On Writing, Tech, and Other Loquacities

The collected works of Lana Brindley: writer, speaker, blogger

linux.conf.au 2015 – Day 2

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Eben Moglin kicked off the day with a fabulously inspiring keynote about openness, during which my swag-provided coffee cup decided to demonstrate its grasp of ‘openness’ … all over my laptop. My favourite quote from the talk was his assertion that we need to invoke Asimov’s first law of robotics, and we need to do it NOW. We all carry, essentially, robots in our pockets in the form of smartphones, and they are inherently designed by their creators to harm us. Our technology is working for its creators, not us. This brought back fond memories of Scott Ludlam speaking at the Penguin Dinner at LCA in Ballarat, referring to the fact that we’re all carrying tracking devices around with us. How like LCA to continue to make me paranoid about my devices 😉

Next up was Dr Pauline Harris, who gave a fascinating talk about Maori Astronomy. I knew nothing about Maori history, but had noticed how ingrained Maori culture was in modern New Zealand culture during my last visit over here. Dr Harris gave me some great googling points, and if you’re at all interested in Australian Aboriginal history, then reading about the Tohunga Suppression Act of 1907, the Maori Wars, the Native Schools Act of 1867, and the work that has been done in modern years to reenergise and support the Maori community is absolutely fascinating reading. I always come home from LCA having learned something I never expected to learn. This year, who knew I’d come home with some basic knowledge of the Maori pantheon and how important astronomy was to their culture.

I spent the rest of the morning at the Community Leadership Summit, which I hope to return to later in the day. Fabulously diverse range of topics within this sphere, and I’ve drafted at least three new blog posts as a result of the conversations, so I won’t go into greater detail here. Suffice to say: if you’re in an open source community (in any position, not just leadership), then it’s worthwhile checking out the videos from this miniconf, and I really hope it returns in future years.

The afternoon I spent at the OpenStack miniconf, run by my esteemed colleague Michael Still, shown here opining about Nova. Apparently he’s a big deal in OpenStack networking.

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