Friendship is an amazing thing, but so complex at the same time. I have been thinking a lot about it lately. What makes us feel connected to a certain person? Why this one and not this other one? Would we be friends had we met in a different situation, at another stage of life? How important are language, common cultural references and standards to the strength and profoundness of a relationship?
I haven’t answered those questions yet and maybe I will try in an other article, but what I know for a fact is that I have some very, very, very good friends and I feel so lucky and thankful for them. Of all of them there is a special one, who lives 10’000 km away but never felt so close. Thanks Skype! Since the beginning, more than 12 years ago, we spent hours on the phone every evening although we had just spent the day together. I can’t remember what we were talking about but I know that we needed this to survive the torture that was the final year of high school. And today we can have five-hour long Skype talk.
She’s an artist and I’m a scientist. She left Paris for a new life in the North, I left Geneva for a new life in the South so when we talk she’s wearing snow boots and I, a t-shirt. She doesn’t know what will be her next step, I don’t either.
Last night we shared our concerns about this (clearly overpopulated) World: Syria, where kids are now eating leaves to survive, the new increasing tension between Iran and Saudi Arabia that will most likely lead to bigger turmoils in the region, the totally incomprehensible over-indebtedness in which are found so many households in North America and how it is slowly but surely leading to a new subprime crisis but nothing has been done after 2008 to prevent the same cause of producing the same effects (I highly recommend the movie “The Big Short” on that matter – mindblowing!). Adding to this that if we were honest to ourselves we should stop eating foie gras or any meat actually, we were pretty hopeless.
Now the question is what can we do? And would it make a single difference? My friend is worrying about all the ancient knowledge that we are loosing and that one day, when it will be too late, we will realize we should not have forgotten all about it. Who still knows how to grow vegetables, sew a shirt, spin a yarn? What if tomorrow, there is no more internet? Will the kids be able to read a phone book or a map?
She wants to learn those things, and many others. How to build furniture, create glass, or pottery, jewels etc… And I want to do that too! But there is a higher chance that I will get a job in big data or try to find other concrete applications to neural networks or investigate the hypothesis that Google Deep Dream is actually acting exactly like a brain under hallucinogenic drugs. So we decided we should have our very own business called Big Data & Carrots where she will do the manual things and I will do the nerdy ones. This way, if the world doesn’t collapse I’ll bring money, and if it does, she will provide for us and maybe we will even make a small benefit. Best. Hedging. Ever. But don’t steal our idea (you can become a partner if you have something to bring of course!). Oh, and we will be moving in “La Tour des Cedres “ in Lausanne.
I still have a lot of questions about friendship but what I am sure about is that the best ones are when you can make the craziest plans and theories together and actually think it’s a great idea!