Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Shimon Peres offers vision to bloggers at Le Web 3

Shimon Peres paid us a visit today at Le Web 3.
It was great to listen as the Nobel Prize winner developed his vision
of the future of mankind, declaring that "the world is not a mess. It
is pregnant: a new age is coming, marking the end of the stone age".
The experience of having Mr Peres here was just great and I will simply
give you a few of his most striking declarations here, some of which
are pretty radical:

"... we are moving from traditional memory to intellectual
imagination. The world is created through what people discover and
imagine today, not through the memory of past events. Bloggers and the
Internet community has freed the world from the obligation to remember.
Everything that needs to be known is available, recorded online, so now
we can turn the energy of our minds to the future, to imagination and

"I think young people will stop reading newspapers and watching
television. They will use the Internet to access information when and
where they want."

"States, countries, borders and governments don't mean that much
anymore. They made sense when wealth was derived from the land [...]
Past history is written in red ink, in blood [...] Borders do not stop
knowledge from flowing, armies cannot conquer knowledge and governments
cannot control economies [...]Today to be successful a young person
does not need to kill and conquer."

"Wealth is not defined by accumulation of capital, but by penetration.
It's not what a company owns that makes its value, but rather the
potential it holds to imagine, create and bring to life future

"The strength of a country cannot be counted in number of square miles it controls, but rather in number of patents it files."

"Modern economy cannot be run without transparency and decency, since a
company's value is its potential to create wealth, the talents of its

"Economy cannot be measured by bookkeepers. It needs people with sharp eyes who can identify potential."

"I met China's politburo recently. I was stunned by their current
philosophy, which is harmony: harmony between humans, harmony between
man and nature, harmony nation to nation [...] It felt like the time I
spent in a Kibboutz when I was young!"

"Democracy is the right to be different, the right to make mistakes and the obligation to correct them."

"I am an optimist. Optimists and pessimists die the same way, but they live very differently."

"Religions are opium for the people. You can sell opium, but you can't
live on it. Even the Ayatollahs need more than enriched uranium to feed
their children."

Extremely inspiring thoughts that actually brought some fresh air in a
conference that contains more than a fair share of gadgets, egos, masks
and sometimes complete bull-shit (although the content is often very
good). When asked what bloggers could do to help solve the problems of
the Middle-East, Shimon Peres paused and said "that's an interesting
question... Well, you should go there take initiatives, start
companies, build schools, open shops and create wealth... Do it on your
own, not under the flag of any government. People will welcome you with
open arms!"

Quite an invitation!

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