Thursday, July 28, 2011

More Social Engineering

Eri Gentry's DIY "garage bio" talk got a lot of applause. I could see Tara enjoying it, as she's into DNA sequencing these days, at OHSU.

Gabe Zichermann sent a five minute video on the topic of Diversity, bringing up the UK's official apology for the treatment of Alan Turing who was basically harassed to death for being gay.

The next speaker was refreshingly open about his gayness with no sense of shyness. Geek culture, having roots in the carnival, is open to gypsies as well.

Speaking of which, we had a military vet on the organizers list pounding the table that free speech be protected. There's a fine line between "eldering" someone for tasteless jokes or content, other infractions, versus harassment and infringement on freedom of speech.

Our vet brought up the specter of McCarthy and the KKK to make his point, even defending the right to burn the USA flag, despite his finding this personally distasteful and disrespectful, having pledged his allegiance thereto (as have I, starting around first or second grade -- part of public schooling was to elicit a commitment to nationalism in this way).

I'm back on the NoSQL track this morning, having slipped over to the Perl track to catch the Damian Channel. In the exhibit hall, Naga continues to jump back and forth between DemocracyLab and the Perl Foundation. Python heart Perl.

The NoSQL space is really taking off, maturing, including in big companies. The strongest tools in the space seem to be all open source. NoSQL and SQL coexist peacefully. This conversation doesn't have the flavor of a "religious war". Cassandra, MongoDB, CouchDB, Tokyo Cabinet... so many (I've mentioned these before).

Nation-states, as well as some of the larger private enterprises, make use of these technologies. Huge amounts of data are being generated and stored thanks to the affordability of hardware these days.

What people may not understand is the the Web itself may be defined as a NoSQL database. URLs comprise the keys in a key-value store, with values being resources, objects with behaviors and data. Go ahead and credit me as a source of this idea, though others may have thought of it too.

Google is buying us lunch again.