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Apr 1, 2016
That was March 2016!
I will always remember it as the month in which the British public voted to name a £200 million polar research vessel “Boaty McBoatface.” A clear winner, the name received over 90,000 more votes than the second closest rival name. I hope the Natural Environment Research Council follow through and name the ship after the public vote. Then we’ll have at least one positive outcome from voting in the UK this year.
I spoke at a conference earlier in the month. I tried something a bit different this time. Instead of a technical talk, I gave a more philosophical talk about changes in Drupal and the web. As a thought experiment, I went back in time to the mid 90s, and tried to explain to myself what we had done. Speaking to a room of web developers, I suggested that we have encouraged centralisation by ruining the experience on the open web. I presented some ideas to stop ruining the web, and some ideas to make it better. I think it went well, and I had some great feedback. The rest of the conference I spent catching up with people, and discussing ideas for new models of collaboration. I’ve been writing up my notes, and I’ll post them to my blog at some point soon. I hope to try out some of the ideas on future projects.
This month I attended London’s first Consciousness Hacking meetup. The highlight was Robert Thomas who uses biometric feedback to generate personalised music experiences. This took me back to my experiments with neurofeedback, when I hacked a MindFlex toy to make a basic EEG reader. These experiments lead to me inventing the Cyril programming language. This meetup got me excited about getting back into this. And, I’ve now got a new EEG headset to experiment with.
This event gave a different perspective on how technology might serve us. One of the presenters, Patrick Hilsbos, said “the world would be a better place if technology served as a catalyst for self-awareness, self-love, and true connection.” He is working on creating a “Spotify for experiences” using biofeedback for meditation, focus training, and relaxation.
My contract at MTV is coming to an end this month. Once I’ve finished, I’ll be looking for other projects. I’ve got a few requests for training, but other than that, in the short term I’ll be going back to my own projects. In particular, Cyril, the programming language I invented for live coding visuals.
I’ll be returning to Serbia again next month, for Resonate. The conference which “brings together artists and educators to drive a forward-looking debate on the position of technology in art and culture.” It was one of my highlights of last year. Even more excited about it this year, because among the 44 lectures, will be one by Dan Hett. Dan makes use of my Cyril live coding language, and has contributed ideas (and code for Post Processing effects). I’m looking forward to seeing what Dan’s been up to. I hope it will be a chance for us to talk about the roadmap for future development of Cyril.
Have a great month, and drop me a line let me know what you’re up to,
Thanks for reading,