Shoring uncertain times (14 January 2009)

Train trip to New-York. Along the North part of Chesapeake Bay. The snow somewhere between Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Arrival in Penn Station. A thought for Louis Kahn (who died of an heart attack in the toilets here) … and for “my architects”. New-York feels as usual. I am cheating with this trip since I am only going to places where a European can feel at home. In New-York, I am at home like a refugee. I try to imagine my mother arriving here when she was 16.

I am stopping here for a visit at Software Freedom Law Center, a foundation that works to create legal security for free/open source software developers and users. Exchanges with friends and introduction to people who work here. I am happy to put faces on the names, but going from office to office is always artificial. The board meeting covers various administrative duties and the activities of the foundation. The professionalism of Americans when they commit to non-profit activities is impressive. Eben Moglen’s analysis even more. We will have time for a free conversation where we compare our architectural understanding of technology and society. What a gift.

I call Turkish-American friends and we arrange for an improvised meeting. Discussions on the new administration. Each tries to show that s/he has no illusions, that many things won’t change, that the difficulties will be immense. After a while, hopes surface, they refuse to be caged. In the streets and the subway, things seems more relaxed and kind. One can’t afford such hopes to be disappointed.

This post is also available in: French

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