For years I've tuned into Forum on KQED at least a few times a week. Back when the Green Party was the hot new thing they interviewed a lot of my friends. More than once I've been inspired to call in on something. Sometimes I just get a busy signal. Sometimes I get left on hold at the end of the hour. More than a few times I've gotten a comment on the air. At least a few times old friends have looked me up because they heard me on the radio, which probably meant they were also listening to that show.

Every now and then in the on-air promos for the show they announce that they will be broadcasting live from someplace. When I heard that they would be coming to Mountain View's Computer History Museum to talk about fake news I was intrigued. About the fourth or fifth time I heard it I decided to go. Turns out all I had to do was register for the event at their website and I was in, no charge. The day arrived and I got there in plenty of time to find a seat before things got started.

The Museum's President began the show by thanking all of us for being there. Then he talked about what an institution Michael Krasny is, and what an honor it is to host the show for this one morning. He said that "If you're up for it after the broadcast is over, come on down and check out the museum as my guest." Then he turned the stage over to Forum. They did the top of the hour dance before getting down to it.

Turns out there are a whole lot of angles on the "fake news" issue. One reporter talked about the time she did a story about a fake news purveyor who did it because it generated a good livings worth of advertising money. Another guy talked about how governments that don't like something try to poison its hash tags with spam and stuff like that. The Google guy talked about how they are looking for strategies to disrupt fake news, but it's difficult to find reliable ways to do that at scale.

I'd come into the room wanting to say something about how wrong it was for National Public Radio to say over and over in the top of the hour news on California's primary day last year that "Hillary Clinton has sealed the nomination." I thought that had depressed Bernie's turnout and could have cost him the election. I got into the que to make a comment, but mine never got on the air. They got a lot of good discussion out there anyhow. Stuff like a young woman pointing out that "The Greeks left us quotes like 'Rumors are among the gods ways of changing things.'" and a guy talking about "the fake people that had pounded his facebook posts in favor of Hillary Clinton with trash."

They followed that panel with one about augmented reality. The people on this panel were very in favor of augmented reality, everything from Pokemon Go to goggles and gloves that you put on to see and feel a different world. After listening for a while I started feeling like augmented reality is like the editorial page cartoon in the newspaper. If you get it, maybe it'll help. Of course, that depends on how well your goals and the providers line up.

I thought about it for a while and came up with a comment for this panel to. Something like "I like to look at stuff from a climate change perspective. If augmenting reality makes it possible to achieve as much happiness while having a smaller carbon footprint, then it's good."  Unfortunately, once again they had more important things to discuss, so I didn't get on the air. From that point of view seeing the show live felt almost exactly like hearing it on the radio in the privacy of my own home, except I didn't get cauliflower ear from the phone.


After the show was over there was some time spent gaggling around. I just hovered around and listened. Didn't really have much to add. Didn't hear anything that really bears repeating well.

While I was there I browsed the gift shop. Didn't find anything I really wanted to buy, but I bet there's some geek out there that would feel like android shaped ice cubes would augment their reality.  I decided to take the President up on his generous offer to check out the museum for free.


I've seen many of those "LIVE FREE OR DIE" license plates decorating the offices of Libertarianish programmers. It just seems to capture something in their character so well.

My idea of augmenting reality is turning up the text in the picture so you can read it after I'm done cropping and sizing it to fit my screen.


Somebody out there is investing considerable energy in augmenting the reality of that museum. I just had to take pictures of some of the blurbs to illustrate the point.

The special exhibit about software was great! They had detailed exhibits on Worlds of Warcraft, Wikipedia, Text, Photoshop, and maybe one or two other things. I was hungry by this time, but even so I invested an hour browsing around the room. Totally worth seeing.