Let's have a salon

Wednesday, April 12th, 2017 08:00 am
jenett: Big and Little Dipper constellations on a blue watercolor background (Default)
[personal profile] jenett
Several years ago, I ran a series of weekly salon posts, where I'd post a topic to get us started, people would show up in the comments, and conversation would ensue. Now seems a good time to try them again!

(You should not feel restrained to keep on this topic! Start other topics! Encourage topic drift! That's part of the point. Feel free to ask random questions, there's a chance someone might know about the thing.)

This week's question

What are you learning right now that you're really interested by? (That might be a project for work, for personal stuff, a gaming geekery thing, a book you're reading, a podcast you're listening to, the fact you're learning a lot about Dreamwidth and how it works this week, or anything else.)

What do you like about it? What are you finding more challenging?

Things currently contemplating

I'm currently reading Dreamland: The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic by Sam Quinones, which is well-researched and has a really interesting structure where he's looking at different pieces of it through small slices (individual people, towns, situations) and tracing back to the origins as much as possible. I really like books where the information part is well done, but the structure creates connections between pieces of information in helpful and new ways.


* Consider this a conversation in my living room, only with a lot more seating. I reserve the right to redirect, screen, and otherwise moderate stuff, but would vastly prefer not to have to.
* If this works this week, I'll do an updated FAQ and continue.
* If you don't have a DW account or want to post anonymously, please include a name we can call you in this particular post. (You can say AnonymousOne or your favourite colour or whatever. Just something to help keep conversations clear.)
* If you've got a question or concern, feel free to PM me.
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Socializing when you're not a partier

Date: Wednesday, April 12th, 2017 01:22 pm (UTC)
author_by_night: (Default)
From: [personal profile] author_by_night
So here's a topic inspired by one of those Facebook memories. I have this problem less now that I'm in my thirties and my friends are mostly boring old people* parents or have other grown up obligations or just aren't that into partying anymore, but it used to be hard to make friends because I wasn't into, you know, going to bars and stuff. I don't drink much, so getting drunk to get drunk really wasn't an option.

At the same time, and I'm curious if this was the case for others, I felt like a lot of non-party people were either anti-social altogether, or they weren't into partying because they had strict moral values. So not only could we not party, everything had to be "good." No watching PG-13 movies, for instance. Also, they weren't available often because they almost exclusively did stuff with their church. I have nothing against being how they were, it just... wasn't who I was. I was somewhere in between "let's get plastered every night" and "let's drink Shirley Temples and talk about Jesus."

Like I said, it's less of a problem now - I don't know if it's because I'm older, because I've found my "people", or a little bit of both. (My guess would be it's a mixture. I have a feeling one or two WERE party people in their twenties who've since mellowed, but many also just seem like me - they want to have fun, just not beer kegs at 4 AM.)

*Kidding, obviously.

(Great idea for an entry, btw!)

(no subject)

Date: Wednesday, April 12th, 2017 02:03 pm (UTC)
anandrine: (ouat. belle: book lover)
From: [personal profile] anandrine
what a fun idea!

right now i'm researching the long-term effects of climate change -- like what our world will actually look like thousands and millions of years from now as a result -- for a story and it's fascinating. there's obvious things, like obviously rising temperatures are going to impact what wildlife (flora and fauna) can survive. BUT also when i think heat i think dry, which isn't going to necessarily be the case: we'll actually have new forests and swamplands! i was watching a documentary last night that said mount everest is actually growing taller. when i said this to my wife, she said "duh, that's how plate tectonics work" and i was like, i KNOW that exists but i didn't realize the tectonics and continental shifting actually made existing mountains GROW. that's pretty cool. also weather impacts plate tectonics (which in turn impacts weather again) so the continents are gradually shifting more and are going to create new mountain ranges! it's pretty cool.

Re: Socializing when you're not a partier

Date: Wednesday, April 12th, 2017 02:22 pm (UTC)
anandrine: (Default)
From: [personal profile] anandrine
hmm, i think there's a bunch of factors to this. where you live, plus whether you've lived there a while or you're new. when i was in high school and college, even though i was in the conservative, religious south, this wasn't a problem. at one point, i met a couple friends through a church group, even though most of us weren't religious (or rather were interested in wicca, lol) and were gay/bi/etc--it was just kind of a convenient place to meet once a week. when i was in college, i signed up for student groups and met people there, and i occasionally went to parties with friends and met people there, but also, at that time i didn't drink and didn't feel out of place for not doing so. one of my most memorable experiences from that time was going to a spot in the middle of some alabama woods that supposedly had an abandoned, haunted church--totally sober.)

on the other hand, moving as an adult to a new state, i've definitely experienced the struggle. however, i also think it's less to do with "partiers vs. jesus freaks" and more to do with the fact that when that happens, you often have zero foundation to build on, unless you happen to have friends in the new state who can introduce you to their friends. in that case i feel it's not so much you only have two extremes when it comes to actual people, but when it comes to thinking of places where there are large amounts of new people you could meet, if that makes sense?

Re: Socializing when you're not a partier

Date: Wednesday, April 12th, 2017 03:34 pm (UTC)
mindways: (Default)
From: [personal profile] mindways
I've always found that "a thing to do together" has been key to making friends - meet via a shared interest, and if there's a social-clicking with someone then start getting together with them outside of that interest.

I've never found "get smashed" or "go to bars" very appealing. Instead, I've met people via roleplaying games, board games, LARPing, martial arts, partner yoga, the SCA - and in many many cases via introductions from mutual friends, though that's not a good bootstrapper unless you happen to befriend a social nexus right off the bat. Plus still-friends from high school + college.

I've never run into the strict moral values problem, but I grew up in New England; despite our puritan heritage we lean pretty liberal these days.

(no subject)

Date: Wednesday, April 12th, 2017 05:05 pm (UTC)
sporky_rat: Sailor V being Sailor V (even more sailor v)
From: [personal profile] sporky_rat
What are you learning right now that you're really interested by?

Well, there's working on getting ready to run a Pathfinder Adventure Path (Strange Aeons, it's got a lot of Cthulu-esqe stuff going on), so I'm learning about the Mythos and getting all the stuff ready for the game.

I'm also learning all the best ways to do home improvement without money. :D

Re: Socializing when you're not a partier

Date: Wednesday, April 12th, 2017 05:07 pm (UTC)
sporky_rat: It's a rat!  With a spork!  It's ME! (Default)
From: [personal profile] sporky_rat
I always had fun meeting folks with RPG, gaming, SCA stuff. It's been neat and sometimes you stay friends even after what got you together has ended.

(I grew up in and still live in Rural Mississippi, so you end up with a lot of folks on each end of the spectrum of 'partier' and 'religious fundamentalist'. The most fun I ever had with the fundamentalists was when they discovered that the New Testament doesn't say anything about alcohol and they decided they were going to experiment with various types. Took three months and lots and lots of the taster bottles.)

(no subject)

Date: Wednesday, April 12th, 2017 05:11 pm (UTC)
dejla: (Default)
From: [personal profile] dejla
I've been doing research lately into the Regency Era, as many books as differently focused as possible. (There are three different books entitled Jane Austen's England or variants of that.) I'm trying to do a novel in that era as much as like Jane Austen as I can (probably not very like, but I do try). And I love history anyway, so...

I've put Dreamland on my TO BUY list.

(no subject)

Date: Wednesday, April 12th, 2017 05:18 pm (UTC)
makamu: (fanfic is by boji)
From: [personal profile] makamu
Fellow Pathfinder player/ newbie GM here who has been in love with the PF community since it started *shyly offers fist for fistbumb*

That sounds really interesting - I have been rather out of the loop for a while when it comes to new content, but this sounds really up Paizo's alley. Any resources you'd care to share? I have been trying to get into the Mythos via Lovecraft for ages, but always become turned off by the overly racist stuff even for its time, so any recs for how to navigate the issue/ other entryways would be much appreciated

i love this icon for such things.

Date: Wednesday, April 12th, 2017 05:40 pm (UTC)
sporky_rat: Text: Inventory: your brains, Fezzik's strength, Inigo's steel, a wheelbarrow and a holocaust cloak. (gaming)
From: [personal profile] sporky_rat
Strange Aeons is actually really interesting so far, because they're pulling a lot of the nice creepy stuff out of the Mythos without the racist bits while still keeping it Pathfinder-appropriate. They have the Player's Guide up on Paizo.com for Strange Aeons, which does give a good bit of info (without spoilers).
Tor.com is doing an H.P. Lovecraft Re-Read, which they describe as 'two modern Mythos writers get girl cooties all over old Howard’s original stories'. They acknowledge a lot of the crappy bits and enjoy the good bits (the dude had a way of making the back of your neck crawl). I have found that some of it helps? They aren't glossing over his bad bits.

(And there's an ebook available of all the actual written stuff if you want to read some of it as well without actually buying it. Legal, even.)

(no subject)

Date: Wednesday, April 12th, 2017 05:45 pm (UTC)
makamu: (Default)
From: [personal profile] makamu
That's a clever idea - thanks for hosting us [personal profile] jenett! *shyly offers virtual tea and cookies*

I am currently doing a lot of research into both Elizabethan theatre and gender conceptions (as well as political theology) and late-eighteenth century political debates in England (think: Jacobins, Burke, Wollstonecraft and how the political ideals of that period are reflected in the literary output of the younger Romantics (especially Mary Shelley) for my Phd.

I am also researching a lot about the Weimar Republic and Nazi Germany (especially cultural history) for a fic I am planning to write. For another fic, I am doing an extensive read-up on turn-of-the-century Austria-Hungary and all sorts of politics and cultural history there. Of course, as a history nerd, I am going hopelessly overboard with all of those topics because I am learning interesting stuff
Edited (typos happen when you type too fast) Date: Wednesday, April 12th, 2017 06:10 pm (UTC)

Re: i love this icon for such things.

Date: Wednesday, April 12th, 2017 05:57 pm (UTC)
makamu: (favourite Tolkien quote by brouhaha)
From: [personal profile] makamu
Firstly, love the icon! (note to self: get yourself an RPG icon, stat)

I'll check out both the Player's Guide (I have to fsmliarise myself with the new books I might need anyway). and the Re-Read. Thanks for pointing them out.

Re: i love this icon for such things.

Date: Wednesday, April 12th, 2017 06:09 pm (UTC)
sporky_rat: Text: Inventory: your brains, Fezzik's strength, Inigo's steel, a wheelbarrow and a holocaust cloak. (gaming)
From: [personal profile] sporky_rat
A lot of it is still considered Open Gaming so it'll be on the SRD; the only things not on the SRD is setting stuff. (Which, considering my habits of mixing homebrew setting with Golarian, isn't a bad thing for me.)

Re: i love this icon for such things.

Date: Wednesday, April 12th, 2017 06:14 pm (UTC)
makamu: (Krimhilde by areyouaddled)
From: [personal profile] makamu
Yes, I know. I personally do use a lot of the campaign setting material for Golarion, so the Paizo guys are quite familiar with the quirky German over here :)

Right now, I am trying to get a better grasp of Rovagug and I am hoping the Mythos research will help with that... Care to trade headcanons and mixing techniques?

Re: Socializing when you're not a partier

Date: Wednesday, April 12th, 2017 07:47 pm (UTC)
author_by_night: (fistbump by etherealnetworks)
From: [personal profile] author_by_night
That makes sense. Sounds like you were busy!

Re: Socializing when you're not a partier

Date: Wednesday, April 12th, 2017 08:09 pm (UTC)
maellenkleth: (glass-flower)
From: [personal profile] maellenkleth
I seldom partied, because I worked long shifts at a responsible job in a coal mine. My workmates expected me to be well-rested and **not** hung-over when I wired-up the shots at the coal-face.

Of course, the standard quip, back then, was "I don't stand behind my work: I stand behind a BIG rock."

Did tend to hang out in the Chinese restaurant on Sunday afternoons and drink a lot of tea. Either that or the doughnut shop were our social choices, out there, back then (that was almost 40 years ago,now).

(no subject)

Date: Wednesday, April 12th, 2017 08:12 pm (UTC)
maellenkleth: a wind-blown coastal pine tree, done as a stained-glass window (tree-window)
From: [personal profile] maellenkleth
I'm studying the palaeogeographic and palaeobotanical controls on the rheological behaviour of melted coal (including answering questions concerning why some coals won't melt at all). It's a subject of great interest to people who smelt iron in blast-furnaces, and also of interest (at much smaller scale) to blacksmiths who care about their work.

(no subject)

Date: Wednesday, April 12th, 2017 08:15 pm (UTC)
maellenkleth: (consultant)
From: [personal profile] maellenkleth
20 Celsius warmer, on average; CO2 concentrations around 1200 ppm, lower O2 concentrations, lots of BIG flying reptiles, perhaps. Coal-forming swamps. BIG trees falling down into those swamps.

In other words, back to the Late Cretaceous.

Re: i love this icon for such things.

Date: Wednesday, April 12th, 2017 08:16 pm (UTC)
sporky_rat: Atia from Rome on a white horse. (i'm the lady)
From: [personal profile] sporky_rat
YES Winter Tide!!!!! I am trying so hard not to spend the extra money right now (I have a $5 credit on Kobo, but I have to make sure the bills are done first) to get the whole book.

If you want the entire collection of his original stuff, here's an ebook of it - epub and mobi.

(no subject)

Date: Wednesday, April 12th, 2017 08:30 pm (UTC)
anandrine: (Default)
From: [personal profile] anandrine
YEP! for the sake of my story i'm guesstimating the very broad average temp is going to be around 80* F, but the extremely hot areas like deserts could get up to 160*F. it's gonna be toasty.

why do you think flying reptiles?
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