.@JasonSilva on cognitive ecstasy, shots of awe & more @cannes_lions yesterday

I’m not at Cannes this year but yesterday techno-philosopher Jason Silva took to the stage there with PHD to speak about the exponential leaps and opportunities in biotech, genomics, nanotech and robotics that we should expect in the years to come. The Atlantic has called Jason the “Timothy Leary of the viral video age”. He hosts Brain Games on National Geographic Channel, which set a record as the highest-rated series launch in the channel’s history (an average of 1.5 million viewers for the first two episodes).

You can see the whole talk here, but this is a shorter interview with Jason and PHD Worldwide CEO Mike Cooper behind the scenes at Cannes.

A lot of us were able to watch the livestream as it was one of the seminars that made it through the public vote, and here are things I noted down – phrases, sentences – that were amusing and interesting in equal doses:

– cognitive ecstasy (snippets of what that means on Jason’s Shots of Awe YouTube channel)

– shots of philosophical espresso (likewise)

– ‘Robots will inherit the earth. Yes they will, and they will be our children’ (!!!)

– McLuhan’s quote on PC’s being the new LSD back in the day (and he was friends with Timothy Leary, no wonder! This Boing Boing piece documents their friendship)

how ants have used the internet’s TCP algorithm for ages

– Stuart Kauffman on the ‘adjacent possible‘ and Steven Johnson’s work building on that

I’ll admit Jason was a bit overwhelming; he has this crazy energy that shines through like a lighthouse illuminating the dark sea on a cloudy night, and a lot of it is Ray Kurzweil/Inception territory.

He closed his speech by saying ‘we have a responsibility to awe’.

Can’t argue with that for a philosophy of life.


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