Teachers. I want to offer my single most important take away from the Juniata Transhumanism Conference 2015. Teachers are amazing creatures. I’ll post much more after my mind comes down from way too much time in my car, but for now I want to tell a story that finally, and completely, etched into me the lasting value of teachers.
Don Braxton, the someone or other Professor of Religious Studies at Juniata College, hosted this conference on the future of the technological human. Very interesting to spend 5 days among religion teachers, athethiests, geeks, brilliant kids too and assorted retired, 80 year old engineers. The fact that they listened to and valued my “uneducated” streams of consciousness speaks worlds. But back to Don and Alison.
Alison Earnhart graduated in 07, I think. She was and is a student of Don. She basically teaches geek studies in Austin. Hacking, making and exploring with tech kids. She is one of those brilliant leaders changing engineering education from the lecture halls and memorization of the past to a journey of exploration, failures and learning from those failures. I have no doubt that one or more of her students will change the world.
Alison and Don, her former teacher, met at a conference a few years back and had the germ of an idea for this Transhumanism, H+, conference. They planned it and pulled together the finest meeting of minds which I have ever had the honor to attend. A simple teacher and the product of his life’s work now working together to facilitate more inquiry, more learning, a better future. We often hear of teachers impact on the future but rarely is it so perfectly laid in front of our eyes.
Teachers. They may not be the doers. They may not make the great discoveries. They may not create jobs, directly. They DO the hard work of nurturing, creating the future.
This conference featured many talks on preservation of the mind. Uploading ourselves if you will. Talks on immortality via technological means and of course the moral implications. But my one takeaway.
Teachers are amazing creatures that are already immortal.