Conferences: Topics

Friends and Colleagues:
I would like to pose something for your consideration and discussion. At our conferences we have topics that are tangential to handwriting analysis and others that are not related at all or are not tied in if they can be related. It was fun for many to color a mandela at this year's conference. However, if I were interested in mandelas, I would go to a mandela conference. I go to a handwriting conference because I am interested in handwriting.
The potential topics in our field are virtually unlimited. Anything related to writing and its invention, development and spread, anything related to its analysis from the viewpoint of several sciences and arts, are all enriching of our interest in character handwriting analysis. With such a wealth of potential topics, why bring in unrelated topics or topics that are tangential at best?
Even analytical methods that are supposedly related to handwriting analysis but can as well be completely independent hold no interest for me. I talked to several others at the conference who felt the same way. I suspect many do not come because they see topics that will not further their knowledge and skill in handwriting analysis. I have skipped most AAHA/AHAF conferences because the schedule of topics left me uninspired. Why spend more or less $1,000 and about a week out of my life for so much off topic material? The money will buy me ten to 30 books that are enriching of my library and knowledge about handwriting.
I attended the event in Tucson because it was fairly close but most of all because I had not seen most of you good people the past several years. Some topics held little interest for me and some held no interest.
Since we are a democratic organization, I submit that we should courteously and candidly discuss our various views on this issue so that we can formulate a policy as to how directly every presentation at our conferences should relate to handwriting, particularly character handwriting analysis.
Respectfully submitted for your consideration,
Marcel B. Matley