Saturday, 28 May 2011

LC2011 - day 4

The day gets off to a rocky start after excessive drinking at the conference dinner, casused by my being outraged at the kind of socially despicable, teeth gringindly irritating, jaw-droppingly rude behaviour of one of the bigshots which I can't really talk about without risking revealing who I am. Which is a shame, because it's a cracking story which exemplifies the kind of despicable behaviour which made me start writing this blog.

The day proceeds to drag out interminably, scheduled to end at 6pm. Fortunately some speakers have pulled out and the schedule remixed, which should speed things up. Unfortunately we are already 30 minutes behind timetable by the time the last coffee break rolls up.

The afternoon session is clearly given over to talks that no-one really cares about. The topics are all `ab initio', or rather, they use lightfront co-ordinates or approaches to solve their problems, without focussing on the fundamentals or intricate details of lightfront methods. A few years ago, this was an integral part of the conference. Now it's an aside -- the community's focus is split between AdS/QCD and, basically, trying to get hadronic physics out of lightfront QCD by calculating extremely complex scattering amplitudes in whatever approximation/model is currently seen as been in fashion.

As a result, the lecture hall begins to empty out after lunch. At least two of the super bigshots are gone by the final coffee break. People are bored and tired. The later speakers must have felt awful looking out at the audience and seeing only a sea of very bored, uniterested faces. Still, one of them decidees that, another 10 minutes behind schedule, it is absoloutely necessary to begin their talk by spending several minutes eulogising the lightfront community.

Fortunately things pick up for the final talk which, clearly relagated to the death slot because of the off-topic topic, is delivered by a buoyant postdoc who manages to engage the audience by, in contrast to way too many other speakers, having put some effort into writing a clear presentation.

No comments: