October 27, 2008

Conference post-mortem

Notes made while the caffeine is infusing into the bloodstream:

  • A well-loaded MP3 player can make a 5-hour drive better, but that doesn't mean that my body likes me any more afterwards.
  • Watching your team lose with your son after the second such 5-hour drive in a weekend? I suppose I earned beaucoup parent points, but see item above re: caffeine.
  • Dodgy e-mail spam filter makes for a fun morning, I can see. On behalf of everyone trying to respond to their inbox, I hope you will accept my deepest and most profound regrets for the resulting delay that you are not responsible for.
  • Outside downtown Los Angeles, downtown Miami has to be the least-walkable convention area I've visited.
  • You know you're at an academic conference with social historians when you look out the window, idly comment on the irrationality of all that money going into a waterfront that will be wiped out by a hurricane and is essentially a playground for people with spare income, and then someone opens up his MacAir and shows me and another colleague an aerial photograph with a superimposed map of Miami's downtown, showing where neighborhoods were destroyed to build up the playground.
  • A discussant probably earns service brownie points when a paper author says, "Okay, that set of comments justified my airfare."
  • I'm fairly sure I still don't understand Andy Abbott's presentation on "the thick present," but maybe I'll understand it better after I see it in print and with a vodka in hand, and I have to admit it's a great phrase.
  • On the other hand, maybe it's because most historians are lousy at theory (Andy's a sociologist). But we're good users of theory.
  • I still want a time machine, and you want me to have one, too.

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Posted in The academic life on October 27, 2008 9:05 AM |