For those not following along at home, I live outside of Paris. There are no Parisien buildings, no boulevards and there is a single train line that links us to “civilisation”.
A couple of weeks ago I was researching software carpentry and places in France where training was happening and found to my surprise Bures sur Yvette on the list! Even stranger, I’d walk past the entrance to Proto204 without ever going in…
Inside is hidden the world of Proto204. A place for researchers, students, start ups and even us locals to meet and discuss technology.
To kick things off I managed to get a ticket to the session titled “Optimistes Numériques (O.N.)” which thanks for the single train line I turned up to spectacularly late but…
The videos are available here, and are well worth watching:
A standard part of game design is the Tech Tree; or the skill tree. Of course, the tech tree is more or less complex depending on the game, the one below is from Civilisation, which as the name suggests is all about getting your team up the tree as quickly as possible.
So how does this help the modern corporation? Well, consider that most companies need to decide where they’re going to put their R&D dollars, can partner themselves into complete branches of the tech tree and more importantly have little idea of the technologies that they need.
Google understood this early with the legendary map of google future…
Of course, having access to a technology is also only part of the problem. The organization also needs to be able to exploit, produce and benefit from it. That’s a matter of training, tools and investment.
So apart from Google, where are the technology maps. What does it look like for an insurance company, or a pizza resturant?
I may spend a few hours translating the Gartner hyper curve into a Tech Tree!!!
Many, many years ago I attended the early Le Web conferences. You can find some old blog posts here. It was an interesting experience that initially I loved, I’d get on my bike and head over to Loïc’s strange world, be battered by an unexpected mix of silcon valley, TED, bloggers and a man in a kilt for eight hours and then head home to think it over.
Over time something changed and it stopped being about the web and the tools. It started being about how to get money from investors. The low point was a talk by Brian Cox, he’s worth listening to, but we could hardly hear him above the drone of deals being made in the cafe.
The Paris Maker Faire seems to have hit the same issue but in a different way. Last year they moved to the Foire de Paris. This has a host of advantages, larger space, more visitors and a higer profile.
However, something has been lost in the process. The additional people are not Makers and are more like tourists. Every year, it’s a new flow and therefore the sense of progression has been lost.
The Solution? I think that we need a second Paris Maker Faire. Smaller and more specific, somewhere where we can start making progress together. Somewhere with enough time and space to talk and discuss.
Of course, needing a second Faire is already progress of sorts!
“Scientists at the University of Darmstadt in Germany have stopped light for one minute. For one whole minute, light, which is usually the fastest thing in the known universe and travels at 300 million meters per second, was stopped dead still inside a crystal. This effectively creates light memory, where the image being carried by the light is stored in crystals. Beyond being utterly cool, this breakthrough could lead to the creation of long-range quantum networks — and perhaps, tantalizingly, this research might also give us some clues on accelerating light beyond the universal speed limit.”