The Second Machine Age Comes to DC This Week

Just a quick note to let Washingtonians know about two happenings in their city this week. I find them interesting not because I’m speaking at them, but rather because of the people I’m speaking with.

Tonight from 5:30 to 7 I’m sitting down to talk with Prof. Amitai Etzioni at George Washington University about “the effects of the coming digital revolution;” the event is free and open to the public, and details are here. I’m going to use this opportunity to play interviewer myself and ask Prof. Etzioni how a communitarian thinks about the second machine age and the opportunities and challenges it brings. If you’re geekiness extends to the subjects of technology, policy, economics, and/or political philosophy, I think you’ll enjoy the conversation a lot, especially because it’ll include audience members.

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On Saturday afternoon the IMF, as part of its anniversary celebration, is bringing together an all-star panel to talk about “IMF 70 Years Later: Reflections and Looking Ahead.” The Fund’s managing director Christine Lagarde will participate, as will Madeleine Albright, Peter Ho from Singapore, and my friends Bob Gordon and John Lipsky. Ali Veishi will moderate (I wonder if he’ll try to stoke the ongoing debate about tech progress and innovation I’ve been having with Bob or suppress it).

We’re at George Washington University’s Lisner Auditorium from 3:45 to 5 on Saturday, and a live webcast will also be available. If you’re nearby please do come; I can promise you an informative, informed, and lively discussion.

As these events show, the conversation in our nation’s capital is starting to include the topic of rapid technological progress and its consequences. I find this very good news…