Enlightenment for the web?

Well, I have just got home from the d.construct conference and want to post my last few impressions of the day.

First of all I want to thank everybody at Clear:Left for putting this together. I know they all have a lot on their plates and it would have been easy to turn down the opportunity to do this conference. I am glad they didn’t.

Alchemy or science?

For me a lot of the day was actually summed up by Cory Doctorow from the Electronic Frontiers Foundation. At the start of his talk, Cory spoke about the Dark ages here in the UK when Alchemists competed against one another to turn lead into gold. They worked in secret fearing that others might steal their ideas. It was only as these people started collaborating, sharing ideas and working together that the superstition of Alchemy turned into the discipline of science and the Enlightenment dawned. I feel like in many ways that was what today was about.

Sleeping with the enemy

I was fortunate enough to spend a few minutes talking to Andy Budd from Clear:Left and it struck me how strange a situation I found myself in. Here I was sharing ideas, and chatting about new innovations with a man who has set up in direct competition with me! It’s wonderful that instead of all working in secret we can talk and innovate together. I have received so much from so many online, people who have had the vision to look beyond corporate competition and share with the wider community. I hope that to some extent this blog and podcast returns the favour.

I could go on and start talking about how perhaps if we keep this collaborative vision we too might see our own enlightenment, but then that would be just too cheesy for words ;)

  • It’s a very good point Paul – down here in the South West it’s something most of us work hard to do – share, collaborate, and promote the region as a whole – rather than live in mortal fear of competition. Power.

  • Hi Paul, I didn’t get chance to grab you but I heard you ask a question at one point. I recognised the voice first to be honest and then noticed you had the “Give Peas a Chance” – T-Shirt on.
    I presume you shot off straight after the conference as I couldn’t see you to grab a chat afterwards.
    Was a shame, oh well, hopefully next time.

  • Bugger. If I’d known we were in direct competition I’d have never said hi ;-)

  • Now I know all your secrets…insert evil laugh here

  • Mr Saxton!
    I cannot believe that! You were at d.construct and you didnt tell me you were going to be there. Shame on you! Oh well, next year :)

  • Hey Paul, shame I couldn’t make it down to dConstruct (had a ticket put by for me but I had to hand it back to Mr Budd ‘cos I knew that I would be unlikely to attend – got new house keys and spent last week decorating and building stuff).
    Thanks for the posts – I’ve been “imagining” the conference from these (and other) posts and I like what I see in my head :-)

  • Well, I am glad we have all been able to provide a “virtual experience” for you :) It would have been great to have seen you there but hey there is always next year.