Ming the Mechanic
The NewsLog of Flemming Funch

Saturday, July 15, 2006day link 

 The Big Here
picture Kevin Kelly has written an excellent essay, suggesting that one develops a keep sense of where one is. Where you are, what the characteristics of that place is, and how it is tied into the bigger systems that surround it, natural or man-made.
You live in the big here. Wherever you live, your tiny spot is deeply intertwined within a larger place, imbedded fractal-like into a whole system called a watershed, which is itself integrated with other watersheds into a tightly interdependent biome. At the ultimate level, your home is a cell in an organism called a planet. All these levels interconnect. What do you know about the dynamics of this larger system around you? Most of us are ignorant of this matrix. But it is the biggest interactive game there is. Hacking it is both fun and vital.
Most of us are probably painfully unaware of how the bigger system around us works. I'm not even sure I really know what a watershed is. As an example of stuff one ought to be aware of, Kelly points to a watershed awareness questionare, originally created 30 years ago by Peter Warshall, and improved a bit since then. Here are some of the questions:
1) Point north.

2) What time is sunset today?

3) Trace the water you drink from rainfall to your tap.

4) When you flush, where do the solids go? What happens to the waste water?

5) How many feet above sea level are you?

6) What spring wildflower is consistently among the first to bloom here?

7) How far do you have to travel before you reach a different watershed? Can you draw the boundaries of yours?

8) Is the soil under your feet, more clay, sand, rock or silt?

9) Before your tribe lived here, what did the previous inhabitants eat and how did they sustain themselves?

10) Name five native edible plants in your neighborhood and the season(s) they are available.

11) From what direction do storms generally come?

12) Where does your garbage go?

13) How many people live in your watershed?

14) Who uses the paper/plastic you recycle from your neighborhood?

15) Point to where the sun sets on the equinox. How about sunrise on the summer solstice?
I can answer only a couple of those questions. ..OK, now I've looked up what a watershed is. I'm in Toulouse, which is a relatively low flat area 100km north of the Pyrenées, in the middle between the Atlantic and the Mediterranean. There's a big river going through the town, La Garonne, going a few hundred kilometers from the mountains to the Atlantic ocean. I suppose the water here mainly comes from the Pyrenées. But it rains here too, and I suppose the water naturally would gather in the spot where Toulouse is.
[ | 2006-07-15 17:57 | 14 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

 Subversion
picture This is a 16 page pamphlet, intended to be stuffed into every postage-paid business-reply envelope that you run into in your junk mail, as a message to the drones who work in the BigCompany it came from. No words in it. But clearly it suggests that you break out of the slavery of your little corporate job, and after you've vented a little bit, turning over the desks, pushing the copy machine out the window, emptying the fire extinguishers over the file cabinets, etc, you get comfortable, take off your stuffy business clothes, and form a hippie commune. Plant something useful in the bathroom urinals, hunt wild animals for food, get the women pregnant, and enjoy life in the old-fashioned way.
[ | 2006-07-15 20:33 | 18 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

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