Cory Doctorow at the Melbourne Writer’s Festival

26 08 2007

Cory Doctorow & Charles Firth debated in the Free & easy event, which was held at the Merlyn Theatre in Southbank. I had front row seats to see Charles Firth get his ass kicked in the debate, see videos below. Free & easy photoset on Flickr. Microblogged on Twitter here and here.

Charles Firth was surprisingly inarticulate for someone from The Chaser, also very stuck on old business models which seems in stark contrast to The Chaser in general. [Update 29/08/07: see Cory’s comment below – I am disappointed at the Melbourne Writer’s Festival’s approach to this event, fake debates are best left to comedians. This was just a waste of two talented people. I would have preferred a non-debate of their actual opinions.] Most interesting item from Charles was that the ABC is considering a paid archive model if the public does not complain. It’s odd that they are considering this as even the New York Times has finally figured out that’s a stupid way to go. Biggest irony of the night, Charles criticising Cory for giving work away for free, after which he supplied free copies of The Manic Times to the audience. I got my books signed, and no Cory, yours isn’t going on eBay.

Cory’s not in Melbourne for long, and for those who missed his open dinner invitation, you’re out of luck as his schedule is full.

[Update 29/08/07: More coverage of Cory’s speech here on Views from Orbit]


Talkin’ bout my Generation – Boomers, X, Y & beyond

7 08 2007

There’s always discussions about generations, what generation are you (take the test), but increasingly when people talk about Generation Y, the main point is technology. Any generation embraces the technology of their era (radio, vinyl records, boom boxes, CDs, the internet), but it by no means is the only thing that defines them.

Many Boomers remember advertising with fondness, not many members of Gen X or Y would say the same. Many members of Gen X & Y want more work/life balance, as they’ve seen the costs paid by their parents. The survivors of the World War II Generation appreciate the simple things in life, like bombs not falling from the sky on a regular basis.

The first thing that defines any Generation is their perception of other Generations. As a member of Generation Y, I quote the Simpsons: I used to be with it, but then they changed what “it” was. Now, what I’m with isn’t it, and what’s “it” seems weird and scary to me. All Generations think the other Generations are weird and scary (even if it’s just a little bit), but they’re all just born of a different social environment.

Generations different to yours aren’t weird and scary, they’re just different. Hopefully all the generations can learn to collaborate (instead of wanting others to “fade away”), combining the collective wisdom of all generations, to solve problems that we all face together. How many friends do you have outside your own generation? Is that number really enough?

I’ll leave you with the generation-mashup, the Zimmers, talkin’ bout their g-generation.