By Thursday there is a zombie-like quality about some of the delegates at RSA 2009.
The conference is the biggest computer security show in the world and contains the best and the brightest in the industry. But you get the feeling that we've all had to absorb too much information in too short a time frame.
If there is a benefit to the economic downturn then it's that the liggers have gone from RSA. The people who are here have had to justify the expense and lost work time to their bosses. But I can't help feeling that in most cases they have got their money's worth.
The US airforce famously set up the Top Gun school, although Hollywood has rather misrepresented the place. I was lucky enough to interview a former head of the Top Gun school a few years ago (call sign 'Llama) and got the skinny on the real purpose of this place - and this has so much relevance to RSA.
The purpose of the United States Navy Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor (SFTI) program, nicknamed Top Gun, isn't so much to teach flying skills to pilots, although that's part of it. Instead the main purpose of the school is to train fighter pilots to go back to their bases and teach others of the tactics they have learned.
RSA is very much like this. Thousands of security professionals head into the Moscone Center each day and face a brutal schedule of brain dumps about the latest security methodology. Their job now is to go home, sleep for a few days to recuperate and then pass that knowledge on to as many people as possible.
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