Behavior in Society

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Where's the Love for LiveJournal?

Danah Boyd just posted a draft of her online anthropology research : Viewing American class divisions through Facebook and MySpace.

The goodie two shoes, jocks, athletes, or other "good" kids are now going to Facebook. These kids tend to come from families who emphasize education and going to college. They are part of what we'd call hegemonic society. They are primarily white, but not exclusively. They are in honors classes, looking forward to the prom, and live in a world dictated by after school activities.

MySpace is still home for Latino/Hispanic teens, immigrant teens, "burnouts," "alternative kids," "art fags," punks, emos, goths, gangstas, queer kids, and other kids who didn't play into the dominant high school popularity paradigm. These are kids whose parents didn't go to college, who are expected to get a job when they finish high school. Teens who are really into music or in a band are on MySpace. MySpace has most of the kids who are socially ostracized at school because they are geeks, freaks, or queers.

But what about LJ, Danah?

From Boing Boing, the best web site in the world.

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corby's picture

Need a Ride FROM University

Due to a ride falling through, I'm looking for a ride from the Silver Spring area on Sunday back to Charlottesville for two people.

Thjora heads up Friday, but doesn't return until middle of the next week because she's staying up there to paint Vlad's place.

And Brynolf also needs a ride, which otherwise I'm giving him.  Crash space in Silver Spring may be available for a driver.

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Fleabitten and Bruised

Sapphire was lovely, but a little odd. Being there without Thjora was strange and the physical layout of the event meant that I didn't hang out with the regular crew. Which was nice, in a way, as I often miss time spent with the Smiths and the Ruttles.

Did anyone else come home with flea bites? Maybe it was just me, over in my corner of the field, or from wading through the tall grass to get to an electrical outlet for my aerobed.  Or maybe fleas are attracted to pale white Irish legs in shorts.

Thanks to Bob and Bonnie and HRM Valharic, I got a nice place to camp in Royal and even got in on the royal meal plan.

I'm very curious how hot it got on Saturday, because it didn't feel all that hot, but it sure tired lots of people out.  In the first pool of the tourney I went undefeated, even nearly single-shotting Sir Brian who is usually a tough fight for me. While I only threw two blows, I think I took about 30 tiny steps, a fact I must remember for future fights.

Second pool didn't go as well, with me going 4-3, losing to Felix, Rousel and Kael. Glad I'm starting to work out! Gotta keep those young whippersnappers off my lawn down!

The round-robin style fighting gave me enough time in armor to show that I need to adjust the cuff on my new vambrace, because it chafes my wrist raw in one spot.  Sunday was cooler and I felt fine, but after an aggressive start against Kael in my first fight I lost some steam. I ended up losing to him and then lost my arm to Philip in the second round. While going out in two would usually upset me, I found myself strangely ambivalent about it, and I don't think it was just because my real record for the weekend was 12-5.

I headed out well before all the fun was over on Sunday, getting home around 4:30. That was probably good because I think if I had waited much longer, I would have ended up falling asleep while driving.  Now Thjora's back (yay!) and prep for University begins in earnest. My class is more or less full, and Richard and I are discussing how to present it. The limit of 10 is for armored combatants--if others want to watch, they're welcome.

corby's picture

Sapphire Plans and other Wine-infused Thursday Evening Thoughts

So, I'll head out to Sapphire tomorrow night after finishing packing. Gotfried and Mark are going to stay over and house/dog sit, so I can stay on site. Hooray!

It'll be interesting to see if my back is better after sleeping on the Aero bed Friday night. Perhaps the short commute will make up for my generally unrecovered-from-illness feeling I have. My joints and such feel cranky. Perhaps I can convert that to mean and sneaky.

Sleeping on site Friday and Saturday night allows for lots of extra socializing, reducing my carbon footprint, and allows for some catching up with people whom I might otherwise not have a chance to talk to until War. For some reason I am reminded of the Pennsic evening I hung out at Marinus camp to discuss household with Evja, several years ago. I'm sad she won't be at the event and hope her job situation improves soon.

Thjora is off in Seattle for 4 days, so I'll be bachelor'ing it this weekend. Watch out Svetlana! I might say embarrassing things!

On other topics, my writing style changes pretty markedly after 2-3 glasses of wine (duh) and it is a grievous shame that Carnivale was cancelled after just a couple of seasons. And what's with the people who whined that "it was hard to follow"? I expected something like Twin Peaks or Eraserhead. Carnivale is down right linear compared to those.

Ok, that's enough stream of consciousness for tonight.

corby's picture

Simple Joys

Here's a simple pleasure I'm enjoying quite a bit: When the Marshal's Digest comes in, if there's nothing on the subject lines except combat archery stuff, I'm deleting the whole thing unread.

It makes me feel so free!

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No One to Blame but Myself

Thanks to everyone for all the well wishes. It was very heartening. I hope no one thought I was rude when my response to "You fought well" was "Ah, thanks, I wish that was true."

Alas, I was far from putting it all together yesterday. 2-2 was pretty pitiful.

I hadn't mentioned it because I didn't want to give anything away, but I've been nursing my elbow since before Coronation and that meant laying off of practice much more than I should have prior to a big crown.

But really, I didn't get my mental game right. Especially in my second fight with Afshin, after several passes of trying to stay outside and win the fight the easy way, my failure to recognize that this wasn't going to work probably cost me the fight.

Looking at the rest of the rounds, I can say there was really no way I was going to win that tournament, regardless of my mental game.

I don't want to be able to say that in the Fall. So here's my plan:

  • I'm taking off from sword and shield between now and Sapphire to let my elbow heal. Polearm only and going easy on that..
  • I'm starting significant aerobic and weight training within a week, as I figure out the right program.
  • I'm setting an aggressive goal for the time I'm giving myself--I've spent years aiming at getting to 210 lbs with a 34" waist. I'm not going to worry about the 34" part as much as getting to 210 without increasing the size of my waist. So maybe not "cut" but with a few more pounds on my legs and the rest in my upper body. By Pennsic.

Unreealistic? Probably. So is trying to be competitive at 47 years old.

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Travel and Lodging for Tournament of Chivalry?

Philip and I are (finally) contemplating how we plan to get to and from Tournament of Chivalry next weekend, and where we are going to stay. We're definitely going, but don't know any of our details yet.

I can conceivably take some time off on Friday to leave early, and Philip's schedule is his own.

Anyone have room? We're also still deciding between camping, hotel and crash space. When the event is in South Carolina, I only know one set of people to call for crash space.

Crashing somewhere north of the site is perfectly OK too.

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How to Distribute the Quest for Venus?

I find myself puzzled about how to open up the text of the Quest for Venus (so named by Minerva/Roisin, the quest formerly known as Coronation Quest) so those who might want to run it can see how we did it.

On the one hand, I am a big Creative Commons, Share-Alike kinda guy. Note that everything on this site of mine is CC licensed. Sharing the quest with everyone is my ultimate goal. It was one of the points in moving it off of the technically inferior, locked up yahoo group where the planning started.

On the other hand, I don't want to make it impossible for some crazy masochist in another kingdom to take this work and use it to actually run the quest for his kingdom. If it is wide-open available on the web, then there's no way to make sure the potential questers aren't already familiar with what is required for the quest.

Of course, no re-running of the Quest for Venus will be the same, if only because no other site will have all the same amenities and layout. Nor would the personalities involved as staff be the same. But it is hard for me to imagine any quest team reading the 50 pages we have here and still being able to compete fairly in another running of the Quest for Venus. It is a mystery, after all.

So how should I put it out? Merely as an example, rather than as source material, or held more closely so only potential organizers can access it?

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Coronation Quest and Other Email Notifications

Because of the urgency of the timeline for the coronation quest, I set many of the staff up with email notifications about postings on this site. Because I inflicted this on those of you involved in the quest, I'm willing to go through and remove this feature for you individually. People like Mistress Jessamyn probably don't want daily updates of this site delivered to their email.

I've also changed the notification timing from four times a day to once a day.

Each of you with a login on this site have the ability to turn email notification on or off. When logged in, click on "My Account" and "My notification settings" to change things how you like.

I'll start changing things over the weekend for those I suspect are tired of having this stuff in their inbox.

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Where are the Future Squires?

I've heard through the grapevine now and then that, apparently, I'm scary.

I've learned to remember this on an intellectual level, but my emotional self still doesn't take this into account. That is, I have to think about that fact in my interactions with people–my emotional self doesn't deal with interpreting my relationships with strangers anywhere along the lines of "that person may be acting that way toward me because they're scared of me."

In part, I suppose it is because I don't ever ever recall, twenty years ago, being scared of any of the knights. I respected them, yes, but I still recall Baroness Caitilin advising me "I wouldn't call him 'Diccon'." when I asked her for advice on how to approach Duke Richard for instruction. 'Cause I was already going to call him by that familiar name–everyone else was!

Five people have approached me to be squires over the years. Only Colin and I actually came to agreement. Yes, there are people I"ve asked who didn't work out too. About the same numbers, actually. Perhaps tellingly, those who asked me mostly did it in the first few years of my knighthood. In the last 7 years, only one guy. Who promptly was swallowed back into his regular life.

Everyone I've taken besides Colin has been asked by me: Susannah, Edwin, Evja, Philip. When I asked him, Philip's second or third reaction was "Gee, I didn't think you liked me very much."

So there's some sort of PR problem out there, which I'm in part trying to deal with here.

I think the folks I regularly practice with know I'm not scary, but by and large those guys are all younger than I would consider taking as a squire. Like Anton, I want people who are grown ups, who know what they want in the SCA, whose lives won't be turned inside-out the week after they graduate. As highly as I regard the great bunch of 18-20 year olds at Thursday practice, I've seen twenty-five 18-20 year olds jump enthusiastically into the SCA, build armor, fight for a while...and disappear.

So while I could probably have 4 new squires out of the UVa practice, that's not right for me. I'll talk about that with them after graduation.

Over the 12+ years I've been a knight, I've seen many people I thought were a good match for our household go to other knights. By and large, that's fine. A few have become less than they could have been, but that doesn't necessarily reflect on their choice of households. Other things besides who's training you affect your SCA career.

Sometimes a fighter has gotten messed up in fealty problems. These guys are bound to be sensitive. They may have had a messy end to their fealty and be belt shy. Well, all I can say there is that no one I've ever taken in to the house has had that sort of problem with me. To these guys, all I can do is say "Sorry things are as they are. Let me know if I can help in any way."

These days when I look around at practices and events, I don't see a bunch of people obviously ready to enter a formal fealty relationship in order to progress in their fighting. In fact, scouring my mind and actually doing research, I've only thought of two, maybe three, all a long way into North Carolina, one of them a woman. And she's probably not squired yet only because I think I take women's potential more seriously than most of my brothers do.

All of this is, I suppose, a very long way of paraphrasing the masonic bumper sticker "2B1 ask 1". If you think you're a good match for my style of managing a house, a practice, a training path, then talk to me. 2b1 ask >|<. I don't bite. I'm not scary.

Update: an old article of mine on squiring at this link.

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