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Published

In the last month, I’ve been published, twice. Which is nice.

The first paper is result of the work I’d been doing for six months: a system and set of algorithms to further the state of the art, and novel research around them. A further month was spent conducting rigorous evaluation of this system, and writing a paper to present this work back to the scientific community, once patents had been filed. The result of this was that our work has been accepted for publication, as a full paper, at CIKM 2011, where only 15% of 917 submissions made it this year.

Contrast this with one wild night spent running around the New York Public Library, which has resulted in a book already being published. I’m now one of the hundred-some authors of One Hundred Ways to Make History, a beautiful hand-bound volume (below) which is now available for public consumption.

One Hundred Ways To Make History

This book isn’t just hidden away in some academic conference and being presented in a rainy Glasgow auditorium. This resides, and will continue to reside “For as long as the New York Public Library stands” in the Rare Books Collection within the library, alongside such greats as Thomas Jefferson’s draft of the (unilateral) Declaration of Independence and the first Gutenberg Bible.

The paper, on the other hand, will be handed out to any conference attendees that want it, and from there made available as a pdf to academics and students willing to pay a small fee. The academics will recommend the PhD students read it, and they will in turn diligently print it out, add it to the pile of documents that’s burying their original thesis proposal, and get back to playing Minecraft.

So, you can see, I’m starting to wonder if the day-job is really worth the effort. Maybe I should just talk about doing things instead of actually doing them. The results look a lot nicer and involve far less effort.

Anyone know of any jobs opening up in marketing?

Xx

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Find The Future – In Summary

Having come back to Britain for a week, two common questions have recurred regarding my New York (Geek) adventures. Firstly, what the hell is hashing all about and; secondly, what did I actually get up to on that night in the library.

Whilst no-one is ever sober enough to truly convey the intricacies of an evening spent hashing, it seems that Stan Friedman was perfectly able to capture both the spirit and the specifics of Find The Future in the cover story of this month’s Library Journal.

My invented sport of Zombie Tag even gets a brief mention ;)

Xx

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Find The Future – Video

I’m not sure the video quite captures the rush and excitement of the game itself (and the many distractions between it that kept us awake,) but it’s a pretty good start.

Xx

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Find The Future – Publicity

At the time of writing, my overnight jaunt in the NYPL for Find The Future is the Bing homepage image — if you don’t see it there, click the back arrow and you might find it.

Bing Homepage - Find The Future

That aside, I think my favourite other stories from around the web about it are an article on CNet and a wonderful write-up with some stunning pictures over at Untapped Cities.

It was also in a bunch of the New York papers so I’m told. If anyone has a copy of one of these, please send it over!

Xx

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Find The Future – The People

Over the entirety of the past Friday night, 499 strangers friends and I made history; created a book that will be preserved and displayed in the New York Public Library ‘for as long as New York City stands‘ (a claim that sounded slightly worrisome on the eve of The Rapture, but we seemed to survive that OK;) and found the future. It was pretty awesome.

Putting the book, the quest and the library’s hundred-plus historic artefacts aside until I have chance to process them fully and internalise how amazing they all were, I’d just like to say a word about the people. I hugged strangers, hi-fived someone in a lion suit, cheered the chap who kept our spirits up with his vuvuzela, took an impromptu Yoga class at 3am in the main lobby – which is made entirely of marble – and spent the majority of the night creating the most wonderful things with the most wonderful people:- The Posse.

I’d met most of these folks at pre-Find The Future events. One of these involved a library tour followed by beer, and the other, in a similar vein, skipped straight to beer in The Library – a bar on the Lower East Side. Priorities were clear and sensible.

The Posse consisted of @idealect, capekid, @notthemermaid, a chap called Nazary, and my fellow pub-quiz champions from the week before, @ianbrier and @mandamaria. They’re fantastic. You want these people in your life.

Here’s a couple of pics of the group, plenty more to follow.

Find The Future - The Posse

Find The Future - The Posse Working

Xx

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Find The Future

In 9 days time I’m going to be one of 500 people spending all night at the New York Public Library, as part of a social gaming/scavenger hunt/collaborative research project that will culminate in a book, written by all of us (somehow,) that will form part of the NYPL’s centennial celebrations.

I am so excited. Here’s the video that inspired me to enter the contest:

I met up with a handful of the other participants for a tour of the library – which I’d recommend if you’re a tourist in the city – and some beers earlier this week, and they were all as cool/geeky as I’d hoped. I love the fact that there are apparently thousands of other people who think that staying all night in a library made mostly of marble is immensely exciting; some of them are even flying in just for the event.

Updates when it’s all over, and any suggestions for staying alert all night much appreciated.

Xx

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