AP press 2050: The new pope was elected in just 2 hours using EasyPope, the software based on EasyChair, software designed to deciding which papers get into a conference. The new Pope was quoted as saying How did they manage in the old days actually Flying to Vatican to elect someone. This just seems silly.
(I do not know which is more unrealistic: That the Pope will be picked this way or that there will be an AP press in 2050.)
The recent Papal election was done the old fashioned way--- in person. Could they have done it over the web? Perhaps each Cardinal gives each cardinal (except themselves) a number between 1 and 10 for how good they would be, and a number between 1 and 3 for how confident they are in their vote.
Or a more complex system like e-harmony uses?
I doubt this will change anytime soon, and I doubt that it should. So what are the PROS of each way to meet? Some of this was covered in the Net vs Jet discussion.
PROS of meeting in person:
- With current technology (and this may change) its easier to have a back and fourth in person. Even now this is possible with teleconferencing, though I wonder if this would work with the 115 cardinals.
- You can read peoples faces and enthusiasm.
- There are things that can come up and be discussed that you may not have thought of if you were just alone at your computer.
- Technology fails sometimes.
- Time limited- really has to end (Papal Elections can go on for a while; however, one of the reasons for the Papal Enclave is to FORCE them to get a Pope relatively soon.)
- Builds connections. Recall the famous quote:
As a society we are gaining efficiency but loosing connectivity
- The meeting gives you a global view of the issues.
- Money and Time are saved.
- Environmental concerns of flying
- Less likely to have Group Think set in.
- Papal Election. There are so many candidates and so many issues that I think in person is better. I also think it won't change--- NOT because the Vatican is Tech-Shy (the last Pope had a Twitter account) but for the reasons above.
- The Maryland Math Competition. We used to meet four times a year, then two, and now its down to zero--- its all online now. We will go back to two meetings a year--- having someone explain a problem and its solution to you is much better than email. Note that for this a meeting is a time sink but not a money sink. A Memory--- my first year on the committee we met at the end for Pizza and Beer and they got me a non-alcoholic beer (since they knew I didn't drink). They were welcoming me into the club. By contrast I don't even know whose on the committee anymore---- just their email addresses.
- Program Committees- The money and time involved in getting everyone to the same place is rather a lot so I suspect these will be mostly online. I know there are some exceptions, and some meetings of subsets of the committee. At one time the COLT meeting was held AT the STOC conference where everyone would be there. Even so, it seems like the advantages of in-person are out weighted by the time and money.
- Conferences themselves. Could all be videotaped an available (some are) but somehow its hard for me to really GOTO an online talk.
- Faculty meetings. Sometimes when we try to resolve an issue online the emails just go on forever. Best to just meet and get it over with.
- Grad Admissions. Its now online. I miss the days when we would meet with paper folders in front of us and order a pizza.