Friday, January 14, 2005

Meeting Dr. Dawkins

At the James Randi Educational Foundation's "The Amazing Meeting 3," Richard Dawkins--one of the most inspirational thinkers I know--is a headline speaker.

As it happens, I went out of the convention hall to take a call during a presentation. After the call, I noticed that Richard Dawkins was looking over an exhibit of optical illusary sculptures.

So, I sidled in when he was alone and looked possibly receptive to conversation, and with considerable trepidation I asked something like, "Would you be okay with one of your fans coming up and mobbing you?"

Dawkins replied to me something to the affect of: I'm not really sure if I have the right angle. Referring to how he was looking at one of the illusions. It was an awkward reply. Apparently, he had not understood what I had said to him at all.

So there I was, having had a complete collapse in the arc of communication with the man with whom I have most wanted to have a conversation for quite some time. It reminded me most of how it felt, in adolesence, to ask a girl to dance.


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