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Archive for January 13th, 2022

Hereticon

I have never enjoyed a conference as much as I have this one.  When I attend conferences, my main goal is to “network” and hobnob as much as possible, which is really a fancy way of saying, “yakety yak as much as possible with as many cool, interesting people as possible, as is my wont anyway but in a place where the density of such people is much higher than it is elsewhere.”  But this conference, by the direct statement of its organizers, is specifically intended to encourage that sort of thing.  Sure, there are talks and presentations, but they don’t occupy every minute of time in multiple rooms at once, with so much going on that there’s absolutely no way for any person to see even half of it even if they wanted to.  The pace is more lesisurely, and the event schedule and spaces are designed around encouraging the guests and presenters (who are often hard to tell apart) to interact with each other.  Some conferences are almost more like seminars, with an emphasis on presenters dispensing ideas and information to a receptive audience; this one is more like a big salon, with an empasis on intelligent, imaginative people talking back and forth.  Part of that is its smaller size and curated guest list, but another part was in the planning; I even had interesting conversations with the Founders Fund staff, who mingled with the attendees.  And the incredible generosity of the organization hosting the conference was delicious icing on a yummy cake.  I’m definitely hopeful of being invited again in the future, and plan to present myself next time…though as I said above, I doubt that will change my experience very much.  And that is a really good thing.

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