All publication is a political act. All communication is propaganda. All art is pornography. All business is personal. All hail Eris. Vive les poissons rouges sauvages!
If you aren’t already acquainted, please meet Stilgherrian - a freelance writer-broadcaster who covers the intersection of technology, politics and the media for the likes of ZDNet Australia, CSO Online and Crikey (check out his work here). His particular area of expertise focuses on the ‘big-picture issues’ of how new social networking, communication and collaboration technologies are changing the way we work, play, socialise and organise our societies – especially in politics and the media.
Q: What is a dangerous idea?
A: One where merely expressing it puts the speaker in mortal danger, or in danger of expulsion from society. Examples? Mate, your daughter would look fantastic being sodomised by a goat. Behead all those who insult the Prophet. Pouring the tea before the milk.
Q: What are you looking forward to seeing at FODI?
A: Anzac Day: Best We Forget. Australia’s self-image is increasingly being framed in terms of a possibly-distorted view of its military history, which increases the likelihood of the military being seen as the solution to a wider range of problems. This probably isn’t a good thing.
Q: Strangest question you’ve been asked?
A: “What is the strangest question you’ve been asked?” That, or the one about the goat. I don’t even have a daughter.
Q: Favourite book and why?
A: I don’t really have favourites, in books or anything else, but one of the most significant is Stephen Wolfram’s ‘A New Kind of Science’. The universe is a grand computation? It’s perhaps the most important mathematical work since Sir Isaac Newton’s ‘Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica’ of 1687. And it’s available free online.
Q: Most important idea of the last 10 years?
A: Urban mini goats. “Now you can have your favourite dairy goat breed in a smaller, more efficient package!!!!” This one idea has brought me the joy of the suburban middle classes imagining that they’re farmers. That or Wolfram’s book. So hard to choose.
Q: Is it ok to steal an idea?
A: An idea can’t be ‘stolen’, because the originator isn’t deprived of its use. Besides, implementing the idea is what really counts.
Q: Rapid technological development can cite fear in people, what advancement are you scared of?
A: I don’t fear any particular technological advancement. But information technology changes power relationships. I fear that our politicians, with their appalling ignorance of technology and their moronic short-term thinking, will fracture the foundations of the western liberal democracies that millions died to defend only one lifetime ago. Lest we forget.
Q: What potential change excites you?
A: The commercialisation of space travel. Maybe I’ll make it into space after all.
Q: Twitter is _____ and Facebook is _____
A: Twitter has been an important part of my personal and professional communication, but it’s killing itself by trying to turn into a media company. It, too, shall pass. Facebook is an amoral blight. I’ll have nothing to do with it. And neither should you.
Q: Mac or PC?
A: Yes. And Linux too. And Android. An operating system is a tool for a job, not a fashion statement.
Q: Best thing you’ve seen or heard this week?
A: Watching a bunch of Blue Mountains creatives talk earnestly about things like ‘Dharmic management’ and the idea that the founders of the Hard Rock Cafe were ‘revolutionaries’. ‘I’m interested in eroticising everyday objects, like the light bulb’, said one. T’was hilarious to watch the Enlightenment crumble before my very eyes.
Q: Favourite Youtube clip?
A: Clips plural. Goats Gone Wild!