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  • hardie karges 1:25 pm on January 8, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: CITIES, disease, , Mayas,   

    Anniversary of a Pandemic… 

    Ever wonder why ancient cities were abandoned and left to fall into ruin? Now you know. Between disease and warfare, the conglomeration of too many people in too small of a space has always been a recipe for disaster. Thus there are very few cities of great antiquity, certainly not in the same place in constant evolution. In the cases where there are ancient cities, the new one is usually far removed from the original site, revealing the disconnect in the process of its evolution, so more of a matter of convenience to re-purpose those environs. In more recent history, in central Europe, especially, new people came to take over old cities, as original populations were forced elsewhere, thus giving the cities a life of their own, apart from the peoples who inhabit them. And you can see this in much of the world, just more noticeable where it happens most frequently. So the old question of “What happened to the Mayas?,” for instance, doesn’t make much sense when you realize that they just left the cities, and not much more. The Mayas are pretty much where they always were, and doing quite well these days, thank you…

     
  • hardie karges 9:48 am on June 30, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: agriculture, CITIES, , , nomadism, , ,   

    Politics, Politeness, and the Art of Emptiness… 

    People who love their guns more than their kids are the ones who need prayers, for they have lost their way. But this is the great conundrum of civilization, i.e. city-fication, that once we have hoards of wealth, then we have to protect it. Some people prefer guns over fences. Not that there was no violence before the age of cities, but cities took things to a new level. Nomadism was very egalitarian, and very underrated. Settlement may be a false ideal, rewarding ourselves on the fact that our butts are now fat, and we can pet the family cat, at our every whim and desire. This is the outcome of the agricultural revolution, unrequited desires, rotten teeth and obesity, just the opposite of what was intended. Now it has become the mark of our indebtedness, our slavery, our decency in the eyes of capitalism. And this is the real tragedy, the confusion and congestion of our lives and mentality. War is more the consequence than the cause. We are slaves of our growth mentality, and victims of our own voracious desires. Technology is a possible solution, civilization without the cities. But at some point, we still have to find inner peace, or some reasonable facsimile. Stressed lives crave entertainment, and confusion, more louder bigger. Peace loves emptiness…

     
    • Dave Kingsbury 2:17 pm on July 2, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Apparently we have experts working on the problem as we speak … the bad news is, their funding has just been cut. Seriously though, I do like your long perspective on this. Spot on!

  • hardie karges 6:16 am on March 26, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , CITIES, epiphany, homeless, metropolis,   

    Buddhist Epiphany: the Homeless Will Inherit the Earth… 

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    The golden age of cities may be over and done, gone to the dogs, hard to believe that as recently as the 1980’s American teenagers could still get excited cruising down Hollywood Boulevards and Sunset Strips in gas-guzzling sedans and VW vans, gazing longingly upward at IHOP’s and Waffle Houses, Dunkin’ Donuts and KFC…

    …pale imitations of the City of Lights, Paris at the turn of the previous century, outshining dingy London stuck with gas lamps and starchy pies, dry humor and sticky dreams, pea soup and foggy skies, and so it is with Los Angeles and New York, different as black and white, day and night, New York city of unrepentant vampires and LA city of love-lost angels… (More …)

     
    • Alexia Adder 11:39 pm on January 25, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      America’s capitalist culture is the descendant of feudalism. The Founding Fathers never meant for everyone to be free. Only certain people and especially not black people. Our culture being built on slavery and racism is problematic. All of these started as classism, evolved into sexism, racism, and other forms of discrimination.

      Since success in America is based on how much money and stuff you have, homeless people are often dehumanized as lowest of the low. It’s a caste system in another form. (Something that Buddha would be against.)

      • hardie karges 7:44 am on January 26, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        Yes, I have to crack a smile when a Buddhist monk refers to himself as homeless. Thanks!

  • hardie karges 11:55 am on May 15, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , CITIES,   

    R.I.P. Amerika: “They built good roads…” 

    Houston in the broad daylight

    Houston in the broad daylight

    American cities need to lose weight, and waistlines, fat-ass plastic-wrapped white-bread montrosities—monstro-cities—sprawled-out to kingdom come, but kingdom won’t come like this, not on concrete and steel, asphalt and false expectations, extending out to God-only-knows-where there is no limit by statute good taste or common sense just red lights and turning lanes…

    This is democracy gone horribly wrong, one-man one-vote now obsolete one-man one-car the order of the day, red-light districts everywhere now, and no limit to the number of quickie customers just looking for strange anywhere everywhere doing it in the road living lives and dying deaths in mid-lane even homeless people have cars to sleep in the American way, just look for an empty parking-lot and circle the wagons…

    I get it, the new democracy, that is, but I don’t like it: vehiculocracy, vote with your wheels, just drive somewhere else if you don’t like it here; I look at most cities and only see blight, ugliness, the devil’s workshop: truth beauty and goodness selling out to commercial interests and highest bidders, not the city so much but the endless sprawl, America the worst offender reduced to whipping boy for oil interests and poster boy for bank interest, asphalt concrete and steel; lawyers, guns and money-changers…

     
  • hardie karges 9:44 am on April 14, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: CITIES, POPULATION   

    BIG BALLPARKS 

    Much gets said about over-population, but not much gets said about inflation of population figures. It seems almost no one is content to give accurate figures for anyone’s population. If all the ‘ball-park’ estimates of population were added up, the world would have at least ten billion souls. No ballpark in the world is that big. Admittedly it’s difficult to maintain accurate information with situations like the Thai futile system in which people are counted as residents of their ‘home of birth’ regardless of where they actually live. Still there seems to be a natural tendency to exaggerate figures wildly, as if that were some kind of editorial machismo: “My city’s bigger than yours.” Mexico City had ten million, fifteen, twenty, and now it’s back to fifteen if you count all the suburbs very carefully. It seems it was never really the biggest city in the world after all, despite all the press. Or if it was, it’s since been surpassed, sort of like skyscraper races. Somebody puts a microwave tower on top to take the lead. Who cares? Half those buildings are empty anyway. I would confess to some vicarious satisfaction at seeing the Twin Towers fall, to be honest, if no one had been inside. No one needs that big of an erection.

     
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