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The Conversation #47 — Oliver Porter

To me…we all draw our sat­is­fac­tion from what we our­selves have been able to do with our lives. And if some­body, some gov­ern­ment or some­one else is just giv­ing to me, I’m not going to be a hap­py person.

The Next Social Contract Opening Keynote: Senator Elizabeth Warren

Just as this coun­try did a hun­dred years ago, it’s time to rethink the basic bar­gain between work­ers and com­pa­nies. As greater wealth is gen­er­at­ed by new tech­nol­o­gy, how can we ensure that the work­ers who sup­port the econ­o­my can actu­al­ly share in the wealth?

Douglas Rushkoff WebVisions Portland 2016 Keynote

Google just has to grow. It has to keep grow­ing. But Google grows at its own per­il. Google grew so much that what hap­pened? It out­grew Google. Google had to become what? Alphabet. Now what is Alphabet? Alphabet is not Google. Alphabet is a hold­ing com­pa­ny. So Google’s new busi­ness as Alphabet is to do what? It’s to buy and sell tech­nol­o­gy com­pa­nies. So, once a com­pa­ny becomes just too big to flip any­more, it becomes a flip­per of oth­er companies.

Cyborg Anthropology and the Evaporation of the Interface

When you look at your online pro­file, is that real­ly you? It’s a rep­re­sen­ta­tion of you that can be act­ed on when you’re not there. But where do you end and the machine begins? The thing is that humans and tech­nol­o­gy have coe­volved with each oth­er over time, being very very cocre­ative. We have sur­vived because of tech­nol­o­gy, and tech­nol­o­gy has sur­vived because of us.

Maira Kalman RISD 2013 Commencement Keynote Address

We live between despair and hope. No one knows why we are here, and noth­ing makes sense. Don’t for­get that. You could ask your­self, What is the point?” until you go crazy, lit­er­al­ly. So, the start­ing point is to not know. And then to proceed.

Bruce Mau RISD 2014 Commencement Keynote Address

Work on what you love. This is such an easy thing to say, and it seems so obvi­ous. What else should we work on? What else could we work on? And yet the prob­lem of align­ing our pas­sion and our pro­duc­tion, our love and our work, remains one of the great life chal­lenges that we face as artists, as design­ers, and as citizens. 

Working on ENIAC: The Lost Labors of the Information Age

The largest part of the ENIAC team by far were the peo­ple that were actu­ally build­ing the thing. And it’s inter­est­ing they’ve been for­got­ten by his­tory, because although their job titles were wire­men, tech­ni­cians, and assem­blers, being a busi­ness his­to­rian I looked up the account­ing records, and some­times they spell out the pay­roll. You sud­denly see all these women’s names like Ruth, Jane, Alice, Dorothy, Caroline, Eleanor show­ing up.

Ingrid Burrington at Haunted Machines

I think there’s some­thing inter­est­ing about a dis­ci­pline that his­tor­i­cal­ly is tied to polit­i­cal intrigue, to secre­cy, being linked into this debate over what is good mag­ic or true divine mag­ic, and what is the work of demons. And I think there is some­thing inter­est­ing to be said about the moment we are in right now and how states them­selves kind of iden­ti­fy and invent exis­ten­tial threats to jus­ti­fy their own behavior.

Photo of Ian Bogost during presentation,with a slide displaying the word "Fun" in large letters.

Fun

What if we arrive at fun not through expand­ing the cir­cum­stances that we’re in in order to make them less wretched, but actu­al­ly by embrac­ing the wretched­ness of the cir­cum­stances them­selves? What if, in a lit­er­al way, fun comes from impov­er­ish­ment, from wretchedness?

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