Convergence is a private multidisciplinary conference series for embodied intellectuals who share the common thread of living at odds with the ideological chaos of our modern world and who are committed to inventing a better future.
The theme of our fourth conference is Digital Freedom, which we'll explore through Web3-focused talks, discussions, and performances on decentralized power, alternative networks, creative collectives, and focused attention.
What to bring: pen, notebook, blanket, pillow, and anything else to make yourself comfortable. Snacks and beverages will be provided, and feel bring to bring your own as well.
This event is invite-only, but if there are others you think should be here, send them this event page. Note: this event page is unlisted, so if you have access to it, you are invited.
5:45-6pm: Opening Ceremony
6-6:50pm (Talk + Q&A): Justin Murphy (Other Life): Exit Everything
The old debate between Exit and Voice is over. Everywhere you look, power is exiting institutions: Monetary power is exiting central banks for Bitcoin, journalists are exiting media corporations for Substack, professors are exiting universities to teach online, social media is exiting the clearweb for community-owned darkwebs. Are these fads? Should we expect a re-consolidation of mainstream institutions? Should we aim for a re-consolidation of mainstream institutions? Justin argues there is a gradient to contemporary history and it points one way only: exit everything.
7-7:50pm (Talk + Q&A): Trent Gillham (Holium): DAOs and The Emergent State
A new system of governance and organization is emerging around us. It will be an open, decentralized system with feedback loops that address needs at human-scale. What are practical steps to facilitate the transition to this new world?
8-8:50pm (Talks + Performances): Endproject: DIY or Die
Independent creative work is rapidly outmoding former industry standards, but their institutional barriers have largely retained power undeterred by waning relevance. Despite empty promises by grifters and posers claiming to have identified and begun resolving these issues—despite numerous strides in the accessibility to independent creation and distribution—the glass ceiling persists and we are castrati on their stage. The solution is simple: get some friends, torch the theater, build your own stage, and pass out the blueprints. Members of Endproject will detail their journeys in their respective fields, discuss extant obstacles along with solutions informed by years of experience and both success and failure, and they will also feature a few brief musical performances.
9-9:30pm (Performance): Dean Berlinerblau (Modify): Maximal Listening
The emergence of the 'laptop musician' has undermined our traditional paradigms of how music is written, listened to, seen, and performed. Music no longer has to be 'played' live to be experienced live. Our conception of 'live', however, is deeply enmeshed in the ideological and material infrastructure of the attention economy, which manipulates us into chasing the breadcrumbs of our desires and distracts us from creating viable alternatives that are in alignment with the truth of who we are. Brian Eno famously said that ambient music is 'as ignorable as it is listenable', but Dean presents an inverted sound philosophy that leaves no opportunity for passive consumption: if ambient music is as ignorable as it is listenable, maximal music is as listenable as it is noticeable. Prepare to experience this philosophy in full force.
9:30-9:45pm: Closing Ceremony
Justin's work has appeared in IEEE Intelligent Systems, Foreign Affairs, International Studies Quarterly, and other peer-reviewed journals. He left academia in 2019 to write and teach on the internet full-time. Murphy publishes the Other Life newsletter and podcast from his home in Austin, Texas. Main themes are political theory, social science, crypto, Christianity, the creator economy, and how to sustain an academic career outside of institutions.
Trent is the Founder & CEO of Holium, a company building tools for DAOs on Urbit. In 2014, he started his career at General Electric building machine learning solutions for industry. After getting bored with the corporate world, he was head of product and engineering at White Whale, an AI startup in Canada. By 2019, he shifted focus away from artificial intelligence and started to work on decentralization, emergence theory, and human coordination. This ultimately led him to DAOs, Urbit, and the future.
Endproject is an art collective that has its origins in Texas but operates outside of distance or location. Emerging from the synthesis of loosely associated projects launched under the same umbrella in years prior, the group formally organized at the beginning of 2022. They are bridging physical and immaterial communities to circumvent the institutional old guard by establishing a new, decentralized model for independent creative efforts.
Dean is nearing the completion of writing his debut book-album, Modify: Revitalizing Originality In An Ideological World—the first ever book to begin and end with music—which develops a moral understanding of the evolution of consciousness and lays a new foundation for personal, interpersonal, and transpersonal healing and growth. His work is finding its most immediate applications in the psychedelics industry, which has him working five jobs across various psychedelic fields, including holistic healing, policy reform, event programming, personality research, and ethics consulting.