Via Addie Broyles at the Austin American Statesman, here’s an interesting take on South by Southwest Interactive:
For your Sunday reading, a baffling letter to the editor in @statesman about SXSW interactive fest: “I can’t think of anything more diametrically opposed to the arts than the high-tech industry, which cannily creates addictions to countless gadgets that further detach its users from actual experience and emotion.”
(h/t Don Cruse)
I will be the first to admit that South by Southwest Interactive is a smorgasbord of first-world problems and self-important navel-gazing, but I would hardly say that it bears no relevance to “the arts” per se. Some huge percentage of all internet technology is now devoted to transmitting music and movies around, and much of the conference seems devoted to finding newer and shinier ways to do that.
People do make good connections and do quite a bit of business at SXSWi. Much of the purpose of the conference, after all, is to connect people in ways that will make them money. Having never been to a Star Trek convention, I have no idea if any business networking goes on or if any actual products get rolled out there. Maybe haters are just gonna hate.
Even if the vast bulk of what goes on at SXSWi is generally useless fluff, the same can be said for nearly every gathering of people in history. After all, it’s only five days. The Constitutional Convention needed four weeks, to use a wholly-inappropriate analogy.
Cue Sturgeon’s Law, paraphrased as “ninety percent of everything is crap.”