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Team Cooper » It really is very Interesting (up) North

It really is very Interesting (up) North

(Sub-titled) RULES ARE RULES (Sub-sub-titled) I’m surrounded by Tiny Horses

I started writing this blog post a week ago. And, to say I’ve been struggling with it would be an understatement. I think the problem is there are too many thoughts and not enough conclusions. Everything just drifts off in to the dusty recesses of my brain and so instead of letting them rattle around any longer I am hereby releasing them in to cyberspace. I’ve spent this morning tidying it up writing this prologue/apology for lack of sense and hoping in the process I can find a conclusion before I get to the end.

So 2 weeks ago I went to Interesting North. And it was… Interesting.

Chris Bell - 500 Years of Western Tweeting by Dan Sumption, on Flickr

There were lots of things to absorb my interest, The opening talk from Chris Bell has given me justification for my hardcore Twitter addiction by explaining to me that it was in-fact an art form. He talked through the history of art and eventually concluded that Twitter is a blank canvas. This temporarily effected my tweeting habit to the extent that I hovered over the send button for a few seconds longer than normal before sharing what I had, had for breakfast. This was possibly unnoticed by my followers and I soon sunk back in to the comfy-ness of over sharing the delicate in’s and out’s of my life in public. But it did make me think about the opportunities it’s given me as a form of communication. As a creative, that’s all I’m really looking for – a platform to share.

Some talks made me laugh, some made me look in to a very dark place within and some sparked ideas. So many ideas.

Stefanie Posavec’s passion for data visualisation, specifically baseball game scorecards was fascinating. She spoke of the level of detail and personalisation that goes in to the score cards as being so strong that it has become part of family traditions. This data collection is a process for enjoying and engaging with a long-winded sporting event rather than simply spectating. It led me to thoughts of creating a similar thing for Formula 1, one of the only sports I truly enjoy watching but often struggle with, losing focus as they go around the same track for the 50th time.

My inner science nerd and outer internet nerd was very satisfied by Suw Charman-Anderson’s talk about Eyjafjallajökull. The discoveries and information that was shared and debated by a thriving community of geologistis online. Which I think had a interesting connection to Elliot Fineburg’s talk about Wikiality and of how if it’s been written online, and backed up by at least one other source then it must be fact. Then Mike Wallis’s talk about Cake got me a little bit too excited. Cake as a science – what’s not to love? Seriously? And that’s not to mention the amazing revelations made by James Wallis about a genre of literature obsessed with Nazi’s and Hitler. All of which have incredibly good/bad titles/covers (I’ve taken to over subtitling as a result.)

Tom Armitage took on rules:

“The thing that makes games game’s isn’t joypads, or score, or 3D graphics, or little bits of cardboard, or many-sided dice. It’s the rules and mechanics beating in their little clockwork hearts.”

I love rules. I have rules for everything. I think structure is very important. If you know where you stand at any given time, what’s expected of you and what is considered acceptable then ultimately you can’t accidentally get it wrong. Something I also suffer with. Rules are needed. If there aren’t any rules I invent them.

Tom discussed how rules give you a choice, a choice to obey them or not. What I liked most about what he was saying is that a good rule needs a little give, and that rules are a starting point for creativity. So actually my rule set needs a new rule about being flexible with rules.

Tom Armitage "5 Things Rules Do"

But I haven’t even told you about the countless struggles of the grown-up Lego fan community around colour and equality. Or James B‘s idea of soft city’s of the future designed for a bicycle riding population. Or the fact that for some, riding a horse side saddle is having a revival. Or that people sleep on public transport, this is not so much a revelation as the fact that some of them are really well prepared for it. It might even be catching. Finally, all of the above is  in-fact a Tiny Horse.

The best place to find out all about what actually happened at Interesting North is the Lanyrd Coverage page – which is in and of itself really interesting, loving Lanyrd’s work. I hope Tim Duckett and the others find the energy/time to get it together to do again next year. I need more input!

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  1. Emma - 26/11/2010 - 16:03

    Actually one more thing…

    The lovely-ness (myself excluded) of the audience was brilliant. People were buzzing. And there were so many connections on and off-line. I’m hoping for/kind of thinking of developing an Augmented Reality Phone App so that I can see where everyone is in the room and watch the connections between people or groups of people… combined with the back chatter… all linked in to a graph app similar to the one Rattle developed. OK? Who thinks we could get that done by next year?

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