I am sitting at home writing this when I’m supposed to be in New York City. I had two flights cancelled today and after 5 hours in the airport was sent home, which was too bad since I was scheduled to give a talk at NYU this evening. Instead of giving up, we used Skype, which was incredibly easy. Apparently there was a giant image of me on the screen — good thing I left the dress clothes on (I resisted the temptation to do the talk in sweats) and I got to see an outstanding talk by my co-panelist, Steve Wurtzler, and take some really great questions from the audience. It’s amazing to think that even when I got to McGill in 2004 they were still talking about sending oodles of money on outfitting rooms for “teleconferencing.” Now all you need is an internet connection, a laptop, a projector and some speakers. Also I hear there’s a new technology where you can carry a bunch of music around.
For all my grumbling about the metaphysics of presence, I would have preferred to be there, but it went surprisingly well. Let’s just hope administrators don’t decide that’s the future of the invited talk.
I am hoping to catch a flight out tomorrow so I can still enjoy the Columbia conference.