Nerd Nite XXIII: Exploring our past and future!
Get ready for some time travel at Nerd Nite Amsterdam XXIII on October 2nd! First, we’ll jump back in time to the 1600s on Jan Mayen, an Arctic volcanic island, where a band of Dutch sailors left a crumbling stone monument before perishing over an icy winter. We’ll learn about the weird history of the island and last year’s mission to renovate the memorial stone with speaker Erik Verheul on board. Next, we’ll fast-forward to see how our gadget-encrusted future could shape everything from personal health care to public municipal services. Speaker Marcel Schouwenaar gives us an energetic low-down on the Internet of Things with insight on how combining the digital and physical realms could change everything. Be there and be square!
Writing history in stone on an Arctic volcanic island
by Erik Verheul
The enigmatic island of Jan Mayen, a volcanic island in the Arctic Ocean, has a rich but nearly forgotten history. On the island, an old and heavily eroded memorial stone tells the story of 7 Dutchmen who died there in an attempt to winter over. In 2014 the Navy ship RNLN Zeeland set out for an expedition to Jan Mayen island, one of their goals being to preserve the cultural heritage there. On board were a large team of scientists, a small team of mountaineers, and a single stone carver.
Erik Verheul, the man behind the mission and our fearless leader for this Nerd Nite talk, will take us through remarkable story of the history behind and renovation of the memorial stone: old granite, modern ceramic materials, and granular structures.
Bio: Erik works from 9 to 5 as a civil servant for the government (something with telecommunications). He lives in an average house, has a wife and 2 kids, and drives a Volvo. He dreamed of crossing the Sahara desert, parachute jumping, climbing snow-capped volcanoes, scuba diving, and watching starry nights from a beach in Madagascar. And he did all that, but actually thinks his current job is more fun.
The Thing with Things: An opinionated introduction to the Internet of Things
by Marcel Schouwenaar
Flicking on the lights with an app, or showing off your energy savings on your smart thermostat, doesn’t even impress your grandparents anymore. Imagine a future where you don’t have to remember to take the trash out on a specific day, you just put your connected trash bin out and it calls for pick-up by itself. But on the other hand, what if that same bin analyses your trash for traces of recyclables and snitches on you to your local government? Or what if your health insurance only pays for fertility treatment if your wearable’s data shows that you ‘practice’ enough? The ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) has some exciting developments in store for us, that potentially will disrupt the way we live.
In this presentation, designer Marcel Schouwenaar shares his vision on how intertwining the physical and the digital world will allow for amazing things to happen. But he will also address the less desirable aspects of IoT, like how IoT can potentially make unwanted connections between services and data sources.
Bio: Marcel is a designer and maker – a nerd and techno-optimist, but with a healthy dose of skepticism towards the new. Together with his partner in crime, he runs the design agency The Incredible Machine, where they figure out how our ‘connected’ future will look like. He thinks beyond gadgets, about how our world is changing and how this will change in the best interest of people. Besides designer, he initiated and co-wrote the IoT Design Manifesto and co-organises the upcoming ThingsCon conference in Amsterdam.