This weekend, I am at the SciBarCamp in Toronto, the first science Bar Camp! Having been told the name 'Bar Camp' is a pun on 'Foo Camp' (also known as "unconference"), I queried Wikipedia on the origin of this word. As the entry on foobar explains "Neither foo() nor bar() accomplish anything useful." The first association I had to SciBar was Psi-bar (a notation commonly used for anti-particles), and the first thought that crossed my mind when hearing 'Foo Camp' where the Foo Fighters (actually, these FooFighters) but it seems the camping sort of foos are Friends Of O'Reilly who like to hang around at the bar, though this is apparaently a backronym. The emergence of the name in itself would probably make a good topic for a PhD thesis in linguistic.
Either way, according to the website, the camp is on various edges, so for example the edge of science, the edge of technology - and, on my German-gauged organization scale, certainly on the edge of chaos. As I recently read, allegedly the edge of chaos is where complex systems solve problems most efficiently. However, if I am faced with a schedule on a flip chart that has been crossed out, rewritten, and rearranged so many times it is just unreadable, I have my doubts about the efficiency of spontaneously arising self-organization. Especially if one has a 100km commute to the conference site to have a look at said flip chart.
Okay, leaving aside my disliking of words that start with the syllable 'un', the workshop is packed with interesting people, definitely fun, and so far an extremely inspiring and thoughtprovoking event. Since it seems that my de facto negligible complaint has more words than my expression of enthusiasm, and I am currently in lack of adjectives that would appropriately describe my impression, I will just click on some of these buttons in the wysiwyg editor... and voila, there we have boldfaced enthusiasm ;-)
More about the SciBarCamp later, need to un-wind now. (Is the traffic on Gardiner ever not 'moving slowly'?). A nice weekend to all of you.
TAGS: SCIBARCAMP, UNCONFERENCE