What’s the worst decision I’ve ever made?
I’ve made a few bad ones. In my brief bad bridge days, I put down a cold four clubs contract, or so my mates told me. One former friend was particularly precise—‘the only bridge you seem to know is an open space spanning construct’. Those words taunt me thirty-five years later. And romance—I’ve messed up great relationships, and persevered with some shockers. After a bikie taunted me with, ‘Don’t bash us up’, I heard my weaselly fifteen-year-old voice, ‘I won’t, but only because you asked nicely’. When asked by the Israeli airline (El-Al) security guy if I was traveling with anyone, I gestured towards my Palestinian mate and replied, ‘Only that terrorist over there’.
Unless you are an internet pioneer, a libertarian, a Deadhead, or my wife, you probably have never heard of John Perry Barlow, who died today after lingering too long (or not nearly long enough), but after having had a serious crack at reframing the internet in terms that didn’t make it a perverse analogue of the default world.
I bought, and years later sold, coins of Ptolemy I Soter. Ptolemy was a general of Alexander the Great. After Alexander’s death he ruled Egypt as satrap and pharaoh. He also built the world’s first lighthouse, the Pharos of Alexandria, a Wonder of the World and a model for all lighthouses thereafter. Our new wing of Mona is a lighthouse too, but not one designed to warn ships of the risk of foundering on rocks. Our lighthouse is a testimonial to the power of light as art—not just as a medium for artworks, but as an object.