Saturday, 9 May 2009

Kalamazoo Day One

[Nota Bene: all posts will be a day or two late, as I have practically no wireless signal in my lovely.. er.. spartan... room.]

First and foremost, I'd like to say this: where the heck is everyone?

I've been to three sessions, and although they may not have been the most popular sessions (Platinum Latin Three? Platinum Latin Whee!) I'd still expect the presenters to show up. And yet no. Of the three sessions I attended today, only one had all members present.

What. The. Heck.
Some people are blaming Pig Flu. Having killed almost as many people in total as die each day in the US from car crashes, I have to say this is the daftest pandemic I've seen yet. The other excuse I've heard is the economy, which I'll admit, does suck. I've heard stories of funding being not only cancelled, but asked to be returned. Now I was going to rant about my own financial situation here, the fact that being unemployed for months hasn't stopped me from attending and so on, but I was forgetting that some people have to cross an ocean to get here. And while that's a pricier option than the long-haul car ride, which anyone in North America could have done, until cars can cross the Atlantic unaided, I suppose my criticisms of overseas travellers' cancellations will have to be put on hold.

My second issue is with old profs and new tech. In a session with four presenters, how many times should a tech expert really have to be called in? You know, I'm a pretty forgiving guy, but I'm pretty certain the answer should still not be FOUR. Also, no matter how poorly you understand technology, I'm pretty sure it's generally understood that standing between your slide show and the audience is a no-no. Well I was sure, until today.

My third issue (in one day, I know. I blame my lack of sleep.) is with copyright. I attended a session where a presenter was afraid to show images of Junius 11 on the projector. She cited copyright as her reasoning. Now the copyright notice on this page, for these images (1234) says that it's okay for academic purposes to show these in a slide show. But to be frank, even if it didn't say that, it would still be safe to assume that fair use applies. My fear is that the RIAA and the MPAA have put so much fear of IP abuses into the Jungian collective subconscious that we're not even aware of what our rights are anymore. Check what the intellectual property rights and fair use policies are in your country. If they're not what you're hoping for, do something.

That's all for day one. Blogger meetup tomorrow.



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