Fran Ontanaya

Editor - Multilingual Publishing, Freelance
Valencia Spain, Spain

About Fran

Bio

I'm a polymath guy, strandred professional from the publishing world, embarked in the task of inventing himself in a place and time where the right path failed a whole generation. Terribly curious about developing science, social dynamics, philanthropy and a million other areas of knowledge. Secretly planning to start businesses in every area with a problem worth solving. I learned at the film school about narrative constructions in all fields of life; found how little publishing can resemble the curation and divulgation of essential ideas; started to talk to people about the future of ebook self publishing when it still sounded crazy; brought text science to blogging through my own code; promoted the automation of identifying digital documents; spent countless hours writing fiction on the side.

Languages

Catalan, English, Spanish

Areas of Expertise

Publishing, Web & Design, Writing

An idea worth spreading

Modern progress may require more often than not to have a thousand people working on problems only one individual will succeed at solving. For our future economy to work we may have to realize that you can't just sit and expect to hire just the one. The more people we make work to solve them --brilliant people from all around the world--, the sooner we'll make those unvaluable discoveries.

I'm passionate about

Writing, entrepeneurship, future of publishing, transhumanism, art and design, web, space exploration, global issues, cyberpunk, free education

Talk to me about

Small changes with landslide effects, using technology to raise standards of life, simple solutions to costly problems, ethics and game theory, personality and teamwork.

People don't know I'm good at

Lateral and out of the box thinking, finding points of view, complex problems, written communication, anticipating people's train of thoughts.

Favorite talks

Comments & conversations

171111
Fran Ontanaya
Posted over 1 year ago
Should we support national legislations for mandatory, free of charge and confidential HIV testing of everyone who does blood test?
AIDS denialism is the actual dangerous willing ignorance, and its impact is causing real deaths. I'm sure some groups will always be tempted to link AIDS to some behaviours, while the fact that monkeys were close enough to us genetically to transfer the virus is uncomfortable to the same interests. More information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AIDS_denialism
171111
Fran Ontanaya
Posted over 1 year ago
Palestine 194 – a country in statu nascendi?
I can't comment in depth, but it does feel the situation has changed lately more than it may be acknowledged. First, several arab countries in the area have been busy enough dealing with internal divisions, and these seem to be enough of civil conflicts, not just religious conflicts, to make foreign parties be more careful of not thwarting any timid westernizing social changes that may be finding a vehicle through this unrest. Also, a key country like Egypt has changed their goverment, the Iranian situation has been dragging so long that it's starting to lose the threatening aura, and the Syrian hornets' nest is drawing all the attention away from Israel. What intuition tells me is that the country statu may be not pushed into reality, but sucked into it by that vacuum of urgent pressing matters, the ones that served to keep deferring the conflict solution to some other time in the future.
171111
Fran Ontanaya
Posted over 1 year ago
Should we invest with a specific objective of achieving immortality, or let it be just a happy consequence of fighting specific diseases?
Large expenditures done right can help reactivate the economy, and it does seem like that's sorely needed in more than one country right now. For sure, we don't want countries to start wars for the sake of spending --been there, done that. It could be argued spending in immortality research not only has its intrinsic returns of investment, but also saves us the costs economic instability has, in this case, with an endeavour that may make it easier to raise taxes on the wealthiest, as they would more readily trade part of their fortune for a real chance of enjoying a substantial life extension.
171111
Fran Ontanaya
Posted over 1 year ago
Introversion: is it regarded as normal in your country/culture?
Oh, I'm not arguing that there's a large number (albeit MBTI surveys put the number of introverts at a few points over 50%), but that for the achievers that are, their introversion is portraited positively after it led them to success in tasks that require a lot of reflection. My question is if that quality (or at least, the possibility of having a kind of introversion that leads to achievements) is recognized and valued in people, at least in an equal level with extroversion, when they are still everywomen and everymen. Gates' success was established early as a garage entrepeneur, the larger the company became the more executive staff he had for Human Resource management. His position was to give direction and vision to the company, and there's only so many key people he would have needed to actively address for that. Plus, email doesn't require that much interaction. There's introverted thinking, but also introverted feeling, introverted sensing, introverted judgement... the key meaning of introversion is a person that doesn't become tired of being inside their own head. Introverted people can be perfectly sociable, except it's an activity that fatigues them more than usual. Same way that for certain social feats an individual has to be able to endure a lot of interaction, for certain creative feats an individual has to be able to endure a lot of deep introspection. As someone that has taken part in brainstormings for screenwriting, I can assure you, it's one thing to read other people's thoughts and add them to one's reflection, and a very different one to sit half a dozen people around a table and ask them to create a superior product by comitee. That belief that two heads are always better than one could very well exemplify what I was wondering about, that in some cultures (not necessarily country-wide, it could be for example a certain corporate culture), achievements may be always expected to be done by comitee, even while individual feats are admired.
171111
Fran Ontanaya
Posted over 1 year ago
Introversion: is it regarded as normal in your country/culture?
An example would be Gustave Flaubert, who spent five years writing Madame Bovary, most of the time largely in solitude. Nikola Tesla is quoted as saying: “The mind is sharper and keener in seclusion and uninterrupted solitude. No big laboratory is needed in which to think. Originality thrives in seclusion free of outside influences beating upon us to cripple the creative mind. Be alone, that is the secret of invention; be alone, that is when ideas are born.” J. M. Coetzee, Cormac McCarthy, Harper Lee, J.D Salinger, Thomas Pynchon are known for avoiding dinners and interviews. Emily Dickinson didn't even set a foot outside their family home in the last 20 years of her life. Famous recent entrepeneurs like Larry Page, Sergei Brin, Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Wozniak, Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos or Bill Gates are introverts and that is part of their success stories.
171111
Fran Ontanaya
Posted over 1 year ago
Are our problems beyond politics?
The main problem with politicians is that after learning how to use the political hammer, everything looks like a nail. Politicians should have a stronger tecnical background so they can at least see the gap between the tecnically optimal solution to a problem and the political compromises that are made to address it, and hopefully realize how outlandish some of those compromises can be. Preferably tho, I would like to see more problems usually left to politicians being crowdsourced in what would be a truer democratic government spirit.
171111
Fran Ontanaya
Posted over 1 year ago
How many times do you have to forgive your spouse?
These are different times, in which finding a suitable partner is a lot easier when one puts the time in it --there's decent matching services and lots of activities and online ways to interact with hundreds of people way beyond your immediate enviroment, plenty of articles and advice about how to put oneself out there and about personal improvement, etc. In many countries there's also plenty of assistance and counseling for divorced parents. The old idea of sticking to a relationship far and beyond reason because it may be the only good chance for relationship-related happiness is quite outdated. People should definitely move on and start meeting new people when the relationship's "contract" is broken. Being single is neither a stigma nor incompatible with happiness, and that's a better state than a life of suspicions and lack of trust.
171111
Fran Ontanaya
Posted over 1 year ago
Is everyone biased?
A question is if you would distinguish intentional bias from accidental bias. Certainly everybody is biased, but some people can be talked out of their position with good reason. Some can't, because they have a vested interest. And there's a third group that will stick to their biases out of pride or fear of being proven wrong, even though they didn't have any particular interest in being biased that way. I think we should make a special effort with these people, and show them society in a modern democracy won't (shouldn't) shame you for being wrong if you honestly intend to learn and do good.
171111
Fran Ontanaya
Posted over 1 year ago
What can governments do to end poverty in their countries? Is a solution possible under capitalism?
Most people actually do valuable things in their own time which aren't rewarded with a salary. A basic universal salary could address that, with the advantage of simplifying a lot the bureaucracy for aid and subsidies. Considering how many people already receive public income in most western countries, one way or another, this wouldn't be a dramatic change at all.
171111
Fran Ontanaya
Posted almost 2 years ago
Why do so few people want to live significantly longer and healthier than a so-called natural life span?
I do think it's because they have already accepted their own mortality. They probably feel the second they started wanting it, they would start to fear death again. Which, being life extension still beyond the average individual's comprehension and expectations, would be a pointless suffering. Therefore, they say instead they don't want any of that. This is why it's important to spread awareness about how life extension works, and how it's a real possibility. So people feel it's something to strive for, rather than a torturing, impossible dream.