Friday, May 17, 2002

Oh, perhaps you'd like to know what the technology did? Everybody got some really interestingly techno-primitive looking meme tags to hang around our necks (Which means they were put together simply and cheaply and had no covers so all the stuff inside was showing). You had to type in your name. When that was done, you'd find that a little yellow light would light up. We were all supposed to wear this around our necks, because the messages displayed were not for the one wearing the sender/receiver, but for the conversation partner. It would say things like: "Hi Mark, I am Torill. You have more contacts than me. I am a relative introvert (which I stayed all night, despite my efforts). We have 14 contacts in common. The most frequently dropped name is V. (I still wonder who V was.)" If you checked, the meme tags would give you a list of people you had met, let you know how many they were, and display the most frequently dropped names, which meant the names which most of the other tags you were in contact with had also on their lists. The tags were in almost constant communication with each other, and you would be deep in conversation with one person, while the tag captured the names/signals of others passing. by the time I left I had more than 140 contacts on my tag, and I was still a relative introvert.

People developed different strategies. There was even a version of the sneaky ass-pinching, when somebody would sidle up to an unsuspecting victim with the tag in hand, slip it between a couple in deep conversation, and grab - not a feel, but a contact. The most common was to just walk around. Spending some time in line for the food or the drinks worked pretty well too, since that got you into close contact with an ever-changing stream of people.

And no Jill, I didn't get to take the meme tags home with me. They had this BIG black bouncer to make sure nobody would try to make off with the tags. I got his card though, you can have that, and perhaps take him home instead...

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