It’s a small, open world

. . . at least some of the time.

At a recent basketball game for one of my children, a fellow parent whom I have spoken to a number of times over the years said “Hey, I saw one of your pictures in a presentation I was watching yesterday.”1 He described one of the images I made for #thoughtvectors way back in 2014. It had been cited and they linked to my flickr account. The other parent had followed it and decided it had to be me and indeed it was.2

man computer symbiosis

I then asked what the presentation was about as I couldn’t think of too many presentations that would use human/computer symbiosis images that I wouldn’t be interested in. He said “Oh, just some stuff I was looking at around generative music.” and then made some conversational moves to switch topics. I find myself doing this move fairly frequently in small talk conversations. Maybe you do too. I feel compelled to honestly answer the question, but I feel in my heart that my response will both bore them and trap them into follow up questions they don’t want to be ask. So I try to gloss it over and move on.

That’s what it felt like anyway. In this case, there was no escape. I asked any number of follow up questions.

Turns out he’s been playing around with midi synthesizers and data visualization in Processing. Another parent overhead us and he’s a huge synthesizer fan. The basketball game was ending at this point but I got a follow up email.

The presentation that started all this is here. We have since exchanged our favor Bret Victor presentations (him – Inventing On Principle, me – Stop Drawing Dead Fish) and a number of other links.

I’m now digging out an old sound scape thing I built many years ago. I’m also confident I have some interesting future conversations to have on various sports bleachers.

Anyway, just such a cool interaction that mixed the internet and the real world . . . and all made possible by open content that gets cited.

1 Or something like that. I wasn’t taking notes.

2 I imagine my mix of photos is probably unique enough to point to me if you know me at all.

2 thoughts on “It’s a small, open world

  1. I believe in the big small world! What’s also significant is your image is nestled deeply into a highly interactive presentation. Good on your new friend to notice.

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