========================================================================
                This file from Adra, http://www.mhada.info.
 ------------------------------------------------------------------------

Martha Adams at Arisia 2010

panels participation notes

by Martha Adams

Return to Adra's Top topics list. Return to the Con Notes text. ----------------------------------

At this writing, I'm scheduled for a reading and five panels at Arisia 2010. These events are, in time order:

======================== o0o ========================

Title: Reading.

Saturday, 10:30, 30 min, Room 201.

Martha Adams

Program Committee's Topic Statement

Martha will be reading from her fantasy works "Hybold's Computer Manual," "The Woman Who Counted Cats in Zanzibar," "Downfall of the Elves," and "The Albino Bumblebee".

Martha Adams Comment

Bronson Hybold won't have anything upset his world. Anything! Rashmika Katrine would meld Western rationalism with Eastern mysticism. From Tolkein, I've found a way to comment on what today's world has become. Finally, a young man chooses his course in life -- did he choose right?

======================== o0o ========================

Title: Off-World Settlement

Saturday, 5:00 PM, 1 hr.

Speaker: Martha Adams

Program Committee's Topic Statement

Martha Adams will outline topics a person thinks about to design an off-Terra settlement. She will expand upon the core requirements, "Watts, Water, and Work," and that any settlement must be planned as part of a solar system-wide economic network. The talk will be directed to sf readers and (hopefully) to those who might undertake a career in the field. A 4-function calculator may prove useful. For more talk detail, see http://www.mhada.info.

Martha Adams Comment

My basic idea behind this talk is that if you want to think about settlements in space, then try planning one. Doing this will wonderfully clarify your understanding of the requirements. But ...the space environment works different from usual experience here at the bottom of Terra's gravity well. Here are some materials for whoever wants to change from Weller thinking to something of Lunie, Spacer, Belter, or Martian thinking.

======================== o0o ========================

Title: Machines Augmenting Mankind: Our Cyborg Future

Saturday, 7 PM, 1 hr, Room 206 / Paul Revere B.

Panelists: Mark L. Van Name (m), Alicia Verlager, Christopher K. Davis, Martha Adams

Program Committee's Topic Statement

SF characters with prosthetics have ranged from Waldo to The Borg to Darth Vader. What's possible given our knowledge of material science and cybernetics? Has SF changed social attitudes towards prosthetics outside of fandom?

Martha Adams Comment

What is a prosthetic? I tend to a liberal definition. I think a screwdriver in my hand meets the definition well enough. But a prosthetic might also be a powerful exoskeleton machine of considerable size, such as Ripley wears when fighting off the (hopefully) last alien. And is Robocop a prosthetic, or what? I think of the protective suits worn by Lensmen in Smith's epic, suits moved by thousand-horsepower motors. If we could copy a person's mind into a machine and run it there, is that a prosthetic? Here is one interesting question among many.

As if this question is not enough, there immediately follows the matter of social attitudes toward prosthetics. One recent summer, I noticed a man walking quite normally -- and as he was wearing shorts, I could see that from his thigh down, one leg was prosthetic. A machine. It was the normal walk that caught my eye. This immediately evoked the engineer in me as I tried to see, what are its parts, how is it made, how does it do that?

This looks to me like a very interesting panel. I'd like to see more than four people on it.

======================== o0o ========================

Title: Climate Science

Sunday, 1 PM, 1 hr, Molly Pitcher.

Panelists: Tom Wysmuller (m), John Costello, Martha Adams, Ken Gale, James Turner, James B. Van Bokkelen.

Program Committee's Topic Statement

How has climate science advanced in 2009? New England had a very snowy winter and our summer was one of the wettest ever. The rest of the world seems touched or punched by climate abnormalities, too. The economic climate has people asking whether we can afford to "green" our society to help the physical climate and whether we can afford not to, not to mention whether we can. Our panelists will discuss the theories and the reality of the global environment changes over the past year.

Martha Adams Comment

I see two reasons why climate science is rapidly moving to the top of the list of things on everyone's minds. The first is, it's going to get us, every one of us and all our children out to the (n+1)st generation. And the second is, big as it is, it's at best only half of a double whammy coming at us.

The second half being, population. The observation once made that this world cannot support all its population at the life quality level seen here in America, is beginning to come back and bite us hard. Managing population seems likely to call for social measures we'll call brutal. Some among us will respond in the most inappropriate and least helpful ways relevant, such ones make a lot of noise in Washington as I write.

This panel is sure to be interesting. How much of the large topic that it touches, will it cover?

======================== o0o ========================

Title: Age and Treachery: The Older Fan

Sunday, 4 pm, 1 hr, William Dawes A

Panelists: Jeff Warner (m), Martha Adams, Starwolf, Justine Graykin, Catherine Kane

Program Committee's Topic Statement

How does growing older impact one's experiences as a member of fandom? How do our experiences color how we enjoy the ideas, the stories and the media? Did we think, a decade (or three) ago, we'd still be going to conventions and seeing the same friends? Are we worried about the future of fandom?

Martha Adams Comment

Aging happens to all of us who don't die first. Fans, for better or worse, aren't likely to be using the stereotypes of belief and acceptance generally used in our society. And as we age, the world around us changes. What will come of that?

It troubles me a little to look at how boundaries in our society are being dissolved, largely by parties who basically do it for money. Very possessive parties, by the way: the "Public Domain" has been taking a real beating in recent decades and I don't think any of us trufans are better off for the change.

======================== o0o ========================

Title: Web of Destruction

Sunday, 10 PM, 1 hr, Paul Revere B

Panelists Martha Adams (m), James A. Wolf, Alexx Kay, Stephanie Clarkson

Program Committee's Topic Statement

It's been over 15 years since the World Wide Web became accessible to the general public and while it has improved society, there is a dark side to its ascendancy as well. And not just web predators, scam artists or hate groups. Some good things, like encyclopedias, have all but disappeared. And remember going to a record store? Or a specialty book store? How has the web changed our lives for the worse?

Martha Adams Comment

For me, the Web has good sides and dark sides. The good sides include Wiki, which I use frequently, and opportunities to see other places. At this time of year, the Beach Cam at Venice Beach, http://www.westland.net/beachcam/, particularly appeals to me. Winter. Gaah!

But there is a dark side to today's Web, and I mean, really, really dark. There is good reason expect that monitoring people thru their Web usage (see, James Bamford, The Shadow Factory) will progress even farther than we see today. One can say many things against this. Police action as a social response to natural change and to mental health issues con only promote ...more police response. Thus I think I see in today's America, invention, change, and growth all suppressed while the origins of real trouble are ignored. Thus America becomes a backward country, as anyone can see who reads today's news.

---------------------------------- Return to the Con Notes text. Return to Adra's Top topics list.

=========================== # # # ===========================