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The Writings on the Stall

Sunday, 2003-03-09

panel: internet dollars in this fucked economy

Phillip Kaplan has always been somewhat cryptic, despite all I've read about him. I think this more has to do with his write-ups at Fucked Company. They're all very short (which I know to be due to the sheer number of them he makes in a day) which make it difficult to get a read on who he really is.

After seeing him in person, though, his posts seem very fitting to his personality. He tended to be very short and to the point in most everything he had to say. And quick to change gears/focus. Needless to say I caught all this by attending only the end of his presentation. Had I been a been to the panel on time, I might actually have been able to offer a bit of insight.

Soon after the panel closed, I grabbed a copy of his book 'F'd Companies: Spectacular Dot-Com Flameouts' and had him sign it. Only further supporting my geekdom. More on this purported "geekdom" to follow, I'm sure.

Saturday, 2003-03-08

panel: i, cyborg

Kevin Warwick (a.k.a. Captain Cyborg) is an interesting fellow. Author of a book I may someday read — 'I, Cyborg' — he is both charming and humorous; his wit makes him so. But what makes him interesting is his dream is to become so interwoven with technology — literally...he has already meshed flesh and metal — that he he will no longer be "mere[ly] human."

Although his goal seems to be a personal journey, it's impact will far extend this realm. David and I discussed the implications of his research and ended up discussing an uncertain future. Questions arose (the kind that makes one's brain hurt). Specifically of privacy and human evolution.

If our minds in today's age truly offer our only personal space, what happens if they no longer are personal. With regards to human evolution, will we really have evolved if technology is added to our core? Because evolution is defined as being the "result of natural selection acting on the genetic variation among individuals, and resulting in the development of new species." Then again, I am only hashing all this out with a mind of the present. Maybe I'm the limiting factor in this analytical equation.

And yeah, at one point during his presentation, I blacked out. Probably had to do something with blood and an open flesh. I am the weakest link.

panel: user not found

The very first panel I attended (full transcript here) was mediated by Dana Robinson and titled User Not Found, after her website of the same name. The topic we discussed was the death of online friends. I found myself very involved in the roundtable discussion, although in my thoughts (not out loud) actively processing the ideas being presented.

At the end, I started walking out with Gemma's dad discussing something that in the past has sparked my interest: what happens with a website when its owner dies? Is it bequeathed, as physical property is? Popular sites should be worth something, just as highly trafficked areas in the physical world are extremely valuable. We turned back around to bring the point up to Dana, but there really wasn't a solid answer to be agreed upon. We've yet to really see this become an issue.

Personally, I'll probably create a self-supporting fund that will keep another pointless up until man eventually does himself in. But what about all those who I've linked to in this weblog game. Odds are, most of my current idols in the community will pass before I do (being older than myself). Should I begin backing up the content that I've linked for the sake of posterity?

Friday, 2003-03-07

weinberger's keynote

And now the posting to the past commences.

The first presentation I happened upon (or should I say, happened upon intently) was that of David Weinberger. He's the author of a book that I have considered buying and co-creator of World of Ends, which is dedicated to telling the world what the Internet really is and how it's often mistaken.

He offered ten reasons why the web still matters. A few times, we couldn't help but laugh at ourselves and the popular web trends we have in the past bundled ourselves into. Like the dot-com boom. Every company seemed to offer the tag line "We deliver the right information to the right people at the right time." How about each and every one of us instead realize that the Internet offers so much more than a business card. When we link to others, we aren't saying "stay right here" any more. Instead we're letting the world know that there is more to be experienced. In providing outside links, I believe I am offering an opportunity for others to have that beautiful moment where a light bulb turns on (even if that moment is somewhere else).

If you are still interested (even after I have butchered his address) go to Heath Row's site, where he has a rough transcript.

Update: He recommended 'The Age of Spiritual Machines' by Ray Kurzweil. This mention is more for my own later reference.

first, second real-life meetings

Met Cory Doctorow of Boing Boing fame. This marks the first, strike that, second time that I've met someone out in the "real world" who I've only before known to exist online. As some may know, he's a bit of an Internet rockstar. But in talking to him, I realized that I probably need to live in my own little world to be a well-known blogger. Maybe I don't really want to be an Internet rockstar then (though I highly doubt this will ever become an issue).

As to why I struck out "first" earlier: I actually met Nikolai Nolan of Fairvue just a couple minutes before. I'm working with him on this year's Bloggie Awards ceremony and will be presenting the Lifetime Achievement Award.

sxsweek '03 begins

As of right now, and throughout Spring Break, this blog will be dedicated to my experiences at South by Southwest (herein referred as SXSW). I've never really mobile blogged before, so this is going to be a new — and probably somewhat trying — venture.

Update: I might be posting to the past quite a bit. Don't be alarmed. The next week or so I'll be pretty busy, so I'm not sure if I'll have time to blog when various events happen. In which case, however, I'll use the nifty Daily Journal feature on my Visor Neo. So never fear.

apple and the church of satan

Do you like Apple? So does the Church of Satan.

Thursday, 2003-03-06

hack leaks personal information

I was looking at the Houston Chronicle this morning when a front-page article caught my attention. Rightfully so. An estimated 59,000 names and Social Security numbers in a UT database were accessed by hackers. The people affected: former and current students (yikes, me!), faculty and staff members.

The scariest part of it all, though, is the fact that UT was not intending to "inform the public of the story...until the Austin American-Statesman contacted the university."

The University has released an official response. I wonder why they set up a webpage and email account (both specifically for the "malfunction") so quickly? Hmmm. Maybe because this might be a big deal for a few thousand people.

Monday, 2003-03-03

google seawch

From now on, I'm searching in Elmer Fuddanese.