Penguicon 6.0: a non-geek’s critique

Posted in Critics, Transhumanism at 6:21 am by rheil

March of the Penguicon

Last weekend I attended Penguicon, a joint Sci-Fi fandom / Open Source Software convention, for the second time. Previously I blogged about the culture-shock I experienced at Penguicon 5.0. I observed the same phenomena this year: informal panel-audience interaction, weird con-etiquette, sexualized dress. So this time I want to engage the ideas rather than the outward accoutrements of conculture. I followed two “tracks” (or thematic groups of panels) at the convention: technology-philosophy and the arts. (The convention didn’t use either of these terms for any of the “tracks” they offered, but it makes sense to group the panels I attended under these rubrics. All of the technologically oriented panels I attended centered on hypothetical technologies of the future, and were more philosophical than technical in nature. The other panels I attended all focused either on technology put to artistic use, or the implications of the form, as opposed to the function, of technology, or science fiction / fantasy literature.) The technology panels alerted me to the fact that there exists a geek religion. Because I heard no voice of disagreement or questioning of this geek Weltanschauung at the con, I offer my own response here as a critique from an outsider who wants better to understand it. The art-related panels gave me some ideas for my own critical and creative work. I thus offer my reflections on those panels as an example of the fruitful exchanges that can take place between geeks and non-geeks. [...]

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