I am happy to present to you the first part of a new guest post, this time from Sven Guckes. Besides a lot more things he can be described as hacktivist. As participant of the summer school he wrote a quite detailed summary about this event on his website. He allowed me to publish his text here, too. If you are a fan of pure and simple layouts, his site will make you happy for sure.
== Misc ==
accomodation, travel, weather.
this is a summer school - so it is still
summer in germany, right? well.. WRONG!
the temperatures range between
13C/55F and 0C/32F at night. eek!
so dont forget to bring a sweater and a coat
and extra underpants and a scarf and gloves.
alright.. prepare for WINTER!
accomodation for me was both in
a hotel and at friends' places.
visiting friends is almost always a part
of my travels to events. that's always great.
staying with them also gives the possibility
for some "nerding" at the computers on the net.
always great fun.. and usually
ends with a lack of sleep..
the hotel is very near the main station,
so it is easy to reach. just a walk away.
the room had a double bed (space! :-)
with super-white sheets and a nice
view onto the main station's roof.
there were four sockets labeled with
"DSL" (hey!), ISDN (wot?), and Modem (wtf??).
as it turns out, they're all dead.
there supposedly is wifi - for 5euros
per *half* hour. thanks - but, no, thanks.
most hostels will give you wifi for free.
no wonder they have no money
to buy a real hotel, right?
and the bottle of water cost 4,50 euros. o_O
maybe i should have crossed over the 30m
to the McD and bought myself a happy meal. ;)
others were staying at the guest house...
how was that?
== Languages ==
the main language is definitely English.
however, as it takes part in Germany,
there are many german words involved.
but i also heard Italian, Spanish,
and Hebrew - and Saxonian. ;-)
okay.. the real language is *pidgin* english.
expect everyone to apply the intonation and
pronunciation from his/her mother tongue
as well adding some made-up
grammar and spelling, too.
then again, this is no course on english.
and everyone is fine to forgive
the mistakes of others.
so dont worry if your
english is not perfect.
join the school, anyway! :)
== Locations ==
the site of the event is a part of the
technical university of dresden,
in the south of the main station,
within the part of Räcknitz, more
specifically in nöthnitzerstrasse.
on the first day we met at the
military history museum which
is definitely special in itself.
we got a fast tour of the museum.
i didnt know i'd be interested that much,
but i found it really interesting after all.
for all the other days there has been
three main buildings we changed between:
the computer science department
and the Max Plank Institute (MPI)
in nöthnitzerstrasse -
(about 300m away from each other),
and the refectory at mommsenstrasse
(two blocks away from the CS department).
the entry hall at the CS department contains
some art in the form of green slinky blobs.
i'd call them "spaghetti", but, hey..
at least there's something to talk about
once you enter this rather technical building.
at the CS department we obtained access to the wifi
with a user+pass - distinct from each other.
at the MPI there was exactly *one*
user+pass for all participants.
== Extras ==
tour at museum, tour of the town. blogger meetup.
tour at museum:
wow - this museum is interesting after all!
and i thought it would all be icky stuff.
the tour we got was quick (an hour) - and good.
i was drawn into the exhibition after it..
i almost immediately lost my command of time.
Joachim had to drag me out of it towards
the talks - otherwise i'd missed them.
i'm not into military stuff at all,
but i've taken note of this museum
and will likely visit it again.
tour of the town:
two hours in the chill - and informative all the way.
the guide woman was born in Dresden
and obviously is fond of this town.
Katrin Etzrodt, Lisa Merten..
it's hard to get anything started.
a lot of opinions were given,
and both Katrin and Lisa
took them all in, sorted them,
put them into clear objective.
but now all the bloggers must
give their data to make it happen.
we'll see where this goes.
hopefully, this blog will still be
active for the next summer school.
it could be really helpful to
the following participants.
== Media ==
blog, chat, email, facebook, homepage, pads, pics, twitter, wiki.
good idea to have a blog accompany an event.
just like every other medium. ;-)
thinking about it now, maybe we
should have asked all participants
to write an entry *before* the event:
"please introduce yourself.
what is it you are doing?
have you been here before?
why do you participate at all?
what do you expect of the event?
do you have any open questions?"
the events i normally attend usually have a mailing list
and some chat (mostly IRC and jabber) in the background.
however, this kind of synchronous medium is
usually missing with events on media. weird.
or has this been replaced by twitter now?
am i getting old?
email has been around since the 1970s.
but it's mostly a 1-to-N communication.
a maillist usually would allow N-to-N communication.
then again, noone seems to have learnt anything
about this at school. as it fails at so many levels.
while i have been using this for 25 years now,
i find that most people cannot make effective use of it.
like other media, i'm sure.
"are you on facebook?" "'course i am!"
funny enough, people who are not on facebook
seem to be weirdos who do not even
own an ID or do not exist at all.
"can you even trust these people?"
at some conferences it seems that way.
then again, on some other conferences
you get an response like
"fuckbook? hand over all of my data
directly to the NSA? are you kidding?"
think about it, media people.
a homepage definitely has become a business card.
got your own domain for it, too? sure.
connects you too all other stuff like
blog, social media, and the like? check.
we used textpads for some talks (see list).
the goal was to list a summary of the talk,
list all questions, and some comments and links.
as a textpad also allows chatting to each other,
participants had some fun around it.
some people have taken pics.
while they appear on instagram and twitter,
why - isnt anyone using flickr any more?
by the way, you can find my pics on dropbox+flayvr:
it's a must. don't you get it?
how else can you communicate to others
while you are sitting in a boring talk?
whaddaya mean, email, facebook, chat?
dead. killed by pads.
== Orga ==
catering+lunch. finance. schedule.
there had been several updates on the schedule.
was good to see a preview. thanks for that!
we always had beverages like water, juices (apple+orange),
and (at MPI) also some coffee. that was great!
thanks, orga people!
the orga folks also took care about the financial stuff,
like hotel reservations, reimbursments, vouchers for lunch.
as far as i can tell, all this went very smoothly. well done!:)
at lunchtime we went to the refectory for food.
it's just a 5min walk to an adjacent block.
they offer three main dishes, various salads,
and desserts (eg cake, pudding).
(not sure about the offers for vegetarians
and vegans. can somebody comment on that?)
we even received some vouchers for a
main dish, a beverage, and a dessert. yay :)
there is also a cafeteria within the building
which offer beverages, cake, and some snacks.
sitting outside in the sun was oh-kay..
but in the shadow it certainly was chilly.
in the end we sat inside within the
cafeteria for some coffe and club-mate
(you don't know this? check it out!)
the only thing we didn't really do is to
communicate where we would sit to eat.
so we kinda broke up in little groups.
but maybe this is how it must be.
groups over six people usually break
up in smaller communication groups, anyway.
did you know that for every group of six people
there are three who know each other or do NOT
know each other? why? well.. ask wikipedia!
== People ==
although the event was organized by the linguist department,
the participants were economists, lawyers, linguists, and
media people. and this one bloke with math+CS (nerd).
people came from quite some countries:
Germany (obviously), Austria (not so obvious),
Switzerland (disguising, too), but also
from Egypt, Italy, Israel, and India. (more?)
== Events ==
keynotes, presentations, talks, workshops.
there were events like talks and workshops,
as well as presentations of PhD projects.
some breaks in between; lunch
in the afternoon (12:30-14:00).
the presentations contained three projects each,
lasting 15min, and up to 10min more for Q&A.
the talk+workshops took place at the CS department,
the keynotes at the MPI.
when you present your Ph.D. thesis,
please, please, puh-leeze -
do not make it look like your
first talk since high school.
things to avoid:
* do not start reading off a paper.
* do not read the complete overview.
* do not look at and read off the slides.
* do not use fillers like "and my claim is"..
* do not give the audience the feeling someone
told you to do this because you should.
* you are on stage. perform! do not be boring.
* speak freely. speak slowly. speak UP!
* who are you? what is your background?
* what exactly will you be looking at?
* why is this subject important to *you*?
* why should *we* care about the results?
get us interested, so we will think:
i gotta follow this and see how work on this progresses.
i must follow this person on all social and non-social media,
so i will know about these results before i die!
to be continued …