Having fled the halls of academe in search of recuperation, I am now ensconced with my internet connection in an uncharacteristically sunny part of the country.
I haven’t forgotten the ‘what is faith’ discussion but am still trying to see how many words I can un-italicise in my draft of my promised response. I might also write a couple of auxiliary posts for purposes of filling in the general background so that the original point itself doesn’t become too badly lost in wordage … but I’ll see how it goes.
But really I just want to sleep, a lot. Conferences are decidedly not holidays, even if you are granted a free afternoon half way through. In addition to realising that some very brilliant researchers are not very good at presenting their research, I also decided that, henceforth, on principle, I will never ever blot my career by starting off a powerpoint presentation with a slide devoted to an overview of my talk. Considering that most talks begin with an introduction, proceed to methods, are followed by results, and round off with, oh, some conclusions, the only possible response to the fourth ‘overview of this talk’ in one day can only be a sad recognition that if there was ever anything innovative about this procedure, it is now only desperately dull. Particularly when talks are as short as 15 minutes, whoever invented the mantra, ‘tell them what you’re going to say, tell them, and then tell them what you’ve told them,’ ought to be shot. The mantra itself is mind numbingly repetitious: when implemented, it only generates a stupefying quantity of redundant information and is utterly grindingly predictable.
In my humble opinion, anyway.