LAS VEGAS, NV (Autodesk University), Nov 29, 2011 -- For the 2nd day of AU, we were treated to a variety of presentations, from a morning keynote to (new this year) an Innovation Forum. Here are some hits and misses:
Sir Ken Robinson: "The Internet is rewiring our brains." There's proof that we read the New York Times print version slower and and retain more than with the print version. Sir Robinson thinks this is due to the distractions on the web page, like hyperlinks.
Just don't kill each other. "If we all live like Rwandans, the Earth can support 15 billion. If we all live like North Americans, it can support 1.5 billion." Thanks to Sir Ken Robinson, again, for recognizing the true cause of all our troubles is us, but who has the tact to not make us feel bad about it.
3D show and tell. Louise Leakey, descendant of the famed paleontologist Richard Leaky, who made 3D models of the bones of our ancestors so we can all have access to it. She may have used Project PhotoFly for it (now renamed 123D Catch). Teachers can make life size models of Lucy's skull and repeat 30 times that being buried for a million years does not turn bones to plastic.
Corporate conscience: VP Amar Hanspal appears truly saddened at the thought of a child getting sick every 6 seconds because of lack of clean drinking water.
What about that child? Consecutive VPs drool over booming middle classes in emerging markets and BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China). One says we are all connected all that time. I don't think they have tried connecting a corporate office in Rwanda or a guest house in Kolkata.
Random comparisons. The number of microprocessors produced last year was greater than the grains of rice produced
And why are we doing this? Autodesk CTO Jeff Kowalski holds up a petri dish full of E. coli bacteria that smells like bananas. Because we can, does that mean we should? I try to remember any experiment with nature that hasn't backfired.