Crikey Conversations episode 1 with Mark Pesce and me

Screenshot from Crikey Conversations with Mark Pesce and Stilgherrian

The first episode of Crikey‘s new video series Crikey Conversations is now online, with me interviewing inventor and futurist Mark Pesce.

The series, sponsored by Microsoft, features various folks talking about the world of 2020 — which is only 11 years away. Gosh.

While some of Mark and my regular viewers and readers may well be sick of the material we discuss by now — hey, it’s what we do! — it’s aimed at a non-geek audience. So if you do pass it on to someone, I’d love some feedback.

As you can also see, Microsoft must’ve paid Crikey the extra fee for me to put pants on before the shoot.

I’m not sure whether there’s a credit in the video, but I’d personally like to thank Advanced BusinessLink (Australia) for the use of their boardroom and its spectacular view, and Adam Bateson for making the connection.

3 Replies to “Crikey Conversations episode 1 with Mark Pesce and me”

  1. Just watched the interview. I’d classify myself as being not-seriously-geeky. Whilst I found the interview, especially parts 2 & 3, to be thought provoking and interesting, I think the majority of non-geeks would not/could not be bothered listening to the entire 30 minutes.

    When Pesce mentions the use of mobile telephony in Africa and how it has been used to the benificence of the people, it made me wonder about rural Australia. I live in Alice Springs, a fair sized town a long way from anywhere. iPhones have become popular here but from talking to my acquaintances here, many are not making full use of the “experience”, they’re restricting themselves to simple telephone calls (and listening to their music). Why? Problems with coverage and cost. A few have been caught with horrendously high bills after having a lot of fun with videos and browsing the net, did they not understand the data costs on their chosen plans? Is more education needed? Transparency (in big, bold font) on the full costs required?

    As a rural dweller on so-called broadband connection, I look to the release of the NBN next week with interest. The cynic in me says those living outside heavily populated urban areas will be left behind. 5 years ago in Brisbane I had wonderfully quick cable internet. 2004 in Alice Springs I was relegated back to a dial-up connection. Therapy didn’t work so we quickly made the decision to pay more for an ISDN connection. Reliable but still missed out on so much that the internet has to offer. Last year we were finally able to move to ADSL. The speed isn’t great but then, the small print from the ISP says no guarrantees. Mark talked about the farmers being able to check the markets etc. Great idea, but the farmers and miners out here cannot make use of the full potential of today’s mobile phone technology or internet. We still rely on old satellite phones for reliable comms once we’re out on the road away from town. Part of me says yeah, that’s to be expected, there’s no commercial viability in rural areas for the telcos. The other part of me says if that’s so, are we not pushing for rural Australians to move into the cities in order to connect with greater society?


  2. @Sharon: A great comment, thank you.

    A few months ago, someone pointed out that there are always trade-offs. People complain about noise in the city — especially if they, like us, live under a flight path! — but that’s the trade-off for living where they have 100-odd places to eat and a dozen pubs within walking distance. Farmers complain about the risks involved in the small businesses they run, but when asked why they don’t leave the farm they talk about the importance of the rural lifestyle.

    Obviously I don’t know why you moved from Brisbane to Alice Springs, but I’m sure there have been tradeoffs — some perceived benefit in moving outweighed the losses. Maybe the losses didn’t become obvious until the move was done? Ah, hindsight!

    I may return with further thoughts later.

  3. Perceived benefits, losses and hindsight? 🙂

    The Alice was/is a desired location for my partner’s career. Came in with my eyes open having lived in remote localities much of my adult life. I was craving a quieter lifestyle, far from the madding crowds. And it’s the lack of population that keeps me here. I get wonderful views of the eastern MacDonnell ranges from my lounge room window and kangaroos in my back yard. And clean air! All good stuff. Enough to make me overlook the frustrations of the “it’s part of the territory lifestyle” mantra, quirky alcohol sales laws and social problems. But after 5 years living in the desert this time, I’m starting to finally miss proximity to the coast and humidity. The frustrations of watching (many) urbanites accessing so much the internet has to offer via mobile phone technology and faster connections, it’s enough to make me hanker for an urban retreat. Whereupon there will be more of those benefits, trade-offs and hindsight!


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