Still nothing on the job front. Still working.
Istanbul looms ever closer – I leave Monday. Of course I’m very excited about that – but I’m quite unprepared for what comes after September 3rd. I don’t even have a plane ticket out of Turkey. Do I need to pack for warm weather or cold after that date, based on the place in which I don’t know I’ll be? But for certain, many changes will occur there. Seeing all the old friends and making hundreds of new ones, and working in a way I’ve never worked before will prove rewarding I’m certain.
I’m pleased that someone with whom I’ve tried to redevelop a good relationship has responded very warmly to it, and we now hang out quite a bit. I’ll miss it while I’m abroad.
I have recently finished two books which I found particularly interesting on the subject of the economy and the way it affects our livelihood and builds our society. They are The World is Flat by Thomas Friedman and Deep Economy by Bill McKibben. I finished The World is Flat in Europe, and picked up Deep Economy in Frisco and finished it on the Hawaii trip. I learned a lot from Friedman’s book and I agreed with – and was excited by! – much of what the book establishes and predicts, especially in relation to the prospects of the post-capitalist economy. As was to be expected though, Friedman’s viewpoint was taken from the prevailing paradigm of study and instead of getting excited about things like Free Open Source Software, he asks in an almost frightened way “When are the right people gonna get paid for it!” McKibben’s book, however, was of a different subject and nature altogether – a very refreshing one. Deep Economy, in the vein of Ishmael, is about changing the very way we live and build our economy in favor of slowing (or even stopping) growth, and focusing as much as possible on local networks and sources to produce everything from quality food to culture and entertainment. I will think and search for a long time for the place in which the global, approaching-egalitarian world described by The World is Flat meets the local and sustainable world urged by Deep Economy. I also had many problems with the way that Friedman’s description of our own economy didn’t care much of any bit about sustainability or cultural quality, and had quite the assumption of superiority – perhaps it would be better to say the lack of an assertion of equality. This is most notable in the way he portrays Indian business executives smilingly and enthusiastically explaining to Friedman that the “place” for Indian IT workers is in call centers, while the “place” for American and “Western” workers is in more dynamic and powerful fields, like consulting and design. I have this lone wanderer-hero to thank for introducing me to the concept of sustainability, which is growing in my personal interest and will probably develop into a life-quest by the time I leave Georgia Tech.
The days inch on by leaps and bounds. But we’ll fight for that inch.