The month of May looks to be filled with events -- many of them asking variations on the same question: who am I?
On May 1, I'll be at the Internet Identity Workshop, put together by Kaliya Hamlin, Doc Searls and Phil Windley. The event runs through May 3, but I'll only be able to make the first day. The agenda looks good -- and the logo is brilliant.
As I mentioned earlier, May 5 and 6 finds me at the Metaverse Roadmap Project. The timing looks to be perfect for an event on this subject, as virtual worlds have hit the mainstream zeitgeist. I got a chance to talk for a bit with Robin Harper of Linden Lab (makers of Second Life) at a project I worked on for the Institute for the Future this week; I really should take the time to download and investigate Second Life. Its current participation numbers -- around 200,000 people, according to Robin -- pale in comparison to the 8 million people in World of Warcraft, but we Mac (and Linux) users know that numbers aren't everything.
Coincidentally, my friend James Hughes (director of the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies, among his many affiliations and titles) sent me a link to MMOGChart.com, noting that the participation rate in virtual worlds is on a classic exponential curve. He tossed out a term I'll make certain to use at MVRP: the MMOGularity.
But no rest for the wicked: Meshforum 2006 starts on May 7, running through May 9. I had the distinct pleasure of speaking at the first Meshforum, which took place last year in Chicago. Luckily, this year's meeting is in San Francisco. I'll be at this one, too, on a panel with Howard Greenstein and Christopher Allen, talking about breaking networks. Jon Lebkowsky will be there, as well, along with Robert Scoble and Karen Stephenson. Should be fun.
Spaces are still available.
The subsequent Saturday, May 13, will find me at the Singularity Summit, held at Stanford University. A single day conference (thankfully) where I'll be a guest, not a speaker (thankfully), the line-up for the shindig includes both long-time Singularitarians and long-time skeptics and critics. I'm particularly interested in seeing what the reaction is to McKibben; I expect this to be a largely Singularity-friendly crowd. Will they give him a fair hearing?
May 20th is the wedding of a dear friend, Iona Mara-Drita, and her delightful partner, Tom Berger. Congratulations are in order, of course, and I expect few of the reception conversations to include the phrases "metaverse," "singularity" or "nanoengineering."
Finally (!), May 27 and 28 will find me at the Human Enhancement Technologies and Human Rights conference, once again at Stanford. Put together in part by the IEET, the meeting will explore many of the social, cultural and legal implications of various scenarios -- current and projected -- of technologically enhanced human capabilities. I will probably be speaking on the second day. Registration is still open for the conference, and there's a free public reception on the evening of Friday, May 26.