I remember the first time I went to a Microsoft Professional Developer's Conference (PDC). After the conference it was like I was in a daze, and for a while all I could think about was how great Microsoft was, what smart people they had working there, and how they pretty much had everything figured out. I'm over that now of course; well, pretty much (though I might occasionally get a little dreamy-eyed reading about some cool new feature in C# 3.0 or Sql Server 2005).
You will be assimilated.
Somehow, other conferences never had quite that effect. Like the WWW conferences, or the Eclipse conferences. They were nice, but they didn't threaten to dominate your consciousness, if you know what I mean. I've been to E3, but it was more noise and pandemonium, a thousand people all yelling at you at once. No coherent message or unifying thought.
We will add your biological and technological
distinctiveness to our own.
The closest I've ever come to "conference nirvana" was the Game Developer's Conferences that I attended back when I was involved with making video games. Or perhaps the old SIGGraph conferences, before "CGI" was a household word. Afterwards I was walking on air, staring out into space and thinking Big Thoughts about What Is Possible. But these were my own thoughts, at least.
Resistance is futile.
Now I'm setting myself up for a new mind-bending experience: in 3 short days I'll arrive in San Francisco for JavaOne 2006. For weeks now the emails and phone calls have been pouring in from oh-so-excited vendors wanting to tell me about their own latest and greatest developments. So there are many voices in this collective. But the direction and over-arching message are firmly in the hands of Sun. After a grueling schedule of presentations and labs and BOFs and booths, what will I feel like when I get home? Will I be a different person, or has experience inoculated me against any effects? Time will tell.
Your life as it has been is over.