[nSLUG] Richard Stallman in Halifax

Daniel Morrison draker at gmail.com
Wed Jan 28 11:46:07 AST 2009

2009/1/28 Richard Bonner <ak621 at chebucto.ns.ca>:

> ***   I think I was there till about 10:15. I spoke with Richard for
> a few minutes at the very end, mainly in relation to the somewhat poor
> setup due to deficiency in the organisation of the lecture. Since this
> is my professional field, I am more critical, but briefly, there
> should have been proper lighting and Richard should have at least
> been provided with water for his two-hour, plus talk. I also felt that
> flash photography should have been prohibited.

Water and flash photography: I agree.  Or there could have been a
specific time set aside for photographs.

>    I put blame on both sides: Richard (or his people) for not
> specifying better in his contract rider as to exactly what was
> required, and Dal tech crew for not better anticipating what a
> lecturer might require, rider or not.

The bright light shining on Richard was for Eastlink TV; with those
lights dimmed, they were unable to record the lecture, I'm told.
However this doesn't explain why the hall was dark.  I suspect this is
standard procedure for the format of the hall (passive audience,
presentations going-on on stage). I think RMS prefers a more informal,
conversational dialogue.

What I can't understand is why, having turned up the house lights, it
wasn't possible to increase the overall brightness, and record anyway.

I imagine it was quite stressful during the opening few minutes for
the organizers to try to balance Richard's request for a lighting
change, with the requirements for Eastlink, and in the end, Eastlink
lost out.  At a guess, perhaps the Eastlink arrangements were fairly
last-minute to begin with. So really it came off quite well in the
end, I think!


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