Zpoc Practice – Research Time

One of the problems with telling people, even your nearest and dearest, that you’re doing something for book research, is that very few people seem to grasp how long research actually takes.

…Yes, this means cleaning up is going slowly. I’m sure more than one writer has said, “If I could just snap my fingers and have every piece of paper vanish, the rest would be easy!”

Well, it would. But the fact remains that research – whether it’s experimental “how long does it take to do X” by doing it, or looking stuff up on the Web – takes time. Ingenuity in search terms, sometimes; coming at things sideways (finding a person by finding obituaries of relatives, for example), or just having enough experience with the quirks of Google or a library database to poke it in unexpected ways. But most of all, time.

This is a two-edged sword I’m feeling particularly keenly at the moment. Since I spend a lot of my free time poking books and other info sources, I have a bunch of odd facts stuffed in my head. Meaning if someone asks me a question, I often either know something about it, or at least know where to look it up.

(Seriously. Ask me about beekeeping, I can tell you we’ve got hieroglyphic records of people sailing up and down the Nile with hives in baskets. Edible wild plants? I can ID more than a few. Bio/chem warfare? Has been around at least as long as poisoned arrows. And on. And on.)

The problem comes when I don’t know. Because people are used to me coming back with an answer immediately, or “I’ll go poke that on the internet” and getting it in a few hours.

When I don’t even know where to start… research takes a lot – a lot – of flailing around. And dead ends. And “I got this smidge, I’ll have to look for more when my head stops aching.”

A zpoc might be preferable, sometimes. Zombies, easy. People hard!

Well. Back to research…. 😉

 

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18 thoughts on “Zpoc Practice – Research Time

  1. *sympathetic flailing* I know how that goes about “I should know something about that, but have no clue.”

    People are indeed hard.

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  2. I will take doing research over a z-poc any time. //Any time.//

    Research tries to kill you honestly. A little slowly, sure. It drags out the pain with headaches and frustration and sheer snarly stubborn attitude. But it’s honest.

    A z-poc cheats. It’ll look like your mom, your dad, your best friend, your pets. It’ll kill you quick — but not after it lets you linger just long enough to know Hell missed a circle when They were drawing up the blueprints.

    Research cares that you don’t like it. That’s why it’s such a pain. Z-poc’s //don’t.// That’s why it’s a Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant.

    While I can’t find any fun in z-pocs, I can see how others can. I just… Yeah. *grabs Nightmare Fuel Retardant*

    (And in regards to research: My sympathies. Sometimes Cassium’s paperwork solution does help. ….so long as you stab the paperwork with a dull knife or stuff it in a punching bag, not the person who sourced you the problem.)

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  3. Well, it’s nice to know I’m not the only one with a mountain of random but interesting info in my head. Stuff that when I mention something from it or answer a answer, I almost always get the look and sometimes the question of “How do you know that?”

    To which I answer “I read. A lot.”

    While research can be a headache inducing slog, it can also be fun when you like learning new things. Which I do. Unfortunately this is a lot of good info trapped in some very dull and dry writing that even dedicated readers have to struggle to get through.

    I prefer the research because it only metaphorically rather literally eats your brain.

    Z-poc stuff tends to hit my “that doesn’t make sense” buttons because all of them these days keep trying to explain zombies with science while not understanding science very well. And z-poc stuff is also almost always depressing. Largely because I can’t see how they are ever going to able get to the post part of a post-end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it story.

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    1. I still think El Goonish Shive got the basics right for zpoc preparation: Since we don’t actually know how zombies work, the only real way to prepare is the same way you prepare for apocs in general. Food, water, tools, transport, defendable positions, skills, etc. Beyond that is really just guessing, and should be done with the knowledge that we don’t actually know the mechanics of “how zombies work”, but if we’re preparing for “zombies” we do have certain basic assumptions (that fallen companions become enemies, for example) that can be prepared more specifically for, tho it should still be secondary to basic emergency preparedness.
      Sure, I disagree on a few specific points (EGS suggests a fire-axe as the primary weapon/tool, while I’d go with a machete), but in general I agree with the reasoning they give (I have a machete, and have experience using it, while I don’t have a fire-axe or experience with one of them, so the same reasoning but the opposite results).

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      1. Heh. My bunnies insist that if zombies work the way they do in the movies, we should suspect magic works, too.

        But yes. After all, if you’re prepared for the zombie apocalypse, you should be prepared for anything!

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    1. Not to mention the fact that if it was a real z-poc (as opposed to a virus/bio-type zpoc, where the zombies are not actually the risen dead), it would be over in a couple of months, because dead bodies cannot stay intact that long.

      {Huggles Vathara re stresses}

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      1. Because DRAMA! /jazz hands.

        Ooh, hey, just unlocked the bonus levels in Plants VS Zombies. *whistles while playing Nightmare Retardant: The Game*

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  4. Huh, yeah. I grew up reading everything and have the random bits just stuck in my head forever. I love google, wikipedia(yes, not a source, but for a starting place, it beats the hell out of most paper encyclopidias) and all the neat people you find on the internet that can give you starting points.

    Then again, growing up before the widespread internet and doing research means knowing all the fun of it sucking + people who don’t know how to organize things + people who do bad things to books(who deserve the zombie apoc). And on science zombies…the only thing worse then science zombies for head breaking stupidity is science werewolves, with science vampires a close third. I think the only zombie show I ever liked is Z-Nation(at least the characters liked each other and had an actual sense of gruesome humor that rings true), even though it is literally the apocalypse (Goodbye age of mammals, we’re giving the world back to the flying dinosaurs.)

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