Anthro_Danielle wrote:Hey PlutonianEmpire - so good to hear from you again!! Thanks so much for taking the time to have such a cool conversation with me, it's great to get to follow questions and thoughts beyond a single exchange
I appreciate you sharing more details about your creative process with me. It's interesting to hear about the different ways you can use the environment to generate and test stories, as well as communicate them to others, and interesting too the different kinds of storytelling this allows for (eg. pseudo-factual/historical accounts), and the element of novelty that you mentioned (ie., that it can help you think of new things you hadn't thought of before, or new ways of working around problems).
It's so interesting that you brought up the overview effect, and I'm really glad you did! In talking about space, human presence in space, and how it affects our understandings of the Earth, people often emphasise the central role of the visual - being able to *see* things (life, earth, us) from a new perspective or point of view. And now of course we have so many ways of visually accessing new points of view on these things, from real-time livestreams of views of the Earth from the ISS or of a launch, to ways of viewing and exploring fantastical spaces that might be in simulations or games. I've often wondered how having this kind of access, ability to /see/ new things in new ways might change or affect the ways we can think, imagine, learn, or do things! But one thing I have noticed astronauts say is that a key element of the overview effect for them, aside from just the seeing, is the fact of 'being there' fully, being in space in such a way that allows you to more fully comprehend these profound feelings and concepts. So this, I think, makes the possibilities of VR-enabled access /suuuper/ interesting - is the level of immersion and presence enabled by these technologies sufficient or comparable in anyway to being physically there, psychologically speaking? How can we push that, test, and explore it? Obviously I don't have the answers, but I think the questions are so interesting, and I'd love to look into it further and hear more of your - and everyone else's too - thoughts about it!
[/quote]Thanks again for stopping by and sharing your thoughts and time with me!!
Anthro_Danielle wrote:Hi A-L-E-X, thanks for stopping by! Thank you for sharing your story, I really enjoyed hearing it. It seems like many people here and in wider astronomy circles have these moments of inspiration or interest from childhood, that drive them all the way through life. I think it's really interesting that you talk about space as kind of appealing to people with abilities or proclivities for thinking about and with things that can't be directly experienced. Personally I'm really interested in the possibilities of new ways of representing such phenomena, so that they can be accessed by more people, and so that more people can feel at home with them, and work with them intuitively. Maybe things like SE, Kerbal, satellite & ISS livefeeds and space VR will make space, astronomy, astrophysics, and earth affairs too, more accessible to more people? If so, it will be very interesting to see the results! How do you pursue your interest in space, besides SE? Do you have any favourite stories, topics, or projects? How do you follow or pursue them (as in, through what sources, sites, channels)?
Anthro_Danielle wrote:A-L-E-X - it sounds as though you must have a pretty rounded set of experiences and perspectives! Personally I tend to think that breadth and variety can be really helpful in approaching any topic with nuance, and I agree with you there - there are lots of really interesting people here with so many different backgrounds and experiences bringing them to one shared interest.
The overlaps between scientific content and information, and representation in realms of communication (eg. advocacy speaking and writing, science communication) and art (games, designs, illustrations, etc.) are so fascinating! I think the ways that different modes of communication and representation (ie., text vs images vs interactive vs digital applications vs dialogue-style vs broadcast style communication etc.) impact the ways we can receive and access information is so interesting - some methods and tools work better for communicating particular kinds of things, some styles of communication work better for building particular kinds of community, etc.
Environmental awareness, and concerns with things like ecosystems, sustainability, and the impacts of human action are really interesting as well when we think about space exploration and science. I think some of the older popular stories reflect ideas of conquest - exploring and conquering outwards, humans mastering the universe, you know? But then we've had to come to terms with some pretty harsh lessons about how well we can actually do that here on Earth, and so I wonder how narratives of human space exploration and settlement will fit with narratives of sustainability, environmentalism, systems thinking, etc. going forward into the future. If we're having to reevaluate much of human actions and impacts globally (at Earth-scale), what might that mean for the kinds of stories driving us beyond-Earth? What are we aiming/hoping for, and what kinds of terms can we use to think about it?
Something interesting about urban living and lights that I hadn't noticed until a botanist pointed it out to me - when trees start to drop their leaves, those trees growing next to streetlights will drop unevenly, and the sides closest to/around the streetlight will stay green and leafy for much longer, because it's normally a decrease in light that will tell them that it's winter and time to sleep, but of course if they're getting light 24/7 no matter what, that seasonal variation isn't happening for parts of the tree. I don't know what that does to their systems over time but it must be a little strange! As I write it it sounds so obvious but I'd never really noticed or seen it until it was pointed out!
jadestar wrote:Source of the post Were you ever on either of Paul Carr's podcasts (The Wow! Signal or The Unseen Podcast)? Your name sounds familiar. BTW: I told you this in response to your community survey but I'm an astronomy undergrad at the University of Washington who hopes to become an astrobiologist and also a woman so I'm very interested in this thread.
A-L-E-X wrote:Source of the post I think we're entering a new era of awareness, with access to so much information, you get a better idea of what's going on and can better prepare for the future. Humanity has had to learn that rather than fight the environment and nature we have to learn to live with it because we are a part of it. Fighting it is the same as fighting ourselves.
Another thing which you just reminded me about is how important creativity is in science- not just for making new discoveries but also fostering interest in science. Knowledge might nurture the mind but creativity soothes the soul, and I find that when both are used together, they make for an explosive combination to explore undiscovered lands.