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Sun, May. 8th, 2005, 01:19 am
Things I Have Learned This Weekend

- It's a small world, and it's a lot smaller if you know people in the SCA.
- People who say that all stories are equally good really annoy me.
- Everyone sounds smarter when they're talking to an audience rather than reading the full text of their paper word for word.
- I need to watch Star Trek. (Notice how I buried this one in here? But much as I hate to say it, I think I do.)
- One can make an academic career out of saying very obvious things, so long as the subject is obscure enough. Oy.
- Finding an ally or two at a conference can turn it from socially nerve-wracking to fun.
- Spanikopita is delicious.

I have more academic thoughts - mostly on the topics of authorship, creativity and collaboration - which are all out of my head and in my notebook already, so I don't want to write about them again. Maybe I'll post some ongoing thoughts tomorrow on the train, trying to distill the stuff I've been thinking about into a few major themes. I also came up with a bunch of interesting study ideas so I should go through and note those.

The best professional thing I did so far this weekend, though, was making contact with David Herman. He studies cognition and narrative, and his methodology and writings have been a big inspiration for me. He gave me a reading list and pointed me to someone doing work on role-playing at NYU (!!!), in terms of looking at moment-to-moment cognitive construction of stories. Rock out!

Sun, May. 8th, 2005 05:58 am (UTC)

People moving to foreign lands often post on SCA boards to see if they already know someone there. It's a wide net of small (and well-educated!) social circles.

I'm very interested in authorship, creativity, and collaboration, fwiw. :)

My friends siderea and alexxkaye are at the conference this weekend. I know you've met Alexx, but if you haven't met Vanessa yet, keep an eye out. They're both very cool (and VERY different) people from my SCA circle of friends. :)

Hope to see you tomorrow morning/this morning!

Sun, May. 8th, 2005 12:55 pm (UTC)

minor tweak - that would be alexx_kay. it is quite likely that his wife kestrell was also there, as she likes stories and Henry Jenkins. they’re all excellent human beings.


Sun, May. 8th, 2005 07:18 am (UTC)

How much longer are you in town?

Be in touch, yo.

Tue, May. 10th, 2005 04:52 am (UTC)

Trek! haHA! Tried to sneak that past me, eh?

Tue, May. 10th, 2005 09:54 am (UTC)

Well, kind of. :)

So how do I get me some Trek action? Especially given my vaguely OCD need to watch things in order?

Tue, May. 10th, 2005 02:42 pm (UTC)

Well, that's kind of a funny question - I think you're OCD may be your downfall. So you've got 3 seasons of the Original Series with Kirk n' Pals, followed by six often-regrettable feature films. Then you have seven seasons of the Next Generation crew with Picard, followed by four of their films, at least one of which was pretty good. Then you've got seven seasons of Deep Space Nine (my personal favorite), then seven seasons of Voyager (wouldn't recommend it) and finally however many episodes they made of this abortive fetus they called "Enterprise." That's a lot of tv, by any standards, and that's not including the little-known Star Trek cartoon, or any of the comics, novels, or supplemental texts.

My personal recommendation is that you watch at least a few episodes of the original series - go online and pick a half-dozen at least that are the most eventful, important or well-written. There's a reason that they were so popular, if you can get past how cheesy they can appear, and it's sort of necessary to understand the OS before you can get where NG is coming from. I wouldn't feel obligated to see the films, although II is pretty good, and I remember enjoying VI when I saw it.

From there, I love all of NG, even the first season or two, when they were often directly copying and remaking episodes of the OS. I hate Doctor Pulaski, though. If you've got the stomach for it, you could certainly try to watch all seven years of it. Otherwise, pick at least a few episodes from each season, so you get a sense of the chronology. It's very episodic, so it's easy to jump in anywhere, but there's definitely the sense that the crew has grown and changed over the course of their adventures. Of their films, I think it's worth seeing "Generations" and "First Contact" but you're best off stopping there.

Finally, DS9. If I had the cash lying about, I'd already own all seven seasons of this. It's the most story-driven, and and dramatic series of all of them. It starts out pretty episodic, but over the course of the show, becomes more and more focused on the ongoing plotline of politics, intrigue and diplomacy. Similar in many ways to Bab5, naturally. I do have season 1 already, so I can help you out there.

I honestly wouldn't bother with thinking about Voyager. Not that it's all bad, but I just never found any of the characters worth watching for that long. So there are some moments I've liked, but no real episodes. A dumber series, on the whole.

Of course, I'm not sure to what degree you'll be able or willing to follow any of this, but I wouldn't be a true fan if I didn't gush a little at the request. If you need them, I have the Trek Chronology, the Enterprise Technical Manural and a course in basic Klingon standing by for reference. :)