Neil Postman's 1990 speech.
It's all I can do to not get dumber. And shorter.
Hillbilly. Hell yeah.
There goes the neighborhood. We have to leave here tomorrow, but we'll be back soon.
Thought-provoking essay by Harold Bloom about the financial collapse of 1837 and its effect on Ralph Waldo Emerson, who soon afterward wrote "Self-Reliance".
In the Atlantic Monthly. At least ditch the lawns and plant gardens for food.
For 60 years, Americans have pushed steadily into the suburbs, transforming the landscape and (until recently) leaving cities behind. But today the pendulum is swinging back toward urban living, and there are many reasons to believe this swing will continue. As it does, many low-density suburbs and McMansion subdivisions, including some that are lovely and affluent today, may become what inner cities became in the 1960s and ’70s—slums characterized by poverty, crime, and decay.
When such a relentlessly upbeat website as Worldchanging considers disaster survival, you pay attention. Following links and comments, I added a few more useful threads. Most enlightening were posts from people who survived the siege of Sarajevo, West Coast fires, and hurricanes.
Lyn was reading Baudrillard soon after I met her. I knew that some day I would have to tackle his work.
I was led to this by Howard Rheingold's observation:
...unless we know, and know soon, whether or not the web as it is developing can revitalize the public sphere, all other philosophical conversations may be mooted by the rise of disinfotainment, disinformocracy, and the actual emergence of the simulation that we don’t recognize as a simulation described by Baudrillard.
From Sir Arthur C. Clarke
Dan Rhett sent along this link, to an excellent article on the causes of the Maya collapse. Thanks Dan!
Filed under "Gringo Collapse". Via Slashdot. As I am finishing the book "Accelerando" by Charles Stross.
And links to an mp3 and torrent of the show:
From the originator of the Gaia concept. After the cheery "can do" optimism of WorldChanging, this is real doomsday thinking. Still, he may be right. Pull your community together for the long haul.
(Above, the MV Jupiter before and after renovation, from what I can gather. It was built in 1974)
If this is true it will make a lot of gringos happy. My original post about the old Tampa-Merida ferry (I took it in 2003) attracted more comments and questions than anything else I've posted. Go figure.
More information. Here's the ship that will be used for the run (photo above):
More rumors from the Merida Insider below.
FERRY contact info
Posted by fishfrier58 on Saturday, November 26 @ 22:19:44 CST (111 reads)
ivon writes "Here is the contact info for the ferry leaving Florida December 30th
Office Ph #(941) 722-3500
We´ll keep you posted "
Information and NewsCAR FERRY Good News
Posted bymexicobob on Saturday, November 26 @ 09:24:01 CST
Contributed by ivon
The car ferry is a certain thing????
Many of us got the news of a passenger ferry coming to Progreso in December, there have been many stories floating about since then. It turns out here are 2 ships on the works.
The one everyone heard about (MV Jupiter) is NOT written in stone yet. They are still working on finishing the paper work.
NOW FOR THE GOOD NEWS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The MARITIME center in Tampa will have a cargo ship leaving Port Manatee, Fl on December 30th arriving to Progreso on January the 5th. They will be making the trip on a weekly basis
This ship is mostly cargo however, they have 6 cabins for a total capacity of 12 passengers.
This is GREAT!!! news for all of us.
For up to date info contact Hotel Embajadores in Progreso at (969) 935-5673 or at email@example.com
The Emerald Coast RV Park
Several Progreso residents are putting together a group of investors to finance a RV park near Progreso.
The MV Jupiter car ferry which will arrive in April 2006 has the capacity to carry over 360 vehicles of ALL sizes up to large tractor trailers and buses.
There is presently NO RV park in Progreso or along the coast. The closest RV park is on teh north side of Merida , some 40 kilometers south.
This RV park is closing this year.
We are looking for up to 10 investors in order to raise $50,000.US to buy the land and set up the park. Local, experienced management is available year round.
RV park owners and operators are invited to participate.
Contact Peter 1-866-677-7822.
Tamp Bay to Progreso Passenger and Car Ferry will start service in April 2006
It was recently announced by the mayor of Progreso Enrique Magadan that a new passenger and car service will start in April 2006.
The company , The Marine Centre, of Miami will be operating the MV Jupiter luxury cruise ship twice a week year round from the port of Tampa, Florida to Progreso, Yucatan.
The ship is presently being outfitted with 3 restaurants, a casino, swimming pool and theaters.
Fares are not yet available nor is the schedule.
The company is setting up a web site at www.theshuttle.com It should be available with details in January.
Thanks to Ron Marans for this breaking news.
Steve Bridger has posted an article about the Junglecasts at Mexicanwave. Thanks Steve!
Hey sorry folks (all thirteen of my loyal readers) - We are moving the Daily Glyph to a new server and apparently Moving Movable Type sites is a royal pain. So bear with us and when we are done we will share our hard won knowledge.
Now I have a good reason to get Tiger.
From The Unofficial Apple Weblog, an automator workflow (it does all the steps for you) to create a podcast. I've been doing the hard way. Now we can give a copy of the podcast to the interviewee before they walk out the door.
According to the blog poster:
Basically it launches Quicktime Pro 7, starts a new audio recording using the audio-in device you have set up in your System Preferences, waits for you to click "Continue" to stop the recording, and then automatically imports the file into iTunes, converts it into an mp3, and changes its name to "podcast."
Direct link to the zip file (28kb)
And how do we improve it? Have it change the name and the id3 tags for a start... post it to the web, create the RSS enclosure...
I've posted another junglecast on EchoRadio. This one is the first part of a walk in the jungle with Nicco and Ed Barnhart, on the way to Moises' Retreat.
Update: The Pacal's tomb junglecast has been picked up on Adam Curry's new 'soundseeing" website.
Thanks to Nicco and Tim, I've hosted my first podcast on EchoRadio, the fifth in the Junglecast series. Here's the link to all those podcasts to date:
Thanks to Craig for this link:
Nicco has posted a good intro to what I called Nicco's Moment and he labels "Could this be it?" after the poem he recited coming down from the Acropolis at Yaxchilan. A high point in our Chiapas trip, captured in a podcast.
Last day in SCLC. Great interview this morning with Ron Nigh, tropical agronomist (here in SCLC for 30 years). Says the Lacandones, whom I visited, have in their traditional milpa agriculture the tools to regenerate the jungle. In fact have done so since before the collapse. Jungles as escaped gardens, showing the human hand.
Podcast to come.
Junglecast 3: The Collapse is available on Echoradio, thanks to Nicco and, of course, Ed Barnhart.
Here's the second of three parts of the conversation Nicco and I had with Dr. Ed Barnhart at Palenque. Nicco's got links to photos he took of the Cross Group which, as Ed explains, are built as elucidations of certain mathematical proportions.
Thanks to Doc Searls for this link:
The New York Times > Magazine > It's a Flat World, After All, Thomas Friedman's essay on global opening and leveling through communications.
It has resonance for me at the moment, just returned to the Maya highlands from Naha, in the Lacandon jungle. 24 hours ago I was watching young Lacandones struggling to dock their dugout cayuco, a transport technology now being forgotten after thousands of years of Maya navigation. 48 hours ago I promised a traditional elder and his son both VHS and DVD copies of my footage of them from 25 years ago, then went to see the incense burner gods in Antonio's temple, and visit his jungle milpa to pick up maize from the corn crib.
I traveled with a team of potters and artesan advisers from Na Bolom, former home of Frans and Trudy Blom, early explorers and protectors of the Lacandon selva. Our guardian angel, cook, and link to those early days - Doña Betty, the soul of Na Bolom and adopted grandmother to all Lacandones. She traveled with Trudy into the jungle on horseback many times, 2 days each way in contrast to our easy if a bit bumpy 6 hour drive. The people of Naha, young and old, came over to our jungle camp to see her all through the day, but especially in the evening when she gave everyone hot chocolate and animal crackers. An old tradition and a 50-year record of friendship. Today, in San Cristobal, behind Na Bolom and just over the fence from us, there are rooms devoted to all Lacandones who come to town, for medical or any other reason.
Yes there is leveling but I have to believe there are still sharp divides, between two places a 6 hour drive apart, or between two neighborhoods in New York. Managing this frontier will occupy many of us in the next years.
What interests me is the persistence of culture and cultural differences through these world-flattening phases. It happened here to the Maya in the Spanish conquest, the exploitation of the jungles, and the diffusion of roads and communication. But the old ways remain embedded in the new. Remix on a global scale.
More from Chiapas and the "Gringo Collapse" Tour:
From Nicco Mele:
Nicco has posted our first podcast from this trip on his site. I'll post it here also.
All my posts about this trip can be found here.
And if you enjoy this first of three podcasts with Ed Barnhart, consider donating to his organization, the Maya Exploration Center.
25 years ago, Lyn and I hitchhiked into the Lacandon jungle with 150 lbs of video equipment, on the back of a beer truck, to spend a week with the Lacandones in Naha. I spent most of my time in the "god house" with the men, talking with Chan K'in Viejo, the last patriarch of these people who hid in the jungle for 500 years, until they were discovered in this (20th) century by chicle gatherers.
Chan K'in Viejo, 1980 (Quicktime, 18 mb)
Lyn spent most of the time waiting in a thatched palapa, eating canned sardines, not as thrilled by it all as I was. Nevertheless, we returned from that trip richer from the experience, pregnant and broke, ready for a new adventure homesteading an abandoned building in New York City.
Tomorrow I'm going back to Naha for the first time. Of the several hours of tape I shot there in 1980, I only have one clip of Chan K'in acting out a monkey and jaguar hunt, that I intend to show the Lacandones if they are interested. I'll spend several days there with Chip Morris, who is helping their potters market their work. I wish I had more of our tapes to show, but this trip just came up. I'll be shooting and recording this time, and will post what I can when I return.
I'm behind the curve on this, but I just read the first essay on the plane flying here. One part of the reframing suggested by the authors included an example: what if Martin Luther King had given a speech that declared "I have a nightmare" instead of "I have a dream"?
An interview with the authors, Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus: MSNBC - Do environmental groups have death wish?
The New York Review of Books: Welcome to Doomsday by Bill Moyers, is a different take on an apocalyptic view - that held by the religious Right. Why worry about longterm survival when the Rapture is just around the corner?
Here's the latest map of the Usumacinta (at least, the part that we traveled and that we have studied the most), from Ron Canter:
Usu Map 2005 (pdf, 3 mb)
Well I still have high hopes, but our wi-fi source here in San Cristobal is off and on. I waited until after Easter, then went in this morning and checked everything out. After 15 minutes back online, I heard a huge crash from down the hill. Didn't connect it with my internet connection until I found I'd lost it, and went back down to see what was up. Turns out a branch from one of the huge pines in the garden had fallen on power lines, blacking out the part of the old colonial house that had the dsl modem and routers. Hmmm...back to the internet cafe.
As I sit in the courtyard of Na Bolom, cultural center and guest house, connected by Airport Express to their network and planning with Fabiola and Ian to beam it up the hill to Chip's and our house, I get this link from Nicco
This is for the folks who thought we might have disappeared on the Usumacinta River. And those who are just curious about how it's turning out.
Sorry for losing communications for a few days. We were on the road and having too much fun to go online, which says a lot about our state of mind.
No podcasts yet. Nicco may facilitate some when he gets back. Here's an update:
On Wednesday night we ftp'd back files of our conversation in Palenque with Ed Barnhart, to Nicco's editor Ed back in D.C. Then Thursday we went to Yaxchilan and Bonampak - high point atop the Acropolis at Yaxchilan when Nicco broke out in a recitation of a stunningly apt poem that he'd memorized 10 years ago:
COULD THIS BE IT?
Transfiguration. Consider it from where you stand.
Overnight the cold, cloudy wet spell was lifted, and
you wake beneath a Byzantine blue dome of glass:
golden birds--red hearts in their musical breasts--
overflow the oak leaves with echoes, a frenzy
of possession that fractures into small squabbles as
two redbreasted nuthatches struggle for dominion
in a sapling oak -- its leaves emerald tesserae in which
sunlight glows. Suddenly, the leaves look back at you
looking up at their broad, light-lapping faces, morning
riding your shoulders like a pet monkey, and all is pause
for a cracked moment of amazement, mutuality, until
you walk on into woodshade, flapping mosquitoes away.
by Eamon Grennan
Out of our heads with the moment and our presence in it. Deep contentment on the ride in the lancha to and from Yaxchilan, and with the photos of the ancient Maya mooring stones on the river shore, at Ron Canter's request. Hey Ron - I discovered a dozen new ones in about 10 minutes!
Friday we rode the winding road up to San Cristobal de las Casas, wandered the nearly empty streets that night past the 16th century cathedrals, heard great live music in the club Latino's, and slept in my house on the hill. Saturday up to Chamula to see the pine needle-carpeted, candlelit and icon-filled church, full of chanting Maya townfolk. Then some serious shopping for weaving and amber in SCLC before we hopped back on a bus and arrived back here in Palenque at 10pm. Cut a deal with a taxi driver to come out to Panchan at 4:30am so Nicco could catch an 8am flight from Villahermosa to Houston to New York, then an evening train (this evening) back to D.C.
It's the beginning of Semana Santa here, and getting crazy with tourists, backpackers, and Mexican folks on vacation. So it was not surprising, only fitting, when a young local kid stumbled out of the jungle as we waited for the pre-dawn cab. "Is there a disco here?" he asked. No, not now. "La feria se termino?" Yes the party was over. Nicco laughed with satisfaction that this was his adios to Palenque, and rode off in his cab to Villahermosa and home. He had 2300 emails to answer on his plane flight back today. But he was definitely relaxed.
I went back to sleep on Ed's floor until 7am. Ed went off on heirophany patrol (searching for lighting effects built in to the temples for this equinox sunrise) and returned with photos of the Temple of the Sun pinspots to the back corners. I headed up to the site to see easily five times as many people as I had ever seen in the ruins. Fortunately I ran into Alfonso Morales, old friend, archaeologist and rascal. He was taking a tour group through the ruins, so I tagged along and recorded his typically entertaining and informed lecture. (Possible podcast to come).
On the way out I saw Hun Batz Men, a Maya shaman of the New Age variety, and his followers, in the shade of a ceiba tree in the plaza. Luna Joy was conducting crystal skull ceremonies, showing people how to amplify their energies by holding two of the softball sized skulls together jaw to jaw, sometimes as a bridge between their midriffs. Serious faces, no signs from the joined couples, but Luna Joy seemed confident it was working. She took a moment from her work to offer a brief explanation (another podcast moment?)
I walked out through the crowds, tour buses and sellers of water, soda, Gatorade and souvenirs, determined to catch the 2:15 bus back up to San Cristobal. I knew Semana Santa was a bad time to travel but I was still surprised to find the only available seat on the 11pm bus tonight. So I write this back at Don Mucho's restaurant at Panchan, on good wireless and listening to ranchero music over a bowl of pasta. Looks like another jungle evening with travelers, music and firedancers around the bar, under the thatched roof which strangely never catches fire. The fire extinguisher onstage is new this year.
That's today's sketch of an amazingly deep and hilarious voyage by this gringo and his now departed pal Nicco. Que le vaya bien, hombre!
More from cold country, including these long-promised podcasts and clips. Nicco may post some and I'll post some others. I'll provide the links and further adventures.
Some great podcasts in the works, after a fascinating conversation with Ed Barnhart of the Maya Exploration Center. Maya astronomy, geometry, religion, theories of the collapse - he discussed them as clearly as I've ever heard, and I've heard it many times over the years. Then a walk into the jungle to some of the unexcavated ruins that Ed and his crew surveyed over a three year period, adding over 1,000 structures to the map of the site.
We're sending the interviews back to the editors at Echoditto, which as an editor myself is a pleasure. It's tough enough living these days and recording them without cutting it all down as well. Well, tough isn't the word. It's an outright delight, but it does fill the days. That and a siesta, where's the day gone?
Actually, I digitized while Nicco napped, but now he's refreshed and blogging it all. If we can get an ftp connection on this wireless signal we can send the interviews out, and I can post a video from last year that starts in Palenque and hits the river kingdoms on the Usumacinta. That's where we are headed tomorrow, to Yaxchilan in the great oxbow of the river.
On wireless, in the jungle, at Panchan, on the edge of the archaeological zone. A sweltering day and a cool muggy evening. Up and down the pyramids, down into the tomb of Pacal. Rounds of beer with Ed Barnhart and Moises Morales. Ah, Moises. And Nicco here bringing fresh eyes and thought to the place. Perfect Palenque day.
Nicco's got energy - check the photos he's already posted - and we have a podcast on the way. But not now. Time to sleep to the frogs, insects, birds, and geckos.
Yes, it's true. On Monday Nicco and I head down to Palenque, Chiapas, Mexico and other jungle destinations, on what I'm calling the Gringo Collapse tour. We'll be sending back bits of news on our travels, recording some podcasts, pondering a civilization that disappeared under the jungle over a thousand years ago, and joining the mashup of cultures that we see in the region today - living Maya, modern Mexicans, Zapatista rebels, international tourists, archaeologists, expatriates and fugitives.
We'll be traveling on the Usumacinta River to the Maya site of Yaxchilan, a small part of the rafting and mapping trip I took with Ron Canter last spring. I'll be posting Ron's map here in the next couple of days.
To cool off, we'll take a bus up the winding road to San Cristobal de las Casas, one of the oldest towns in the hemisphere (1528), now a bustling colonial tourist center surrounded by Maya villages.
And we may drink some beer and ask ourselves "Is it just me or is it collapsing around here?"