Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Ferry Bldg

Unfortunately, my bag was less lucky so now I am waiting for Zara to open for some last minute shopping. With a window seat in the Ferry Building overlooking Treasure Island, I should say that waiting is quite okay though. Later this afternoon, I will take the ferry across the Bay to Sausolito.

In Academia, I guess it is very common to feel that you are somehow "fake", that whereas other people do real and serious stuff, you are about to be exposed as an imposter any moment. As I get older, I feel a lot less like that, maybe because I have realized that we are all slightly out of our depth. Yet, for the last four years, as I sit down to prepare my talk for the Breakthrough Generation fellows, that feeling comes creeping back. After all, who am I to lecture these most extraordinary graduates on how the world works? This year, the fellows have been reading my piece in Futures from 2013 on ambivalence, irony and democracy in the Anthropocene. Reading it myself on the flight over, I was struck by how my thinking has evolved, how much darker my worldview has become, at least for the short- or medium term. It would be easy to blame Trump or whatnot but I guess it is more about me realizing how complicit we all are in this. Still, for all the darkness and backlash, I remain a long-term optimist, and I guess that is part of the reason why I get invited back, year after year.

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