Good things this week #5

  • Catching up with friends and making new ones at SOCAP — it’s great to know that the impact investment community is growing up strong in the US and around the world.
  • The conference organisers getting Off the Grid on free vend to feed us at the opening party.
  • The fantastic Interval created by friends at the Long Now Foundation in San Francisco.
  • Buying new kicks at the Darkside Initiative.
  • Reading Player One by Douglas Coupland in a couple of sittings — including in an airport bar which was odd because that’s where it’s set.

Bottle keep

Another Long Now idea I liked this week was one that Alexander Rose introduced me to called ‘bottle-keep’ which originates in Japan. It’s the opposite of a tab in a bar where you drink for a while and then pay for your drinks at the end. At a bottle-keep bar you buy a bottle of drink (usually whisky) and it’s kept for you for future visits if you don’t finish it on your first go.

We had lunch in the office on Thursday and Ian Kennedy told the story of how on a slightly drunken night out in Tokyo he and a friend had stumbled into a random small bar. When they went to the bar, the owner disappeared out the back and came back with a bottle of whisky with the Ian’s name on it. It turned out that he’d been there 8 years previously with his father and the bar owner recognised him and had gone to find his bottle-keep.

The team at Long Now are planning on using a similar system for the new Long Now Salon which they’re fundraising for at the moment. As Alexander told us, “It turns out that the history of alcohol is pretty much the history of civilisation.” so expect lots of interesting ideas (and drinks) when it opens — hopefully in the not too distant future.