Freedom to Digress

[I wrote this last night — now I’m here, in Silver Spring, and we’ll find out just how wrong a twenty-minute slot can be.]

I have about twenty minutes, according to the Freedom to Connect conference schedule, which is precisely the wrong amount of time. In about five minutes, I can make a crystalline, sharp-edged case for something; in an hour or so, I can develop a careful, thorough analysis and argument. Twenty minutes is too long for scintillating, but too short for pains-taking. At least, that’s the way it feels tonight.

Luckily for me, I’ve heard David Weinberger at a number of conferences, and if I start feeling the audience slip away I’ll talk about shopping for a washing machine, or the Dewey Decimal System. That will not only occupy my fleeting minutes, but will offer me the satisfaction of watching David’s face as he realizes I’m using up some of his prime material, since he doesn’t speak at F2C until after I’ve gone! Hoohah!

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4 Responses to Freedom to Digress

  1. …OR…

    You could just present for five minutes, thereby inviting the others to do so as well and leaving more time for people to interact with you…that’d be cool.

  2. Tom Mandel says:

    No washing machine talk, but you did a very good job! (commenting from the conference of course…)

  3. AKMA says:

    Chris, what a brilliant, obvious idea! I suspect that my feeling of needing to justify the trip prodded my ego to make sure I occupied enough bandwidth to make the appearance worthwhile — but of course, of course I ought to have planned on the five-minute option from the start. I will absolutely bear this wisdom in mind for a future occasion.

    Tom, thanks for your kind words, and for a very lively conversation at dinner. We had a terrific end of the table, if I do say so myself.

  4. Well, in my personal experience, five minutes of AKMA-talk accompanied with your graceful presence in holding space for ideas and conversation to flow is worth every penny of the cost to bring you somewhere to do that.

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