Notes from the Front

Wired recently wrote an article on how bloggers are violating gag rules at conferences. In the article, they mention the organiser of the TEDMED3 conference I’m going to tomorrow:

Richard Saul Wurman, organizer of the long-running TED conference (which is now TedMed), said reporting restrictions are meaningless, a smoke screen to make attendees think they will be party to confidential information.

“It gives a certain panache to things,” Wurman said. “It gives people the impression they are hearing things no one has heard before. I don’t think it affects what (the speakers) say. They play their cards too close. These aren’t the kind of people who spill the beans. It’s an artificial restriction.”

Wurman said there are no reporting restrictions at his conferences, but then again, he never invites reporters to attend.

Have no fear, readers – I’ll be exploiting that lack of restrictions to the hilt and I intend to cover every part of the conference on this weblog. Unfortunately, since I don’t have a laptop it’s going to have to be done the old, non-802.11b way – by pencil and paper, and transcribed when I can get to a computer. I also don’t want to spend my time in Philadelphia sitting in an internet cafe, so chances are that the report won’t be online until a little after the conference.

Some presentations I’m looking forward to include David Rose of Ambient Devices on wireless monitoring of chronic disease states, Gavriel Meron on Given Imaging on an ingestible pill-camera, Oliver Sacks, neurologist extraordinaire and Robert Mah of NASA.

There are some speakers who I’m completely baffled by – what the hell is Steve Case (Founder of AOL) speaking at the conference for? Doesn’t he have anything better to do? Then there’s David MacCauley, the illustrator and author of the amazing mammoth-laden book ‘The Way Things Work’. It’s all very strange. But fun, which is what really matters, after all.

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