An old friend of mine touched base a couple of months back, wondering if I’d like to do some writing for Brain Bar Budapest. My first question was: for Brain-what?
As freelancers tend to do, I said yes. They were looking for blog posts about the festival’s speakers – quick hits, mostly: some background, an interview, and (ideally) interesting copy.
I didn’t get to go to Brain Bar Budapest in early June, but they put on a great show, looks like. And I got to talk with (or email with), and then write a bit about, some fascinating and diverse people.
Among the posts included: writer and political analyst Virginia Postrel, on the essence and importance of glamour; the transhumanist presidential candidate Zoltan Istvan; Johns Hopkins University scientist Alex Szalay, whose work in big data (and astrophysics) is helping usher in the fourth paradigm of science; Gabriel Hallevy, a legal scholar on the potential dark side of the rise of robots; “Undercover Economist” Tim Harford; propaganda-and-science-fiction scholar Etienne Augé; Harvard machine learning PhD candidate Victoria Krakovna on the existential risk artificial intelligence may pose; Austrian ceramicist and humanity-archivist Martin Kunze; Malaysian-born entrepreneur Cheryl Yeoh; and MinecraftEdu cofounder Santeri Koivisto, among others.