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Seb Paquet
Worked at Sceneverse, Inc.
Attended Université de Montréal
Lives in Montreal
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Seb Paquet

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+Chloe Waretini​ revealing the secret sauce of Enspiral in Montreal
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The question is no longer 'If' the world will have abundant cheap energy - the question is 'When'. The other question is "Are we ready to enact a fundamental change in Geopolitics?"
Stanford Professor Mark Z. Jacobson and other researchers have calculated how to meet each state's new power demands using only the renewable energies of wind, solar, geothermal, hydroelectric, and tiny amounts of tidal and wave available to each state. (Vaclav Volrab / Shutterstock) ...
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So, late last year, a bunch of kindred spirits decided that it would be a good idea to gather in person and see the sparks fly. 

What kind of kindred spirits? Those are folks who seek to delve deeper into the nature of the systems we inhabit and have come to rely on; people who don't quite buy into what we are being sold; ones who play by different rules, who envision things that do not exist yet.

Basically, women and men who hold hope for the future and are crazy enough to want to take an active role in shaping it. 

A few years ago these folks began finding each other and assembled into a fantastic, high-signal, low-noise online community called the Next Edge. The group found me, too. And now, we are gathering in person! A core group of volunteers has come together to make it happen; I am part of that group. 

We're doing this, and we're doing it in Montreal. This month. So:

* On SATURDAY, JUNE 13, the first International Next Edge Summit will be held in Montreal! *

The event is open to everyone who has been seeking the next edge! 

I'm excited about the people who are coming together for this occasion. We're having folks over who are on the next edge of economics, food, health, collaboration, organizational structure, education - to name just a few themes. Here's a small sample:

* +Christine Egger from Tennessee (USA) who works at Neighborhood Economics, which is accelerating the flow of capital through neighborhoods across a network of small towns and cities.

* +Arthur Brock from Woodstock (NY), who started Emerging Leader Labs, designed an educational model for self-organizing schools that is spreading rapidly called Agile Learning Centers, and is building a distributed computing infrastructure to build new wealth.

* Barbara Ganley, who is working to help the Vermont nonprofit community develop a storytelling network/exchange/community of practice to share process, practice, & expertise in storytelling-for-change.

* +Anna Betz from London (UK), who cofounded the School of Commoning, and is bringing together health care systems and community.

* +Flemming Funch from Toulouse (France), my magical wildcard, who tells the most astounding stories and never runs out of wise things to say; a man to whom words can not do justice.

* +Michelle Holliday from Montreal (Canada), who has worked extensively on organizations as living systems and thrivability. 

* +George Pór from London (UK), a collective intelligence practitioner with a focus on taking self-management to scale and an uncanny ability to ask powerful questions.

* +Chloe Waretini from Christchurch (New Zealand), a 21st-century community weaver, designer and participation geek who is innovating at the edge of the future of work, human organisation and re-making cities. And a Catalyst with the fascinating  Enspiral collaboration network, makers of +Loomio among other things.

What a pleasure it will be to spend time with so many women and men who have consistently impressed me with their wit, wisdom, presence and boldness of vision! But, truth be told, what makes me more excited than the individuals who are coming is the interpersonal dynamics I expect there to be at the event - the VIBE. Many of our guests are well-versed in the art of knowing how to listen, and how to speak from a deep place. Combine that with an event design that leaves room for magic, and I’m quite certain we will be on the next edge of gatherings.

In the morning of the Summit, we will have people share rich stories having to do with deep change, and facilitated conversations around those stories. In the afternoon, participants will support each other on their projects using an efficient collaborative process called the Project Kitchen. There will be an Open Space session running through the day. And in the evening, we will have a music jam (bring your instruments) and a party!

And that’s not all! In addition to the main event, three satellite events are open to all:

* On June 10, a workshop called Building Soulful Organizations - Montreal 2015, led by George Pór;
* On June 11, a free presentation and Q&A on the inner workings of the Enspiral Network, led by Chloe Waretini;
* On June 11 also, an Enspiral Immersive workshop, also led by Chloe Waretini.

*

I’ve personally invested tremendous energy and intention into this. I must say it is quite a growth experience to go through the effort of putting this together in a collaborative manner with a team of volunteers scattered around the world across half a dozen time zones. I have gone through a vast palette of emotions and have been learning lots about my strengths and my current limitations. 

I am grateful to be deepening friendships through learning to ask for help. My Montreal tribe of awesome edgling friends - Julie, Hugo, Sarah, Juan Carlos, Mélissa, Andrew, Michele, Clément, Helene, Solomon, Rachel, Tex, Jessica, and the list is growing, is coming together beautifully to help all the zeppelins land and make everyone feel delightfully at home. 

I think the whole experience is transforming me - but it’s going so fast that I’m just not sure exactly who I’m turning into!
 
Intrigued? Maybe reading this raised your eyebrows a bit higher than usual or got your heart beating a bit faster? Does this event feel like your kind of thing? If so, I strongly suggest you check out the event website at http://thenextedge.is/summit and consider joining us!

And if you think some of your friends might enjoy taking part in this one-of-a-kind convergence, if you think gatherings like this need to exist, or you just feel like helping me out, please share this post to get the word out!

http://thenextedge.is/summit 
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It's going to be a really good event... and great group of people coming. :)
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Fascinating
 
Pretending to work

In Europe, long-term unemployment is such a big problem that people are starting to work at fake companies, without pay — just to keep up their skills! 

There are over 100 such companies.  This article focuses on one called Candelia:

Ms. de Buyzer did not care that Candelia was a phantom operation. She lost her job as a secretary two years ago and has been unable to find steady work. Since January, though, she had woken up early every weekday, put on makeup and gotten ready to go the office. By 9 a.m. she arrives at the small office in a low-income neighborhood of Lille, where joblessness is among the highest in the country.

While she doesn’t earn a paycheck, Ms. de Buyzer, 41, welcomes the regular routine. She hopes Candelia will lead to a real job, after countless searches and interviews that have gone nowhere.

“It’s been very difficult to find a job,” said Ms. de Buyzer, who like most of the trainees has been collecting unemployment benefits. “When you look for a long time and don’t find anything, it’s so hard. You can get depressed,” she said. “You question your abilities. After a while, you no longer see a light at the end of the tunnel.”

She paused to sign a fake check for a virtual furniture supplier, then instructed Candelia’s marketing department — a group of four unemployed women sitting a few desks away — to update the company’s mock online catalog. “Since I’ve been coming here, I have had a lot more confidence,” Ms. de Buyzer said. “I just want to work.”

In Europe, 53% of job seekers have been unemployed for over a year.  In Italy, the numbers is 61%.   In Greece, it's 73%.

All this makes me wonder — yet again — what will happen if robots and computers push people out of many kinds of jobs, creating a lot of long-term unemployment.  If we don't adapt wisely, what should be a good thing could be a source of misery.
Training at pretend companies is being used to fight long-term unemployment, one of the most pressing problems to emerge from Europe’s long economic crisis.
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And depressing.
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We’re in the midst of a jobs crisis, and rapid advances in AI and other technologies may be one culprit. How can we get better at sharing the wealth that technology creates?
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#NextEdge2015  
Next Edge Summit - Montreal, June 13, 2015
http://thenextedge.is/summit
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Memories — written on your DNA?

How does long-term memory work?  It involves many changes in your brain, from changes in how strongly individual neurons talk to each other, to the actual birth of new neurons.  But one fascinating possibility involves the DNA in your neurons!

See those glowing dots?  Those are methyl groups, consisting of a carbon and 3 hydrogens.  They can attach to certain locations in your DNA and prevent genes from being expressed.  This is called DNA methylation, and it's important part of the system you use to turn genes on and off.

These methyl groups can even be transmitted from parent to child!  For example, in one recent experiment, mice that were given a shock after smelling a certain chemical learned to fear this smell... and this trait was passed down to their children and grandchildren — apparently by means of DNA methylation!

All this makes evolution more interesting than people had thought.   Perhaps we can inherit traits our parents acquired during their lives!

Given all this, it's natural to ask: does DNA methylation play a role in memory?

There are hints that the answer is yes.  For example, scientists gave some mice an electric shock and others not.  They looked at whether a specific gene in the mice's neurons was methylated.   It was more methylated in the shocked mice... and this lasted for at least a month.

What was this gene?  It's the gene for a protein called calcineurin, which is thought to be a 'memory suppressor'.  More precisely, calcineurin tends to prevent the neurons from forming stronger connections between each other. 

So: the mice responded to an electric shock by attaching methyl groups to their DNA.  This reduced the production of calcineurin, which tends to prevent the brain from forming new connections.   So, their brains could more easily build new connections. 

And all this happened in a specific location of the brain: the anterior cingulate cortex, which is important for rational thinking in humans, and something similar in mice.

This is just one of many experiments people are doing to understand the role of DNA methylation in memory.   And DNA methylation is just one of the ways a cell can control which of its genes get expressed!  There's a whole subject, called epigenetics, which studies these control systems. 

You could say that epigenetics is a way for cells to learn things during their lives.  When you move to a hot climate, and then your body "gets used to" the heat — sweating less and so on — that's epigenetics at work. So, maybe it's not surprising that epigenetics is also important for how the brain learns things.

Here's a nice article on the role of epigenetics in memory:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epigenetics_in_learning_and_memory

and here's one about the role of DNA methylation:

• Jeremy J. Day and J. David Sweatt, DNA methylation and memory formation, Nature Neuroscience 13 (2010), 1319–1323.  Available for free at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3130618/

The memory experiment I described is here:

• Courtney A. Miller et al, Cortical DNA methylation maintains remote memory, Nature Neuroscience 13 (2010), 664–666. Available for free at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3043549/

The experiment on learned associations being transmitted from one generation of mice to the next is here:

• Brian G. Dias and Kerry J. Ressler, Parental olfactory experience influences behavior and neural structure in subsequent generations, Nature Neuroscience 17 (2014), 89–96. 

You've gotta pay to read it, but there's a summary here:

• Ewen Callaway, Fearful memories haunt mouse descendants, Nature News (2013).  Available for free at http://www.nature.com/news/fearful-memories-haunt-mouse-descendants-1.14272

If you want to learn more about how epigenetics can pass information from one generation to the next, start here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transgenerational_epigenetics

A nice quote from Joseph Springer and Dennis Holley's book An Introduction to Zoology:

Lamarck and his ideas were ridiculed and discredited. In a strange twist of fate, Lamarck may have the last laugh. Epigenetics, an emerging field of genetics, has shown that Lamarck may have been at least partially correct all along. It seems that reversible and heritable changes can occur without a change in DNA sequence (genotype) and that such changes may be induced spontaneously or in response to environmental factors — Lamarck's "acquired traits". Determining which observed phenotypes are genetically inherited and which are environmentally induced remains an important and ongoing part of the study of genetics, developmental biology, and medicine.

There's a huge amount of stuff to learn in these areas, and it's pretty intimidating to me, since I'm just getting started, and it will probably never be more than a hobby.  But here's some more stuff:

Changes in how strongly individual neurons talk to each other are called synaptic plasticity:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synaptic_plasticity

These include long-term potentiation, meaning ways that two neurons can become more strongly connected:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Long-term_potentiation

and also long-term depression, where they become less strongly connected:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Long-term_depression

A basic rule of thumb is that "neurons that fire together, wire together".  But there's a lot more going on....

#spnetwork doi:10.1038/nn.2560 #epigenetics #memory  
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We understand genetics plays a role in passing genes on to descendants. It will be fascinating to understand the electro chemical details of why this happens and how best to chemically manipulate this process for the good (hopefully) of mankind. It's logical that these methyl groups and genes contained in the sperm and egg of parents would naturally be within the the developing fetus. Ultimately this research will allow science the ability to erase bad memories and exchange the bad memories with good. In a controlled process. This will bring the terms of lying, truth and morality to a different place. An act that one committed, can be honestly stated that they had nothing to do with because their memory of the act had been erased. Which can be good or bad. Negatively, a person who steals will have no memory of the theft and will easily pass a "lie detector" test.
A good aspect of this research will be, a person suffering from emotional trauma will be able to completely forget the trauma. Children suffering their parents divorce, military post traumatic stress or any level other abuse that is real or harmless acts, that were manifested to hysteria from the sensationalize to profit, corporate sponsored media, will be completely forgotten as though it never happened. This will be bad for social emotional counselors, who will be put out of business and have to retrain. Years of trauma will be completely eliminated with a single doctors appointment. Another positive will be the ability to increase memory and retention. Ultimately let's hope the CIA, DARPA and Freescale shares the government funded medical electro chemical contractor information that their various contract awardees develop. This research will modify the "who we are" and how we emotionally feel as human beings. Which will profoundly change our behavior and legislative needs.
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A piece of the action at the E-180 Brain Dating spot at the C2 Conference in Montreal
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Education
  • Université de Montréal
    Ph.D. Computer Science, 2003
  • Université de Montréal
    B.Sc. Physics, 1997
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Birthday
October 1
Story
Bragging rights
I coined the phrase "Ridiculously Easy Group-Forming".
Work
Occupation
Culture Hacker
Employment
  • Sceneverse, Inc.
    VP & Social Alchemist
  • National Research Council of Canada
    Research Officer
  • Socialtext, Inc.
  • Téluq-UQAM
    Professor
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Montreal
Previously
moncton - hull, qc - vancouver, bc