So we went. This time it was at the Veterans Memorial Auditorium in Providence, RI. First I shall list speakers and provide my take on their speeches.
1) Michael Littman – he’s an AI and Robotics researcher at Brown University. Interesting talk about AI and it’s past, present and future – which btw is the theme for this years TEDx Providence.
2) A Performance by Case Closed – Hip Hop Dance Troupe.
3) Kiara Butler – I think she might be related to a friend of mine. She told the story of being sexually abused by her stepfather and came out as a gay woman of color. But she talked about how education is still teaching kids for jobs in manufacturing when that is a field that has been highly automated.
4) Lulu Locks – talked about transcending setbacks to be all you can be in the future.
5) Raymond Two Hawks Watson – spoke about the native experience. Quite interesting.
6) A Performance by the Eastern Medicine Singers with Raymond Two Hawks Watson. In essence a drum circle – stirred a bit of my soul – what with native ancestry myself. And someone said “I see white people in that circle they can’t be native. I looked at him and said that both he and I have native ancestry. So who is he to say who is a Narragansett and who isn’t? Me, I’m Mohwak.
Needless to say because they got started late lunch got slid by a half hour. Now they had food trucks, but you couldn’t bring food back to the auditorium. Drinks were ok though. Not a good day to eat lunch outside.
The second block – I’ve pretty much blotted out that one. I was pissed off by that point.
It wasn’t util the third block where Senator Sheldon Whitehouse gave his environmental climate change speech but with a twist. He put up a slide with a bunch of Republican Senators and how they supported action on climate change. And then he went off on the Citizen United decision that allows anyone to contribute any amount. Where cash==free speech. This is so wrong.
Needless to say the venue for this was wrong. First if you enter/exit the auditorium you had to scan out. The scanners left something to be desired I’m talking the hardware. Took multiple scans to read a 3/9 code. So needless to say it was highly irritating.
And there was one speaker who talked about space culture – she could have dropped about 2/3’s the presentation and still gotten the point across. I cannot even be bothered to mention her name.