On Strange Interests and Peace

One of the things I love about meetups groups is that list of “Members of this Group Also Belong To…” Now, this one varies. If you’re looking at a huge, popular interest, the list doesn’t do much for me. Yes, of course, the members of the Elvis Fan Club also belong to Elvis Forever, Cooking Graceland-Style, and the hunka-hunka-singles group. The computer groups are pretty similar, although they do have their differences: Wait! You mean there’s a Red Hat user in this Linux group?!! I’m going to have to bring my hand sanitizer, aren’t I?

The ones, though, that really fascinate me are the groups for some obscure little hobby or interest, where the members have absolutely nothing in common except for that particular activity.

The ones where… well, let’s be honest… if the members didn’t share an interest in Noh theater or Gatka, or percussion instruments from Borneo, the only time they’d meet would be on opposite sides of a police line at a protest somewhere.

Give them a little brains and a weird hobby, and suddenly… we have face-to-face tolerance and butt-in-chair cooperation.

Wouldn’t it be strange, if the whole future of civilization rests on the strings of an Aeolian Harp? Or if Armageddon is averted by tuvan throat singing?


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