Recoded: 1 - 9 aug 2007
Locations: istanbul, turkey
Tags: luck of seven, istanbul, turkey, big apple hostel
Music: (What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love & Understanding - elvis costello
About: after a month of bouncing around europe, i decided to cool my jets and regroup for a week in istanbul. many thanks go out to the following - the big apple hostel crew, öznur özkurt, memhmet irdel, canan irdel, hayal pozanti, matan kaminer, gokce gunel, kenan kilictepe, andrea barker, tomas saledo, eduard trinidad, stephen warren, larz (stephen's buddy), michael the brit, and keith the american
after yesterday's adventure in the wastelands of future hubbub, i arrived in mumbai. under the cover of darkness, i quietly roamed the halls of the international terminal.
greeted by a plainclothes custom's agent and without any questions, my passport was stamped and i walked into india. within 10 mins my bags were on a stroller and i was strolling into the humid night.
while my original plans were to spend the night in the terminal, things changed very quickly. on the day of my departure from cairo, former CiviCRM stunt man and current Drupaller, Yashesh Bhatia emailed me emphatically saying i should visit mumbai. upon telling him that i was just passing through, he told me that he would be at the airport dropping off his father and that he would be waiting for me.
in the hot sticky air, my bags and i stumbled out into the public waiting area squinting for a glimpse of a face i have only seen via email. tired, alone and without a working SIM, i quickly worked my way to get change and make a phone call.
after a bit of belligerence from a guy selling water, a young man wearing a hotel uniform pulled out his cell phone and offered to call yashesh. within a matter of minutes, chaos turned into peace. all of sudden, yashesh's friend/coworker (who's name escapes me at this moment) turned out of the crowed and ushered me to meet yashesh, his wife and three year old son.
driving though the crowed streets of mumbai, we talked about our geek history, the last 24 hours of travel, my time with the guys and gals of opencraft and my sadness leaving them. upon arrival at the Bhatia's family home, i was greeted by handshakes, a seat, a plate and a home cooked meal from heaven.
at 4.45 in the morning, yashesh and i drove to the airport. after a mad dash through the airport, i found myself watching the sunrise above the clouds.
(this is an email you will soon receive if you had subscribed to my email list... if you haven't, you need to do so ASAP...) click < http://groups.google.com/group/luckofseven >
hi, do you remember me?
i have wonderful news! today marks 60 days on the road...
AND with less than 30 days of cash left in my pocket, google has acquired me! YES, THAT'S RIGHT I AM PART OF THE GOOGLEZONE! after a long series of negotiations, prodding and more importantly, chasing google's tail... (ha, and you thought i was moving around to interview people... WRONG!). google decided that i'm worthy every penny to have an all expensed trip on them.
when i land in new delhi, i will be awash in google paraphalina (Hawaiian shirt, "high" performance underwear, fishing pants, camelpak and cheese cloth. the cheese cloth was a special request.) also, they have decided to out fit me with the most state of the art satalite/webcam system. i will soon be wired up like justin.tv streaking my naked ass from continent to continent reporting on open culture.
oh wait, was that another one of my fanciful dreams? the webcam, google clothing and cheese cloth are not true. almost being out of cash and hitting the two month mark are on spot.
in all honesty, i was sick and tired of having $30 USD enslaved from my bank account. so this message is the first message from the new luck of seven google group. you can invite friends and reply directly to me... this new and improved email list promises to be a digested version of noel's insanity, sanity, and twits...
speaking of twitts, if you are not on twitter, you are missing out on half of the story. while the blog, photos and interviews are a curated view of my life on the road... twitter is turing out to be the background on the background. sometimes you will get a dream, quote, hallucination, fear or blundering mistake... nonetheless, i have a very witty way twitter will be employed in my thunderous Dianetics styled essay, book, movie, and broadway musical.
if you aren't "following" me, then you're not following the whole story. < http://twitter.com/noneck >
finally, let's get into the meat and potatoes of my work...
i first have to thank so many here in cairo... mardini, nora younis, khalid & his family, omar, amr, alaa & mannal, all the kids at opencraft, meramees & EGLUG... oh and how can i forget happy birthday mohamed?!?
tomorrow (wed), i depart from cairo on a two hour train to alexandria. on the overnight flight to dubai, i'll sleep. on arrival (thurs), i'm going to work on editing video. thursday evening, i'll fly to mumbai and sleep in the airport. friday morning, like linus van pelt, i'll shlep to the proper terminal and fly to new delhi. somewhere around 8 am i'll finally land back in asia...
a lot of people have asked blankly what am i doing... normally, i give them a long winded answer how i'm trying to save the world with a straw hat, beard, camera and cell phone. though, in reality, i'm meeting the world's coolest people. i'm not talking about esquire, high society, nor woman's day... i'm talking honest to god/s, hard working people who don't take smoldering piles of poop from anyone.
despite the fact it's taking me longer to edit video than originally expected, and my ADD ravaged soul has problems being a one man band, i've cranked out 13 videos (6 while on the road, 1 every 10 days... not to shabby). once i land in india, get ready to shoot whiskey and watch one or two more episodes...
in the meantime, you should check out...
13 - dries, founder of the drupal project, on the history of drupal and it's community...
< http://luckofseven.com/vlog/episode13 >
12 - christophe aguiton on future coworking software and barcamp/coworking community
< http://luckofseven.com/vlog/episode_12 >
11 - dirk slater and the tactical technology collective
< http://luckofseven.com/vlog/episode_11_brighton >
10 - two american freelancers in berlin looking at coworking
09 - the history of transitions online and their work in former soviet republics
< http://luckofseven.com/episode_9_tol >
08 - my running with the bulls
< http://luckofseven.com/episode_8_running_bulls >
07/07/07 - my goodbye speech (filmed by charles hope)
< http://luckofseven.com/good_bye_toast_blog_blip_tv >
until we meet in india!
join me on a trip around the world!
last night, i had the wonderful opportunity to dine with Dries Buytaert, founder of the drupal project. after a brief introduction to antwerp, we headed to his house where i had the lovely opportunity to meet and chat with Karlijn, Dries' lovely wife and a very expecting mother.
as we talked about life and our history growing up in rural communities, we delved deep into the concept of a world that can never forget. more frightening, we discussed society as producers of content and waxed about no longer having the ability to protect our intellectual property and privacy.
divided by corporations and government, the world that surrounds us is no longer free. monitored by corporation through our consumption, capitalized by our social networks, analyzed though our credit cards and buying clubs, and tracked by CCTV cameras, the modern world is facing a fundamental battle for freedom.
while one my say that google's "do no evil" policy is great, but it also brings back the concept of benevolent dictators. with no opportunity to click "remove" and with less opportunities for successful alternatives, we blindly produce content for corporations to thrive. from flickr, myspace, and google (just to name a few)... none of these companies would exist without our explicit consent.
as users, we also live in a world that can never forget. from the way-back-machine to search engine algorithms, our online identity is forever locked in locations we can not access. traded as a commodity, our identity is no longer human.
what are our options? ultimate transparency or fascism?
regardless, we are looking at world without privacy, and at worse a world with fractured identities.
as we move forward, how do we tell corporations that we want them to respect us as equals?
despite the fact i left berlin 45 mins late i was still abel to catch a train that seemed to be on the right time table to brussles. exhausted from sleeping on a hard bench, i geefully boarded what appeared to be my first class train.
little did i know that the wonderfully plush seats, smell of fresh coffee and abundant power outlets would not be my train. in a vain attempt to save 15 euro, i gladly said i would take local trains from klone to brussels... i should have known better. i really should have known better.
after pay 60 euro for a meal i didn't want to regurgitate, an electrical outlet i couldn't part with and a train i couldn't disembark, i tag, flagged and prepared for the next few days in the United Kingdom.
on my last journey, i was heading home from a salzburg seminar and had just paid 250 euro for a stupid belt knife to be confiscated in munich. before that, august of 2002. the US had just invaded Afghanistan, and the world was ripe in solidarity. young and inexperienced, i traveled to from boston to the Isle of Wight for a "little" scooter rally, spent a new days in london and also visited amsterdam.
five years later things are significantly different. now there is no home. now there is no warm bed waiting for me on the other side of the pond. now my world blessed a few days jammed packed with interviews, workshops, meetups and naps.
i'm really looking forward to being back in london to kick out the jams with...
- Joey Baxter, fellow coworking enthusiast.
- Alex Deschamps-Sonsino, fellow Lift 06 attendant and one of the organizers of Hardcore Hardware Hacking Weekend.
somewhere with in that mix, i need to edit some video and desperately need to wash three pairs of socks. while in berlin, i was going to purchase flip-flops, but with my extra special train ticket behind me... i think i'll pass... that's unless i find a shoe store that's willing sponsor my feet! ;)
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?
in 24 hours, i will depart and i hope you will be there. while the past week has kept me busy, fidgeting with lockers, storage units, hangovers, and airline tickets, i am looking forward to one last goodbye.
on saturday, i hope you can join me on the roof of 62 Marcy Ave in williamsburg. located a stones throw from the marcy ave (JMZ) and lormier (L), we will congregate from 11 am till 3 pm. please bring something to share - champaign, orange juice, bagels, salmon, cream cheese... breakfast things...
around 2:00 pm, we will toast to friendship and say our goodbyes. at 3:00, i will hop in a cab and say goodbye. i hope to see you tomorrow, otherwise we will meet somewhere between here nor there...
Saturday, 7 July 2007
11 am - 3 pm
departure toast at 2ish
62 Marcy Ave, Rooftop
ps - once i depart, a gagging group of merry pranksters will head to a local park for a game or two of ultimate frisbee.
in many of my other projects, i've always had the luxury of having a peer. now that this internal exploration is around the corner, frustration is the most common recurring emotion. frankly, i'd love to tell you about them...
first, gear preparation. over and over i count the items i have and know that i'm scheduling to take to much. the thoughts of production have enveloped my workflow to make a nervous wreck. without a doubt, the lull moments of preparation are killing me. to be honest, i've never been more scared in my entire life.
confounding these prospects are the responses from couchsurfing.com and the groups.drupal.org admins. both think that this project is not within their scope of promotion nor purview. which of course, only exacerbates thoughts of inadequacies of articulation. constantly, i ponder "what the fuck am i trying to say..." or "if i'm just blabbering on about some meaningless intersection of futility..."
then, when i attempt to say all of this on video, i can't. i get stuck mumbling.
too boot, it is well proven that my social network is meetspace not virtual. despise the fact that this has been a word of mouth campaign and that i think i have been successful at raising funds. i honestly anticipated being closer to $7,777. which also brings about further doubts of articulation.
ahh, then there is the fact that i can't seem to find my tickets for iberia airlines, nor even recall them being sent. this is despite the fact that customer service assures me they were sent but can not seem to locate a tracking number.
...and when all of this frustration has boiled to a point where i'm about to scream, i don't...
the converse of these situations lie within the company of good friends. it's true, you don't know how much something is worth until you loose it. ironically, the pain that first birthed this project is now rekindled. within each moment that passes, my desire to be sedate and amongst loyal, loving friends grows stronger. without a doubt, when i leave on the 7th, i will leave the best group of friends i've had the pleasure knowing.
then there are thoughts of an old love. to be honest, she is the real reason why this trip was conceived. with the heartbreak that enveloped my soul, i leaped into space looking to explore those things i did not know. now after many years, thoughts of her and this trip are tied into one.
i know that i can not escape this love, nor do i know how to bring it back. while my mind escapes in dreams of fancy, my reality around me boils into a gas. everyday is now a struggle. i no longer have the luxury of time.
within a few more days, hours, mins, my life will no longer be the same. now i must nestle myself into the lyrics of kris kristofferson "Freedoms just another word for nothin left to lose." if this trip is about exploring freedom, i must boil my thoughts and set them free.
every explorer should have a flag to plant in the ground! - noel hidalgo
...yes, yes... i know and understand the connotations of flag planting or as some may like to call it conquests, thievery, desecration, etc... but that does not deny the fact that planting a flag is no more than the thought of leaving your mark on the planet. sure we now openly debate our current marks on the planet, but that does not deny the fact that humankind has been leaving it's mark on the planet since we appeared from the great dust of mysticism or evolution...
to that extent, my good buddy dave hollier is working on a pirate inspired logo for this journey. consequently, we one major dilemma. we don't know latin...
first, we are debating on how to have a date displayed. for example, i would like to have "7th of july 2007" at the top of the logo. in latin, do you write "MMVII VII VII" or "dies saturni vii julious mmvii"? preferably, i would like to have it all in roman numerals, but i've never seen any date written that way.
according to wikipedia's julian calendar, 7 july is a "nones" day and would be written as "a.d. VII Id. Julius MMVII." consequently, 7 july on the julian calendar is really 20 july on the gregorian calendar, and therefore not my day of departure. according to another site, 7 july on the julian calendar is written as "dies veneris non. ivl. mmdcclx a.u.c.". so now that i'm really confused, i'll go back to gregorian calendar which states "dies saturni vii julious mmvii."
second, i want to translate "luck of seven". according to UBC, the translation could break down to....
Luck or Lucky
felix felicis : lucky, fortunate, happy.
fors fortis : chance, luck, fortune
fortuna : fortune, luck, fate, chance.
fortunatus : fortunate, lucky, happy.
...but within the latin grammatical structure there is also...
contigo : (with dat.), to happen, befall.
cum : (prep + abl.) with.
insisto : to enter upon [a journey] tread; (with d.) follow.
in my dimwitted, uneducated guess, i would translate "luck of seven" into "fors fortis insisto septem" or "fortuna insisto septem." could it also be "fortuna cum septem" or "insisto fortuna cum septem?"
can you help?
next tuesday, 12 June, i am fortunate enough to have the honor in helping rekindle this year's glowlab speaker series. while normally, i would cast the door open and invite all of you, space is limited to 15. RSVPs are on a first come first serve. if you are interested, drop me a line at press(at)noneck.org
also, there is good chance that club of seven member, Tracy, will send some award winning bottles from Michael David Winery. can you believe that they have two wines that fit Lo7's motif, 7 Deadly Zins and 7 Heavenly Chards... perfect... just perfect...
from christina ray, the founder and director of glowlab...
In 2003 I started a series of artist presentations that were held in local bars in Williamsburg. One artist would informally present his or her work to a small audience of about a dozen invited guests and after the presentation the group engaged in lively Q&A/discussion over drinks. We enjoyed talks by artists including Swoon, Lee Walton, Bill Wasik [flash mob founder], Jonah Brucker-Cohen, and more. The salon-style setting was perfect for some really engaging conversations. After a while I became too busy to continue this series, but I've really missed it and have decided it's time to commit to bringing it back. This re-launch will roughly coincide with the re-launch of the Glowlab website happening within the next few weeks.
Lab.Sessions will now be held monthly at Glowlab's Williamsburg studio, which has been redesigned to include a small gallery space presenting a changing display of artists' works. We're currently exhibiting new pieces by Kurt Bigenho, Bethany Bristow, Marisa Olson, Mark Price, Josh Goldstein, Heather L. Johnson and additional artists. Here's a look at the space [photos are from a recent event we did for this year's Gel Conference]: http://flickr.com/photos/glowlab/sets/72157600311414219/
I'd love to have you attend this Lab.Session, featuring the fabulous Noel Hidalgo.
Please let me know as soon as possible if you can make it. RSVPs are taken on a first-come, first-served basis up to about 15 people and we do have an ongoing waiting list, so the event will fill up quickly. If you'd like to bring one guest, please include their name when you RSVP.
if you would like to attend please email press(at)noneck.org
Glowlab Lab.Session . June 2007
date: Tuesday, June 12, 2007
location: WILLIAMSBURG, BROOKLYN
8:30–10:00pm: artist presentation followed by Q & A and conversation
the past two weeks have given me introspective time to think about one of the most important part of this trip... love. the unrelenting, always self giving love. you know, the type of love that builds from years of exposure and common kinship. the type that type that exists from parent to child. the type of love that builds among friends who grow up experiencing the same joy, excitement and loss. the type of love never seems to die.
thankfully, the past two weeks have been spent with some of my oldest and dearest friends, stories of treasured memories, my brother and my parents. as the next five weeks unfold, there are many things that must be done. a majority of them will rattle my cage, shake my will, and question my own personal resolve. one thing is certain. love is immortal.
this morning, as i uploaded several photosets to fickr, i read a pleasant piece about two late-twentysomethings who will embark on a similar voyage around the globe. throughout the article, i can hear the same answers to the same quick witted questions i am asked. when it comes to why we attempt such an experiences, well...
“People are always willing to lend a helping hand,” Ms. Collins said, “because there are so many things, like the wind, that are completely out of your control.”
...and frankly i feel the same way... my mother has always said, "if you are nice to people, people will be nice to you."
over the next week, i'll be cranking out two video pieces, a travel narrative of the past few weeks and a very special announcement (that has taken longer to announce that original conceived). until then, i leave you with Buddha's four immeasurables - love, compassion, joy and equanimity.
just browsing through my email and i see that a friend of mine/donor, jonathan berger, is making some introductions, and in his cut and paste, he added this IM message...
"he's kind of like a batman villain, now that i think about it"
which i chuckle. not that it's a bad thing, but there could also be a hidden message of conflicted good/bad guy. i really don't think that JB intended that. ;) instead, i see the statement pointing directly to the fact that it speaks to the power of cultural references. (furthering reading henry jenkins for a modern viewpoint)
as some of you might know, i worked on john kerry's presidental campaign (i was on the winning campaign, the side that got him nominated). when i look back at the leaders of the modern era, i consistently see figures who not only can embody their own existence, but who can manifest the pop. i'm not just talking about elected officials, but musicians, painters, writers, directors, etc... frankly, this is not intended as some grand notion, but just a refinement of a question that's that perplexes me.
how can one produce a timely documentary without seeking out the pop?
Thank you Alexandra Deschamps! Your the lucky winner for setting me past $2000!!!