We're in the final week before Summercon 2008! Come out Friday night @ 7PM and meet at the Wyndham Hotel bar, a.k.a. "The Mojito Lounge". Don't be shy, just look for someone wearing a Summercon t-shirt and introduce yourself. They won't bite or fight... probably. We'll plan on hanging out at the hotel for a bit and then herd everyone to another fine drinking establishment. Friday night is an ice-breaker, so come out and get to know your friendly neighborhood hacker. Don't sleep in much past noon on Saturday, presentations start at 12:30PM.
Seriously, here's the deal. Yes, the origins of Outerz0ne were a bit dubious. I'll be the first to admit it. The second year, we tried to get away from the original idea for OZ1, and I think we did a decent job. This is the third year. We're not competing with any other cons, we're on our own timeframe, and we're not meeting in a hotel room. It's still a small, social type con, but we've grown large enough to have a small ballroom this year.
Why are we doing this? Frankly, because it's a blast. We get a chance to get together with our friends and people we've only talked to online, and hang out, exchange ideas/knowledge, and party a bit. We've got some good talks lined up, some great social activities, and some of the coolest people on the planet attending. YOU. The price is right, and it should be a great time. Come hang out with us and relax for the weekend. Bring the cool toys you've built and show them off.
Someone sent me a link to woot.com this morning. I exclaimed that there is a special place in hell for the person who decided to use that domain for a commerical purpose. That hell involves having nothing to do but sit on efnet for millenia. Then I noticed the linked Thinkgeek page.
w00t belongs to gamers the world over. It seems to have been derived from the obselete 'whoot' which essentially is another way to say 'hoot' which itself is a shout or derisive laugh. But others maintain that w00t is the sound several players make while jumping like bunnies in Quake III. Still others want you to believe that it comes from the phrase 'wow loot' used in multiplayer RPGs many moons ago. And if you can believe it some folks even think it was derived from the gaming phrase, 'We Own the Other Team!' Fiction or fact? I suppose you'll just have to decide what 'w00t!' means to you...
Fiction you fucks. There is another special place in hell for people who think words like pwn and w00t are the recent inventions of multiplayer gamers. This word had become popular and then gone out of fashion long before Quake III was released. The first time I heard it was on efnet in a hacking related channel in 1992 or 1993. Its a combination of Woohoo and Root; as in "Woohoo, I got Root!"
Words like pwn and w00t are so obviously hacking related that its hard to understand why gamers would rationalize that they have something to do with quake. However, it is really interesting that these words have been appropriated by that scene and become extremely mainstream. When I saw Cartman say pwn on national television a few months ago I almost jumped out of my seat. I don't really know who invented the term, but that person is likely only one degree of separation from the folks who hang out at summercon.
Bruce Sterling wants to fund the Industrial Memetics Institute.
"I'm shocked that I understood every damn thing Benkler's saying. Online experiences need to be granular, modular, and integratable. Furthermore, I didn't know about self-selection, humanization, and trust construction. I'd love to see that industrialized. Norm creation, transparency, peer review, discipline, yeah, all of that's lacking today. Internet institutions lack sustainability. They have the lifetime of my skin. They get bought out. The available platforms for self-expression are terrible. I use seven word processors, all of them terrible."
"Why are social applications businesses? Why aren't they political parties?"
"I hang out at a lot of gigs like this. Everybody's sticking it to the man; nobody's the man. What if the state of Vermont gets metal-spined ubiquitous broadband? If it leaks over state borders, are you going to sell connectivity? Will they make sure nobody in New Hampshire can 'steal' Wi-fi? What if New Hampshire becomes the next Baltic-style e-state, the next Estonia?"
What you build, you cannot contain or control. "I'm a cyberpunk. Information wants to be free. It used to be hard to find, but Google was my apotheosis. We now have this unbelievable tidal wave of information. There's no end to it. It's endlessly seductive. Suddenly, your skills at ferreting out obscure information are almost worthless. Now they don't want to pay you. I say, follow your bliss. I spend more time with Google now than with novels and magazines. I'm swimming in it. I'm marinating it."
"Follow your bliss into the abyss. That's my new bumper sticker. This is the abyss. This is where my explorations led me. You guys are the denizens of the abyss. I strap on my diver helmet and go into the internet as far as you can go. You're the guys laying the pipe. It's a cyberpunk Mariana Trench in this room. I have to cheer you. Thank you for having us here."
Like looking to see if a rifle is loaded by peering down the barrel, your screen can turn from a breathtaking visage of insight into a Gatling Gun of mind-scarring infinity-pain within the literal blink of an eye.
Or, as they say: ONCE YOU CLICK, YOU CANNOT UNCLICK.
This is a very entertaining and well written adventure.
Consider, then, what was going on here. Myspace, a site which is being used by people who don't know how to host or design, ends up with a gaping ass provided by a design firm which can't understand the nature of hotlinking (or of spelling), who have written to someone who can host, design and spell but are doing so with a demand that this person take action.
And this, my friends, is ass.
I love the analogy Jason makes in the post about pilots, passengers, and users of the Internet. I'd argue that running a site like this is a little like being an air traffic controller, making sure things don't collide mid-air. Taste and security collide with things on a regular basis over at MySpace.
Dragon*Con is America's largest, multi-media, popular arts convention focusing on science fiction and fantasy, gaming, comics, literature, art, music, and film.
A number of MemeStreams users will be speaking at this year's DragonCon, including Elonka, Decius, and likely myself. There are, of course, a plethora of other interesting guests, including EFF attorneys, Ralph Merkle and the Liftport group. I think Palindrome and I will be helping out with Space and Science track this year. Every year is a non-stop party, filled out with hours of interesting discussion, and always some amusing shenanigans.
The schedule for the D*C space and science track, headed up by our own jonnyx, is available for your perusal.
You'll also find at least 4 MemeStreams regulars presenting both here and in the Electronic Frontiers Forum. The schedule does not appear to be updated yet, but Decius and I are confirmed to be speaking at the Hacking 101, 201, and 301 panels.
Because of the A-list names--such as Google co-founder Larry Page and Technorati founder Dave Sifry--and the level of discourse involved, the trip, known as Foo Camp (for Friends of O'Reilly), has become one of the must-get invites among the geek set.
But when the event convenes again this weekend near the Sebastopol, Calif., offices of O'Reilly & Associates, O'Reilly's publishing company, a number of people who have attended previously or who would like to be on hand won't have gotten invitations.
That's why some of them have gotten together to organize what they're calling Bar Camp and referring to as an open-source alternative to Foo Camp. Bar Camp is a play on the word "foobar," a common programming variable.
FooCamp has fallen prey to the Outerz0ne phenomenon. Here is the wiki.
The huge influx of cash at the turn of the millennium led to the whole Web being built in the image of the Bay area. The website patterns that started there and - just by coincidence - happened to scale to other environments, those were the ones that survived.