The Golden Age of Technology Ren. Fair

The Golden Age of Technology Ren. Fair

When was the Golden Age of Technology?

To me, technology was most interesting from about 1995-2018. Palm Pilots, Psions, Nokia phones in many wonderful shapes and sizes, you name it: if design teams could draw it, it could be manufactured! It might (or might not) be bug-ridden, but compared to today's dull rectangles of doom and scrolling addiction, many devices had something endearing about them.

What do you mean by a Ren Fair?

Americans do this thing where they dress up - for example - as Victorians, and pretend to be Victorians. Part racting, for those of you that have read The Diamond Age, part full-world immersion, it gives people a break from the tedium of daily life and lets them explore a fantasy world. Cosplay, but more subtle.

This is the same, but even less extreme: for a day, post-2018 technology gets left behind. Cupboards and eBay are raided for working examples of your favourite pieces. SIM cards of the right size are sought out, IRDA ports are cleaned, AAA batteries inserted.

Everyone then turns up, and has a happy day without the modern interpretation of a comm. Bonus points for bringing your own GSM network (Defcon attendees, you know what I mean).

Have your vCard ready to beam out across the IR spectrum. Bring your chalk for war chalking. Bring a Nokia internet tablet for war walking. Bathe in the nostalgia of cracking a WEP password and gaining free internet access.


I think this needs a critical mass in a geographic zone: I'm picking the Soutbank in London, and the Ferry Building in SF.  Let's say 100 attendees per zone.

You'll need to be fully vaccinated, wearing a mask, and up for keeping a social distance, assuming this happens when COVID is still a thing.


The Blue Ant or Bigend trilogy, by William Gibson, but if you're pressed for time the first one will be just fine.

When Phones Were Fun (Mr. Mobile, YouTube)

What, really?

Yes, really! Use the form below to sign up: if we hit 100 people for either location, we'll get this thing going.

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