rhyll: (Default)
APSA goes on, and is more or less entertaining. I've been to some very interesting presentations, which I may get around to writing about on my grownup blog at some point. I've been having a lot of debates with people (hurrah!), most of which seem to focus around top-down vs. bottom-up or (on a related note) the consonance between political ideals and how one lives.

It amuses me, because I have found someone else who has similar political ideals, and often it feels like we are tagging each other on in the debate. I like new friends! I like new friends who know interesting things!

I have also been doing a fair amount of exploring. A couple of days ago we saw some women in steampunk outfits running a giant rube goldberg machine that juiced oranges. We found a cosy little bar in the Valley and listened to some music. Yesterday we went for a rambling walk to West End and, having accidentally gone in the complete opposite direction, walked across the Story Bridge, which is famous (although I don't know why).

There is other news, but I should be getting on with things.

rhyll: (Default)
So far, I think I have not been getting full marks conference-wise. I've gone to a few interesting sessions, but much of it is a little too focused on international relations for my tastes. I've also attempted some 'networking', and have chased down a few people who had papers that seemed interesting, with varying results. My lack of sociability does not seem to be dissipating, sadly, so I am mostly being fairly antisocial. Perhaps I'll feel differently at APSA.

I just had a chat to an academic who gave a good presentation, and who's done a bit of (unpublished) work in my area. Apparently, however, "hey, I work in your area, I'd love to have a chat to you about this issue", was translated as "please give me a lecture on the basics of this issue". He also said that my thesis did not sound particularly exciting, and kindly offered me one of his groundbreaking ideas to rework my thesis around, "not out of generosity, just because I'm not working on that area anymore". Awesome.

On the plus side, I've enjoyed catching up with Thami, and last night I went out and danced a bit. Also, apparently I am now fascinated by world history. I keep catching myself thinking things like, "I really must read up on the Suez crisis", and "Why don't I know more about Maori trench warfare?" One of the nice things about conferences is that you can find someone willing to tell you interesting things over lunch...all you have to do is ask the right question and then eat and listen. I now know a lot more about the role of the potato in world history. Possible-new-friend-writing-on-social-movements told me the Maoris worked out the British liked capturing landmarks...so they used to build pointless, prominent, landmarks, which the British would then expend huge amounts of energy capturing. For some reason I was quite delighted by that.
rhyll: (Default)
I lied. Updates ahoy!

So, we arrived in Brisbane, and spent the first hour or so dragging our luggage around public transport, debating to what extent belief in structures of global governance should imply individual adherence to national laws (a debate which encompassed some fairly impassioned discussions of which drugs should be legalised, for reasons which are not entirely obvious). I am sure the fine citizens of Brisbane enjoyed political theory with their morning commute.

We dropped off our luggage (although not after it made a nasty attack on my shin) and then wandered the streets to find a place to stay for the second conference. (Does anyone know how serious backpackers places are when they say, 'only for people with backpacks'? We have luggage-on-wheels.)

I spent much of the day texting my cousin (or so I thought), arranging to catch up in the evening. I sent a message to Tim, asking if he'd like to join us. I got a very confused call from my cousin, saying he was busy and asking why I had invited him to join another cousin for dinner. Much confusion followed. It turns out I had Thami's number under Tim's name, and had actually been messaging Jamie (whose number was under Thami's name). It all came as something of a happy surprise. We had Tibetan food for dinner, and wandered the streets for a while. We did not get stabbed, although the Valley seems designed for it. We walked through parks, which delighted me. For some reason I expect all parks to be locked up at night.

The first conference starts in an hour or so, and I'm looking forward to it. I am particularly pleased that my body seems to have stopped its tantrum, and now seems to be working more or less as it should.


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July 2012

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