Notes from Underground: Darkness and Inflection

“When a corporation acquires great power, the use — or misuse — of that power is everything. Will it be used for the greater good, or for selfish and destructive means? Now this is a question we must all ask ourselves. Why? Because we are Google.”

Evolution (nymwars remix), Skyloops, remixed by anonymous

It was another week of nymwars, uncertainty, booking train tickets instead of flying, and helping friends deal with difficult emotional situations. Good thing I was inoculated! And a good thing too that DJ Anomaly’s residency at the Atrium continued with Darkness Friday night followed by Inflection on Saturday.

snickerdoodles under black lightThe crowd and music were great both nights, and the food just keeps getting better and better. Jupiter is still bright, and with clear skies and a new moon the viewing was great. The energy was somewhat relaxed, for lack of a better word … a lot of people stayed home preparing for Burning Man, so it wasn’t real crowded on the dance floor. But everybody there seemed to be having a good time. Including me!

sparkling lightsD tells me I was fairly quiet both evenings, lost in my thoughts … stop me if you’ve heard this before: dancing to psytrance, fighting for civil liberties. Back in June 2010 the Social Network Users’ Bill of Rights phrased it as “the right to self-identify”. The right isn’t widely recognized yet, but we’re doing a better and better job fighting for it. Who knows how it’ll work out, but Eric Schmidt’s dream of Google+ as a government-friendly identity system (and perhaps a job in the next administration) has met with almost universal opposition in the tech press and more and more people are aware of the threat and looking for ways to respond. That’s a good thing.

Alas, as a result of all this, looking at my goals for the year, I haven’t made a lot of visible progress over the last few months. And in the process I’ve been spending most of my online time in an environment that’s hostile, sexist, and overwhelmingly male. Drat. I hate it when that happens.

Oh well, it is what it is.  And more positively there’s plenty of encouraging stuff as well. So, while things are dark in a lot of ways right now, as I let myself get lost with the music and the vibe take, I found myself thinking that perhaps the nymwars and the rest of summer 2011 also mark an inflection point.

And when I woke up late on Sunday morning, an inflection point still seemed like a good idea to me.   I heart psytrance.

blue and purple