Monday, March 11, 2013

SXSW 2013

South by Southwest is iconic. Music is the core experience, but much more is associated and affiliated from Interactive computing to a Film Festival with multiple venues. Technically not an SXSW event Bill Gates was here to dedicate a new computer engineering lab at UT.  As a security guard posted to 6th Street and Congress Avenue, SXSW comes to me.

Bill Keys writes poetry on the spot.
Round here we're all swimmers
Everything that has ever breathed this sweet air
was conceived in a liquid medium
Blood is smarter than the nerve
              the heart quicker than the brain
Swimming is more sensitive than a jog.
Photographers are ubiquitous.  I like to take snapshots, too.  I wonder what they see that I do not.  Of course, I see them: gangs, droves, clubs, and clutches of them.  Austin is no more or less photogenic than any other town, but they are here for SXSW.  My ex taught me that the best camera is the one you have with you right now; and so, therefore, the best subject is the one before you.

Posed, but nice.
My buildings are the Scarbrough and Littlefield, both built in 1910 and both competing to be the tallest -- but, by law, no taller than the State Capitol Dome.  That has changed, but the Art Deco of the Scarbrough and the Beaux Arts of the Littlefield draw photographers.
Pedicabs work for tips and they are regulated by the city.  They are limited by law in where they can go and what they can charge. Austin is a one-party people's republic, politically like Ann Arbor, Berkeley, and Portland.  The city council just outlawed disposable plastic bags.  So, now the stores give away plastic bags even larger and thicker than the old ones, very undisposable.  And paper.  Lots of paper. The Austin City Council chose to chop up the Amazon, rather than drain Saudi Arabia.  Moral choice are so difficult...  But, that aside, pedicabs may be the sine qua non of capitalism.
Pedicabs wait out the rain at Halcyon coffee shop
In the late 1600s, in London, bank runners were supposed to carry papers from place to place.  However, they stopped at coffee shops and there they exchanged their notes.  This was the origin of the merchant banking clearinghouse as we know it today.  The same coffee shops also gave birth to the insurance industry.  It was at the Lloyd's Coffee House in 1688 (the year of the Glorious Revolution), that news of shipping was posted, bringing in the modern insurance industry.

Previously on NecessaryFacts:
Images from SXSW 2013
South by Southwest 2012
Stadtluft Macht Frei
Around Austin
Austin at Night

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