November 16, 2006

More from Chile...

It's been a while since I've written about our travels in Chile.

We're currently in Viña del Mar, a seaside town just north of the more famous Valparaiso. We're staying at the Hotel Monterilla as guests of its owner Jorge Barahona (who also happens to run AyerViernes, a leading user-centered design agency in Chile).

Since I last wrote about our Chilean travels, we were in Santa Cruz (for the IA Retreat). We stayed at the Hotel Santa Cruz, an extremely nice hotel, and enjoyed great meals and socializing. As part of the retreat we visited Vina Santa Cruz, a vineyard owned by the hotel, that was something of a wine-making Disneyland -- it was clearly designed for tourists (with a restaurant, a gift shop, a funicular to take you up a hill to a plateau with an observatory, a Mapuche house, a Rapa Nui (Easter Island) house and moai, and two llamas for petting. Or kissing, as the picture below shows.

After Santa Cruz, we returned to Santiago, where we stayed in the "boutique" Hotel Bonaparte. I put boutique in quotes because, while that's how the hotel refers to itself, in style and substance it's about a step up from a Howard Johnson's. It wasn't a bad place, but nothing special at all.

The next two days in Santiago were dominated by the conference, and conferences are pretty much the same all over. This one did have the distinction of having a sitting senator give a talk (which I already wrote about).

The evenings became the points of distinction. The first night we ate at El Chalan, a Peruvian cuisine restaurant that was *very* tasty, and a delightful hint of what is to come for Stacy and I when we're in Peru. The second evening was spent at one of the Liguria bar/restaurants, a loud, boisterous place with good food and free-flowing booze.

Yesterday, before heading out to Vina del Mar, Javier drove us around the shiny and new parts of Santiago that we had yet to see. New Santiago very much looks like New World City anywhere, resplendent with Starbucks and wide streets.

He then took us to his favorite lunch spot, which he called the "non-restaurant," because it's not an official licensed restaurant. I don't think it had a name. It looks kind of like a restaurant tucked into a house. We had cazuelo, a traditional Chilean hearty soup, followed by a dish of gelatin. It was a delightful not-typical-tourist experience.

From there, we headed to the Metro, and connected to the interurban bus system, and ended up in Viña del Mar. Last night we wandered around Vina, a pleasant seaside town. We still haven't gotten used to the 9pm dinner times, so we were hungry and aggro by the time we ate. We need to remember to snack around 5:30pm (Chileans even have a name for it -- once, which means eleven, but which is traditionally eaten at 5pm). Today, we head over to Valpo for some walking on the hills!

Posted by peterme at 04:59 AM | TrackBack

November 14, 2006

Adaptive Path's Newest Conference: MX - San Francisco!

MX - San Francisco is Adaptive Path's newest event, subtitled "Managing Experience through Creative Leadership." We've set out to plan an event that serves the audience that has grown with Adaptive Path -- those who were practitioners 4-5 years ago and are now finding themselves managing experience design teams, and looking for insight and inspiration (and, knowing us, maybe a little inebriation).

The conference takes place February 12-13, 2007 in San Francisco. It's our first big event in SF in a while, and it's a delight to plan for the hometown crowd. (Not that people shouldn't travel to come! San Francisco in February is much nicer than much of the US!) We've got some local big names such as Tim Brown (CEO of IDEO), Caterina Fake (co-founder of Flickr and now poobah at Yahoo!), and visiting dignitaries like Scott Berkun (who is writing a book on innovation for O'Reilly) and Jennie Winhall (whose talk at About, With, and For blew away the audience).

Early early registration is November 30, and if you sign up with promotion code FOPM, you'll get an additional 15% off.

See you in February!

(and yes, I'm in Chile right now, but no reason I can't support the team back home!)

Posted by peterme at 12:16 PM | TrackBack

November 13, 2006

Listening to Fernando Flores, Chilean Senator

The final speaker of the first day at the Encounter I am attending in Santiago, Chile is Senator Fernando Flores. As that Wikipedia page demonstrates, Flores has been very active in cognition, philosophy, and even human-computer interaction. He has become a huge advocate of blogs as a means for encouraging broader Chilean discourse.

Anyway, he just name-checked French philosopher/sociologist/intellectual Bruno Latour. And artificial-intelligence theorist Ray Kurzweil.

Why can't the United States have geek senators who blog, who cite international intellectuals? Why do I think if a US senator were to do that, he'd be pilloried in the press as out of touch with the common person (see: Kerry, Gore). Flores is all about empowering the common person, through technology.

(Looking over his blog, he talks about, among other things, Second Life, MIT media theorist Henry Jenkins, MySpace and Youtube, Web 2.0...)


Posted by peterme at 02:25 PM | TrackBack


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