People send me stuff. Here’s a panel that’s almost guaranteed to go off the rails toward gloom and doom thanks to one participant who thinks climate change will be the end. Sign up to watch. h/t Dennis – Anthony


Today the data suggests that we are near the beginning of a chaotic mess of global proportions.  Things are fairly simple: a global pandemic with no tools to fight the virus, a global economy in disarray, climate change and other existential risks beginning to intrude into our daily lives, and a total lack of a plan as to what to do.

On the other hand, we are at the pinnacle of human capabilities and have, if we so choose, the capability to create a Utopian egalitarian world without conflict or want.  

In this 2-hour program, a group of experts will explore the future, focusing on 2030 and 2050.

Where are we now?  What is trending?  What if anything can be done about it?

You are invited to participate in a virtual conference live using Zoom (version 5.0 or greater), or watch the recorded version when it is published on YouTube.   

You must REGISTER ( to receive a URL to access the live virtual presentation and find the YouTube video of the presentation

The Panel

John Markoff          Stanford Institute for Human Centered AI, ex-NY Times (Moderator)

Garrett Banning       Washington-based strategic thinker and analyst

Joy Buolamwini        Algorithmic Justice League | Poet of Code ; Harvard

Carole Dumaine        Consultant, NIC, CIA; Co-founder of

John Hennessy         Stanford University professor, past President; Chair BoD Alphabet

Michael Mann          Earth System Science Center and Professor, Penn State

Carmine Medina        Former CIA Deputy Director, Author of Rebels At Work

Paul Saffo            Forecaster of technology change, Stanford Engineering Adjunct

Megan Smith           CEO shift7, MIT Board, ex-CIO of the US under Obama


The Asilomar Microcomputer Workshop is one of the iconic gatherings which supported the growth of computing.  This is the first mini-conference which replaces the 46th Asilomar Microcomputer Workshop, which was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  

The Stanford EE Colloquium on Computer Systems, EE380, will present the mini-conference as one of its offerings for Spring Quarter 2020.

87 thoughts on “Manntastic question: DEATH OR UTOPIA IN THE NEXT THREE DECADES?

  1. Algorithmic justice?? Forecaster of technology change??

    How much more woke can you get?

    • These are your betters, sir! Show a modicum of servility if you please! Tug that forelock, bow before them, abase yourself in the presence of their authority!

    • “Joy Buolamwini Algorithmic Justice League | Poet of Code ; Harvard”

      Does anyone know what that even means? No, I’m not being sarcastic ….. once again, at face value, what does that even mean? Anyone?

      • algorithmic bias, or the fact that AI systems often either mischaracterize or fail to recognize dark-skinned faces.

        Check it out.

        Harvard takes it seriously. It must be true.

        • I’ve seen articles claiming sensors in automatic sinks can fail to recognize the hands of black people, who then feel dehumanized and discriminated against. In other cases, there are claims that innocent people have been convicted as criminals based on digital photo analysis that is not accurate for darker skin.

      • Joy Buolamwini is the poet of code. She founded the Algorithmic Justice League to create a world with more ethical and inclusive technology. Her TED Featured Talk on algorithmic bias has over 1 million views. Her MIT thesis methodology uncovered large racial and gender bias in AI services from companies like Microsoft, IBM, and Amazon.

        Richard Feynman once attended a similar conference. His label for participants: Pompous fools.

        • “Her TED Featured Talk on algorithmic bias has over 1 million views. ”

          No doubt from people looking to confirm their biases. Or, maybe it was all bots.

          • The best TED Talk I’ve seen was by Natalie Tran, an Australian woman who’s been posting hilarious videos on YouTube for a long time. Beautiful little vignettes of life.

        • mebbe Microsoft could program in a pre-set negative action bias that would continuously bring a little harm (on a slight but continuous basis) to light skinned peoples & men, a bias that could even things out.

          (or they could accomplish the same thing by implementing a similar inverse concept; it could be characterized as a positive (or affirmative) action bias towards women & the darker shades. If microsoft won’t do such a thing we could mandate it by law so as to level the playing field)

      • When you see a phrase like “Algorithmic Justice”, then you can be certain they are and have been serial committers of algorithmic injustice.

        • Aaaaah yes, like the post-modern demoKKKrats. I get it now.

          Thanks to all for the answers.

      • Obviously it means that Al Gore invented the Justice League.
        (Too bad Super Mandia didn’t make the cut.)

      • Is the Algorithmic Justice League part of the Marvel Universe or part of the DC Universe?

          • Super powers of Untruth. They can lie faster than a speeding headline. Lie more powerfully than a derailed locomotive. Able to exceed tall-tales in a single phrase. Look, up at the headline. It’s a Marx. It’s a Goering. No, it’s the Justice-Lie League.

      • before I saw Pat Fs reply below
        Id have said token dark skinned feminist
        and alphabets google in drag so you know its shonky

        as for the build a Utopia no conflict etc
        best laugh in days!!!
        reckon weve heard that before many times
        and the IOT msoft google spyware means to control populations..
        falls over when the nonreliable greenpower does.

        see theyve canned the supposed canadian? smart city setup as well

    • Based apparently on facial recognition software identify black women as men. So justifiable.

  2. 3 decades instead of 1 now for the last chance for the dooming? Things are definitely looking up for the sad sacks and their computer models.

  3. Joy Buolamwini Algorithmic Justice League | Poet of Code ; Harvard
    In other words, quack, crank, cluck, parasite, leftist…

      • lee
        Especially the algorithms that are rarely used. They are known as minority algorithms — not to be confused with “Al Gore Rhythms.”

    • Joy Adowaa Buolamwini is a Ghanaian-American computer scientist and digital activist based at the MIT Media Lab. She founded the Algorithmic Justice League, an organisation that looks to challenge bias in decision making software. – Wiki

      Boldly redefining the consequences of if-then-else.
      So many important things left to do.
      Where to start?

      • an organisation that looks to challenge bias in decision making software.

        I suggest that they start with the Global Climate Models. Can’t think of a better example of bias infecting computer models.

  4. I prefer to listen to Dr. Richard Lindzen of MIT on the topic. To paraphrase, Believing CO 2 control the climate is to believe in the tooth fairy. These are nut case leftists.

  5. Where’s Greta?

    Is her star fading already?

    The future is hers, not theirs (the current panel members) so she should be there to spread her ‘wisdom’.

  6. C’mon man. You all missed the funniest of them all:
    “Garrett Banning : Washington-based strategic thinker and analyst”

    I wonder if he is related to the Scarecrow.

    • Tom
      Isn’t that a multi-syllabic oxymoron? These people obviously think very highly of themselves. They are one step above an unemployed engineer that refers to themselves as a “consultant.”

      • I particularly enjoyed the “Washington-based” credential. As if somehow that made him an “official” thinker.
        No need to go into the “If you are Washington -based, you might be a ….” comments.
        We all know, we all know.

  7. I think watching the squirrels chase each other in my back yard for 2 hours would be a better use of my time than to listen to these jokers.

  8. It’s understandable why they pick a timeline of 3 decades. None of them will be around to see their guesses.

  9. the capability to create a Utopian egalitarian world without conflict or want.

    There is no standard of incredulous laughter that could do justice to such stupidity.

    • Pat,
      Yes, I nearly snorted coffee out of my nose when I read that. Somehow it does not occur to these geniuses that the reason we don’t already have a “utopian egalitarian world without conflict or want” is because humans, by their very nature, are flawed, leaving them not only incapable of creating such a world, but unsuited to even live in one. Unless their plan is to get rid of all the humans…

      • Paul
        Not just flawed, but these people exhibit the hubris and ambition that goes against their unicorn utopia. They will be the first to squabble over the power they want.

    • If the elect were to manage to implant an AI control mechanism in the brains of all the plebs, or at least enough of them.
      Then if the AIs were hip enough to recognize that the patricians were not, but should be hooked in equally.
      Then, there being so many more plebs than patricians
      And the plebs now centrally and in disputably directed towards one goal by one means.
      IF they managed to eventually infect all the patricians and their armed legions. bringing them into the folds
      What a wonderful hive we might have.

    • All you have to do is “imagine” the idiotic lyrics of John Lennon’s idiotic song “Imagine”, sway with the crowd, smoke a little weed, and Peace out Man!

    • Or, we’ll all be entombed.
      OT but probably as important a piece of information as any that will be produced in this so-called program, I used to buy my socks from the shop run by his sisters. NALOPKT. (Not a lot of people know that.)

  10. Right – I’m now Emeritus Professor of Post-modern Equality Mathematics.

    *That’s why you lot all think I solve equations incorrectly; constrained by traditional mathematical thinking.

  11. “… we are at the pinnacle of human capabilities and have, if we so choose, the capability to create a Utopian egalitarian world without conflict or want.”
    Anyone who really believes this is sadly “un” or “mis“ informed/educated. Take your pick.
    No credibility whatsoever.

  12. “On the other hand, we are at the pinnacle of human capabilities”

    A misconception held by most generations in human history.

  13. I miss Dr. Joyce Brothers and the days of simpler placeholder experts and panelists. sarc/

  14. “A group of experts!!!!!” – “Two hours!!!!”

    That’s enough to put me off immediately.

    • Reminded me of the time I went to a movie they later advertised as “The Most Important Movie of The Year!”.
      I avoid such now.

  15. The panel that unintentionally invokes the need to reinforce research retraction watch efforts.

  16. Don’t know if anyone would agree, but the phrase “circle jerk” seems pretty appropriate for this conference in my humble opinion.

    • Not if you put a few GO TOs in there, fret, even though it is bad practice.

      Including COME FROMs can make it worse, though.

      • I thought that the software police had outlawed the GO TO. And, remember, the reference to the IF-THEN-ELSE statement in a previous comment, it is truly bad form to leave out the ELSE part.

        I was always partial to the DO OR ELSE.

  17. Abraham de Lacy Giuseppe Casey Algorithmic Justice League Joy Buolamwini Poet of Code.

    I think I know this gal. Isn’t she some sort of Asilomarcat?

  18. From the article: “Today the data suggests that we are near the beginning of a chaotic mess of global proportions. Things are fairly simple: a global pandemic with no tools to fight the virus, a global economy in disarray, climate change and other existential risks beginning to intrude into our daily lives, and a total lack of a plan as to what to do.”

    We actually have tools to use to help with the pandemic, and the economy is starting to move, and human-caused climate change is science fiction. So the situation is better than is characterized.

    The biggest existential threat the U.S. faces is the lying Leftwing Media. We are going through not one but two crisis and all the leftwing media can do is distort the entire situation and make it worse, and their sole focus is on trying to find a way to undermine President Trump.

    These are domestic enemies of the United States. They, and the people they encourage are doing tremedous damage to the U.S.

    The governors better crack down on the criminals rioting in the streets, or Trump is going to do it for them.

    I heard that some of these rioting clowns are saying they are going to start going into family neighborhoods and “take back” what was owed them. Well, that will be a big mistake, if they think they can get away with that. The people in those houses are not going to sit there and let you destroy their neighborhoods. Guess what they are going to do about it?

    The Democrat governors haven’t learned that virtue signalling has no effect on rioters and criminals. In one ear, out the other.

  19. I have suggestion for a topic for this panel of the most distinguished scholars in their field:
    Debate the paper picked up by Kenneth Richard at Notrickszone on the destructive effect of wind and solar projects on global biodiversity
    From the introduction to the post:
    -“An “especially worrying” new study finds 2,206 onshore wind, hydropower, and solar PV energy generation facilities have “already encroached on many of the world’s most important places for conserving biodiversity”, degrading 886 protected areas, 749 key biodiversity areas, and 40 distinct wilderness areas.”
    And the global “green” deals will make the problem far worse – it is suggested .
    So what do you reply to that assertion, your eminences?

  20. cant watch this cause I will be occupied trying to actually forecast rather than sitting on the sidelines and waitng for something to happen, then blaming it on the clmate du jour idea

  21. Death or Utopia ?
    Seriously , how many people has CO2 killed vs how many it keeps alive .
    Particulate pollution is not nice but is containable .
    Cheap energy is Utopia .
    Bad governance influenced by social media and unintellectual , easily influenced voters in all countries
    is the Western Worlds biggest demise atm .
    Third world probs are dictators and over population , which the Westerners are expected to fix .

  22. Mann and the people like him, factually are soon doomed.

    Bereft of a soul, lost, and craving all to join them to a lightweight, BUT a fabulously, utopian
    egalitarian land.

  23. Remember when a CIA Director, even an ex-Director, wouldn’t have been caught dead rubbing elbows with an obvious lot of America-hating leftist SOBs like this? Ah, for the good old days…

  24. Same progressives from a hundred years ago just with a new name. How many millions will have to die this time?

  25. See he can learn. This non event prediction deadline/tipping point is at least beyond eventual retirement and probably lifetime. Much better than blurting out near term stuff that can demonstrably be shown to be nonsense.

  26. “a global pandemic with no tools to fight the virus”

    Our main tool is and has always been our very well evolved human adaptive immune system of B-cells and T-cells working as a system to eliminate and then provide almost life-long immunity to such viruses.

    So this idea that we don’t have the tools to fight this virus is Bullshit. This corona virus is largely just another cold virus to 98% of the population. The 2% that have compromised their immunity both with old age (that largely didn’t used to happen 200 years ago) and poor health due to COPD/d diabetes, CVD make it lethal.

  27. 2,5 hours were more than enough from this sect. At the end religion was discussed: Yes, these alarmists have established a new pseudo-religion. Mann stated explicit, that science must govern the world; Oh yes, “science” like hockey stick or Greta, and similar. China was also discussed. However, this horde of clinical cases would not be enough for the Chinese even for one breakfast. These persons have lost all touch with the reality. It was an interesting experience. Mann and his follower could be an interesting PhD-thema on the field of psychologie on maniacs. Mann proved yesterday again, that Einstein was right:

    “Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former.” ~ Albert Einstein

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