Both Skyman and I recently attended the 19th Annual International Conference on Space Age Para-Aethetics and Intra-Sol Cultural Relationships (ICSPICR19) and the Third International Congress of the Jehan P. Massland Society of Pluralistic Astro-Etiologists (MassCon3) at the University of Palpamara, Jejune, Mars. We have here collected some stray comments on this conference published in several local papers:
Dr. Andy O’Skye: When first I met Madilyn? Yes, I remember it clear as day! It was in connexion with the 19th International Conference on Space Age Para-Aesthetics and Intra-Solar Cultural Relationships, held in Jejune, New Wessex (Mars). Madilyn was presiding the ceremonial brunch in honour of the invited speaker Sir Baffin, 4th Duke of Meng — an occasion that turned tumultuous, too say the least, when Sir Baffin took offence at Dr Grijndvar comparing Madam Malagate’s complexion to that of a tree weasel. In the ensuing scrimmage, Madilyn profoundly impressed me, not only with her calm and resolve, but also with her astonishing and innovative skill at fencing with cutlery. At the after-tussle cocktail party, I professed that were I ever to fight a duel — Great Old Ones forbid! — I should like to have her as my second. It was the start of a beautiful friendship.
Prof. Supr. Grijndvar: If I stand by my actions? Yes, vehemently so. The mountebank calling himself Professor Galago claimed no less than three times in his speech that Volgot’s Reverse Theorem of Vacillating Provaxations were falsified by Inham Brehegut in his “The Vicariance of Context: Post-Meinhardt Approaches to Provaxation do not Support a Reverse Model” and by Galvan Sonker in her “The Modalities of Modern Insights”. However, neither book take into consideration the vast amount of evidence for a reverse model presented by myself and my colleagues, the honourable Professor Glax of the University of Galway Market [on Virgo IVb “History Vanquished” – Trans. Comm.] and Dr. Ibrahim [of the Inverted University of Idah’s Dimension, Nodus 144-gamma – Trans. Comm.]. It is not acceptable for Professor Galago to just hand-wave this evidence away in such a chevalier manner, so yes, I do not regret breaking that vase over his head.
Cmd. Xerxes: The post-van Burenist camp had so deeply ensconced themselves in the trenches of their twisted theory, that even the heaviest barrage of eloquent and logical arguments scarcely made them flinch. The good Duke and I were of the mind, that this necessitated we move beyond metaphor to a more direct approach — after all, conferences are supposed to be the battle fields of great minds, are they not?
Dr. Taswen Hapfwing: We must, at all times, be conscious of the epistemology of the subject at hand. By what mental processes can you — or, indeed, anyone — arrive at a given conclusion based on a set of perceived facts? More importantly: to what extent are these processes subject to bias? Mere video recordings do not prove anything. Apart from the more obvious fact that they may be faked, it is a truism of motion videography that they will capture only the physical reality of an event, not its more ephemeral metaphysical connotations. You may even say that a camera catches only *one* reality, albeit arguably a plausible one, and stay mute on all other realities, some of which may prove to be as plausible as the one caught on camera. How can we know that the recorded reality was not chosen randomly from a number of realities? If it is, that would skew the evidence in favour of one reality, regardless of if that is the most plausible one or not. I bet you have never considered that possibility, have you? Besides, a man has needs, and when his means are sufficient to transform these needs into reality, one might argue that it is our duty, as subjects of Divine Enthropy, to transform one into another. If you interview these young girls again, bearing all this in mind, I am sure you will reach a quite different conclusion.
Proph. em. Iain ‘t Laangstaand: My most vivid memories of the conference are all from the welcoming brunch. In fact, all of my retaining memories are from the brunch; perhaps I took the esteemed Professor Drake’s advice that para-aesthetics is a subject best appreciated under influence of psycho-harmonic pheromones a bit too literally. But the colours, man! The colours! [Subject interviewed via ansible from the re-habituation satellite Lafayette.]
Hillanga berBateng, Provost of Kaal (Habermacher’s Retreat, IIb-2 Taurus “Twoscissorland”): A dolphin? On Mars? I do believe you must be mistaken. The philosophical basis of this mistake is surely that you chose to be a journalist instead of getting a proper education. What I think it is? Well, possibly a large fish.
M.Sc in Lib. Fut. Arts. D. Farmagant: First of all, I am a not a believer of violence. I hold this principle above all others on a pure scientific basis. Where is the evidence for violence as a phenomenon, I ask of you? Therefore, I insist that, even though I may have taken some small part in the assault by the Secessionist Interlingual Brigades on the lecture house complex of the Non-essentialist Manifoldian Society, this was neither an act of aggression nor of violence, but an impromptu art performance. I realise that for someone with a brutish education in law enforcement, violence may seem to be at the core of every pan-human endeavour, but I may console you, that on this instance at least your ignorance can be easily remedied, as you can educate yourself by reading my account, analysis, critique and response to critics of the installation in the forthcoming special conference issue of New Journal on Aesthetic Transgressive Boundaries Bi-Monthly.
Lindsay Vageling, Priestess of the Great Space Ghoul: [Incomprehensible gibberish, possibly of a religious nature].
Dr. F. Blamarck: My dear Lad! You haven’t been long in academic circles, I take it! “Truth” has long since been proven a much too immaterial concept for measuring the true value of REAL science. Citations! that’s what counts, and what you call intellectual dishonesty bordering on slander of my intellectual inferiors, I call iron-casting scientific impact — the numbers speak this plainly! [Footnote: Dr Blamarck’s account — and meticulous refutations of every single one of the submitted conference papers — was recently published in the wedding issue of the celebrity periodical Who!When!What!Whom??]
Wolfgang Blödermeyer, Galen’s University of Verse: I don’t expect you to understand, officer, I expect you to accept! There is a world of difference between the two; in fact, they can be approached as complementary sets. When the fundamental capacity for one situation is lacking, an individual is forced to adopt the other. That is a foundational precept of the universe, which you will also have to either accept or understand, a concept known as “Gausix’ Recursive Paradox”. You appear to be at least shallowly sapient, so I will explain it to you. In short, Gausix’ “Cosmological Dialectic” predicts that—
[Two hours later]
—Logic exhorts us to recognise that this brings us back to Farmagant’s 14th definition of “All”, on which I would like to expound briefly. In short: Farmagant is a charlatan whose reputation is built on sleeping with the chairman of the Clax Foundation, from which he derives all his funding. This is extrinsic to the fact that of his 14 definitions of “All”, only four are actually eligible under Gausix’ “Parallelism Criterion”, and the others — including the 14th, on which your whole reasoning crucially depends — must be discarded as mentally and philosophically unsound. Let me explain in some detail—
Master B. Zee, apprentice scholar at Uni. W. Canberra: A most memorable first conference experience! All I’d hoped for and more! I most especially appreciated the panel talks presided over by Messrs O’Skye and Grijndvar. Quite remarkable, to say the least, seeing trained professionals utterly defeat their intellectual opponents under such harsh time-restrictions, not once stumbling as they engage in vivid arguments on the muddiest foundations of philosophy. Grand Master Marque-du-Barre defended his title bravely and with considerable skill, but to think that he would falter on repetition of the word “philo-intagibles”, and then defaulting his lead by leaving the room! And that I would be there to see it happen! Señora val Huesca is undoubtedly a worthy new Champion, more than deserving the Venusian Prize Ham. Pity Dr Grijndvar had thoroughly licked the semi-honey glazing off of it though.
The Entity Jux of the Cosmic Coral: There are many matters that remain unresolved, despite them having been discussed at every conferences so far by the greatest minds in several known universes. What, if anything, are “provaxations”? Is Jerg’s “raven paradox” truly a paradox in all possible contexts? Is Gausix’ “paradox of the two cats”? Who *was* actually Jehan Massland? The main reasons for the lack of consensus on some of these matters seem to be their innate vastness, the variability of reality across sufficiently large areas — such as several cosmi — and personal bias, not to say pig-headedness. I much doubt that they would be resolved in a thousand conferences, unless Dr. Grijndvar makes true of his threat to simply bring a very large axe.