Convox 2015 Costanoa

Convox 2015 took place May 2, 2015 at Costanoa Lodge, near Pescadero, CA. It was a friendly, relaxed day full of talks by a small group of attendees who were invited to give a 20 minute talk or other sharing experience on the topic of their choice.

Interested in attending Convox 2016? Contact the owner of this website!

Videos and slide decks from the event are embedded below - enjoy!

Convox 2015 was a BYO Schwag event - purchase your swanky conference schwag on Zazzle.

This was the third edition of the conference, also check out IfCon0.1 (from 2013) and Convox 2014.

The Agony and Ecstasy of Storytelling - Maria Stone - One of the most effective ways to communicate something is to tell a story. Turns out we are biologically programmed to comprehend and remember better in a story format. That's the positive side of story telling. However, we are also prone to see a story (i.e., a causal chain) where there is none. Once we "buy into" the story, we tend to accept it and suffer from "confirmation bias" -- we become blind to alternative explanations and may find ourselves living in a fantasy land very quickly, if the story we believe turns out not to correlate to reality very much. That's the negative side of story telling. That allows snake oil salesmen to be successful. In my talk, I will reflect on these two sides of story telling and ponder how to tell if story telling is used for good or for evil in our lives.
Helping Students Value Security by Getting [d0x3d!] - Zachary Peterson - In this talk, we describe our experiences in creating [d0x3d!], a cooperative tabletop game designed to expose young people to topics in computer security. We describe our game’s goals, the process of integrating mechanics and art design to support informal lessons, and our experiences in releasing [d0x3d!] as an open-source product. We believe [d0x3d!] has the potential to start a dialogue with young audiences about the value of data and to expose students to opportunities as computer security professionals. We have informally play tested [d0x3d!] with hundreds of students, across both secondary and post-secondary education, and share these experiences.
Don't GTD -- How (and Why) to Not Get Things Done - Scott Banachowski - A very brief survey of productivity systems, weighing the positives with a skeptical view. Do the techniques work? I will offer my own views and tips, and hope it will open discussions where we can all learn about what other convoxees find works for them.
The Why of Busyness - Pravin Mahajan - A brief summary of how our society has reached the point where being busy is valued so much that it interferes with the simple act of living.
Checking Out: Moving Forward During Times of Transition - Aaron Weinstein - In my field of psychology I am paid to focus on people’s behaviors. I have always been an acute observer of human interactions, and a few years ago, I began to notice patterns in my friends’ relationships in how they were able to deal with their emotions. I identified three variations in how people tend to react during times of transition and in today’s talk, I will guide you through my theory of checking out.
The Importance of Love and Compassion in Moving the Human Race Forward - Olga Bergstrom - Love and Compassion are not just "nice to haves" or something we do when we're not "working." Rather they are key elements of human society that keep us protected and safe, bond us, create diversity, and are fundamentally key to our survival.
The Performing Theater: A Proposal - Kyle Jennings - What if you could make a theater that, when outfitted with sensors, controllers, and some AI, could be considered a member in its own right of an improvisational acting group? In this talk I argue that pursuing this work would be an interesting and feasible endeavor, and along the way explore some things about computational creativity, improvisational acting, and psychology.
Generative Art: a Systemic Approach to Manufacturing Inspirado - Nate Moser - From providing that "happy accident" that spurs organic creativity, to filling in the background with intricate detail, to expressing a whole piece at the intersection of art and math, generative art techniques have been used for centuries by visual and musical creators. In this talk, we'll explore a few techniques and tools that anyone can use on even modest computer hardware to inspire or guide their own work.
From Stretching to Striving: 3 Life Lessons from Yoga - Chris LuVogt - My recent yoga teacher training not only upped my knowledge of poses, but also taught me some pretty deep life lessons. In this talk, I share three such lessons: nothing is difficult, a daily practice teaches you to strive, and striving can give life meaning. We also do a little posing by way of illustration.