SL 753

Shackleford Island, NC

We had an A+ geeky Sunday with the Avengers and Game of Thrones on tap. I’ve been reading recaps all afternoon.

I have to go to a conference in Baltimore next week. What’s your favorite conference survival tip?

More jobs in PR than journalism these days.

Looks like Nichole Cliff is off Twitter, and now I’m sad. What happened?

11 thoughts on “SL 753

  1. I take oatmeal packets and spoons to conferences so I can have a cheap hot breakfast in the room. Almost everywhere has a coffee/teamaker in the room where you can get boiling water.

    I get a hard copy of the program if humanly possible and spend some serious time mapping out my schedule. Conferences are very stingy and/or environmentally conscious about programs these days, but if you’re spending $1000 bucks on travel and hotel, and driving or flying, that conference book makes sense. Set up meals with friends in advance, and if you’re a foodie (and can find a conference buddy who is one) scope out some good options. Always blow off sessions if you can have coffee with a friend or good contact. Try not to overload on presentations. Schedule at least a 2-3 hour block to go out and explore the city.

    I really don’t like conferences because a lot of my conference friends have left the field or don’t go to them very often. And I don’t go that often (and am not a big name), so I’m not in the cool crowd. But sometimes it’s fun to see a new city and check out some fun research or teaching strategies.


  2. My favorite conference survival tip is: don’t try to keep up with the Minnesotans at the bar. JMFC can those people drink! They have livers made of cast iron. I kept up with them one fateful night till closing time in Chicago. The conference began at 7AM the next morning. I felt like I was hit by the El. They came strolling casually down the stairs looking and feeling like a million bucks. My bowels were in an uproar all thay day, and my shit smelled like grain alcohol. Just say “no”.


  3. 13 Reasons Why show boosted suicide rate:

    “Look, school shootings and suicides and terrorism/mass killings are mediated partially through media exposure/contagion and how we handle them—on mass media, social media, all of it.”


    1. It’s certainly a fair portrayal of the economic situation of upstate New York, and an economic situation of that nature does produce people and behavior as portrayed. Megan McArdle wrote numerous articles about the situation in this area. Among other things, she noted that a regulatory and tax burden which poses no problems for Goldman Sachs tends to put small machine shops out of business. Also the weather.

      That said, upstate New York, away from the decaying inner cities, is one of the prettiest areas of the country, on a par with the Shenandoah Valley and the Monterey Peninsula.


  4. My partner/spouse and I end up at a lot of conferences; sometimes learning from our peers, sometimes collaborating with our colleagues, and sometimes making connections that might lead to more work. Most of these are either academic or GLAM conferences, though some are in the natural sciences or pure technology. My own tips are as follows:

    * For any conference larger than 300 attendees, skip the keynotes — they’re the most likely talks to be recorded if you want to watch them later, and they’re the most likely talks to be “visionary” and not teach you anything specific about someone else’s perspective, expertise, or projects.
    * For conferences you’ve attended before, consider attending without submitting a talk. Sure, talks get you in front of other people and may justify MH’s expense reports. However, if you either already know a lot of the attendees or are mainly there to learn, avoiding them means avoiding a sleepless night before the talk, gaining valuable social time spent preparing your talk instead of socializing, and avoiding the guilt-ridden amnesia for the talks preceding your own.
    * Do enough research beforehand to be able to carve out a couple of hours on your own, especially at a week-long conference. For me this means finding a museum with good mammoth or Assyriology collections, or (easier) learning the hours and locations of a good used bookstore or weekday Mass. Just get away from the isolation of other attendees and your accommodations, at least for an hour.

    Lately I’ve also been prepping by reading historical novels or diaries set in the conference locations. This can be frustrating for foreign locations; if I never read another WW2 novel set in a German town, I’d be happier, but less prepared for a conference this June.


  5. This is a good story. (I hope it was fact-checked by the Washingtonian, as it’s an anonymous piece.)

    What kicks off this family’s year of hell is their 8th grade son getting into a Kafkaesque situation at school, facing real injustice, losing friends, having to change to change schools, being isolated, and becoming a big deal in some dark corners of the internet where nobody knows that he’s a kid.

    It all eventually wraps up very tidily after only a year (he eventually returns to engagement with the real world and makes friends at his new school), but there’s a lot of food for thought.

    There’s a lot of synergy between extremism (of all types) and isolation and alienation.


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