The best of the rest of Thinking Digital 2014

Thinking Digital 2014

As mentioned in the previous 2 blog posts. Thinking Digital 2014 was excellent and further proves this conference is getting better everytime.

I pulled out 2 great talks and already wrote about them previously…

But there were more great talks, worthy of talking about.

Thinking Digital 2014

Jeni Tennison
Got to love Jeni, shes wonderful, warm and so down to earth. I’ve known her from my XML/XSLT days. Her talk reminded me of the struggles and endless fight to liberate data when I was leading BBC Backstage. Those fights are almost never ending… Glad to hear some of the battles are finally being won.

Thinking Digital 2014

Meri Williams
I have known Meri for years and years and always associate her with Newcastle. But I knew she worked very internationally. Her talk was great and had me thinking alot about my own position. She said we should all be asking ourselves, “Can someone like me can be successful here?” I specially like pointers to Dan Pink’s Drive and the term seagulls management. Great talk Meri, lots to take away…

Thinking Digital 2014

Mariana Mazzucato
Never heard of Mariana but after an introduction from Chi Onwurah the local MP for Newcastle or Gateshead. Mariana launched into a massive talk, outlining how the public sector should/could act more like the private sector. Ultimately she started to debunk the myths of public vs private as she does in her book entrepreneurial state (must look into this). This renew my faith in the public sector again.

Thinking Digital 2014

Erin McKean
Returning to the Thinking Digital stage again, Erin this time turned her talk towards new types of discovery. She said discovery should be ambient and contextual. Almost feeling like serendipity. I would suggest perceptive as a way to think about this stuff?

Thinking Digital 2014

Jennifer Gardy and Peter Gregson
Another returning speakers and this time teaming up together to do something new. This time Jennifer and Peter decided to visualise DNA through the medium of music. Some artistic direction was applied but the result was beautiful.

Thinking Digital 2014

Hayley Parkes
Hayley provided more music and what stunning music. So stunning that I dare not take a picture while Hayley was playing because the sound of the prism spinning might distract from the music. I was amazed at the story of Hayley and further provides me with the joy to know that the debate over nature vs nurture is wide open.

Thinking Digital 2014

Suzy Muclahy
Following Jennifer and Peter, Suzy Muclahy explained a number of the processes in the brain and body. The most interesting one for me was the stroke, which is something like #mybrushwithdeath. I later spoke to Suzy about a number of things including #mybrushwithdeath. Such a shame we didn’t get to spend more time talking, because we were bouncing from subject to subject.

Thinking Digital 2014

Steve Mould
Wasn’t expecting much but Steve’s talk about science and ultimately self siphoning beads was funny, witty and entertaining. I especially love the dubstep remix.

Thinking Digital 2014

Jemima Kiss with Christian Payne and Meri Williams
In a nice turn around for Thinking Digital, Jemima chaired a panel discussion mainly about the post-snowden era and whereables. As you can imagine, it was all about post-snowden and Aral’s recent talk. The last 5mins was about whereables and to be fair it wasn’t anywhere as interesting as the rest of the debate. Great to hear Jemima go through the timeline of what changed since last year.

Thinking Digital 2014

Tom Scott
After Aral’s talk and the panel discussion with Jemima Kiss, the mode and tone was low. Not because of the great talks but because there was a feeling that things were not right in the digital world.

Tom Scott’s finishing talk was Tom in 2030 looking back and talking to us in 2014. The main message was don’t panic, humanity will live out and we will prevail. And he’s right, don’t get me wrong. Everything is worth fighting for, but in the end we will prevail. We owe a lot to each and everyone of the whistle-blowers, hackers, journalists, etc which help us make sense of whats happening out there. Privacy is a human right and there will be a massive backlash once people feel its gone too far. The question is when enough people think its gone far enough…?

Thinking Digital 2014

A very fitting and uplifting end to another fantastic Thinking Digital conference. I’ll be clear and say all the speakers were great and although they may not have gotten on to my highlights list, they were all great. Thanks Herb and his wonderful team for putting on yet another great show, I especially like the Q&A by the way (more questions from the crowd please!)

Tickets for 2015 are live now by the way. Looking forward to another exciting thinking digital…

#mixeverything, democratising mixing for everyone?

The all new pacemaker app for ipad

DEMOCRATIZING DJING WAS SOMETHING WE’VE ALWAYS BEEN STRIVING FOR.

Two things happened to today…

Those crazy pacemaker guys Jonas, Olof and Willem released a ipad app (one of the worst kept secrets to be honest) but they did some great things to make the whole thing much more simple and usable for the people who just want to play. Those guys have always been excellent at interface design, conveying complexity in quite a unique way. One of the reasons why I love the pacemaker device.

Si Lumb was the first to break it to me on Twitter via The Verge. The interface is different from the Pacemaker app which came on the Blackberry. But the massive difference is the Spotify access. Direct access to mix and screw around with any track on Spotify in real time? Thats almost worth buying a ipad for… Don’t worry I’ll be asking the guys when the Android version is coming. But to be fair I have (well my sister has it but its mine) a blackberry playbook for the sole reason of mixing, so why not a ipad too…?

What got me slightly choked up is the commitment to #mixeverything and ultimately the democratisation of mixing and djing. Yes its not virtualdj or Tracktor but its something you can easily pull out at a party and get people dancing.

It all reminds me of my slide (number 17) from the Dj Hackday  presentation… New rules, new blood, new ideas… I want my first born (male or female) to want to be a DJ not some pop idiot.

I remember the arguments about dedicated cameras vs camera phones. The best camera you have is the one in your pocket or even your hand at the time. Is this true of djing too? Yes if I had my records and decks, but you don’t… And with the app you can pull up virtually most songs, even those stupid request songs.

I’d still like to know how they are doing the twin output, I assume its using the audio out and the HDMI/Lightning port? If not I’m expecting it will change soon.

Secondly those crazy guys released a new firmware update for the Pacemaker device. Seems not many of the usual suspects know much about this, so I’ll be one of the first to give it a run. Which is great because I’ve been playing with the pacemaker device again. My next mix is going to be something special… But now I want to run home and get the firmware updated.

Open source democracy?

Rushkoff talking to Dave in the ICA after the talk about being a trickster

Me, Dave and Lucas got our butts to the talk quite late yesterday. And were hit by the instant heatwave in the ICA's Nash room. Goodness me, has no one ever heard of opening a window or a door before?

Anyway the talk was around douglas rushkoff's book he wrote for Demos. I had never heard of Demos before, but sure have heard of Douglas Rushkoff from the days of Rave.Anyway here's a few things I wrote down while listening to the talk.

  • The internet shook off miltary, government and now business constraints over its time.
  • All developments of the internet have been done for non profit in a gift economy.
  • Our reality relies on software more than hardware – clever, as in software is man made.
  • We can write the words that we live. Rather than listen to the ones we have been told.
  • We have been taught to deal with narratives in the same way, start – middle – end. Revolutions are circluar.
  • recruitiing people to narratives, is pointless
  • Technophobia = People scared of there own power
  • The media aims to exclude and divide, a lonely person is more likely to buy jeans if there told there acceptable with them.
  • 92% of kids don’t want to re-program lego mindstorms
  • A movement is a bad idea, easy target for the media to vilianfy
  • Media can’t brand a mixture a non-movement.
  • Emergence accepts the possibility that were nothing and that we may change that
  • Effort should be spent on development rather than creating a movement
  • Changing direction causes confusion and keeps businesses and the media guessing
  • Courage in the moment, small steps and tweaks have profound effects
  • Do rather than respond
  • The dot.com era was a pyramid scheme – never thought of it like that, but makes sense
  • Is google god?
  • Finland is the most trustworthy nation in the world
  • Governments need to get a grip on the digital divide
  • Once you have access to the tools your relationship with the narrative changes

Anyway I've started reading the book which rushkoff wrote and its a good read so far. Also started looking at the Demos site and Rushkoff's own. Some good content on there which I know I'll be reading back and forth between college and home for the next month or so.

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