Quote o' the week: a journal that meets in a hotel

Posted on January 25, 2012 by Tommy McGuire
Labels: conference, quote, random

I reading my pile of magazines and ran across Moshe Vardi's "Are you talking to Me?" in the CACM. (It's a brilliant editorial; he mentions Doug Zongker's "Chicken Chicken Chicken" talk (and paper!), the number of people attending a conference who think presentations are an opportunity to check their email (yeah, I know most of the good stuff is in the "hall track"), and the following:

I am reminded of Lance Fortnow's pithy description of a computer-science conference as "a journal that meets at a hotel."

Unfortunately, Fortnow, who notably doesn't care for the state of computer science conferences, disclaims responsibility for the quote.

How about this idea: We don't bother meeting and just collect the accepted papers into a single volume. We can give this idea an innovative name like a "journal".

In this month's CACM article, Moshe Vardi complains about the quality of conference talks. (I like the "journal that meets in a hotel" quote but it didn't originate with me). You see this at STOC and FOCS too, people giving a talk only to other specialists in their field instead of aiming for a general audience.

Personally, I believe that the word "weasel" is inherently funny and deserves to be used much more often than it is.

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