Attention DEFCON planners! I’m your huckleberry!

Sometime last week the @_defcon_ twitter account of the Defcon annual hacker’s convention put out this tweet:

“who should we invite to DC 20 as a special guest? Which actor, Sci-fi writer, famous scientist, or uber hacker, who would you like to see?”

So I immediately responded that they should invite me. (Or, failing that Donald Knuth or George Church.) As far as I can tell, only a few other people responded to the tweet.  Suggestions included David Hasselhoff & Douglas Hofstadter. (There’s probably more discussion going on over on the Defcon Forums. . . remind me to check that out.)

But as much as I would love to hear Knuth or Church speak (among others) I really do think they should make me John Sundman the Defcon 20 special guest. Why? See below the fold.

  1. Hacking. All of my books are about hacking of systems — computer, biological, social. This is the world I live in & write about. Many Defcon-goers really like my books, and many more would like them if they knew they existed. The books are, in fact, good. You might even say they’re ((very) minor) hacker cult classics (you can look it up!). So I think I could put together a talk that Defcon-goers would really like.
  2. I’m of the Defcon tribe (kinda). As documented here, I’ve paid at least some Defcon dues, schlepping my books out to Las Vegas & selling them one by one for hours on end. I gave more than 100 books for the Defcon goons to hand out as swag, and I documented the whole thing. So I wouldn’t be a tourist. In fact my books are all availble for free under Creative Commons. (I sell ebooks but I also give them away. No corporate DRM on my books.) I’m down with that whole Defcon communal vibe.
  3. I’m a nice guy and I need the publicity. Like cyberpunk hacker/celebrity Bruce Sterling sez, I’m the future of printed fiction, living like “a make-do gypsy on the fringes of the web conference scene — gothic high-tech favella chic.”  In other words, unlike many others worthy speakers that Defcon might invite instead of me, I’m a starving artist and being the invited speaker would be a big deal for me, a big shot in the arm. I would LOVE to get the gig. It would be good for my ego and my wallet, and I would be just the most grateful invited speaker ever in the whole history of invited speakers. Which reinforces my point #1, that I would give a good talk. So Defcon should invite me because in addition to everything else, it would be a really nice & decent thing to do.


So if you’re a Defcon kind of person, send @_defcon_ a tweet with a link to this post & suggest they invite me. Or mention it on the forum. I’d appreciate it. & if I get the gig & you run into me out in Las Vegas next summer & mention that you put in a good word for me, maybe I’ll buy yz a beer.

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