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Tuesday, July 19, 2005

There are Unconferences, And There Are Un(comfortable)conferences

The dynamic here at the evening's featured keynote with Sandy Berger, Jerry Brown, and Michael Medved just gets more and more bizarre. I've just witnessed what I can only call a full blown techpartisan rebellion. In a nutshell: Tony steered the talk into the turbulent waters of the Roberts nomination, the war on terror, and elsewhere, and the audience went from restless, to surly, to evaporated.

First, the snide (and enviably economically phrased) live chat simply cracked the room up at inopportune moments. (Chatter "Ike" observed, "politics and technology don't mix well." The evidence was pretty undeniable — or maybe it was just the distinctly bad-manicure-on-chalkboard effect Medved had on the crowd.) The strangely timed chuckle-bursts then gave way to the metal-on-canvas whoosh of laptops being stuffed into cases all over the room. Tony, not oblivious (he's getting it from the chat, and the emptying room), observed that "If the price of oil doubles, we're all out of a job." Questions to Mayor Brown about his blog, though, proved too little, too late. Were those the unmistakeable chimes of Steve Gillmor's Windows shutdown sequence? You got it. Hoo boy..."You can put this one in the refrigerator. The door's closed, the light's out, the eggs are cooling, the butter's getting hard and the Jell-O is jiggling..."

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