Archive for the ‘Upcoming Events’ Category

JIM AND THE FLIMS in Capitola/Santa Cruz Saturday Night.

Jim and the Flims, my fantastic novel of Santa Cruz and the afterworld has appeared from Night Shade Books. See my JIM AND THE FLIMS page for more info.

I’ll be giving a reading from Jim and the Flims at the Capitola Book Café on June 4, at 6:30 pm, sharing the podium with Kim Stanley Robinson, who’ll read from Galileo’s Dream, with Rick Kleffel moderating a discussion.

Four New Books

I have three new books coming up in 2011-2012. Well, four, if you count the new edition of my self-published art book

(1) I just published a new edition of my art book, Better Worlds, on Lulu. It has 79 color paintings now, and sells for $29 paperback or $5 as a PDF.

(2) Jim and the Flims, my fantastic novel of Santa Cruz and the afterworld will appear from Night Shade Books in June, 2011. See my JIM AND THE FLIMS page for more info.

I’ll be giving a reading from Jim and the Flims at the Capitola Book Café on June 4, at 6:30 pm, sharing the podium with Kim Stanley Robinson. And I’ll be reading at Borderlands Books on Valencia St. in San Francisco on Sunday, Jun 10, at 3 pm.

(3a) My autobiography Nested Scrolls is also coming out, first in a limited edition from PS Publishing in July, 2011.

(3b) And a second edition of Nested Scrolls will appear in a hardcover from Tor Books in December, 2011. See my NESTED SCROLLS page for more info.

(4) Last of all, my small anthology Surfing the Gnarl will appear in the Outspoken Authors series from PM Press in January, 2012.

Speakage, and PDA 2011

First I’ll mention three talks in this post. And later, at the end, I add an update about the PDA 2011 con at Internet Archive.

(1) On Friday, February 25, at 4:45 pm, I spoke for a half hour on “Lifebox Immortality” at PDA 2011, a Personal Digital Archiving conference at the awesome Internet Archive in San Francisco—which is housed in a repurposed, Greek revival style Christian Scientist church, shown above

For background on my lifebox idea, see my recent post on “Digital Immortality Again.” I used “lifebox” to mean a digital or online simulacrum of a person. I go into considerable detail about the lifebox in my non-fiction book, The Lifebox, the Seashell, and the Soul, and in a recent article “Lifebox Immortality” in h+ magazine.

In a nutshell, my idea is this: to create a virtual self, all I need to do is to (1) Place a very large amount of text online in the form of articles, books, and blog posts, (2) Provide a search box for accessing this data base, and (3) Provide a nice user interface.

I made a first crude stab at this a couple of months ago, with my Rudy’s Lifebox page at This page lets you Google-search my rather large site.

[A skyline in San Sebastian, Spain]

(2) Rick Kleffel made a nice podcast of a reading I did of “The Birth of Transrealism,” a chapter from my forthcoming memoir, Nested Scrolls: A Writer’s Life, back on January 15, 2011, in San Francisco at the SF in SF gathering. Here’s his post about the podcast on his blog, “The Agony Column.” You can also get to the podcast via , click the icon below.

(3) A videotape of my Garum Day talk in Bilbao is now online as well.

[Rudy being a Continental writer in his new *eeek* Basque beret]

You can find my description of my Bilbao talk in my recent post, “Selling Yourself”. It relates to the lifebox theme as well.

(Back to 1) Now for some notes on the PDA 2011 meeting at the Internet Archive.

As I mentioned above, the venue was in an amazing building. Brewster Kahle (shown above with his server) acquired it a year or two ago for housing the Intenet Archive. Instead of air-conditioning the servers, Brewster has fans drawing air through them…and the air cycles into the building to heat it.

Good old Ted Nelson gave a talk, to some extent promoting his awesome autobiography, Possiplex.

Gordon Bell, the famous lifelogger was there. I stood next to him and talked to him for a few minutes—a genial guy. And the SenseCam he wears around his neck must surely have taken my picture. So I’m safe in his lifelog!

Cathal Gurrin of Dublin City University was wearing a SenseCam as well, he’s accumulated I think 7 million photos over four years, it takes about 3 shots a minute. Searching the database is the hard problem. I asked him the two obvious privacy questions, and he said he reflexively pauses it for 5 minutes as he walks into a restroom and…he takes it off at night so it can recharge.

And my old pal Faustin Bray from the Hacker and the Ants days was there as well, looking good and, as always, taping and filming for her Sound Photosynthesis site, which features Richard Feynman, Terence McKenna, Robert Anton Wilson and other freaky luminaries.

The meeting had an interesting vibe of a whole lot of people turning up and discovering that there were others interested in the same thing—logging aspects of our lives in digital forms. One thing that struck me was that everyone has their own very distinctive notion of what they’d like their lifebox to be like. In a way, it’s similar to the way that people select different kinds of statues for putting over their graves! Virtual funerary monuments. Ghostly pyramids of Cheops. I’m telling you, this is going to be a huge industry.

More: Daniel Reetz gave a great talk on the impact of ubiquitous low-cost cameras, especially as relating to DIY Book Scanning. And Rich Gibson gave an inspiring and relaxed presentation of the new movement towards gigapixel (and larger) photos, see the Gigapan site. I also met Evan Carroll, co-author of Your Digital Afterlife…this book was mentioned the recent New York Times Sunday magazine article about digital immortality.

Videos of the talks will be up in a week or two.

My Garum Day Talk, “Selling Yourself”

(Post updated on February 23, 2011)

I was in Basque country from Feb 14 – 22, 2011, giving a talk at Garum Day on Feb 16, 2011, in Bilbao.

My talk was called (with slight irony) “Selling Yourself,” and it had to do with various ways in which we try to make money by selling information, culiminating in the notion of creating software replicas of yourself—and then going on to “sell” interactions with your personality model online.

I posted a PDF of my “Selling Yourself” powerpoint slides online, and a draft of the full ‘Selling Yourself” essay.

The Garum Foundation, by the way, takes their name from a type of Roman fish sauce; part of the idea is that, at their meetings, they mix together an interesting stew of ideas, another part of the idea is that a recipe for a traditional recipe is kept alive by communication and interaction.

The Garum Foundation organizer is an idealistic banker, Jose Ignacio Goirigolzarri. The conference was fun, and I had some extremely good meals.

Garum Day brought in a really big crowd, many of them were faculty or students with the Universidad de Deusto, and a number were execs for Spanish industries and banks. I took a photo of them at the end of my talk, which was more or less as outlined in the online PowerPoint and essay, although I threw in quite a bit of autobiographical material. Here’s the photo of the crowd.

The audience at Garum Day, Feb 15, 2011. If you want to find yourself, click for larger version!

As of February, 23, 2011, a videotape of my talk became available online.

At the end of my talk, one person asked if I had advice for entrepreneurs in our age of the internet revolution. I didn’t give a great answer at the time, but here’s a three things I might have said.

(1) Chatbot or lifebox emulations of humans will be a huge online industry, see my post on “Digital Immortality Again.”

(2) Any interesting online program should have a quality of unpredictability or gnarliness so as to appear lifelike and engaging. See my essay “Seek the Gnarl” or my Surrealist video, “What Is Gnarl?”

(3) Online sites are most interesting if you put a full personality into them, and have them be “transreal,” that is, in some sense autobiographical, but with a layer of elaboration atop that. For some discussion of transrealism see my post “Unpredictability and Plotting a Novel.” You can also listen to a podcast of my recent talk, “The Birth of Transrealism.”

And, yes, my advice isn’t what you’ll normally hear in business school but…when has past knowledge ever been right about the future? Odd paths and new recipes are worth a try.

Another fact about Garum Day—the conference’s techs and organizers were largely drawn from a cooperative group known as Las Indias, who say they were originally inspired by concepts of cyberpunk! Here’s a picture of me with them.

Finally, for non-natives of Bilbao, I’ve placed a photo above that shows the awesome hall of Richard Serra sculptures in the Guggenheim Museum here. Serra says his suite is about time. I guess the future is at the far end…

Rudy's Blog is powered by WordPress