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2014-02-12

Remix Generation

In a staff meeting this week, a few people described the now-annual SwitchPoint conference and some activities leading up the event in April. (Look it up. It's very interesting.) One person noted that they will be holding a pre-event event (sorry about the repetition) on "mixology". This is one of the semi-regular types of combinations that make IntraHealth an interesting place to work. Among others, they will have a beer brewer, vaccine developer, and perhaps a musician. The point is that these roles individually mix together components to produce their products. The idea behind the combination of these groups is to foster the remix of remixers across domains where people don’t usually expect them. 

That preamble got me thinking about the phenomenon of remixing. With the rise of digital media, the remix approach met the network effect. Many people have become successful in taking things from others within their domain, and outside them, to combine them for artistic effect, political purpose, or just self-expression. For example, its a natural phenomenon. At a family brunch this past weekend, we got talking about DNA and its changes over time. (Yes, we have a high proportion of nerds.) One family member contributed the thought that viruses may be one of the important factors in genetic evolution as they combine with the host DNA to change it in some way. In a very real sense the process is a remix from existing components that produces something new. We just haven’t had the ability to tease out the component factors easily before. Today, many, many people have the option to remix the products of others. 

The possibilities are endless. 


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