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Evernote CEO Phil Libin calls for augmented humanity at Oxford Union

Sam Shead | May 22, 2015
The Silicon Valley business leader claims the positives outweigh the negatives.

"People look smarter when they talk about the negatives," he said.

He highlighted how Evernote, now valued at over $1 billion, describes itself as a company that aims to build a second brain.

"That's literally trying to make people smarter using technology," in reference to the Evernote platform. "Trying to enhance the cognitive abilities of people - what members of the opposition would have you believe is very scary."

Prior to Libin's speech, the opposition had referred to Murphy's Law, which states that everything that can go wrong, will go wrong.

Libin's Law

In Libin's response, he coined his own law.

"The opposition talk very intelligently about Murphy's Lawbut there's an alternative to Murphy's Law, which I'd like to propose here. In fact, I would very much like for this from here on out, to be known as Libin's Law.

"It's the combination of Murphy's Law and Moore's Law. It says that the number of things that go wrong will roughly double every year and it's for this reason that we need technology and that we need augmentation."

Libin spoke alongside founder Michael Fertik and Circle founder Ali Parsa. The opposition team included regular Oxford Union debater Katherine Brooks; environmental consultant and academic Jerome Ravetz and ChargePoint SVP of sales Michael DiNucci.

Libin informed Techworld today that his team had won the motion.

Motion debated: "This house believes that humanity's augmentation with technology creates a better world".


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