Rahil

Category Archives for: Human Geography

Creating Comfortable Places

28 March 2016

For survival, one organizes a space to serve survival needs: food, water, temperature and humidity control, toilet, etc. After survival has been met, the space becomes a comfortable space.

[The degree of comfort needed to survive is about the same, depending on differences in bodies. Any more comfort is a luxury…]

When the weather is uncomfortable, people seek comfortable spaces — Asian convenient stores, cafes, libraries, public spaces, friends’ dwellings, one’s own dwelling, etc. (note: only two are inclusive spaces).

When the weather is comfortable, then these comfortable spaces become unnecessary [my first thought, especially thinking of my comfortable travels in Asia as opposed to uncomfortable times in cold American cities]. They only seem useful in the habit of people meeting there, but that [habit] can be changed to meeting in a public outdoor spaces.

[These comfortable spaces are a huge market, from daycare to hip places to elderly care…]

People with jobs which require their body to move through uncomfortable weather are targeted (and screwed) by capitalist designers [my second thought, thinking of migrant workers in Taiwan consuming junk at railway stations at high costs]. Transport stations, roadside convenient stores, and roadside restaurants, are utilized as a means of survival, but taken advantage of with high costs.

Instead of construction workers being provided with a nice room with a water cooler, refreshments, a clean bathroom, air conditioner, such that would be found in an office, then it is up to the convenient store to provide these comforts. But the convenient store, unlike than office space, or a space in one’s own dwelling (remote and home workers), is filled with mass-produced, high-priced, often useless commodities. 

[There is quite a difference in the experience of a convenient store in Taiwan and one in America…]

[todo: continue?]

Hmmm, well that was the thought: that programmers at home can work and save comfortably because their bodies are at home, whereas the postal workers that bring them their commodities, must efficiently find ways to survive — pack lunch, pack coffee, find free hot or cold water, use air conditioned vehicle, etc. –, or suffer the cost, in addition to the fact that a programmer’s salary is higher than a postal worker’s.

This thought was probably initiated by CouchSurfing with a person who’s job is technical support, and who works comfortably in his well-stocked apartment in a high-rise in he middle of nowhere.  One can probably even see the from the window of his apartment, looking down at the people struggle against the weather.

[insert Veidt comic frame?]

[rename to to comfort as commodity? The capitalist design of space upon laborers?]

Leave a comment | Categories: Design, Environmental Design, Environmental Psychology, Human Geography, Social Philosophy

The Practice of Life

27 December 2015

The theorization of humans and their environments* comes from the desire to understand how environments limit human development.

The practice of altering human environments** comes from the desire to increase [potential?] human development.

Altering the environment is the [normative / natural] practice [a mode?] of life.***

The practice occurs at all scales, from small areas to large areas [the world?]****.

[todo: stopped here, though, perhaps the last statement is unnecessary. Also, this is just a part of everyday life, as it’s missing survival / routine and communication. Communication also increases human development, though, because so much communication is in media, it still requires an environment that provides access to the media, and even without media, communication also requires an environment of high human density to provide more people to directly communicate with. The oppositional practice of life could be play — playing with the environment; Playing in the environment and altering the environment, the ultimate parent-child relationship.

Three practices?: Communication, altering environment (the material), and playing in the environment (includes communication with people and material? Does it include creativity?)]

* environmental psychology, human geography (especially critical strands), etc. / people, space, and place

** environmental design (“These fields include architecture, geography, urban planning, landscape architecture, and interior design”) / urban interventionism, social interventionism / production of space? / conversion of space into place / politics [of space] / space design

*** self-organization, spontaneous order

**** from dwelling to country? No, that implies people live in static places and under sovereignty. Should environment be delimited by space or social relations — could it be reworded to “from family to country”? No. It’s the physical environment, which contains people, that is being altered. / What about media and electronic communication? Still requires the body (healthcare, mail) and commodities (computer, media, etc.). –/ Technological communication decreases communication [physical] distance. / Physical interaction with the environment provides the high potential of experience, engaging all senses with reality.


a thought from a note written in Yilan:

Back to the original goals — public space, city planning with tech, decision-making (Taizhong was quite interest because the problems were so clear), create tech from local materials (create art from local material combos), medicine, games for education?, progressive classes to teach (game, film, outside, media, family), politics, political media — film, cognitive science, social science.

Perhaps will just have to observe east coast societies, determine what should be developed, ask government for money (to live and pay off debt), propose solutions (with tech), expose problems — in planning, culture, etc., join local organizations.

Play with materials, craft, tech, space, play.

possible quotes for statement 3:

There is one timeless way of building. It is a thousand years old, and the same today as it has ever been. The great traditional buildings of the past, the villages and tents and temples in which man feels at home, have always been made by people who were very close to the center of this way. It is not possible to make great buildings, or great towns, beautiful places, places where you feel yourself, places where you feel alive, except by following this way. And, as you will see, this way will lead anyone who looks for it to buildings which are themselves as ancient in their form, as the trees and hills, and as our faces are. – Christopher Alexander

“THE TIMELESS WAY

A building or a town will only be alive to the extent that it is governed by the timeless way,

/. // is a -process which brings order out of nothing but ourselves; it cannot be attained, but it will happen of its own accord, if we will only let it.

THE QUALITY

“2. There is a central quality which is the root criterion of life and spirit in a man, a town, a building, or a wilderness. This quality is objective and precise, but it cannot be named,

“To reach the quality without a name we must then build a living pattern language as a gate.

9. This quality in buildings and in towns cannot be made, but only generated, indirectly, by the ordinary actions of the people, just as a flower cannot be made, but only generated from the seed.
– Christopher Alexander. “The Timeless Way Of Building.”

trash 1:
The theorization of people, space, and place* is the desire to understand people within (time and) space and place.

The practice, the work that affects people (within space and place), is the conversion of space into place**: place design***.

Environmental design is the primary practice of life.

trash 2:
The theorization of people and their environments* comes from the desire to understand people’s behavior within their environments.

The practice of altering the environment** comes from the desire to alter people’s behavior.

Leave a comment | Categories: Autonomy, Critical Theory, Human Geography, Humanities, Philosophy, Social Philosophy, Urban Philosophy

The Distance between Communication and Reality

10 December 2015

This is part of a series of thoughts that are thematically bounded by a criticism of capitalism, communication, and rationality.

Some thoughts from this morning, which seem to be a continuation of Why did I read?, probably because I’m physically leaving this abode I’ve been dwelling in far too long.

The thoughts:
1. The amount of sense data gathered from real experiences is infinitely larger than those gathered from communication.
2. Therefore, it is impossible to communicate at the level that reality communicates.
3. I may have began reading because I wanted to talk, but in the act of talking, it seems much of the content was lost.
[todo: maybe missing some thoughts]

Thought 1:
1. The amount of sense data gathered from real experiences is infinitely larger than those gathered from communication.
2. Because of that I have always prioritized experience above communication.
[todo: could continue this thought]

Thought 2:
1. It is impossible to communicate at the level that reality communicates.
2. Because of that, it is not a good idea to communicate isolated from reality, especially for a long period of time, in which memory can fade and awareness may likely focus on communication (often distorted) in the form of media as opposed to reality (direct cinema, observational cinema, and cinema verite may be exceptions).
2.1. The distance between communication and reality is a reoccurring problem in decision-making: academia vs city, quantitative vs qualitative, instrumental rationality vs substantial rationality.
3. Because of that (2), one must learn to balance real experiences (reality) and communication, though submitting to the fact that their communication will always be distorted.
3.1 But is communication (perhaps an emphasis on media rather than everyday conversation) even needed (this was perhaps what I going to argue against in Communication and Rationality)? Beyond hard sciences, should one believe anything that is communicated (may have some post about skepticism)?
4. As the distance between communication and reality increases, the amount of distortion in communication increases.
5. In order to maintain a less distorted reality, one must maximize the amount of social time of having an experience.
5.1. In order to achieve a clearer communication, one must limit the communication to recent experiences.
5.2 These also work in the other direction. In order to picture reality while receiving communication, one must have more experience with reality.
[todo: could continue this thought]

Thought 3:
This thought has been moved to Why I Did What I Did.

Leave a comment | Categories: Communication, Critical Theory, Epistemology, Human Geography, Humanities, Personal, Philosophy, Philosophy of Social Science, Rationality, Self-assessment, Thoughts

Working Memory and Community

08 September 2015

[todo: just publishing old drafts, this one might be worth thinking for human geography]

Old thought.

Working memory is limited. To remind oneself of the community, one must experience it, often. For this reason, living physically close to the community increases physical visibility, which in turn increases physical interaction.

Repeat this and it may become habit.

[I think I was getting at how habit of physical interaction is somewhat required for socialization, maintaining a community]

Leave a comment | Categories: Human Geography, Humanities, Philosophy, Social Philosophy

Will to Make

06 September 2015

A thought from reading the title of a book, Will to Architecture.

The thought reoccured from Place: A Short Introduction:

All over the world people are engaged in place-making activities.

Humans will to make material and digital things. To materially put together a better world; To design a better world.

This is a subset of Will to Experience. Making is an experience, but one does not have to make to have an experience.

Leave a comment | Categories: Art, Design, Human Geography, Philosophy, Thoughts

Will to Take Care of Locality

06 September 2015

Related to Working Memory and Community [todo: need link], Will to Make, Will to Experience.

[todo: should try to complete!]

The locality is a specific area in space undefinable boundaries. It contains materials, including the living and non-living.

A living thing begins in a locality.

The living thing makes contact with locality. It has an experience with the locality. It may continue, or it may stay.

If the living thing stays, it will take care of the locality.

It may move and stay again and again.

todo:
Hmmm, this doesn’t quite work for living things that trash or destroy places that is not their place.

I think I was trying to define a kind of land ethics often belonging to indigenous peoples, or generally anyone not confined to a very small space i.e. dwelling.

Hmmm, this also seems like a good starting point for private / public locality, property, conduct, and perhaps more.***

Hmmm, my current locality seems to be this blog.

[todo:

14/5/2016
from paper, not very recent, perhaps from April, or even March:
Showered. Daydreamed of living in tonghua jie, peacefully, doing chores for my neighbors for gift exchange, sometimes for money (take care of elderly, take care of night market stand, take care of children). I document some of the work (farmer getting load from farm via train) to allow others to see the lives of my neighbors.

Local gigs. Walking distance. Feels at home. No alienation.

]

Leave a comment | Categories: Human Geography, Philosophy, Thoughts

How the Material Came to Be

03 September 2015

[todo: just publishing drafts, really deserves more thought]

Usually thought of while traveling, especially between a developing area and a developed area. It is probably the cause of the onset of philosophic mania.

One wonders, how everything came to be.

How did all of this material accumulate.  How did the knowledge of putting these materials together pass. Who accumulated it. Why were they chosen. Who they where chosen by.

How cities became clones of other cities. How ideas are copied. How narrow the knowledge of a society is.

How people, especially laborers, become spatially and habitually trapped.

And so on.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emergence#Spontaneous_order
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emergence#Organization_of_life

Leave a comment | Categories: History, Human Geography, Philosophy, Social Philosophy

Space, Time, and People

11 July 2015

Just a thought that’s been rumbling in my head as I look for a space in Taipei to use as a public space, written the day after  reading an article about a public space in New York City posted by a friendly chef.

The people in a space contribute to the social decisions of a group. Social groups: neighborhood friends, family, classes, organizations, companies, hostels, towns, cities; outcome depends on the people in it.

Win found like-minded people on the internet because the Internet contains the a great portion of the world. Win physically gathered people in a city, just as he did in the Internet, with a space. A space is the equivalent of an Internet message board. It’s a place where communication is made for a group of people.

Many personalities need a social group to progress in a certain direction. Without it, they continue in a viscous cycle, creating ideas, but not actualizing them.

Space and people create experience. The awareness of the space and the awareness of people’s actions (communication) is the experience.

The change of space and people creates new experiences.

Experiences are what give people knowledge and social relations (feelings, memories).

Therefore a good method of learning is a constant change in space and people.

The intensity of an experience does not have any factors, it is quite random.

To create something (not consume, or copy) requires time to think (or talk). To think, time is needed in a space, perhaps without much action. A relaxed social space; downtime.

People create naturally. Forcing people in a space and guiding them to create is artifical. These guidances work (school, art, jams, events), and are often needed for many personalities to work, mimicing a deadline, a restriction in social time, but it is not required; work has no time limit.

All that is needed are people and time in the same space. This is how any lengthy work is accomplished. Though, work is not judged by its scale. This is also how several works by a person, or a social group is accomplished. This is a virtuous cycle.

To gather people in to the same space is the first step of creating an experience. To do this several times is the formation of a community.

Leave a comment | Categories: Anthropology, Design, Human Geography, Social Philosophy, Urban Philosophy

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