Semi-Random Encounters

Last June, I had an amazing opportunity to be a part of the Summer Institute of the Consortium for the Science of Sociotechnical Systems (CSST). The idea was that about 35 junior scholars would get together for four days with 15 senior scholars in rural Washington State. I knew about 8 of the 35 junior scholars and got to know many more over the four intense days. I have a blog post sitting around, waiting to be published, about the overall experience, but this is just an intro.
I had a direct flight from Minneapolis to Portland on a Sunday morning. I got to the gate and was hanging out, doing my readings for CSST with fly fisherman all around me. Then I got up and moved around and who should be there but my friend Dave. Dave and I had met at a conference about a year before and is an absolute riot (although word on the street is that he’s serious when teaching). He was filling me in on the hockey tournament he’d been at in Toronto (playing) the night before and we were chatting about other random things. Then I asked where he was sitting on the plane. RIGHT NEXT TO ME.
I should state that we had both booked our own flights and I didn’t even know he was even flying through Minneapolis. I also had only picked this seat because the interwebs assured me it was a bulkhead seat. (They lied.) I hate the middle seat. But there we were, accidentally seated next to each other. Dave documented it with this photo and then just sent it to me today.

We both got out our massive stacks of readings and tried to read while it wasn’t too turbulent. We’d occasionally talk about the readings or go off on a tangent. Overall, it was one of the best flights I’ve had. Thanks Dave!

Context of previous post

Just realized that my last post was very context free…so here’s a stab at some context. I’m at a camp this week called CSST or the 2010 Summer Research Institute for the Science of Socio-Technical Systems. I’ll hopefully get a chance to write more about it later, but it’s a great coming together of junior and senior researchers from all across fields of sociotechnical systems. So I don’t usually hang out or talk with people from management and sociology backgrounds about my research, but this was a venue in which to do so. It has been an amazing experience so far (we leave tomorrow), but one of the interesting parts has been the unstructured social time every day. We documented yesterday’s time and turned it into a random, in joke filled comic strip. Having this software makes me think that maybe I’ll mess with this more as a form of storytelling so maybe someday you non-CSST folks will understand what the heck is going on (in comic book form).

PS. Apologies to my mother for the language. I was quoting others…Professionally. Also it was a technical term, so it’s ok 🙂

Our Sociotechnical Outing

CSST ROCKSYou know you love CSST
Sociotechnical error #404