Eclectic Curiosity

Idea Festival

Purposeful Random Collisions

Posted on October 28th, by Steve Hardy in Archives, Miscellany. No Comments

A few top-tier idea conferences recently wrapped up: Picnic 08 in Amsterdam, Idea Festival in Louisville, and BIF-4 in Providence. Unfortunately I couldn’t attend this year but fortunately there are enough articles, videos, and firsthand dispatches floating around the net to experience vicariously through.… more

Idea Festival – Reflections

Posted on September 16th, by Steve Hardy in Archives, ideaFestival 07. No Comments

Some random reflections on Idea Festival 2007

-Overall, a great event. I had a blast. I attended 21 presentations in three days – phew! – and most of them were outstanding. I especially like the talks given by Homaro Cantu on cooking innovations, by Dirk Brockmann on money circulation, by Tiffany Shlain on her film projects, by Laurence Gonzales on intelligent mistakes, by Ned Kahn on environmental art, and by James McLurkin on robot swarms. The quality of speakers was top-tier and the range of topics was pretty wide too. Integrating non-lecture aspects like musical performance, film screenings, and the Thursday evening “Taste of Innovation” food and beverage sampling rounded out the event very nicely too.… more

Idea Festival – Day 3

Posted on September 15th, by Steve Hardy in Archives, ideaFestival 07. No Comments

Day 3 at Idea Festival 2007

The Internet is NOT Flat
Amira Al Hussaini, Georgia Popplewell, and Ethan Zuckerman

Super blogger Ethan Zuckerman kicked off the morning with a session discussing the evolution of the internet–from DARPA to now–and how it has facilitated international conversation. “We can now move atoms around cheaply (eg. Fiji water). But how global are our bits? Well, it’s as international as we want it to be.” To prove his point he showed various maps of the world – electricity use at night, fibre-optic cable lines, political net access, and media attention.

Zuckerman is a co-founder of Global Voices, a website that finds, filters, translates and amplifies grassroots media and blog reporting and commentary.… more

Idea Festival – Day 2

Posted on September 14th, by Steve Hardy in Archives, ideaFestival 07. No Comments

Day 2 at Idea Festival 2007

Google World
Craig Nevill-Manning

A busier agenda today and the morning started with a presentation by Craig Nevill-Manning, Director of Engineering at Google‘s first satellite office in New York City. He covered five main points:

1. Think broadly – “Computer science is not just about computers.”
2. Enable others – Build a platform for others to build upon. Example: Google Maps
3. Use deep technology – Example: contextual spell-check. Is a search for “kofee” someone looking for coffee or Kofi Annan. “People are generally very bad at spelling.”
4. Build for scale – “Dumb, unreliable, massively parallel, on lots of data.” Reliability comes from redundancy.… more

Idea Festival – Day 1

Posted on September 13th, by Steve Hardy in Archives, ideaFestival 07. No Comments

Day 1 at Idea Festival 2007

The morning started with an experimental “workshop” called The Big Jam. This was basically a warm-up of three 10-minute sessions from a choice of ten. The three that I randomly walked into were about philosophy (What’s It Like to Be You?), environmental stewardship, and, fittingly enough, randomness. The latter was interestingly connected to a new project called Yuzoz in which the seemingly irrelevant pulse of stars could be harnessed to make decisions perhaps no less accurate than, say, Google’s billion-dollar algorthms. Or, just as curiously, form the bass line of some musician’s next hit single.… more

Idea Festival 2007

Posted on September 13th, by Steve Hardy in Archives, ideaFestival 07. No Comments

Greetings from Louisville!

I’m in Kentucky for the next few days attending Idea Festival, an exciting event featuring many interesting and accomplished people talking about a curious range of topics. Headliners include Steve Wozniak, Ray Bradbury, Michio Kaku and more. At the kind invitation of the Festival’s prolific and thoughtful lead blogger Wayne Hall (seriously, he has one of the best general-interest blogs going), I’ll be providing day-by-day commentary on the presentations here for you at Creative Generalist. More to follow…… more

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