27 Ekim 2011 Perşembe

nomad? no strings attached?

"The information age whets our appetite for the exploration of the unknown. As inquisitive social beings and natural explorers of the universe, we are standing at a new threshold of curiosity and movement. We are poised for more than sharing ideas over vast distances; we are ready physically to actualize these explorations. Historic examples of mobile architecture describe a preindustrial world not bound to place but possessed by an ideology of itinerant and nomadic responses to permanence. According to biblical history, over four thousand years ago Noah was called by God to build an ark capable of transporting the natural world and its creatures to safety when the apocalypse struck. This may have been the first portable and relocatable structures whose purpose was self - sufficient housing. Nomadic cultures moved about for varied reasons: locating migrant food sources, adapting to changing climatic conditions, trading goods, finding communal protection, and searching for the unknown. Of these regionally disparate cultures, many shared similar challenges in their need to provide shelters that were durable, lightweight, flexible and ultimately transportable by low - tech means. Examples of uniquely formed tensile structures made from taut skins on supporting structures are found in the American Indian tipi, the Mongolian yurt, the Bedouin woven goat - hair "blacktent", and the Basque sheepherder tent/coat". age of nomadism, siegal. http://www.zoulias.com/articles/article018_en.html another view about "urban nomads as astraunauts" Nomads at last Wireless communication is changing the way people work, live, love and relate to places—and each other, says Andreas Kluth (interviewed here) As a word, vision and goal, modern urban nomadism has had the mixed blessing of a premature debut. In the 1960s and 70s Herbert Marshall McLuhan, the most influential media and communications theorist ever, pictured nomads zipping around at great speed, using facilities on the road and all but dispensing with their homes. In the 1980s Jacques Attali, a French economist who was advising president François Mitterrand at the time, used the term to predict an age when rich and uprooted elites would jet around the world in search of fun and opportunity, and poor but equally uprooted workers would migrate in search of a living. In the 1990s Tsugio Makimoto and David Manners jointly wrote the first book with “digital nomad” in the title, adding the bewildering possibilities of the latest gadgets to the vision. The old mental picture of a nomad invariably had him—mostly him, at that time—lugging lots of them. Since these machines, large and small, were portable, people assumed that they also made their owners mobile. Not so. The proper metaphor for somebody who carries portable but unwieldy and cumbersome infrastructure is that of an astronaut rather than a nomad, says Paul Saffo, a trend-watcher in Silicon Valley. Astronauts must bring what they need, including oxygen, because they cannot rely on their environment to provide it. They are both defined and limited by their gear and supplies. Around the turn of the century, as some astronauts, typically executive road warriors, got smarter about packing light, says Mr Saffo, they graduated to an intermediate stage, becoming hermit crabs. These are crustaceans that survive by dragging around a cast-off mollusc shell for protection and shelter. In the metaphorical sense, the shell might be a “carry-on” bag on wheels, stuffed full of cables, discs, dongles, batteries, plugs and paper documents (just in case of disc failure). These hermit crabs strike fear into the hearts of seated airline passengers whenever they board, because their shells invariably bang into innocent shins all the way to their seat. They carry less than astronauts—and are thus more mobile—but are still quite heavily laden with gear, mostly as a safeguard against disasters. Urban nomads have started appearing only in the past few years. Like their antecedents in the desert, they are defined not by what they carry but by what they leave behind, knowing that the environment will provide it. Thus, Bedouins do not carry their own water, because they know where the oases are. Modern nomads carry almost no paper because they access their documents on their laptop computers, mobile phones or online. Increasingly, they don't even bring laptops. Many engineers at Google, the leading internet company and a magnet for nomads, travel with only a BlackBerry, iPhone or other “smart phone”. If ever the need arises for a large keyboard and some earnest typing, they sit down in front of the nearest available computer anywhere in the world, open its web browser and access all their documents online. Even if an urban nomad confines himself to a small perimeter, he nonetheless has a new and surprisingly different relationship to time, to place and to other people. “Permanent connectivity, not motion, is the critical thing,” says Manuel Castells, a sociologist at the Annenberg School for Communication, a part of the University of Southern California, Los Angeles. http://www.economist.com/node/10950394?story_id=10950394&CFID=3120738&CFTOKEN=44167749

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