Projjal wanted to meet. He is the owner of the Aicon Gallery, a big gallery of contemporary Indian art. Projjal was trying to convince me to reconsider the director job for the gallery. It did not matter that I had already started helping Bruno with his startup. Projjal does not like to lose, and he wanted me. I did not budge. Our conversation left me thinking, however. Projjal wanted to know the reason for my decision. One of my arguments was that art is a frivolous activity, not a critical element of society . Given the state of the world, I told him, I wanted to devote my time to activities that were going to make a difference. Business, technology, and policy are what’s going to save us. His point was that art is essential to a democracy, and that a society without art no longer has a soul. He is right of course. And wrong also.
Global warming has thrown us back down a few steps along Maslow‘s hierarchy of needs. Collectively, we are no longer at the apex of the pyramid, where the actualization of our needs for aesthetics and creativity becomes an end in itself. Instead we are to deal with our more primitive needs, way at the bottom. The satisfaction of our needs for food, water, air, and safety, is being threatened once more, on a global scale. The very real anxiety I am feeling as a result, has caused me to reevaluate my actions, and to ask the question of, how can I contribute to the solution, given my set of talents and likes? I have become fascinated with the Internet, and its power to mobilize crowds and facilitate global change. With Bruno’s startup, I will get a chance to become a part of that whole movement.