I like trains. Well, not the trains themselves, maybe - but the idea of trains. Things on rails don't really ever get lost. And it's not that I'm worried about getting lost; some of my best memories are from places I'd never thought I'd find myself in. Rather, I'm fascinated by the idea of the tracks themselves - they are unidimensional. They have a start and an end, and everything in between is unyielding. Someone long ago decided that "this is where the first station will be, and the last will be over there." Entire nations have been built on this concept, trading posts and villages sprouting up like daisies along where the tracks briefly slide into a train station, only to disappear again into the distance. The rails are a work of art, like a sculpture designed long ago by some artist who would never have guessed that thousands upon thousands of people would one day be sliding back and forth in air-conditioned, web-enabled little cars. In my case, I was sliding towards the Hudson valley, across northern New York State, in this, the first part of a multi-leg trip across the United States.
This is pretty long overdue, but I've finally put up a calendar section in the sidebar for my upcoming talks, events and conferences.
While I'm not yet quite hip
ster enough to post something like this, I've been enjoying the opportunity to discuss work-related topics with people other than techies and web gurus. It's far more gratifying to talk about policy, ethics and technology to students and community leaders than to people who already have a narrowly-defined view of the subject matter (academics / developers / UI folk).
I still have lots to add, but the next couple of upcoming publics events / appearances are listed here.
Tonight, I'm giving a small informal talk at University of the Streets. It's at the Atwater library (1200 Atwater).
During one of my trips to Cuba just over a year ago, I recorded several hours of interviews, scenery and other footage. Along with the web project it was supposed to complement, it was a casualty of prioritization. It got left on the backburner, a victim of someone's attempt to do too much by himself.
Doing some more video work now, I unearthed some of the footage that I had taken, and rather than let it collect dust here, I've put it up in three slightly edited clips over on my Cuba blog.
Finally, unlike the rest of my blog, I've decided to put all of it not under a Creative Commons License, but straight into the Public Domain. You can take the video, remix it, edit it, use it for your own purposes, etc. It belongs to the Public Domain. It would be cool if you could drop me an email or a comment if you do decide to use it for your own work, though - just to satisfy my curiosity.
As per my usual modus operandi, I'm writing about Medellin after I've been back in Montreal for a few days. The various memories in the 16 or so months I spent on and off in The City Of Eternal Spring have had enough time to soak amongst the various synapses that connect them to each other. I'm going to write about some random, disjointed events I happen to remember from my trip, and then some overall impressions on the city and the country. I will limit my thoughts to those lucid enough to make sense when written down. This generally - but not always - excludes those wherein I'd already consumed a certain amount of Club Colombia or, more unfortunately, aguardiente.