On Saturday July 23rd in what surely will be one of the most memorable PLL events of my career,  I will be moderating a Q&A session with Esther Dyson at the  “Change as Action” Summit  in Philadelphia. This event is certain to be as  stimulating and as surprising as Dyson’s wide ranging career (magazine fact checker, journalist, publisher, entrepreneur,venture capitalist, philanthropist  and yes trainee cosmonaut).”.Her name is routinely prefaced by words such as “visionary,” ‘Guru,” “pundit,”high priestess…’  Esther’s bio .

Dyson “Addicted to Zero G Force”

If you haven’t had a chance to read Dyson’s books Release 2.1: A Design for Living in the Digital Age  or Release 2.0  there is still time to peruse a wealth of material by and about Dyson. A Google search nets you 999,999 hits in .10 seconds. Pick a topic, any topic and combine it with “Esther Dyson” and you are sure to find Dyson’s spin on your issue. Want to preview Dyson in action?  A  YouTube  search retrieves  over 200 video clips.

Below is a sampling of Esther Dyson quotes which I have gathered in preparation for Saturday’s conversation with Esther Dyson:
 On The Future Of Space Travel: “We Are Only At “The End Of The Beginning”

On Improving Wikipedia: .So, to get the best results, we have people sharpening their ideas against one another rather than simply editing someone’s contribution and replacing it with another. We also have a world where the contributors have identities (real or fake, but consistent and persistent) and are accountable for their words. Much like Edge, in fact.

On Internet Search: “The future of search is verbs!”

On Wikileaks WikiLeaks matters for two reasons. The first is that we need a better balance of power between people and power. Information – and specifically the Internet’s power to spread it – is our best defense against bad, unaccountable behavior.

Second, we do want to trust our governments and institutions. The point of openness is to make those in power behave better – and to make us trust them more. Rather than viewing them as enemies, we should know what they are up to, and perhaps have a little more say in what they do.

On the Internet and Political Revolution: As long as a government can come and shoot you, you can’t jump on the Internet to freedom.

On the Future of Intellectual Property: From a business point of view, intellectual property is dead.

On Failure: Everybody should have a real failure, ideally when they are pretty young, that gives them a sense of confidence.

On  Programming Human Perfectibility
Call it simulated apprenticeship: if your company has a shortage of supportive managers to train employees, they can be modeled in the software. The games and simulation exercises can be designed to train and reward certain kinds of behavior – quick decision-making over too much deliberation, delegation rather than do-it-myself behavior, and so on.
It remains unclear how effective this will be, but I’m betting on it. Experience shapes us as much as our genes (or innate talents) do, and online experience is cheaper and easier to shape. In real life, success could be due to luck, and it might teach us the wrong lessons. In a game, we can make sure that it teaches us the right ones.

On the Groupon Business Model Groupon’s emergence is another step in the Internet’s move toward ever-greater efficiency and transparency. That is good news for the strong players, but not so good for the weak. Consider the airline business….
Increased transparency has made the airline business more “efficient,” but now airplane seats are hard to sell on any basis other than price. In an effort to keep their headline prices low, airlines are tacking on surcharges for baggage, drinks, pillows and other items that once were free.

On Net Neutrality: The biggest problem with the net neutrality debate is that no one knows what they are talking about.

On  Net Neutrality Solutions: Legislation isn’t gong to solve them. Antitrust enforcement is probably the best solution.

On Internet privacy:  Internet privacy is basically a marketing problem.

If you are attending Saturday’s Summit, please bring your own quotes and questions to what is sure to be a lively and memorable discussion which is sure to include her views on the future of librarianship, knowledge, legal issues and the legal profession.