Thursday, September 6, 2007

787 Ed Soja's "Thirdspace", Myspace, and Dawn's Alaskan Eutopia Midterm

Message no. 787[Branch from no. 774] Posted by Thomas Culhane (1311520071) on Monday, April 9, 2007 6:40pm Subject: Re: relational summary

I so completely agree with you Adrienee -- we should be exploring our earth and oceans and protecting them! The way I think of all of this is in a UNIVERSAL sense -- especially after reading Professor Ed Soja's book "Thirdspace". What he points out is that we all live in ever expanding spaces. He laments that we tend to have a bias toward time and we don't often adopt a "spatial" perspective. The time bias makes us see things historically, as though we were trapped on a timeline and could only move forward in time (moving backward through our imaginations or stories) in a one or two dimensional way. We forget that we live in three dimensions (and that time is a fourth dimension) and that we can therefore move with many more degrees of freedom.

When you adopt a spatial perspective you stop thinking of your space as being merely the rooms or roads you occupy. You begin to see all the dimensions that also belong to you -- every possible space that you can move in with your mind and your body.

"Myspace", which a couple of your colleagues in the class have used so wonderfully to construct their eutopias in, is another example of this new "spatial" perspective.

When we adopt the spatial perspective we see that the oceans and the forests and the mountains and the air and the vacuum and the moon and Mars and the spaces between molecules and inside our bodies and hearts and minds are all just new dimensions for us to explore. At any given time we will be limited to how deep we can go into them, but they are all available to us (or at least, to us as a species!).

So, given that there are 6 and a half billion of us, and will soon be 10 billion of us, we should be exploring as much as we can.

They say we know more about the surface of the moon than we do about our own oceans, but I think that is because the Moon is so small and so easy to observe. The oceans are vast and covered with often impenetrable water depths. It is very hard to map them or explore them. But we are certainly trying!

Maybe what we need is to encourage more people (children particularly) to nurture their curiosity and sense of responsibility to make more spaces known and safe for people to visit and live in. Perhaps we should consider every space, inner or outer, as our proper home.

What do you think? How do we get people to see not only the whole world as one, but the whole universe, inner and outer?

And... can we one day explore inner space -- as in the movie Fantastic Voyage?

Thanks for continuing this fascinating discussion with all your insights! It was great to remember more of the inspiring Kennedy speech!

Message no. 788[Branch from no. 771] Posted by Thomas Culhane (1311520071) on Monday, April 9, 2007 6:59pm Subject: Re: eutopia

Dawn that was an incredible exposition of your eutopia in Alaska! I had never thought Alaska could have so much to offer, but through your eyes that northern state offers incredible potential! I love the way you have integrated micro-hydro electric generation and wave generation and ocean thermal energy conversion (ocean cooling) technologies into your treatment, as well as the way you provided great facts about log homes and their benefits!

The pictures were very well chosen and laid out, and the descriptions and arguments well worded! It was a very compelling demonstration of how you could turn "utopia" into "eutopia". Very realistic!

I also liked the way you talked about the psychology of going "eutopian" -- are we "copping out" or leading the way?

And your treatment of crime and its elimination showed that you have given this a lot of thought! Yes, it is a dilemma, huh?

Some say that in a properly designed environment one wouldn't need laws because people would not do antisocial things if the environment didn't encourage such behavior. Do you think it is possible to design away crime?

Food for further discussion!

Anyway, bravo! A really superb midterm eutopia which we will continue discussing in the days and weeks ahead!


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