Jul 11, 2012
For five or six weeks in May/June I have been visiting several people and various events around the country. I have been travelling quite a lot. Earlier this year I wrote in a blog post “Damn, I really want to travel more“. Well it seems that I am getting into traveling more and more. If I would not be writing a bachelor thesis at the moment I would probably be in Berlin all the time right now. There is just too much interesting stuff happening in the world right now.
In late May I spent some days in Cologne, mainly because of the SIGINT. Amazing city, I really like the fact that you can easily walk anywhere. The SIGINT was interesting, the event has a bigger focus on the political aspects of hacker culture, than on the technical side. The sessions I liked the most were “Feminismus für Nerds” and “Geeks und Depressionen”.
The recordings are not yet available. As Denis noted in the comments the recordings are available here.
In the beginning of June I went to the GPN in Karlsruhe. A much more technical focus than the SIGINT. Spent some days at a friends place, whom I got to know at the SIGINT. Visited the university there and took the chance to meet some people in person with whom I just had contact by mail so far. Interesting talks here where “Hacking Heterosexismus”. I also met up with meillo in Karlsruhe. He spent two days there and finally gave a talk on his Masterthesis and Mailproject mmh, a mail client following the Unix philosophy.
I really enjoyed his talk. A large part consisted of just showing how things are done on the Shell. This is why I go to such hardcore techy events! To see stuff like this! Stuff that you normally won’t encounter at a regular Barcamp for example! I have missed the technical stuff at the SIGINT a bit. What I am also missing in the hacker scene in Germany today is controversy, the missing spirit of revolution, of changing society big way. Where are all the Cypherpunks?! There are extremely interesting projects, like Bitcoin or Flattr, with a potential of changing things big time happening right now! But instead I haven’t attended a single talk which raised controversies! In my opinion, the scene currently is a little bit too “well-behaved”.
After Karlsruhe I went to Friedrichshafen at the lake of Constance (Bodensee). Benjamin has been talking enthusiastically about this Barcamp and how we should definitely attend it since quite a while. Well we did and it turned out to be quite good! From all the Barcamps I have been to, I liked this one probably the most, since it gave me exactly what I want from a Barcamp: inspiration and getting to know interesting people and projects.
There was Michael for example, a fellow who introduced his silent.li project: in the early morning he gets up, gets out and places a microphone in free nature. He then records the sound of a day in free nature. Animals waking up, etc.. The sounds are then streamed as an online radio program. Interestingly the average duration of people listening in was at about 15 hours, if I remember correctly!
I was at a session where we discussed “Digital Legacy”. What happens to your digital identity once you die? One guy proposed to delete all online content once one dies. I told him he should consider how interesting it could be for his grand-children to discover his blog in several decades. Just imagine how cool it would be to discover a blog which your grandmother/grandfather wrote in between 1930-1960! We discussed the topic for an hour and many interesting aspects came up. Just imagine what happens if your inheritance some day will be in a digital currency :).
Then there was Wischi from Munich. In the late evening I talked to his girlfriend about how I would like to try teaching live coding of music visuals to kids. He got interested in live coding and we decided to install (fluxus) on his laptop, attach it to a beamer and I made a walkthrough of some basic examples with him. He didn’t have that much experience with programming itself but became pretty comfortable with the syntax surprisingly fast. He asked if I would like to do a session on live coding the next day and offered his laptop. I eventually did the session. Hmm live coding is just too much fun, I would love to do more in this direction. But I have to cut stuff short at the moment to concentrate on the thesis. Damn, it is really hard for me to keep back from all those interesting things out there.
However, I just couldn’t keep back from some stuff. With matou I filmed a flashmob by the local Amnensty group. The video is online here. I also stayed in Tübingen for two days. Some friends, who are apprentices at the SWR, were shooting a short film there. Quite interesting to see such a project. Took two lessons from this: 1) Get an external LCD for the 5D as soon as possible. 2) A good storyboard is incredibly helpful. They had a detailed storyboard with the duration of each scene, camera angles, field of view, etc.. This made things *a lot* easier. We also did some filming in the university of Tübingen and used the studios there to dub the voices. Damn, the dubbing really gives the whole thing a much more professional touch. Once you see the difference afterwards, you realize that the audio of a film is at least as important as the images themselves.