Thank you to everyone who voted in the little poll I posted yesterday [don’t forget – votes are being tallied until Friday] and most especially to those of you who emailed me or left comments. I very much appreciate your frankness. I was pretty sure the subscription idea was a long shot but wanted to put it out there anyway to see what sort of response I would get, thinking that even if it didn’t come to fruition it might lead to something else, because that’s often what happens when you throw out an idea. But I didn’t expect this flood of great alternative ideas, which was a wonderful surprise. I’ve now got my work cut out – to go through them all and see which I can use, and which I cannot.
Throughout today I have been surrounded by this immense creative vibe. First, reading your comments; second, I had a long conversation with a friend that left me totally energized; and finally watching Kastljós this evening, which was chock full of energy and brilliant ideas.
See, this whole economic depression thing is a multi-faceted phenomenon. One day all seems bleak, the next day there is this explosion of creativity and innovation. Although people are worried and fearful about the future, there’s also a lot of excitement about constructing a new society and the opportunities inherent in that.
Today, for instance, I had a moment of profound mental clarity. At that moment I felt really great that all this had happened – that the city of illusions had come crashing down and that all of a sudden we have something real and tangible to work with, something that makes sense. As opposed to all the distorted, stupid, insignificant things that have seemed important in the last few years. All this gold dust in our eyes. Being dazzled by things that weren’t even real – as has become blatantly obvious in the last month or so. What were we thinking?
Then I caught a glimpse of old Björk Guðmundsdóttir on Kastljós, talking about building a new society. I’ve got to hand it to her – she’s been so active lately, working tirelessly to champion the cause of How to Do Things Differently. She – like many of us here – is worried that the government will take the quick-fix band-aid solution, namely to plonk down another two aluminium smelters, bringing the total to five [the three we already have are the largest in Europe]. [In case you missed it in the comments a couple of days ago, the link to an article she wrote about this in The Times is here.] Of course the pressure is on, and f*cking Alcan has been going door to door in Hafnarfjörður to get people to sign a petition to hold another referendum about the enlargement of the smelter in the town, which would be a total disaster. And it absolutely cannot be allowed to happen.
Anyway, Björk and a couple of her friends have devoted the last eight weeks to rallying people here in Iceland, bringing together some of the best minds and greatest innovators in this country to hold symposiums and conferences and brainstorming sessions, on how to grow budding businesses and support new innovative ventures. There are a number of such companies here that started several years ago and are now doing exceedingly well, and there is, according to Björk, no shortage of innovative ideas. What is needed is dialogue and for people to work together. Which is another upside of this depression – it forces people to come out of their complacent little cubbyholes, share ideas and work together.
Sort of like what happened in YT’s comments box last post.
BEAUTIFUL WEATHER TODAY
Very gentle, refreshing, a bit of snow on the ground that started to melt as the day wore on and temps crawled up above freezing. Some sun, gorgeous sunset. Currently 1°C [ 34F]. Sunrise was at 9.02, sunset at 5.19 pm.