I was and wasn't at the SHiFT conference duing the last couple of days.
During the two days at the conference in Lisbon I was also trying to get the water board (in Setúbal) to come and see why I had NO WATER AT ALL in my house. To cut a long and stressy story short they did finally fix it this Saturday morning, but I've been three days in an appartment without water - with the prospect of waiting until Monday to get it fixed. My chance to contribute to social and human ideas for technology thrown out the window by social and human incompetence!
My takeaways from the conference were:
- finding out more about what's going on in this area in Portugal;
- being interviewed (in Portuguese) for RTP Canal 1 about new technologies;
- conversations with Lilia (Mathemagenic) and Stephanie Booth (Climb to the Stars) about language issues and new technologies;
- being able to keep up with the sessions I was missing through Suw Charman's blog posts on Strange Attractor;
- feeling "in touch" with the conference through short messages with Euan (The Obvious?) in Plazes.com;
- keeping up with photos and presentations on flickr through the tags shift and shift06;
- meeting people whose blogs I read but haven't met.
While my mind was at SHiFT I was with people who gave slick presentations, who could make you feel like a retard if you didn't have a Mac, and in whose universe "everyone uses RSS feeds". I'm OK 'cos I have a Mac and have RSS feeds for breakfast, but in the real world I inhabit very few people / no-one uses RSS feeds, blogs or Web2.0 technologies.
I did worry about the gap between those people who are working on ideas for technology and those people who are looking for technologies to support social and human ideas, especially those ideas which are outside the technology loop. How do you bring a political, critical loop into conversations at a conference like this?
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