Closing Ceremonies

Closing Ceremonies Comments by Marian Turner from Kids Programming

I want to thank my mother.

And all mothers. But I’ll get back to that in a minute.

Some of you have seen this “Daily Howler” with predictions for the future. I received 17 predictions, which is exactly the right number to fill the page. They run the gamut, from personal to political to playful. The age groups, youthful and mature, were equally cynical, optimistic, and irreverent, so I didn’t see any big differences.

Every thing I know about science I learned at my mother’s knee. I learned cause and effect. I learned if/then statements. I learned the meaning of the word “theory”, and why it doesn’t make sense to say that evolution is “only” a theory. Thanks, mom.

This led me to think about why superstition is so hard to address, because every single one of us is born believing in magic. Every human infant believes in telepathy, because whenever the infant needs something… we just know. And every 1-year-old independently invents the rules of
superstition. It’s like flipping a coin and getting tails 7 times in a row. In our THINKING, we know that the next flip will have a 50/50 chance of being heads, but we FEEL that the next one must be heads.

I want to thank my father. And all fathers. Minicon men are very nurturing, making this a very family friendly con. Nurturing men will share their science, their engineering, their art, their mechanics, their music, their knowledge and experience. And their tools.

Thank you to Richard, Paul, Michael, Dan, Tycho, and Marty.

Everything I know about work I learned by working. If 2 of us divide the work fairly, and each do 50% of the work, the amount of work that gets done is 98%. To do all the work we have to each do 51%. That last 1% never gets subdivided, and it applies separately to every person involved. So, if a hundred people are dividing the work, we must each do 2%, and if I am doing it all by myself, I must do 101%.

Don’t worry about the arithmetic. It’s like the riddle of walking toward a wall, with each step covering half the distance, and you never, ever reach the wall, no matter how many steps you take.

I have one more comment on the predictions of the future. Only one person used a semi-colon. This makes writing teachers weep. Come on, peeps, we can do better. This is, after all, about the future.