When it comes to whims, that was a good one. Tonight, I went to a POG (the mostly-anarchist group) social. I met a number of interesting people, including a lawyer for one of Pittsburgh's unions, people who help unions negotiate, a bunch of the anarchists, and several other folk. Conversations ranged from political theory (with some of the union folk, including a former Trotskyite who became a Democratic Socialist) and co-ops as socialism within capitalism to organising tactics (where I had some of my questions about why they do things the way they do answered). The event wasn't particularly .. intellectual, but it was a good thing to do - there are sides to me that have been asleep for several years, and it was nice to have them get up and take a walk for a bit. Part of this was the music-in-a-crowded-house-basement phonomenon, something I haven't seen since Charles threw some open mics of that sort in Columbus. I never thought I'd see the gap bridged between things like the Columbus art community and the Columbus activist scene, but this found something close to the strange middle ground. There were some parts of the music that I disagreed with (particularly, some criticisms of the current system seem hollow (e.g. use of the term "patriarchy") or ignorant (the expressed ideas about Iraq seemed to have no actual awareness of world events)), but it was very nice to be there. There were a surprising number of people there - it gives me hope for the future, even if it's not exactly the same thing as what I would have. I was tempted to walk around the party and ask everyone what Anarchism meant to them, but I decided to just relax and enjoy myself instead.
On the walk back to Squirrel Hill (about three miles), I thought a bit about age, and if many of the people there would retain their beliefs as they got older (I was a decent bit older than the median age), but then I finally came to the conclusion that this was a bad way to think about things - it's entirely concievable that people might have their best political ideas in youth, as people's willingness to face harsh realities might be at their greatest in youth and slowly fade. Perhaps. With that possibility (at least), I can dispense with the idea that how long political ideas last in a person should make a difference in how I understand the ideas themselves. This also gives me a nice line of reasoning against certain arguments I once heard from Nicole that tried to give a moral dimension to memetics (as much as she did not recognise memes).