Re: Grows by the inch, dies by the foot

1

The problem with socialism, etc.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 08-27-12 5:33 PM
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Take only pelts, leave only little puddles of urine.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-27-12 5:37 PM
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Huh. I did lots of field trips and school camping trips, and I remember the content being repetitive - I heard a million times how this part of Texas was once an ocean floor - but not much admonishment about keeping everything pristine, aside from the usual don't litter and look out for poison ivy. I remember one teacher (or "guide", this was Montessori) peeling off some of a yucca leaf and demonstrating how the American Indians braided its fibers into twine. I guess it could be a within-the-last-15-years thing.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-27-12 5:48 PM
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Those three speakers were in need of a moderator-administered ass kick.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-27-12 5:48 PM
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I heard a lot of the "take only pictures" line, but given that most of my childhood environmental education took place along beaches/dunes/estuaries, there was still room for collecting shells, licking mangrove leaves (one variety--I don't remember which--tastes salty), and otherwise interacting with nature rather than simply observing it. That there were a few things we couldn't touch at all--specific sea grasses and other plants protected by law--made sense, and didn't detract from the experience.


Posted by: J, Robot | Link to this comment | 08-27-12 6:18 PM
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Clearly, heebie, you ought to take steps to rectify this crisis in environmental education, by means of a documentary about a charismatic scientist-turned-ecodefender who rescues children from boredom and people who go over their allotted speaking time. You could call it: Waiting for Swamp Thing.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08-27-12 6:26 PM
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Leaves that taste sweet are a sign that a dog with diabetes has passed by.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-27-12 6:27 PM
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I trust everyone here automatically pronounces ecodefender correctly.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-27-12 6:27 PM
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Kids love bears. Bears poop in the woods. Kids should learn to poop in the woods.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-27-12 6:32 PM
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Seven minutes?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-27-12 6:32 PM
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9: I really loved one natural sleepaway trip we did that involved learning to identify various poopings.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08-27-12 6:33 PM
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11: Oh, you visited Congress too?


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08-27-12 6:34 PM
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Grows by the inch, dies by the foot

Ouch.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 08-27-12 6:39 PM
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Back when I was a good, nature-enjoying kid, I found John Muir unfathomably boring.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 08-27-12 8:12 PM
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I still find John Muir boring. Except, that is, when I find him sanctimonious (he wrote the song, "Little Boxes," you know) and/or infuriating. Still, I do think it's pretty cool that he walked across a big chunk of the continent, I suppose, though I always wonder if that story is apocryphal.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 08-27-12 8:30 PM
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Those three speakers were in need of a moderator-administered ass kick.

It's not only well-intentioned people who are boring. 94% of speakers will go way over the time limit given the opportunity, and quite often without realizing it. Moderators have to enforce time limits.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 08-27-12 8:31 PM
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But as soon as you try to systematically introduce lots of kids, well, they're destructive little jerks.

The history of the world writ small.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-27-12 8:35 PM
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16: Right, but shooting is only justified after a warning ass-kick.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-27-12 8:35 PM
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Such the incrementalist, Moby.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 08-27-12 8:36 PM
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I've never read any John Muir. I like Bob Marshall, though.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-27-12 8:36 PM
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We used to float empty beer cans down the river while shooting at them. I think it gave me a better sense of nature than if I'd only thrown empty beer cans into the river without shooting them.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-27-12 8:39 PM
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All my friends had .22s, but I only had a 20 gauge so it was "plink, plink, plink, boom."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-27-12 8:41 PM
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Anyway, I basically agree that kids should have the chance to play around outdoors. I grew up hearing "take pictures leave footprints" but it didn't usually get in the way, at least not once we got away from the busiest and most heavily regulated areas."Programs" weren't appealing back then either.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 08-27-12 8:45 PM
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(he wrote the song, "Little Boxes," you know)

?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-27-12 8:46 PM
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I still have the gun. I suppose the neighbors would get worried if I shot a few beer cans off the back patio for old time sake.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-27-12 8:47 PM
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24: Muir's version referred to the little forts that dotted the Maine coast, from which he fled in search of the water ouzel.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 08-27-12 8:48 PM
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24: I was alluding to another thread.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 08-27-12 8:49 PM
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There are other threads?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-27-12 8:51 PM
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It's nothing but threads, or so the physicists say.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 08-27-12 8:53 PM
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28: 12,408 other threads, apparently.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-27-12 8:54 PM
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Wait. That's probably at least partially a date.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-27-12 8:55 PM
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No, it isn't.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-27-12 8:57 PM
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he wrote the song, "Little Boxes," you know

But is he to blame for the later seasons of Weeds?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-27-12 9:12 PM
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If I was wrong about the numbering of the URLs, maybe I was wrong about the shooting beer cans.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-27-12 9:26 PM
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Hmm, our Local Nature Center has a kid fort as part of a nature playground that's fenced off so no dogs can get in and kids can run wild and explore. The science museum has a program that accepts things kids find in the wild (with some restrictions: no live animals and I'm not sure about all dead ones; we're still at the seedpod stage) and gives the kids points to trade in for rocks and whatnot.

Both Nia and Mara are very interested in gardening, meaning we talk about the plants we see every time we're out walking and we note the progress of what we've planted. Each of them has a few plants of her own to water and observe. So at the zoo this weekend, they were recognizing plants by name and we go to the garden store so they can look at what's big and what's small, what likes the sun and what likes shade. Nia's gone from not knowing any plants by sight two months ago to having a decent understanding of what's blooming now. And she learned that I was right that you can't always guess what's going to poke you and need to be careful when she sniffed an echinacea too closely.

I knew living in the city would mean they wouldn't grow up in the woods like I did with woods behind my house, though unlike Lee I let them explore the woods behind the park and just supervise closely because there's so much glass and condom debris and so on. But they can still learn to climb hills by steadying themselves on honeysuckles and so on, what kind of rocks are most likely to have fossils.

At our nature center, all the programs for kids that don't just involve petting animals are hiking-based. There is a rule about not picking flowers and all that, but we've never had a problem with that. The girls know that they're only allowed to pick flowers that are ours and we have enough clover and so forth to keep them happy most of the time.

This is all just to say that I'm not really disagreeing with the article, but I also suspect the writer might be blowing things out of proportion a bit to be obstinate. Yes, sanctimony about nature is annoying, but it shouldn't be too hard to help kids learn to find their own wonder in the natural world, and even their more banal insights are pretty adorable.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 08-28-12 2:57 AM
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(Sorry I'm being grumpy and probably sanctimonious too. Should I stay home because of a pinched nerve in my back or just be all Eeyore about how it probably won't be any better tomorrow and it's not as if I can stay home forever? That's what's really going on.)


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 08-28-12 3:04 AM
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As I have entered the adult world I have been unpleasantly shocked by how bad most people are at giving presentations and public speaking. Lawyers are the worst. I have only ever been to one presentation by a lawyer that wasn't someone talking in court that wasn't deathly boring, rambly, way over time, disorganized, and without clear takeaways. Even people who are amazing trial lawyers--when you get them to come give a presentation it's like they forgot everything they ever knew about what to do to hold people's attention. Mostly I think it's a lack of preparation, but it's still really, really fucking annoying.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 08-28-12 6:42 AM
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37: I feel sometimes like I'm part of the problem because I'm the only English professor on earth who doesn't make my students give oral presentations, but I just fucking hate them. My awesome, funny, smart, charismatic students get up and are suddenly inaudibly gurgling in the backs of their throats "my group looked at the time when um it was like people weren't you know as like um free um i mean independent like in now times ha ha now times i mean now and"

No thanks. At least in my case, I learned how to give excellent presentations just by making close observations at those that I enjoyed and figuring out what I could import for my own devices.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 08-28-12 6:54 AM
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39

Fucking Idaho needs to get off my lawn. And car.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 08-28-12 6:54 AM
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OT: Akin's new medical jam! "female breastmilk - when fed directly to an adult homosexual male daily for at least four weeks - has a 94% chance of permanently curing homosexual perversions."


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 08-28-12 6:56 AM
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38: I took a speech class in college and one guy gave a very moving talk about growing up with alcoholic parents and the difficulties that involved for him. I sat there listening knowing that I was supposed to go next and that my speech was about the history of bourbon.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-28-12 6:58 AM
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I've seen professors who give excellent lectures. Engaging, dynamic, not boring. In every case (of course) they weren't _reading_ something they'd written.

I'm OK at presentations, I think [or have been told that I am] but that's only because I've learned [by observation] that i need to basically wing it. Loads of prep, if possible, but reduce the prep to a page of bullet points and/or a few notes, and then go for it. No reading aloud. If I don't know the topic well enough to spontaneously bullshit it, I probably shouldn't be giving a talk on it.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-28-12 6:59 AM
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40: That has to be a joke. The link's fairly straightfaced, but it still has to be a joke. The crack about lesbians is impossible in a real story.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-28-12 6:59 AM
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It's a satirical newspaper. The header says The Global Satirical Newspaper of Record


Posted by: Molly | Link to this comment | 08-28-12 7:00 AM
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Also, they spell current "currant"


Posted by: Molly | Link to this comment | 08-28-12 7:01 AM
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42: Same here. Prep, to the point of almost writing out a script, is useful, but actually trying to deliver the script as written is a bad idea: very spare bullet points and improv are what actually works while delivering anything.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-28-12 7:03 AM
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45: That's raisin the issue of whether or not it's a satire.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-28-12 7:04 AM
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Yeah, I realized when I got to the lesbian comment that it was fake. It's being cited in a lot of places as if it's not.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 08-28-12 7:06 AM
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Maybe it's a news site for people who slow jam the news.


Posted by: Molly | Link to this comment | 08-28-12 7:07 AM
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I wish these satirical sites would not go around quoting real news programs by name when they make shit up.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 08-28-12 7:07 AM
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[The link in 40 is now down, so I'm going to assume AWB is pulling our collective plonkers.]

The absolute worst givers of presentations are managers who went into being fast stream management trainees straight out of college and have never had a real job. I think it's because you need to be a little grounded in something, anything, to be able to relate to how people are likely to respond to your topic.

Even then, most people an't do it right until they go through that emotional barrier around the age of 35-40 when you stop caring so much about what people think about you and JFDI instead. This leads, in the best cases, to presentations which are short, on topic, straightforward and blissfully free of deliberate cleverness.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08-28-12 7:10 AM
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Q. What is the origin of the name "The Daily Currant ?
A. The name is a play on words. In English the words courant, current, and currant are often pronounced identically.
•Courant is a Dutch loan word that for a time was a popular name for newspapers. The UK's The Daily Courant was the first newspaper in the English langauge, and The Hartford Courant is the oldest American newspaper still in publication.
•Current as an adjective means "Belonging to the present time; happening or being used or done now" and is often used in the context of news as in "current affairs" or "current events". As a noun current may refer literally to an electrical current, and metaphorically to technology. Or literally to ocean currents and metaphorically to strong slowly changing trends in society.
•Currant is a type of fruit known scientifically as Ribes which produce edible sour berries. The distinctive color of redcurrants (Ribes rubrum) lends the newspaper its color scheme.

I'm surprised they didn't mention that The Sun, the UK's best selling tabloid (alas), is also known as The Currant Bun.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 08-28-12 7:11 AM
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51: It's still up for me. But if you Google "Akin breastmilk," you find a lot of news cites quoting it, but when you click, those have been taken down.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 08-28-12 7:13 AM
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I learned how to give a good presentation by taking a short course on how to tell stories, taught by a professional Native American storyteller. A similar course ought to be part of the standard liberal arts curriculum. There is so much to be learned from the art of telling a good story. Once you see the presentation as a story the whole thing falls into place very naturally.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 08-28-12 7:14 AM
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50: There was something off about the tone as satire; maybe that the breastmilk thing wasn't a terribly coherent joke? I wasn't sure what was going on until the lesbian crack either, and I think it's that it just wasn't very well done as satire.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-28-12 7:18 AM
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My own view is that it's best to write a script. You don't then just read the script word for word, and improvise around the script, but there's something actually written out that's clear and compelling to come back to. I find this infinitely better than just putting together a bunch of bullet points and slides and talking; the risk there, particularly for people who think they're good at talking or oral presentation, is that you lose your flow. OTOH it's been a while since I've done a non-court oral presentation.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-28-12 7:21 AM
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55: Maybe they couldn't decide if they were trying to be funny or trying to fool people.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-28-12 7:22 AM
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54 is also right, I think.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-28-12 7:22 AM
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40:

My mother made me a homosexual!

If I buy her the yarn, will she make me one too?

--Traditional call-and-response graffito


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 08-28-12 7:26 AM
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re: 54

My Dad used to _be_ semi-professional story teller (Scots, not Native American, but same difference). It's an interesting talent.*

* I don't think he was great at it (although he tells a bloody good story when he's in the mood) as he was more into the writing aspect than the performance.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-28-12 7:31 AM
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I often give talks from a script at conferences, but I write them as talks and perform them as talks. The art of seeming to read something you've mostly memorized is a skill I've been working on since I was 13 or so. When I have seen conference presenters give a "talk" off the cuff it almost always sucks, and it always makes me nervous. Does this guy have a plan? Is he thinking about the other presenters' time? Will he be able to wrap up the conclusions appropriately?

57 is accurate, I think. There are conflicting rhetorical modes going on there. Satire, hoax, or lie?


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 08-28-12 7:31 AM
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When I have seen conference presenters give a "talk" off the cuff it almost always sucks

This is also true of the "talks" given from the page, however.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08-28-12 7:34 AM
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38 et al.: Agreed. Between buzzwords and general unawareness of your audience, it's depressing just how bad so many speakers are.


Posted by: John Bishop | Link to this comment | 08-28-12 7:37 AM
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re: 61

Sure. My process of creating bullet points to extemporize around will start with something much closer to a fully composed paper, and I'll have the conclusion and all the argument steps written in detail. Then I'll drill that down into smaller and smaller chunks while practicing it, until it's in memory. So I am doing it 'off the cuff' in the sense of not reading anything verbatim, but it's been practiced rather than just aimlessly made up. It'd be different every time, but all the same key points would be hit in the same order.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-28-12 7:38 AM
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61 is right, I think, for oral presentation. A written out script, but the script is carefully designed to be given as a talk and is largely memorized, so you can improvise around it in the moment. Off the cuff is horrible and the absolute worst is preparing a bunch of PowerPoint slides and bullet points and then coming in and improvising a presentation around that.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-28-12 7:42 AM
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My experience in giving and hearing talks a scientific conferences is that slides sans written notes is the norm.

In those cases though, even if you haven't specifically written your talk, you've usually written about the stuff your speaking on, either in a paper or a grant proposal.
So you generally do have some kind of written structure to improvise off of.

The "stand there and read your paper word for word" thing at the MLA meeting always sounded very weird to me, but I've never actually seen it done first hand. Maybe it's not as weird as I'm imagining.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 08-28-12 7:53 AM
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I've heard a few people try to give literary analysis talks without notes, and they always brag about how they're not stodgy like us and scientists don't use notes so why should they? Then they ramble for 30 minutes of ums and ahs and oh wait I'll get back to the point here in a second ums. We have one thing going for us, which is that at least some of us are very good writers! Why not draft an interesting, compelling, well-shaped, clever talk with high points and clear rhetorical markers?


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 08-28-12 7:58 AM
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Also, if you're going to improvise, I think it's easier to speak off the cuff about pictures of actual data than it is to improvise around bullet points.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 08-28-12 7:59 AM
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The "stand there and read your paper word for word" thing at the MLA meeting always sounded very weird to me

I would find that weird. In CS you talk about your paper; everything that's been said above about timing and designing your talk applies, but the assumption is that anybody who's bothered to attend the session has read the actual paper, so you're introducing a discussion around it.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08-28-12 8:00 AM
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but the assumption is that anybody who's bothered to attend the session has read the actual paper

That's not even the same planet as anything I've ever been to.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-28-12 8:01 AM
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Yeah, these conventions are completely different between disciplines.

Literally every talk I've attended, at 5 scientific conferences, probably 200 talks, has consisted of Powerpoint slides, with figures and diagrams containing data, and a few introductory slides which may also contain data but are mostly bullet points. Then at the end, a few bullet points telling you a summary of all the data you just saw. That's how you present your data in the world of biomedical science. The variation is basically in whether you seem to be spontaneous and are reading the audience, or are reading a script.

Oh, and the expectation is that 90% of people do not know what data you're going to present.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08-28-12 8:09 AM
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70 reflects my experience. People show up to the talk to figure out if the paper might be worth reading. And to talk loudly to their colleagues while the speaker tries to talk over them.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 08-28-12 8:10 AM
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I definitely never write a script. I rehearse broad themes in my head and then wing it. Sometimes I might not have anything to talk about, but I'm not boring (and can keep the thread well). None of the preceding applies if I'm super hungover.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-28-12 8:11 AM
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and a few introductory slides which may also contain data but are mostly bullet points

Usually these are titled "Methods".


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-28-12 8:12 AM
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71 tracks with my experience.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-28-12 8:12 AM
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I think some degree of fear and/or subordination is necessary for most people to be concise. It seems to work pretty well at Board of Directors meetings, IMX.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-28-12 8:19 AM
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I don't usually see Methods at the beginning of a presentation. Each presentation summarizes a bunch of experiments. Sometimes for each experiment there's a little Methods slide making all the details clear. If the talk is only 15-20 minutes, people leave that out unless it's a brand new technique or a very confusing one.

But in epidemiology and clinical trials, the methods are paramount. Totally different. The first half of the talk seems to be a mind-numbing recitation of every detail of the methods. This many people got this, this, this and this. This many people dropped out of the study at 2 months. This many dropped out at 4 months. This many dropped out at 6 months. Then the second half is all a bunch of tables andg raphs with the same mass of data chopped up in a million ways.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08-28-12 8:20 AM
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It's not chopped a million ways. It's carefully studied by an overworked analyst who has too many investigators to deal with.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-28-12 8:21 AM
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Whether I prepare a script or not, I always suck at presentations. I do them rarely and each no matter how few people are there and how insignificant the situation is, I still get nervous, and either start talking way too fast if I have a script, or do the "umm...you know..." thing if I don't.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-28-12 8:21 AM
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Too many websites seem to have started off as Onion clones but, not being funny enough to pull it off, changed their strategy to click-trolling.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-28-12 8:22 AM
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To follow up 77, at he last conference I went to, there were a bunch of clinical trials results. In my field, the first few slides are background, explaining why you're studying what you're studying, and what recent findings you are following up.

In these clinical trials, the background seems to be replaced by the mind-numbing methodological details. Everyone seems to know why the ACESHIGH study or the FARMERS study or the MURGATROYD study is important, and what the details were that were presented at last year's meeting. Often they don't even explain what the wacky acronym stands for!


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08-28-12 8:27 AM
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It's also the case that I'm (or was) in a discipline that favours a certain ability to talk fluently and without any hesitation* as if one had prepared it, while in fact winging it furiously with the feet thrashing away under the water swan-like.

* because, too much hesitation signifies weakness, etc.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-28-12 8:27 AM
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In these clinical trials, the background seems to be replaced by the mind-numbing methodological details.

Is that at all surprising?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-28-12 8:35 AM
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I added some HIV related stuff to my research program a few years ago, and the clinical talks at those meetings are deadly.

"After A days on regimen B, the patients' average CD4 count was C. After D days on regimen E, the average CD4 count was F. After G days on regimen..."

I know it's important, but boy is it dull to listen to.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 08-28-12 8:37 AM
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"The study included 800 participants who were infected with HIV as determined by ELISA or because Stacy at the reception desk could tell by how thin they looked."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-28-12 8:43 AM
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70. I said it was the assumption, in the sense that talks were prepared as if it was true; I didn't say it actually was true.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08-28-12 8:46 AM
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Mostly I think it's a lack of preparation, but it's still really, really fucking annoying.

I've said before that we do a ton of presentations and the facilitators we hired make us rehearse them all first. We expect to spend at least 2-3 hours prepping every hour of meeting. Now that we expect that, it makes sense that we start working on our September meetings in July. But I don't think most people expect to put in that kind of preparation.

Bragging now: the facilitators loooove me, because I can hit any minute mark they give me. Half an hour presentation down to four minutes? Fine. They whisper my new time allotment in my ear as I come front and presto, we're back on time.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 08-28-12 9:21 AM
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I have never had any idea how one would give a coherent talk without reading directly from a script, and nobody wants that. It seems like magic to me. I could easily enough give an incoherent talk, but nobody wants that either.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 08-28-12 9:31 AM
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In my experience as a student, having students give presentations with little or no instruction on what presentations should be for leads to lots of awful presentations. If the presentations are on a set of readings, you get a lot of "this author said this, ok here's another slide for another author" and if the presentation is on a topic, it often turns into "these are the people I/we read about this topic, starting with this author, who said this." Only a few people get that (for these kinds of presentations) you're supposed to synthesize and explain and come up with points for the audience to take away. I'm sure more would get that if there was more explicit instruction about it.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 08-28-12 10:45 AM
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Objectively worse than any presentation ever: On-line training modules. (I could have passed that quiz the first time, maybe, if I'd have paid attention.)


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-28-12 11:29 AM
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91

On-line training modules.

Rapidly replacing education at my institution and elsewhere.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08-28-12 12:33 PM
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92

The only kind of presentation I do assign is a one-minute "pitch" for your research paper. In one minute, convince everyone in the class that what you're doing is really interesting and you know a lot about it and that it's stuff that could potentially change the way they think about the text. Those are pretty good, except for the people who decide a minute is not long enough. If I don't cut them off, they just embarrass themselves rambling. One minute! That's the assignment!


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 08-28-12 12:42 PM
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93

For online training modules, my favorite thing to do is go directly to the quiz at the end and not do any of the training. So far it has always just made me retake the questions I got wrong, and I can guess the next most likely answer, or use the table of contents to go look up the answer if I have to. It's not like anyone cares if you get it perfect on the first try.


Posted by: ursyne | Link to this comment | 08-28-12 12:42 PM
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94

92 sounds like a good exercise. We did 5 minute or so pitches for our doctoral theses at some seminar things, and similar exercises. I did nothing of the kind as an undergrad, though. Only longer presentations.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-28-12 12:48 PM
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95

I had to do an online training module for some IRB-related thing a few years ago.* Tabbed browsing was my friend: questions in one tab, search for answers in the rest of the module in the other.

*Not to actually submit anything to an IRB, just to verify that I knew what kind of thing would need to be submitted to an IRB. The instructor might have submitted something to get approval for us to do informal interviews with people.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 08-28-12 12:50 PM
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96

There's a particular kind of scientific talk that really irritates me, where the talk is entirely focused on demonstrating how brilliant the speaker is, and not on helping you understand what he or she actually did.


Posted by: YK | Link to this comment | 08-28-12 5:57 PM
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97

95: They made me click a box promising to not cheat. I don't think using two tabs was mentioned as cheating.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-28-12 6:20 PM
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