Having scientific meetings with brilliant people… in your kitchen?

picture by rich_w

I had two important meetings today. One of them was with my good friend Harold Boley (of RuleML fame) and another well know professor. The other meeting was with an infamous professor who shall remain nameless.

What is most amazing about these meetings is that they happened in my kitchen, using Skype and the builtin webcam of my MacBook. And these meetings were efficient, to the point, content-rich, and pleasant. Moreover they were inexpensive. And I don’t mean financially. They required almost no time to prepare. They required no room, no building. They did not require any staff.

Of course, the bandwidth is not quite the same as a live meeting, but this can be a good thing: I do not care to smell your pheromones nor do I insist on seeing the details of your body posture. Moreover, the bandwidth is increasing at a crazy rate.

What does this mean for our future? It means that institutions are no longer required to get the system running. No vice-president, no staff. It means you can run the world from your kitchen. Or at least, get some research done.

See also my post Big schools are no longer giving researchers an edge?

Published by

Daniel Lemire

A computer science professor at the Université du Québec (TELUQ).

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