Sunday, May 13, 2018

Cuckoo's nest

With the kids camping at their grandmother's, we decided to wrap up this week on the road with a stay at the Radisson Blu Riverside. Looking out over what once the terminal of the Swedish America Line, I was thrown back to another transatlantic adventure through the recreation of one of SAS most memorable pre-dinner cocktails, "Air born" (equal measures calvados and green vodka served with ginger ale). Otherwise, the hotel bar called "The Cuckoo's Nest" had a wonderful sci geek theme, complete with a yellow biplane followed by a green banner declaring "Nothing shocks me, I am a scientist".

I am not sure if it is true though. In fact, I am often shocked by how much the future is lagging, even among those who clearly should know better. Over the last days I have had a heated exchange over what counts as sexism with a highly accomplished professor. On a very basic level it is about moral imagination, what it feels like to be on the receiving end of seemingly innocent jokes in a patriarchal society. Again and again I am surprised by how difficult it seems to be for some people to understand power structures, that each comment in itself may not matter much but accumulated over many years and decades, a pattern emerges, one that anyone who claims to “defend the Enlightenment” should be very careful not to reinforce.

Already tonight, I am back in Umeå where I will remain on the ground all the way until the 19th of June when it is time to fly to California and Breakthrough.

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