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Over the past month or two, there have been tons of interesting events in Berlin for me to go to, for free which helps! Here’s a list of some of them:
1. Campus Party Europe
2. Webmontag Events
3. Photo Hack Day
4. Social Media Week
1. Campus Party Europe:
I’ve never been to a Tech Convention before, so Campus Party was a real eye-opener for me. I attended various talks from Polaroid techniques through to Online Stalking. Aside from the latter creeping the shit out of me, I was able to scribble down 4 pages of notes (none of which are legible). Rather than trying to make out my notes, I’ll just do an overview of what I learned:
* Take any opportunity to learn.
* Stick to expectations. If you have a blog called ‘Best Thing of the Day’ people expect a post everyday. «< Note to self!
* Women are the most common users of networking sites, except for LinkedIn.
* Women often stay in abusive relationships because of their pets.
* Gamers take that shit seriously.
* Only men watch porn! (according to one speaker)
2. Webmontag Events:
I discovered these events at the start of the summer and they only happen once a month, on a Monday would you believe! They consist of 5 or so presentations from various start-ups and here’s what I’ve learned so far:
* If your idea is shit, no-one wants to talk to you at the end.
* If your idea is great, everyone wants to talk to you at the end.
* Be prepared for people to pull your idea apart.
* Don’t do a presentation, then go sit in the audience and talk the whole way through the next presentation, because people will hate you for it and it’ll reflect badly on your company.
* If you have an idea, GO FOR IT!
3. Photo Hack Day
Organised by Eyeem, each team had 24hrs to build an app using the Eyeem API. They began on the Saturday, then used the Sunday to present their ideas. What I learned:
* Your presentation is just as important as your idea.
* Just because you have 1 great idea, doesn’t mean you can’t have more. I’m referring to the guys at Loopcam on this one. It seems they have plenty of other interesting projects, besides Loopcam.
* No-one cares who the winner is. Many people were tweeting throughout the event and as I missed the announcement of the winner, I was relying on their Twitter addiction to give me the news. Alas no.
4. Social Media Week
A global event held in various cities around the world and fortunately for me, Berlin was one of them. The event took place in a hand full of venues throughout the city, consisting of talks revolving around Social Media. What I learned:
* Social Media is a broad enough topic to be able to have a full days schedule and not get bored!
* People need to start realising that Social Media is a part of our lives and this also brought in the most interesting subject of them all, what happens to our online lives when we die?
* Women In Tech is the best talk to be inspired by.
* There is someone out there who feels the same as you do.
* Not all people like Social Media, or Nokia!
* It’s way more fun when people in the audience disagree.
One more thing that I learned from these events and others is that it’s rewarding going to an event alone and getting to meet at least 1 new person. I patronisingly advise everyone to do this once.
So that concludes my brief overview of the Summer’s activities. I’m hoping Winter is going to be filled with just as many great events, if only to postpone my inevitable hibernation.
To keep me sane during my ‘HALV€ IT!’ challenge, I have decided to set myself a project. I don’t feel I experiment enough, so I’m going to apply myself to 4 different mediums. For each medium I have 3 hours maximum to create a final piece. The list:
* Painting / Drawing
And hopefully in the process I’m going to discover that I’m a modern day Wordsworth and worthy of millions. Reality however, tells me they are going to turn out like shit. But as my Aunt says “it’s the taking part that counts”.
I read an article today about a couple who raised their child as gender neutral. At first glance I think it’s amazing, not merely because I see no logical reason that girls = pink and boys = blue, but also to see the impact that it might have.
Although I am not sure if this is ever truly possible. If you place the child outside of the neutral grounds of the home, the world itself seems pretty categorized. Toys are designed black & white, either for boys or for girls. It’s only at a very young age that you are likely to find the grey area of gender neutral toys. This outside influence would clearly effect the balance, no matter how much the parents intervene.
Then there would surely come an age where the now teenager would have to make a decision. Do they get changed in the boys changing rooms or the girls? In this article the parents came out about the child’s gender when he was 5 years old, but to see the real impact I think this would need to be continued (if logistically possible) until the child is older.
I am interested in the possibility of the concept, however sadly the majority of the world isn’t and can only assume that it would provoke bullying if it were to continue to teenage years. Of course change has to start somewhere, but I’m not sure if the child should be used as a pawn in the parents game of revolution.
Savings for me are like being a Size 8. I want it, but I don’t want to have to go through the process of getting it!
It seems the theory of putting a little bit aside each month is overruled by that coat that’s going to make everything OK. Who needs savings when you have a coat like that?
So last night I made a decision to go drastic. Next month I am going to live off only half of my wage. At least this is the plan.
Until March there shall be no more steak dinners, no new additions to the wardrobe (unless I sacrifice food), no more Martinis. February shall instead be the month of home cooking, drinking alone and cultural events listed as ‘Free’.
Wish me luck.
If you asked me how often I use Wikipedia, I probably would have said rarely. But seemingly this is a lie. It has fallen so much into my internet routine, that it’s crossed over into my sub-conscious. In the last 2 months alone I have visited the site nearly 30 times.
Of course today’s debate regarding the blackout is beyond a need for Wikipedia, but a reflection of what the internet could become.
Does the internet need to be so strictly regulated?
In my opinion it is too late for this. The prohibited uses that are being referred to have filtered down from large companies to small bloggers like myself. There are millions of people like me who host blogs like this that would be affected by this bill. Which is why I feel it’s also too late for this to be enforced and would probably result in entire websites being removed from the offset. Tumblr for example must be overflowing with this sort of material. If we do require regulations, then there needs to be more clarity as opposed to quantity.
Could this be a good move?
Needless to say this will change the way most people use the internet. For a large percentage of us it has turned into a platform for self expression and often we pull from other resources to be able to do this. Naturally this has lead to some form of laziness in our creativity. So this could force us to become more creative and individual with what we post rather than pulling material from other people.
From a Creative’s perspective, this could be bad news. Musicians like Florence And The Machine for example who have become successful in recent years, would have had a tougher fight to the top had it not been for illegal sharing. This is where the beauty of the internet lies for me and feel it would be a shame for this to change.
By the way, is it a human right to have a free / open internet?
This is something I wrote last year and when I sent it to friends the reaction was not so great, so I put off posting it. In hindsight, I can see that it might be interpreted as being a bit too harsh, but fuck it, here it is:
One of the latest trending topics on Twitter this week was asking why relationships don’t last. This would imply that they should last forever. Well my answer to that was that they don’t last, because they are not meant to.
My first reason for this is that we all change and so do our needs and our interests. If I compare this to friends for example, I have completely different friends from those I had 10 years ago. It is because I am a completely different person from that of 10 years ago. OK, some I have kept, but this is through no pressure to keep the relationship going, but merely because we enjoy others company. If I look to 10 years in the future, chances are I am going to have a new set of friends, because people evolve, we adapt our friends to suit the person that we are at the time. So going on this, why would people deem it rational that in 10 years time that same partner is going to interest you. It terrifies me that if I ever get in a long term relationship again, that I would lose myself as I did in past ones. Basically, to keep the relationship up you have to sacrifice a part of yourself, you have to begin to morph into one.
Secondly, I think we put too much pressure on ourselves and the role that we take on when in a relationship. We expect ourselves to be able to satisfy one persons needs, not just for a day, but potentially forever. We as a partner are meant to support that other person emotionally and physically. That same person whose problems we’re meant to console, is the same person we’re meant to please sexually. Let me compare this to my clothes. I do not shop in the same place for my winter coat as I do my underwear. Of course, some places sell both of these, but perhaps their winter coats are not as warm, or their underwear not as sexy. You get my point.
What is wrong with admitting to ourselves that we cannot achieve this? Why can we not just accept that people change and that we cannot be expected to keep this one person happy for the rest of their lives. It just makes the disappointment even greater when the couple discover this the hard way.
I think we should enjoy relationships for what they are, an enjoyment for the there and then, and nothing more.
Lovers - Dark Light
The Joy Formidable - A Balloon Called Moaning
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1, 2 & 3.
Dawn Golden And Rosy Cross - Blow
Jónsi - Go
First Aid Kit - Drunken Trees
Molly Nilsson - Follow The Light
The Naked And Famous - Passive Me, Aggressive You
Sleigh Bells - Treats
Museum of Bellas Artes - Days Ahead
At the start of the year intrigue and mystery lay over many female facebook statuses. ‘Black’, ‘Pink with spots’, ‘Transparent’ for the wittier ones! Boy, were we all curious….especially the men. After minutes on the edge of their seats, the men eventually realised that these updates reflected the colour of the girls bras. So it was in fact a campaign to bring awareness to breast cancer.
Having only just recovered from the embarrassment of my gender broadcasting the colour of their underwear, 10 months on we have a new wave of updates, such as ‘likes it on the edge of the bed’ or ‘on the kitchen work top’. But this time it refers to where the women like to leave their handbags.
I am all for raising awareness for breast cancer, but not at the expense of my genders pride or intelligence. In the mail that is being sent round encouraging me to ‘keep the men guessing’ by posting where I like to put my handbag, it says ‘let’s see how powerful we women really are’. Now, I am too lazy to be a feminist, but I really would like to know how implying that I am informing everyone in my network where I like to have sex, makes me any more powerful than the men.
I know I am taking a light hearted game too seriously, but it frustrates me that we cannot do this game some other way (no I don’t have any suggestions), but one which does not revert back to school girl tactics of giggling at the boys.
Last week I went on a date with someone I had never met before. After a few drinks I thought the date was going well, so we both agreed to move onto another bar. We were gradually reaching the 4 hour mark and conversation was running a little dry, so I open my mouth and out pops the question “Do you believe in marriage?”.
I have not heard from him since and can only presume it is the result of these 5 words.
Most people I have discussed this with have either laughed, or been shocked and advised me to never do it again.
For the record, I am not much of a believer in marriage. So actually all I wanted was an adult discussion about a relevant on-going issue. But it appears that I had made the ultimate mistake in breaking a first date rule.
Why is it such a taboo to discuss marriage? Why is me wanting to know his point of view on this topic any different from finding out his opinion on politics? A little more interesting if you ask me.
The reason I am writing this is because I object that I should filter my conversations just because they are not typical for a first date. It is one of society’s conventions that I do not want to adhere to.
That is my view. Next?
The internet is a great way to stay connected with people all around the world, that you may have otherwise lost contact with. We are told this every time we log into our facebook accounts. Stay connected!
But are we in anyway too connected?
You add these people to your facebook, to your Twitter, to your Flickr, to your messenger and to your Tumblr. Every online move you make, they can see. Of course there is such a thing as self-editing, you only put online what you want to be seen. But sometimes you are reminded that this is not always enough.
What happens when we don’t want to be connected to these people anymore?
It is no longer a case of deleting someones number from your phone, instead you have to cover all bases and cut all ties over the internet also. And even then are you really disconnected? The beauty/tragedy of the internet is that it stores everything, so you are always going to be connected by the history of your communication.
Have we come to the stage where we are connected to the people in our lives on an unhealthy level?
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