When you’re dealing with a conference that completely engulfs your days and nights, it becomes hard to focus on anything in particular.
I would like to tell you about my evening in the Turkish neighborhood Kreuzeberg, as I sat down with my dear friend blueberry girl who only takes me to the funnest of places. I’d also like to tell you about the talk I saw today on porn and technology, or even better.. Powerpoint Karaoke which had me laughing for a good hour, distracted from my presentation that I’ll be making in a few hours.
But the fact is my attention is always on world events, especially those that so effect people’s lives. Or deaths, as the case so often is.
Since arriving in Berlin I’ve been watching and listening as the reports come out of Somalia. As you know, I fear the Ethiopian invasion of Somalia will be one of those acts of violence that will have reprocussions for a long time. Listening to the Ethiopian leader talk about how his army will go in, boot the islamists out of power, and get out.. I got chills. Then of course he got the blessing of the United States government and I got angry. Giving the green light for more invasions in the world.
This can’t be the way.
At least 4,000 people have gathered here in Berlin at what is often referred to as a HACKERS conference. If one walks around and strikes up conversation, many different types of people with assorted interests can be found. Yet this annual event, which is so unique in the world, goes under reported or badly reported by the major media in various countries. This report I recorded throughout the second day of this four day conference. It includes many fun and wise personalities which you may just recognize. Below you’ll find links for many of them. (not all.. Ive got to get some sleep.)
They actually didn’t cover the insanity part, but that just comes automatic.
I’ve never seen so many laptops in my life.
As one strolls the outside-conference environment, you may encounter the many different collectives of the Chaos Communication Congress. In this corner, with laptop and internet cable strewn everywhere, it’s the mesh network kids. Over there, below the wikimedia banner, a bunch of people are allegedly working for wikipedia. (maybe they can un-ban me, those bastards) Down the hall, its the Deck phone guys who do cool shit with phones. I can’t even get into the lockpickers, lego-robotics, RFID mapping, and solar robot creating corners. It’s all just too much. I get tired very quickly as the senses are overloaded with this creative energy that bursts from every corner.
If you come to a hacker conference.. one thing not to forget.. which I just happen to have… ethernet cable. Its important. Take that bit of wisdom with you, free-o-charge.
As the evening wound down, after a whole day of god knows what, I found myself in this room, (photo taken yesterday, tonight it was bustling with people), sitting next to Rop who just slammed home a presentation on the Dutch voting computer battle (which I covered in my podcast way back when), drinking ze beers with Catarina.. who taught me all kinds of hacker history and general communication factoids this evening. She also awarded me with a rare PRess Pass… yehaw.
All this is my excuse for not doing a podcast or a vlog tonight. Too much to tell.. too much to do.. and the night is almost over… so I’ll get on it tomorrow, at some point.
I’ve said it alot lately, but this conference is one of those things in life.. not to be missed and not likely to be forgotten.
A little over 24 hours ago I was celebrating xmas with family in a tiny town in Portugal.
This morning I awoke warm and happy in Amsterdam.
And now I write to you from somewhere in the heart of Berlin.
As you can imagine.. I can’t think straight at the moment. I’ve focused on small tasks.. like making sure the hot water works here in the most unique and spacious apartment Tim has let me use. (Tim is, of course, the greatest)
I’m here for 23C3… the amazingly circus-like hacker conference that brings hordes of people together for the last days of the year.. right here in Berlin. So that’s where I’ll be all week and I planned some additional days as well since Ive got lots of time on my hands and work I can do from anywhere in wonderfully WIRED Berlin.
There’s lots more to tell, but I need to figure out where my pajamas are and maybe add some layers as this place has a pretty limited heating system.
Prepare yourself.. all week you will be bombarded with reports from Berlin filled with the participation of some very special people.