Sunday, November 4, 2007

SLSA 2007 -- Thursday Evening plus Friday Panels

Ok, time to catch up a little. Thursday evening I went to eat with Anthony (my roomie and former colleague from MIT), Paweł (see previous post) and Christian Ulrik Andersen who was in the audience. We had a pretty good dinner and excellent beer at (I think) 3 Dollar Dewey's. Everyone was pretty tired (though I was still on CA time + much coffee) but we went back to the reception. In fact, Paweł, Christian and I, and Rut Jesus, who turned out to be studying in Copenhagen like Christian had done, closed the evening. It was a good conversation.

This conference is turning out very well in that there are so many people here who like tech and lit. and art, and SF. Why did I not know about them years ago? I'm not going to the European SLSA in Berlin 2008, and I'm not even sure I will do SLSA next fall because I only do 2-3 conferences a year now and have to be picky. So while this one was cool, I'll only go to the next if I know some friends will also go again as well. The European one could be in some ways easier because at least it's in the summer.

Anyway, Friday panels. I saw one on Alchemy which was a bit dry--too much time just reviewing images and not enough on the big picture, but at least admitted the influence of Arabic texts, which made me happy. Then a paper on Marcel Duchamp (how was this alchemical?) with an interesting discussion of the alternate identities he created. But, little discussion of how these were related to sexual identities that could not be openly revealed or to more recent instances of alternate identities, like Audacia Ray for example. I left during the last paper because I just couldn't stand to watch the speaker clutching his paper, standing in front of his own projected images...

Then I had lunch with Anthony and Christian -- really good Sushi. Paweł went to review his paper as he was speaking in the first afternoon panel. We were late getting back to SLSA, so I missed the first speaker on the SF panel I went to, but was in time to see the second speaker and Pawel.

So, Gundula Hachmann was speaking about narrative complexity used to understand theoretical insights in physics. Somehow none of the content really stuck. I think she did too much close reading and not enough connecting of detail to big picture--a really common problem it seems.

Guess I'll break this post into several entries as it just keeps growing....Stay tuned for the rest of Friday.

No comments: