The uncanny valley of my interest in a talk

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Today I have realized that my interest in talks has a local minimum at a certain relatively close distance to my own work, as shown above. These talks are still part of my field, so I need to go to them and pay attention, but I usually am bored out of my mind.

This must be an effect akin to the ‘uncanny valley‘ known from robotics. If something is too similar to a human being, but not similar enough, it is frightening. If something is too similar to my field, but not similar enough, it is frighteningly boring.

These talks sound like they could almost be relevant for me, but they are not. When sitting in such a talk I get so impatient that I could crawl up all the walls and bite the cable off the projector.

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