Monday, August 15, 2011

Glasgow, Scotland ...

We had a great trip to Glasgow, Scotland for the 38th symposium of the International Committee for the History of Technology, for which James is currently serving as president. While Edinburgh, not Glasgow, is usually the first destination for visitors to Scotland, we loved Glasgow.  The people were uniformly friendly, the restaurants were all superb and the weather cool and comfortable despite some rain ... a far cry from sultry hot central Florida.  We especially enjoyed walking along the Kelvin River that runs through Kelvingrove Park adjacent to the University of Glasgow, and we thought the Kelvingrove Art Museum was one of the most interesting we've ever visited ... very eclectic, drawing very well on the local environs and filled with clever ways to engross the viewer.

The symposium itself was fun.  Lots of good papers on a myriad of topics from technology in military history to environment and technology issues to technology and music and technology and play.  James's paper was on in the latter session on play, and looked at sailing through the role of consumers in affecting technological change and how the sailing has become a "hedonized" technology, a technology of pleasure and play. 

Of course a great deal of the symposium was taken up in meeting with old friends, making new ones and sipping a wee dram or two.  Friday night of the symposium was the group's jazz night, an affair that has gone on at each symposium since the 1990s and which is the occasion for the Email Special to reunite and play jazz standards while others find their way to the dance floor. 



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