How To Avoid The Fear Of Change

Why would you get a philosopher to open a conference for IT enthusiasts? When his topic is awe and the fear of change, as Jason Silva's was at the opening of TechEd Australia 2012 yesterday, it suddenly makes sense.

More: Will Robots Really Destroy Humanity? Gizmodo Australia Interviews Jason Silva

The core of Silva's presentation were his video art pieces offering "shots of philosophical espresso", all of which you can check out online. But his key message has relevance outside of technology as well: "What I tell people is I'm not trying to compete with textbooks or TED talks or book-length treatises, but to provide another way in for audiences so they're not scared of technology."

"It's important to create narratives that are beautiful as well as narratives that are frightening, because we tend to fear change."

Disclosure: Angus Kidman is attending TechEd 2012 as a guest of Microsoft.



    I am a professional philospher. Jason Silva is not. He has an undergraduate degree in philosophy. That no more makes him a philospher than an undergraduate degree in physics makes one a physicist. He is not eligible to join either the American Philosophical Association or the Australasian Association of Philosophy (he might still be interesting though).

      A physicist is a scientist who does research in physics, just as any scientist is one who does research in their individual field. Why should an undergraduate degree not justify him as a philosopher when he obviously has a deep passion for that field? Jason Silva never claims to be anything but an optimist, and to ATTEMPT to discredit his work on those grounds is juvenile.

      If you were a good philosopher, you would understand ad hominem. You clearly don't understand ad hominem, so you are not a good philosopher. Modus Ponens, jerk.

      Interesting. The idea that you need qualifications to be a philosopher. Here I was thinking it was about ideas , exploring ideas, analysing ideas, and proposing different approaches to different issues and problems and discussing these in an open forum.

      You don't need uni training to be a good thinker, but it seems you need a healthy dose of hubris to protect an artificial patch.

      I'll be sure to call the police.

        Wow, none of you can distinguish between ideas and a person. Take the ad hominem comment as an example. Ad hominem is an attempt to undermine ideas by attacking the person. I said he was not a philosopher - cause he isn't - and said that his ideas might nevertheless be interesting. And Andreqz calls ad hominem, indicating he doesn't understand the fallacy. But the rest of you are right: the patch isn't all that much worth indicating. It's just annoying when bullshit artists - say Deepak Chopra - are described by the media as philosophers. Plus I don't think Silva thinks of himself as a philosopher. He describes himself as a futurist.

    if you are a professional philosopher, you should be able to at least spell it

      Sam: iPad. It autocorrects that way. I'm guessing it learned from a typo of mine.

        i sense rage

    If you are going to correct someone, you should have at least used correct punctuation yourself!.
    "If you are a professional philosopher, You should be able to at least spell it!."

      Which you clearly haven't.

      A full stop after an exclamation?
      A capital after a comma?

    Why would you put so much effort into selling a Telstra datacenter services? They failed at maintaining communications in australia and yet Microsoft is adamant that Telstra services are the future? ahahahahahahahahaha

    You do not need a capital letter after the comma by the way.

    A philosopher is anyone who expounds philosophy. I am sure the most famous philosophers in history were not paid up members of a philosophical society. To be professional means that this is a major source of income.

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