Ignite NYC 15 … sort of amazing

On Monday night (23 Oct) I attended the Ignite NYC 15 data conference with friends. Honestly? It was TED for data scientists. “5 minutes and 20 slides” – intelligent, clever, and inspiring.

There’s no way of getting around this: you had to have been there. That said, I’ll try to give  some quick tidbits that I found to be profound:
Lucianne Walkowicz – “The universe is written in physics.”
Jake Porter – “We are rapidly turning our world into numbers.”
Max Shron – “It doesn’t take maliciousness to be fooled by statistical significance…there is no such thing as a truth machine.”

The Chief Data Scientist at M6D, Claudia Perlich, showed us a fantastic visualisation that proved out how to determine when a site is receiving its traffic from spam bots versus a legitimate audience.

James Patten (what a brilliant interaction designer) gave us some thoughts on what he does. The videos he had for us unfortunately didn’t play, but he tweeted them out afterwards – here’s the one I thought was simply above and beyond.

I’m not one for non-ironic use of the words “brilliant”, “fantastic”, “amazing”,  “profound”, “inspiring”… it’s not often I find many things or people that exist on that edge of the superlative. But, this was.

This event reminded me of three things:
1. In our existing daily life, we need to do more creative thinking about how things really work together, or don’t
2. There are people out there thinking new ideas and building great things
3. Though we live in a world that feels “found” – it’s not; the best may still be yet to come

Sometimes the tedium of the daily grind can make you so busy that you forget to come up for air. Ignite NYC 15 was catching a case of the fresh airs, and I can hardly wait until the next one.

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