The Idea Night 2012 Line Up

Reservations for Idea Night on March 6 are open and filling quickly. Visit the Athenaeum’s website to reserve your spot now. So without further ado, here are the speakers who will be competing in this year’s Forum Idea Night:

  • Technological Future: When Humans Become God, Sean McQueen Humankind is on a path of explosive technological growth that will take us to some point in the future in which we become omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient. At this future point, we'll merge into one being who is the complete master of the universe: together, we're going to become God. Both serious and comical, this talk will feature a careful explanation of the technological God theory including 1) an outline of the path towards this point, 2) examples of emerging technologies taking us down the path, and 3) a lot of philosophy about the choices we will face as a species.
  • A New Era for CMS Athletics, Jen Ringoen Being a CMS sports fan is complicated: are we cheering for the Stags? The Athenas? The Stagthenas?  The whole idea of a mascot is to create a sense of unity and team spirit, and multiple emblems isn't helping things. Besides that, the cartoonish depictions of our "beloved" mascots are more cause for embarrassment than pride. That's why it's time for an all-new CMS mascot. The change would reap psychological, economic, and cultural benefits to all, including a new market for “vintage apparel,” the building of a new athletic complex that would facilitate the transition, and the question of sexism finally being put to rest.  With all these benefits, it is easy to see that it’s time to say farewell to the “Stagthenas” for good.
  • Why Eating Bugs Can Save the World: The Case for Entomophagy, Max Zipperman Currently, livestock production accounts for 70% of land allocated to agriculture. As meat consumption in developing nations rises, quickly matching that of developed countries, we will be forced to allocate more land to livestock production, further decreasing that amount that might be designated for crops, and resulting in rampant deforestation. The impending meat crisis will necessitate establishing alternative protein sources, as world meat consumption has increased three fold in the past 40 years, and is expected to double from its current rates by 2050. Max, CMC's resident entomophagist, will argue how eating insects will save the world and how insects are more nutritious than comparable "conventional" meats like pork, beef, and chicken-containing double the protein and calcium per 100g of food, while still containing comparable calorie counts.
  • Fly Me to the Moon (and beyond), Nadeem Farooqi Nadeem will argue that the United States should establish a cooperative space venture program with any and all countries willing and able to assist in exploring, developing, and colonizing deep space. Advances in technology have made space colonization not only possible, but inevitable - it is only a question of when humanity begins its ascent. He will present 2 main ideas: that space colonization is possible (and profitable) and that Space colonization is essential for humanity's survival. According to Nick Bostrom, approximately 1 trillion potential human lives are lost per second of delayed colonization. Increasing the total carrying capacity of our galaxy (and the entire universe) would provide the opportunity for prosperity and livelihood for new generations. It would also add to technological innovations that can greatly increase life expectancy and quality for everyone. Biotechnology, life-support systems, and energy sustainability would all be positive by-products of this cooperative effort.
  • Rolling in the Dough: How to Write a #1 Single in 2012, Dan Evans How do some songs reach #1 while others never make it out of obscurity?  This presentation will attempt to determine some of the factors that allow a single to reach stardom.  He will begin by breaking down the Billboard #1 Singles from 2011 and thus far in 2012, analyzing them by genre, lyrical content, music theory, and production techniques.  Each of these is an ingredient to success, and all that is left to be determined is the exact recipe in which to use them to create a chart-topping hit.  He will explain some statistical analysis of the ingredients of past hit singles, and then will lead the audience through the creation of a "hook" for a #1 single… maybe someone at CMC can create the next big hit!