This year reminds me of year 2000. People expecting “millennium bug", in the end the bug-o-mighty didn’t show up. And coming along it with the dotcom crash, burst of the bubbles. But no matter how reminding it is, the year 2008 for me in Taiwan is so unique that I will never forget.
This is the year of economic recession of the whole world. After showing up in the foreign media, the financial glacier is directly entering our life, swallowed hug amount of asset, money, and jobs, leaving us still coming black hole of emptiness. The most terrible moment is the layoff of George Oates, the guest speaker of our Culturemondo Roundtable Meeting in Taipei, she is the original Flickr staff before Yahoo! purchased the web 2.0 star, and the key person in inspiring project Flickr Commons. The storm is influencing the friends around us, especially for such a peripheral role of the world (esp. neglected in UN) in Taiwan.
In year 2008, KMT is coming back to rule again after 8 years of ruling under DPP, Democratic Progressive Party. It changes a lot in every part of life in Taiwan, too. Very serious. Through DPP didn’t do a good job in past governance, but KMT is bring back and generate a lot of new issues in every aspect of our social / economical / political life. As Jerry had mentioned in his blog, we are facing a great era of our own “Great Transformation".
I had a completion in my job / work in year 2008. That is amazing. With friends / collaborators like Charles, Lo, Mengshan, Wilson, Joy, and a lot of other friends like Slime & the association etc., I had finished the roundtable event planning and execution. It’s really a great work!!! We had invited 30+ people all over the world coming to Taiwan, including important centers, institutes, great minds to gather and discuss about the future of online culture content, resources and services. The preparation work could be traced back to 1 year ago, and 5 of us of International Steering Committee gathered in Brighton, UK did a wonderful job in settling down the core tone and dynamics of the digital culture and heritage roundtable. Thanks you all again in joining us and make this roundtable a best ever experience for me and all of us.
Besides the preparation trip to Brighton, I had 2 other international trips to Nagoya, Japan and Queenstown, New Zealand. Those trips are a continuation of collaboration with ALFAE Foundation, Japan in APAN eCulture Working Group. We had a perfect 2 days workshop in Nagoya, impressed by Japanese agricultural innovation and worked on the future of eCulture, and APAN Meeting in New Zealand I was elected as the APAN eCulture Working Group (ECWG) co-chair. Great Malaysian and Japanese colleagues had organized wonderful meetings in New Zealand, for instance, NZ’s secondlife
/opensim educational applications had opened up my ideas toward Secondlife. Indirectly influence my suggestion to Charles on arranging a local Secondlife workshop in this TechnoCulture Expo event, parallel event of Culturemondo Roundtable Meeting.
Year 2008 is also my year of reunion with old friends, and meeting new friends. Danny Butt in New Zealand, Graham Harwood, Saul Albert, Dr. Matthew Fuller and Olga in London. Ravikant in India, Shahidul in Bangladesh. In this roundtable meeting I got a lot of old and new friends, like 陳泰穎 in TELDAP, Joyce from NDHU, Hongjohn and Manray 😀
Year 2008 is full of bad news of friends with illness, but also with the inspiring updates of people fighting back. Eric in NCTU got cancer and he started a cancer diary. Shashiwati is getting better when back to India. Geert had gone through a heart surgery. Etc. Those information really shocks me. Year 2008 is also a year for me and June start rechecking the health aspect of our life. My best mentor, friend, Steve Cisler passed away May 15, 2008. I had connected with Ted again and shared the total feeling of other people toward him, the figure and my best role model as an independent researcher/thinktank. Those of us who connected would have a precious chance to review ourselves, our lives, to cherish the wonderful part and inspire again.
CHANGE. Year 2008 is the year of Obama. Because he not only speaks to his fellow Americans, but also to other parts of the world listening to the radio in remote areas. Through I didn’t follow much on his campaign and his success and after, I still think he is the best present for everyone in the world (so far). He is the poetic symbol of CHANGE. “As the long time coming…." We all deserved a good chance of CHANGE and bright future, as the long time coming.
Happy New Year 2009, my friends.