cells. It is appropriate to human clinical application. The method can provide immunity against tumors and microbes and represents a potent new direction for T cell immunotherapy. It will also be useful for experimental studies of the immune system.”

Background: Dr. Yang is doing inspiring, cutting edge work using gene therapy to program stem cells, and pairing these retrained cells up with dendritic cells to teach immune systems to attack and eliminate tumors. Recently her team has had dramatic success eliminating large solid tumors in vivo, in mice models. Click here for more details.

From Caltech's website: "Lili Yang, a postdoctoral scholar, and David Baltimore, professor of biology, Caltech president, and Nobel Prize recipient, have developed a new methodology that may someday fight cancer. Their animal model was the mouse, and while mice are often not predictive of behavior in humans, says Baltimore, "everything we have done is in principle possible to do in humans, so we plan to try to develop a system for optimizing the ability to program human stem cells.""

This PDF of their report appears in the current online edition of the March 22, 2005 Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.

Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States. In 1950, the global average life expectancy was about 40 years old. By 2000, that figure had risen to 62. As life expectancies continue to increase worldwide, cancer has become a major killer in emerging nations as well.

Dr. Yang is one of the pioneers of a powerful new paradigm for medical treatment of cancer and and infectious diseases, called "Engineering Immunity" or "instructive immunotherapy." We are very fortunate to have her come explain the nature of nature of her groundbreaking work, and some of her challenges and hopes for the future of her work and the field.

Followed by a Group Viewing of Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith, 10:30pm at Mann Village theater in Westwood.

June 17th, 2005 8:00 - 10:00pm
The Future of Psychology

Featured Speaker: Thomas Lombardo, PhD

Talk Title: "Evolving the Mind: The Future of Psychology"

What are the possibilities of psychological evolution? In this presentation, I will provide an overview of some of the main ways human psychology and the mind could evolve in the future. I will also consider how the human mind could be transcended or enveloped in more advanced forms of intelligence or mentality in the more distant future. The presentation will be interdisciplinary and integrative. I will draw upon and weave together contemporary ideas in psychology, social theory, technology, science, education, future studies, philosophy, and science fiction. Some of the topics I will examine are: The contemporary conflict between static and dynamic views of human nature; modern social and technological challenges to the human mind; new theories of the self and positive psychology; potential advances in brain research and the study of consciousness; the evolutionary expansion of consciousness; biotechnological, info-technological, and nanotechnological enhancements to humans in the future; space exploration and the diversification of humanity; and the possible emergence of global and cosmic forms of mind and consciousness.

Tom Lombardo, Ph.D. is the Faculty Chair of Psychology, Philosophy, and Integrated Studies at Rio Salado College in Tempe, Arizona. He is a graduate of the University of Connecticut and the University of Minnesota and a graduate fellow of Cornell University. He has been teaching college courses and giving various professional presentations on the future for the last dozen years. He is a regular contributor to the World Future Society conventions and his most recent publications “Evolving Future Consciousness through the Pursuit of Virtue” and “The Value of Future Consciousness” have been published in the annual World Future Society anthologies Thinking Creatively in Turbulent Times and Foresight, Innovation, and Strategy. He is a member of the World Future Society and the World Future Study Federation, an Affiliate of Communities for the Future and the Foundation for Conscious Evolution, and a member of Contact: Cultures of the Imagination. He has published one book on the future, Doorways to the Future, and he is presently working on a multi-volume study of the future. His website The Odyssey of the Future contains a wealth of informational resources on the study of the future. Most recently, Tom has given presentations on “The Pursuit of Wisdom and the Future of Education” at the School for the Future in Den Bosch, The Netherlands and “Science fiction as the Mythology of the Future” at the NASA Contact Conference.

Psychology Book Review by Iveta Brigis
Good Business: Leadership, Flow, and the Making of Meaning
by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Iveta Brigis has a BS in Human Development from Cornell University and currently is executive director of the Acceleration Studies Foundation, the nonprofit that coordinates the Future Salon Network. She will be starting a full-time MBA program at UC Irvine this September.

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (pronounced ME-high chick-SENT-me high") is the C.S. and D.J. Davidson Professor of Psychology at the Peter F. Drucker Graduate School of Management at Claremont Graduate University and the Director of the Quality of Life Research Center, a nonprofit institute that studies positive psychology in Claremont, CA, where he lives. He is the international best-selling author of Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience.


"Solartech Sun Illumination Systems Overview"
Solartech is a prototype technology for "daylighting" the interiors of buildings. It uses sun-tracking parabolic mirrors that convert rooftop solar energy into cool laser light for redistribution in building interiors. Karl Roth will give us a 10 minute PowerPoint overview of the technology, relate his experiences to date seeking venture funding, followed by a brief Q&A with him about the challenges and possibilities of this innovative idea.

July 15th, 2005
The Future of Alzheimer's Disease

Featured Speaker: Greg Cole, PhD
UCLA Neurology

Talk Title: Progress In Alzheimer's Research

For over twenty years, Dr. Greg Cole has systematically explored potential Alzheimer's prevention supplements like NSAIDS, vitamin E, DHA, and many others, as well as the etiology and pathophysiology of the disease. We were particularly impressed with his work in recent years on turmeric, or Indian curry spice. Contemplating the very low rates of senile dementia and Alzheimer's in India, Dr. Cole and fellow researchers surmized that curcumin, a protective agent in turmeric (curry spice) may be a natural neuroprotectant against Alzheimer's disease. His group first demonstrated turmeric's protective abilities in Alzheimer's-prone transgenic mice, then deduced its structure as a potential plaque binder, then proved that it crossed the blood brain barrier, and have recently shown that it blocks and disaggregates beta amyloid plaques in vitro and in vivo. Dr. Cole and his colleagues are now involved in testing turmeric on AD patients in clinical trials.

Dr. Cole's work is a wonderful story that more people should know, to inspire students to do scientific research, and the general public to pay attention to and support that research. Come hear a leading researcher in Alzheimer's pathophysiology and therapeutics, as he shares his story, and gives you his sense of the future of the field. You will also leave with high-yield advice on how to protect your own aging brain from Alzheimer's, a very common affliction in our increasingly long-lived society.

Interesting Links:
Dr. Cole's Homepage
An article on Dr. Cole's research
Alzheimer's Association Website
National Institute on Aging Alzheimer's Information
News from the First International Conference on Prevention of Dementia, June 18-21

Speaker 2: Book Review by Brent Bushnell
The World is Flat - A Brief History of the 21st Century
by Thomas Friedman

Brent Bushnell
is a UCLA Computer Science student, leader of the UCLA Future Salon student group, as well as a principal of business management software company Izolo.

Thomas Friedman is a three-time Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist who has served as foreign affairs columnist for the New York Times since 1995. The World is Flat is Friedman's fourth book and it explores the rapid rate at which our world is getting "connected" and thus "flattened" due to advances in information and other technologies. See Amazon.com reviews

August 19 , 2005
Group Discussion: Artificial Intelligence and Intelligence Amplification

We have been working our tushies off to make Accelerating Change 2005 a fantastic event, so you'd better be
there! Use the AC2005-LAFUTURE to get a $75 discount. For more visit: http://accelerating.org/ac2005

This Friday evening from 7:30 - 9:30pm at Kerckhoff Hall 131 & 133 on the UCLA campus, we will have an interactive discussion session on Artificial Intelligence and Intelligence Amplification.

The discussion will be facilitated by John Smart, Iveta Brigis (me), and Jim Turner, our new executive director who is taking my place as I transition to full-time business school student-hood.

Artificial intelligence ("AI"), broadly defined, improves the intelligence, capacity, and autonomy of our technology. Intelligence amplification ("IA") empowers human beings and their social,
political, and economic environments.

We'd like to hear your predictions, hopes, and fears on the future of artificial intelligence and intelligence amplification. When do you think we will develop "true AI"? Do you think machines will ever be smarter than we are? What tools are you using right now to amplify your own intelligence? What tools are we missing, and what are the most important intelligences we as humans need to augment?

Your Assignment: Please bring one
- weblink (we will have internet connectivity and a projector)
- journal, newspaper, or magazine article
- blog post or
- book
to pass around and share
about AI or IA.

Good overview of the field of AI:

Listing of AC2005 AI and IA themes:

As always, a group will head out to dinner afterward, this time to Mr. Noodle so we can all get a helping of their fantastic yellow curry! 936 Broxton Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90024 (310) 208-7808

September, 2005
No September Salon: Accelerating Change Conference at Stanford.

October, 2005
Xeni Jardin on Yahoo Ethics; Mark Fraunfelder on Maker Culture

Hello Futurists!

Our opening speaker will be the inspiring Xeni ("shenny") Jardin ("zhar-dan") (Homepage: http://xeni.net/), co-editor of BoingBoing and contributor to Wired, National Public Radio, the Los Angeles Times, and many other national publications. Xeni will discuss the issues behind her Times opinion piece of October 9th:

She speaks out in the article against Yahoo Hong Kong's no-contest breach of the confidentiality of one of its free email accounts in the face of Chinese police inquiry, which recently led to a ten year jail sentence for a Chinese reporter who was using the account to post to a pro-democracy website. She also notes the increasing exploitation of worldwide conflict for the sake of profit, as in the questionable new Yahoo global warblog "Kevin Sites in the Hot Zone." (http://hotzone.yahoo.com/). Come hear her perspective and give us yours as we discuss how to keep people and principles first in an increasingly connected world.

Speaking of the latter, for a wonderfully edifying new film we recommend Good Night and Good Luck, 2005 (http://wip.warnerbros.com/goodnightgoodluck/), George Clooney's docudrama about the inimitable CBS reporter Edward R. Murrow, his courage facing down McCarthyism in the 1950's, and his conviction that television will become only what we want it to be, either a vast wasteland or a tool of democracy and an instrument of education. The jury is still out, it seems. I want my IPTV!

After Xeni comes the illustrious Mark Frauenfelder, who will enlighten us on a powerful new trend in making things, and its importance for our increasingly collaborative future.

Where/When: Our usual digs at Room 133, Kerckhoff Hall, UCLA this Friday, October 28th, from 8-11pm. Visit http://ucla.accelerating.org for maps and parking options.

Format: We'll start promptly at 8pm with article sharing on the amazing things that have happened this last month (bring your cool stuff, we've got ours!) and then proceed to Xeni at 8:30 and Mark at 9 to 9:15pm.

Mark's Title: Maker 2.0: Global Do-it-Yourselfing, Bottom-Up Collaborating, a Maker's Bill of Rights, and World Lessons in Top-Down Catastrophes

Abstract: How hacking- or "maker" friendly can we make our world? How many of the products that you buy are designed to be tinkered, customized, and modded by you as a consumer? How important is it for you to live in a world where your tools and technologies can be molded collaboratively by users to their own needs? How important do you think this maker capability is in emerging nations who have access only to our earlier-generation, hand-me-down technologies?

I'm going to talk about my experiences as a how-to magazine editor, a self publisher, blogger, and author of books on the importance of making things and the do it yourself culture. We'll discuss examples of maker-friendly technology, consider the arguments for a Maker's Bill of Rights (Google: Crafter Manifesto), and outline inspiring examples of DIY projects built literally from junkyard parts in Cuba and other capital-constrained nations. As Internet 2.0 (broadband, etc.) and Web 2.0 (rich web, social networks, bottom up communities, etc.) increasingly emerge around the planet in the coming decades, scores of clever, resource-limited kids all over the world will be able to demand a whole new level of maker culture. We can tentatively call this Maker 2.0. Let's begin the discussion on what that might look like and why it might be critical to a better future. To get an understanding of some of the challenges ahead we will also look at a few global lessons in top-down catastrophe from my new book, The World's Worst. That should give us a sense of how far we have to go in some places, and why it is important to keep working toward a more bottom up, creative, collaborative world.

Bio: Mark Frauenfelder is editor-in-chief of Make (http://makezine.com/), O'Reilly's new magazine on the collaborative do-it-yourself lifestyle. He is also co-editor of the collaborative weblog Boing Boing: A Directory of Wonderful Things (http://boingboing.net/). Mark is a former Playboy columnist and editor at Wired magazine, author of Mad Professor: How to Concoct Extremely Weird Science Projects, 2002 (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0811835545/) and his newest, The World's Worst: A Guide To The Most Disgusting Hideous; Inept, And Dangerous People, Places, And Things On Earth, 2005. (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0811846067/).

As usual, a number of us will go to Westwood to nosh afterward. Hope you can join us

November, 2005
Deborah Estrin and Asia Stories

Hello Salonites!

How has your month been? Iveta Brigis and I went to Taiwan and Hong Kong for nine days. We'll have some cool stories and tech to share. Brent is presently in Asia and with luck he'll be back too.

After Mark and Xeni's great presentations last month our Salon jumped another 20 to 583 email members. Pretty cool! Bring all your future-interested friends to this one.

This month we will start at 7pm, so we have a full hour to share articles (didn't get to them last month, so bring yours) and discuss new topics. We'll arrange our tables and chairs in a "square" design to maximize getting to know each other. Bino Gopal will lead a discussion of new developments in the ongoing saga of Digital Rights Management and EULAs.

Your assignment: Bring any magazines, books, DVDs, tools, or toys to pass around during our sharing hour. Bring a list of two or three neat websites you'd like us to surf to during the discussion hour. Someone will be appointed Chief Surfer to follow along on the web using the projector during the discussion.

Our Main Speaker: Deborah Estrin, Ph.D. (8-9pm)

Her Talk Title: "Embedding the Internet: How Smart Sensors May Help Save the Planet"

Abstract: Dr. Estrin will discuss the applications and supporting technology behind Sensor Networks, a new and exciting class of computing systems that combine distributed sensing, computation and wireless communication. On the tech side these systems are being promoted as potentially disruptive and enabling as the Internet; on the application side key players see them as a way to manage a growing number of difficult yet important problems such as monitoring public exposure to contaminants, managing land use, and creating safer structures. Come hear how this fascinating new set of technologies and applications will permanently change our environment in coming years!

Bio: Deborah Estrin is Director of the Center for Embedded Networked Sensing (CENS) at UCLA, Professor of Computer Science at UCLA, Associate Editor of ACM Transactions on Sensor Networks, and Member, The National Academies Computer Science and Telecommunications Board (CSTB). She is a nationally recognized leader in sensing and networking technologies.

This is going to be a fascinating talk and Q&A. Deborah needs to leave at 9pm, after 20 mins of Q&A but we will stay for an additional 30 mins of discussion of the issues surrounding her talk and then those with interest in additional socializing will head out to Westwood for dinner.

December, 2005
Cool Tools and Online Community

Hello Futurists,

Time for our rendezvous again! Those who missed Deborah Estrin's fascinating talk on the future of pervasive sensors can download it from our new LAFS Salon Audio Archive at: http://ucla.accelerating.org. We'll try to record all our talks from now on.

Our last Salon of 2005 will be tomorrow, Dec. 16, from 7:00pm (sharp) to 9:30pm (then dinner). We'll meet at our usual digs, 131 and 133 Kerckhoff Hall, UCLA. Visit http://ucla.accelerating.org if you need directions or parking info. We'll ask a UCLA student if they can be our Chief Surfer again. We want to continue our tradition of getting realtime Google and Wikipedia input for all our wide-ranging discussion topics. We'll arrange tables and chairs in the Round Table Layout again to maximize getting to know each other.

7:00-8:00pm: LAFS co-moderator Bino Gopal will lead a discussion of Cool Tools we can can use in 2006 to empower ourselves in this increasingly complex and novel world.

Your assignment: Bring one or more of your own examples of Cool Tools (however you define this phrase) for show and tell, or any articles on tools, technologies, and services you are impressed by and would like to bring up for discussion among the group. These can include but aren't limited to websites, software, consumer products, books, DVDs, and any other things you'd like to pass around during our sharing hour. Also bring your Business Cards, so we get to know you and your passions.

8:00-9:30pm: LAFS co-moderator John Smart

Talk Title: "Future Salon Online Community Development: Tools, Tips and Techniques for Us to Consider Using in 2006"

Abstract: Gizmo Project? OpenBC? Flickr, Delicious? Searchfox? iSight? NationalAccess? Do you know about all the amazing new community tools that have recently emerged on the online scene? Which of these do we want to let our members know about, which do we want to specifically promote? Where do we want to be in cyberspace in 2006?

ASF President John Smart has put together a 30 minute presentation on tools, tips, and techniques for online community development. He'll step through what has recently come available and what the experts currently recommend for good community design. Then we'll spend an hour discussing what we think of this info, what we'd like to implement ourselves next year for the LA Future Salon, and what we should make available to the other seven salons in ASF's growing Future Salon Network.

Again this month LAFS presentation and Q&A will be taped for podcast for the benefit of those who aren't able to make it, for other salongoers, and for the entire online community.

At 9:30pm we'll hike down to Noodle World for some post-salon nosh and conversation.

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