Testing the limits of our patience

The invite for the evening at the Museum of Vancouver looked interesting: “In this dialogue, we delve into how a ‘smart city’ will impact privacy, personalization, accessibility, and citizen (versus consumer) engagement?”

Some members of the audience seemed content with the content.

Two members of the panel, David Ascher (Mozilla Foundation) and Andrea Reimer (Councillor, City of Vancouver) seemed a bit perplexed with the monologue’ish elaborations of the third member, Evgeny Morozov, a Belarusian writer and researcher who studies political and social implications of technology.

I left the event feeling “What tha Hell Was That All About!?”

On my way out I managed to exchange a few words with another member of the audience. When I’ve used the words frivolous and nonesensical she said she was a bit too young to be judgmental. However, we both agreed that Evgeny’s messages seemed a bit conflicted. Could it be his way of marketing his books?

The topics of the discussion will always remain fascinating. Here’s a quick display of non committal points extracted from my reliable, technologically non-judgmental notebook. Some are just notes I’ve taken during the evening; some are thoughts turned into words:

Solutionism: an expression coined in response to the trend of focusing efforts on finding solutions no matter whether an issue requiring any, exists or not.

Sensors: the ever expanding use of them in public and private realm.

Copyright: the questions surrounding our ability to protect copyrights.

Smart as the prefix of many tools and accessories, the implications of the term on our lives and actions.

Stupifying of individuals: can it be that the rush for “smart” devices allows people to act stupid?

Controlled Ignorance; Informed Ignorance

Return to congregation: The quest to be informed.

The language of debate.

Historicize this debate.

It seems to me a bit pointless to summarize this evening’s discussion for any meaningful insights. Sometimes just being there is good enough. When the content fails to engage there’s always room for thought, the room itself, the people. I said hello to a fellow biker and had a nice ride home.

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