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Right! I knew you had said something awesome on that panel, but I couldn't remember what it was. Thanks for reminding me.

i like this panel, already!

(well, i didn't make it to the panel, but i like the way this discussion began.)

Music & SF of the spheres

I've found this to be true on many fronts. As in trying to define metafiction, people will give it a start date of 196x. They'll point to Borges, to Coover, to Queneau, and say "This all began here." Then you ask "Well, what about John Dos Passos?" Oh, well, all right, we'll grandfather him in. "Okay, how about Laurence Stern?" Will you please cut this shit out? Oh, right, so really, if you look closely, people have been experimenting with form and content individually for…ever. Sophocles certainly was with the structure of Oedipus the King.

Maybe at some point these individual experiments accrete enough similarities that a "movement" appears, but it was going on just fine without the stamp of the movement. SF is not one flavor, nor for Pete's sake is fantasy--unless of course you're paying it little mind, understand it all through the filter of TV and movies, and so are really speaking from a position of ignorance. Ludicrous even to defend it as such. Cage is music, just as works by Morton Subotnick and Harry Partch and Stockhausen are music. Not to everyone's taste certainly--and the loud objection is likely to be "What is that damned noise?" Or "Why do you want to read about damned spaceships and aliens?" You'll probably never be able to explain The Dispossessed to that person at all.

User coffeeandink referenced to your post from Links saying: [...] is a multi-part series on selection bias in sf/f and culture generally -- a good 101 explanation. [...]

Here via coffeeandink. Thanks for the thoughts. I missed this panel. (Following the link would of course have been worthwhile for just the icon, wow.)

Ah, a fellow Foreigner fan! Welcome, nadi!

You've just given a clear and concise description of Prototype Theory!! Eleanor Rosch first studied and theorized this psychological phenomenon back in the 70s. Some linguists have used the idea to describe how linguistic communities share the meaning of words. For example, the prototypical "bird" for me in the area I live, would be maybe a robin or starling. Possibly a duck. All feathered creatures with wings that fly. But for an African bushman, that prototypical bird might be a giant two legged running beast like an Ostrich; for an inuit, a short waddling black and white animal that swims incredibly well.

Point is, none of those are necessarily wrong, per se, but when we think about things, the core meanings of the words are the easily accessible ones, cognitively speaking, so the features of the prototypical meanings become the most salient features we use for, say, making judgments about the thing under discussion. And sometimes a collection of judgments that get closely associated with one set of core meanings for a concept then get substituted as a prescriptive pronouncement about anything marginally related to the concept, or that lies outside of it!

Re: Prototype Theory!!

I had never heard of that before, but it totally makes sense to me! Thanks!

Re: Prototype Theory!!

You're very welcome, Ann--I think you explained and described it quite well with the apple/fruit analogy and probably in a way that's so much accessible for laypeople!

And for the most part, I agree about taste being culturally constructed. I gotten some great feedback about Xenomusic panels I've given and I think a large part of that has to do with not using as my "frame" just Western music. I think it just makes more sense to be able to speak about how alien cultures might create music when you have a healthy understanding and appreciation of the wide variety of music made on our world once you get outside of the Euro-American world of music making!

Interesting Links for 25-6-2011

User andrewducker referenced to your post from Interesting Links for 25-6-2011 saying: [...] On music, 4'11" and the eternal arguments of what SF really is. [...]

Linkspam likes a good hoppy IPA

User cofax7 referenced to your post from Linkspam likes a good hoppy IPA saying: [...] Here's some older links I saved earlier in the week: * Ann Leckie has a fascinating essay here [...]

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