I arrived in Austin with a thirst to critically assess SxSW. As the week progressed, I believe I began to lose my mind. My sense of self-awareness was buried beneath the revelry and hedonism of the happening.
On Thursday, I set out without a goal. I blindly looked for friends or live music. I roamed on into the night without any success. The next day I made a schedule that I actually adhered to. The younger version of myself is going to kick me for saying this, but “organization is the key to success.”
SXSW Interactive is the convergence of utopian techno-futurism and base primitivism. Men hold screens in front of their faces as they ride down escalators. These devices work the best that they ever have. Instead of Tweeting into a void, they’re communicating with people on the other side of the convention center. People use their location-based applications to tell friends which bars they’re at. Women that meet in passing can follow each others Tweets and reunite an hour later, better-informed. These technologies are working exactly the way their developers say they should. Human beings connect to one another.
But Austin during SXSW is not a good test-case for “real world [...]