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What will it take to bootstrap a Golden Age?

March 13, 2021 at 11:00 pm SMT

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In his latest Interintellect Salon, Visakan Veerasamy will lead a discussion about how we might be able to catalyze productive intellectual scenes in our modern age.


“Why are some periods and places so astonishingly more productive than the rest?” – in his 1997 essay “The problem of excess genius,” David Banks argued that this is the most important question that we can ask of historians. Well – what’s the answer?


Think of Athens in the age of Pericles. The Baghdad House of Wisdom in the era of Al-Khwarizmi. Florence in the time of Leonardo and Michelangelo. London in the time of Shakespeare and Bacon. 1900s Vienna. What made them so special? How were they funded? How was the culture developed and spread? And, frustratingly, how and why did the magic eventually fade?


Surely, the better we understand how it all happened, the better positioned we will be to make it happen again!


In this Salon, let’s ask and explore:

  • What are the factors that determine these illustrious periods of history?
  • Can we deliberately recreate such conditions for ourselves, and/or our successors? How?
  • What are the constraints that keep us from achieving an unprecedented age of enlightenment?
  • Are there any errors in the existing analysis of how these Golden Ages came to be?
  • How can we get more people interested in these questions?


Our best work as a species is surely not behind us. ???? – Salon host Visakan Veerasamy


Recommended reading:

(Image source: Javier Romano)


Time zones:

11pm in Singapore
7 am in San Francisco
10 am in New York
3 pm in London
4 pm in Berlin
830pm in Bangalore


Free entry for community members. Donating is possible – see here.

We have many more cool Interintellect events coming up – see here.

Waiting list for the community – see here.


March 13, 2021
11:00 pm SMT
Salon Category: