You are currently browsing the monthly archive for January 2009.
Just a few imperfect thoughts about thinking too much.
‘cos it’s getting blustery out there.
FOOV (can’t wait for future of online media – FOOM! True Believers!) was yet another kudos-tastic #amp09 production – top marks.
When talking about the future of online video, there’s a not very interesting conversation about what sorts of whizz-bang & weird innovations we might be able to make up. There’s another, more frequent but equally uninteresting chat which is how we can turn the visual media of the past into something that might just work in the hypernetworked, digital world. What is fascinating is looking at how the things that people are already doing now which work well in a networked digital world, can be applied to areas that haven’t seen them yet – ie how can we more evenly distribute the future, which is already here.
So interesting was this cafe-style set of conversations that I only managed to take part in two: firstly, can “Big Brother” survive in the Qik-enabled panopticon, which was most amusing because it does work for the Nineteen-Eighty-Four version as well as the Endemol production.
I then went on to talk about the implications of conversational media (especially things like phreadz) on Higher Education especially on the teaching side, though we rambled all over formal vs informal, online vs offline relationships etc etc.
As always, you kinda had to be there. Tweets were tagged with #amp09 and Phil provided a rezpondr page. Penny Jackson was collecting audio impressions. Stuff will probably bleed out of my ears sometime later.
Back in Mayfair this week, just round the corner from the squat…
We went along to the opening of The Overland Project, an exhibition by Sara Haq based on her trip last year overland from London to Thailand. She and Michael Chaplin reported on a blog and via twitter on their way, but the Alexia Goethe gallery in Dover St is hosting a show of a selection of the thousands of photographs she took during the trip.
The gallery was absolutely packed upstairs and down- but I caught a couple of minutes with Sara out of the private view frenzy to hear a little bit more about it all.
On a lighter note…
At Amplified we had an interesting series of exchanges around relationships.
I asserted my belief that in a 3-way relationship, say Alice, Bob & Carol, then Alice is responsible for her relationship with Bob and also responsible for her relationship with Carol, but that Bob and Carol’s relationship is none of Alice’s business.
That’s my belief. It’s what I try to practice in life, although when you do start to try to practice it, you see how entrenched in our social dynamics is the belief that we can tell two other people how to run their lives or believe that in some way we are looking after either of them by trying to make their relationship “work” or “better” or maybe “work better”.
“What about gossip?” I was asked. Yes, good question. Again, I try, I really try not to indulge in gossip anymore, it doesn’t do either of us any good, although I don’t deny that it can be absolutely delicious.
None of this is to say that I think myself any better than anyone because of this belief, it’s just what works for me.
There was an interesting point where we were talking about it and there was some disagreement. Someone asked for a show of hands as to who agreed with me. Funny. I think maybe one or two hands went up. Did I change my mind? Nope. Did I suddenly think, maybe I should start interfering in other people’s relationships? Nope. Forty years of llife has taught me not to stick my nose in. Peer pressure isn’t going to swing it.
Because telling people what’s good for them and what’s best for all of us and what they should do that I’m not already doing – isn’t that the only way it’s going to work? Isn’t that what marketing and politics is all about? Don’t people need to be told how to live better lives, what things they need and what they don’t need, what they really ought to stop doing straight away? Otherwise, then what would happen?
It does seem as though there is no other way. Except, oh dear, we have a rather major blind spot. There is no other way as long as it’s me or my pals who are doing the telling, but the moment that you’re telling me what to do, you’re telling me how to live my life then I will resist – to put it mildly. Sometimes I will resist violently, sometimes more subtly, in fact sometimes so subtly that even I might not notice that I’m resisting, but nonetheless I will resist.
Oh yeah, and I’m quite good at recognising when you try to make me think it was my idea in the first place.
Bonus audio: Vinay Gupta’s lecture on Infrastructure for Anarchists (70MB) at the Temporary School yesterday
Last Friday, at the first, select, meetup of the year, I got a tweet from @jjsanderson saying that a friend of his was trying to get in but couldn’t find the back door. Typical stuff for me on a Friday. A moment later, Vinay Gupta came up the stairs giggling. It seems Vinay giggles a lot. I suspect it’s probably an important part of his persona as Swami Havabanana too but that’s a story for another day.
So we get talking and it turns out he’s into providing yurts in developing countries; hexagonal yurts built out of 9 rectangular panels (six sides, three cut diagonally in half for the roof) of whatever you might have to hand – a hexayurt if you like, in fact that’s what he likes and it’s his twitter handle.
We get on well, we all have a good laugh. He and @debbiedavies hook up with @jjsanderson over video skype on his acer aspire. Another tuttle win. And so later on I follow him on twitter and check out his blog. Lots of yurt and overseas development stuff. Then on Sunday I see that he’s pinged the Tuttle blog with a post. While he doesn’t say much about his Tuttle experience but he does talk about going to a squat in Mayfair and what’s going on there this week. And then he posts some video. Oooh. Nice. Interesting.
Now I’m back at work really but I’m taking it fairly easy so I resolved to go along today and tomorrow and see how it’s rolling. It’s rolling. I missed the laughter workshop I’m afraid, but got there just in time for a lecture on Polish History (that’s of Poland, not Mr Sheen) which included a participative play about a king who got eaten by mice. I was an uncle, one of three, who were poisoned and out of whose rotting bodies the mice came. Bloody typecasting!
Then we went into another room (it’s big, it’s a bloody big Mayfair townhouse this squat, with servants staircase and everything) for a juggling workshop. Workshop leader, forgive me if I’m wrong but I thought your name was Jacob – could well be but there did seem to be lots of Jacobs – anyway, you got me juggling more than I’ve ever done before, thank you.
Then it got too cold and late and I needed to do some y’know grown-up stuff so I said my thank yous and buggered off. I’ll be back tomorrow when Vinay is giving a talk on erm…. yurts I think.
So yeah, it is in a squat and all of the people there looked suspiciously as if they were at least half my age, but they were all very very friendly and nice and genuinely interested in finding stuff out.
Here’s some juggling: