Saturday, 14 February 2009

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Listserv Etiquette VI: KILL CUT CUT STAB STAB STAB KILL Thursday (February 5th) To: [departmental listserv] From: [organizing committee members One, Two, and Three] Subject: Announcement: [interesting-sounding talk] Mark you calenders for [interesting-sounding talk]: Date: Friday, February 13th Time: 1:00-2:30 p.m. Location: [on campus] Light refreshments will be served. Best, Organizing Committee Members One, Two, and Three Tuesday (February 10th) To: [departmental listserv] From: [Organizing Committee Members One, Two, and Three] Subject: Reminder: [interesting-sounding talk] Just a reminder of the [interesting-sounding talk] coming up this Friday. Date: Friday, February 13th Time: 1:00-2:30 p.m. Location: [on campus] Light refreshments will be served. Best, Organizing Committee Members One, Two, and Three Thursday (February 12th) To: [graduate student listserv] From: [Organizing Committee Members One, Two, and Three] Subject: Last Reminder: [interesting-sounding talk] tomorrow The [interesting-sounding talk] is tomorrow. Date: Friday, February 13th Time: 1:00-2:30 p.m. Location: [on campus] Light refreshments will be served. Best, Organizing Committee Members One, Two, and Three Friday (February 13th): 9:21 a.m. To: [departmental listserv] From: [Organizing Committee Member One] Subject: Last Reminder: [interesting-sounding talk] is TODAY at 1 p.m. The [interesting-sounding talk] is TODAY at 1 p.m.. Date: TODAY Time: 1:00-2:30 p.m. Location: [on campus] Light refreshments will be served. Best, Organizing Committee Member One Friday (February 13th): 9:46 a.m. To: [graduate student listserv] From: [Organizing Committee Member Two] Subject: Last Reminder: TODAY is the [interesting-sounding talk] at 1 p.m. [on campus] TODAY is the [interesting-sounding talk] at 1 p.m. [on campus] Date: TODAY Time: 1:00-2:30 p.m. Location: [on campus] Light refreshments will be served. Best, Organizing Committee Member Two Friday (February 13th): 11:01 a.m. To: [departmental listserv] From: [Organizing Committee Member Three] Subject: THE [interesting-sounding talk] BEGINS IN ONE HOUR AND FIFTY-NINE MINUTES THE [interesting-sounding talk] BEGINS IN ONE HOUR AND FIFTY-EIGHT MINUTES Date: ONE HOUR AND FIFTY-SEVEN MINUTES Time: 1:00-2:30 p.m. Location: [on campus] WE WILL BE SERVING LIGHT REFRESHMENTS IN ONE HOUR AND FIFTY-SIX MINUTES. Best, Organizing Committee Member Three Friday (February 13th): 4:22 p.m. (?) To: [graduate student listserv] From: [Organizing Committee Member Two] Subject: Last Reminder: TODAY is the [interesting-sounding talk] at 1 p.m. TODAY is the [interesting-sounding talk] at 1 p.m. [on campus] Date: TODAY Time: 1:00-2:30 p.m. Location: [on campus] Light refreshments will be served. Best, Organizing Committee Member Two Friday (February 13th): 4:47 p.m. (!?!) To: [departmental listserv] From: [Organizing Committee Member One] Subject: Last Reminder: [interesting-sounding talk] is TODAY at 1 p.m. The [interesting-sounding talk] is TODAY at 1 p.m. Date: TODAY Time: 1:00-2:30 p.m. Location: [on campus] Light refreshments will be served. Best, Organizing Committee Member One (Previous installments available here.)
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Battlestar Galactica: a historical timeline of events leading up to the Miniseries (Explanation.) I've done my damnedest to reconstruct the history of Dublin from Ulysses of humans, human-looking robots, robot-looking robots and Cylons on Battlestar Galactica. The dates are purposely vague: I'm more interested in the order in which events occurred than precisely dating them. 5,000ish years ago: Humans inhabit Earth. They leave. Stop at the Algae Planet and build the Temple of Athena so future people can find their way back. Keep on moving and settle on Kobol. 4,000ish years ago: The residents of Kobol create a race of robot slaves that look exactly like humans, i.e. in their own image. These robots can resurrect but not reproduce. Some sort of Blade Runner-scenario maybe ensues? Can't tell but could be important. Either way, the monotheistic Thirteenth Tribe of human-looking robots leaves Kobol and—in Ellen Tigh's words—backtracks to Earth. They stop on the Algae Planet to find the way to Earth. They re-colonize it. 3,500ish years ago: But they are lazy. So the human-looking robots on Earth build robot slaves who look like proper robots. No chance of a Blade Runner-scenario there. Their slaves look like robots. By this point the human-looking robots have acquired the ability to reproduce sexually and do so for so long they eventually forget how to resurrect. 2,000ish years ago (on Earth): The human-looking robots we know as Ellen and Saul Tigh, Galen Tyrol, Samuel Anders and Tory Foster (henceforth "Ellen and the Gang") are born and become scientists. They are warned that their robot slaves plan to destroy them. They rediscover resurrection technology and put a resurrection ship in orbit. The human-looking robots and their robot-looking slaves mutually assure their own destruction—except for Ellen and the Gang, whose brains are downloaded up to their new bodies on the resurrection ship. 2,000ish years ago (on Kobol): Something happens. The Twelve Tribes of humans leave Kobol and settle on twelve loosely-affiliated planets. Each of the Twelve Colonies develops an individual mono-planetary culture because that is what happens in science fiction. Between 2,000ish years ago and 53 years ago (in Twelve Colonies): Mono-planetary cultures notwithstanding, humans become lazy again. Like the human-looking robots of the Thirteenth Tribe, these humans learned from their mistakes and did not make their new robot slaves in their image. They made Toasters. The Toasters rebelled. The Twelve Colonies unite under the Articles of Colonization. Between 2,000ish years ago and 53 years ago (on their way from Earth to the Twelve Colonies): Ellen and the Gang move at sub-light speed. Time dialates. Approximately 53 to 40 years ago: The Toasters and the Twelve Colonies fight a war. On the Toasters' home planet—wherever that is—they try and develop their own human-looking robots. These are the hybrids who control their ships. Ellen and the Gang finally reach the Twelve Colonies. They convince the Toasters to end the war with the humans by promising to help them create human-looking robots. Between 40 years ago and the Miniseries: Ellen and the Gang are true to their word. The first...

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