JSB Symposium: Aza Raskin

"Your Life Experiences, Brought to You by Coca-Cola"

September 30, 2010

Aza Raskin, former head of user experience at Mozilla Labs and creative lead for Firefox, spoke at the John Seely Brown Symposium on Technology and Society on "Your Life Experiences, Brought to You by Coca-Cola" on Thursday, Sept. 30, 2010.

Raskin described how your past actions are the best predictor of your future decisions. Your past actions — or the memories of your past actions — have always been immutable. But what if they weren't? What if marketers could meddle with your memories and insert product placements where they weren't before? Who would we be? What implications would it have for how we live? What if this wasn't all hypothetical?

In this talk, Raskin demonstrated how the meddling could happen and how to stop it. He warned that if we don't, our memories won't be pristine for long.

In addition to his Firefox position, the multi-faceted Raskin is co-founder of Songza, a music search engine and jukebox, and Bloxes, which makes furniture from cardboard. He is the son of Jef Raskin, who started the Macintosh project for Apple Computer in the late 1970s. Here are some videos about Raskin's work.

About the Symposium

The John Seely Brown Symposium is sponsored by the University of Michigan School of Information with support from a gift by John Seely Brown (a. k.a. "JSB"). Brown is an alumnus of U-M, having earned an MS in mathematics in 1964 and a Ph. D. in computer and communication sciences in 1972. He has been a strong supporter of UMSI for a number of years.