The event is also covered in the blogosphere by Martin Durrani from PhysicsWorld who is presently Inside the Perimeter and intrigued by BlackBerries and Blackboards. Sean Carroll talked about time and Neil Turok lets us know that Lee Smolin is working on a new book called "The Reality of Time." Yes, it's about time.
Yesterday evening, Lee lead a very interesting discussion with Neal Stephenson and Jaron Lanier (recording here), on "Seeing Science Through Fiction."
They talk about the multiverse, virtual reality, music, anti-intellectualism, the propagation of stupidity, and the future of writing. If you have an hour time on your hand, give it a look. I just want to quote a snippet of the discussion that I found very interesting because it ties to something we have discussed here on this blog previously:
"Jaron, (min 38:40): I think there is a benefit to having encapsulation around intellectual activity [...] The notion that everything should be opened and mixed all the time is not good because then you can't nurture something long enough to really understand it. And I think that's a sort of a mistake that's going on on the internet, there's this notion that creativity only happens if everything is as open as possible...."
In my post "And how open would you want your science" I made the same point. Maximal connectivity and exchange of ideas is not necessarily beneficial for scientific progress. I argued that too much exchange bears the risk of washing out differences in approaches too early (I referred to that as "thermalization"), and of streamlining ideas before they have reached maturity. Jaron Lanier has a new book coming out, "You Are Not a Gadget." I suppose I should put it on my reading list.
If you don't have an hour at hand, what you should definitely check out are Alice and Bob in Wonderland. These are one minute comic-clips addressing some essential physics question. Just lovely and definitely worth the one minute :-)