The murmur of the snarkmatrix…

August § The Common Test / 2016-02-16 21:04:46
Robin § Unforgotten / 2016-01-08 21:19:16
MsFitNZ § Towards A Theory of Secondary Literacy / 2015-11-03 21:23:21
Jon Schultz § Bless the toolmakers / 2015-05-04 18:39:56
Jon Schultz § Bless the toolmakers / 2015-05-04 16:32:50
Matt § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-05 01:49:12
Greg Linch § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-04 18:05:52
Robin § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-04 05:11:02
P. Renaud § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-04 04:13:09
Jay H § Matching cuts / 2014-10-02 02:41:13

Byline: Bay-Delta BioRegion

The first time I read this, I thought it seemed too cute:

So my suggestion about where to write would be: select a bioregion as your patch. A bioregion is defined by the interconnectedness, and the interdependence, of its natural systems. It’s an ideal context in which to explore what co-dependency with one’s place can mean for people.

Many bylines these days describe a story’s writer as “London-based,” or “Tokyo-based.” My reaction is to think: So? Imagine how different it would be to describe yourself as a “Central Valley BioRegion–based writer” if you’re from that part of California; or a Hudson River Watershed–based writer, if you’re located in that part of upstate New York.

In Norway you could be a writer based in the Caledonian Buckling. Me? I’m a writer based in the “Steppic BioRegion” (formerly known as Occitania, or southwest France).

But then I read it again and decided I really liked it. (Cross-reference with Kevin Kelly’s Big Here quiz, which I guarantee will put you in your place.)

And there’s actually a ton of interesting, counterintuitive stuff in the piece, which is an adaptation of a speech by John Thackara. He manages to talk about, erm, the collapse of civilization without being apocalyptic—no mean feat.


Thank you Snarkmarket for eating up my entire workday morning. Had you not pointed out the “Bio-Region” reference, I would have pulled something completely different from this piece. I particularly liked his line about replacing a doomsday machine economy with a solidarity economy. A great piece. Thanks.

Tim Maly says…

Commenting without reading the linked piece.

I’m pretty sure that my bioregion is planet earth, given the impact that the water cycle, weather systems, and full climate have on my life. These are all pretty interconnected and interdependent natural systems. You could make an argument for solar system, though I suppose that the case for INTERdependence is kind of weak. The Sun would probably be just fine without us and not vice versa.

To say nothing of the old fashioned presumption on display that humans are not a natural phenomenon.

Tim Maly says…

Ok. Now I’ve read the linked piece. There is a lot of good in there. Lots of good material to think about. So forgive me as I go after the bit that made me angriest.

You don’t get to go on about how much time you spend maintaining your blog in a post in your blog a few paragraphs after you tell us that mass communication drove us off the rails and there are too many blogs. Not cool.

Ha hahaha. Yeah, I didn’t know what to think about that part about oral/written/transmitted communication. I feel like you can start ANY sentence with the words “As recently as three generations ago…” and then finish it with something crazy — re: electricity, employment, education, public health, you name it. It’s a bit of a cheat.

This reminds me of a recent 30 Rock joke: Jack’s dating two women, a blonde CNBC financial news host named Avery and his redheaded high-school sweetheart, Nancy. He eventually tells Avery about Nancy, but not the other way around. His justification goes something like, “Avery is forgiving, descended from happy Swedish valley people… Nancy is a crazy Irish Catholic, descended from bog people!”

(Which raises the question; are you the geography you’re in, or the geography in your DNA?)

Hah! So you’ve already done it (given a bio-region as your byline). Bril. Or is everyone in California doing it, and I’m the last to know?

Do you know much about the Washington Centre – where they have a curriculum for bioregions?

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