Please Vote for South By Awesomeness

Beyond Myspace

Please vote for this panel to be included at next year's South By South West Festival.

Using this URL:

[Full disclosure: it's my girlfriend's panel, and she said I could be on it. However I maintain that my bias does not effect my judgment, and saw her speak to the theme at the NY Music Tech meet up, think it will be awesome, and the other speakers will be brilliant.] 

Please also vote for this one, even though I won't be on it:

What do women want in bed? With their laptops, of course. Why are some entertainment platforms better suited for females? We'll explore what women are using and why, providing perspectives for the marketers and brands while providing opportunities for sexy and sophisticated women looking to explore new digital trends.

Because I want the answer to 'technology for women' to no longer be 'make a pink one'.

Voting is open for all the panels until Friday. It will take you literally less than one minute to register. And then SXSW will be more awesome, thanks to you, and I will be very grateful.



Neurosonics Audiomedical Labs Inc. from Chris Cairns on Vimeo.

My mate Chris just made this.

Get more details from Neurosonics Audiomedical - the film features turntablist legends The Scratch Perverts and multi-mike beatbox genius Shlomo [as the drums].

Kingdom of the unreal but also a higher state of being, ultimately free of the limitations of the material world through the agency of science, technology, and imagination.

I may be biased but I still guarantee it is the *MOST AWESOME* thing you will see today.

[Possibly tomorrow also. Maybe even all week, but the internet is a big {metaphorical} place, and things move fast nowadays, speaking of which...]

People and technology are blurring in both directions.

You have the idea of cybernetic enhancement, the addition of technology to people, from invisible tools all the way to the cognitive amplification that Ray Kurzweil claims will be necessary just to keep up with the increased rate of technology wrought cultural change in a couple of decades time [see the upcoming Transcendent Man for more on his particular flavour post singularity thinking] [Thanks Stephanie for the tip]. 

And you have technology getting humanised, until it plunges into the uncanny valley, that scary place where robots get so close to peopleness they freak you out, until it emerges as something more Roomba-like, [because pet robots are much less scary than people robots.]

[I think the uncanny valley equally applies to any technology that mimics or attempts to mimic humanlike functions, which is why behavioural targeting can seem sinister if it's heavy handed, and also why that paperclip in MS Office was so annoying.]

I'm thinking a lot about 'technology' as an idea at the moment for some upcoming talks - if you come across any really awesome old technology / old technology prediction stuff on the youtube I'd love to see it - thanks.

Books And Fast Company


The Best Book in the World Book Shelf competition is now closed! The winner will be announced in a following post, once I get a chance to collate the list of best books as recommended by you.

[Feel free to keep contributing suggestions in the comments - I shall include them all]

In the meantime, I'm guest blogging over on Fastcompany all this week - first piece is about how language changes can tell us about what's important and Cannes....

Lions and Language and Geeks [Oh My]

Another piece will go up today. At some point. Once I write it.

And here it is.

Cultural Latency.

Raving = Lots of People Copying Each Other

Appropriately enough, Mark, the Herdmesiter himself, turned me on to this clip last week. It's been popping up ever since.

What does it show us?

That people love to copy other people.

That one person [or thing] can change behavior, if persistent, because it doesn't happen right away, and if the actions, and the copying, are visible to enough people.

That raving, like a lot of group behavior, is lots of people copying each other according to local rules.

That we are far more likely to do something, the more people we see doing it.

[Watch as the crowd increases in size, and then imagine the curve. See?]

[9 out of 10 cats]

That we love to be social, love to be in groups, love to create groups and be involved in their creation, but need something, or someone, to hold the group together.

That's there's something euphoric, and perhaps liminal, in taking part in group behaviours like this.

That raving up hills can be brilliant.

Wearing the Web

The Invisible Web is closer than I thought - thanks to the genius of MIT's Media Lab.

All the talk about the third screen and the screen generation - everyone glued to screens all hours of the day - slightly misses the bigger point. The true integration of the web and the world is when the digital leaves the screen behind.

The device itself is a barrier, as they point out at the beginning of the film above.[People don't want drills, they want holes.]

The web itself is our sixth sense - an extension of the Cartesian theatre of operations that outsources certain functions to the cloud - that accesses data in real time to make it useful for where you are [geotility] and what you are doing [contextility].

Using your hand as a keypad is just awesome - the brain implant is to come.

[Thanks to Ramzi [who blogged this ages ago] and Matt and Bruce, who reminded me]

The Future is Haptic

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The future is another country - they do things differently there.

I spend a lot of time thinking and writing about the future.

So do technology companies.

Inevitably we are restricted in our forecasting by the bias of presentism - we take the concerns of now and extrapolate, so the truly novel will always escape us.

In the 1950s the future was all clunky robots and jetpacks - because that's what cars with fins looked like at the time.

Today, the future is one big touch screen because we are currently obsessed with haptic interfaces. 

But it looks awesome all the same. 


I was showing my mate Chris the eyebrow dance spot below and he wistfully wondered why they hadn't synced the eyebrows to the music properly, which reminded me of the film above, where the music is synced to the facial movements via electric shocks.

It gets very awesome [and, one assumes, relatively painful] towards the end.

Probably couldn't get away with electrocuting little kids though.