While plenty of people are at Austin's South by Southwest festival right now just to see films and live music, some 30,000 arrived with an eye toward what's called SXSW Interactive. For the uninitiated, those are the panels and speeches in which horrible developments in technology and Web culture are discussed using maximum jargon.
Would we expect any less from a “unique mix of uber-creative professionals”? I think not. But much of what we’re hearing out of this conference is sad, scary, and a bit insane out of context. The Social Business Shake-Up and opening keynote address from writer/artist Austin Kleon accounted for some of the wackiest quotes, though there was no shortage of fawning hyperbole, tortured analogies, vast generalizations, or rash predictions. The future is here!
I just heard the phrase the "Google of Where" and now I want to disappear into the ocean— Sam Bailey (@entropymedia) March 7, 2014
Forget about being a genius. Just become part of the scenius. Don't become a human spam! Open your ears! Listen! Close your mouth! #sxswi— Valentina Sulbaran (@valensulbaran) March 7, 2014
Vampire test: if u leave someone feeling drained,they're a vamp. If you leave feeling energized = not. Vamps can't B cured. Rid them! #sxswi— Sue Holland (@suesthegrl) March 7, 2014
How do you beat search engine conflict--use a ghost chair!! #SXSWi (have to be there)— Nicole Lightbourne (@nLight11) March 7, 2014
We have to start thinking about car manufacturers as software companies #sxswi— Jacob Voncannon (@JRVoncannon) March 7, 2014
With all this cultlike enthusiasm and the general lack of self-awareness, we’re glad to see not everyone was in high spirits: