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Yesterday at Tuttle (in the Barbican) David and I had a conversation, which I then carried on with Tony about the similarities between the growth dynamics in co-working spaces and gentrification in urban environments (first the penniless artists move in because it’s the only place they can afford, they make the area attractive and then they start making money and the richer cool kids also discover the place and all move in etc.)
This first week of Hack The Barbican has felt a bit like the earliest stages of this, when there’s just a handful of people spotting each other in between the occasional temporary occupants who are used to coming in to eat a sandwich in their lunchbreak. But we know it’s going to grow, because we’ve been here before…
“Think of it not as a centrally curated event, but as a slowly growing city that is gradually taking over the Barbican’s public spaces, with many imperfections, but also many moments of unexpected magic.”
I’m a bit dazed this morning by news from my friends Neal & Kathy in Maine that Kathy needed emergency surgery last week and that they’ll likely face a $50,000 bill (without insurance – they have a farm and food business out in the wilds). I know what the healthcare situation is in the US but it’s all the more shocking to me to see this close-up for good people who have offered me nothing but generosity over the years (Neal was one of my first podcasting buddies) and in particular when I was trekking across the country in 2011. They live for their family and local community, working as volunteer ambulance drivers and firefighters as well as running a farm.
Here’s some cheese Neal and I made together two years ago!
It would be bad enough here in the UK to have such a condition and to go through adbominal surgery and the effects of anaesthetic as well as the illness itself but to then have to pay for it, is just outside of my comprehension. We are so lucky to have the NHS and it’s so worth defending. I’m very fortunate to have never needed major attention so far knock on wood etc. but I’m sure that some close members of my family would not be here if we were having to ration our access to healthcare based on what we were likely to be able to afford.
I feel angry and helpless. I can’t guess at what they’re feeling.
I’m thinking about what else I can do to raise awareness and funds for them. If you can help the Foleys out, their campaign page is here.