Resistance loves distraction – there are so many other things to think about, read about, talk about rather than sit down at the page and write something useful. But one anti-resistance trick is to write a little bit about resistance, at least that gets all my fingers on the keyboard at the same time and pulls me towards getting some thinking flowing in a unified direction. So in case any of them haven’t occurred to you and you’d like to pick them up yourself, my current distractions are (in just any old order):
- Donald Trump and the US Election;
- The referendum – the manipulation of national discourse (because this is what the whole thing is really it seems to me – one big exercise in distraction and misdirection, and we’ve fallen for it.);
- A political assassination in the UK;
- Those people who are going to vote for D Trump and Brexit and how different they are from anyone I think I know;
- Impending doom;
- TheDAO and people’s reaction to it going tits up;
- The weather, although today’s been quite nice most of the time;
- My weight, health, baldness, beard-length;
- Preacher and Halt & Catch Fire plus the dearth of anything good on Netflix;
- Weariness over the effort it takes to get paid sometimes;
- Not having done the washing up yet;
- Wondering… about stuff…
- Worrying about what this list reveals about me.
OK. Let’s see if that helped.
From Monday 20th, all being well, I’ll be starting to work from the Concrete Basement in Lower Marsh (home of Anthony Epes and some new friends) – I know I’ve been down in the basement there before sometime, perhaps one of you can own up to also being there, to help me with my failing memory…
Lower Marsh is a great little street that’s feels like it’s been on the edge of gentrification for as long as I’ve been hanging out in London. That feeling might be accelerating a bit at the moment (key indicator: new, funky coffee shops) but isn’t that everywhere? And it’s been remarkably resilient given that it’s slap bang next to Waterloo Station. The other plus for me is that there are three major theatres and the Southbank Centre all in walking distance.
Anyway, that’s where I’m going to be hanging out for the time being. I shall kick off with some self-appointed Social Artist in Residence stuff, for the space and for the street, but I shall also be focusing on getting Tuttle consulting going again and hoping to use local venues for Open Spaces looking at the human experience of work, technology, economy ‘n’that. Other ideas for collaborative projects always welcome.
Please come and see me, bring exotic teas, stories of “one time, I was in Lower Marsh and…” and perhaps something small but inspiring to put on the wall or sit on my desk.
Five years ago, when I decided to go nomadic (and ended up living and working with others around the country for the next twelve months) it was largely because I’d realised that while I needed somewhere to live, the place I was in wasn’t working for me and it seemed that nothing in the market was really for me either. I didn’t want to move out of London for good, but I also didn’t want to stay. I didn’t want to live on my own and I didn’t want to move in with someone else (yet). I didn’t want to get a job and I didn’t want to work on my own. I wanted something else but I found it really difficult to articulate what it was. But I did find it over time. I found stimulation in the variety of people that I worked and lived with. I found rest on the road, knowing each time that I was moving again that new possibilities were opening up.
So now I’m settled, I like where I live, I’m married again, but I’m restless around work. I’m mostly working from the dining room table and sitting in coffee shops (or theatres!) and I’m feeling the need for a workplace that goes beyond the basic needs of desk, power, wifi. I need people and I need space to host in. I think of new invitations for open spaces and unconferences practically every day and they include working through some of the ideas around co-operative knowledge work with #tuttle that I wrote about before I went to America last month. I don’t know whether anything among the current crop of co-working spaces might be close enough – I definitely want to be part of a community rather than just another desk-renter.
I don’t know much more, but I was reminded by a wise friend yesterday that my best work comes when I express as much as I know and let others fill in the last 20% rather than trying to hide away until I have something finished.
So help me fill the gaps in this. Or y’know, put your earbuds back in and get back to what you were doing.
Download Part 1 mp3 (28MB)
Download Part 2 mp3 (26MB)
Here’s another version of James’s talk (Part 1) and Q&A (Part 2) at the last of our four public events in different cities across the US. I’m looking forward to intelligent agents that can listen to these and tell us some interesting things about the differences between them.
It was fascinating being in one of the Wells Fargo towers and seeing how co-working is happening in these unused spaces in Downtown L.A.
We’re very grateful to Athena & Kevin from Truphone for their support while we’ve been on the West Coast (& thanks for bringing the schwag!) as well as Eli Calderon-Morin from Mobile Monday Silicon Beach for helping us co-ordinate it. Also thank you to Andy Rosillo and Indie Desk for looking after us so well.
Download Part 1 mp3 (27MB)
Download Part 2 mp3 (34MB)
Last Thursday, James spoke to a large, friendly and enthusiastic audience at the Lower Manhattan HQ event and meeting space (overlooking Zuccotti Park) about his work, the limits of AI and the future of mobile technology.
The first audio is just James’s speech and the second is an “Ask Me Anything” Q&A.
We’re really grateful to Jonathan Allen, Adrienne Todd and Demmi Choo of Longneck & Thunderfoot who helped enormously on the ground spreading the word ahead of the event and contributing on the day. You can read Demmi’s round-up here. They also arranged for video to be shot, which is coming soon.
A big shout out too to Truphone’s Randi Cohen who has been quietly and efficiently smoothing everything along for our trip back and forth across the States.
Download (20MB, 20 minutes)
I took a break from packing and double-checking the weather forecast for NYC to catch up with James and Helen about what they’ve been doing this week and to look forward to where we’re going to be over the coming days.
If you’re reading/hearing this after Monday May 2nd you’ve missed Swedish Beers in San Francisco. Tomorrow morning (3rd), James and Helen will be in Mountain View for brunch. Then I join them in New York for breakfast on Thursday before we all zip back together cross-country to finish up at an evening meetup in Los Angeles next Monday May 9th.
All details are on the Mobile Heroes site and you can find out why I might be so excited to have a Truphone SIM at truphone.com
Yo, America! I missed you. I’m coming back.
I’m helping organise and will be attending a series of meetup events in the first week in May. I’m working on this with Helen Keegan of Mobile Heroes and James Tagg of Truphone.
Helen and James will be in the Bay Area on 2nd & 3rd. I’m joining them in NYC later in the week and going over to LA with them for an evening do the following Monday. I’m hoping to see my SF peeps after that as I’ll have a few days holiday before coming home.
All the events are free and fun! The first is Helen’s world-famous Swedish Beers Party which will be in San Francisco on May 2nd. The others are talks with James (and other speakers to be confirmed) on the subject of AI and the future of mobile, entitled: “When will our smartphones be smarter than us?”
There’ll be a brunch down in Mountain View the following morning, May 3rd.
We’re doing something breakfast-y in Manhattan on Thursday May 5th.
We will likely do a Tuttle NYC on the morning of Friday 6th but that will be even more informal and become clearer when we’ve booked accommodation.
We’ll be doing the final one in Los Angeles on the evening of Monday 9th.
We’re working hard at the moment to pin down venues but want you to save the dates in your city and spread the word. If we’re Facebook friends you should get an invite there too, but since FB search is rubbish, don’t bet on it. All the events are here on FB, please pass on the invitation to anyone who would be interested.
We also still have openings for additional speakers and sponsors so if that’s you, please get in touch (first name dot last name at gmail!)
See you soon!