I don’t know what time attendees are showing up for ETech, but if you’re coming, and are tempted to skip the opening keynotes for dinner on Monday night, I have a word of advice: whatever you do, don’t miss Arthur Benjamin’s Secrets of Mental Math. I’ve seen this talk before, and it is truly amazing and inspiring. And it’s so totally in tune with the theme of this year’s ETech, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”
Arthur is one of the world’s fastest human calculators, and he demonstrates it with an astonishing “magic” act. But it’s not magic he uses. It’s a technique that anyone can learn (and that he explains and has written about in his book). As a demonstration of human capabilities, and a lesson in the power of knowledge, his talk has few parallels. You’ll be astonished. You’ll be envious. You’ll be on your feet clapping!