Webstock 2014 – A Poetic Reflection

On the shore of Windy City,
within a theatre grand and proud,
we gathered.

Caffeine-laden, seated there,
notebooks readied, pens to hand,
we waited.

And here we learned, and listened, and noted:
Theremin’s Thing, Celebrity-as-mythos,
Apocalypse rehearsals.

Fearful futures displayed, and hope.

Gaps in the aethersphere,
in which are found magic;
dangerous and wild and wonderful.

The path of ease was offered, rejected, quit,
spurned for its high cost.
The damage it wreaks, and has wrought.

Perhaps at this point, you feel that
poetic structure has failed me.

That’s the point.

Webstock is, on paper, a conference.
There is a form – speakers and talks,
in a schedule.

The form is a lamppost. It provides utility,
yes. Familiar & predictable, it binds
our attention.

Yet, the purpose is not the lamppost:
It is the light.

Webstock shone brightly.

And now, so must we.

Clay Johnson – Industrialised Ignorance (Webstock 2013)


Industrialised Ignorance

Transcription and further thoughts:

  • We all know Pop Culture … but we know very little about what is troubling our own communities.
  • How then are we supposed to improve them!
  • We created huge companies to make popular food for us. (Pizza tastes better than Broccoli)
  • Likewise, we created huge companies to make popular information for us (Opinion tastes better than News)\
  • We value feeling like we’re right (and being told that we are right) over being informed.
  • Ignorance is not just a lack of information, but also due to our exposure to affirmatory information.
  • Consider putting yourself on an Information Diet …
  • … and realise that your information choices have social consequences.
  • Every click, every view, of content on the net biases future content creation.
  • Because information is provided to us as a money-making venture, providers will solve the equation for maximum profit, via maximum popularity.
  • Keys to a positive Information Diet
  1. Be aware of what you consume
  2. Pay attention to local things
  3. Be a producer
  • By starting your day with creation, instead of consumption, you set the tone for your day as one of action, not mere reaction.
  • Work on stuff that matters.

Webstock 2013

Yuss! It’s one of my favourite times of year – the annual Webstock design conference in Wellington, NZ.

I’m working on sketchnoting at the moment, so I’ll be posting up my feeble attempts, as well transcribing my notes into bullet points to make them more readable.