Friday, 12 February 2010

Things I remember...

I dread the question "what was your favourite talk?" Not because I can't decide. Because I can't remember. Something happens to me at conferences like this, I phase in and out, and I can rarely remember the specific content of the talks. (maybe this is what I meant, Emily, by "style is more influential than content.") There are a few things that stick in my mind, a few moments, but to try to remember the talk, or the exact message, impossible. The moments:

A green laser equipped to kill mosquitoes (was this real or a joke? I still don't know)

Augmented reality mapping from Microsoft (from backstage. Tom made a joke about crabs...)

The superheroes of LXD (I'm not a dancer. Anyone who has seen me dance will know how much of a dancer I am not. And yet this brought tears to my eyes. Why?)

The best coffee I've ever had.

Long Beach - I dared to venture into town for 30 minutes and suddenly realised why the conference was held here. To make sure you never left.

A free Nexus One from Google (sorry, I sold it. I need the money)

Daniel Kahneman: sometimes we experience something for no reason other than to retain the memory (is this what he was saying? This is what it made me think of). Our remembering selves vs. our experiencing selves. I often have this problem, it troubles me. I experience something and - simultaneously - think to myself "Soon, the only thing left will be my memory of it. And even that is distorted". His description of a concert reminds me of experiencing films. One false move at the end and it can ruin the entire film for me. I want to experience it purely.

Dan Barber and his love affair with a fish. (just started watching The End of The Line on tv...)

Sheryl Crow, phoning it in.

More than any of this, I remember the people. The generosity of the team behind the fellows programme. Tom, Logan, Ekeme, Simone, Sheldon. ("What do you all do for the other 51 weeks of the year?") The fellows who inspired me with their own modesty and creativity, bravery, imagination.

High school anxieties all over again. First days of school, making friends, it came flooding back to me. I thought we were supposed to grow out of this. That was the hard part. Who are you eating lunch with? We are all still young children looking for friends (or is it just me?).

Late night metal cover band in the only bar still open. I finally have a digital point-and-shoot camera (thanks you TED gift pack, wherever you are) and have dozens of blurred faces and feet hitting the pavement photos. I miss pointing and shooting. Thank you Canon.

Averaging four to five hours of sleep a night (this is my fault...)

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