DailyAfirmation (dailyafirmation) wrote,

Salon XXXI: Awesomeness, Memorable Smells, The Mortality of Colleagues, and more...

~Sunday~  Tonight was a special Salon night as Kim was in town, which means we didn't have to Skype her in from Utah and that we could meet at Salon Headquarters, also known as Mitch's Tavern.

Tonight's agenda follows with my responses, where applicable, embedded.

Salon XXXI Agenda
July 8, 2012
Salon Headquarters

  1. Name 3-5 awesome (i.e., perceptually vast in number, size, scope, complexity or social bearing, and requires revision of your mental structure, the way you think, or your understanding of the world in order to understand the perceptually vast thing/stimuli you've been exposed to) and explain their awesomeness. Inspired by Sarah's Gizmodo article. [Anna]

    • The notion that you could suffer more for a crime by not being imprisoned for it. (Vast in complexity and social bearing, and needed to update my understanding of the world to accommodate.)

    • The first time I flew in a plane, during which I was seated near one of the wings. (Vast in size and scope, and needed to update my mental structure to accommodate.)

    • Seeing clouds for the first time. (Vast in size and scope, and needed to update my mental structure to accommodate.)

    • Being out and the realization of how tragic it would have been had I lived my entire time here as something I wasn’t. (Vast in scope and social bearing, and needed to update my understanding of the world in general, and of people in particular, to accommodate.)

  2. "Digital vandalism" or "a lesson in the shifting nature of the truth on the Internet?" What's your take? How the Professor Who Fooled Wikipedia Got Caught by Reddit [John]

    • I’m so ambivalent about this! Something about the ends being justified by the means keeps haunting me.

    • “The students have written to the Museum of American history to inform them of their error about the name of the brewery in which Pickergill sewed the Star Spangled Banner Flag.”

    • “As with the previous incarnation of the course, the students all walked away from the course with a firm belief that research counts and that accepting whatever you find online at first glance is a bad policy. I was really pleased to see that they extended this lesson beyond the Internet to pretty much all historical sources. As one student said to me, from now on she was going to apply the “sniff test” to all her sources... if it smelled slightly fishy, she was going to have to seek corroboration. If all they got out of the class was this one lesson, then it was well worth teaching.”

    • “In addition to the lessons learned, I think it’s fair to say that once again, all the students had fun. It’s not often that history students laugh their way through an entire semester (even as they learned a lot).”

    • Critics decried the creation of a fake Wikipedia page as digital vandalism. "Things like that really, really, really annoy me," fumed founder Jimmy Wales, comparing it to dumping trash in the streets to test the willingness of a community to keep it clean.

    • Last January, as he prepared to offer the class again, Kelly put the Internet on notice. He posted his syllabus and announced that his new, larger class was likely to create two separate hoaxes. He told members of the public to "consider yourself warned--twice."

    • Kelly explains that he hopes to mold his students into "much better consumers of historical information," and at the same time, "to lighten up a little" in contrast to "overly stuffy" approaches to the subject.

  3. Are there any smells that remind you of a place or a time, or that just smell good to you for no reason in particular? [John]

    • The smell of mothballs always reminds me of my maternal grandmother.

  4. Have you ever participated in a protest (peaceful or otherwise)? If so, what year, what cause, and how did you protest? [John]

    • Yes, the Millennium March on Washington to raise awareness and visibility of LGBT people and issues of LGBT rights in the US. It was held April 28-30, 2000 in Washington, DC.

  5. College in 18 Years Do you think this is reasonably possible or a "The sky is falling!" cry? [John]

    • My take is that his predictions seem plausible. Number 3 resonates the most with me. What I want to know the most is what will be the “tipping point” to set that “second wave of collapse” into motion.

  6. During your professional career, how many colleagues of yours have died while still working with you? (How old-ish? Professional relationship to you? From what?) [John]

    • Kurt Heins, July 2005, technical writer in my department at IBM, and one of the two people from whom I learned about the MS in Tech Comm program at NC State. Brain tumor, died in about 6 months.

    • Russ Ingram, June 2012, computer operator one floor up from me, not in my department, but in our IT organization. Presumed heart attack.

    • Alan, who coached our IBM intramural co-ed soccer team, committed suicide.

  7. What color would most of your "stuff" be? Inspired by this photographer and her Pink/Blue pictures: http://www.jeongmeeyoon.com/aw_pinkblue.htm [Sarah]

    • The probability is palpable that it would possibly be purple.

  8. Update on Sarah's speaking engagement at PechaKucha in June (http://pknraleigh.com/). [Brad]

    • I was there. Sarah far exceeded the rest. We were both (actually all three of us, including Andrew) glad we went, but agreed we’d probably never go back.

      Two editorial comments: They spelled "pointe" wrong in Sarah's title, and in her own words, "I would never put an exclamation point at the end of my title!"


  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.