Ron Burk – Three Strange Definitions of Computer Programming

Ron’s pitch:

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?

I want to give you three strange definitions of computer programming that will forever change how you think about software. Exploring the true nature of programming requires tracing its connections with philosophy, psychology, evolution, and physics, and following these threads leads to a startling conclusion: computer programming is not a product of the mind of humans – it’s a product of the mind of the universe!

About Ron Burk

Ron Burk - Ignite Seattle 8Ron Burk has been a programmer for 30 years, a magazine editor (Windows Developer’s Journal) for 10 years, and an amateur medical researcher for 5 years (publishing papers on treating the anemia of cancer, and the relationship of melatonin to chemotherapy symptoms).

He is currently writing “The Pop Psychology of Programming”, a synthesis of psychology and computer programming. You can find Ron on his blog and on Twitter @ronburk.

What Does Your Amazon Clickstream Say About You? – Norman Guadagno

Norman’s Pitch

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?

Over the past 13 years, I have made far more purchases from Amazon than I care to count (actually, I have counted and will share). Why did I buy lots of batteries and have them shipped to my mother? Why did I buy an “Interactive Yoda with Lightsaber” and where is it now? Do web design books from 1999 still have relevance today?

Join me on a whirlwind tour of my 1-Click® habit and the things some of these books should have taught me.

About Norman Guadagno

Norman Guadango - Ignite Seattle 8Norman is a Principal/Interactive Practice Lead at Methodologie. You can find him on his blog, on Twitter at @thinktone and perhaps most importantly, his profile on Amazon.

Google vs. Microsoft: An Insiders Guide – Peter Wilson

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.

About Peter Wilson

Peter Wilson - Ignite Seattle 8You can find Peter at Peter Wilson Consulting (although there may be something else he’s working on) and on Twitter peterwil.

Editor’s note: TechFlash has a write up of Peter’s talk as well as a “bootleg” version of the video :-).

Everything You Need to Know About Philosophy in 5 Minutes – Scott Berkun

Scott’s pitch:

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.

About Scott Berkun

Scott Berkun - Ignite Seattle 8Scott Berkun is a friend of Ignite and we’ve referenced his last talk “How and Why to Give an Ignite Talk” when anyone asks that very question. Scott’s work as a writer and public speaker has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, Wired magazine, National Public Radio and other media. His latest book, which is near and dear to us at Ignite, is “Confessions of a Public Speaker.”

You can find Scott on his blog and Twitter at @berkun.

Veronica Sopher – Jewelry: It’s What Geeks Know!

Veronica’s pitch:

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.

About Veronica Sopher

Veronica Sopher - Ignite Seattle 8During the day, Veronica is on the merchandising team at Ben Bridge Jeweler. She also serves at the community director of Social Media Club Seattle.

You can find Veronica on her blog and on Twitter (@Shih_Wei)

Designing the Groovik’s Cube – Mike Tyka

Mike and a bunch of his friends wanted to build a huge interactive Rubik’s Cube at Burning Man. They went through about 10 designs each trying to achieve the same goal of somehow raising the 15×15x15ft Grooviks Cube, weighing near 4000 lbs 10 feet in the air within a fairly tight budget.

About Michael Tyka

Mike Tyka - Ignite Seattle 8Dr. Michael Tyka is a senior fellow at The Baker Laboratory at the University of Washington’s Biochemistry department. He spoke at Ignite Seattle 6 about “The Invention of the Wheel.”

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 www.ben-franklin.org.