About Me

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Australian philosopher, literary critic, legal scholar, and professional writer. Based in Newcastle, NSW. My latest books are THE TYRANNY OF OPINION: CONFORMITY AND THE FUTURE OF LIBERALISM (2019); AT THE DAWN OF A GREAT TRANSITION: THE QUESTION OF RADICAL ENHANCEMENT (2021); and HOW WE BECAME POST-LIBERAL: THE RISE AND FALL OF TOLERATION (2024).

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Worldcon winds down

The worldcon is officially over, though there are still the last-night parties, drinks, etc., to come. (My blog is set on Australian time, so this post appears to be written on Tuesday, but it is about 6 pm on Monday as I write here in Montreal).

My last official activity was moderating a panel, earlier today, on genetic engineering and other transformative technologies. This went well - in fact, I've had fantastically positive feedback for both of the panels that I moderated, i.e. this one and the one on Watchmen a couple of days ago. Either the latest tweaks I've made to my panel moderation technique worked well ... or the general standard was low and I looked good in comparison. There may be an element of the latter, alas, in that a lot of moderators don't think carefully about their role, but hopefully there was also some of the former. I hope so, because I enjoy few things more than running a successful panel with fine speakers and an enthusiastic audience (conference and convention organisers, do take note).

I had to pull out of four of my planned nine events, due to illness, but one of these was a book signing. The person who had brought a lot of material for me to sign caught up with me after the Watchmen panel, so all was well. Fortunately, I don't have such a fanbase that I was likely to have disappointed many people.

The biggest disappointment, from my viewpoint, was my inability to turn up as planned to moderate the Terminator panel, which would have been a blast. I hear that it went well without me, which is a good thing. I suppose. ;)

It was an odd convention for me, since I basically missed the first two days with illness and had to baby myself for the other three. I spent little time socialising, but thankfully I caught up with some old friends and managed to make some new ones. I was especially pleased today to have a drink with Joe and Gay Haldeman - whom I've known since 1980, when we were all much younger - having missed them throughout. They will be in Australia next year for the worldcon in Melbourne so that will also be great. As I told them, they are almost honorary Aussies, since they've been so supportive of Australian conventions over the years, and are so well-loved in the science fiction community in Australia.

Jenny has had a much more hectic convention than I have ... not on quite as many program items, but partying a lot harder. As I write, she is snoozing gently to catch up on sleep ... and in preparation for more partying in a couple of hours.

Onward! to Armadillocon, in Austin, in a few days. We joined this at the very last moment, so we are not on the program at all, but we should again be able to catch up with some old friends and to meet some interesting new people.

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