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Change and chaos: when dreams die the world dies a little, too


A good friend told me over coffee that he thought I might be focusing too much on dreams and not enough on practical ‘realities’. I got the point: dreams divert energy away from the business of just getting by.

But is that true? Dreams have shaped everything we are—and do. There would be no personal computers or, for that matter, death camps or civilization without them. One could argue that dreams have been the most positive and the most negative forces acting on human history.

Coincidentally, I watched a YouTube video that evening. The tune was the Stones’ Under My Thumb. As Mick sings a man in a loud green suit draws a pistol, aims at the camera and is stabbed by a Hells Angel. The scene is from the free concert at the Altamont Raceway in 1969. The man in green was Meredith Hunter, a black man who had been harassed by the Angels and wanted revenge. The Stones’ helicopter pilot refused to take the man to hospital, and he died on the stage behind the band.

The 1970 Mayles brothers-Ston…

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