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Washington became one of the first states to legalize marijuana for recreational use in 2012. But there are a lot of challenges ahead: the state must set up a licensing system for marijuana growers and sellers, the federal government may mount a challenge, the need to set a new limit on amount of marijuana in the bloodstream for safe driving. And medical marijuana is still in the picture.Over the next several months we will be exploring the issue and tracking the impact of I-502.

Seattleites Invited To Get High And Talk Science

Blaise Agüera y Arcas at The Cloud Room.
Courtesy of The Goodship Academy of Higher Education/Eileen Namanny
Blaise Agüera y Arcas at The Cloud Room."

Seattle is a great city for lectures, and now there’s a new series to cater to “high minded” individuals who want to combine an interesting talk with a little marijuana.

Jody Hall, founder of Cupcake Royale and producer of marijuana edibles with The Goodship Company, believes our society is starving for human connection. She promotes the responsible use of marijuana as a conduit to community building.

To that end, she has inaugurated The Goodship Academy of Higher Education – a series of talks given to an audience of stoned people.

Their stated goal is “to present some of the most innovative, mind-bending, revolutionary and extraordinary ideas happening in art, technology, science and philosophy. And our intent is that both audience and speakers alike are ‘on the Goodship’ (stoned). We look at the world through a different lens when high, and we think that it is a fun and enlightening experiment to partner altered states with big ideas.”

To kick off the series, organizers invited a suitably mind-blowing speaker. Blaise Agüera y Arcas leads Google’s Machine Intelligence Group, so he ponders futuristic ideas on a daily basis. He calls this talk “Machine Intelligence and the Future of Work — Masculine and Feminine.” 

Agüera y Arcas starts with a brief history of machine intelligence leading up to the current state of the science and art. He then segues to reflections on work “in the age of its technological reproducibility” and what he sees as the inevitable need of wealth redistribution amidst the ghosts of Calvinism. He ends with statistics on women’s education and work that trend toward his prediction of the end of male dominance.

Whether or not you’re high, it’s a fascinating talk.

In Agüera y Arcas' previous work as an engineer at Microsoft, his focus included augmented reality, Bing mapping, wearable computing and natural user interfaces. 

He spoke at The Cloud Room in the first event of The Goodship Academy of Higher Education series on Sept. 16. The Goodship presented this talk in partnership with The Stranger and The Cloud Room. Thanks to Eileen Namanny and Will Ritthaler for our recording and to pianist Ron Weinstein for the musical interludes.

Correction 10/2/15: A previous version incorrectly stated the name of the organization. It is the Goodship Academy of Higher Education.

Year started with KUOW: 2006