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Monday, February 25, 2019

Spotlight on Geek Speak - Discussions on everything from Quantum Theory to Artificial Intelligence- Pen Dragon Reporting...

The quest for knowledge and understanding is one of the most noble endeavors we can embark upon. Many find their passion for learning in history, mathematics or the study of society and some delve into science. But what if your curiosity is more far reaching? What if you prefer to discuss theoretical possibilities, everything from Quantum theory to  Artificial Intelligence or even the future of money? If your desire is to learn and discuss a wide variety of interesting and intellectual topics with others who share your thirst, then Geek Speak is for you.

Geek Speak is a weekly discussion with a wide and varying range of topics. The discussion is held every Saturday at noon SLT and is sure to have a lively and in depth conversation on topics that range from surviving climate change, alien life, avoiding a collision with asteroids and understanding the future. The discussion is led by Erik Goff and organized by his close friends and team of Kathen Ohtobide and Vulcan Viper. For the last eight years these three have worked on various education programs, starting with their project Edutopia, teaching classes like Astronomy, Chinese and Portuguese.



The SL Enquirer had the opportunity to sit down with all three of the minds behind Geek Speak recently, what follows is that interview.

SLE: What drew you all to educational classes?
Erik Goff: Because I did everything else already in sl lol.  I,with the team, had casinos, building companies, a job agency, a bank....Edutopia basically started because |I had some free land and I wanted to give something back to the community.

SLE: What is each of your roles in producing Geek Speak?
Vulcan Viper: Erik is the one to craft the introductory text after we have decided on a topic.
Erik Goff: We do not have any defined roles.  Well, I am the chairman, but that is about it.  We just brainstorm a new subject each week and then discuss if it is suitable for the event.
Vulcan Viper: I do think we have roles, if not officially agreed upon. Just things we sort of ended up doing.
Erik Goff: For example, we will not do quantum physics, however interesting that may seem..  it is just that nobody in the public will have anything useful to say about the subject... at least, we thought so... because we tried it once and i was overwhelmed by the vast knowledge of the public.
Kathen Ohtobide: we try not to do things that are too technical and we try to stick to subjects that can be discussed. Some topics are very interesting but there is not much to discuss.
Erik Goff: Yes, and subjects that are in the actuality.  So for example; last week we did the 'rapid disappearing of insects worldwide.”

SLE: For the topics you discuss, do you spend a lot of time researching?
Erik Goff: I usually watch youtube a few hours about the subject before a geekspeak session.



SLE: What drives you to choose the topics that you choose?
Erik Goff: Well, I like to nudge the world into a better direction.  so fairly often I also will propose subjects that do just that. We try to stay out pure politics but we do a lot of economics discussions for example, or green energy.
Kathen Ohtobide: I tend to suggest simply the subjects I am interested in.
Erik Goff: Most geeks want, and ask for, more space subjects though. There will be no shortage of that the coming years.
Kathen Ohtobide: I suppose some subjects tend to keep coming back, we often do space and robots and AI. Although we do go off topic quite a bit when talking about it
Erik Goff: We have regulars of course, but basically someone can jump in and be entertained,  depending on this persons' geek level.

SLE: If you could tell the general public something about your discussion that they may not know, what would it be?
Erik Goff: I always notice that we have real geeks in our place.  People that usually would be very silent at parties. I am happy they get the chance to say something in our place.
Kathen Ohtobide: It helps if you like Star Trek? Just a joke!
Vulcan Viper: I'm known for referring to a Star Trek episode every so often.
Kathen Ohtobide: I think of GS as a place where we are all equal. Some people there have lots of qualifications and some have none, but we all have a voice.
Erik Goff: I would like them to talk along  so it would help if they read about the subject before the event  They never do , of course.People just want to be entertained and many are very knowledgeable about a lot of subjects. As I said before, I was very amazed at our one 'quantum physics'  events. About half of the people who attended know a whole lot about quantum physics.



Geek Speak offers a text led discussion where everyone is welcome and has a voice, making it a unique learning and sharing experience. If you would like to join the experience, watch for notices posted here in the SL Enquirer every Saturday morning with the subject of that day’s discussion and a landmark to attend. The event is sure to be informative and fun.

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