There’s always something – usually many things – that I find interesting in a talk from Kevin Kelly. In this talk at LinuxCon he is in “thinking big” mode, placing the evolution of technology within the context of human history and the story of the whole planet – his model of the technium, seeing all technology as a network, effectively a super-organism that is evolving and growing rapidly. He explored this idea in his book, What Technology Wants.
On a more personal level I enjoy his reprise of the theme of “the impossible” happening all of the time, all around us. In his “Next 5,000 days of the Internet” 2007 TED talk, he talked to this idea – that things we would have thought impossible ten years ago – he cited Google Earth and Wikipedia – are now normal, almost mundane.
In this talk he implores…
We have to believe in the impossible, because the impossible is happening all the time.
A really useful thing for everyone to remember, in this age of rolling disruptions.
Buildings and cities are being changed by algorithms, is its jumping off point.
This short film is intended to encourage a creative audience to seek out Kevin Slavin’s talk Those Algorithms Which Govern Our Lives. It employs an effect which takes place in Google Earth when its 3D street photography and 2D satellite imagery don’t register correctly. This glitch is applied as a metaphor for the way that our 21st century supercities are physically changing to suit the needs of computer algorithms rather than human employees.
The SuperSkills idea was one which I was airing for the first time, and am continuing to work on. The notes and links are all in the post – TEDx Brighton notes on my talk - I put up on the day. If you have any feedback at all I’d be immensely grateful…
And just so you can see what the slides are like with the fonts in beautiful Gotham – here they are again…
Thinking about banking, finance, the web and innovation in general at the moment and came across this rather fine explanatioin of the credit crisis from Jonathan Jarvis, an artist. If you’ve got ten minutes and want for once and for all to understand how we got into this mess, then have a watch…
Image: A police line forms toward the end of yesterday's Gaza protest in London (credit: Rich Lewis)
When I was a student in 1994 I was on the front cover of The Indpendent the morning after a riot outside the Houses of Parliament.
The image was of a grimacing, dreadlocked fellow’s grimacing face lunging over the line of police shields.
(No, that wasn’t me…)
The picture spoke a thousand words. It told the whole story. The whole story of a photographer standing the other side of police barricade.
The image looked as if it was taken in the heat of the disturbance. In fact it was a while before anything had happened, when what would become a riot was still a peaceful protest against the Criminal Justice Bill. The man was drunk and on his own. I saw him have a tussle with the cordon of police and – rightly so – being arrested and taken away.
Far from being part of an angry mob there was no one behind him. Well, I was – a few metres back and hence I was in the shot.
Being *in* the protest was a very different experience to being the safer side of the police lines.
No doubt that in part reflects the priorities of people caught up in the violence (taking part / trying to get away rather than documenting the moment) but perhaps also gives a more proportional balanced view of how the day unfolded. The creativity and passion of the protesters, the diversity of people taking part, the scale of the event are there in the hundreds of photos people have uploaded.
Image: A family on the protest march (credit: Tyron Francis)
The truth is more prosaic, less dramatic, slower than the news cycle. But at a time when churnalism and misinformation is decaying the media’s usefulness as a truthful recorder of events, sometimes social media is where we need to turn for the facts.
: : I went back to the Flickr search as I finished this article and there were many more images of the violence at the end of the day being posted…
There are of course,
For a protester’s-eye view of being on the the march have a look at this:
This one follows the news media’s format a little more closely, with the most of it being of the rioting at the end of the day. In big protests like this one, there are often people who are really there with the hop of provoking and tkaing part in trouble, masking their hooliganism as political activism.