Monday, July 9, 2012

So much for habit forming

<p>The convention i have recently attended, dexcon, kicked all of the ass. The only problem was an overwhelming lack of internet. So i have not written my 200 words since Wednesday. As i write this it is Monday. This means 1200 words today. And since my phone my desktop and my laptop are all recovering, this is coming to you from an unfamiliar tablet. I am significantly discomfited by the missing click and press of keys as I type. But now is the time to learn the new way of doing things. I has an oddly similar moment reversed yesterday. When trying to get some files from someone we used my kindle as it was the only device with a sufficiently robust connection. For several minutes my friend poked at the screen and grunted in nearly simian frustration. "It`s not working." He had grown to accept as standard that any piece of technology would have a touchscreen and any icon would be responsive to his will. The small keyboard and navigational pad had completely passed him by as tools. He presumed them to be vestigial attachments like the ones on my smartphone. After a few moments of shuffling a cursor around the skills of a lifetime of window icon mouse and pointer returned and it all worked out in the end. This entire enterprise shocked me. This was a man who had published with Linotype&#160; on dead trees. How quickly the habits of years have melted away before this new interface. Right now i am reduced to a variant of hunt and peck, but as i type blue streaks follow my fingers when i do not lift them quickly enough tempting me to try this new typing as calligraphy method. I don't think it will work out well. My vocabulary does not lend itself to the method. In fact i used it to try to type the previous sentence and it took more than a dozen tries to swipe the word vocabulary. In the end i had to type it, blue streaks mocking me all the while. </p>
<p>Sadly, I can not remember the details of the entire convention. Some was lost and never put in long term memory. Some was&#160; erased by tiredness, some by alcohol and some by promises of secrecy. On the whole this may be better than having written my thoughts of the moment as many would have been uncharitable before i later received context. Then again some things that seemed perfectly innocent became more sinister with time. Enough dithering, here was my convention.</p>
<p>Wednesday. We split into two teams. Jax, Alex and I on team A, Aisling, Jocy, Susan, and Tasker on team B. Team A arrived at 3 am on site so we could help with setup at 8, and set up we did. Dexcon, unlike most conventions I have seen keeps many careful metrics of who exactly does what to whom, where and when. Their methods of tracking guest behavior, likes, dislikes and trends are more professionally and competently recorded and assembled than many sociological experiments i have seen. Like the realm of the sciences, this takes a lot of prep sign in sheets, big boards with schedules and descriptions,  rules and warnings, rewards and puzzles all must be placed just so and in tim and with a workforce that is often untrained and entirely volunteer. Our team integrated easily and quickly into this hive of activity and in the afternoon was joined by team B. They too took to the organisation like a fish to tartar sauce. Not necessarily willingly but very well. In the evening we attended opening ceremonies. As it turns out, they had a spotlight and no light tech. Alex is an excellent light tech and during the ceremonies even got to engage in some tech humor with the comedians. This led to some later comic misunderstandings, but more on that later.

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