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Those Who Cannot Do, Teach

2004-02-20 20:59:35.144088+00 by petronius 2 comments

Oxford University engineering student Matthew Richardson was apparently mistaken for a distinguised NYU economics professor of the same name when he was invited to address a seminar on international business in Beijing. So he went anyway. The Telegraph of London relates his adventures as he tried to "blag his way through it". It makes me wonder about the speakers at some seminars I've attended.

[ related topics: Education Economics ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2004-02-21 15:07:47.665855+00 by: meuon

Being he was an 'engineering' kind of person, it might of made a lot of sense compared to most economic/international business stuff I have seen.

Which leads to a story.. Met a friend of Clem's is a UN international trade expert, and teaches it at a college in California. He claims it was the only job he was qualified for that gave him an excuse to travel and explore as much as he wanted to. He's a heck of a mountaineer, climber and caver.. and spending some time with him, extremely intelligent and personable. His sub-specialty seems to be arranging 'payola'.. which makes the whole world go 'round.

#Comment Re: made: 2004-02-21 15:26:52.97365+00 by: petronius

I used to work with medical societies in planning and recording their meetings. I discovered two major sub-cultures in that field. One is the professional experts, or "pros from Dover", who have some moderate professional accomplishments but give talks at many, many seminars, to some degree living off the honoraria and stipends. After a while you realize that the same 5 guys show up at every damn meeting in the specialty, showing the same damn slides.

The other sub-culture is the tropic meeting. These are for-profit medical seminars held in desirable locals, like Jamaica during January. Lectures are given first thing in the morning, so nobody is late for tee-off at the nearby golf course. Thus the MD gets to deduct the expense of this important medical conferance, and gets a tan at the same time. The lectures are usually delivered by the 5 guys mentioned in the first paragraph.

I even once discovered a company that would charter you a cruise, and then arrange to have a VCR and monitor placed in your stateroom so you could watch some legitimate educational tape and get the same deduction without actually having to interact with your peers or the famous 5 guys. I gave the brocure to Mrs. Petronius, the IRS agent, to pass on to her superiors. They were already on to the scam, and it eventually dropped from sight.