Voice and Exit Festival

I will be speaking at the Voice and Exit Festival in Austin, Texas, June 20-21. Voice and Exit is like a TED conference on steroids, an edgier, more radical TED. It looks like a lot of fun. Hope to see you there.

Here is a bit from V&A:

imageWe assemble those who ask: What are the systems and ways of life that are holding us back? What can we create to make those old ways obsolete? What innovations enable us to find wellbeing, life meaning and stronger connection to others? How can we live intentionally today so as to create that better future? Voice & Exit is an environment of exploration where we “criticize by creating” a better world.


It seems like new age, happy-clappy b#ll sh#t.
Not one of my better comments on this blog, but I felt it had to be said.

Good luck with your talk though.

Ooooo, an "edgy TED conference"

What tripe.


What an old-fashioned way to think that we need systemic change of thinking. Very Maoist/Stalinist:
“What are the systems and ways of life that are holding us back? What can we create to make those old ways obsolete?”
Next thing they'll suggest retraining camps.

>What an old-fashioned way to think that we need systemic change of thinking. Very Maoist/Stalinist.

Umm. The last two US Presidential elections were won by a guy who promised to "fundamentally transform America."

Fortunately, the only thing he managed to wreck was the healthcare system -- and possibly not irrevocably. The only unquestionably permanent damage he has done is overseas. Although granted, that almost always does come home to roost.

Anyway -- never underestimate the appeal of someone who says he wants to blow everything up. The future belongs to those who can manipulate the gullible.

To be fair, he also made the race relationships worse, according to polls.

I'm a little familiar with this conference (friends went last year) and watched some of the videos. Seems like they're the exact opposite.

To be fair to Alex, what do you suppose the ideological makeup is of the average TED presenter and audience? With a few exceptions (like Alex, for one), I suspect it runs the gamut from social democrats all the way to democratic socialists. Mitt Romney is probably too radical for these people. To me, there is nothing wrong with putting together a meeting of minds who fall a bit outside that rather narrow mainstream.

They seem to run the gamut from technocrats who know better than us if only we'd listen, to technocrats who know better than us so we'd better listen or else. Tabarrok should fit right in.

Yeah, but Alex is usually right.

"What are the systems and ways of life that are holding us back? What can we create to make those old ways obsolete?"

I think that keeping reproduction to the old heternormative model is holding us back and that we should put trillions of dollars into money to genetically engineer gametes so we can have same-sex reproduction.

Secondly, we need women in the Special Forces, so give the girls menstruation suppressing pills, as well as PEDs. I don't see what is morally wrong with that. We're trying win wars here.

"You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you mad." Aldous Huxley

Comment reminds of an old Army song from The VN war days.

"I want to be an airborne ranger.
I want to jump from big-assed planes.
I want to live a life of danger.
I got a lump of shit for brains."

X on steroids = unoriginal thinking. Or at least lazy writing.

Eh it's just a blog post.

I take comfort in the fact that these people probably have extinction-level TFR's.

It is cute that the cockroaches still think they will inherit Earth.

I hope you're using this platform to advocate for the benefits of open borders.

The conference description sounds like it's dancing around the question "How shall we liquidate the kulaks?"

Only by liquidating the kulaks can we create a New Soviet Man New Davos Man!

After clicking on the link and reading the promotion for the conference all I have to say is WOW. It almost reads like a satire of Silicon Valley, techno-liberatarian thinking. The clichés, the Utopian thinking, I thought I was reading the Onion.

First though, you read Prof. Tabarrok talking about the lots of fun he expects to have.

A radical experience of steriodal power, though edgier. Or something like that.

"It almost reads like a satire of Silicon Valley, techno-liberatarian thinking." There's a reason states and countries all over the world are trying to copy the Silicon Valley model: it works. Anything can be satirized, but satire isn't a serious form of argument. Growing the economy requires innovating and trying new things, and trying new things requires that you not listen to haters like the ones on this blog. (Teddy Roosevelt: "It is not the critic who counts... the credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena".) Silicon Valley has, by luck or design, a very low-hater culture, and that's what has allowed it to thrive.

OK, I read the conference website and yes, I guess it is a little bit woo. Whatever... TED and Burning Man are both pretty cool, so who knows how a fusion will turn out.

>How can we live intentionally today so as to create that better future?

Let me guess. Open up the borders and increase government spending?

Free abortions!

Free weed!

Tax the rich!

All-day pre-K!

Common Core!

Provide the developed ecoonomies" energy needs from Sol, Zephyros and unicorn farts!

Outlaw religion!

Taller buildings!

higher prices for Mexican folk art!

Wallmarts as far as the eye can see!

If people don't like it, they can always move to...oh crap.

Imagine the song imagine but with possessions too.

So basically imagine Yoko Ono.

Higher wages!

Higher unemployment benefits!

Full employment!

Larger unfunded mandates!

Free contraception!

Mandatory bisexuality!

Give illegals and felons the vote!

Free Bombs to "our gallant allies"!
Pakistan, yay! Iran, boo!
Wahabi, yay! Obama, boo!
Funding Sunni Teŕrorism, yay! Negotiating with Iran, boo!
"Four legs, good! Two legs, bad!"
I pledge allegiance to Israel and Saudi Arabia and the god they represent, with liberty and justice for all Conservative heterosexual males!


No intellectual arrogance on display here.

Please, this conference takes place during the solstice, a time of peace and love. Not to mention being on International Yoga Day.

A day proposed by a Hindu nationalist held in high regard at this web site for his economic policies, it must be noted - 'June 21 was declared as the International Day of Yoga by the United Nations General Assembly on December 11, 2014.[1] Yoga, a 6,000+-year-old physical, mental and spiritual practice having its origin in Bharat India, aims to transform body and mind. The declaration came after the call for the adoption of 21 June as International Day of Yoga by Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi during his address to UN General Assembly on September 27, 2014[2][3][4][5] wherein he stated:

"Yoga is an invaluable gift of India's ancient tradition. It embodies unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfilment; harmony between man and nature; a holistic approach to health and well-being. It is not about exercise but to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and the nature. By changing our lifestyle and creating consciousness, it can help us deal with climate change. Let us work towards adopting an International Yoga Day."' http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Yoga_Day

See, just like a TED talk, but edgier.

I'm going to start coming up with a new edgy name for the next newer edgier Voice and Exit Festival. Give it six years? Three and a half?

The Five Year Plan

The Five Year Proposal... That you can't refuse.

The Holodomor. Or, just "Holodomor." You could tell people it's an ancient Senegalese term that means "healing."

Wow, haters gonna hate.

Yep, that's us, destroying environments of exploration where we “criticize by creating” a better world.

Or was that the other way round?

Seems more productive than complaining about the Mercatus Center, at least.

But not as satisfying, I fear. And what else could he do with all that envy? If all you have is a hammer...

Adorable the delusional left winger is turning on the self-pitying one. Things are bad when Riberio thinks you are bad for the brand.

"The Church of TED has a Competitor"

"Strangely, to me anyways, is that these look pretty much like EST from the late 70’s and early 80’s. Beautiful people were running off to those just as they are running off to these weird revivals today. The fact that no one ever mentions the similarities says something, I suspect, about our increasingly hostile relationship with the past.

Maybe Cowen falls for this bullshit, maybe not. It is hard to know. He’s getting paid to decorate their roster and thus fleece more people out of their money. It’s possible he pretends to go along with it just for the money. But, Paul Krugman writes batshit crazy stuff all the time because he believes it. The answer is not always obvious."

-- The Z Man at Z Blog

He's right you know.

Tabarrock. Not Cowen.

I liked the doctor guy (Kruse) who, on his blog, blames excess exposure to "blue light" for all manner of ills.

The MR authors earn no praise for attempting to be above-it-all by limiting snark and partisanship. It just earns them ire and accusations of being weasels who pretend everything is OK. Or something like that. The commenters here are a lot more hostile than at De Long's blog (e.g.), even though he's more shameless about "playing dirty."

Radical my ass.

Are these systems holding us back, or preventing our fall into the abyss? How can you tell the difference?

Why is life meaning necessary? Would we be better off not "needing" to find meaning and instead getting on with our lives?

How is a stronger connection to others an improvement?

Is well-being measured by the standards of WEIRD (white/educated/industrialized/rich/democratic) psychology? Why do you expect it to apply to humanity as a whole?

I know it is an old saying, but, "The road to hell is paved with good intentions" comes to mind. This crowd of TED drinkers and techo-libertarian evangelists may contain some rather smart and successful people however it seems they have acquired arrogance much faster than wisdom.

So this is what they're calling Grindr meetups now.

Just reading about this makes me feel edgy and avant-garde. Imagine if I actually bought tickets!

Tickets are the system that is holding you back.

If he was really edgy he would just crash it.

"Things are bad when Riberio thinks you are bad for the brand."
It is funny how rightists can only think in terms of collective "thought"... The Borg Collective can't understand why one would refuse to follow Rush Limbaugh's latest marching orders.
"Four legs, good. Two legs, bad."
Wahabi, good for the brand ( https://my2bucks.files.wordpress.com/2009/01/bush-saudi-hand-holding-1.jpg ). Obama, bad for the brand.
Saudi Arabia, yay. America, boo.
Our dear allies funding terrorism and hiding bin Laden, yay. Europeans, boo.

Just curious: how many historians plan to attend this particular futurist convocation? (Do historians routinely visit futurist conferences?)
Will any unambiguous metric of "success" be provided at the event's conclusion? (or can we anticipate already that future events will all be "holistic" and lack the old fashioned "introduction, elucidation, conclusion" format we've grown so used to?)
Isn't temporal sequence merely a stale, outmoded idea? Don't we continue to rely overmuch on solar and lunar cycles?

'Don’t we continue to rely overmuch on solar and lunar cycles?'

Of course not - this conference is being held on the solstice.

I will be somewhat impressed should the Austineers prove their ability to levitate Stonehenge on that day and return it to earth without one megalith slipping one millimeter. (Impossible to believe that the distance between Wiltshire and Travis County could pose any problem for this demonstration.)

One 'system' that is holding us back is the system of tenure in colleges and public schools that is choking up the ranks of teachers and professors with old people who have no original ideas and instead act as a force for the status quo and 'consensus'.

Science and innovation are a young person's game. Go look at the average age of field medal recipients in mathematics. Or the age at which nobel prize winners in the hard sciences did the work that led to their nobels (sometimes the award dozen come for years or decades after).

We had an explosion in colleges and schools in the 1950's to the 1970's to accommodate the baby boom. That meant lots of young professors and young teachers. Today, many of those same profs and teachers are still around, while the young dynamic minds get turned away, used as cheap research labor, or don't even bother trying to make it in academia because the old guard won't get out of the way and won't tolerate new ideas.

Get rid of tenure. Anyone who thinks it protects professors against persecution for their ideas hasn't been paying attention. Instead, tenure has become a tool for the establishment to maintain its established status regardless of levels of accomplishment or value.

Somehow, I don't think you'll hear that message at any TED talk. Too many gray haired profs involved.

Richard Fink might agree with this, as he is a man that gave up tenure at GMU, making him at least a soi-distant colleague of Prof. Tabarrok -

'Fink received a B.A. in economics from Rutgers University, an M.A. in economics from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a Ph.D. in economics from New York University.[2] Between 1980 and 1986, Fink was on the economics faculty at George Mason University,[4] where he was the founder and director of the Center for Market Processes, which later became the Mercatus Center. Under his leadership, during the 1980s, George Mason was a center of Austrian Economics.[5]

Relationship with Charles Koch

In the late '70s, Richard Fink met Charles Koch to discuss founding a research center devoted to teaching Austrian economics thought at Rutgers. Fink met with Koch in Wichita and planned what became the Mercatus Center in 1999.[6]

Koch Industries

Fink serves as an executive vice president of Koch Industries, Inc. He is also chairman and CEO of Koch Companies Public Sector, LLC, which provides legal and government and public affairs services to Koch Industries and its affiliate.[2] He is on the board of directors of Koch Industries Inc., Georgia-Pacific and Flint Hills Resources, LLC.

Koch Family Foundations

Fink is a member of the boards of directors and President of the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation and the Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation. He is also on the board of the Fred C. and Mary R. Koch Foundation.

Board memberships

Fink served on the board of trustees of the Democratic Leadership Council.' http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Fink

Personally, the idea that a former GMU Econ dept. prof served on the DLC always shows what a fantasy the American right/left framework is - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democratic_Leadership_Council

Alex, I hope you're getting a piece of the gate. I'd hate to think these charlatans are both shaking down the attendees and shaking down the help.

Prof Wagstaff's likening this charade to the EST seminars of the late 70's and early 80's rings true. Let's hope the doors aren't blocked and the restrooms remain available.

From the seminar's promotional website: "Politics is obsolete. Human flourishing depends on peaceful cooperation among people who, though they may be different, share ideas to make the world a better place. In this way, we think beyond politics. The era of force is passing away. An era of cooperation and connection has just begun."

Cooperation and connection: aside from the notion that declaring politics obsolete is tantamount to declaring human nature obsolete, is this just not an unsubtle way to signal dissent will not be welcomed?

"The era of force is passing away. An era of cooperation and connection has just begun.”

This sounds like far out left stuff, not libertarian, which is widely considered a right-wing phenomenon. And yet it's not. How to square this circle? Acknowledge that New Left thinking (of the broadly humanist type, not Black Power et al.) is now overwhelmingly found on the libertarian "right."

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