Time for my daily rant about Canadian lunacy. I’m in the conference in Canada that I talked about before. Today we have a keynote speaker from Mexico. A fascinating speaker! Great topic! Everybody is excited. He begins to speak and 10 minutes into the talk the moderator decides to turn off everybody’s cameras. The speaker is clearly thrown off by this. All of a sudden, he’s staring at a sea of black squares. If anybody tried this, it’s a soul-crushing experience, especially when you were not prepared for it.
The whole talk is organized as a talk. The speaker isn’t reading a paper. He’s trying to engage in a conversation. Those of you who have done public speaking know that being able to see the audience’s faces is key. You can gauge whether the listeners are responding, if a point needs to be clarified, if you are going off on an unnecessary tangent, etc.
Finally, the speaker interrupts the talk and starts begging the moderator to let him see human faces.
It’s pathetic. The whole conference is organized in this totalitarian way. I couldn’t take it anymore and left. This is my fifth online conference, and it’s the most totalitarian of all by far.