Stephen Fry's lecture on a hopeful, cautious, excited vision of a better technological world


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2017/10/17/hope-beats-optimism.html


#2

When Lord Snot speaks, you better listen!


#3

…before he has to run away


#4


#5

This was simply astounding. The breadth and sweep of ideas, the articulate precision and style, and the parallels he draws are fascinating.


#6

Anyone got an audio download of this? I don’t need to stare at my screen, it would be just great to be able to listen to this while doing mindless stuff. Like cycling to work. Or working, come to think.


#7

Why not make your own?


#8

@ 6:50 “Unwilling to undress”

:rofl:

he wasn’t in Sherlock.


#9

He gave a marvelous talk at Harvard a few years back as the guest of the Harvard Humanists, where he talked about atheism, revealed truth and the Enlightenment. I love his comments on Oscar Wilde (of course) and how violence is begat by a lack of aesthetics.


#10

I love that THAT was Fry and Lauries first appearance on the telly.


#11

I’m now 42 minutes into the talk, and I love it. Thanks, @doctorow. Such a brillant, charismatic lecturer. He even delivers very old thoughts in a way which never gets boring, like meeting old friends. And somehow still manages to include small surprises on the way.

ETA: finished the talk, now heading for the discussion. What a ride. This should be re-visited, and re-posted every now and then. Given the current pace, probably in six months, but latest in 20 months.
Anyone, transcribe this, and put it on twitter a line at a time.


#12

That was a wonderful talk. Well worth listening to the whole thing. Stephen’s perspective and approach to the topics at hand is brilliant and rather insightful.

I agree. I’ll be saving this to listen to again at some point.


#13

#14

I really wonder every time if he read the authors he cites, and if he understood them. How much name dropping are his references to Nietzsche, Schlegel, Kurzweil, Shannon, and all the others? If he read this stuff, HOW the fuck does he manage to do all the other stuff as well? All those public appearances, including this talk? How does the guy prepare such a lecture? Where does he find the time and calm to write this? Or how many people work for him, doing that?

As for the content, how on earth does he manage to stay up-beat while outlining, very consciously, that we are creating something which is BOUND to be abused in the worst possible way? Which he spells out, also very consciously and quite conscientiously?

I really would hope, for my sake, he would live to see his 200th birthday, and in good physical and mental health, to write the witty popular history of AI and biotech. I know its a selfish wish, but I could listen to him much longer than this hour-long talk.


#15

Stephen is (a) bipolar, and (b) an ex-cokehead.

You can get a lot of reading done if you don’t sleep.


#16

Been there, done that, but not Nietzsche. I tried Kant, and he for sure got me to sleep. But then, I didn’t dope. In general, both conditions, as far as my experience with them in my surroundings go, do not sum up to comprehension of the stuff you read. Hence, my being impressed.


#17

Beware! Some of those (don’t recall which 2 or 3) come with adware.


#18

That would be because he’s an optimist. He lets his hopes and desire for better things guide him rather than his fears and worries. Spelling out all the horrible potential abuses is calling out the problems in hopes we can prevent them. I recognize this because I too am inflicted with that incurable malady which we call optimism. Too many pessimists dominating conversations these days in my opinion. I quite enjoy listening to Fry as I find him relatable in that sense.


#19

This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.