Hacker’s Diary: Washington DC

by | 27 Oct, 2017 | Hacker's Diary

This is an outsider hack, as I got the chance to visit the US city I’d always wanted to expeirence. I managed to clock up 25 miles walking over 48 hours in Washington DC.

I was a bit physically tired, but mentally tireder! The city is architecturally spectacular, but also relentless. Around the National Mall, almost every building is a vast Greco-Roman monument. Endless columns, domes and triangular apexes evoke a legacy of imperial might. I sometimes feel similar in London, but this was different: the homogeneity of the symbolism and its concentration, it’s close proximity, were more forcefull, at least to this outsider. I couldn’t help thinking about Donald Trump’s hands and the way he relentlessly took the bait every time someone suggested they were small. It’s like Washington spent its history saying “they’re big, big… tremendously big, THE BIGGEST!!”

When I was relaxing on the grass in the sun by the Capitol building, or by the beautiful fountain opposite the Botanic Gardens, it was a calm and peaceful place to rest or work. But Labyrinth is partly about growing awareness of the way the physical environment affects our psychology – and for me in Washington the downtown cityscape was overwhelming. I can’t see how it couldn’t have an effect on America’s political leaders.

Matt Valler

Matt Valler

Founder & Director, Labyrinth

Matt lives in Cornwall, an ancient kingdom in the far South-West of the UK, colonised long ago by the English. He is also the Founder & Director of The Alchemy Project, of which Labyrinth is a part. Matt can often be found drinking good coffee, reading Continetial Philosophy, and playing in the sea with his family.