The Portland, OR conference celebrating indie tech and creativity is inspiring, invigorating, and utopian in the very best way, and they're open for registration for the Sept 10-13 event in their new community space. Read the rest
The brilliant, Portland-based festival is now a year-round phenomenon, housed in a 13,000 sqft refurbed WWII ship-building factory that will incubate and nurture independent art and technology and house events year round. Read the rest
Sumana writes, "Open Source Bridge is already a leader among tech conferences in diversity-friendliness -- OSB featured a strong code of conduct, accessibility, well-labelled food for all needs, and cheap & free admissions before they became de rigeur, and in 2014 boasted a gender-balanced slate of speakers." Read the rest
Chloe from Portland's Reading Frenzy bookstore writes, "Portland based, self-taught artist, Alicia Justus, is Kickstarting her first coloring book in collaboration with Show & Tell Press (publisher of Crap Hound)." Read the rest
I'm about to hit the road again, starting in Salt Lake City, where I'll be a Guest of Honor at Westercon (Jul 3-6), and will follow it up with an appearance at the SLC library (Jul 7); then I'm doing a three-day library tour around PDX, with stops in Beaverton (Jul 8), Tigard (Jul 9) and Hillsboro (July 10) (here's a complete list of my scheduled upcoming public events). Read the rest
Hats off to Canadian Molly Schuyler, who undertook a record-breaking 72-oz steak consumption on a whim at Sayler's of Portland, OR. Schuyler polished off the 4.5lb slab of meat in less than three minutes. The world record time this feat stood at 6:48. It's not clear whether Schuyler's record has official standing, though: record-setting conditions appear to stipulate that challengers use a knife and fork, not their hands. Nevertheless, Schuyler has done something amazing.
As Scientology's numbers and influence decline, the company religion is desperate to maintain appearances. Mark 'Wise Beard Man' Bunker managed to get shots and videos of this weekend's gala opening in Portland (despite a keystone kops runaround from the Portland cops, whom Scientology suborned to chase independent press away from the event), along with other, less public Scientology skeptics. They estimated the crowd at 450-750; the Church put it closer to 2,500, and to prove it, they photoshopped a bunch of stock-art people overtop of a line of rented trees.
Hey, Portlandians! Brian David Johnson and James H Carrott are doing a talk and signing for their new book, Vintage Tomorrows: A Historian And A Futurist Journey Through Steampunk Into The Future of Technology, a fascinating look at the historical significance of steampunk, and an exploration of what the popularity of steampunk today's means about tomorrow's technology, at the Cedar Hills Crossing Powell's on March 25 at 7PM.
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Steampunk, a mashup in its own right, has gone mainstream, with music videos from the likes of Nicki Minaj; America’s Next Top Model photo shoots; and Prada’s Fall/Winter menswear collection featuring haute couture, steampunk style. Some steampunk fans revile this celebrity. But James H. Carrott, co-author of Vintage Tomorrows, says that’s just how cultural change happens. “Things get appropriated; they affect the culture in some way or another, and the people who are at the heart of trying to make that change move onto the next key idea.”
So what is steampunk, exactly, and why should we care? Carrott, a cultural historian, says “steampunk is playing with the past.” The world that steampunk envisions is a mad-inventor’s collection of 21st century-inspired contraptions, powered by steam and driven by gears. It’s a whole new past; one that has a lot to say about the futures we want to see.
In Vintage Tomorrows, Intel’s resident futurist Brian David Johnson (@IntelFuturist) joins Carrott (@CultHistorian) in a globe-spanning journey to dig beyond definitions and into the heart of this growing subculture. Through interviews with experts such as Margaret Atwood, China Miéville, William Gibson, Cory Doctorow, Bruce Sterling, and James Gleick, this book looks into steampunk’s vision of old-world craftsmen making beautiful hand-tooled gadgets, and what it means for our age of disposable technology.
Last night, I kicked off the tour for Homeland (the sequel to Little Brother) with an amazing event at the Seattle Public Library, and now I'm hitting the road! I'll be in Portland tonight, at the Powell's in Beaverton at 7PM. Tomorrow I hit San Francisco with a stop at Booksmith on the 7th, then another at Borderlands on the 8th. From there, I'm off to Salt Lake City's Leonardo museum for an event on Feb 9. There's 22 cities in all -- here's the list! Read the rest
Correction: The Borderlands event is on Feb 7, not Feb 8.
As this post goes live, I am on a plane from London to Seattle to kick off the tour for Homeland, the sequel to Little Brother. My first stop is tomorrow (Feb 5) night, at the Seattle Public Library, and then I head to Portland for Feb 6, where I'll be at Powell's in Beaverton. Then it's off to San Francisco, where I'll be at Booksmith on Feb 7, and Borderlands on Feb 8.
There's a lot more cities on this US tour, mostly in the warm spots (we're trying to minimize weather delays, because the schedule is so tight). And though it's not on the calendar yet, I'll be Lawrence, KS on Feb 28 at the Kansas Union's Alderson Auditorium at 7:30 and in Toronto on Mar 1 for a presentation at the Merril Collection at 7PM.
If you're wondering what the book's all about, The Oregonian ran an interview with me this weekend about the book:
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A couple of years ago, it occurred to me that the emergency had become permanent. Declaring war on an abstract noun like "terror" meant that we would forever be on a war footing, where any dissent was characterized as treason, where justice was rough and unaccountable, where the relationship of the state to its citizens would grow ever more militarized.
But this permanent emergency didn't have any visible battlefront -- it was a series of largely invisible crises in the form of brutal prosecutorial overreach, police crackdowns, ubiquitous surveillance, merciless debt-hounding and repossession.
Cabel visited an old, crumbling basement in Portland, OR, which was once the building in which The Orgeonian was printing and is now a major fiber-optic exchange. The basement is a beautiful mix of peeling pinups, faded WWII campaign maps, forgotten graffiti, and super-modern pipes filled with pulsing fiber, neatly pushed right through those old walls. And as Cabel points out, every time you load this webpage, the bits representing the photos of the basement course through those fibers, through the basement itself.
Andy Baio and Andy McMillan have announced XOXO, a SXSW-like "disruptive creativity" conference in Portland. They're pre-selling the tickets on Kickstarter, and if they don't sell enough, they're not going to do it. They've made and shot through their targets already -- don't worry!
We'd confirmed most of the entire lineup by Monday, including the founders and CEOs of Etsy, Kickstarter, Metafilter, 4chan, Canvas, Simple, VHX.tv and The Atavist, and the creators of World of Goo, MakerBot, Indie Game: The Movie, Star Wars Uncut, Diesel Sweeties and Black Apple. And Julia Nunes! (This is as close to WaxyCon as you're ever going to get.)
Andy and I debated back and forth about whether the project was ready to announce, and both of us were nervous. It's a unique project for Kickstarter, and we didn't know if we'd provided enough detail to convince people that we're working on something really exciting. We'd run all the numbers, and to do everything we wanted without cutting corners or selling out, the tickets would cost around $400. Was that price too high? What if only business and marketing types sign up? Is the festival too long, too short, too far to travel?
So many doubts, so many fears. We were betting it all — pre-selling every single ticket with a $125,000 goal. And we were serious: if it came up short, we'd walk away. Months of planning would be wasted, but at least we wouldn't have lost our shirts.