Professor Castells is a popular chap. His address at the LSE earned him spontaneous applause from the packed house of mainly LSE freshers. And why not? Is this not the guru of the phenomenon that has shaped their young lives? Had he not just published the seminal work (until the next one) on the web, The Internet Galaxy? This was the book's official launch and the LSE had hit on the promising formula of inviting other academics and internet experts to discuss it.
We listened hard to some of the key phrases lifted from his book, but not because of his strong Spanish accent. Sentences like 'The internet is multi-modal, linking, although not necessarily linking, in an electronic hypertext' do not travel well to the spoken arena. In fact, they sound plain ridiculous, even if you have half an idea what they really mean.
Still, I saw this gem being earnestly scribbled down by several in the audience and it will no doubt be rehashed in many a future thesis.