Planned to go to the Bird Fair today but I think the Universe was sending us a clear message to stay away after over sleeping, then traffic and then the sat nav sending us to some cul-de-sac in Northhampton and then it was Jacob's feeding time so we had to stop at Frankie and Bennies when the main reason we were going to the Bird Fair was for a hot dog anyway. So we aborted and went to Wilko instead.
I've enjoyed the Bird Fair in the past and great to meet up with friends and colleagues. However what with social media now it's like there is a constant minute to minute, 24/7, 365 days a year Bird Fair, with regular updates and engagement with friends from all over the world and announcements from natural history companies of new products, books, trips and news of most recent natural history discoveries and conservation issues. It's pretty epic- a permanent network which has proven to be utilised very effectively in all manner of birding matters from daily rarity news to coordinating conservation campaigns.
However there is a limit to the social media network- you can't get a hot dog (or a drink with your mates) so I guess the physical Bird Fair is indispensable and here to stay too.
Also as far as I'm concerned the network that has evolved is just the beginning and in the future we will see the emergence of a well defined nucleus/HQ for that network and also the configuration with other communities that have shared objectives with the birding/natural history community to oppose and replace the run away system currently wreaking havoc over nature and human well being .
The writing is already on the wall- the Alliance for Nature (51 conservation organisations working towards a single campaign), the bio-diversification of birding and integration with the wider natural history community, the politicisation of birding, the appearance of Generals (like Avery, Packham and McRobert), the working towards a final global taxonomy, the appearance of global recording networks like Ebird, natural history technology etc etc- it's part of an immense reorganisation, part of globalisation and in the future will evolve into a new system that governs and manages Nature and will replace/ integrate with the current system.
Nature eventually will be governed and managed by the natural history community and not 'government departments'- which are simply archaic structures desperately clinging on to life. As the negative consequences of system failure escalate the resulting chaos will keep driving the changes forward and in my opinion some of the most important changes will be very very rapid during a period of maximum failure.
So no matter who is who in birding/natural history from the NGOS, universities, the bird groups, the facebook groups, the twitter community, the information services, technology suppliers, the narcissists and their sycophants, the recorders, the white walkers, the listers etc etc etc a great re-organisation is under way that involves everyone, good, bad and ugly (particularly ugly in our community)- a selection, a distillation, an evolution, a revolution.
A new system is evolving- I just hope the vegetarians aren't really some form of advanced life form or else I'm going to miss my Hot Dog.