Call for papers:

The 1994 Ian Jacobs Conference on Computing Sciences

This winter, I had some major home improvements done, and believe me, it was time. Insulation really does make a difference. And now that the work is out of the way, I have some extra time so I thought I would organize an international conference. You see, I work in a computer science research institute, and I see this type of call for papers all the time. Some of the conferences look so impressive. And not just the rich sounding titles, which tend to make me feel scientifically impotent. The good conferences always have flashy posters with color, lots of mathematical symbols, virtual reality graphics, and so on. And for some reason, conferences in England always look important, even if their posters are usually mediocre. But most conferences look pretty much like a waste of time. I'm in no position to judge, though. I've never been invited to a conference. Actually, I was the keynote speaker at the Franco-Portugese conference on logic programming two years ago, but under special circumstances. My friend organized the conference. To be honest, it was more of a meeting than a conference. There I go again, stretching the truth out of a pathetic need for approval. Anyway, since I have no technical competence, but I do like to drink and tell jokes, this friend invited me to present a comedy sketch at the meeting. That last half hour really had to be filled, I guess. By the way, the drinking comment was only a joke. I do drink from time to time, but only alone. Anyway, I wrote a sketch that I read before these French and Portugese logic programming people, and they were all very polite about it. I like to think I contribute to computer science by making people laugh at what they do. They already laugh at what I do.

It doesn't take much (many?) brains to figure out that I will continue to be snubbed by conference organizers unless I consent to send a paper to one of the bad ones (or the conference is on insulation!). Rather than wait to be snubbed by a bad conference, I have decided to strike back by organizing my own international conference, to which, by the way and with much sincerity, you are invited to send papers. And don't let my awkward sentence construction fool you. I'm very serious about my conference. I even already have money for it to pay for participants' travel expenses. I'll bet a lot of eyes lit up there. The conference is sponsored by the US government. You would be surprised at how quickly the National Science Foundation approves to requests for funding when you tell them the conference is to promote the Clipper Chip. That's kind of an inside joke which I would like to explain to my friends outside of research who might be reading this call for papers. You see, the US government is trying to police all encrypted electronic communication by forcing people to use an encryption algorithm to which only the government will have the universal key. Mr. Locksmith goes to Washington, if you will. I just told them that lots of important people and institutions wanted to organize a conference in support of this policy. They were really happy to hear that. And then they asked which people. I said Gödel, Escher, Bach, you know, the biggies, and that's all it took. But even if the conference has nothing to do with computer policy, I'm really going to have to invite some important folks to give it clout. I have already invited Turing and next on my list is Russel. If you know any important people (or are yourself important), please don't hesitate to ask them to send me a paper. And if you run into Steve Turing, please remind him.

Now a few pratical details. The conference will be held in September, since that's good for me. It will take place in Paris, although I'm not sure exactly where. France, I think.

The conference will not be on insulation as many of you might have predicted, but on Russian Literary Criticism. Expressed mathematically, so that we can put math symbols on the conference poster. I know of no research in this area.

Papers should be no longer than 15 pages. But if they are, I won't make a production number of it. The official conference language will be English. Papers may be submitted in any language, but you shouldn't expect me to read them.

Deadline: April 1, 1995.

Ian Jacobs