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[liberationtech] My SXSW exposé in the Washington Post!

Jillian C. York jilliancyork at
Fri Mar 15 12:52:51 PDT 2013

You forgot to point out the entire reason for sponsorship of panels:
Despite all the big money SXSW brings in, it doesn't supply funding for
most panelists.  So before you blame the folks on the anti-authoritarian
panel for reaching out to 5 Hour Energy, consider *why *they've gone that

Wish I'd thought of it, frankly.  One of my poor panelists had to Skype in.

On Fri, Mar 15, 2013 at 8:07 PM, Shava Nerad <shava23 at> wrote:

> On Fri, Mar 15, 2013 at 2:21 PM, John Adams <jna at> wrote:
>> On Fri, Mar 15, 2013 at 1:08 PM, Shava Nerad <shava23 at> wrote:
>>> It's cool to go and it's cool to say it's completely past it's prime and
>>> useless to go.  It seems to me that anyone who went could make their own
>>> conference for any agenda they arrived with.  Then you balance that against
>>> how you feel about the Minority Report marketing feels to you and so on --
>>> but frankly, although for those who are in the nonprofit world this may
>>> feel excessive, to those in the commercial world this is normal to relaxed.
>>>  If this is a window into how the other half lives maybe we should get out
>>> of the ivory tower more often?
>> There's much in this paragraph that comes of as tin-foil hat levels of
>> paranoia, but I won't address them. Instead, I often wonder if non-profits
>> used more metrics and got their business acumen together if more things
>> would get done. There is so much reliance on hearsay and gut instinct that
>> everything comes across as poorly planned.
>> There's also the overwhelming reliance to assume that any sort of
>> tracking is 100% evil. You'd complain if people who didn't pay took your
>> (paid) seat at that EFF panel you wanted to go watch as well.
>> The level of fraud that happens at SXSW used to be very high -- they had
>> to incorporate RFID into badges and QR codes and a database to ensure
>> people weren't stealing $1500 badges. I don't agree entirely with the
>> technologies used but I do agree with people not being able to forge the
>> badges.
> lol, perhaps your interpretation of my copy would be a little different if
> you knew that previously I had been a VP/marketing and bizdev for an
> Inc1000/Inc Urban 100 company, third fastest growing private company in
> Oregon, etc., in the entertainment business, with a client rolodex
> including HBO and so on.  I was (and could easily be again) among what many
> people might consider among the marketing douchebags, at one point close to
> (and somewhat senior to) people like Chris Brogan and so on.  Nick
> Matthewson from Tor was very reluctant, seeing my resume, to even talk to
> me, I was so obviously a suit, on paper.  But he and I became the best of
> friends.
> I am a chameleon and a social engineer (all really good marketing people
> are social engineers whether they understand it or not).
> I have long been a person bringing the lessons of business to nonprofits
> and vice versa.  It's why I'm making these comments.  I can't see paranoia
> there at all -- I'm asking people to drop their attitudes and have a better
> time taking advantage of the resources they find and what they can observe.
>  Why have all that opportunity all around you and just grouse about it,
> except to make yourself look more sophisticated than the poor plebes you
> see around you?
> That's what I mean by cool.  It's not a compliment.
> Geeks tend to grab knowledge and soak it up, perhaps adding disclaimers in
> their final reports.  Cool people distance themselves from knowledge, with
> fireworks, and tend to learn very little.  There's *my* tin hat.  I find
> meta poseurs tiresome.  Is that frank enough?
> And, my dog is chipped.  Perhaps PETA would call it slavery?  Context is
> in fact everything.  No one will die if they rfid a badge at SXSW.  I am
> casual about a great many commercial transactions, including supermarket
> loyalty cards.   I use a "Charlie Card" on the MBTA in Boston, and dearly
> wish I had better faith in how the MBTA held stewardship of the data. I
> have a very pretty red leather Faraday cage wallet that is not particularly
> different than most other folks' accessories and cheaper than many.  But I
> worry a great deal about other people in more sensitive situations than my
> own -- or if anyone in government should ever decide I need to be taken
> down a la Aaron.  And my attitude about tracking goes very much downhill
> from there -- if yours doesn't it's likely you aren't paying attention.
> So, I took a career change and a cut from my commercial pay to help Tor
> become a nonprofit and create an image for them as a champion of human
> rights, and establish funding and such.  It was framing, marketing, PR,
> business like, and effective, in the year and a half I was there.
> I'm rather looking forward to finding someone to put on my dance card
> later this year when my mom (sadly) goes into a nursing home later this
> year and I return to the working world and get to do transformative things
> again -- no idea if they'll be in business, politics, government, or
> nonprofits.  You can move from any to any if you understand them well
> enough and bring improvements -- isn't that what you're saying?
> yrs,
> --
> Shava Nerad
> shava23 at
> --
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"We must not be afraid of dreaming the seemingly impossible if we want the
seemingly impossible to become a reality" - *Vaclav Havel*
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