Freshly one day back in from San Francisco some adjustments need to be made. The time difference has been reduced from 9 hours to 8 thanks to our splendidly European invention: DST. Along with the time difference there is also a slight difference in daylight and a large difference in temperature (15º centigrade) and precipitation (nearly non-stop rain the past day).
Adjusting to the superficials will be easy enough, but as after every big trip and after having seem some truly splendid natural and metropolitan vistas, adjusting the mind to a realignment of the world brought about by new experience will be somewhat more difficult.
My days in Berkeley/Oakland used to be filled with:
And now my days are filled with:
Tomorrow it’s back to the city and doing some last things before flying back early Sunday morning.
I’ve always wanted to go there and tomorrow I’m finally going. Some vague plans, tads of serendipity and friends pushing me over the edge were enough to have me book the ticket, I think, only three weeks ago. Tomorrow Lufthansa will take me over an ocean for the first time of my life.
Halfway during the trip there’s a four day capoeira event celebrating Mestre Acordeon‘s fiftieth year of teaching capoeira with a Brazilian festival in Berkeley on Saturday. I’ll also try to get some surfing in and see if I can visit the local tech hubs and meet some people, so it’s not purely a holiday.
If this wasn’t enough to stress me out, today my laptop decided to not boot anymore. So I spent most of the day panicing and restoring a backup, after which everything seems to work again but no clue for how long. Maybe I should try to sneak a new Macbook past customs on my way back.
Take care, I’ll be back the 27th.
It’s nice to have friends who are pushing their bounds photographically to try and improve their skill and to see them improve leaps and bounds as a result of that.
One such friend is Mony and during his yearly holiday to Bulgaria he has produced a very nice set of street photography out of Sofia:
Picture by Mony Nedkov from the set Sofia.
For me it’s of particular interest to see pictures of a city neighboring my love Istanbul. I have just this one picture I would call a good street photography shot. The effort it takes to get even halfway decent shots is staggering.
On a different photograpic note, I’ve brought away the 120 film I shot this weekend for development. I hope the repairs on my Yashica worked out and the pictures are in focus. Shooting manual metered medium format film is a very different experience and pace than I’m used to from my 350D and something I could very well get used to. The digital set is still being edited and should go (partly) up tonight.
I’ve been tremendously enjoying the stuff Jan Chipchase writes on his blog both current and digging deep into his archives. A dream job if ever there was one.
His current piece is especially pertinent as the iPhone 3G release with builtin GPS and accompanied unlimited data plans will herald the location based revolution. Many of my friends say that they do not want to broadcast where they are and know where their friends are most of the time. That they would rather get together using premediated consensual communication.
I think in user research you have to adopt the same maxim that everybody lies maybe unknowingly or unwillingly. It remains to be seen how many people will not succumb to the temptation of total information. Broadcasting your location, but even more attractive knowing where your loved ones are at any given moment. The same initial reaction to mobile telephony didn’t prevent everybody I know from getting a mobile phone.
What this will do to the mystery of travel and unknown locations is a whole different question asked by Babak. I think unequality in economic, communications and political circumstances will always keep parts of the world shrouded in mystery.
Back from holiday, the surf was mostly flat but a good time was had, judging from the pictures on Flickr.
Normal service will resume here at least until half of August when I will break shortly for Wapsen and maybe thereafter a bit longer for the former Yugoslavia.
The second day started off with a talk about Free by Jerry Michalski which reminded me a lot of the topics that I had covered the previous day in my talk. Jerry’s talk being in the main hall made this turn out a lot differently than my talk.
David Recordon followed with a talk about the open web and reminded us that not that much has changed in the last six months since I saw him on the same topic in Berlin. The big social conglomerates that have each other in a chokehold make for glacial progress.
I dropped in on the Arduino workshop which was a very nice introduction into building electronic stuff. Because I was already somewhat familiar and I wanted the freedom to bounce around the conference, I hadn’t registered but I did get some questions in to further my own ideas.
Joshua’s talk proved to be one of the best of the conference —with this great quote— marred slightly by the fact that his partner could not make it for a more complete stage presence. His work and vision how technology works towards freedom is very relevant and interesting though we usually stare ourselves blind at Silicon Valley and the likes.
After the conference we made a yearly chaotic meetup somewhere in the city trying to get something to eat more or less succesfully after which we made our way to Vega. The party in the bar was quickly replaced with a party outside with tipping beers and music where everybody had a great time. Even the arrival of police could not really stop our party.
The next day I was going to get some coffee at Kafeplantagen when I remembered that some people were having a post-Reboot brunch at Pussy Galore’s Flying Circus. I was a bit hesitant to join after having already spent two days with these people but I’m glad I went inside. I got to catch up with Chris Messina, Brynn Evans and Janetti Chon and talk about the differences between the USA and Europe.
Reboot 10 is over and in my experience they simply get better every year.
I’d signed up for a session and got slotted on Thursday morning so I spent a good part of Wednesday preparing and running through the story. Of course after having gotten over my early flight and having eaten something at the Laundromat.
My session on Free Economics was filled over capacity while it was meant to be a cosy conversational session. Fortunately that also meant more than enough people willing to participate and add information, so I think it went well and it proved a good starting point for the rest of the conference. My stress relieved could follow the rest of the sessions.
There were a number of other Dutch presenters most notably: Kars, Ton, Ianus and Iskander. Unfortunately I didn’t see any of them present, but I’ll catch up on that when the video’s are posted. Being programmed against Andy Budd meant that I missed his presentation as well, but maybe I wouldn’t have fitted in the completely full small room anyway.
Thomas Vander Wal’s talk —always nice to have him over at this side of the ocean— gave us some great elements for social software to base our thinking on and concluded with a way to get organizations to think about the dichotomy between keeping information and sharing it.
It was a joy to hear music in the presentation on Tradition by Jeremy Keith. More music is usually a good idea as we would also see in the final party.
On Reboot I never can keep up going to sessions and usually it’s better not to. The interactions in the hallways and the lobby especially during the lull when there are sessions going on are more interesting on a personal level than anything else.
The first day’s talk got concluded by a fun treatment of information by David Weinberger. During dinner it was also very interesting to get a preview of his session from Siert Wijnia about his Fablab and what the commoditization of the production process will do to product design and manufacturing.
By the time this post has been published I will be on a train on my way to Schiphol to fly to Copenhagen to attend the 10th edition of Reboot.
Copenhagen has become familiar territory and I’ll be there for only four days. Acclimatizing on Wednesday which kicks off with a boat trip. Thursday and Friday will be conference days during which I hope to see a lot of people and I have been alotted a small session where we’ll talk about Free Economies.
Saturday will be spent recovering, maybe a run along the lakes or a decent brunch or burger and Saturday evening my train will depart for the Netherlands. The train journey back I’m looking forward to a lot more than the plane ride in.
Maar ik heb er grondige vertrouwen in dat we hem kunnen repareren.
Ik zit nu in Londen bij @mseckington en @cbetta op de bank na een dagje conferentie bij geekyoto waar een hele serie mensen hun visie hebben gegeven de toestand van de wereld en hoe die te repareren. Erg inspirerend en er zijn veel mensen met goede dingen bezig.
Ik ga nog meer schrijven maar feit is dat veel van de oplossingen geen extra techniek nodig hebben en ook niet meer kosten. Het enige wat de boel tegenhoudt is menselijke inertie.
Nu wat eten, morgenochtend kijken of ik een capoeirales kan volgen en morgenmiddag terugtreinen naar Nederland.