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How to be a person in the digital age

Nationally syndicated humorist host John Moe speaks at the DECC Tuesday, Oct. 1, during Vital 2013, an information technology conference. (Naomi Yaeger photo)1 / 2
Hundreds of technology professionals filled the Lake Superior Ballroom at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center on Tuesday to hear humorist and techie Joe Moe talk about what is real in the age of online personas. (Naomi Yaeger photo)2 / 2

Humorist John Moe provided insight on the use of technology and also spoke about the concept of reality during the digital age as the closing keynote speaker Tuesday, Oct. 1, at Vital 2013, a regional technology expo at the Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center.

Hundreds of business and IT professionals attended. The day included a morning keynote address from world cyber security expert David Stelzl, and live hacking demonstrations by industry-leading hacker Scott Erven.

Moe is the former host of American Public Media's Future Tense and Marketplace Tech Report. He now hosts Wits, a nationally syndicated show of comedy, conversation and music based in St. Paul and distributed by American Public Media. His presentation was titled, "How to be a Person in the Digital Age."

He said that technology used by Facebook and Twitter is helping in the amplification and distribution of personhood.

"We've always looked for ways to live on," said Moe. "It is an age-old habit. We get better and better at it. It's a continuum and we've built a better mousetrap."

He joked that the first drawings in caves probably had a thumbs-up feature similar to Facebook.

The conference was sponsored by Duluth-based Citon Computer Corporation and Charter Business.

Naomi Yaeger

Naomi Yaeger is a freelance writer and the former editor of the Budgeteer. See her blog at