Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Zeitgeist Day 2012 - Vancouver, BC

This past weekend I was fortunate enough to attend Zeitgeist Day 2012 - the annual conference hosted by the Zeitgeist Movement in cities across the world. The main event took place in Vancouver this year, and I'm happy to say I was there :)

I took 10 pages of notes during the 5+ hours of speakers I stayed for, and would like to share with you some of the basic concepts and recommended resources mentioned during the course of the day.

The first speaker was a humorous young Italian man by the name of Frederico Pistono, author of, "Robots Will Steal Your Job - But That's Ok." He reviewed some interesting advances in software and technology (everything from automated cars, to 3D printing, to robot scientists capable of making new discoveries), while posing the question: what happens when all of these marvelous technologies do actually replace us in our jobs?


The lectures were full of philosophy and academic studies, as the Zeitgeist Movement is determined to be taken seriously as a science and research-based organization, and contained references to numerous works by individuals such as Rudolph Steiner, Herman E. Daly, and Michael B. Rosen (covering everything from non-violent communication, to reform in education and economic systems, in addition to advances in science and technology).

James Phillips, TZM Education Coordinator, gave a compelling talk on the need to start developing our minds early, allowing children to learn by self-directed activities, rather than forcing them to conform to the system.


In answer to the question, "how do we change the system?" James directs us to explore the writings of Jacque Fresco (founder of the Zeitgeist Movement) as we create a love of learning, thinking, questioning and innovating, using collaborative models, rather than competition.



Next, Douglas Mallette continued the discussion of new technologies and quality of life, drawing on his experiences at NASA, and giving examples of recent developments such as photovoltaic paint, solar roadways, GPS-driven cars, innovative applications for wind turbines, maglev trains, and more.




As the day went on there were talks about communications, human values, semantics and free will, rounding out some of the underlying theories of the movement, leading up to the presentation by Peter Joseph.




Peter further reviewed the "Structural Psychology" of the Zeitgeist Movement, including theories of "Structural Classism", and the concept of a Natural Law Economy (versus our current reality of Market Economy). This was all leading up to part 2 of the lecture, which will be available in months to come.

I think what people are most hungry for at this point in the movement are more concrete ideas about how to put the principles into practice, so may have gone away disappointed on this note. However, it was inspiring to be in a crowd of people who care about the topics discussed, and to hear some of the great minds speaking about both the theories and the recent developments which may help us to create the change. I look forward to further exploring the resources mentioned here, and maybe even be a part of what happens next :)

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