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Author's profile photo Mark Finnern

Technological Acceleration – A Hidden Law of Nature?

Fellow SAP Developers, we don’t get out often enough to stretch our brain and    imagination. Yes, TechEd is great to    hone our SAP development skills, but when was the last time you looked at the    big picture?

Is technological acceleration a hidden law of nature? Is Kurzweil on to the    ultimate “next big thing”? Is there a trend, as he believes, of increasing    technological acceleration that leads to a “singularity” – a change    so great that it can’t be understood before it occurs?

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His data shows that many trends in technology’s development have accelerated    independent of economic conditions, marching to their own increasing efficiencies,    and periodically taking us into an “exponential economy.” But can    this be extrapolated to all computational systems?

Extend your TechEd week    with a weekend at the Accelerated    Change Conference 2003, happening from September 12th to the 14th at Stanford    University in Palo Alto California.

There is a great lineup of speakers: Ray    Kurzweil, Steve    Jurvetson, Eric    Drexler, Tim    O’Reilly, and more.

Full disclaimer: I am one of the organizers of the conference. I don’t get    any monetary benefits from it, I just strongly believe that it is going to be    a great event. If you bring bright minds together, some of them experts in their    fields, coming from different walks of life with different viewpoints, magical    things will happen.

For example, the Collective    Intelligence Dinner on Saturday evening is something I am totally looking    forward to. There will be many round tables where 8 to 10 people can sit. Every    table has a sign posting a question from the 4 focus areas of Science, Technology,    Business and Humanities. For example one of the business questions will probably    be: “How do we maximize the spread of individual and corporate wealth    in a sustainable and culturally appropriate manner in our global economy?”    Science: “Is modern humanity better characterized as selective catalysts    than as controllers of technological development?” (Current    list of questions)

As a conference participant you sit down at the table with the question, that    tickles your interest the most. That way, more or less organically, highly motivated    interest groups are formed. During the dinner there is a focused discussion    around the selected question. At the end every table presents their conclusions    of the dinner talk for 5 minutes.It’s the hive mind at work; absolute magic.

That experience alone is worth the $400 conference fee. SAP is a proud sponsor    of this event. This is why you, as an SAP Developer Network participant, get    a discount of $75 when you sign up for the conference. You need to call this    number: +1 310 398 1934 and tell them that you are a member of the SAP Developer    Network and you will receive the discount.

See you all there, Mark.

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