Life Sentences: Ontology Recapitulates Philology

A few years ago, at a meeting at Dana Point in Southern California, I mistook the number of the room in which our breakfast was to be served and found myself in a room full of strangers. 

Sydney Brenner
Mar 17, 2002

A few years ago, at a meeting at Dana Point in Southern California, I mistook the number of the room in which our breakfast was to be served and found myself in a room full of strangers. I can't remember whether they were the Veterinarians or the Veterans of Southern California (VSOC), but all were very large men wearing very large placards on their chests suspended around their necks with imitation gold chains and bearing the message "HI! I'M CHUCK" or BILL or HANK. With my failing eyesight, I appreciated the 2-inch-high lettering because I did not have to go close up to read the names with a monocle. Unfortunately, our own meeting supplied us with more modest tags, carrying our name and affiliation in small print, and I felt most embarrassed among the VSOC men not to have a sign around my neck acknowledging "HI! I'M SYD."

This way...