Beliefnet
A Pagan's Blog


Last week, from October 18 to 21, I was a participant at Pop!Tech’s 10th annual meeting in Camden, Maine. For those who do not know, and most do not, Pop!Tech was initiated by Bob Metcalfe and John Sculley to explore the impact of the new computer and web technology on modern society. Since its inception it has broadened to include a wider array of themes, but never abandoning its initial focus on technology and modernity.
At a time when it is hard to find much optimism about America’s future, it is wonderful to immerse oneself for several days in the company of some of the world’s most energetic and creative people. I include here the other participants as well as those who made presentations. My thanks to Anastasia, who helped put it on, for telling me about the event in time to get a ticket. So long as gatherings like this can take place, there is always hope for the future.
And what a list of presenters it was. I will not list them all. You can go here to see that august assemblage in its entirety. But those whose presentations I personally found most interesting and important in terms of my own work included:
Chris Anderson, editor-in-chief of Wired
Thomas Barnett, a Senior Strategic Researcher and Professor at the U.S. Naval War College, and currently a Senior Managing Director at Enterra Solutions
Stewart Brand, President of the Long Now Foundation and co-founder of the Global Business Network
Lester Brown, President of the Earth Policy Institute
Richard Dawkins, author of The Selfish Gene and other major works on evolutionary biology as well as critic of religion
Brian Eno, famed musician, and it turns out, much much more
Juan Enriquez, director of the Harvard Business School’s Life Science Project
Thomas Friedman, author and NYT columnist
Kevin Kelly, Wired’s editor-at-large
Over the next few weeks I will blog on their respective talks. Some I agreed with more than others, but all, including those I will not cover, taught me.
I should also mention that these very busy people all contributed their time. None were paid. Perhaps that fact more than any other indicates how valuable this gathering was.

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