[ExI] How was the SLC S.I. Summit???

Brent Allsop brent.allsop at canonizer.com
Sun Jun 5 19:30:33 UTC 2011

Hi John,

Yes, that was really fun.  Like you said, Ray and Aubrey tend to give 
the same talk every time.  But there were a lot of new local people not 
as familiar with transhumanism there, so it was probably good for all of 
them.  And, absolutely, the coffee talk and networking with so  many 
people, between speakers, and so many new ideas was the best part.

That "Grand America" hotel is definitely a GRAND and wonderful place.  
There were so many people there reeking from lots of cache from 
startups.  It was great to shmooze with so many rich people.  It 
appeared that Robert V. Brazell, the gazilionair founder of 
overstock.com, was responsible for funding the event.  His office is on 
Madison Avenue in NY, and he said he has a "house" in Utah.

Evidently they lost $27,000 on the event, despite the $100 ticket price, 
so it was great to have so much money being put out for all of us that 
were there, and the students that didn't have to pay at all.  Other 
gazilionairs there included Jeremy Hanks, the founder of Doba.com, Jaan 
Tallinn, Skype, KaZaa, Obviously Kurzweil, several other that I can't 
remember their names off the top of my head, and that was just the ones 
I recognized and knew about.

The real surprising thing was that before the event, many seemed to not 
yet know anything about the MTA.  One group of people I walked up to all 
talking before the event started had many local people that were 
obviously former mormons and such.  One was Evan Lord (anti Mormon 
author of: http://www.oenee.com/ ).  When I told them I was with the 
Mormon Transhumanist Association, they all lauphed with - "That's a good 
one".  And it took my more than 5 minuts more before I could convince 
them all that  I wasn't joking, that there really is a Mormon 
Transhumanist Association that is very well organized, and experiencing 
explosive growth.  And even with that, I think many of them were still 
skeptical.  I was confused when one of them, at such an event like this, 
asked me: "What do you mean by transhumanism?" and when I gave the right 
answer, they said, "I just wanted to be sure we were talking about the 
same  transhumanism."

For better or worse, they know now, and they all realize that had they 
gotten us involved sooner, they likely could have doubled their 
attendance numbers.  They are looking to do more of this kind of thing 
in the future, they made sure they got our contact information, and I'm 
looking forward to being able to help out more from now on.

I have a question for you famous old timer extropians, Spike, Max, 
Anders, and everyone that attended Extro 4 back in 1999.  I remember 
meeting several people at Extro-4 (or was it Extro-3?) that were just 
getting Pay-Pal off the ground, before they were all gazilionair rocket 
scientists/geneticists now dramatically reshaping the world in an 
extropian image.  Who were those pay-pal guys that attended?  Obviosly 
the success of pay-pal, and the follow on exciting work, is a huge part 
of the exciting wave of transhumanist renascence we are now 
experiencing.  Singularity University, Singularity institute, and all 
the exciting start up stuff is obviosly being largely funded by a lot of 
all that.  Obviously transhumanist people, in general, are great at 
making lots of money on new start ups, as you would expect with people 
so aware of the future, and so aware of where we are going and what is 
possible.  And it's exciting to see the crowd of rich, influential, 
venture capitalists being attracted to these kinds of activities.  Much 
of what all these rich people were talking about was them pointing out 
and discussing what has real meaning, and what do you want to do, once 
you have more money than you can imagine and money is no longer an 
issue.  All the great and obviously successful ideas about making the 
world such a better and far richer place was truly faith and hope (of 
the good kind) inspiring.

Oh, and one more fun part.  The speakers that were there in person, like 
Aubrey, as they stood behind the podium, the lighting was bad, and they 
constantly were putting their hands in front of there eyes in an attempt 
to see the audience.  When people from the audience would ask them 
questions, they couldn't hear at all so the questions had to be asked 
over and over again, and eventually some questions were just abandoned 
because they couldn't hear.  But, when ray was there, with that amazing 
telepresance system, it was far better than real life.  He could hear 
everything we were saying, our applause, answering many great 
questions...  He described the HUGE chandeliers hanging from the ornate 
ceilings...  He looked more real, and we could see him better, (the tela 
presance system was almost completely transparent.)  than the real 
people actually there in person.  I was very disappointed, when I was 
first informed Ray would only be "beaming in".  My expectations were 
obviously not of someone really being beamed in.  And THAT WAS really 
being beamed in.

Very exciting and fun!  Glad the MTA, and the local University of Utah 
student transhumanist groups are so well organized integrated, and 
informed, with so many willing to do extra work, for free, at the last 
minute, so many of us had great and efficient car pool rides in and back 
from everywhere (not all of us are rich YET), and didn't completely miss it.

Brent Allsop

On 6/5/2011 8:53 AM, John Grigg wrote:
> Hello Brent,
> How did things go?  Please give me a full report!  : )  I emailed 
> Michael Annisimov about why the event was announced at the last 
> minute, and he said it was not his fault, since he had been fired and 
> only recently rehired!  What the heck is up with that??  Anyway, I 
> dearly wish I could have been there, and hope you, Lincoln, and the 
> other MTA guys had a great time.  I'm not so much interested about the 
> talks (Aubrey and Ray tend to give the same ones! lol), but more the 
> unofficial "cocktail party" conversation.
> Did you take the S.I. folks on a tour like you did with Max and 
> James?  But I do realize this was an S.I. sponsored event, and not an 
> MTA one.
> Best wishes,
> John

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