Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Ted Gibson of MIT

I was invited to an event at which Ted Gibson was speaking, 6:15-8:15. There were about 25 of us in the room, and he went over his research in linguistics and information processing.  At the end he cheerfully said "This was the most ________ audience I have ever spoken to."  Fill in the blank.  Hint: I mentally took credit for about half of that.

5 comments:

Unknown said...

Challenging?

Assistant Village Idiot said...

I was just going to give up and give the answer, as no one wanted to play...

The correct answer is "interactive." It's a remarkable coincidence. I have this uncanny knack for being part of audiences that turn out to be interactive with the speaker! In all seriousness, I am not always the first to interact nor the one who asks instant questions, or nods and chips-in the most, but I am very high on both categories, moving small-group speeches in that direction. Everyone learns more, because of instant feedback. However, I have noticed that pastors don't always like it as much, particularly if you are a visitor. You'd think they would happy with evidence that someone is listening and understanding, but not always so.

Sam L. said...

Throws them off stride, that does. Sometimes.

Felix M said...

Interactive is great if it results in an interesting discussion. I can envisage awful interactions that involve debates, or attempts to avoid debates, with ill-informed and over confident fundamentalists of whatever kind.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

It worked well in this context. There was at least one person I was glad didn't speak more, because he clearly didn't understand what was being talked about because he had a hobby-horse of his own to ride. But the moment came and went.

I suspect I had pushed to about my limit of what the rest of the crowd would enjoy as well, so it all ended at a good time. Of course, knowing that limit and not quite exceeding it is part of being voted "Most Interactive."