Wow, I have to say, I thought we’d be getting more work done here at SXSW 2009, but, turns out the whole thing is kind of like a colossal Spring Break Cancun for geekboys and geekgirls of all ages. My liver is killing me, but the work progresses nonetheless!

In any case, today we are pleased to announce that Colin McSwiggen, close friend of the ROFLCon/Hello Silo/and related projects, will be our final mystery speaker at XOR this year! (schedule updated). McSwiggen’s currently at MIT studying physics and math, and is interested in seeing how those fields plug into computation, language and cognition.

In particular, he’ll be talking a little about the idea of meme engineering: can you bottle up and manufacture the next Numa Numa or Boxxy? He’ll review the current (highly abstract) state of the field, and suggest a new series of experiments he’s been thinking about lately to advance a more quantitative research agenda for practical meme design.

In other news, if you’re coming from Information Superhighway — welcome! Our (free) registration for the conference is now open — check it out here.


Greetings from Austin, Texas! The XOR Conference team is down here for SXSW this week, but we’re planning on keeping the announcements coming and the posts hot as we keep putting this event together. Stay tuned for all the latest sponsorships, updates, and the rest of our rapidly filling roster of speakers.

Great news coming through the pipe today that XOR Conference has officially confirmed Cambridge-favorite Angela Sawyer to speak on April 4th! Angela runs Weirdo Records, which is badass store that used to run out of Angela’s bedroom which recently moved into a cozy new location on Mass Ave (and which you definitely should check out).

She’ll be talking a little about how she’s been thriving while the Big Boys of Music Retail have been ailing, and the sheer expansiveness of material available in the world of recorded media. She’ll be sharing some of the stuff she’s been into lately, and talk a little about the future of CDs and LPs.

Sweet! As per usual, schedule updated accordingly.

Good news that we’re rolling out another talk today! AJ Mazur (who some of you might know from the ridiculously awesome Lazy Town-Lil Jon Cooking By The Book remix video) has graciously confirmed to do a talk at XORCon on April 4th. Mr. Mazur’s talk is entitled, “The Radical Video Game Related TV Show Flashback, Dude.”

What this means is that AJ is currently trawling through his massive collection of VHSs to curate an epic cavalcade of early 90s pop culture the likes of which the world has never seen. This might also mean you’ll be spending part of your Saturday afternoon on XORCon (re)watching back episodes of Nick Arcade, which is bodacious.

photo courtesy Dave Fisher, CC BY SA NC


Absolutely kickass.

Mac Cowell, the mastermind behind Boston-based do-it-yourself bioengineering superteam DIYBio, will be speaking at XOR 2009! DIYBio’s activities are all over the place: from macroscopic naturalism (watching birds) to molecular naturalism (sequencing part of your own genome or bacterial populations) to biological engineering (building resveratrol-synthesizing yeast for brewing healthy beer) to building low-cost, open-source alternative lab equipment.

Mac will talk about what he does and what he’s been cooking up lately, and give an update on the current state of the garage/basement biotechnology world. He’s also potentially will be doing a live demo, so stay tuned…


Apologies about the delay kiddos, the conference staff was totally laid low by disease this week, so we’ve been in delay mode. But we’re back on track and rarin’ so you can expect posts regularly from here on in.

Great news today that our good friend Diana Kimball has graciously agreed to speak at the XOR Conference on April 4th! You may remember Diana as the owner and author of various essays at dianakimball.com, and also as the charismatic host behind internet independent podcast hit the Tim and Diana Show.

Diana’ll be giving a talk about the history of personal archives: the wild and wooly secret world of the digital files, saved e-mails, and bits of memorabilia that we secret from computer to computer in our lifetimes. She’ll be sharing a bit of her own personal archives, and talk a little about how these things can get organized. Really, really well organized. Schedule updated accordingly.