Re: Confronting The Singularity Conference

From: Amara Graps (
Date: Sat Jun 03 2000 - 03:36:15 MDT

From: Robin Hanson <>: Tue, 30 May 2000

>I wonder what would happen if you organized a "party/poster" conference
>by just having a very large room with dozens of whiteboards, and with
>snacks and chairs distributed throughout. There would be no official
>schedule or map, and you'd spend the whole weekend wandering about joining
>whatever discussions or presentations formed "spontaneously." Any dispute
>about what a group talked about in a location would be handled as at a
>party, with the option of one group walking away to do what they want
>somewhere else.

It seems to me that we have already had a variant of this, and now
I'm trying to remember how productive it was to the attendants of the

Many years ago, in the days of Xanadu, there were parties at the
"Big House" (Mark Miller, Terry Stanley, Dean Tribble). You remember
the walls in the front rooms that were covered by white boards.
Always the white boards were filled, and I remember folks talking
and sketching many things during those big parties. I loved those
parties, there was a lot of spontaneous activity around, great
conversations. Perhaps the "brainstorming" was particularly good
because the atmosphere was charged.

I'm not sure that one can "plan" a brainstorming session with a
party. My opinion is that the focus is best placed on the party,
with the other "devices" (white boards, etc) available to those
that want it.


Amara Graps email:
Computational Physics vita: finger
Multiplex Answers URL:
"It works better if you plug it in." -- Sattinger's Law

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