What remains from a weekend "Mind Spa"?
Once a year, a good friend Marc Goldberg opens his home to host one of the most intimate, thought-provoking and enriching events. It's called Kinnernet Europe [or France depending on who you talk too.] Originally started by Yossi Vardi, based on the Barcamp concept of Bill O'Reily, it is an "un-conference". Considering I tried growing my un-goatee at the age of 15, I like "un" things. As in, "This is Unlike anything you have experienced before."
I have been lucky and blessed for some reason to be able to attend and help with this event for the last few years, and experience many sides of it myself. Amy te Haar has an excellent write-up about the conference if you would like to know more about it. Here I want to share my takeaways from this year. Quotes, moments, thoughts that blew my mind. I hope that in return for getting my mind blown, I blew some minds myself. That is the nature of Kinneret. Sharing ideas, thoughts at an early seed, or late blooming, and watch it "IGNITE".
"I knew that in order to leave with my life, the whole tribe had to see me shake the hand of the chief." -Robert Norton
Robert Norton sat with me on a lawn chair, overlooking the French sunset, and recanted his journey, retracing the final steps of Michael Clark Rockefeller. It took him deep into the jungles of West Papua, Indonesia. The journey he described as he showed me photos on his phone is like something out of Apocalypse Now. [You can read more of this adventure here]. Essentially going further into the jungle than anyone has recorded to have been, and return alive. Art collectors will travel to the craziest places for stuff.
The quote describes how shrewd Robert is. He was in negotiations with the most feared (some say cannibal) tribe in Indonesia. Robert knew that at the end of the negotiation, he had to solidify the deal with a handshake that was visible in front of the whole tribe. Robert knows the power of an image, being an art collector. He realizes that the shaking of the hand with the chief, meant that he might possibly be able to leave with his life. It shows how a handshake is such a universal meme.
I said if he had scored a hug with the chief, he would have been married to 5 women immediately, or have been killed.
Are we all in a matrix? That was a point of discussion I had together with SpaceX engineers on the long ride down to Avallon from Luxembourg. According to Mr. Elan Musk, the mathematics point to the fact that we must be. It turns out to be the new buzz in silicon valley, "How to escape the Matrix?" I'm not totally convinced myself that this is a simulation we are living in. But even if we are, each of us is living a slice of that simulation, making it unique to each and every one of us. Maybe we are just playing a big video game. The question then is still, what is the point? Whether we are in a simulation or not, the point of it all remains a very individual question and answer. So honestly I ask, what has changed in that. Whether we are sims, or not, we still have to Abide as the Dude says.
More than the ideas, technologies or lectures that occur at Kinnernet, my favorite part of the whole event is drinking and eating in a relaxed environment with some of the most extraordinary people across a variety of different fields. Where else could I get a round table discussion going with the CEO of Burning Man, Lead Change officer at SAP, A world renowned artist, and an engineer from Space X? Only at Kinnernet. Every year Marc and his family open their home up to us, and every year the love spreads through the participants like a flame.
Thank you Marc and Family Goldberg for once again making Avallon a magical mythical destination.