Recoded: 17 July 2007
Locations: Berlin, Germany
Tags: coworking, travel, berlin, twittervision, dave troy, travis todd, popvox, growvotes
Music: a little boy playing the accordion, background music within coffee shop
About: while on my global hunt, i popped over to visit my friends will and sue. for two months, they are honeymooning and taking in the sites, sounds and joyful company of friends.
while i was in their company, i scheduled a few interviews. this particular interview was from travis j. todd (growvotes) and dave troy (twittervision, popvox) where we discussed everything under the sun. a thinthasied version of my thoughts can be found here.
check out more information on locations for freelancers, independents, and free thinkers, check out http://wiki.coworking.info
tonight, i leave berlin. in it's simple beauty, this city is just amazing. while i can't point to a single moment in time, i really like berlin.
the past three days have blessed me with an unique opportunity. not only was i able to interview three really unique individuals, but i also had the opportunity to share the house of two good friends and break bread with their new york friends.
when i departed, i was sad that my dear friends could not join me. after spending four days and three nights, i saw parts of myself i had not seen. the reflexive quality of this journey has yet to be fully understood, but knowing that a quarter an earth away reside a group of people who understand you is comforting. finding those same type of people on a random to berlin is even more comforting.
while i didn't see half of the things i should have seen as a tourist, that doesn't bother me. the time spent interviewing regine from we make money not art, dave from twittervision and travis, a budding entrapenure, couldn't have been better spent.
buried deep within the conversation with regine, dave and travis we spoke briefly about technology symbiosis, the future human cyborg, and dental care.
ok, they may seem a bit abstract, but here's the gist. long ago someone told me i was a cyborg. when you take the new oxford american dictionary "a fictional or hypothetical person whose physical abilities are extended beyond normal human limitations by mechanical elements built into the body."
then you remove "fictional or hypothetical" you can use the definition to describe someone wearing glasses, uses dialysis, takes medicine or has implants of some sort... the person we are now defining uses technology to augment their limitations.
if i asked a majority of you how you use your cell phones, 99% would say for communication. the other 1% use it for pleasure... in my mind, a cell phone, a computer, a network connection are all extensions of the human network. (editors note - yes, i know that's a cisco advertising phrase.)
that human network is alive and the connections on the digital network are also alive. too frequently to we mistake digital communications as impersonal. the advent of sony placing a camera within the confines of a laptop might have been to sell more laptops, but it eventually spurred many clones.
some may say with digital networks growing faster and ubiquitous, we have reached the dawn of a new era. i disagree, we are just moving along.
BUT at times we don't think of the consequences of this digital acceptance. my friend's at greenpeace have always made a good argument when it comes to technology. we need to be greener. we need to think about the over all consequences of the hyper connected world we participate within.
we have the power to enlighten our bad habits and explore our obscured connections. we have the power to use mechanical elements to explore the beauty of humanity and make this place better.
ok, did i really see all of that in berlin? well not really.
the long history of germany and the division between capitalists and communist was clear and present. the duality of a pacifist west and a militant east, and the subsequent rise of an east/west art war blew my mind. the fully adorned children's parks with young kids running naked and topless adults spoke of their true liberation. the formal direct language, and the cheap delicious food... all spoke to a world under construction.
what berlin presented was not another dirty megatroplis like new york, but a vision of something far better than what most americans see on a daily basis. i'm not sure who takes what for granted. in my eyes, i am ashamed to know of a pedestal where "liberty" is valued but you can't have more than 49 people assemble in one location.
oh how i could go on about the liberty of americans, but that would be self defeating right now. many more questions are festering and i'm about to be heading to a country that has more networked cameras per square mile than broadband... or something like that....
on my way to berlin, i slept and noted many thoughts. now that i'm reviewing them, they don't seem to make sense. i'll eventually get back to them. for now i have other things on my mind.
the past three days in berlin, fueled by friendship from will and sue, have gotten me thinking about the unique opportunity of berlin. divide by years, their identity is very reflective of the conflict and opportunity the 21 century faces.
yesterday, i went to the berlin wall. despite the fact that kids tagged freely, i found myself a pilgrim. a pilgrim to a wall of hate, oppression and fascism. the cold cement wall that baked in the sun was not a normal wall. this was a wall erected by men for the obstruction of freedom. frequently, i have found my self building similar walls, but unable to tear them down. unknowing how to free the mind, i've set out on this journey.
as day 10 has passed, i've started to see that many fears are diminishing and being replaced with opportunity. though time and perseverance, these walls are crumbling. sadly, the dreams i had of new york are also fading into a distant memory. the opportunity that lies ahead is not physical, but mental.
i now frequently wonder if neil stephenson's the diamond age contains more buried truths. more importantly, i wonder how the next 27 weeks will unfold.
yesterday, my friends and i heading into the scowling heat for a bit of sightseeing. wandering through the streets, we parked at a flee market and then departed for another round of pizza. one thing i have discovered, the flavor of berlin's punk rock culture has not been completely lost. unlike new york, you will still find hole-in-the-wall pubs with rockin flare or a pizza shop covered in punk posters and memorabilia.
today, i awoke early to interview regine from we-make-money-not-art.com and promptly came back to my friends flat to hammer out emails and to do a bit of research.
somewhere within the mix we headed back out to the scorching sun for a bite to eat. after stumbling upon a small turkish stand, we chewed on falafel, and marauded though the heat. somewhere around 3 pm, i passed out. since prague, i've now gotten accustomed to waking up early, working, taking a nap around 1 or 2 and burning the midnight oil until 1 or 2 in the morning...
after further research, it appears there is only one visa that might cause me hassle. reluctantly, i did not make arrangements for an indian visa. i assumed that that like every other country, india makes allowances for boarder entry visas. unlike the rest, india has a very beaurcratic method. apparently, you can only arrange for visas from within your country of origin. so, despite what wikitravel states, should i really be concerned?
i've had a quick change of plans and am now in berlin visiting will from onnyturf and his wife sue.
if they don't abuse me too much, i'll give you guys an update of prague and cut some video.
if you are in the area, give me a holla!
I plan on starting my trip in Europe. From 7/8 July to 7/8 Aug, I will bounce around looking to cover as much as possible. If you have something to add, please feel free!
- 08 July - 1 hour in Barcelona
- 08 - 09 July - 22 hours in Pamplona for Running of the Bulls, i'm in need of a guide and couch to crash
- i never found internet and there for never met up with Lauryn Dempsey
- 09 - 14 July - Flight to Prague to teach at Transitions Online's New Media Essentials (thanks Evgeny Morozov)
- castle Konopiste
- 14 - 18 July - Berlin, Germany
- Meet with Travis J. Todd and Freelance/Coworking Berlin community
- Interview regine from http://www.we-make-money-not-art.com/
- tour the subway bunker
- street art festival
- 19 - 22 July
- London, UK
- hang out with Joey Baxter and Alex Deschamps-Sonsino
- Steve Purkis
- Mongol Rally and profile team Mr. Dinosaur
- check out Hardcore Hardware Hacking Weekend
- Brighton, UK
- Profile Tactical Tech and Dirk Slater.
- Visit Quadrophina locations
- 23 - 25 July - Paris, France
- Interviews with Barcamp and Coworking community. Paris Coworking
- Couchsurfing Collective Paris 2007 Project
- Meetup with Eric-Olivier Lamey
- 26 July - Antwerp, Belgium
- Interview with Dries Buytaert Drupal founder and pioneer of open source
- 27 - 30 July - Amsterdam, NL
- hangout with andy smith and friends
- profile individuals at RoomWare DevHuis 6 at wakoopa's office
Week 4 & 5
- 31 July - Eindoven, NL
- profile and hang out with Joshua Kauffman
- 1 - 8 Aug - Istanbul, Turkey CS info
- Hostel - http://www.chillouthc.com @ 10 euros a night
- basilica cistern
- grand bazaar
- Hagia Sophia
- the blue mosque
- erdal aka eternity and a day
- kenan aka keyno
- isa aka ISAFAKIR
- still looking for more couchsurfers...