My highlights of TedxManchester 2017

TedXManchester 2017

I had the joy of being one of many in the main theatre in Home for TedXManchester 2017 (number 5 I believe?). Once again arranged and produced by the incredible serial successful event organiser Herb Kim and the thinking digital team, with a varied range of people plucked for their interesting stories, projects or surrounding concepts. I got my ticket late because the first lot sold out in under an hour! But I was very lucky and looked forward to the line up without really looking into each speaker.

Of course last year was special to me, as I took to the stage to tell the tales of dating in the new millenium with dating against humanity. But it’s always interesting to sit in the crowd and experience the whole thing as an audience member.

The whole event was good but here are the talks which really stood out for me.

Mr Bingo

TedXManchester 2017

I had no idea who Mr Bingo was or what he had done, till he took the stage. He is just a funny guy who does funny things with analogue media; like drawing extremely rude things on cards and posting it to people who request them. I mean he’s trolling them but only because they requested to be trolled. Sounds like self abuse almost?

Its weird but I thought the whole thing was hysterical. I took a shot of one of his cards and been getting a little attention for it, can’t think why? (pleads innocence but of course I know why!)

Sophie Scott

TedXManchester 2017

There was a host of things Sophie said which was fascinating, but the bit which stuck for me was the detail about our attention and our voice. She told us when we talk our brain turns off the listening part. I’m sure this isn’t strictly true but an interesting thought, specially when thinking about how we hate hearing our own voices and why certainly people tend not to realise others are making points too.

She then went on to suggest our voices are wired for much more than just communication, using beatboxing as the ideal example of our voices as instruments.

Lots to take away and well delivered…

Jennifer Arcuri

TedXManchester 2017

There is little I can say about Jennifer which I haven’t already said about her at the last Thinking Digital Manchester. She talked passionately about hacker culture and how important knowledge was in the internet connected world we inhabit. Always a pleasure and wish I could make it to the first HackerHouse/Madlab course in March.

Jonathan Kay

TedXManchester 2017

Jonathan was a weird one and divided people from what I heard in the break later. He started his talk/act at the back of the stalls by heckling Herb as he gave his introduction. Then moved forward to the stage followed by a remote camera person, so people in the upper levels could see what on earth was going on.

His aim of the act was to get the audience to speak to each other and heck even touch each other (I know shock horror!). Ok at one point he did suggest kissing the person next to us but that didn’t go down so well. It was entertaining and the bigger point of actually talking to the people around us, wasn’t lost on myself and others.

What really brough the whole thing home to me, was the fact a friend sat in the seat next to me was feeling extremely uncomfortable about the act and wondered if someone would be picked out of the audience; because that would be terrifying. Thinking back to Carrie Green in TedxManchester3 and I said would it be so bad?

I think the point was made…

Helen Czerski

TedXManchester 2017

I have heard Helen a few times at previous Thinking Digital’s and honestly every time I hear her talk, she just oozes wonder and excitement for science and the universe. You can’t help but feel excited when she talks. Always enlightening and always reignited my interest in sciences.

Michelle McGagh

TedXManchester 2017

I don’t know what to say about Michelle, except wow and wtf! basically Michelle decided not to buy anything for a year. She did point out buy nothing day which is the same day as black friday; but one day is easy right? Why not spend nothing year?

This really got me going because she made very good points about our quick fix consumer culture and the logical conclusion of this all. But unlike the a preachy lecture about how bad we all were, she put herself through a year of trying to live it.

The results were funny and sometimes tragic. I’m not very frugal at all but I typically don’t spend much money on buying stuff. Tend to spend more on experiences and doing things. But recently I made the decision that if was getting old or causing too much effort to keep it going, I should trade it in earlier than later. I’ve spent too much time, fighting to keep things going when I should have just got rid of it and moved on.

So to hear someone actively trying to not to spend anything, and not because she couldn’t afford it – was a little shocking. The full extend of her frugaleness was quite something and reminded me of when I left the hospital almost 7 years ago and seeing my bank balance, because I simply had not spent a single penny except paid my usual bills etc; It was amazing… Maybe there was something to it, I thought as she left the stage.

Andy Burnham

TedXManchester 2017

It was a surprise to see Andy Burnham on the TEDx line up, knowing how TED doesn’t like politic talks, but I have to say although he spoke with passion and made some good points. I couldn’t help but feel the us and them argument a little too simplistic. Centralised power does have a tendencancy to turn corrupt but there is also some good things about it too. If I was talking to Andy directly, I would point to examples like the states, where each state can pretty much set their own rules but the united states system can over rule them; and in some cases thank goodness otherwise slavery, marital rape, etc would still be enforced (although then you get crap like the bathroom nonsense, with the centralised power making backwards decisions).

I also think Andy a few times pointed the finger at the south vs the north, when what he really meant is the country vs westminster. Anyway it was interesting and good to hear, even if I’m not certain on everything said.

Dan Machen

TedXManchester 2017

I liked Dan’s talk, it was a number of things I’ve been thinking a lot about. Attention and Intimacy. I was surprised he never mentioned Sherry Turkle but the quote from William Bernbach was a good place to hand a lot of thoughts. I had never actually checked out Tristan harris, but after Dan’s talk I had a deeper look at him.

Very interesting stuff which I agree about quite a bit (expect a longer blog about him soon). I’ve also been thinking about people not platforms, putting more emphasis on human time and less on productivity. It’s all very interesting in the face of machine learning and AI; I can feel the quantified self/movement (they are quite different) right in the middle of all this, along with data ethics.

Back back to Dan’s talk, I did find the point about the smartphone being a hammer and would we take our hammer out in a meeting? Put it on the table? Interesting… To be fair when he talked about it, I did picture the business card scene from American Psycho, when he mentioned the hammer on the table.

Lots to take away and think about…

TedXManchester 2017

Of course there was plenty more good talks including Isaiah HullVolker HirschSquirrel NationTash Willcocks and Ukebox; which made the ukulele actually interesting. The only one I didn’t enjoy was Nic Cary from Blockchain, which actually has made me want to move my bitcoins from my blockchain wallet to somewhere else. I was actually thinking maybe its time to have my own personal offline wallet?

Another TEDxManchester with plenty to think about and another high bar for TEDx’s to try to achieve, well done to everyone involved.

This is what disruption of online dating looks like?

202. Girl
Be on the lookout, distruption could be around the corner

Elisa of queekd.com recently challenging me about my thoughts on online dating, especially after watching my TedXManchester talk about the same subject.
I concluded that the dating industry needed a serious kick up the backside and the only way this is going to happen is if you change the model. I then mentioned what P2P protocols did to media sharing. Instead of centralisation, you can have a more decentralised and even a distributed approach to online dating.

Easily said, but what do I mean?

I was trying to find examples of what I meant but it’s very difficult googling for them as they get lost in a sea of other stuff, some of it very weird.

There was a period when a whole bunch of sites with domain names like…

youshoulddatejo.com, smartandhandsomeian.com and samwantstodateyou.com etc… (not real sites of course) Were the rage for a short while, they would pop up now and then. These people without knowing it could have changed the dating field. They all seemed to contain similar elements and it wouldn’t take long for someone or myself to modify microformat hresume into a hDating microformat (I’m not going to talk about Microdata or RDF/A as its outside the scope of this post, but yes to both). semantically rich data published on the web as way to bring a distribution model to online dating.

Steven Pemberton @ TWAB2010
Why you should have a website

I am always reminded of Steven Pemberton‘s XTech 2008 talk, Why you should have a Web Site.

The nice man from the BBC filmed it and put it online. “Provocative and contentious” said one reviewer, who later said “I should never have doubted Steven Pemberton” and “Steven Pemberton was right”. Another said “The crowd completely disagreed. In hindsight he could not have been more correct.” and “grows more relevant with each passing year”. Text of the talk here.

Steven was talking about the advantages of machine-readable Web Pages and his point knocks right at door of the walled gardens of the social networks. Swap social networks of facebook, instagram, etc for Match.com, EHarmony, OkCupid, etc’s walled gardens… and you got the same problem and same solutions?

Online dating has taken all its bad habits from social networks and to be fair most of the social networks have learned from online dating in the same way. I once talked about dataportability in online dating and to be fair everybody laughed.

But imagine if profiles were part of the public internet? When I mean public, I mean not hidden away behind a walled garden (hidden/private web). Because really what are you paying for, if you are paying at all?

I can hear you panic or even laugh… Here’s questions which might be crossing your mind

Friend of a Friend project (FOAF)
Think FoaF for dating
  • I don’t want my profile to be public!
    This is fine, I understand some rather not be so open about their status. It doesn’t have to be connected with the rest of your online profiles by the way (this is down to you)
    It doesn’t necessarily need your name or even a public photo of you (there are many ways to verify someone without such information, think about what PGP, GPGP Escrow services, Ebay, Airbnb, etc do). Also like FoaF you can even hash or encrypt parts to avoid spam, catfishers, stalkers, etc. Maybe hide parts of your dating identity till its required. Theres endless possibilities, which I haven’t even explored.
  • How do I message or email someone, and what happens if things go south?
    South meaning, things start breaking up or you want to stop them messaging you. This is a partly solved problem. There no need to have you’re real email address. Services can step in and provide emails or instant messaging solutions which expire or forward on transparency. It could also be done with a standard protocol and encrypted for further privacy. Off the Record already does this, for goodness sake lets not build new protocols (badly or jokey) to do already solved stuff! (Yes this is what most dating sites are doing now)
  • How do I trust what I am seeing or reading?
    The same is true of most dating sites now, how do you know the picture isn’t a catfish, they really are the body shape they say or show? How do you know the picture isn’t 10 years ago? All the dating site/service is really offering you is access to single people (not that is always true of course)
    This is where the idea of a blockchain for online dating could come in quite useful, to verify with reputation, but if you don’t trust the technology. You can opt for something else… or even build your own! You only have to look at the people who have hacked OkCupid (Amy Webb and Chris McKinlay’s). Imagine what they could do if not restricted to the wall garden and the systems they could write for the rest of us.
  • But its easier to pay the money and sit safely within the closed garden?
    Safely…? Total illusions. But yes its easier, but you are limited by how much you are willing to pay. The open way you can have access to many more profiles, better ways to filter them and theoretically better solutions which you can share with friends.
    This way also puts more emphasis on you to do work, but I can imagine systems and services like wordpress, medium, squarespace, etc doing the heavy lifting for you.
  • How would I search?
    You don’t think some startup will jump into this arena? If not one of the big search giants?! The beauty is if you feel one is better than the other, you can easily switch. No rubbish claims, which can’t be verified. Just imagine when gocompare/money supermarket get involved to show you the best sites to find what you seek. Or imagine crowd sourcing this all.
  • But dating site x’s algorithm is great
    Don’t worry there will be multiple services jumping over each other for your money, data or other things to prove they are the one you should use. Some will be highly manual, some will be heavily automated. Currently there is no urgency to fix, innovate or try something different. Its not all bad news for dating services, they can run their magic algorithms on the public data set.
  • But my dating service offers X, Y and Z.
    Thats nice but have you thought how effective X, Y and Z actually are? Are they a distraction or actually making dating life better? Regardless… there is the perfect opportunity to have a ecosystems of services blossom and offer unique services on top of the open, machine readable profile network.
Future of Fabrication
Distributed models are sustainable?

Think about the way search engines innovated on the structured data and offered better matches as a result. The important part is, if you don’t like what a certain service is doing  or how they treat you, you can just move elsewhere without the fear of loosing access to that person still.

Interestingly OkCupid allows you to make your profile public (very few do), so you could see it without logging in. For example, https://www2.okcupid.com/profile/beach-s?cf=regular. I have considered making my profile public before but theres not quite enough benefit to me currently. OkCupid use it as a marketing tool and there’s little you can do once you view it. Its clear OkCupid was setup to break some of the legacy behind online dating but when they sold to the Match group, that drive to change things changed focus.

Me with Canvas
Ownership?

What I’m suggesting is similar but on your terms. There are other advantages such as having access to the biggest market of daters, personalised choice, better tools than one dating site can/want to create, bespoke advice and guidance from people who really give crap. This could issue in a new era in the art of match making!

But it doesn’t stop there, oh I’ve just scratched the surface. I feel a lot of the endemic corruption in online dating is due the centralised model.

Imagine if you could aggregate that profile into the legacy dating services. Almost a IFTTT recipe or Atomkeep? to update parts of your legacy profile on a schedule or manual push.

You could allow tinder to use one photo, OkCupid to upload 4-6 photos and a deeper description, Match.com only my photos marked professional and the deeper description.

What I’m talking about is Vender relationship management applied directly on to online dating, putting the users in control.

All is possible if you rethink the current setup. unfortunately the controlling companies (MATCH group currently own 27% plus of the online dating market and they own, OkCupid, POF, Tinder and many more) have zero interest in changing much. On top of that daters seem quite lazy and less interested in working for dates?

As you can imagine, there isn’t much in this area but I did find fermat. Its a p2p matching platform. I have yet to really look and see if its doing things how I would imagine

Video: Dating Against Humanity – #tedxmcr

My Dating Against Humanity video is now up on Youtube. Enjoy… Sure I’ll get some very mixed feedback from people.

Background information about the focus of the slides is here in the notes.

I did wish they sorted out the aspect ratio on the slides, but otherwise its what I pretty much remember of the talk. Other TedxMCR talks are also up.

The book I mentioned is now the start of another blog called dating yarns.

DatingYarns.com fictional dating stories based on real experiences

internet changed my life

I decided after my TEDxManchester Talk, that enough is enough its about time I stopped talking about my dating stories and just
started posting them. So I bought a domain name – datingyarns.com and setup a tumblr blog on it. As it says, its fictional dating stories based on real experiences. I change peoples names, change places and maybe combine the start of one date with the end of another in the rare case, as most don’t need much crafting at all. I’m mainly changing them to stop myself being sued or causing upset to those involved.

Its also not going to be anything like the tale of Jared Rutledge or even 52 First dates. Nobody will be picketed outside vivid lounge calling for my castration (I hope). Its more like no bad dates just good stories but with very dates stories?

I was thinking about posting them here on cubicgarden.com but I decided I really wanted to have others post their yarns/stories/tales too. As some of them are far better/tragic than the experiences I have had.

Its all a bit of fun (a good yarn) and I hope you will enjoy the stories and have fun working out which bits are fictional and not. You will be very surprised… Maybe I’ll meta blog about a few of them sometime.

My first yarn/chapter/story is up and its called Everybody lies online right?

Enjoy! I have many more where that came from…

Updated: Dating against humanity dating talk with notes

…a game in which nice single people are roped into a horrible game with others, resulting in cognitive overload, shocking manners, narcissism, algorithmic prejudice, financial loss and decisions based purely on appearances.

I updated my presentation with notes or rather a little commentary inside the notes of what I’m thinking about in the slide; for example…

serialdater?

You can look at the slide and think, bit of serial dater? Really? Well here’s the background to my thoughts on that slide…

The word serial dater always conjures up visions of players, so I kind of prefered ethical dater. Because although I dated more than most typical people, it was a great chance to make friends and go to new places.

So here is the full breakdown of my thoughts on google slides or slideshare.

Enjoy! Next time will be the actual video, which I have actually seen, its pretty good and entertaining.

6 Words to describe different types of Love

Macchiato love

I had always thought and stood by the idea that love is wider than the romantic love we are sold growing up in a western society. It wasn’t till I went to Laura Gordon‘s Dream Builders #4: Love Actually event, that I learned about the 6 words the greek use to describe love.

From what people at the event were saying,  it was bounded around on twitter on valentine day but I guess I was too busy at TedxManchester to see it.

So the 6 words are…

  • Eros, or sexual passion
  • Philia, or deep friendship
  • Ludus, or playful love
  • Agape, or love for everyone
  • Pragma, or long-standing love
  • Philautia, or love of the self

There was discussion about the need for all 6 in different ways and of course how we are sold the idea that love is Eros; especially in western society. I had never really heard the terms and it reflects on my own thoughts and what certain people say to me about my own love life.

People have commented that maybe the reason why I don’t need/can afford to be so picky, is because I  fill my time with the company of other friends. For some reason the percentage of female friends is higher than most men I know too. Don’t ask me why, but I have thoughts (for another blog post maybe)

This isn’t that blog post but in reflection on the 6 types of love, theres a whole lot of Philia and Agape in my life. This is also why I don’t necessarily feel like I’m missing something in my life.

Treasure those conversations with friends

I’m carving out something unique by spreading some love around by sharing my reality with friends and family, you only have to look at the amount of parties, BBQs, etc I do and have done. My hope is I’ll share it with someone who understands and loves the way I view the  world.

 

TedXManchester4 does Manchester proud

TEDxManchester 2016

Ok I’m bias here because I took part in TedXManchester4 as a speaker but honestly the line up was vast, diverse and had plenty of great talking points through-out. I said a similar thing about TedxLiverpool last year. But I have to admit Sir Ken Roberson did push it just past the dizzy heights of this excellent well conceived and very well executed TedX.

TedxManchester

The TedXManchester team did a great job and it was well worth the extra year we had to wait for HomeMCR to be built and for TedxManchester to move with it.

Here’s all the talks and my brief thoughts… I did write notes in a mindmap, which can be seen here.

Tom Cheesewright at TEDxManchester 2016

Tom Cheesewright

Tom gave much thought about our tradition notions of what a cyborg is and made some good arguments why we all are cyborgs now. Main point being we have all augmented  our minds already and we need to get over it. Really nice start to TedxManchester.

Rob Procter at TEDxManchester 2016

Rob Procter

His study of digital wild fire as Rob called it was certainly cause for concern. It was a study of the viral spread of provocative or false information over social media.

I did have a slide in my old deck talking about how intimacy happens at internet speed. And in Robs case, a clear sign of how internet speed can really spread false information at a incomprehensible speed. I later spoke to Rob and made the point that a study of the awful ways relationship break ups happen at online would be most insightful.

TedxManchester

Aala El-Khani

From bombs to bread was a breathtaking talk with plenty of passion and some incredible humanity on the things forgotten in a war. The effect of war is horrific but on those trying to carry on with family life in the middle of it can be devastating well past the end of the war.

Her project to focus on them  was fantastic to hear and see.

TedxManchester

Ruth Daniel

Ruth summed up one of my thoughts I had when I first moved to Manchester. They do things differently here. Yes besides the gravy sucking through a straw, there was something which spoke volumes to me.

Challenging the status quo, being inspired by those under pressure and if it wasn’t for Hip-Hop I would be dead. All spoke volumes to me. Great talk, shame we didn’t get a chance to talk Ruth.

TedxManchester

Sam Aaron

I first saw Sam at Thinking Digital 2015 in Gateshead/Newcastle. Back then, I said to myself I would give SonicPi a try but kind of forgot about it in the swirl of other things that year.

Since then, I’ve seen more and more live coding and started wondering if this could be a element the future of djing? I’ve already shared my ideas slides with Sam and Dan (who I work with in R&D) previously.

So I finally tried it with a little help from Sam…

Currently got a problem with JackAudio and PulseAudio, which I need to sort out.

TedxManchester

Jeff Coghlan

It was funny having Jeff just before my own talk. Jeff was making a lot of good points about games and play. Then there was me criticising game techniques in dating apps/systems/sites.

Interestingly I didn’t know Jeff’s company are involved in the VR upgrade of Alton Towers Air rollercoaster ride. I have already got in touch about what I wrote previously about Perceptive Media in a theme park. Who knows… could be interesting, just as interesting as his talk.

Ian Forrester at TEDxManchester 2016

Myself

I feel like such a idiot,  but its worth saying I was pretty good too but expect a full break down of my slides coming soon.

TedxManchester

Hayley Parkes

When I first heard Hayley play back in Thinking Digital 2014 in Gateshead/Newcastle., I was touched and frankly stunned. Shes incredibly talented and to hear the personal story which surrounds her playing Clair de lune, was heart touching to say the very least. I look forward to the next time I hear her play again. Such talent and just starting out in her adult life.

TedxManchester

Jan Blake

Jan was great, she told a old tale with such passion and such vigor you couldn’t help but be swept up in the story. She was right in the green room, these stories are as powerful today as they were then. I’ll be checking her out in the future…

TedxManchester

Danielle George

It was great to hear how Radio waves are having such a effect on much more than we think. Danielle was a really great talker and communicator of her passion for the science radio waves. This also extended well into inspiring the next generation of women into engineering fields. Look forward to hearing more and seeing where she goes next.

TedxManchester

Ed Carter

Looking at architecture as music is fascinating to think about and it actually makes a lot of sense, especially  when framed as immersive experience. Quite a unique way of looking and evaluating the landscape around us. I especially like the quote Architecture is frozen music.

TedxManchester

Lemn Sissay

Lemn’s poetry is incredible to hear again after Thinking Digital Manchester 2015. Epic and edgy as always.

Once again his trainers were of interest for the camera, maybe I should have wore my spring blades.

TedxManchester

Yandass Ndlovu

There is little I can say about Yandass without really seeing her dance. I mentioned to Yandass afterwards that she summed up the exact reason why I love freestyle dancing and tend to reject couple/organised dancing. Yandass, just danced, mixing styles and building up her own take on everyone of them.

It was amazing to see dancing, so free of movement and contemporary. Nice tie up with Ruth Daniel’s If it wasn’t for Hip-Hop I would be dead.

TedxManchester

As a touching end to the whole event, Herb and his daughter said thank you to everybody for coming along with the core team of the Isabelle, the Emmas and many other helpers. It deserved to be sold out and people stayed right up to the very end.

Thanks to Herb and the team, I enjoyed every moment. Heck I even got a valentine dinner date after my call out on stage… with Herb in pizza express… ha! Not exactly what I expected  but heck it was a great end to the day.

My Tedxmcr talk: Dating against humanity

…a game in which nice single people are roped into a horrible game with others, resulting in cognitive overload, shocking manners, narcissism, algorithmic prejudice, financial loss and decisions based purely on appearances.

Would you date this man?
Would you date a 36 year old divorcee who is a left-leaning feminist and self confessed geek?

…a game in which nice single people are roped into a horrible game with others, resulting in cognitive overload, shocking manners, narcissism, algorithmic prejudice, financial loss and decisions based purely on appearances.

I’m just back from TedxManchester which was at homemcr, where I gave a presentation about onlne dating and some of the things I’ve observed about it. I believe I’m the first person to publicilly ask for a date from a Tedx stage.

It went well but I did have to speed up at the end, which did mean loosing some of my connecting points.

Maybe I’ll do a full breakdown of my thoughts but for now here’s some of the higher level ones.

  • Online dating sites and services are fundimentally in conflict with the goals of its customers.
  • There is too much evidence suggesting that online dating sites are unlikely to do what they say they do.
  • Online dating services are using gamification to prolong attention to collect even more data and make the service addictive
  • I believe the birthday paradox is a good reason why regardless of what dating sites do, there will be people who will pair off
  • Meetup, brisklr and other niche services which bring people together should have equal amount of successful connections as the likes of the big dating sites. They just don’t shout about it like the rest.
  • You shouldn’t let the tools dictate how you conduct yourself online.

Great TedX once again by Herb Kim and the thinking digital crew.

It was so apt, giving such a talk on valentines day…

I’ll write a review of the other great talks in a few days time, but I wanted to post up the slides as so many people have asked me about them.

Lovegrumps is back… Dating apps, wtf!

Date night ...

The Lovegrumps is finally back, with a critical eye on dating apps. Ideal 2 weeks before I stand on stage at TedXManchester and talk about online dating and much more.

We’re back after almost a year of silence, this time to talk about those new fangled dating apps… with Ian, HwayoungTom and David..

Mpeg3 and Ogg on Archive.org

Love and romance predicted for TEDx Manchester 2016

First date night in ages with @frankhamilton79. Dinner and a movie at @homemcr. Saw a brill German movie called West. Very happy girl :) #datenight #lbloggers #bloggers #lbloggersuk #manchester #cinema #homemcr #westmovie #movies #pictures #cinemanight

February 14th is always known for valentines day, well this year get yourself down to Homemcr. How can you get more romantic? Don’t worry I’ll make sure there is enough love for everybody…

TEDxManchester is back, and it would be fair to say I’m involved after talking at TedxManchester2 and arranging TEDxManchester originally with a bunch of great collaborators in 2009!

TEDx events were created in the spirit of  the TED conferences’ mission: ‘ideas worth spreading’. They are  designed to give communities, organisations and individuals the opportunity to stimulate dialogue through TED-like experiences at a local level. TEDx events are a worldwide phenomenon with thousands of events popping up from San Francisco to Sydney. Following on from the first TEDxManchester in 2009 at the BBC, and subsequent editions at Cornerhouse and University of Manchester Student Union, we’re excited to have the first HOME edition of TEDxManchester in 2016!

Tickets go live on the 14th January

When Tinder met Vanity, we all got popcorn and watched

TechCrunch Disrupt Europe: Berlin 2013 (Day 2)
…at the helm of the company that’s changing society in ways they can’t stop, or even fathom because they’re right in the middle of it. Scary.

Tinder (which I have written about and am now somewhat convinced will be seen as a bad bad joke in many years time) was recently written about in Vanity Fair and… Oh dear, tinder took to twitter to complain!

The best deconstruction of the whole thing comes from David Evans over at onlinedating insider.

I couldn’t even bring myself to finish the VF article. Story after story about relationship-challenged New Yorkers. Men in New York treat women terribly and brag about it in Vanity Fair. Wow, you don’t say?

The VF article is a retread of a topic that’s been beaten to death by the media and dating bloggers for almost two years, but VF decided to hang out with a bunch of New Yorkers who rack up Tinder sex-mates like there’s no tomorrow and talk to them like they are adults or something. The writer clearly emerged from a cave last week and the first thing they did was go on a Tinder date and now she’s scarred for life.

Tinder is simply a throw back to old skool dating (when it was al about looks and not the personality), but it doesn’t stop a whole host of articles, posts and shows being written about it… even in mid 2015! Tinder has become the symbol of our misogynist culture much like how the game was a few years ago?

“It’s an eye-opener and validation of a woman’s worst fear. The guys are swiping right to hook up and it’s all just a game.” Give me a break. The women who enable men to behave this way are just as complicit in the degradation of modern courtship as Tinder is. And Tinder is at the bottom of the pile, along with Ashley Madison.

Add gamification and repeat

The gamification of online/social dating can be scary stuff which I’ll cover in my TedX Talk early next year… Don’t miss it, its going to be pretty wild…! Ironiclly it will be on Valentine day, so expect a blood path of broken hearts and trashed dreams

Its so clear there is a problem, as many people including Sherry Turkle and even comedian Aziz Ansari’s modern romance, identifies. They wonder about current social impact of not just its users but on the mating process as a whole!

David really gets into to the metric problem of the throw away action of a swipe.

What is the equivalent of a right-swipe on a dating service? Replied to emails? If I email you and you email me back, that’s a match. Sam Yagan at Match told me that years ago. Back when he was the Co-founder of OkCupid, and they always said Match wasn’t worth the money and nobody should have to pay for a dating site

…Tinder’s definition of a match as two people physically moving their fingers about a quarter of an inch to the right compared with writing and responding to emails. Comparing swipes to responded-to emails is ridiculous; they’re not even comparable. But we’re talking about Tinder here, so anything goes.

How about this. Whenever two people like or favorite each other’s photos on a dating service, they are a match. Is that comparable to Tinder mutual swipes? I don’t know and I really don’t care anymore. And neither does anyone else, because all I read about in the media are stories about people on Tinder hooking up three times a week and 25 million matches a day.

He’s right, no body is really thinking about what the metrics mean when  writing about Tinder. It might as well be 25 millions acorns! There is so much more David writes in the post but I love the ending line, and I’m really starting to agree (even though I know a few friends who have successfully had serious relationships via tinder)…

Tinder is the worst thing to ever happen to the online dating industry. End of story.

Secret of luck and getting over the fear of rejection

The videos from TedXManchester3 seem to all be up now. I wrote about the event already. Which reminds me of the excellent Motivate, Learn, Do by the wonderful Carrie Green.

We at some point afterwards had a coffee and a long chat about the event and talked about each others background.

During the conversation I mentioned Derren Brown’s Secret of Luck and my thoughts on the fear of rejection. I also talked about dealing with my fear of needles with hypnotherapy (Belonephobia).

But the biggest thing was my own TedxManchester talkThe Story of Me.” Ever since my brush with death, I have not let things stand in my way. I just go for it or make things happen. People are paralyzed by their fear of what might happen, that they won’t reach out and grab whats in front of them. And thats pretty much what I did.

There were about 900 people in the venue and not a single person put their hand up. As soon as she said, I was there to help. Carrie couldn’t see me at first, so I had to run to the front and wave right in front of her. When she finally saw me, getting on to the stage was a small nightmare. The stage is made to keep people off not for me to climb on to, so with a chair and a lot of upper body strength I was able to climb up. Walk across the stage and say my name and collect £20.

Opportunity met and now £20 better off because of my push and drive to do things, others reject.

Return of the jfdi…

During TedXManchester3 while Pam Warhurst’s talked, I was blown away once again by the simple story and all the things she did. Just like when I heard her at thinking digital 2012. Seriously I was going to stand up and start a standing ovation.

She kept referring back to that elegant of terms…

JFDI (Just Fucking Do It!) Something we can all stand behind…

I started to think about all the other people who Just Fucking Did It.

Alan O’Donohoe the Computing Teacher who JFDI and spoofed us all at BarCampMediaCity. Which turned into a momentous ride to the Raspberry Jam via Hack To The Future. Worth pointing out that the title came from Alan’s suggestion on twitter.

James Headifen who runs the Ancoats Canal Cleanup project. Decided he loved to live by water and wanted to help do something to make it beautiful and worth living next to. Now once a month he and a bunch of people JFDI. I’ve not had a chance to join them in a while because of Volleyball practice but its great stuff they do.

These guys are the tip of the iceberg… There’s many people I could mention…

My highlights of TedXManchester3

I wish I brought my Nikon D40, because the pictures I have are pretty bad with the dark light of the room.

A while ago I talked about TedxSalford and said some slightly negative things about the overall event. No disrespect to the organisers, I just felt it lacked a soul.

I just think I prefer TedxManchester personally. There is something about genuine and authenticity which seems to be missing. I felt like we went from here’s a massive speaker to here’s another big speaker to yes you guessed it another massive speaker…

Later, I talk about the programming of the speaker line up. For many people this might not matter too much, but to me it makes all the difference.

TedXManchester/TedXUniversityofManchester had a line up of not many big name. To be honest you would be hard pushed to spot anyone as such famous. But that didn’t matter at all, actually it added to its overall charm.

Don’t get me wrong it wasn’t all smiles. Still there were issues which made a very good event not an excellent event.

Manchester Academy is a venue for concerts, raves and performances. Because of that the venue was extremely cold. I actually went home at lunch and got my jumper and another coat. There was also no public wifi. However there was Eduroam, and I guess because 40% of the people in the room were students, they were catered for. But the rest of us were struggling without. Luckily getting a solid 3G signal wasn’t too bad.

On the plus side having banquet tables made the whole thing feel much more relaxed. Which is quite amazing for a dark rave hall. But enough about the event logistics, lets talk the line up.

The line up was diverse and vast… but I would say everyone was good even Alessio Rastani who drive me nuts with his call outs and general love of the ugly side of capitalism. However here is the ones which really got me writing notes.

Anthony Lishak
Your voice on paper can be impressive was the rallying call from Anthony. He hammer home the point that when your young people encourage you to do creative writing but as you get older the creativity is lost in favor of structure. This really hit home for me because when I started my blog, lots of people said it was a total mess (maybe still is) 10 years later, I’m still writing and I largely ignored the spelling and grammar pokes from people.

I loved the example he used around Adjectives + Verbs + Connectives = ? I assume the higher the number the better? What is a Connective? (please don’t answer because I don’t really care)

I grabbed some time with him in the break and talked about the fact writing shouldn’t be my natural outlet. Great talk and really makes me wonder how pushing a structure on writing is another way to restrict people from free thinking?

Hannah Mosley
Started her talk about tattoos and body modifications. I personally never really cared too much about tattoos and not really a fan of them, so kinda switched off at the start. But Hannah’s point wasn’t about the tattoos, instead it was about the manipulation of mainstream media. Something I certainly can get behind with my experiences in TV and TV people. Hannah had ended up with her online profile damaged by the mirror in this entry.

I feel for Hannah but never got a chance to talk to her. Over dinner later with friends I talked about some of my experiences and seeing snog marry avoid being filmed in the northern quarter. Shocking stuff, I asserted. Something we shouldn’t stand for…

It was a stroke of great programming to have Jon Sopel from BBC News follow her… He turned it around by focusing on very worth while subject of journalism at the edges.

Carrie Green
You all know how much of a suck I am for peoples shifts or change in perspectives. It all stems back to my brush with death and I’ve been wondering ever since, what it may take to wake up other people? So when I heard Carrie talk, it really hit home with me.

Carrie started her talk with a simple request. She asked for someone to join her on stage. As I was sitting at the front, I put my hand up but in the dark depths of the Manchester Academy, my hand then arm waving was lost. Another request and still no one, so I stood up and shouted yes I’ll do it. Finally she heard me and called me up on stage. As you can imagine, the stage at the Manchester Academy who only a week ago played host to Prince/Symbol/whatever. Isn’t really made for the audience to get up on. So I had to climb on a chair, pull myself up and then walk across the stage. Luckily I had dumped my motorcycle coat by that point. In my head I was convinced she was going to perform some hypnosis on me. But I was driven by what I’ve read and experienced in the past including the richness of life and how to be interesting?

Health and Safety would have had kittens but I walked across the stage at Carrie. In my mind I thought she might pull a Derren Brown grabbing my hand arm in the shoulder and saying calmly “Sleep…” I was nervous but also excited, what did she have in store for me? I reached her and she moved like she was going to shake my hand? She did and asked my name. To be honest by that point I was quickly analysing her and she seemed as nervous as I did. She reached in her left pocket and instantly thought, uh oh… She pulled out a twenty pound note and handed it to me.

I so wasn’t expected this and it took a while to sink in. I’m sure my posture must have looked a little goofy. Carrie, announced to the audience that if they had come forward, they would be walking away with £20 too. I think I said wow thanks, and shook her hand again before exiting the stage. On the way off the stage the scope of the whole thing came to me and I did a little throw of the hands in the air with the money (slightly crass but I’m sure Alessio Rastani would be proud).

She talked a lot about visualising where she wanted to be and that helping her through. Once again something I can relate to, as the hypontheraphy I had for my fear of needles (Trypanophobia) is all about visualising. Its what I use a lot of when stuck in a ruck.

I was able to grab Carrie afterwards and on twitter. So much I wanted to say to her and find out from her. It was a excellent talk and reinforced the idea that you don’t need to experience near death to refocus your life. The world can be what you want it to be, you just need to think it.

Caleb Meakins
This guy totally stole the show. On a similar theme to Carrie Green and Doug Ward, Caleb asked the audience, “What would do if you couldn’t fail?” (seems the best talks start with a question?)

Caleb’s talk was all about the fear of rejection and getting out of your comfort zone. He setup my40days.co.uk.

Suggest a challenge on Facebook or Twitter. By taking on these challenges that are deemed entirely unachievable and socially awkward, I will learn to come out of my comfort zone, think outside the box, and take risks as I attempt to successfully achieve each day’s challenge.

As you follow me on this journey, I hope to inspire you to chase your dreams and not let the fear of failure stop you from reaching and exceeding your potential.

We then had fun watching some of the videos from the youtube channel. Then talked about the serious side of what he’s doing. He talked about social stereotypes,  stepping out side your comfort zone and life beginning at the edge of the comfort zone. Sounds very clique but it came across well along with fear is the sign your alive and without failure there is no success. I’ve been known to say something similar taken from Vanilla Sky.

Just remember, the sweet is never as sweet without the sour, and I know the sour

I expect Caleb will be seen again soon…

Other notice ables were Pam Warhurst (almost given a standing ovation, but don’t worry there will be more about her soon) was amazing as usual. Doug Ward was great of course but I’ve heard his story quite a few times, Waleed Lakhani left some interesting thoughts, Laune Penny was great and ever so passionate but her work for the SKA project was slightly lost in her accent.

I have to say the event was very good and I’m glad TedXManchester was able to balance going big with cleverly theming and fascinating speakers. Good job done and I’m very glad to have gone and spent my Sunday at TedXMancheter… Looking forward to the next one…

Story of Me, the TedxManchester video

Sometimes my slides can seem very odd, theres little information and it tend to be quite difficult if you’ve not heard me talk before. I also don’t tend to write notes but instead use slides as a prompt my memory. I can stand up and talk freestyle without a slides but to be honest if you want me to stay on topic, its best to let me use slides…

Anyway I’m really happy to say, my video of me talking at TedxManchester2 went up today.

Thanks to Nathan Rae for removing the Herb Kim spoiler at the very start (bless his cotton socks or something like that). As I said previously Herb Kim, talked about the experience before I even got a chance to leave my chair and although it was slightly embarrassing having my presentation spoiled beforehand (in a nice way) I almost couldn’t get up because it was incredibly powerful and ever so humbling…

I’m pretty much through-out holding it together but only just. At the end, when Herb comes on, that was it – The whole experience of going through it and coming out well enough to tell the tale got to me… It was amazing to think just under 2 years ago I was dying and there was nothing I could do about it.

There was so much I wanted to fit into the slides including the visit from Josh, Julian Tait, Sheila Thomson, Dave Crossland, Sarah Blow etc. The amazing support I got from my sister, Ross + Carly, Parents and Family. The fact without Billie my mortgage advisor I would have lost my flat for good. I wanted to include stuff about my dreams and the idea of mydreamscape. I wanted to extend the part about my troubles with Ebay and go into serious details about the way I was treated in hospital and the official written apology I later received. I swear there was about another 20mins of things I could have talked about…!

I’ll refer to my thanks you’s after I came out of hospital, because I can never say enough thank you to everyone who was involved and hopefully I’ve inspired people to take a deeper look at their lives and live it to the best of there abilities. As I’ve always said, stop living someone else life, live your own because you are unique and ever so complex on ways which we can not understand.

As Cobb on inception says

I can’t imagine you with all your complexity, all you perfection, all your imperfection.

Later in the presentation it may seem like I went all zen but honestly, it sums up the way I see the world now. I can’t imagine it with all its complexity, all its perfection, all its imperfection.

Once again, hopefully it helped/inspired/reached someone… Don’t forget to share it with friends and family, I certainly will be…