I watched the first 20 minutes of the RMS lecture, the first time I have seen him speak. I was suprised that, considering he mainly does speaking these days, he is actually a poor speaker, quite nervy. He comes out with impassioned statements in a burst, but then pauses uncertainly, often with an awkward cough, as if unsure of the audience reaction. When he offers an example (eg of censorship) to support his case, he waits for a moment as if he is trying unsuccessfully to think of another, or as if he is waiting for the audience to offer a counter-example.
His rude interruption of the introduction was skilfully treated by his host as joke, but in fact it was deadly serious, and, though trivial in this case, revealed an inate unwillingness on his part to let others have their say - ironic that censorship was to be second on his list of "threats". The speech itself started badly with the Grace Hopper joke that fell completely flat - you could have heard a pin drop.
I had also assumed that the jokes about him finding things in his beard and feet were exagerations, but even in the part I watched he pauses several times to pull something out of his beard, looks at it, and in one case turns and deposits it on the rostrum.
Although I have views on the issues he raises, one way or the other, I was left stangely unmoved by anything he said (even allowing for the fact that we have heard it all before). I had expected Brimstone and Fire evangelism; instead I felt that I was watching a man nervously sharing his obsessions with some listeners.
Don't get me wrong. I agree with many things he says, and recognise that he has a brilliant mind; but consider him a flawed genius. Perhaps he should have kept the day job.
Unsolved mysteries of the Universe, No 13 :-
How many remakes of Anna Karenina does the World need?