(Episode 43) As we approach the end of 2016, for many people, it will be remembered as a year of painful world events and some shocking realizations about how little we understand about one another. It isn’t that feeling disconnected or mass violence were invented over the past year, but it is perhaps a major moment in recent history where we are confronted with the depth and scale that these things can reach.
With this as the backdrop, in communities all over the world – like Berlin – there are projects dedicated to learning, new experiences, and connecting people. One such project is the School of Machines, Making and Make-Believe. In 2015 we first heard from Rachel Uwa, founder of the School of MA, about what the plan and mission was and how it would all work. Almost two years later, today on the podcast we hear from Rachel, about the ups, downs, and interesting developments at the school. We also delve into the art of trying something new, learning from failure, and philosophy of growth.
If you’re curious about human behavior, learning, technology, community, or anything in between — this is the podcast for you.
Podcasting has existed now for close to 12 years, and in that short time we’ve seen success stories, waves of popularity, beloved programs that come to an end, and all kinds of attempts to move the medium forward. Of all the initiatives ever to be brought to podcasting, today’s guest spearheaded one of the most revolutionary from his personal media recording studio in Berlin. The initiative is known as Podlove, the person is named Tim Pritlove, and perhaps most importantly, today on the program he and I discuss how the project was born and has matured, looking at its present, future and its lasting impact on podcasting throughout the world.
The Tactical Technology Collective, aka Tactical Tech, has been at the forefront of training and promotion of tech tools for not only journalists but also rights advocates all over the planet for well over a decade. How do they do it? What does their work include? Today on the program we have the voices that can help explain it all…
Coming up… a conversation with Allistair Alexander, director of publishing and production (fresh from the Paris Climate Talks), we will also hear from those who use the tools to spark change as part of TT’s Exposing The Invisible film series, Before all that, we begin today by listening to co-founders Marek Tuszynski and Stephanie Hankey, experts from their recent talk at the Elevate Festival in Graz entitled “The Politics of Data in Quantified Society”. Don’t be fooled by the title, this is a conversation that goes beyond the activists and the journalists, today’s program, at its core, comes back to you and me and the devices, apps, and services that we use everyday.
The Pokémon series featured some spectacular glitches that can teach us a lot about programming, computers and distributed systems. Igor Wiedler enthusiastically talks how users can gain the opportunity to change outcomes by applying the act of programming as a subversive measure, when programs diverge in unexpected ways. Breaking the rules can open up new worlds! Especially in the world of Pokemon. If you want to know how, then watch this talk.
Over the past few months the story and struggle of people trying to make it to Germany, Austria, and neighboring countries has made headlines. They’re referred to as refugees, though at the latest hackathon in Berlin one participant remarked, “I’d rather be called a newcomer.”
The number one tool of the newcomer? — The mobile phone. The number one demand throughout the journey? – Power to charge them, wifi to transmit messages to concerned loved ones, for checking the map for other routes that offer safer passage, and possibly to communicate with those who might be waiting for them once they get to their destinations. But the phone and internet alone are not enough. To manage to get through the hardship of getting from Syria or Libya or Iraq or Afghanistan to the areas of Europe that welcome them.. the barriers are still many. The beast of bureaucracy that would drive even the most fluent German speaker mad, the landlord who won’t rent to “refugees”, the prestigious University that doesn’t recognize credits from some of Syria’s finest institutions. What can be done to overcome such barriers? Who is stepping up to help and how are they doing it?
Today on the podcast, we talk about tools for refugees, or as I’ll refer to them from now on in this program: newcomers.. recent arrivals.. those who are trying to start a life in a new place. What tools are they using and who is developing these tools. Specifically in the Berlin area, where hundreds if not thousands of volunteers are busy in so many ways, helping people arrive and get settled. They, like many of us, are learning as they go, and today we’re going to hear about what they’ve learned, what they’re creating, and how it is making a difference in this unprecedented moment in history.
Daniela Berger talks about a few non-standard web development projects she has worked on in the past. Take a detour through Second Life with Daniela and listen to her stories about being one of the early Silverlight apps writers – juggling geo coordinates and the matching maths.
Ever wondered, if a computer can take over your personality? Write for you, tweet for you? Wonder no longer, and watch this video to see how it’s done. Stefanie Schirmer replaced herself with a very small shell script, which adapts her personality and tweets for her.
This summer at Chaos Communication Camp 2015, one of the world’s first hacker spaces, C-Base, celebrated its 20th birthday and today on the program, that celebration continues. Join us as we introduce the space and hear from some of its crew as they recount their first experiences at C-base, what it means to them, and some wonderful or odd moments that they will never forget.
Every 4 years, a massive collection of curious and creative minds from all over the world make their way to a green space outside of Berlin where they build a temporary physical community made up of what for most of the year, is only a virtual one. It is here at hacker camp, over the course of a week, they share their work, inspire one another, learn something new, relax, play, swim or simply drink tea with friends.
The event: the Chaos Communication Camp 2015 an open-air even where the ideas go far beyond the tents and blinking lights, to a larger world where questions of privacy, information, rights, and more, are so often being decided for us behind closed doors. Today we explore this event and what it is about and what impact it has on… well.. everything.
In his short story The Bicentennial Man, Isaac Asimov gives us his take on cyborgs and society back in 1966, which includes the statement “There is no right to deny freedom to any object with a mind advanced enough to grasp the concept and desire the state.” In 2015 the big debate may not yet be the one Asimov was imagining, but with the advent of so many devices and options to assist or enhance the human body, the idea of combining human and machines is very much a reality. And it isn’t just a matter of helping someone without legs to walk, or someone who can’t hear to hear, the reality we already have today is that technology is helping humans run faster, hear better, do things that vastly improve the abilities of a human. Many may recognize this phenomenon by one name – cyborgism – or lets take the ism out of it.. cyborgs. This is no longer a work of fiction or fantasy, this is reality for anyone and everyone.