In a bar the other night someone was explaining how some Duke University psychologists in the 1930s developed this instrument for measuring how happy people were. The instrument was a Euphorimeter, and they called the units of potential happiness ‘euphors’. Apparently, when people with very low euphor levels were shown how lots of people had really high euphor levels, the low-euphor people suddenly stopped being as depressed.
Maybe this is not the best metaphor to describe the last week, but it does come close. Transsomatechnics was by far the best conference I’ve ever been to. So little of the usual competitiveness and depoliticised intellectual wankery; so many people humbly offering their ideas in the spirit of collaboration and shared resistance. It was especially refreshing for people not to have to do the ‘trans 101′ spiel at the start of papers; here was a space in which some things were already known, and critical conversations could begin right away (rather than question time being full of random people whose contribution is “OMG that is so INTERESTING!”). A lot of fruitful things will come out of this conference, I think.
And then there was the brilliant high school dorkiness of the after-party, which was just like Trans Prom, and hanging out in Vancouver parks and streets and this tiny slice of beach, and catching up with people I never ever see enough, and making a whole crew of new beautiful friends. Seriously, if someone could measure my euphors right now, I might break the machine.