• Yesterday was an amazing day

    by  • January 4, 2009 • Personal • 2 Comments

    Yesterday was another one of those “the internet brings the best out of people and the world” days.

    It started badly. My Macintosh decided it didn’t have a battery. Even though it did. That was really the last straw – case problems, screen flickering, these things were manageable. But a notebook that doesn’t know its own battery? This was a problem. I spent the day making backups.

    To be honest, I’d been staying off the mac and making myself use the AA1 (Acer Aspire One) for more or less everything for about a while anyway, so… anyway, to the Apple Store I went, poorly mac in hand. While there, just before leaving, I checked my Twitter and saw that Josef Davies-Coates and Dougald Hine were at the Temporary School of Thought which is near Green Park. I’ve never met Josef but we’ve been chatting off and on for years. I was at Oxford Circus, it’s one stop, it’s Saturday night, google finds me a phone number and I call the school, talk to Josef on the phone for the first time and head on over.

    This is where things get weird. The Temporary School of Thought is in a really very ritzy neighborhood. And it’s a huge, huge, huge maze of cavernous rooms with hardwood floors with red and gold flocked wall paper occupied by a variety of early 20s Macintosh-wielding student organizers and artists. Josef, Dougald and I are all in our 30s (I think…) and turn out to be chewing on exactly the same problems from three very slightly different angles, so it rapidly turns into an evening of beers and reference-passing as world modeling data flows around the table at the standard Beervarian Illuminati meeting. All three hairstyles are present, plots are hatched, and I think very interesting things will come of it.

    Dougald’s start-up, School of Everything is a wild project which has very close and narrow alignment with some of the long term ideas discussed at Akvo about things like maps which show where various kinds of technologies are currently in use, so you can find out where you can see a given kind of well or pump in operation for yourself to see if you think it would work for you. We’ve also discussed doing this for training – to find where people who know how to do something are locally as a way to enable the spread of water technologies. So it turns out to be one of those “whoah!” moments which I gather Josef forages around the world producing 😉

    It really was a wonderful day.

    So the long and the short of it is that I’m going to be teaching a series of classes next week at the Temporary School of Thought on infrastructure design, hexayurts, the developing world, and I’ll throw in a meditation class for bonus points. First class is Wednesday afternoon – check their web site for the schedule – nearest stop is Green Park, and this is all happening in London. If you’d like to come, it’s free, open to all, and I encourage you to check out the rest of what the School has going that week – it’s very, very interesting stuff. I may finally get to understand Situationism!

    Tracing back… twitter, easily accessible internet in the Mac store, and people posting where they are and what they’re doing. I might yet talk myself into Ivan’s data-centric perspective, over my own neo-brutalist approaches 🙂

    Can technology produce wonderful days like this more often? I hope so…

    PS: I’m going to write up the Tuttle Club next Friday, but in the mean time – Friday, at the ICA, 10AM -> and it’s… The Social Media / Interweirdness Experience. Highly, highly recommended! It’s another Great Node. Come one, come all, bring yer laptop. Or your phone. Or your MID.


    Vinay Gupta is a consultant on disaster relief and risk management.


    2 Responses to Yesterday was an amazing day

    1. Pingback: Temporary School of Thought « Perfect Path

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