Sunday, October 17, 2010

Strange Loop and Campus Memories

I've returned from Strange Loop 2010 in Saint Louis.

For photos, presentation materials, and other reviews, check out the Twitter feed.

This year, I'm not writing a full review or even my usual "random walk" through the conference. This is a quick, lyrical appreciation of the vibe. Future posts may include personal insights, one at a time. This is to serve my readers, who (correctly) point out the declining frequency of posts on here.

First Days on Campus

Recall your first days on a university campus, or imagine them from a Hollywood film.

It is a brilliant autumn afternoon. The crisp bite of the morning chill is gone, and the trees display their fiery leaves in the sun.

Everywhere, there is energy. Outside, people hustle and bustle from one building to another. Along the paths and roads, the chatter is constant. Some are merely coordinating the next stop. Where is it? When is it?

But most are sharing ideas. The ideas initially come from respected professors, who set student minds ablaze. Then new thoughts arrive via inspiration; others are borne through rigorous debate. Somehow, they culminate in a virtuous cycle of intelligence and enthusiasm. Like the morning chill, cynicism and defeat cannot exist in this environment. The energy burns them off.

In a season of change, humanity and nature join in a triumphant, zen sense of here and now.

Strange Loop 2010

The 2-day conference brought me back to my first days on campus at grad school.

That was the vibe. In my mind, there is no higher praise.


For those not on Twitter, a final shout-out to all my tech friends in Saint Louis and beyond. It was terrific to catch up, and I only wish I had more time to chat. See you again soon.


For details, my friends Weiqi Gao and Mario Aquino have posted excellent reviews.