As I was looking for a term to sum up what I’ve been doing with research, I realized the best one I could think of is “fun”. I have been having fun with research. Some of it has been straight up gleeful fun, and some of it has been more challenging fun. For example, in the former case, I realized that a feature of my technology was incorrect and I had to add cranial computers (which are AWESOME), while for the latter I realized that an entire massive section of my plot was based on science I had learned from tv detective dramas. This science was– unsurprisingly– not exactly accurate. (I’m fixing that with my knowledge of pediatric care. LIKE A BOSS.)
Anyhow, fun is being had. I get to look up all kinds crazy factoids and then file random pieces away, and think about future tech and call it work. I think I’m still filled with delight because of the part where I am thinking about space stations and magnetic trains a lot.
Anyhow, in the course of my research I came across some interesting articles about culture. The first was “We’re All The Same Deep Down,” talking about how while that is technically true– all people have hopes and fears and dreams– it’s often used to assume that all peoples and cultures are the same (read: North American). Oh yes, your culture out there is DIFFERENT, but that really just means you use different spices, yes?
No. The differences between cultures go deeper than spices and funny names. North American does not mean default.
And then I came across another post in a similar vein, the “Is Military Science Fiction Nationalistic,” which analyzes how different cultures’ approach to warfare and aggression– what warfare is for– changes the stories they tell.
At this point I was starting to psyche myself out a bit. AUGH WHAT IF I FAIL TO WRITE A COOL STORY WHAT IF I ONLY WRITE A CANADA IN SPACE AUGH I FAIL. And then two things happened. 1.) I decided that Canada in space would be pretty darn awesome. (I do love my country, after all.) And 2.) I found this amazing, delightful, fills-me-with-glee site, “How To Tell If You’re American.” It breaks down facets of american culture which– inside the states– you take for granted as default life. But there are also other “culture tests” (how to tell if you’re Scottish and how to tell if you’re Indian, for example), which show the defaults of other nations, thereby showing how many things are actually different.
I’m a fan of this site.
So yes! I’m having fun, learning new things, and psyching myself out daily. YOU SHOULD JOIN ME IN THIS FUN TIME.