Laurie Taylor column

August 4, 2006

Want to include conference attendances in your CV but lack the necessary funds? Time to turn to

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Whither Welsh Higher Education?

A three-day conference to consider the impact on higher education of the recent House of Lords decision to allow new powers to the Welsh Assembly.

Venue: Maestaffn Guest House, Near Maestaffn, Maestaffn. (Proprietors: Mr and Mrs D. G. Edwards)

Special Attractions: Full Welsh breakfast and use of cruet. Plus mystery tour to Betws-y-Coed. (Admission to Swallow Falls not included.)

Structuralist Approaches to Oceanography

In recent years, oceanography has shaken off its traditional concern with currents, basins, tides and estuarine processes and embraced a more post-structuralist perspective. This three-day partially underwater conference will consider topics such as:

* The Death of the Diver: is it the "diver" who "discovers" the treasure or the treasure that "discovers" the "diver"?

* Deep Structures and Oceanography: an analysis of the operation of deep structures in deep structural circumstances.

Post-colonial Oceanography: a critical deconstructive look at such "taken-for-granted" oceanographic concepts as "continental shelf", "English Channel" and "Black Sea".

Venue: SS Queen of Douglas. Moored at Lowestoft Harbour. Price includes full meals, hire of snorkel, own cabin and one visit to the Captain's Table.

Understanding Consciousness

A small group of narrow-minded computer scientists and positivistic psychologists get together and try to prove it will soon be possible to develop a conscious computer. Topics include:

* Helping computers become aware of their own feelings: a neural substrate approach

* In what sense does a computer know it is only a computer?

* Can we all go home now?

Venue: South Mimms

Service Station (Upper Level). Price includes meals and accommodation for you and your computer (24-hour forecourt facilities also available).

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