I’m in the Lubeck airport for the next few hours, waiting for a flight to England. I’m giving a talk on technology, organizational learning, and the future to a group at World Vision International, a Christian organization that does a lot of work in development, disaster relief, and global change. It should be an interesting time, as it’ll give me a chance to pull together some of my thinking about the end of cyberspace and the future of futures, but in a context that’s novel.
I can’t believe that of all the places in Europe, the Lübeck and Stansted airports are the ones I’m going to see the largest number of times. The Lübeck airport is tiny– basically it’s only Ryanair that flies in and out of here, though there may also be some Herczegovinian charters that stop here to refuel. But it’s not just physically small. More perfectly than any other space I’ve encountered in my adult life, this airport reproduces the feeling of the Trenton, N.J. Amtrak station late on a winter’s night: its mix of people who are waiting to go somewhere, yet have the vibe of people who have nowhere to go; downmarket retail; closed shops– it’s like a petting zoo of varieties of anomie.
There are a surprisingly large number of young people dressed in what I think in the U.S. one would call Goth– lots of dyed ponytails, black clothing, aggressively ugly boots, and men who look like they’re kicking their methadone addictions. Though since we’re in a place that actually was Gothic, I’m not sure what you’d call it. Probably there was some music festival in the neighborhood, or maybe they’re all flying out to Copenhagen to score some hash in Christiana. Maybe this is just the way kids dress here.
However, I found a reasonably comfortable chair and a working electrical outlet, and I have my Mac and some headphones. So unless they cut off the oxygen, fundamentally all is well. I’ve got to be in that space that’s defined by what I’m thinking and writing rather than I am, anyway.
I may have gotten onto the free wifi network. On the other hand, it may be that a Chechen wireless company has used my insatiable thirst for mobile bandwidth against me, and is actually downloading all my personal information. All your passwords are belong to us.
And I’m certain that I’m breaking some rule by plugging into the electricity here.
Nonetheless, i consider it a minor victory that I got here, got settled, and haven’t yet missed my flight (I’ve got another 5 hours before THAT happens).