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Five Minute Speeches - Stewart Brand

I've been wanting to see what I'd do at the end of all this, other than be glad that it was coming down to a chance to go and take a bath. The words that kept coming back to me through the sixty-some speakers we've had, was some kind of dialogue that goes on between grasp and reach. Ten years ago we reached for something with the Whole Earth Catalog.   A lot of us reached for various things some to stop the war in Vietnam, some to save various species, some to find a way to stay high.  And we have spent ten years refining our activities so that our grasp could catch up with that reach. That's part of this strange transition that many of us have made from something like an outlaw to something like a citizen.

I think we're different citizens and more valuable citizens for having been outlaws, and I think we're, maybe more forgiving toward the present and hopefully oncoming set of outlaws.   I hope that there'll always be that dialogue.

But for ourselves each time that the grasp catches up with the reach and we come to do something rather well well enough that it's as if we could do it in our sleep -- then probably we are"doin,g it in our sleep. You might think about that grasp that you've got now, the refinement, the citizen quality of your behavior.   I mean, I'm having to notice that I'm sitting on boards now. They're wonderful boards: .Bread and Roses, Magic Theater, Neighborhood Foundation,  in Sacramento I wear a three-piece suit.

I start to look at the boredom, the tedium that comes with doing what you've done well for a very long time exclusively.   I think this is the kind of thing that often overtakes public figures, and we as the public Often force that on them, by insisting that Ralph Nader be strictly Ralph Nader.  I'd love to see Ralph Nader trash a car in some fundamental sense. All of us have this corner that we get into by being public or by being good at what we're doing.

Looking at various unusually useful people's biographies, I notice that many of them have reflowe.rings. I got to spend an afternoon with Milton Friedman a couple of months ago, and I have to say; he is one of the most interesting people to spend time with. We were talking about Nobel prize winners.  He's been one.  He said he wouldn't have accepted it except a friend of his, Von Hayack, got it, and Von Hayack would've felt bad if Friedman had turned it down, so he didn't.  He said, "Most of these men get their prize, and' then they quit. I think, when you get your prize, you should think about opening up another line of work."

Now, this is not necessarily me thinking about opening up another line of wOrk, but I think all of us should have in mind to keep Various kinds of hobbies going that might take off and become a line of work,. and keep working at times for other kinds of people and in other kinds of jobs, so that pur own diversity can increase and match the diversity we're trying to bring about everywhere.