June is the cruellest month… or how to go round the world for conferences, and survive

Never stop in one place for more than two days – that’s my quote of the month. I have been to a bunch of conferences around the world, and this post is but a way of keeping record of the people I’ve met and things I’ve discovered.


This was a fantastically organised conference /thanks to Greg Madey and staff) on Open Source Systems. The venue, Notre Dame (Indiana), was rather remote for me, but I enjoyed the stay, the Fighting Irish stadium, Touchdown Jesus, and the incredible (and so American, at least from a European perspective) Grotto. Many computer scientists of different kind, and I felt kind of lonely as an economist there. I presented my Copyleft paper (slides). Nice enough, the presentation was recorded and available live on streaming. You probably missed the live, but you can see me presenting (how sweet).

Conferences are for networking, and I met people presenting interesting stuff. I enjoyed talking with Guido Conaldi, and liked his paper on networks. (and, well, I envied his android phone, and he showed me some linux tips, and he was actually one of the few running a linux laptop at a OSS conference, so we teamed up). It was fun meeting Mathijs den Besten after having known him last year in Padova FLOSS Workshop. Check out his firefox voting for bugs paper. Being at a geek’s conference, I found some much needed help on refining my Copyleft game software (there has been a network bug hovering around it for the last months, but now I have had some hints to finally crush it): I think nowhere else in the world I could interest the whole table of one of the lunch breaks on my XMLRPC python bug… thanks hence to Christopher Oezbek, and Daniel Izquierdo Cortazar (and others who I forgot.. sorry).

On the way there, I had the chance of spending a couple of days in Chicago (it wa my first time in the US), and made as usual some pictures.


I went to windy Newcastle Upon Tyne for the Foundations of Utility and Risk conference. The conference was held at Newcastle United St. James’ Park Stadium. It was a pleasure to meet and attend the talk of David K. Levine (have you read Levine and Boldrin’s Against Intellectual Monopoly? You should. It is CC, so you can grab a copy and read it. Then, if you like it, buy one here). I found extremely interesting and clear the plenary addresses by Mark Machina and George Ainslie.

It was very nice to share the experience with Noemi Pace. Among interesting talks by impressive people, I was mostly impressed by Pavlo Blavatskyy (well impressed way beyond his love of yellow, actually more by his talk on extending deterministic theory to probabilistic outcomes in the lab) and by Ganna Pogrebna’s talk on ambiguity. I was definitely not impressed by the food – especially the ‘Gala Dinner’ – I know we were in Norther England, but even they can do better than that. I missed what must have been a very interesting talk by Angelino Viceisza (who disclosed to me the existence of Papiamento, the language of Dutch Antilles. I suspect am sure that my ignorance is an ever-growing ocean).

…and, next: ESA.

In July I will go to the Economic Science Association World Meeting in Copenhagen. There I will (again!) present my Copyleft game, and I hope to receive some decisive comments to pass from the pilot stage to the long-awaited replication of the experiment with new sessions (and a bug-free software)…


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