I’ve spent the last two days feeding my brain on ideas and connections at FutureFest. And I am tired. My brain is not quite in hibernation mode, but it’s definitely doing that slow indexing thing, so that at some point in the not-too distant future I’ll start being able to draw all the connecting lines between the various things I heard and the various other things I’m interested in and involved in, and going, ‘Oooh, would that be a fun thing to play with next.’
Things like constitutionalism and engagement in political systems in a digital age, and the possibility of a new Magna Carta or a new Doomsday book as a better way of measuring value and the state of the country; like thinking of cyberspace as an ecology and what that might mean; like fractal boundaries, and scaling democracy up and down; like pretty much everything Roberto Unger has to say about the future of religion; like what I’m going to do tomorrow that will resonate in 100 years time; and maybe even how to persuade SF writers that not all people of faith are irrationally stupid crazy people.
To mellow my brain out on the way home, I was listening to some Sondheim: intelligent (emotionally and intellecually) and beautiful, a perfect ease out of a very mentally-focused space. And Our Time, from Merrily We Roll Along, came on. It starts 40 seconds into this clip:
My gosh, that song, Sondheim. I don’t think I’ve gone three days without listening to it on for about the last five months. I love it. It hangs in my bones. It starts off soothing me and then leaps upwards, robbing me of my breath, and making me want to scrabble together all my little mess of dreams and knowledge and talent and take a running jump into my future. Without making all the mistakes Frank makes, of course.
By the end of a weekend of ideas and enthusiasm, and get-up-and-go, it’s entirely possible to get a bit cynical about the underlying theme coming out of FutureFest over the weekend – Jeremort’s not wrong that there was a lot of what Sarah Palin might call the, ‘Hopey Changey’ stuff.
But you could resist that if you want. And the point of FutureFest is to resist that. To be, as @Harkaway said, ‘Gloriously silly.’ You could just get a little Sondheim with the stuff you’ve taken in –
Feel the flow,
Hear what’s happening:
We’re what’s happening.
Don’t you know?
We’re the movers and we’re the shapers.
We’re the names in tomorrow’s papers.
Up to us now to show ’em …
It’s our time, breathe it in:
Worlds to change and worlds to win.
Our turn coming through,
Me and you, man,
Me and you!
I might be tired, but I want to buy into @Harkaway’s opening gambit that of the weekend that, “If you talk about it, you change it.” I want to sing along with Frank and Mary and Charley, and get to shape the happening.