Re: Confronting The Singularity Conference

From: Robin Hanson (
Date: Mon Jun 05 2000 - 08:41:36 MDT

Amara Graps wrote:
> >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. ...
>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.

Yes, those sort of parties are likely influencing me here.

There are some things you can plan. You can plan who to invite,
how long it will last, and whether there is a "theme." So I
wonder what happens if you invite the same sort of people you
would to a conference, have it at the same sort of place and
lasting the same sort of time (several days), and have a similarly
specific theme topic, but actually organized it more like a party,
which is to say you don't actually organize that much.

Robin Hanson
Asst. Prof. Economics, George Mason University
MSN 1D3, Carow Hall, Fairfax VA 22030
703-993-2326 FAX: 703-993-2323

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