AlgoMech Panel on Distributed Culture, 29th February 2020

Hi everyone,
I read everyone’s opinions and I find them very stimulating, right now we are in a state of crisis that only in movies could I have imagined.

I propose this scenario, in Mexico where the cases of COVID-19 are still small, a wave of concerts that were scheduled for all March and April are canceled, a hard blow for the musicians and artists who live of the spiritual and monetary way from this events.

Now, I personally proposed that some concerts, specifically of experimental music and technology, since it is the circle that I know, be remotely replanted, that is, that the cost of the ticket is voluntary cooperation, but that these are not entirely lost small fees for the artists and that a change of the live experience, the audience connects in an hour and can enjoy the concert, in short, no one seemed feasible, first because they would not know how to do it, second because it would be too much “weird” and NO ONE would want to pay for something like that, well, like that in Mexico.

But that left me reflecting very strongly, because perhaps if we could make a guide or even a tool that would facilitate people who are organizing things like being able to do this, many of them are not specialized in free software to do this. since definitively the world quarantine is imminent and it is not known how far it will stop.

I was also thinking of doing a kind of campaign with some illustrations (and memes, why not?) To normalize this practice and raise awareness of the support for artists and other academic activities that they can live from online and that could generate some income for participants.

Take care

Thanks everyone for the stimulating discussion. I’ll summarise it in the coming days, although of course COVID-19 has overtaken us somewhat, with a sudden move to online streaming as people are increasingly confined to their homes.

Here are a couple of detailed guides that have sprung up for streaming etc during pandemic:

Take care all !

1 Like

Thanks for the thoughtful points @dktr0. I agree we should look for opportunities to experiment with online events, rather than try to take existing models online - I think the latter approach would end up with many of the flaws of conferences and not gain much else.

One problem with conferences is how slow things go. In the many months that pass between submitting a paper and presenting it, things move on. So you either end up submitting something that you plan to do (how many demos are finished the night before a presentation) or end up presenting something too old to benefit from feedback.

How quickly could we go from an idea to an online exchange? Howabout a ‘flash symposium’, where a theme is identified, a call made, abstracts submitted and peer reviewed, and finally presented and published. How quickly could all that be done? Maybe two weeks?

  • Monday - make call
  • Tuesday - one-two page abstracts written and submitted
  • Wednesday/Thursday - abstracts double-blind reviewed by around five peers each
  • Friday - abstracts updated in response, distributed as ‘preceedings’ (not for publication - only to symposium participants)
  • Saturday/Sunday - rest
  • Monday - Participants read preceedings
  • Tuesday/Wednesday - talks with feedback and q+a. Probably not broadcast openly - only viewable to participants, with possibility to ‘catchup’ for those who can’t change to the symposium timezone
  • Thursday/Friday - complete (two - four page) paper deadline
  • Monday - proceedings published, open access on zenodo

That’s four-five day’s intensive, focussed work in total for the accepted authors, but that’s less than the timeout required to travelling to a ‘traditional’ conference alone…
For the process to be worthwhile the reviews would need to be really good, so I’ve allocated twice as much time to writing peer reviews as writing abstracts.
As per the name, the published proceedings are written after feedback at the conference. Deadlines are quick, so thoughts and discussion are still fresh.

Could something like that work, where we go from idea for an event, to published proceedings inside two weeks? The disadvantage is lack of time for reviewing related literature etc, but online journal articles are probably best for that kind of in-depth work. A ‘flash symposium’ would be more about live exchange and development of ideas.

The biggest disadvantage is the ‘presence privilege’ that Julian talked about… A lot of people couldn’t make such a schedule, and would at least need extensive pre-warning. It could be interesting to try, though…

Hi @yaxu,

I think the idea of more quickly organized and executed events is nice. With the specific model you propose, in addition to the caveat about “presence privilege” I think maybe the peer review is too much for just an abstract, while the final paper appears to not be peer reviewed at all. Because the optics (and value) of that could be confusing, why not just archive/“publish” the talks and not have published papers?

Yours truly,