e-tat / digital wasteland

Monday, June 05, 2006

Can't Get There From Here

while producing geology from objects...

Inspiration strikes again in the form of a comment that's a bit too long, in response to this BLDGBLOG post.

If McPhee were to take in this earlier post, he might find that Bishop was once part of Bingham Canyon, or that Nigeria was in Canada, so that some parts of your television might have been joined in some other fashion a long time ago. The exception would be those nails from the Mesabi Range, because we know that the Upper Peninsula has been untroubled since the Early Pennsylvanian era when Spain, Florida and Morocco were all within walking distance of each other.

The continents have been bumping and grinding along like dancers in a packed nightclub, and on more than once occasion have left various bits of themselves with their various partners. So we might consider that today's televisions are merely returning to their roots, their places of origin, in some sense.

An interesting alternative is to think about things and places that don't move much at all cf. those that travel a lot. What are the 'object' equivalents of the Upper Midwest, and what are the equivalents of the West Indies? What object always travels far, and which almost always stay near home?

And speaking of travel, here is an interesting isochronal map of rail versus car travel times from Cambridge to everywhere else on the island. The most interesting thing is that there's an island of inaccessibility. Hawick, about 50 miles south of Edinburgh and 40 miles northeast of Carlisle, cannot be reached by public transport/taxi in less than one hour from the nearest train station. This is a relative inaccessibility, of course, but prompts the thought that there must be such islands of each place in relation to another, and of each place in relation to an object. How many goods in Hawick have never left town, and as McPhee is indicating, how many goods have been assembled from the most diverse number of places and gone travelling around before alighting, or passing through, Hawick?



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