Enjoy! And blog post about Mozfest is coming soon.
I have always said BarCamp is a special thing and recently I have seen less and less of them. I mentioned this in justification for why it must happen. BarCampManchester2 was the last one I was involved in and since then, its gone back to the 9am-5pm events. I have always said its a real shame for a great city like Manchester.
My hope was always to bring back some of the life and joy into BarCampManchester. And I believe we did this… Extremely well. BarCampManchester5 was arranged by myself with a small team of organisers. Those organisers were Claire Dodd and Dave Mee. I felt both would have the network and drive to continue the event onwards and upwards afterwards.
Theres all the usual difficulties with picking dates for the BarCamp weekend but in the end we settled upon the weekend before Mozilla Festival, something I kind of wished wasn’t. Regardless, it came together nicely thanks to our wonderful sponsors and the hard work Claire put into organising most of it.
Don’t get me wrong, we all played our part but Claire reminded me of myself at BarCampLondon1 and 2. Running around trying to manage most things. I learned pretty soon, to relax and embrace the chaos (somewhat)
My only regret was the amount of food and drink wasted, we had a large drop out of people. Larger than I’ve ever had before. So the food orders came through and unfortunately we had to chuck quite a bit of it. We did our best to give away as much as possible to a homeless charity but in the end quite a bit went into the bins. At least no body was upset about the food, as we had food for every dietary type including strict vegans.
Through out the weekend we had talks about a number of subjects, and there was lots of rooms to suit everybody. We had 6 session/spaces in parallel and although they weren’t always in use, there was plenty of room to chill and chat away along side the sessions.
There were some great talks and the spaces really worked as a whole. For example the boardroom or as we were calling it the captains quarters, ten forward and observation lab encouraged intimate discussions about identity, sexuality, sleep tracking, dating, etc. While the engineer lab, bridge and holadeck encouraged less discussion and more presentations. All except the captains quarters had a projector and “ten forward” was even in the same space as the kitchen!
After the evening feast, the traditional of werewolf started with 2 parallel games. Quite a few games past before we were down to 1. Some fun games and before long it was late and there was not quite enough people to play on. We had about 10-15 people stay over and sleep but the feeling of no pressure to go home or push off did stay with people. The last person pushed off about 2:30am.
Sunday was quieter as usual and the bacon/sausage/egg butties did go down well but once again too many. We were able to change the order for lunch a bit so the amount of food wasn’t as bad. The sessions started to fill up the board and before long the board was full. Obviously people had decided now was the time.
I did a number of sessions mainly on Saturday, and my favorite one has to be the paxman style interview with Tim Dobson about love and dating. Somewhere in the interview I suggested I would date anybody (I’m sure I said something different) and that got taken and twisted into a prize for the ending raffle? Go figure? Why and how I have no idea but Claire was very keen to send me off with one of the barcampers. In the end Chris picked up the star prize.
Other talks worth mentioning included…
Journey to the centre of the gender sphere, Sleep session, Interactive Fiction, Create your first Bitcoin wallet, Can video games be a force for social good and my favorite How to sell without selling out. Especially liked Tim and Josh’s journey of discovery into a more ethical way to sell serverhosting.
Thanks to the sponsors who came through for the event… We even got a special cake for the platinum sponsors – Autotrader. Something to think about if you are thinking about sponsoring next year. Damm the cake was sweet!
Talking about next year… I have said again that I’m hanging up my organising boots. But my hope is Claire, Dave or somebody else is inspired enough to run the next one with their own team. Hopefully BarCampManchester6 in a similar vein as this one. My thoughts is with time, a community of barcampers can/will grow and the demand will call for a new methods to insure the drop out is never as bad again.
Something James suggested to me when I mentioned the problem of drop out in barcamp. Is a pledge to donate to a charity if you fail to show up or cancel you’re ticket in time. Using social pressure is something I don’t really like but actually in this case, it can be explicit on the website and ticket site. Those who don’t do so would have to live with the guilt or could be named and shamed? This seems to abide by BarCamp rules and shouldn’t be off putting for those who really want to come. Heck if you cancel the night before thats better than not at all (we were releasing tickets to the waiting list right up to the last few hours).
I always said it, Manchester deserves a decent barcamp and hopefully this is the start of wonderful things to come….
— cefn (@cefn) October 22, 2014
I originally dismissed a bit thinking it only played one song per tape but from the video you can see it does actually play a playlist. I think its a neat idea but I prefer the shareability of our own physical playlist project. (interested in seeing more? it will be at mozfest this weekend) I’m also wondering how you create the playlists? But its worth saying the engine which reads the playlist and the actual player are separate on the physical playlist machine for this exact reason.
Love to work together on something which combines both things really…
One who finds intelligence the most sexually attractive feature.
“I want an incisive, inquisitive, insightful, irreverent mind. I want someone for whom philosophical discussion is foreplay. I want someone who sometimes makes me go ouch due to their wit and evil sense of humor. I want someone that I can reach out and touch randomly. I want someone I can cuddle with.I decided all that means that I am sapiosexual.”
I like this description and it seems to fit very well with my geeky personality. Even reading it sends little shivers down my spine. Now thats something I certainly could subscribe to and look for… maybe one to add to my profile? Who knows…
Don’t worry I’ve checked my heart rate and its normal… Never want a repeat of mybrushwithdeath. However I’m trying to avoid getting ill with the horrible bugs that are going around with the change of weather/temperature and people generally getting ill around me.
Whose idea was it to have a BarCamp before Mozfest? Oh yes it was kind of mine, whoops! Its a little self inflicted but deep down I kind of love it too… Sure in some book that makes me slightly sadomasochistic or something…
Quite looking forward to November where I have little planned or scheduled except the flirty weekender… Although I’ve already had somebody ask if I could help with something like Social Media Cafe Manchester? Although I hear rumblings that it might be coming back anyway.
My hope is somebody (I got thoughts) will take on BarCampManchester as a regular thing and do it better than myself. Like what happened in London with the Geeks of London.
Expect normal service to return in a few weeks time… (smile)
I’ve had a problem in the past with the recording mixes on the actual pacemaker using the new but unofficial firmwares.People on the pacemaker forum suggested it might be the fact I’m running Ubuntu and using mainly wine windows emulator or virtual machine technology. I was never really convinced by this argument to tell the truth but couldn’t be sure. So I would use the analogue output to record mixes with my laptop.
Pretty much all the new mixes in the last few years were done this way. I generally would record the mix on the pacemaker along with the output, making the track-listing easier to put in Mixcloud.
The feature I love the most about the new unofficial firmware is the snap loops, meaning you can just loop with no effort. In the very latest, you can even adjust how big the loops are. I will miss that feature but the ability to record on the go is fantastic and I’ve missed it for a long while.
I’m going to look at the differences in the filesystem and SQLlite DB to see if that reveals something obvious.
I installed the old firmware on my old pacemaker and did a mix. As you can hear its pretty much working as it should recording the mix (its not perfect as I was walking and on the tram).
I always get stick for not consuming a lot of BBC media but thats just the way I am to be honest (maybe one day I’ll go into this with more depth). However every once in a while I come across something which somebody recommends or links to.
Recently I have consumed the Future of Radio series (which I’m sure somebody thought after hearing about Perceptive Radio) and a very touching documentary about mixtapes which really sums up a lot of the thinking behind the physical playlist project. However its the Future proofing which has most impressed in the last month.
Mathematician Hannah Fry and guests look at whether civility can survive in the modern age
What happens if we reach the singularity, the day when machines match human intelligence?
How will humans experience pleasure in the future?
Writer Michael Smith explores the uncertain future of masculinity.
It was can civility survive which got me interested in the series. Actually something Zoe posted on a similar vein got me thinking about the connection of doing things the modern way. Not relying on the legacy of the past. I mean for example, I mention Sarah quite a bit, shes lovely but shes an ex. Why should I be afraid to mention her? Anybody finds this weird could do with a strong reminder that its 2014 FFS! The same applies to most of the points Hello Giggles makes especially
The wallet reach
Being terrified to mention your ex
Feeling any embarrassment about online dating
Sticking out a terrible date out of politeness
But this blog is about the descent of men… Which I would if creating a mindmap for, would cross check with Blaise’s talk from Thinking Digital (video online now and MUST be watched) which also crosses over with The Singularity documentary from the BBC and many more posts including this one.
Listening to the documentary about the uncertain future of masculinity, I felt like how I felt when blaise gave his talk. Its a little scary from a male point of view and its clear to see why some men are rebelling. They like things how they are and don’t want it to change. The change is scary but theres no excuse for ignorance and hostility! They have to get use it because its going to happen and frankly its a great thing for humankind and the diversity of the human race. I urge men to look at this all as a positive thing!
Although I was pretty critical of TedXSalford last year, I did go back this year. To be honest I wasn’t planning to but friends convinced me and I decided well after the great work at TedXLiverpool and TedXManchester, I should give it another go.
This time I was nicely surprised by the line up and speakers. Gone were the massive names but in their place good names which few people had heard before (or at least I had not heard of them before). One of the big names Caprice didn’t show for what ever reason and to be fair I thought it was maybe better without her. Not because its her but because it didn’t need a big name.
One of the things I like about TedX’s is they bring people who you never heard of before. TedXSalford did a good job highlighting people I had not really heard before next to people who you heard about but not really seen before. Here’s some of my highlights
Myself and many others are aware of Brooke from the famous blog she wrote about her experiences as a call girl. I was fully aware of her but never seen her in real life. Although she was hounded by the press also, it was Girl with a one track mind (Zoe Margolis) who was more interesting to me as she was not a escort but a women who dared speak her mind. Good to hear her talk regardless, even thought its quite a while ago now.
Jack Sim’s talk was all about the essential hygiene which the toilet brings to us all. I say us all but what I really mean is most of the developed world. Jack highlighted how important it was to have a toilet and his life mission to give everybody in the world access to a basic toilet. The killer part of the talk was highlighting how he took on the title Mr toilet and the opportunities he took to get the word out. I can’t even begin to express how important his mission is. Jack rightly received a standing ovation from the audience for his fantastic work.
Always great to hear a talk about why people believe and the crazy things we do believe. Nicely put together and really interesting talk about one of those things I’ve always wondered about.
I won’t lie, I didn’t really know who she was but what she was saying really struck a cord with me as a feminist. Smart slow talk with plenty to think about. A nice directional change from the high energy of some of the other talks previously.
Talking about high energy…. Well Robin had it in bags upon bags. He seemed to bounce around the stage talking about how remarkable and complex the human brain is. Interestingly the points which made the human brain remarkable were…
- The fact we recognise ourselves in the mirror (he made the point animals don’t recognise themselves, and think its another animal by the way they react)
- We stopping ourself from doing the wrong thing at the wrong time (we think bad thoughts but stop ourselves recognising it would be a bad idea)
- We leave our thoughts and dreams behind for generations beyond our time (legacy)
Robin’s speech spoke volumes to me having had my own experience understanding how powerful the brain can be. Great talk… Another standing ovation.
You got to hand it to Jamie and to be fair Jack Andraka was also good on the night. And its great to see young people inspiring other young people. Favorite quote from the event… “I tried to buy the parts for a Fusion reactor on ebay…”
It really shows how transformational knowledge can be
Almost one of my favourite talks of TedXSalford was Sophia’s talk about the Clit. Yes the Clitoris, something she calls Cliteracy. Yes we’re talking about the female sex organ. Usually not spoken about and few people know much about. Sophia rolled out a ton of facts including…
Vagina actually mean sword holder (how crazy is that?), the clit has its own blood supply hence why organisms can happen again and again and again in very quick succession. The misunderstanding (or is it a conspiracy) by many that it was just a like tiny female penis and this was a taught fact up till about 15 years ago.
I am totally on board, with sex education. I use to think I had bad sex education, but after talking to others. I would say Whitefield school didn’t do so bad. However I have to admit the amount of female focused pleasure was lacking? And the clit never came up as a big deal (no pun intended).
Sophia’s talk about the advocacy originally was interesting, for example replacing song lyrics but she kept on which kind of dragged on a bit which spoiled it a bit. I mean it was important of course but the clit shaped glasses? Really?
Wrapping up, TedXSalford was much better but still has some ground to go to make it as good as TedXLiverpool, TedXManchester and TedXBradford. It was a very long day (9am – 8pm) and even with the breakout sessions it was a commitment. I will be interested to see where it goes next year, because it could be easy to go back to the tried and test formula of big names instead of taking the risk with local talent.
Talking of which, I retweeted Kevin’s tweet about the local speakers following a break out session. It seemed to be a quote, which I later found out to be untrue (nobody else in the session heard this quote). I asked Kevin and Mishal for a details but only Mishal (director and originator of TedXSalford) got back to me with details. Kevin had equal chance to get back to me but didn’t. Its a shame somebody would make up lies like this and spread them, no idea what he gains from doing so? If he has a problem, write it down (like I did) and don’t pretend to quote somebody.
Well done TedxSalford and everybody who made it all come together this year.
Jody sent me a link on Facebook, to this horrible story of a women who was gang raped after meeting a guy on Tinder.
This is horrible and shows the sick and twisted people who hopefully nobody will ever come across. However I do find the advice the detective says a little difficult to take in one go.
Detective inspector Haddow said: ‘It’s absolutely vital that people using dating websites and apps remember that how a person portrays themselves on the internet can be very different from their real life persona.
‘With this in mind, we strongly advise people that if they decide to meet a person they have been introduced to via the internet, then ensure the meeting is in a public place and take a friend along with you.’
I have been on dates with women who have brought a friend along and its been a slightly surreal experience. Now to be fair one was sitting on the same table as us and another one in the next booth. If you are going to bring a friend, for goodness sake don’t bring them to the table!
The story is so horrible and I can’t imagine much worst but its really hard to give advice on what to do before going on a date besides the usual stuff like meet in a public place, text your friend to say you’re ok, get them to call you at a set time. Most of these things the lady in question did and she still ended up meeting these sick people.
I guess the point I’m making is, its not great to put hard rules down, they may help but its not bulletproof advice. Its a matter of judgement, if you feel somethings not right, get up and go. Heck climb through the toilet window if you have to. But the only person who really knows what to do at the moment is yourself, which is another reason not to drink too much on dates.
Its too easy to say she should have done this, she should have done that (blaming the victim for something so horrible is also a stupid thing to do – don’t look at the comments!). Frankly love and dating are very risky, you can do much to minimise the risk but at some point you need to open yourself up or you never will know.
In passing I also found the hierarchy of seriousness in the Guardian’s post, interesting following the last post
At the top is something like Guardian Soulmates or Match – the ones you pay for. At the lower end are the likes of OKCupid or PlentyOfFish (POF) which are free, more casual and less “Where do you see yourself in 10 years’ time?”
Although I do agree about the statement, I think of it as more like a spectrum. You have your Match and Guardian Soulmates on one end and your Social dating apps like Tinder at the other end. Around the middle is something like OKCupid.
The more serious end of the spectrum is full of people wanting kids and marriage quickly. Theres also a certain amount of desperation you can feel coming from that end. Its very much what people use to make jokes about when they thought of online dating.
The other end is less serious and more casual. Yes you get casual hookups that end too but also you get people who are more laid back and less pushy about being in a relationship. Right now my circumstances would favor somebody from this end.
The mistake people make, is thinking all the quality is at the non-casual end of the spectrum. I’m not economist but dating is a bit of a numbers game. I guarantee the number of people you meet at the social dating end is far greater, even if its to meet and think never again. I would also contest that you will get more tech savvy young professionals and geeks than the other end.
— Josh R (@technicalfault) October 1, 2014
Not quite sure why he sent it my way except to say I’ve had very little success with Tinder myself. I have theories and to be fair the article hints at the same conclusions.
It’s playful. You put in your pictures and add some information if you can be bothered. I started with one line “Single Canadian girl in London”. It’s superficial, based purely on physical attraction, but that’s what I was looking for. You go through what’s there, if you see someone you like, you swipe right. If he swipes you too, it lights up like a game, then asks if you want to keep playing….But Tinder is addictive. You find yourself browsing and swiping and playing on.
On Tinder everything’s disposable, there’s always more, you move on fast.
A game, addictive, disposable… Like a casual game? Candy crush, angry birds, cut the rope anybody? Somewhere on my blog I wrote about how the application affects the mindset of the user. Sure Sherry Turkle talks about this too.
Funny enough Sarah a while ago sent me a post about Tinder from Buzzfeed.
— Brombles Brombleton (@oh_yeah_sarah) September 14, 2014
Once again, the application has an effect on the user behavior. Tinder is simply too game like. I mean I would contest that most social dating sites are using game mechanics across their sites and apps.
There seems to be much debate about if “Love is a game?” but this simply isn’t sustainable…
I love dimsum, but I always worry whats inside… luckily this is going to change… real soon
Sarah sent me a link to the new Food Standards Agency’s changes. From December 2014, all food businesses will need to provide information about the allergenic ingredients used in food sold or provided by them.
There are 14 major allergens which need to be declared:
Cereals containing gluten namely wheat (such as spelt and Khorasan wheat), barley, rye and oats
Crustaceans like prawns, crabs, lobster and crayfish etc.
Nuts namely almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, pecan nuts, Brazil nuts, pistachio, cashew,
Macadamia or Queensland nut.
Sulphur dioxide or sulphites (where added and is >10mg/kg in the finished product. Often found in dried fruit and wine)
Molluscs like clams, scallops, squid, mussels, oysters and snails etc.
How great will this be… another nice solution to add to the allergy cards.