Saturday, January 16, 2010

A most remarkable day

I have written previously about The January Series, perhaps the one very thing that gets me through the post holiday doldrums. Friday was perhaps one of my very favorite speakers, Jimmy Wales then tack on the invitation to the Manor House after his talk for a magnificent lunch.
The presentation was interesting - the premise of his talk was Democracy and the Internet. He walked us through the nuts and bolts of Wikipedia and some of the issues people face in areas of censorship - Cuba, North Korea, China and Iran. What struck me (and my colleagues) at the talk was his factual, neutral approach. Wikipedia is concerned with ensuring that the information is factual - not inflammatory, unbiased, accurate. His approach was the same - not critical,very factual and in cases where he disagreed with courses of action (i.e Google in China) he did a remarkable job of presenting both sides. It was easy to connect the dots - his matter-of-fact approach, see-both-sides is a core value to Wikipedia. The 45 minutes he had to talk flew by.
Lunch after his presentation. My friend and our chef, Tim England, made us an amazing feast. The finale, a smoked, dark chocolate tart with lightly burned marshmallows was served on a floor tile and dusted with cinnamon powder. #Hokeyspitballs. During lunch, Jimmy Wales talked about a couple of other initiatives in which he is involved - Wikia and Hunch. Two neat things worth exploring. I see all kinds of potential in both.
It was a most remarkable day - one of the reasons I love my job so very much. Continuous learning every day! And now, my Twitter streams will return to regularly scheduled programming.
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