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Acting out of the Box

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Alan Dix
http://alandix.com/
@alanjohndix @CompFoundry
Acting out of the Box

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Tiree
Tiree Tech Wave
https://tireetechwave.org/

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the foundry
building
mission
community

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Acting out of the Box

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Keynote at Rhaglen Ysgol Haf 2021 I Ôl-Raddedigion PCYDDS / UWTSD Postgraduate Summer School 2021 Programme, 10th September, 2021.

https://www.alandix.com/academic/talks/UWTSD-2021-acting-out-of-the-box/

One definition of an expert (or academic) is someone who knows more and more about less and less. Sometimes this is the right thing to do, the sheer volume and depth of knowledge in the 21st century means that we advance as a whole by working on small areas which together make a meaningful whole. However, this building of a meaningful whole is only possible if we also understand enough about the larger context to know the most significant problems to address and how to connect these to others. When you are walking it is sometimes important to look at the larger map, not just the path in front. Furthermore, we know that some of the greatest advances come when new and different ideas shed new light on old problems.

We are encouraged to ‘think out of the box’, but of course that is hard to do when we are by definition inside our own boxes. Maybe you think, “I’m not that kind of person”. When children think creatively, it is often driven by things that come out of the toy box, they play and dress up. They do first and the creativity comes. The way to think out of the box is often to act out of the box, to do things that challenge you with novelty and strangeness. I’ll talk a bit about Tiree Tech Wave, an event that I ran for 10 years which brought technologists and artists, designers and philosophers together to explore technology in a remote rural setting and also my own one thousand mile walk around Wales in 2013. Creativity and even adventure are not about the kind of person you are, but the kind of things you do.

Keynote at Rhaglen Ysgol Haf 2021 I Ôl-Raddedigion PCYDDS / UWTSD Postgraduate Summer School 2021 Programme, 10th September, 2021.

https://www.alandix.com/academic/talks/UWTSD-2021-acting-out-of-the-box/

One definition of an expert (or academic) is someone who knows more and more about less and less. Sometimes this is the right thing to do, the sheer volume and depth of knowledge in the 21st century means that we advance as a whole by working on small areas which together make a meaningful whole. However, this building of a meaningful whole is only possible if we also understand enough about the larger context to know the most significant problems to address and how to connect these to others. When you are walking it is sometimes important to look at the larger map, not just the path in front. Furthermore, we know that some of the greatest advances come when new and different ideas shed new light on old problems.

We are encouraged to ‘think out of the box’, but of course that is hard to do when we are by definition inside our own boxes. Maybe you think, “I’m not that kind of person”. When children think creatively, it is often driven by things that come out of the toy box, they play and dress up. They do first and the creativity comes. The way to think out of the box is often to act out of the box, to do things that challenge you with novelty and strangeness. I’ll talk a bit about Tiree Tech Wave, an event that I ran for 10 years which brought technologists and artists, designers and philosophers together to explore technology in a remote rural setting and also my own one thousand mile walk around Wales in 2013. Creativity and even adventure are not about the kind of person you are, but the kind of things you do.

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Acting out of the Box

  1. 1. Alan Dix http://alandix.com/ @alanjohndix @CompFoundry Acting out of the Box
  2. 2. Tiree Tiree Tech Wave https://tireetechwave.org/
  3. 3. the foundry building mission community
  4. 4. today I am not talking about … • physicality and product design • intelligent internet interfaces • long tail of small data • deep digitality • digital thinking • now • digital light • digital humanities • virtual crackers and slow time • modeling dreams, regret and the emergence of self
  5. 5. thinking out of the box
  6. 6. our raw material is us
  7. 7. personal social background maths and theory life chances practical innovation
  8. 8. beyond academia community commercial … questionable
  9. 9. About Tiree poor mobile phone coverage 650 residents 24,000 summer visitors
  10. 10. Tiree Tech Wave
  11. 11. island projects – slow research Frasan - mobile heritage app OnSupply – renewable energy awareness Projected touch-table TireeConnect – island communication gossip is not enough! TireeDashboard General pattern understand – act – reflect … takes time
  12. 12. no fixed outcomes because of that … lots of valuable outcomes
  13. 13. Welsh Coast Path opened May 2012 linking existing paths a single way marked route with Offa’s Dyke encircles Wales three full traversals in 2012 (one running)
  14. 14. vision personal encircling, encompassing, pilgrimage, homecoming, practical IT for the walker & IT for local communities philosophical reflections on walking and space, locality and identity research personal agenda and living lab
  15. 15. no hard boundaries research – practice personal – philosophical 19th century science or Mediaeval?
  16. 16. walking and wellbeing from mountain goat to geriatric and back logistics and transport ... and I was just visiting the three week wall and the power of decision the kind of person
  17. 17. http://alandix.com/ @alanjohndix @CompFoundry

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