July 23, 2011: Bryan Campen

One half of the day was spent wrestling my three-year-old son and introducing him to The Rolling Stones.

The List of Songs Our Toddler Danced To and Attempted to Sing:

Brown Sugar
Can You Hear Me Knockin
It was eerie seeing how quickly he learned to dance like Jagger simply listening to Under My Thumb.

The other was left to transcribing interviews, then writing notes to people I had not spoken with in a while.  Basically that meant trotting out relationships I haven’t checked on for a long time, and that felt like making out with Annie the resuscitation doll for a basic lifeguard class, hoping she’s alive.

Also began teaching him presentation style for magic tricks.

Thinking back on the day made me think on the week: it was the strangest moment in a long time.  Two parents passed away (not mine). The economy seems like it’s about to freak out again.  Norway.  Amy Winehouse died.  Chicago flooded.  Our car almost gave up its ghost from the heat.

And I ascended a mountain.

A week ago I shot this.  It's in Eastern Nevada at 11,600 feet.

In the valley below there is a big water fight—Las Vegas is snapping up valley land at the edge of the park, and will attempt to move the flow into the city several hundred miles south.  That may create a desert valley (Spring Valley).

Rapid transformations by us, taking place everywhere.  It’s equal parts disconcerting and awe-inspiring.

And it’s what I think about watching this gigantic storm roll into town tonight.

Being back in Chicago is radically different than the mountain.  Less sun.  More clarity (more oxygen).  More speed.  Technology takes over nature as I get back into a flow, and I think about the data flood and how to resist it as much as I do those cars going backward on I-90.

We’re in a city that’s sort of done needing any more water for the moment, but here it comes.  Most in history.

Now back in town, we contribute to the further-accelerating [digital] pace of life.  I hope it’s more a stream than a deluge for everyone’s sakes.

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About the author: Bryan Campen is new media director at @manifestdigital in Chicago, and new media advisor to @longnow in San Francisco.  He lives with his wife and son in Wheaton.

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