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TED Day 2 – Session 1

First, Ethan and Bruno are also liveblogging TED and doing a much more comprehensive job than I am so be sure to check them out.

Then yesterday, I forgot to mention Jeff Han and his uber-cool multi-touch interaction thingy. Be sure to check out the video.

The first session was focused on life sciences.
Speaker 1Alan Russell (from my alma mater!).
Was late for this so couldn’t blog it, but he’s doing really neat stuff with regenerative medicine.

Speaker 2: Joe Derisi (molecular biologist with focus on infectious diseases and developer of the virus chip
Focus of his talk was on using technology to improve diagnosis.

Eh, I think I need some caffeine in my system.

Interlude feature this Amazing African grey parrot – Einstein.

Speaker 3: Neil Gershenfeld (blogged about him before during Poptech).
– We’ve won, we have the digital revolution. What comes next after computers?
– Computer science is one of the worst things that ever happened to both computers and science because it froze computation in the fifties.
– Neil and his colleagues at the Center for Bits and Atoms are trying to figure out how to move forward. The link covers the first part of his talk.
– Neil started teaching a class called “How to Make (almost) Anything.” Focus is on personal fabrication. Technology for the market of one. As part of the programs outreach requirement, started Fab Labs – cost is about $25,000. They exploded around the world; this wasn’t expected. For all the attention to the digital divide, they’d find unused computers in all these places. Labs about empowerment-> education -> problem solving -> job creation -> invention. Eight year olds in Ghana are inventing designs that are better than those by MIT students on their own.
– Barrier is getting development community to think about letting people create technology rather than consume technology. They all want to talk about the work Neil is doing but won’t fund it. Social engineering and organizational engineering is required. Technology is seen as top-down mega projects. Message coming from Fab Lab aren’t that the rest of the world can create their own projects.

Speaker 4: Penelope Boston (cave researcher).
– Should life forms be transported to Mars?
– Chance of life in Mars is one in four. Thinks life is underground.
– How do you look for ET-life and how do we know when you find it?
– Why would Martian life be hard to find? Probably microscopic, probably hiding, may be very different in its fundamental chemistry – size, chemistry, speed of activity. We are guided by our limited experience. Talked about using experience with cave research in Mars.

2 comments to TED Day 2 – Session 1

  • Interesing that you mention this question by Neil Gershenfeld (what comes after computers) as I had just been reading on this thanks to a link on Ted Leung’s blog.

    I was led thought a series of sites that ended up at Paul Saffo’s blog over at Saffo.com. He thinks the next “thing” is Biotech.

    FInd more about this here

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