ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem is from the March 1, 2016 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] janetmiles and LJ user Ng_moonmoth. It also fills the "leader" square in my 2-29-16 card for the Villain Bingo fest. This poem belongs to the series An Army of One.


"To Regard Old Problems"


Hootowl has been listening
to the developments in the Lacuna.

He has been doing the math
and consulting with Router on
the matter of supplies.

He has spoken with
Sam the Gardener about
their food production.

He is all too aware of
their precarious position,
caught between the two Arms
of the galaxy and their politics,
at the end of supply lines that
neither side wishes to support
with any more shipments.

The people of the Lacuna will have
to find ways of supporting themselves.

So Hootowl catches a lift
with Astin and goes to visit
Supply Base Bounty 3D3N
and survey the gardens there.

He goes to Sargasso Base and
explores the little colony developing
where nobody would have granted
permission, full of people nobody
would have approved as colonists

if the Arms still had any influence here.

Hootowl gathers up a small team --
Operetta is interested in building up
a more comprehensive medical facility,
and Weavercreep is getting into textiles,
and Astin is always concerned with trade --
to investigate the Sargasso.

It is, after all, one of their largest resources,
this jumble of derelict ships and other junk.

"You need more ships," Astin observes,
"so you can ferry people and cargo without
remaining wholly dependent upon outsiders.
Some of these will serve, but most are ..."

"Raw materials," Hootowl says hopefully.

Operetta glares at him. "You expect me
to assemble a working hospital out of
derelict sickbays like this?" she says.

"Maybe we could buy some replacements,"
Hootowl suggests, thinking of budgets.

"It would take considerable capital,"
Astin points out with a frown.

Time is ticking, ticking, always
slipping away from them with
the slow slide of entropy.

It makes Hootowl uneasy.

"There's only one solution,"
Weavercreep declares. "We're going
to have to science the shit out of this."

So they bundle up what they believe can be
repaired effectively, and take it back to the base.

Hootowl stares at the heap of space junk and
firmly reminds himself that the soul of science
lies in the ability to regard old problems with
new questions and new possibilities.

* * *

Notes:

"To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old problems from a new angle, requires creative imagination and marks real advance in science."
-- Albert Einstein

The Sargasso Sea on Earth is full of clingy seaweed that can entangle ships. In space it's often a nickname for a derelict graveyard of starships or other space junk.

"I'm going to have to science the shit out of this!" is the most famous quote from the The Martian. It's basically a long reel of using science to survive.

eeeee

Date: 2016-03-04 05:13 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
SCIENCE! in SPAAAACE !!! you go Weavercreep, you science the SHIT out of that space junk and make a work of art. Fantastic as always Ysabetwordsmith! Fantastic

(no subject)

Date: 2016-03-02 11:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] janetmiles.livejournal.com
Oh, happiness! This is lovely, and I wish them all the best.

Thank you!

Date: 2016-03-03 12:02 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ysabetwordsmith.livejournal.com
They are making a good start. [livejournal.com profile] ng_moonmoth and I have ideas for further developments. :D

Solving problems together

Date: 2016-03-03 03:19 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
This isn't the "one genius saves the world" trope. This is everyone putting their efforts into surviving, one piece of a bigger problem at a time. Need ships. Need spare parts. Which parts can make a hospital? Where can we find staff? And so forth.

I prefer the latter style of storytelling.

Re: Solving problems together

Date: 2016-03-03 03:24 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ysabetwordsmith.livejournal.com
>> This isn't the "one genius saves the world" trope. <<

I do occasionally tell those too ...

>> This is everyone putting their efforts into surviving, one piece of a bigger problem at a time. Need ships. Need spare parts. Which parts can make a hospital? Where can we find staff? And so forth.

I prefer the latter style of storytelling. <<

... but this is my favorite, because I believe that everyone has something to contribute. I'm glad you like it too!

Re: Solving problems together

Date: 2016-03-03 05:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rhodielady-47.livejournal.com
I AGREE!
Humanity evolved in family groups and villages and it takes us working IN GROUPS to solve our problems.

"I prefer the latter style of storytelling."
So do I! It's a better, richer story for including everyone.
:^)

Re: Solving problems together

Date: 2016-03-03 06:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ysabetwordsmith.livejournal.com
A problem is that modern society almost never teaches teamwork. It just throws people together and tells them to work that way. So if they don't already have the skills, they flounder. Actually learning to do things that are dependent on someone else doing their part requires a base of competent people plus at least one person who can make a good plan.

The Lacuna is made mostly of individuals. Router's crew is a well-oiled team, but they're several neurotypical folks with one neurovariant "little brother." Weavercreep and Operetta make a great team as a couple, and there are other dyads. But mostly it's people working on things separately, or at best, the work equivalent of parallel play where they're in the same space but not doing things that depend on each other. Building up to real teamwork will take time.

Re: Solving problems together

Date: 2016-03-04 03:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rhodielady-47.livejournal.com
That's a major problem for our society what with the way it's set up its educational system. Every child studies and earns GRADES but since when have you ever heard of children receiving a grade for their participation in a group?
Learning to follow step-by-step directions and training the brain to closely coordinate hand and eye movement (such as we need in order to learn to read words written in paragraphs or write the same) are very complex tasks THAT ARE NOT LEARNED IN A DAY, A WEEK, OR EVEN A MONTH and learning to work in groups steadily toward a goal is much the same. Children have to practice these tasks daily for years to learn them and we all know adults that haven't completely mastered these tasks.
So what's stopping our children from learning this?
Our refusal to make it a regular part of our children's education shows that we don't hold it that valuable.
And we should.
:^}

(no subject)

Date: 2016-03-03 05:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rhodielady-47.livejournal.com
I love this!
You've made my day--I needed to read something good like this today.
THANK YOU!
:^)

You're welcome!

Date: 2016-03-03 06:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ysabetwordsmith.livejournal.com
I'm glad I could help. :D

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
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