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www.zidao.com Apprentice harmonizer, for sheer fun. Journeywoman writer, for work and pleasure. Starting point was Iowa, current stopping point on this journey is Switzerland, with frequent pauses around the world to watch and listen to the crowd, and occasionally make comments.

Tulips 2006 for Gran ellengwallace's Tulips 2006 for Gran photoset

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Back to the desk, but first the Vatican and the weather

The sunrise and moonset this morning were spectacular, and I'm blogging three of those photos here from flickr. And then it began to snow, making for a peaceful quiet kind of indoors Sunday morning. I'm pleased to have one of those, a rare day. I'm nearly recovered from an exhausting but exhilarating half-week at Lift07, a conference in Geneva, Switzerland on the impact of technology on our lives, attended by 550 people. I'll be posting interviews all week on GenevaLunch, but briefly here are some of the people and ideas who left me with much to reflect on:

  • The chair of the board of Wikipedia, Florence Debouard, explained how the encyclopedia works and many in the audience realized how little we knew about it. She shook the crowd up by saying that the foundation, for that's what it is, has only enough money to function for another three months. Life without wikipedia? And they operate in 250 languages, no small feat.
  • Sugata Mitra recounted the extraordinary story of the hole-in-the-wall computer program in India and said he is now trying to set up a laboratory to take it a step further.
  • Natah Eagle, research scientist at MIT, told us that 80% of the population of Kenya is now walking under GPSR and that Africa is the fastest-growing mobile phone market in the world, which gave us pause. Love the photo on his program's web site.
  • Sister Judith of the Vatican talked about online communities, and I had to get my head around thinking of the Catholic church in those terms. She wanted to play with the New York Yankees when she was growing up.

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