Last Saturday was the second Brainjams event at SRI. I was the official unofficial co-MC, Chris gallantly took on the tough part of explaining why we were there and what we were doing, which was much appreciated since I’ve been kind of AWOL from recent planning sessions and my brain is foggy before breakfast. That left me with the fun part of messing with the microphone, ringing the bell, jumping up and down and shouting. Sorry to anyone whose eardrums I may have blasted, it was my first time rockin’ the mic and I got a little enthusiastic.
The format seemed to work well. It was hard for me to gauge the morning one-on-one sessions since I was busy coordinating, but most people seemed pleased and as Eric said afterwards, “On the one hand I felt a little rushed with each person, but on the other hand I was glad I met everyone I did, and I wouldn’t have been able to if I hadn’t been a little rushed.” So there you have it. After lunch was the youth panel, a bunch of Stanford students brought in to give the college-aged perspective. It was coordinated by Noah, who did a fantastic job of leading the discussion. I didn’t feel I learned too much from it, but then I have friends who are undergrads so their perspective isn’t news to me. Mostly I was surprised by and jealous of how much free (as in beer) media that Stanford kids get access to. I tried to get them to rank their top five internet apps, but I got too tricky asking it and phrased the question poorly so they misunderstood.
My favorite part of the day was the afternoon breakout sessions. Anyone could lead any topic, you just needed to sign up for a space at lunch. Those I attended were:
2. Data and privacy
3. Collaboration and consensus
All were interesting in their own way, though I could’ve done without the everyone-vs-Shannon portion of the privacy session. Guess we’re just not ready to throw in the towel on our quaint and antiquated ideals, Shannon. HJL has a good overview, I won’t bother to repeat everything here. I’m still sorting through some of the ideas generated in these sessions, if I’m lucky I might even come up with more to say about it.