SXSW 2019 Day 2 – This is Why We Like It

SXSW is diverse. An attendee can fill their brain to capacity by choosing diverse sessions, and let your mind work to connect the dots.

I attended five sessions/movies today, March 9, 2019.  By far the ones that made my brain do leaps and bounds were Scott Hanselman’s artificial pancreas session and Neil Gaiman’s session. Here’s a brief run down of them all:

  • Solving Diabetes with an Open Source Artificial Pancreas – Scott Hanselman walked through the history of the DIY movement for making a closed loop system with an insulin pump, DIY parts and continuous glucose monitor. Scott (and other Type 1 diabetics) have been “looping” in this way with amazing results. I will post more notes and thoughts on this topic later. But the key, for this and any other personal medical device, is to provide the user the freedom and privilege of owning their own data, and using it as they see fit.


  • Running with Beto – my wife and I watched the documentary of Beto O’Rourke’s run for the Texas Senate, directed by David Modigliani. From 700 hours of footage I thought the film showed a balanced view of the campaign. It’s always difficult to watch any movie when you know the outcome (I.e., Beto lost, but just barely) but this was entertaining and moving. After the viewing the cast, including Beto and Amy O-Rourke and their daughter, came on stage.

Running with Beto

  •  Space Exploration For All – a panel (which was a podcast) featuring Bill Nye (my favorite science guy), Richard Garriott and Molly Cain discussing the Planetary Society, the reality of space exploration for non-billionaires and what it will really be like to “settle” Mars (in brief – it will be hard).

Bill Nye

  • Neil Gaiman. Nothing else needs be said, except that I’m pretty sure I prefer Neil’s voice over Morgan Freeman’s now. Maybe. Good Omens, American Gods, and writing. One of many quotes to ponder from Mr. Gaiman: “Fiction has to be convincing. Reality has no obligation to be convincing – it just is.” And, oh yeah, we were shown trailers for Good Omens and season two of American Gods and a sneak peek from Episode One of Good Omens (no spoilers here).


  • The Beach Bum – my wife sat six feet away from Matthew McConaughey, who was joined on stage after the viewing by Isla Fisher, Martin Lawrence, Jimmy Buffet and others. Oh yeah, I was there too. The movie was an interesting comedic take on the pull between money and art…and living a hedonistic lifestyle.


Tomorrow is workshop day, with a couple of two-hour workshops, in addition to the bane of losing an hour to daylight savings time. More fun will be had by all.

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