Code and Craft

A blog by Amy Cheng

Humanity over Technology: Recap of FACETS CON 2015

A couple of weekends ago, I decided to ditch going to the Tech Crunch Disrupt Hackathon (even though tickets were hard to come by [1]) to attend FACETS CON, which is

“[a]n interdisciplinary creative coding, interactive art, and video games un-conference.”

What appealed to me about this un-conference was the commitment to getting a diverse set of speakers (i.e. not all cis-white-dudes) and the variety of topics that were going to be discussed.

Unfortunately, I was only about to attend Saturday’s panels and missed out on the previous night’s keynote and the next day's dual-track: Here are the panels I managed to get to:

A note on the format: each panel was casual and very conversational, thus accessible.

Humanity over Technology

A central theme to the un-conference was examining technology through the lens of humanity.

I feel that most tech conference and meet-ups that I’ve attended tend to fetishize technology without much awareness or contemplation to the non-financial consequences of the code or product.

FACETS CON though, provides a refreshing counterpoint to conferences like TechCrunch Disrupt (I wonder if the scheduling of FACETS to occur at the start of Disrupt was deliberate?).

Some questions that were touched upon in the panels are:

These are questions that are rare in tech conferences, and it’s GREAT that FACETS bought in people thinking about those kind of things.

There weren’t any definitive answers to those questions, just more lines of further inquiry.

[1] I think I made the right call choosing an un-conference focused on the diversity and intersection of the humanities and technology over a corporate sponsored 48 hour hackathon to develop a product that may or may not make money, but will most likely not provide a societal good.

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