Dialing for Weirdoes
In the previous posting, I mentioned that I'm at a weekend retreat for techies. Perhaps the most interesting thing about this weekend concerns its structure. Basically, the weekend consists of multiple talks/discussion groups all day Saturday, plus half of the day Sunday. In other words, at any given hour, there will be 5-10 different talks/discussions going on in different rooms. People pick what discussions they want to attend. But none of that is the most interesting thing about this weekend. The most interesting thing concerns who gets to pick the subjects of the talks. The answer is: the participants themselves pick. That is, tonight, at the kickoff meeting, calendar boards were set up at the head of the room. Everyone was invited to fill in a room/time slot with his or her talk. I waited to see what times would be least desirable among the group. Turned out that, not surprisingly, the least desirable time slot was the one reserved for Saturday evening. That evening represents the peak of the weekend's festivities, and by then, most people will be too tired for yet another talk after a full day's worth. So that's why I picked that slot. I expect nobody to show up in my room. But if someone does show up, that will likely mean he or she is a passionate weirdo, just like me.