Far and away, the most talked about event of Day 2 involved someone who is used to igniting conversation. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange took part in a virtual conversation through Skype, speaking on mass surveillance and civil courage. It probably comes as no surprise that Assange would get people talking, and so far there have been 11,000 Twitter mentions related to his session.
On a lighter note, Saturday also included a keynote from arguably the world’s coolest astrophysicist—Neil DeGrasse Tyson. He didn’t disappoint the packed house at Austin Convention Center. In addition to his trademark humorous take on science, Tyson emphasized the importance of retaining a sense of curiosity and wonder. Tyson’s talk has spurred about 3,000 mentions on Twitter, including a contender for quote of the weekend: "Carbon is the slut of the periodic table."
For anyone who hasn’t had dinner yet, one food truck getting some buzz at SXSWi is the Cognitive Cooking food truck run by IBM. Is that last part throwing you off too? The food truck puts IBM’s Jeopardy-winning supercomputer Watson in the kitchen, where it uses its cognitive abilities to combine elements in unconventional ways. Vietnamese apple kebabs, anyone?