Lecture-heavy day

2006-10-18

in Daily updates, Oxford

Flowers in the University Parks, Oxford

As is the norm on my lecture-packed Tuesdays, some really interesting ideas have come up today: on everything from international law to the Israeli security barrier and the mathematical models that dictate funding structures within the World Bank. Of course, this contributes to my terror about both having to be a generalist and being expected to know a very great deal about particular areas. This is an anxiety I will bury for the moment.

One note to myself, in future: when you are practically seething with disputational energy during a presentation, as during a debate round where you can see a good half-dozen critical factual and logical flaws, remember the following:

  1. Let someone else ask the first question. They will get things started and help set a congenial tone.
  2. Decide exactly what to say in advance.
  3. Deliver it deadpan, with no concealment of how logically lacking you found the argument, but with no vitriol either.

Setting out these personal suggestions isn’t evidence of some kind of egregious personal lapse, but rather a general observation based on one of today’s question and answer sessions. Kudos to a friend of mine, for showing me how it’s done.

If I have the time and energy, I will write about some mathematical observations relating to today’s presentation on the World Bank at a later time.

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