Bruce Sterling’s ‘State of the World’ address is always a bit of a trip. Here are some choice selections culled from my notes and the twit-blogos-book-sphere-thingy.

The eurpoeanization of America would be a best case scenario. Worst case would be the Argentinaization of America.

We got more going on than we think. We could do a few things to create a 21st century we could be proud of.

The elderly are going to be the backbone of a noncommercial social web….they’re not too weak to push enter…

Its bad thing to get practical political advice from a science fiction writer – leaves you open to mocking counterattack.

Hanging out in places like Sarajevo, you realize this potluck supper thing becomes the cement of the universe.

Why should i keep up authorly appearances in front of the people formerly known as ‘the audience’?
(he proceeded to crack open a shiner at the lectern at this point).

The Kindle is like a plug-in cassette for an Atari 400. None of the 25 year olds here will be reading it when they’re my age.

The reason we’re not clawing at each other in the face of global struggles is that we have connected via social media.

The poorest people on the planet are densely connected…Poor people love cell phones. They are getting cataclysmatically cheap in what was used to be known as the third world.

And that’s just the tip of the mildly insane-iceberg.

Geek Classes

Some basic breakdowns of the attendees of South by Southwest Interactive. Please keep in mind that most of the folks here seem pretty awesome – but few rotten apples can really screw up your pie eating experience.

The Elites
You are the rye crisp of the bold party flavor chex mix – colorful and shocking, but by and large unnecessary. Your computer is either a Macbook Air, or a Moleskin notebook, (because you just need to separate yourself from technology for a while, man). Most likely you”re sporting a fedora, that covers up a faux-hawk and ironic, yet unnecessary glasses. Your phone is either the iPhone or the new Android phone, because even though your paper journal is analog-hip, how will you update your twitter status with it. You always leave every session early, because, lets face it,  you’ve already heard everything the presenters had to say at a conference in NYC  earlier this year (and if the rest of us don’t know which one you’re referring to we probably aren’t worthy).

You appear to have come to Austin carrying the backpack of an Appalachian Trail hiker, filled to the brim with everything you could possibly need to survive sxsw  or a zombie siege in the convention center. You’d like to go out and grab a beer with friends, but you’ve been to busy uploading a live video stream of your lunch to actually leave the building (you have a sleeping bag a cot in your gianourmous backpack so you can camp next to the routers for maximum bit-rates). You’re probably hauling around two computers, one of which is running several varietals of linux, but none of which can actually seem to connect to the convention center wifi reliably (but hey, even if it doesn’t work, at least you’re supporting open source).

Plain old dude/dudette
This is the bulk of people here. You are the pretzel of the mix – not terribly exciting, but a cornerstone ingredient. You are easily identified by the fact that you’re probably not dressed completely in black. You’re probably a local, who just came here to learn what’s up & coming in your field, but you’re probably  little put off by all the out by all the out-of-towners talking about how awesome the margarita’s at chuy’s are (they’re not), and how warm the weather is (it’s not) even if it is a little cloudy. By and large your sporting whatever computer your company’s given you, or the old Ibook, that despite the odds is still kickin. You are sporting the iPhone, but  contrary to everyone elses behavior of posting every bodily function to twitter with a #sxsw tag attached  you might actually keep your phone in your pocket and  try talking to people in line or those sitting next to you in the session. You may also be randomly over come with urge to smite the ironic head ware of you fellow conference attendees (Dude with the chinchilla-cat-in-the-hat, I’m talking to you.)