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October 12, 2003

Belated Brain Dump

Had a great, great night with Euan and the missus hearing Douglas Rushkoff in a Demos-sponsored talk at the ICA about 'Open Source Democracy'. There's also a PDF of a book of the same name you can download.

My memory of reading Rushkoff's 'Cyberia' all those years ago is of being frustrated, as I felt that he'd started really well and then, in the final chapters, got swept along with a whole bunch of, admittedly charismatic, SF-style gurus talking utter bollocks.

This night reminded me that I should have remembered how good the first 90% of the book was, and stopped being such a smug cynical old whinger.

Rushkoff was a witty and charming speaker, who was courteous to some rather confrontational tangential questioning, yet still thinking on his feet to produce something of use from any situation. In fact, he seemed to think that the being of use was far more important that looking impressive, a welcome trait at these sorts of gatherings.

Pat Kane (of Hue and Cry all those years ago) was also fascinating - a strange combination of high-art and earthy leftiness. Was very wise in a lot of areas. He and Rushkoff bounced off eachother really well.

Sadly Martin Jacques, an incredibly intelligent bloke who was one of the founders of Demos, had the same infuriating interviewing style as Ned Sherrin. My memory is that he rarely asked a question without answering it himself, at length, leaving the interviewers with nowhere to go. And on the one occasion he did, talked over their answer to introduce a new question. Grrrr.

Euan has put up his notes from the evening

Here are my scribblings. Make of them what you will.

Posted by Tom Dolan at October 12, 2003 01:56 AM

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