[okfn-coord] people for OKCon 2008 (was: [Fwd: Re: Annual Open Knowledge Conference])

Jo Walsh jo at frot.org
Mon Nov 19 15:59:33 UTC 2007

dear all,
On Mon, Nov 19, 2007 at 01:52:28PM +0000, Rufus Pollock wrote:
> I think this is a good approach though we need to be careful to allow 
> adequate space for the CFP ...

Right, it seems there are already enough people on the invite list as
to obviate the need for a CFP for any more than "open space" type demo
> Re. AMEE and Gavin Starks having heard nothing from Jo I've bitten the 
> bullet and invited Gavin Starks on my own account (we really need to 
> start getting the programme together).

Sorry, i didn't realise i needed to issue a confirm/deny, or that
there was a question being addressed to me - i must have blanked an
email. I found the presenttational rhetoric of AMEE seemed to
leave a lot of room for maneouvre. The "We at Google are developing
layers in association with our partners at DEFRA, etc" particularly
set my back up. 

I am not anti-commercial, but i am anti the exploitation of insider
networks to commercial ends in ways that could not be done in the
open. I'm following Francis' blog posts about "Google OpenSocial" with
interests, aghast at the plausible rumours of their next year's
release of a non-open-service OpenStreetmap-killer, etc. 
Peraps this is insufficiently pragmatic of me, to not wish to give
such things extra promotional momentum, beyond their existing
association with the "rhetoric of open".
> we can put him in the Open Services stream rather than 
> transport/environment if this is an issue ;)

I also missed the memo in which an "open transport" session became
"open transport/environment". I heard so much gushing capitalisation around
environmental "concerns" last year, and pushing action down to an
individual/consumer level just seems to be a mistake. What *isn't*
"environmental"? And why does a transport debate have to descend to
"buy a shiny new hybrid car to save the planet"? 
Energy and equity and all that, but translating impact into terms of
"carbon footprint" seems to blur the terms of debate and make it
easier to translate 'blame'/imposition of externalities, away from
where it is being incurred. "Environment" is a topic which is unnecessarily
emotive in a way which too easily becomes evasive and inconclusive. 

I guess it was incumbent on me to raise these reservations on the
public list or on this one sooner,  it's probably proceeded  past
intervention now. I don't have any real logistical or conceptual 
problem with the way this OKCon is being put together, it looks like a
good lineup and interesting messages. My disquiet is a vague,
philosophical one which i am finding it difficult to articulate and 
probably has more to do with distance from the group mind of public
opinion-forming in the UK. In either case it seems best for me to step
back from active organising, which i have not been at all useful at
this year anyway, and help out with the promotional stage when that
becomes necessary/viable. 



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