This schedule to be updated as more speakers are confirmed.

April 4th, 2009 | Harvard Law School, Austin Hall (Directions)

10 AM — Registration Opens

11 AM — Opening Remarks/Welcome

11:30 AM — Talk #1 — Kevin Driscoll / Josh Diaz — “Infinite Loop: Chiptunes”

The evolution of early chiptune music tells an alternate narrative about the hardware, software, and social practices of personal computing in the 1980s and 1990s. By digging into the interviews, text files, and dispersed ephemera that have made their way to the Web, we identify some of the common folk-historical threads among the commercial, noncommercial, and ambiguously commercial producers of chiptunes. Paper available here.

12:30 PM — Talk #2 — Diana Kimball — “A Short History of The Personal Archive”

Diana Kimball of The Tim & Diana Show will be giving a short history of personal archives.  She will cover: what to do about old diaries, what to do about the many gigabytes of unflattering self-portraits you took in the mirror when you were a teenager but also a few months ago, and what to do about internet crushes.

1:30 PM — Break

2:00 PM — Talk #3 — Mac Cowell — “The State of Garage Bioengineering”

DIYbio is a distributed community of amateur biologists. Our activities range across a broad spectrum, 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 (Gel Box 2.0). The talk will describe one project in each area of activity and discuss the state of garage biotechnology. There might also be a demo — DNA extraction in a shot glass or something similar.

3:00 PM — Talk #4 — AJ Mazur — “The Radical Video Game Related TV Show Flashback, Dude”

Ever watch that movie The Wizard? You know the one, it had Fred Savage, the Power Glove and like a bazillion Nintendo games? Well there were a lot of TV shows that came out soon after the movie premiered attempting to make some money off the video game paradise now injected into the imaginations of kids by this box office flop. Be sure to dig up your L.A. Gear shoes and denim jackets for this trip back in time to the early 90s to ridicule those video game related TV shows we used to love. Guaranteed not to be bogus!

4:00 PM — Break

4:30 PM — Talk #5 — Colin McSwiggen — “Is Memetic Engineering Real?”

Memeticists have long kicked around the idea of using scientific principles to design robust, fast-spreading memes, or to counter the spread of existing memes.  However, actual applications of so-called “memetic engineering” have been few and far between.  This talk will argue that the social and behavioral insights provided by memetics have not been quantitative enough for engineering purposes.  Using the internet, what sorts of experiments can we do to form a basis for practical meme design?

5:30 PM — Talk #6 — Angela Sawyer — “The Future Through Retro Eyes”

They say vinyl’s coming back. How come the big cd stores have all closed down, while little specialty shops continue to thrive? Will all music be downloaded by the year 2525? Spend an hour with the owner of your friendly neighborhood record shop, and see the future through retro eyes.

6:30 PM — Closing Remarks

7:00 PM — Dinner

8:30 PM — Information Superhighway 5: The We Eat What We Like Edition

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