[Bards] Just a few words (really good words

Mike C. Baker kihebard at hotmail.com
Tue Nov 7 10:28:10 PST 2006

Apologies to all if I am not more involved at the moment -- with the
reminder that I am still "on sojourn" in Aethelmearc, I have local and
personal matters to attend to this month (taught two classes in a "real"
castle last Saturday, some after-action pictures here: 
http://www.pitt.edu/~caram/schola.htm -- I'm somewhat recognizable at
the back of the hall in one of the feast shots; Shire of Kings Crossing
Harvest Festival is this coming Saturday; and it *is* National Novel
Writing Month once again.)

I'll use Robin's outline points to catch up on a few matters this
afternoon, and try to keep an eye out for anything else needing
responses later.


> A.  Yes, of course a meeting will reach more people.  We have 
> around a dozen participants, and only about half that number 
> deeply involved.  Back in the early eighties, when the 
> kingdom was one third its current size, we never had a 
> meeting that small.

At least one of the formal meetings held when the college was being
reorganized in the mid-90's had somewhere around twenty in attendance,
by my memory.
> B. I'm not advocating a meeting.  I'm advocating a series of 
> meetings and informal private conversations, all over the 
> kingdom.  I hope people get together out west.  I hope they 
> get together up north.  I volunteered to hold one at Twelfth 
> Night, not because I want it based in the central region, but 
> because that's the only place I have a living room.

And a right comfy room it is.
> C. I can't tell anything from the lurkers on this list.  
> Quiet people at a meeting are at least nodding or frowning, 
> clearly excited or clearly bored. 
> At the end of a meeting, I can have a sense of what the group 
> as a whole believes, so even the people with nothing to say 
> have been counted and considered.

<nod, nod>
> D. Yesterday I asked people to tell us whether they want an 
> extension of the kingdom structure run by kingdom officers or 
> a co-op run by the bards themselves.  To date, we've gotten 
> responses from Willow, Saundra, Michael, Alden, and Maggie.  
> By contrast, once any major point has been debated at a 
> meeting, we can ask for a show of hands on each side.  
> Everyone present will express an opinion.

Here's mine:  I'd like to see some of both.  My *preference* would be
for the co-op run by the bards to be recognized and consulted regularly
on matters of performance and performers.  Frex, in the matter of
choosing performers for the formal representation of Ansteorra at any
given inter-kingdom gathering (say, Gulf Wars), it would be nice to know
that the performers' wishes / desires were truly being considered in
full when related to where, when, formats, etc.

> E. Discussions at a meeting are much more effective.  I have 
> only been able to express the surface here, and have spent 
> *many* hours doing so.  In a one hour meeting, people would 
> get all the answeres about the old college they want -- 
> answers that I don't have time to write down, and that I 
> would not put in an archivable form in any event.

Hmmmm.  Robin, there may have been matters that should not be in
archival form "in full" -- but that does not mean that they should not
be actively remembered in order that they may be avoided in the future.

> E. I'm not advocating meetings instead of this list; I'm 
> advocating meetings in addition to this list.  The meeting 
> plus the list is bigger than the list alone.  Why isn't that obvious?

O.K., 's obvious to me -- esp. since I won't be able to be there
physically for some time yet (at least mid-February, at current level of
knowledge, later if my contract extends again...)  HERE, on the list, I
can still contribute at least occasionally.  But I have no desire for my
words to overshadow anyone else's ESPECIALLY if they have been regularly
contributing at events, in their local groups, etc.
> F. We have been worried about whether certain regions will be 
> left out.  I think it's an equal concern whether the people 
> who don't spend hours on the Internet get left out.  We don't 
> want this to be just the Central Region, or just the Southern 
> Region.  I'm even more concerned that it doesn't become just 
> the E-Region.  Lots of bards can't, or won't, be part of this 
> list, including both of my apprentices.  That's why we can 
> never afford to depend on this list as the college's primary 
> means of communication.

It is, however, a very important secondary / supplementary /
"high-speed" alternative channel with good (and not-so-good) features.
That archivability issue, for example.  (One of the reasons I try very
hard to put extra effort into my posts here, and make other follow-on
efforts when it becomes clear that I haven't gotten through to someone.)
The nature of e-mail is somewhere between a full conversation and
carefully drafted formal letters just the same:  even were one to print
out (hardcopy) every item that comes across the list, were that same
message to have been written by hand and delivered via messenger (or
coach, or ship, or what-have-you) it would have a different context and
composition, a different "flavor".

For the SCA and the "needs" of the modern age, we can't rely only upon
word-of-mouth either.  This is but one forum, and to make any proposed
solution work it will have to include MANY forums / venues / active
participants / warm bodies / audiences.

> G. I teach graduate statistics, and the following is a 
> crucial statistical point.  People on this list are, in at 
> least one behavioral aspect, different from the rest of 
> Ansteorra's bards.  It is an elemental result of statistics 
> that a self-selected group is inherently unrepresentative of 
> the population.  I don't want to discuss it with just the 
> singers, or just the old bards like you, me and Willow.  We 
> would get a "consensus" that doesn't represent the entire 
> body of kingdom bards.  For the exact same reasons, I don't 
> want us to consult just the online bards.

Here, there, and every where.
> Robin of Gilwell / Jay Rudin 

Adieu, Amra / ttfn - Mike / Pax ... Kihe

Mike C. Baker
SCA: al-Sayyid Amr ibn Majid al-Bakri al-Amra, F.O.B, OSCA
"Other": Reverend Kihe Blackeagle PULC (the DreamSinger Bard)
Opinions? I'm FULL of 'em
alt. e-mail: KiheBard at hotmail.com  OR MCBaker216 at cs.com
   Buy my writings!:   http://www.lulu.com/WizardsDen

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