Nat Torkington

Conference Chair, O'Reilly Media, Inc.

Open Source Therapy
15 minutes, 7mb, recorded 2007-07-27
Topics: Open Source
Nat Torkington

Due to brief profanity, this program may not be appropriate for work or family listening.

Using black humor and irony to convey a noble idea, Nathan Torkington, the chair of OSCON, lightens up the mood, frequently throwing his audience into fits of laughter, as he hurriedly wraps up three key messages into the time allotted for one.

In the first keynote, Torkington assumes a councelor's persona to coach the open source family of mom-and-pop businesses in which Linux is a sixteen year old teen who is somewhat promiscuous, but on the whole, is a kid with good values. Every open source technology has a particular place in this family and Dr. Nat has advice for each one of them.

The second keynote is about the war that open source has been fighting for ages for many of its unfulfilled causes -- to move into the enterprise, for the respect it deserves, for money, and against all proprietary software vendors such as Microsoft.

In this final keynote, he employs a bit of black humor to illustrate how easy it is to be arrogant of one's own position and thus condescending of the other's, and how difficult it is to be otherwise. The message, of course, is to cultivate empathy for others and be nice, rather than to succumb to the easiness of being spiteful.


Nat Torkington is the editor for O'Reilly Media, Inc., project manager for perl6, the co-author of the Perl Cookbook, chair of the O'Reilly Open Source Convention (OSCON), co-chair of the O'Reilly European Open Source Convention, chair of the O'Reilly Where 2.0 Conference, co-chair of the O'Reilly Emerging Telephony Conference, creator of the Odious business plan, board member of The Perl Foundation, former editor for O'Reilly and Associates, former co-chair of the O'Reilly Bioinformatics Conference, banjo player, and a Mac OS X user.

He ran the first web server in New Zealand, and was one of the founding Radar bloggers. He lives in New Zealand and consults in the Asia-Pacific region. Recently, he returned to New Zealand from the USA, and is looking forward to building networks of open source innovators, entrepreneurs, and emerging technologists in New Zealand.

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