Benjamin Franklin – True American Geek

Our challenge: Do we remain in awe of his capacity and accomplishments or do we take on his mantle of “Doing the Best with what we have” and look at our issues and do something about them?

Health care, alternate energy, grass roots organizing, empowering small groups of people to do great things, advancing learning and changing the world with shared ideas. Benjamin Franklin gave us a blueprint. We can build a better world with it.

About Benjamin Franklin

Ben Franklin - Ignite Seattle 8Here is a short list of Benjamin Franklin’s accomplishments: retired from business at age 42; established the connection between lightening and electricity; devised a flexible catheter and bifocals; charted the Gulf Streams and the weather’s circulation patterns; created business opportunities for his apprentices and, on their deaths, encouraged their wives to run the businesses; extended the sharing of knowledge through his creation of the first lending library; and as Postmaster General improved the early Internet (the Post Office).

You can find Benjamin Franklin on the web at

TONIGHT! Speaker Line Up for Ignite Seattle 8

Ignite Seattle 8 is tonight! As always we have a cornucopia of speakers talking about a variety of geek topics. The doors to the King Cat Theatre open at 7:00. The talks start at 8:30 PM. It makes “cents” to bring your art hat for tonight’s warm-up that starts at 7:30pm.

Here’s the line up (in order of appearance):

Eugene LiniPhoning my way to retirement, $.70 at a time
I want to be rich. Steve Jobs promised it. App after app, the Apple gods got angry with me. Until finally, with nothing but an accelerometer, two dozen naked women, and the nation of Japan, I had a story to tell.

Arianna O’Dell (arianna) How to Sneak into Bars
I am a 19 year old student at the University of Washington. Most people don’t know this because they never ask. I’ve been attending networking events all summer and most people think I’m out of school and already graduated.

Benjamin FranklinIntellect: without an outlet in the world
Do we remain in awe of Ben Franklin’s capacity and accomplishments or do we take on his mantle of “Doing the best with what we have” and look at our issues and do something about them? Better yet, WWBFD? [Brady’s note: This is going to be a presentation by someone done as Benjamin Franklin. You can learn more on his site.

Wendy Chisholm (wendyabc) Challenge your assumptions. Innovate. Change the world.
Most designers are taught to design for the average user and as a society we hold many assumptions about the characteristics of those users. However, products are used in unexpected ways and by unexpected audiences.

Jeremy Bingham (captain_tenille) An Astronomical Viewing Shelter on the Cheap
Using your telescope in the city can be frustrating with all the stray light all over the place. You can’t do much about the skyglow, but you can shield yourself from stray light sources nearby.

Jon Bell (jonbell) Usability Beyond the Classroom
It wasn’t until I spent a year at frog design as a developer that I realized everything I learned in art school was either wrong, outdated, or only told half the story.

Peter Wilson (peterwil) Google vs. Microsoft: An Insiders Guide
Google vs. Microsoft: where will the battles be fought, how will each companies strategies and blind-spots impact the outcomes, and who will win? The speaker spent 9 years at Microsoft and 4 at Google, and so thinks he knows something about this…

Scott Berkun (berkun) Everything you need to know about philosophy in 5 minutes
I’m the sad owner of a philosophy degree. I’m convinced i can give people a better education in philosophy (and make them realize how much they already know and love philosophy) in 5 minutes than I got in 4 years.

Part 2

Mike TykaCubes in the Sky
We went through about 10 designs each trying to achieve the same goal of somehow raising the 15x15x15ft Groovik’s Cube, weighing near 4000 lbs 10 feet in the air within a fairly tight budget.

Richard BaileyMore blink in less time? Manufacturing electronics for art projects.
The Groovik Cube required a custom surface mount circuit board for each of the 56 facets. Early estimates showed that this would require well over 150 hours of time to accomplish. The Groovik electronics team created an assembly line and produced 90 boards in one day.

Sarah Schacht (sarahschacht) Overcoming Cacophony: Making Gov 2.0 Work for You
What can you do, as an individual to make your voice heard in the lawmaking process and what tools do you use? Learn how to make your email float to the top of a pile of thousands, how to stand out from the crowd, and how to do so without losing your sanity.

Veronica Sopher (Shih_Wei) Jewelry: It’s What Geeks Know!
Elizabeth Taylor and Ivanka Trump may have their own jewelry lines, but it’s geeks like you/us who are the experts in jewelry. Yes, it takes a real geek to know jewelry, cut through the salesperson’s bs, and shop like a pro. Let me show you why.

Norman Guadagno (thinktone) Amazon Archaeology OR Swimming In Our Own Clickstream
Every time we buy from Amazon, we give their algorithms a little more information about ourselves (or at least the things we buy). But, do we have our own algorithms to help us make sense of purchase after purchase across time? What can we learn about ourselves through the things we buy?

Dylan Wilbanks (dylanw) Everyone Core Dumps: Death and Loss For The Geek
We are all going to die. But handling loss is something geeks struggle with. Learn three things you should do when a friend dies, three things you shouldn’t do, and ways you can preserve your existence online.

Greg Dunlap (heyrocker) How to not suck at pinball
Pinball is hard. Luckily, getting better at pinball, not great but respectable, is actually pretty easy.

Jason Carmel (defenestrate99) Defamation and Twitter – A Practical Guide to Covering Your Ass
I will provide a few practical ways that might protect your right as an American to roast the bejeezus out of the asshats of the world, without getting sued into oblivion.

Ron Burk (ronburk) Three Strange Definitions of Computer Programming Legendary computer scientist Edsger Dijkstra once said: “Computer Science is no more about computers than astronomy is about telescopes.” But if programming is not about the computers, what IS it about?

See you there

We’re excited about Ignite Seattle and we hope to see there. If you are tweeting about the event, use #is8 and if you are taking photos, please add them to our Flickr group and/or Facebook page.

Geek Girl: A Life Story – Maya Bisineer

Eye shadow and code don’t mix? Despite a sea change of attitudes and an influx of women in the male dominated field of technology, issues of inequality and discrimination remain.

Through humor and anecdote, Maya Bisineer’s Ignite talk shows you how to create role models that will foster the next generation of geek girls. She encourages people to think hard and respond differently to gender issues – be it with respect to introducing math to little girls or being more accepting of the tech women in their lives.

Maya’s talk mixes her own life story with tips about how to meet or be a geek girl and shows that yes, eye shadow and code can and do mix.

About Maya Bisineer

Maya Bisineer - Ignite Seattle 6Maya Bisineer is the founder of Memetales, a site created to “democratize creation, sharing and marketing of children’s picture books.” She also serves as the Director of Education for the Social Media Club Seattle.

You can find Maya at ThinkMaya on Twitter, on her blog and she is a regular contributor to the SimpleMom blog.