Leading the Peripheral For the First Time: Ch. 79-The Jackpot

This week’s discussions were pretty interesting.  Multiple times the series Black Mirror was referenced, connecting two different pieces of sci-fi.  Bringing in similar depictions allows us to see how the themes of The Peripheral are universal and have often been explored in other mediums.  Some of our fears and hopes regarding the future can be seen across various story-lines.  At the same time, these connections also allow us to better visualize the futuristic technology.

I used this idea during my personal discussion leading.  I brought in a short clip from Modern Family that illustrated how I imagined the “Wheelie Boy” would look:

The piece is amusing and hopefully engaged my tablemates while also helping them to have a slightly better understanding of Netherton’s situation as he discusses The Jackpot with Flynne.  I also summarized the various components of the Jackpot in addition to its resolution and response.  From there our discussion went off on a couple of tangents regarding our impressions of future technology, including Ash’s moving tattoos.  Being the discussion leader is an interesting position in that you have to help direct the discussion without squashing the ideas and deviations that are a natural part of learning and conversation.  At times it can be challenging, but I also reminded myself that having a dynamic discussion is preferable to silence and a lack of contribution.  Ultimately I viewed the lively conversation as a mark of success, indicating engagement and participation.  I hope that I was able to successfully strike this balance of guidance coupled with restraint, and hopefully I will continue to improve my leadership skills during future discussions.

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