jducoeur: (Default)
Okay -- the stressy deadlines of the week seem to be mostly dealt with, and now I have time to play. So, picking this up in the formulation Niki used (I strongly prefer the less-coercive language):

Let me say something nice about you

Comment to my journal and I'll tell you why I think you're great.

It would be nice if you could copy this in your own journal and do it for other people too.
jducoeur: (Default)
Okay -- the stressy deadlines of the week seem to be mostly dealt with, and now I have time to play. So, picking this up in the formulation Niki used (I strongly prefer the less-coercive language):

Let me say something nice about you

Comment to my journal and I'll tell you why I think you're great.

It would be nice if you could copy this in your own journal and do it for other people too.
jducoeur: (Default)
I've been ignoring the "25 Things" meme, not because it's not interesting (it's my sort of thing) as that I did the mega-version back when that went around. So if anyone is curious, and wasn't here back in 2003 when I posted it, I refer you to the 100 Facts About Me meme...
jducoeur: (Default)
I've been ignoring the "25 Things" meme, not because it's not interesting (it's my sort of thing) as that I did the mega-version back when that went around. So if anyone is curious, and wasn't here back in 2003 when I posted it, I refer you to the 100 Facts About Me meme...
jducoeur: (Default)
Once more, with feeling. The Rules:

1. Leave me a casual comment of no particular significance, like a lyric to your current favorite song, your favorite kind of sandwich,or maybe your favorite game. Any remark, meaningless or not. Or, you know -- indicate you want the 5 questions. In fact any comment you leave to this will get questions. Even if that comment is "No."
2.I will respond by asking you five personal questions so I can get to know you better. Or piss you off. Or see how creative you can be. If I'm lucky all 3 in 1 go. (I have a historically bad track record at asking these questions, but let's see if I can think of them all this time.)
3. Update your LJ with the answers to the questions.
4. Include this explanation and offer to ask someone else questions in your own post.
5. When others respond with a comment, you will ask them five questions.
6. It spawns. Again.






ETA: I'm not going to try to ask the questions in the order requested. One thing I've learned from the last time around is that, if I try to be too organized about it, I never ask anything. So I'm going to accumulate questions as I think of them, and I'll reply to each message when I get to five. So don't be surprised if it takes a while to get to you: it just means I haven't finished all five questions yet.
[livejournal.com profile] mikekn">
1. What is *your* all time favorite game (modern or period)?

Poker -- really, nothing else even comes close. In particular, Dealer's Choice has everything I look for in a game: a combination of a fundamental core that I understand, chaotically shifting details, and a deep social dynamic. In general, I'm a crappy strategist but a decent tactician, so Poker suits my skills decently well.

We've got a monthly table that's been running for something north of ten years now. It remains one of my highlights of the month.

2. What SCA accomplishment (not award) are you most proud of?

Tricky, given the breadth of my interests. Two seem to be about tied, so I'll give both of them. On the one hand, there is "getting a lot of people started in the SCA" -- between the online question-answering and college demos, it's turned out to be one of my real passions. On the other, there is "teaching a lot of people how to enjoy period dancing", which has always been my real focus: not just focusing on authenticity and not just having fun, but showing how the two go hand-in-hand.

3. If given the opportunity, would you serve on the SCA BOD? Why or why not?

Well, the evidence says no -- I've been nominated (some years back), and declined the nomination. There are a variety of reasons why, but it's mostly style and inclination: I always prefer to be in jobs where the lines of responsibility are very clear, and the Board is really very messy in that regard. And I'm one of the more infamous anti-bureaucrats in the Society: my sense of honor would probably lead me to try to clean up and slim the Society's bureaucracy, which in all likelihood wouldn't make *anybody* particularly happy. So in a sense, I'm the Loyal Opposition to the Board; joining it would be a tad unnatural.

That said, I don't rule anything out. Certainly I wouldn't do so *now* -- I have too many personal irons in the fire to be able to give the job the appropriate amount of attention. Someday -- well, who knows. It's possible, but I'd have to convince myself that the job wouldn't make me crazy.

4. Do you feel there is still a place for Masonic orders in the 21st century? Or have they grown outdated?

Very interesting, and fraught question, with a bunch of aspects to it.

On the one hand, I suspect that Masonry As We Know It is basically toast. It is structurally designed to be a very large organization, with a lot of fat that grew up in its heyday, and none of that is easy to shed. This causes structural difficulties that are causing something of a death spiral: there are *far* too many individual Lodges, and they are far too reluctant to merge until it's too late, with the result that most are perpetually teetering. So my guess is that the vast majority of today's Lodges aren't going to survive, and the Grand Lodge system will at best need major rejiggering.

And it can't be denied that some aspects of the organization look old at this point. In particular, the male-only thing just looks kind of odd in the modern world, and I don't think it actually adds anything useful. When you're talking about a club that's nearly 300 years old in its current form, it's not surprising that bits of it look archaic -- society as a whole has moved on.

That said, I think the underlying needs are still there. Masonry as a spiritual outlet is really quite neat -- the use of symbolic ritual to teach moral lessons works well if you take it seriously, hitting a lot of basic buttons in the human psyche. So I think that *something* is likely to survive. It may well mutate considerably; it might not even be Masonry per se in a century. (My "Mysteries" project could yet happen one of these years: that takes many of the core ideas of Masonry, and recasts them in a new form.) But I suspect something will continue on.

5. What SCA History question would you like to see answered?

How has the Society changed demographically over the years, and how does that correlate with the changes in the Corporation? I have a lot of theories in that regard, but it's fairly difficult to tease the answers out...
jducoeur: (Default)
Once more, with feeling. The Rules:

1. Leave me a casual comment of no particular significance, like a lyric to your current favorite song, your favorite kind of sandwich,or maybe your favorite game. Any remark, meaningless or not. Or, you know -- indicate you want the 5 questions. In fact any comment you leave to this will get questions. Even if that comment is "No."
2.I will respond by asking you five personal questions so I can get to know you better. Or piss you off. Or see how creative you can be. If I'm lucky all 3 in 1 go. (I have a historically bad track record at asking these questions, but let's see if I can think of them all this time.)
3. Update your LJ with the answers to the questions.
4. Include this explanation and offer to ask someone else questions in your own post.
5. When others respond with a comment, you will ask them five questions.
6. It spawns. Again.






ETA: I'm not going to try to ask the questions in the order requested. One thing I've learned from the last time around is that, if I try to be too organized about it, I never ask anything. So I'm going to accumulate questions as I think of them, and I'll reply to each message when I get to five. So don't be surprised if it takes a while to get to you: it just means I haven't finished all five questions yet.
[livejournal.com profile] mikekn">
1. What is *your* all time favorite game (modern or period)?

Poker -- really, nothing else even comes close. In particular, Dealer's Choice has everything I look for in a game: a combination of a fundamental core that I understand, chaotically shifting details, and a deep social dynamic. In general, I'm a crappy strategist but a decent tactician, so Poker suits my skills decently well.

We've got a monthly table that's been running for something north of ten years now. It remains one of my highlights of the month.

2. What SCA accomplishment (not award) are you most proud of?

Tricky, given the breadth of my interests. Two seem to be about tied, so I'll give both of them. On the one hand, there is "getting a lot of people started in the SCA" -- between the online question-answering and college demos, it's turned out to be one of my real passions. On the other, there is "teaching a lot of people how to enjoy period dancing", which has always been my real focus: not just focusing on authenticity and not just having fun, but showing how the two go hand-in-hand.

3. If given the opportunity, would you serve on the SCA BOD? Why or why not?

Well, the evidence says no -- I've been nominated (some years back), and declined the nomination. There are a variety of reasons why, but it's mostly style and inclination: I always prefer to be in jobs where the lines of responsibility are very clear, and the Board is really very messy in that regard. And I'm one of the more infamous anti-bureaucrats in the Society: my sense of honor would probably lead me to try to clean up and slim the Society's bureaucracy, which in all likelihood wouldn't make *anybody* particularly happy. So in a sense, I'm the Loyal Opposition to the Board; joining it would be a tad unnatural.

That said, I don't rule anything out. Certainly I wouldn't do so *now* -- I have too many personal irons in the fire to be able to give the job the appropriate amount of attention. Someday -- well, who knows. It's possible, but I'd have to convince myself that the job wouldn't make me crazy.

4. Do you feel there is still a place for Masonic orders in the 21st century? Or have they grown outdated?

Very interesting, and fraught question, with a bunch of aspects to it.

On the one hand, I suspect that Masonry As We Know It is basically toast. It is structurally designed to be a very large organization, with a lot of fat that grew up in its heyday, and none of that is easy to shed. This causes structural difficulties that are causing something of a death spiral: there are *far* too many individual Lodges, and they are far too reluctant to merge until it's too late, with the result that most are perpetually teetering. So my guess is that the vast majority of today's Lodges aren't going to survive, and the Grand Lodge system will at best need major rejiggering.

And it can't be denied that some aspects of the organization look old at this point. In particular, the male-only thing just looks kind of odd in the modern world, and I don't think it actually adds anything useful. When you're talking about a club that's nearly 300 years old in its current form, it's not surprising that bits of it look archaic -- society as a whole has moved on.

That said, I think the underlying needs are still there. Masonry as a spiritual outlet is really quite neat -- the use of symbolic ritual to teach moral lessons works well if you take it seriously, hitting a lot of basic buttons in the human psyche. So I think that *something* is likely to survive. It may well mutate considerably; it might not even be Masonry per se in a century. (My "Mysteries" project could yet happen one of these years: that takes many of the core ideas of Masonry, and recasts them in a new form.) But I suspect something will continue on.

5. What SCA History question would you like to see answered?

How has the Society changed demographically over the years, and how does that correlate with the changes in the Corporation? I have a lot of theories in that regard, but it's fairly difficult to tease the answers out...
jducoeur: (Default)
As always, the memes that catch my attention are the ones that require you to say something about yourself. This one is from an unusual and interesting angle.  I got it from [livejournal.com profile] cellio, after seeing it in a couple of other places.

Edited to change the "art" answer.

Read more... )
jducoeur: (Default)
As always, the memes that catch my attention are the ones that require you to say something about yourself. This one is from an unusual and interesting angle.  I got it from [livejournal.com profile] cellio, after seeing it in a couple of other places.

Edited to change the "art" answer.

Read more... )
jducoeur: (Default)
I don't do most memes, because they don't say anything interesting. But the self-reflective ones can be fun. And now that a few other people have jogged my memory about What Happened When, this is a little more feasible:
What Happened When )
jducoeur: (Default)
I don't do most memes, because they don't say anything interesting. But the self-reflective ones can be fun. And now that a few other people have jogged my memory about What Happened When, this is a little more feasible:
What Happened When )
jducoeur: (Default)
Since this one is actually interesting enough to be worth doing...
30-some questions )
jducoeur: (Default)
Since this one is actually interesting enough to be worth doing...
30-some questions )
jducoeur: (Default)
Whilst I attempt to calm down enough to keep the upcoming political rant well-focused, let's do something calmer. Here's a little intellectual exercise I sometimes indulge in, when I'm thinking about how things change, and how they don't.

Say that you have a time machine. But in order to prevent paradoxes, the only way you can interact with the past is by mentally communicating with people in their final moments, who can't pass on anything you tell them.

Pick a historical figure to talk to. What do you ask them, and what do you tell them? How do you expect them to react? Do you pick a great person and tell them what they accomplished? A villain to torment with their ultimate failure? Or just a normal person in the hurly-burly of normal life?

This line of thought brought to you by musings of how Henry VIII would have reacted, had he known that his child would solidify so much of what he set out to do -- but that it would be Anne Boleyn's daughter, not Jane Seymour's son, who did it. (I just finished a fascinating course on Henry's life and times. Now I really need to listen to the one that puts it in the context of what happened next...)
jducoeur: (Default)
Whilst I attempt to calm down enough to keep the upcoming political rant well-focused, let's do something calmer. Here's a little intellectual exercise I sometimes indulge in, when I'm thinking about how things change, and how they don't.

Say that you have a time machine. But in order to prevent paradoxes, the only way you can interact with the past is by mentally communicating with people in their final moments, who can't pass on anything you tell them.

Pick a historical figure to talk to. What do you ask them, and what do you tell them? How do you expect them to react? Do you pick a great person and tell them what they accomplished? A villain to torment with their ultimate failure? Or just a normal person in the hurly-burly of normal life?

This line of thought brought to you by musings of how Henry VIII would have reacted, had he known that his child would solidify so much of what he set out to do -- but that it would be Anne Boleyn's daughter, not Jane Seymour's son, who did it. (I just finished a fascinating course on Henry's life and times. Now I really need to listen to the one that puts it in the context of what happened next...)

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