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January 09, 2009


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It's kind of nice to have a name badge with your name on it, in part because it helps people remember you later, I think.

What could be done to make things easier and have this still work would be to have real on-line registration. Have people register on-line before the conference. Students who are members could then register w/o paying if their dues were paid up. At the conference, rather than the terrible lines they have now, have lines split by last names. When you get to the front you just say your name and your stuff has already been printed up. Every non-philosophy conference I've been to lately (law and political science) was done like that. It was much easier and faster and I can't see that it would be more expensive, maybe even cheaper.

True, Matt, there's the steenkin' badges.
Wait, here's an idea. What if when you registered online, the web page made a pdf of a badge for you? You click over, print it out, cut it out. Then at the conference, there could just be a box with those plastic cases and you could grab one and stick your printed paper badge into it. No lines...

That would be even better! (maybe on the back it could say "I went to the Eastern APA and all I got was this stupid badge", just for fun.)

What critical function does registration play anyway? Couldn't the APA just get rid of that altogether?

Is there any real constituency for the mailing of paper JFPs and Proceedings and Addresses? I'd be happy to get all that information from the internet. The money saved there could be used to reduce membership fees, or improve the quality of the beer.

People in unnecessary lines have a common gripe which gives them a fun topic of conversation and a common viewpoint. Additionally this line causes them to meet people they would not otherwise meet. Admittedly this function could also be served by forcing students into a small room for an hour and then letting them leave.

God, what genius! Could we all go volunteer at the APA office? REAL on-line registration [including last minute for impoverished job-seekers]; print out badges [get one of the magnetic ones and keep it forever]; no extra fees for students; online JfPs? Mike Kelly must be wondering where we all were a few years back.
Seriously: I think all this is great - no irony intended. I wish I knew how to make it all happen.
P.S. The registration lines used to be divided alphabetically. When did that change?

Given that:

    (*) Everyone who attends the convention is someone's student,

here's one surprising consequence of Jamie's proposal:

    (!) No one who attends the convention would pay the fee.


On another note, I like Neil's idea about canceling the paper JFP. Maybe we could use some of the savings to sponsor a session on how to avoid equivocation?

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