Trent Walton on the need for healthy argument

This article first appeared in issue 242 of .net magazine – the world's best-selling magazine for web designers and developers.

South by Southwest (SXSW) dominates Austin, Texas in the United States. And it does so completely. Bars are taken over by internet giants, throwing noisy private parties. Buses are festooned with the logos of the latest and bravest tech startups. Not even the city’s lampposts are safe; everyone is wrapped in a jarring coat of garish flyers for talks, meet-ups, demos and parties.

Of course, it’s likely Austin’s transformation into an industry billboard goes largely unnoticed. Everyone in town has a smartphone and gazes at it unwaveringly as they walk, head down. How Austin isn’t the car accident capital of world is a mystery (unless everyone is tuned into an app designed to detect approaching automobiles).

Against this frantic, coffee-swilling and bandwidth-addicted backdrop we find Trent Walton – looking at his phone – in the shadowy and cool lobby of the Radisson Hotel.

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