April 25th, 2010

2020 lack of vision

a strange dream

I was in Oxford and one of the ball committees had decided to think really big this year and set up an entire themed week on scientific dandyism, with exhibitions and events and a fun-fair that the public could attend, and I did, like you would. You could see the rides over Oxford's omnipresent crenellations and trees but I went straight for the halls, where there were some good displays, I'd heard. Most of the students had dropped into the spirit of things with great enthusiasm; a crowd dressed like Isaac Newton and colleagues was staging some sort of vigorous scientific debate complete with fisticuffs and faux knifecriming, I stepped aside as they rolled by and entered one of a series of wood-panelled rooms full of fantastic machineries and more students pretending to be scientists of yore, with varying degrees of success. At some point I lost my way, and ended up wandering halls and struggling up stairs past numbered rooms, notice boards and regular toilets. Eventually I got back to the exhibition area, and got into the exhibition lift. It was supposed to take you up through the years of scientific endeavour, but I'd got in at the top and was going down. As the lift descended, hidden machinery shifted and it changed from steel and glass to wood and brass, became smaller (I had to jump forward as a wood panel nudged up behind me) and more rickety, eventually just a wooden box, not even a door, came to rest back on the exhibition floor, and I hopped out, having progressed backwards from the 21st Century to the 1600s...