This was a memorable event in that we had a guy physically wrapped in the stars & stripes shouting stereotypical patriotic slogans in a drunken yahoo style, a kind of folklore exhibit.
We were standing atop a high building with only intermittent guard rails so being truly falling down drunk (I managed to stumble, but because of a rooftop projection, not the beer -- it was getting dark) would have been dangerous.
The Waterfront Fireworks were not "on the dot" at 10 pm. We amused ourselves watching other, more distant displays, we thought Oaks Park and probably Lake Oswego. We could hear the Blues Festival, where a number of my friends were. Then the closer fireworks got started. I rediscovered the fireworks setting on my camera and experimented with technique.
These were mostly geeks I knew from around town, Python coders and so on. I was accompanying our colleague from Brazil, Henrique, who was here for a World Domination Summit. That maybe sounds threatening because most of us won't have been at said summit and don't want to be dominated, however I suggest one should translate it more as Self Mastery (world = self experience).
To have dominion in this world is to have a sufficient skill set to enjoy some satisfaction in piloting through life. I'm not going to the conference either though, so I shouldn't talk.
"Jihad" has a similar translation BTW, as "inner conquest" or "transcendence of pettiness" (yet another spin). In the Quaker tradition we similarly speak of "inward weapons" when using our war metaphors.
Independent... in the realization of "no one thing is Self" i.e. selfhood is not a thing (nothing). Repose in being "alone as everything" is different from the loneliness of separation and abandonment (isolation, confinement). Each nation needed to see itself as responsible for its contextualizing world, and so transcended its borders to become a part of the "space program" (our shared campus, the "global U").
The withering of the state has been correlated with that growing sense of "globe-hood" many humans have experienced. Thanks to global climate change, pictures of Earth from Universe, better telecommunications, more circling, we're more aware of our spherical selfhood, a network of convergences.
Average humans seem like blood cells in that they circulate, sometimes in cars and trains, planes and ships. They may be likewise (like the blood) transporting substances of high potential ala 12 Monkeys.
Memes have the easiest time traveling, face the least resistance, but they're also ephemeral. Neutrinos flood out of the sun as lighter elements bake to heavier ones, hydrogen to helium, a fusing process.
Enormous energy gets thrown out but a lot of it is so close to not mattering, and yet has its significant role in cosmic bookkeeping. That's lucky for life, as DNA is delicate. Cosmic rays punch real holes but neutrinos are extremely unlikely to interact. A giant tank of liquid, shielded from all else, only detects a handful.