Summer Conference 1999: Science, Ethics & Human Destiny

President's Message

TREVOR BARTRAM, President, CIPA

Through the long months of Canadian winter, I think that most of us have a special chair where we will go for the pleasure of reading. A chair with the particular comfort, perhaps seclusion within our homes, warm lighting and of course, the essential side table for one’s glass or cup and perhaps two or three books and the latest issues of a couple of favourite magazines.

It is your particular place to enjoy the pleasures of personal reading, far removed from one’s work station or desk, a place usually overloaded with too many reports, correspondence, analysis, faxes, e-mails, and the other detritus of our hectic work responsibilities.

But our reading chair is far removed, at least psychologically, from heavy responsibilities of work, it is a place of comfort, intimacy with ideas, and recuperation.

I have been trying to define why I, and so many of you, are so committed to our experience with Couchiching. Why is there such a passion for all that we associate with Couchiching? The planning, the many meetings, the hard work, the "mini-Couchs" which happen throughout the year as Roundtables, and of course, the four wonderful days of the annual summer conference.

It just seems to me that Couchiching plays a role for many of us, similar to our reading chair. It is a place of comfort, intimacy with ideas, and recuperation, completely removed from the demands of our work, with one really very important addition to our comfortable reading chair; "Couch" is also about strong friendships and stimulating new associations with people who love ideas.

We live in an amazingly technological world. Every day, I seem to find myself marveling about some new element of technology, which is, or surely will, in the not distant future, influence how I live. Contemporary technology brings so many things of value and benefit to us.

But, in this complex world, I need my reading chair, a most untechnological part of my living space. I need Couchiching in the same way as I need that reading chair, untechnological, but full with many values which are important to my life. Long term friendships, stimulating new acquaintances and ideas. It is great to be a part of, and to be able to contribute to, the Couchiching experience.

I look forward to seeing some of you at the next Roundtable, and to seeing all of you at next summer’s conference.

Couchiching Online History Table of Contents 1999 Summer Conference