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robertogreco : thailand   20

In Thailand, Buddhist Monks Grapple with the Meaning of Video Games - Waypoint
"Discussing games and reincarnation with Monks at Wat Chedi Luang in Chiang Mai, Thailand."

[via: "Buddhist monks on the value of video games"
https://kottke.org/18/02/buddhist-monks-on-the-value-of-video-games

"In Thailand, Buddhist monks, and students studying to be monks, play video games sometimes like everyone else. But many of them are ambivalent about the games’ value.
The danger in playing a game is not the game itself, but the desire it may cause—since in Buddhist thought, desire is the cause of suffering. “If you lose or win, you want to do it again and again. You’re always thinking about the game. If you cling to that mindset, it causes mental suffering or physical suffering.”

This danger of competition and desire are why monks are generally not allowed to play sports. (Though, to be honest, I’ve seen more than a few novices playing covert soccer games.) Sports offer many benefits, both men agree, but if they become too much about winning or lead to bad feelings it can damage attempts to attain enlightenment.


Robert Rath, the author, tries to get the monks to dive deep on the connection between spawning, dying, and respawning in video games and an idea of a cycle of life and rebirth, but for the most part, the monks aren’t buying it. Games are fun, they’re challenging, they’re big distractions from study and meditation — and that’s about it. Not a lot of deeper meaning there.

Which to me, is refreshing, and very Buddhist (as I understand it). Why does everything have to mean anything? Most things are just nonsense. Let them be what they are, and be wary of the power you give them."]
games  gaming  videogames  monks  buddhism  meditation  attention  2018  thailand  desire  enlightenment  addiction  robertrath  study  meaning  reincarnation 
february 2018 by robertogreco
Gautam Bhan: A bold plan to house 100 million people | TED Talk | TED.com
"Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata -- all the major cities across India have one great thing in common: they welcome people arriving in search of work. But what lies at the other end of such openness and acceptance? Sadly, a shortage of housing for an estimated 100 million people, many of whom end up living in informal settlements. Gautam Bhan, a human settlement expert and researcher, is boldly reimagining a solution to this problem. He shares a new vision of urban India where everyone has a safe, sturdy home. (In Hindi with English subtitles)"

[via: "lovely @GautamBhan80's short, succinct explanation of our cities' relationship with informal housing deserves whatsapp virality"
https://twitter.com/supriyan/status/940453565276987394 ]
urbanization  urban  urbanism  housing  slums  settlements  india  gautambhan  2017  eviction  land  property  homes  place  cities  urbanplanning  planning  thailand  informal  inequality  growth  squatting  class 
december 2017 by robertogreco
Ephemeral Urbanism: Cities in Constant Flux - YouTube
urbanism  urban  cities  ephemerality  ephemeral  2016  rahulmehrotra  felipevera  henrynbauer  cristianpinoanguita  religion  celebration  transaction  trade  economics  informal  formal  thailand  indi  us  dominicanrepublic  cochella  burningman  fikaburn  southafrica  naturaldisaters  refugees  climatechange  mozambique  haiti  myanmar  landscape  naturalresources  extraction  mining  chile  indonesia  military  afghanistan  refuge  jordan  tanzania  turkey  greece  macedonia  openness  rigidity  urbandesign  urbanplanning  planning  adhoc  slums  saudiarabia  hajj  perú  iraq  flexibility  unfinished  completeness  sustainability  ecology  mobility 
october 2017 by robertogreco
Y-Fi
"Experience Loading Animations / Screens in wifi speeds around the world. This website was inspired by this conversation I had on twitter. I was home (Nigeria) for a bit before I started work and was annoyed at how long I had to look at loading animations. I wondered how long people wanted to wait around the world screaming.

Notes / How this works

• Data about wifi speeds is from: Akamai's State of the Internet / Connectivity Report.

• I chose countries based on what suprised me and to get diversity across speeds.

• To get most data about loading times, I used a combination of Firefox DevTools and the Network Panel on Chrome DevTools. For Gmail I used this article on Gmail's Storage Quota.

• The wifi speeds and sizes of resources are hard-coded in so you can see them and the rest of the code at the repo.

• Any other questions / thoughts? Hit me up on twitter!"

[via: https://twitter.com/YellzHeard/status/890990574827851777 via @senongo]
omayeliarenyeka  internet  webdev  webdesign  wifi  broadband  nigeria  loading  speed  diversity  accessibility  paraguay  egypt  namibia  iran  morocco  argentina  india  southafrica  saudiarabia  mexico  china  chile  greece  ue  france  australia  russia  kenya  israel  thailand  uk  us  taiwan  japan  singapore  hongkong  noray  southkorea  perú 
july 2017 by robertogreco
Earth Timelapse
[via: "Watch The Movements Of Every Refugee On Earth Since The Year 2000: The story we tell ourselves about the refugee crisis is very different from the reality."
https://www.fastcompany.com/40423720/watch-the-movements-of-every-refugee-on-earth-since-the-year-2000

"In 2016, more refugees arrived in Uganda–including nearly half a million people from South Sudan alone–than crossed the Mediterranean Sea to Europe. While the numbers in Africa are increasing, the situation isn’t new: As the world continues to focus on the European refugee crisis, an equally large crisis has been unfolding in Africa.

A new visualization shows the flow of refugees around the world from 2000 to 2015, and makes the lesser-known story in Africa–and in places like Sri Lanka in 2006 or Colombia in 2007–as obvious as what has been happening more recently in Syria. Each yellow dot represents 17 refugees leaving a country, and each red dot represents refugees arriving somewhere else. (The full version of the map, too large to display here, represents every single refugee in the world with a dot.)

Here’s some of what you’re seeing: In 2001, tens of thousands of refugees fled conflict in Afghanistan, while others fled civil war in Sudan (including the “Lost Boys,” orphans who in some cases were resettled in the U.S.). By 2003, the genocide in Darfur pushed even more people from Sudan. In 2006, war drove Lebanese citizens to Syria; Sri Lankans fleeing civil war went to India. In 2007, as conflict worsened in Colombia, refugees fled to nearby countries such as Venezuela. After leading demonstrations in Burma against dictatorial rule, Buddhist monks and others fled to Thailand. In 2008, a surge of Tibetan refugees fled to India, while Afghan, Iraqi, and Somali refugees continued to leave their home countries in large numbers. By 2009, Germany was taking in large numbers of refugees from countries such as Iraq. In 2010, another surge of refugees left Burma, while others left Cuba. By 2012, the civil war in Syria pushed huge numbers of refugees into countries such as Jordan. Ukrainian refugees began to flee unrest in 2013, and in greater numbers by 2014.

By 2015, the greatest number of refugees were coming from Syria, though mass movement from African countries such as South Sudan also continued–and because most of those refugees went to neighboring countries rather than Europe, the migration received less media attention. In 2015, the U.S. resettled 69,933 refugees; Uganda, with a population roughly eight times smaller, took in more than 100,000 people. Developing countries host nearly 90% of the world’s refugees.

“Often the debates we have in society start with emotion and extreme thoughts, like, ‘Oh, refugees are invading the U.S.,'” says Illah Nourbakhsh, director of the Community Robotics, Education, and Technology Empowerment (CREATE) Lab at Carnegie Mellon University, the lab that developed the technology used create the new visualization. “You can’t get past that–you can’t build common ground for people to actually talk about real issues and how to solve them.”

Showing people data in an animated, interactive visualization, he says, is “an interesting shortcut into your brain, where the visual evidence is more rhetorically compelling than any graph or chart that I show you. That visual evidence often moves you from somebody who’s questioning the data to somebody who can see the data. And now they want to talk about what to do about it.”

The lab began working on its Explorables project, a platform designed to help make sense of big data, four years ago. To make big data–with billions of data points, dozens of different fields of information, changing over time–easier to explore, the platform layers animations over maps.

The team has also used systems like Google Earth to explore big data, but even it can only display a few hundred markers, and it requires installation on computers. The researchers realized that they could use a graphics processor in someone’s computer directly, in the same way that a video game does. “What’s kind of cool is that the video game revolution has changed the computer’s architecture over the last decade,” he says. “So the computers have this amazing ability to very quickly render on the screen.” That technology is combined with an ability to display only the resolution needed for the data you’re zoomed in on, making it possible to share massive amounts of data."]
timelines  maps  mapping  refugees  migration  afghanistan  sudan  darfur  lebanon  syria  venezuela  colombia  burma  india  srilanka  southsudan  uganda  africa  europe  jordan  ukraine  cuba  tibet  somalia  thailand  germany  iraq 
june 2017 by robertogreco
A World Without People - The Atlantic
"For a number of reasons, natural and human, people have evacuated or otherwise abandoned many places around the world—large and small, old and new. Gathering images of deserted areas into a single photo essay, one can get a sense of what the world might look like if humans were to suddenly vanish from the planet. Collected here are recent scenes from abandoned construction projects, industrial disaster zones, blighted urban neighborhoods, towns where residents left to escape violence or natural disasters, derelict Olympic venues, ghost towns, and more."
landscape  photography  apocalypse  worldwithoutus  multispecies  riodejaneiro  brasil  brazil  us  nola  neworleans  alabama  germany  belarus  italy  italia  abandonment  china  bankok  thailand  decay  shengshan  athens  greece  lackawanna  pennsylvania  tianjin  russia  cyprus  nicosia  indonesia  maine  syria  namibia  drc  fukushima  congo  philippines  havana  cuba  vallejo  paris  libya  wales  england 
may 2017 by robertogreco
Pakpoom Silaphan
"Silaphanʼs practice examines notions of globalisation, mass consumerism and the universal reach of cultural icons across the world. Silaphan primarily uses found-objects such as old metal advertising signs collected during his years living in Thailand, as his canvas. Also using vintage wooden Pepsi and Coca-Cola crates, reminiscent of Warholʼs Brillo Box installations; Silaphan re-works these objects to create a fresh interpretation of Pop Art and opens a discourse on the effects of advertising and mass consumption. The infiltration of western imagery and ideology had a profound influence on Silaphanʼs understanding of the West and on his artistic practice. Using his favoured artistic icons, such as Warhol, Dali and Frida Khalo, he collages and paints over these branded advertising signs and crates, implying the artistsʼ identity as a recognised global brand itself. Silaphan creates an engaging dialogue between the relationship between East and West, and the universal language of signs and symbols that is accessible to all and has been imprinted on to the universal collective consciousness.

Pakpoom Silaphan was born in 1972 in Bangkok, Thailand. He received his BFA from Silapakorn University in Bangkok before moving to England in 2002 to study printmaking at Camberwell College of Art and a Masters in Fine Art which he received from Chelsea College of Art and Design. Silaphanʼs work has been placed in the Hiscox Collection, Sir Paul Smithʼs collection and has been featured in the significant publication “For Which It Stands: Americana in Contemporary Art” by Carla Sakamoto, published by Farameh Media in 2012. In 2004 he was shortlisted for the John Mooreʼs 23 prize at the Liverpool Museum. Silaphan's work has been published in the Financial Times twice,

The Independent in 2011 where Emma Love described Silaphan's work as "a sign of the times" and in 2013 “the Pop artist of these times” and Elle Magazine amongst others. Silaphan has exhibited in London, Japan, Hong Kong, New York, Singapore and India.

Silaphan has been commissioned by the Siam Centre for a public art commission in Bangkok which was unveiled in May 2013."

[See also: http://fadmagazine.com/2013/02/19/pakpoom-silaphan-talks-to-fad-about-his-solo-exhibition-empire-state/ ]
pakoomsilaphan  art  imagery  collage  fridakhalo  andywarhol  salvadordali  cheguevara  pablopicasso  ganshi  jean-michelbasquiat  basquiat  thailand 
december 2015 by robertogreco
An Interview with James C. Scott - Gastronomica
"Tracey Campbell:

Given that few societies, if any, are now fully independent of the kind of market forces that you have been discussing today, how should ethnographers consider corporations as actors when they’re doing their research? To elaborate a little further, a lot of people studying peasant agriculturists bemoan the presence of a market or corporations who extract value from the peasants, but there doesn’t seem to be any robust methodology for dealing with the corporations on the other side of those transactions so that there’s a corporate perspective on the transaction. It seems to be a sort of “here there be dragons” area of ethnographic research.

JS:

I suppose that would be remedied by the kind of ethnography in which people who either undercover, or with permission, go and do ethnographies of corporations as they’re dealing with them, right? So I would recommend a hero student of mine who’s named Tim Pachirat. He had an idea which was not politically correct for a political scientist; he was interested in what it did to people to kill sentient beings every day all day for a living. And so what he did, although he’s originally of Thai-American background and was going to work in Thailand, he learned Spanish and got himself a job in a slaughterhouse working for a year and a half, including working on the kill floor of the slaughterhouse, and ended up writing an ethnography of vision in the slaughterhouse in a book that I promise you, you cannot put down, it is so gripping. Everybody said that this was a career-ending move as a dissertation, but he wanted to do it and the book is an astounding account of the way in which the clean and dirty sections of a slaughterhouse are kept separate from one another and workers treated differently, and the way the line works. You could only write this ethnography, I think, by actually doing this work. And if he asked permission they never would have given it to him, so he just did it. So, he avoided all of the protocols for the people you’re interviewing, etc., he just ignored it all and did it. To begin with nothing much happened; he spent three months hanging livers in a cold room with another Hispanic worker. I mean, three months just taking a liver that came on a chain and putting it in a box and passing it on. And so he didn’t think that there was a lot of ethnography coming out of the room where he was packing livers, but he gradually worked his way into other parts of the plant. But I wish more people would go into the belly of the beast, either of corporations or supermarkets or institutions. At the end of his book he suggests making slaughterhouses out of glass and allowing schoolchildren to see how their meat’s prepared. I always believed that social science was a progressive profession because it was the powerful who had the most to hide about how the world actually worked and if you could show how the world actually worked it would always have a de-masking and a subversive effect on the powerful. I don’t think that’s quite true, but it seems to me it’s not bad as a point of departure anyway.

HW:

Moving on to the state now, you associate developing technologies of rule historically with ever more exploitative forms of hierarchy, and of course revolutionary states come in for focused critique in your work, as you distinguish between struggles over and through the apparatus of the state and you point out that these struggles have generally been disastrous for peasants and the working poor. But in a globalized world where decisive forms—and here I’m thinking about things like vertically integrated food supply chains—operate at ever greater distances and seem ever less controllable to ordinary people, is there not some role for the state; is resistance possible without engaging the state, without using the state in one way or another?

JS:

It’s hard to see any institutional structure that stands in the way of the homogenization and simplification of these supply chains in international capitalism, unless it is the nation state, right? Unless it is a kind of authoritative state structure. So, “yes.” [laughs] Now, qualifications that will leave little of the “yes” standing. First of all, most states aren’t even remotely democracies and most of the people who run these states by and large do the bidding of their corporate masters and take bribes and are servants of international capitalism, right? So we can’t rely on those states, can we? And then you take contemporary Western democracies, let me use my own country which I know best as an example, yes, you have an electoral system, yes you reelected the first black man president, yes there are some changes. On the other hand, the concentration of wealth has grown steeper and steeper and steeper, it allows lobbyists and people who provide campaign finance to basically control a campaign and its message, these people tend at the sort of high echelons of the corporate world to control most of the media and its messaging—right? These people are also able to sit on the congressional committees and write the loopholes in the legislation. Even when there is reform, they’re able to so influence the wording of the legislation that the loopholes are built in, they don’t have to be found, they’re actually legislated. And so then you get a state that in a neoliberal world is less and less able to be an honest mediator, a representative of popular aspirations, to discipline corporations. I want to leave a little bit of the yes standing, because as the result of the financial crisis there were slightly more stringent rules on bank capitalization, on regulation, on some consumer protection, but I think by and large there is not much in that way. Now, Scandinavian social democracy is a better picture, but North Atlantic, Anglo-American neoliberalism is not providing the kind of state that I think can provide this kind of discipline and regulation. I’m pessimistic."
jamescscott  via:shannon_mattern  epistemology  agriculture  academia  geography  2015  harrywest  celiaplender  interviews  agrarianstudies  southeastasia  anarchism  toread  resistance  vietnam  burma  thailand  timpachirat  ethnography  hierarchy  thestate  goverment  governance  capitalism  socialdemocracy  homogenization 
october 2015 by robertogreco
The Tamborzão Goes to Thailand — Chrysaora Weekly — Medium
"It started with a WeChat Sight I received from my mom at 7 a.m. one morning. I squinted sleepily at the silent preview, amused by the elderly Asian woman’s adorable dance moves. Then the music kicked in, and I woke up fast. The woman was dancing on a sidewalk somewhere in Thailand, but the Portuguese rapping and the beatbox beat were unmistakably Brazilian.

This is the kind of world-spanning electronic music thing I live and skip meals for. I spent all my free time over the next two weeks investigating.

*********

The music I care about the most hasn’t settled on an umbrella label, but I know it when I hear it. To generalize wildly: it’s the kind produced by and for young people using pirated software all over the world. It’s loud enough to be its own drug, with a heavy foundation of bass to give people something to gyrate to at dance parties. It’s released online with file names that end in “FINAL DRAFT 05–12.mp3,” and is also sometimes sold in homemade mix CDs by street vendors. Often, it’s raunchy and violent enough to incite moral panic.

Well-made dance music, like design, is a highly functional form of art created in conversation with those who enjoy it. New songs are tested live at parties, often well before they’re finished, and co-evolve alongside the dance forms and fashions they accompany. Many of the genres are so tied to spaces that they’re named after their venues: dancehall, ballroom, or just (Baltimore/Jersey) “club.” The lyrics and instrumentals of the music are prone to sampling, soaking up references to mainstream music, pop culture, current events, and tech with in record turnaround time. The tracks are raw glimpses into their birthplaces, each one reflecting the place not as it was or as it would like itself to be, but as it is in the instant it’s made.

Though the sounds and contexts of these musical genres differ from place to place, they share a lot in common these days: production tools (Ableton Live, Fruity Loops, Roland drum machines), distribution platforms (SoundCloud, YouTube), and demographics (kids who want to party). These commonalities have allowed these regional club scenes to find, borrow from, and even work with each other. The dynamics of this interplay mostly reflect the globalization that connected the world in the first place, with European and American labels acting as brokers and gatekeepers. But occasionally an unexpected cross-pollination appears— like a Thai grandmother dancing to Brazilian music on the sidewalk."



"IRL, dances take place in hard-earned public spaces ruled — and sometimes run — by young people. These dance floors are important liminal spaces where identities and communities can be explored, normalized, and established, and where young people can simply have unsupervised, escapist fun with their peers.

Online, dance floors are asynchronous and global. People share videos of themselves dancing — sometimes in groups, often in their bedrooms or living rooms — and watch each other’s videos in turn to learn new moves or just to take a hit of contagious joy straight to the amygdala.

“Kawo Kawo” itself is not the pinnacle of music production, but it’s remarkable both as the result of an unlikely global discourse and as the rallying call for some incredible dance videos. It’d be overly naïve to claim that dance music alone can breed some kind of universal empathy, but in the success of “Kawo Kawo” I see a glimmer of hope for new global connections born in the rapture of music rather than in the trauma of colonialism.

When the sun is hot and the music is blasting, whether it’s during Songkran or Carnaval, anything seems possible."
christinaxu  2015  music  global  thailand  brasil  brazil  dance  internetonline  youtube  soundcloud  wechat  facebook  international  kawokawo  djchois  mcjairdarocha  crosspollination  remixing 
june 2015 by robertogreco
What Self-Directed Learning Can Look Like for Underprivileged Children in Asia | MindShift | KQED News
"Unlike at Summerhill, children at Moo Baan Dek have work responsibilities (such as working in the center’s rice fields), but these are freely chosen, and there is a lot of discretion in how they are carried out (e.g., children are encouraged to listen to their bodies if they need a break). Children also collaborate with houseparents on menus and shopping, learning about home economics in the process.

“Once they trust the adults, the adults can help them to do something,” one of the founders, Rajani Dongchai, told Gribble. But after developing this bond, the adults step back so the children can learn to believe in the inherent value of the activities, rather than simply obeying their elders. They step in only when children appear to need help, and then offer it with compassion.

Many of Moo Baan Dek’s students have gone on to higher education and gainful work in occupations that run the gamut from hospital staff to auto mechanics and sales."



"Street Children Apply Themselves to Have an “Education for Life”

Children who work and/or live on New Delhi’s streets struggle to survive, picking up small jobs such as collecting rags, carrying bags, or selling food, while coping with police beatings, predatory adults, and motorists that don’t even brake for them, reflecting their extremely low status in that society.

Social worker Rita Panicker was dismayed that most organizations trying to help these children treated them merely as passive recipients of charity and offered them conventional lessons that did little to help them overcome their specific challenges, instead of empowering them with “education for life.” To offer an alternative, she started the Butterflies program in 1989; its name evokes her desire to help these eight- to 15-year-old children develop wings to fly in freedom wherever they chose.

Its core guiding principle is children’s participation. So the Butterflies educators began by spending weeks on the streets, getting to know the children who wanted to talk, asking them what they wanted to do, and in what areas they wanted help. The program’s distinguishing operating elements include a Children’s Council with decision-making power (which extends to the ability to dismiss staff) and a requirement that the children pay a modest fee for services. The educators relate to the children as friends and colleagues and are affectionately called Elder Brother and Elder Sister.

Most of the children have never even held a pencil when they begin interacting with the program, but Gribble notes that literacy should not be confused with education. In some senses, these children are already highly educated and mature, because they manage to survive on their own and handle complicated, real-life situations on a regular basis. Therefore the Butterflies curriculum “can’t be childish,” he says. Moreover, he explains in “Lifelines,” although the program is accredited through the equivalent of eighth grade, and the children have opportunities to learn subjects such as math, science, Hindi and English, “formal education is not the priority. The priority is to make each child feel trusted, secure and precious. Only then can formal learning take place.”

Educators meet the children at popular contact points around the city (such as the railway station) at mutually agreed times. They offer activities that help the children analyze and question and find things out for themselves. They also bring tin trunks with materials such as exercise books, discussion-provoking cards, and games. The children decide how much, or whether, to engage, and can work on whatever they choose. Anyone is welcome to join in, and some 1,500 children have taken up the offer. Older street children often lead the activities, with the staff remaining in the background, offering assistance as needed.

Many choose to study because no one is requiring them to, Gribble says. He observed children working together “enthusiastically and seriously,” he writes, with a “dignity and purposefulness that perhaps is in part a result of not suffering the humiliation of being obliged to accept charity. … It is moving almost to the point of tears to see a twelve-year-old boy totally committing himself to sounding out letters or practising basic addition.”

The educators also cover subjects that “touch the children emotionally, because those are the subjects that children really want to talk and write about,” Gribble explains. For instance, they may present realistic case studies (e.g., a runaway girl confides that she’s been sexually abused, but the police don’t want to file a report) and ask the children to demonstrate possible responses through dramatic arts.

Success isn’t measured in test scores or the attainment of formal qualifications. It’s considered success if the children trust the adults; learn to read and write (about 60 percent of the children who participate for six months learn to read and write within that time); accomplish personal projects; or go on to high school and find sustaining work. It is also considered success if they become aware of their rights and develop skills that enable them to protect themselves from being cheated and to negotiate for better wages."
asia  education  learning  children  self-directed  self-directedlearning  davidgribble  thailand  bankok  sumerhill  democratic  democracy  democraticschools  streetchildren  nedelhi  moobaandek  lubavangelova  howwelearn  unschooling  deschooling  schools  ritapaniker  butterflies  india 
may 2015 by robertogreco
lost in doi saket - a soundmap by kate carr
"Lost in Doi Saket - a sound map

I've never been a driver and have a hopeless sense of direction, so deciding to rent a scooter for my month in Doi Saket was always going to be risky. Nor did things start well at the rental place. Before I had even managed to ride a metre with my feet off the ground the owner had declared me ready to go and pushed me out the door. Almost immediately I was lost and so began my 600 kilometre recording tour of the region. At its heart my soundmap is about the process of weaving an emotional landscape from a physical spaces. It explores the way fragile and fleeting moments like a teen listening to love songs on the shores of a lake, or a joyful burst of backyard dancing slowly sink into an area, shaping it in the same slow way that walking along a similar route every day will eventually create a path. Lost in Doi Saket is about the different ways people leave a mark on the places they inhabit and visit. The way a community wears the land around them, and the way this process changes them too. The piece isn't intended as an collection of observations, it isn't simply about things I heard or saw, it is also about the things I did here -- the different ways I tried to explore, understand, participate and listen to Doi Saket. It's about the little things like struggling to buy cigarettes, and big things like realising I was very ignorant about Thailand. It's about the beautiful, haphazard and confusing process of getting to know and like new people, and new places and catching yourself totally lost in a moment. It is a record of the tiny ways I shaped Doi Saket during my time here, and the far bigger mark my visit left on me.

Kate Carr, Doi Saket, Thailand.

Thanks to: Helen Michaelsen, Pisithpong Siraphisut, Rees Archibald, Tim Plaisted and Tanya Serisier.

This artwork was made possible by the Compeung Residency Grant Program."
katecarr  soundscapes  fieldrecordings  doisaket  thailand  sound  audio  ambient 
may 2015 by robertogreco
Millions of Facebook users have no idea they’re using the internet - Quartz
"Facebook bosses generally dismiss suggestions that the whole internet.org project might be self-interested. Writing in Time, Lev Grossman was granted access to Mark Zuckerberg when the Facebook CEO went to India to promote internet access. When Grossman asks whether internet.org is self-serving, Zuckerberg allows only that it may, one day, several decades down the line, pay off: “If you do good things for people in the world, then that comes back and you benefit from it over time.”

Dave Wehner, Facebook’s finance chief, is more forthright. “I do think that over the long term, that focusing on helping connect everyone will be a good business opportunity for us.” If Facebook becomes one of the top services in these countries, he explained in a recent earnings call, “then over time we will be compensated for some of the value that we’ve provided.”
That is a fair goal for any profit-seeking company. And besides, isn’t some access better than none at all? John Naughton of the Guardian argues that this is not the case:
This is a pernicious way of framing the argument, and we should resist it. The goal of public policy everywhere should be to increase access to the internet—the whole goddam internet, not some corporate-controlled alcove—for as many people as possible. By condoning zero-rating we will condemn to a lifetime of servitude as one of Master Zuckerberg’s sharecroppers. We can, and should, do better than that.

"Already services are starting to move away from the open web and to Facebook. And it’s happening not just in the poor world, but in poor parts of the developed world, where there also exists a sense among some that using an app isn’t the same as using the internet, which requires a web browser like Safari or Internet Explorer. Salix Homes manages government-owned subsidized housing in some the poorest parts of Salford, a deprived area in the north of England. Salix recently decided to accept complaints and rent payments from its tenants on Facebook."
facebook  internet  culture  mobile  technology  2015  myanmar  burma  indonesia  philippines  thailand  walledgardens  nigeria  internet.org  web  online 
february 2015 by robertogreco
How Different Cultures Understand Time - Business Insider
"Both the linear-active northerner and the multi-active Latin think that they manage time in the best way possible. In some Eastern cultures, however, the adaptation of humans to time is seen as a viable alternative. In these cultures, time is viewed neither as linear nor event–relationship related, but as cyclic. Each day the sun rises and sets, the seasons follow one another, the heavenly bodies revolve around us, people grow old and die, but their children reconstitute the process. We know this cycle has gone on for 100,000 years and more. Cyclical time is not a scarce commodity. There seems always to be an unlimited supply of it just around the next bend. As they say in the East, when God made time, He made plenty of it.

It’s not surprising, then, that business decisions are arrived at in a different way from in the West. Westerners often expect an Asian to make a quick decision or to treat a current deal on its present merits, irrespective of what has happened in the past. Asians cannot do this. The past formulates the contextual back- ground to the present decision, about which in any case, as Asians, they must think long term—their hands are tied in many ways. Americans see time passing without decisions being made or actions performed as having been “wasted.” Asians do not see time as racing away unutilized in a linear future, but coming around again in a circle, where the same opportunities, risks and dangers will re- present themselves when people are so many days, weeks or months wiser. As proof of the veracity of the cyclical nature of time, how often do we (in the West) say, “If I had known then what I know now, I would never have done what I did?”

Figure 4.6 compares the speed of Western action chains with Asian reflection. The American, German and Swiss go home satisfied that all tasks have been completed. The French or Italian might leave some “mopping up” for the following day. John Paul Fieg, author of A Common Core: Thais and Americans, describing the Thai attitude toward time, saw it as a pool one could gradually walk around. This metaphor applies to most Asians, who, instead of tackling problems immediately in sequential fashion, circle around them for a few days or weeks before committing themselves. After a suitable period of reflection, tasks A, D and F may indeed seem worthy of pursuing (refer to Figure 4.6). Tasks B, C and E may be quietly dropped. Contemplation of the whole scene has indicated, however, that task G, perhaps not even envisaged at all earlier on, might be the most significant of all.

In a Buddhist culture (e.g., Thailand, Tibet), not only time but also life itself goes around in a circle. Whatever we plan, however we organize our particular world, generation follows generation; governments and rulers will succeed each other; crops will be harvested; monsoons, earthquakes and other catastrophes will recur; taxes will be paid; the sun and moon will rise and set; stocks and shares will rise and fall. Even the Americans will not change such events, certainly not by rushing things."



"Cultures observing both linear and cyclic concepts of time see the past as something we have put behind us and the future as something that lies before us. In Madagascar, the opposite is the case (see Figure 4.7). The Malagasy imagine the future as flowing into the back of their heads, or passing them from behind, then becoming the past as it stretches out in front of them. The past is in front of their eyes because it is visible, known and influential. They can look at it, enjoy it, learn from it, even “play” with it. The Malagasy people spend an inordinate amount of time consulting their ancestors, exhuming their bones, even partying with them.

By contrast, the Malagasy consider the future unknowable. It is behind their head where they do not have eyes. Their plans for this unknown area will be far from meticulous, for what can they be based on? Buses in Madagascar leave, not according to a predetermined timetable, but when the bus is full. The situation triggers the event. Not only does this make economic sense, but it is also the time that most passengers have chosen to leave. Consequently, in Madagascar stocks are not replenished until shelves are empty, filling stations order gas only when they run dry, and hordes of would-be passengers at the airport find that, in spite of their tickets, in reality everybody is wait-listed. The actual assignation of seats takes place between the opening of the check-in desk and the (eventual) departure of the plane."
time  communication  perception  culture  2014  richardlewis  via:blubirding  past  present  future  planning  priorities  madagascar  us  uk  asia  japan  china  thailand  italy  spain  españa  switzerland  northamerica  cycles  howwethink  scheduling  schedules 
september 2014 by robertogreco
bamboo orphanage at soe ker tie house by TYIN tegnestue
"norwegian office TYIN tegnestue architects has completed ‘soe ker tie house’, an orphanage comprised of six individual sleeping units in noh bo, a small village on the border between thailand and burma, (myanmar). the project caters to refugee children left homeless by many years of conflict in the region, providing its 24 young inhabitants with a comfortable and sustainable living environment. offering both private and communal spaces, the dual nature of the design allows children to socialize through areas of recreation or to spend time alone."
TYINtegnestuearchitects  TYIN  tegnestue  architecture  design  bamboo  homes  housing  thailand  burma  2014 
january 2014 by robertogreco
a brief history of participation
"These activities were not always congenial to the program of government reform towards democratization. Many of them used participatory methods instead to net poor peoples into networks of debt and reliance on hierarchical authorities.

The reasons for the failures of participatory technology are actually quite specific.

Participation was appropriated during the 1970s as a means of cheap development without commitment of resources from above. The theme of participatory ownership of the city, pioneered in discussions about urban planning in the West, remained strong in the context of the developing world, and even grew in a context of spiraling urbanization. In India, the Philippines, and much of Africa and Latin America, postwar economies pushed peasants off of the land into cities, where the poor availability of housing required the poor to squat on land and build their own homes out of cheap building materials. At first, the governments of these towns collaborated with the World Bank to take out loans to provide expensive, high-rise public housing units. But increasingly, the World Bank drew upon the advice of western advocates of squatter settlements, who saw in western squats the potential benefits of self-governance without interference from the state. In the hands of the World Bank, this theory of self-directed, self-built, self-governed housing projects became a justification for defunding public housing. From 1972 forward, World Bank reports commended squatters for their ingenuity and resourcefulness and recommended giving squatters titles to their properties, which would allow them to raise credit and participate in the economy as consumers and borrowers.

Participatory mechanisms installed by the Indian government to deal with water tanks after nationalization depend on principles of accountability at the local level that were invented under colonial rule. They install the duty of the locality to take care of people without necessarily providing the means with which to do so.

We need developers who can learn from the history of futility, and historians who have the courage to constructively encourage a more informed kind of development. "
peertopeer  web2.0  joguldi  2013  conviviality  participation  participatory  government  centralization  centralizedgovernment  self-rule  history  1960s  democracy  democratization  reform  networks  mutualaid  peterkropotkin  politics  activism  banks  banking  patrickgeddes  urban  urbanism  urbanplanning  planning  self-governance  worldbank  dudleyseers  gandhi  robertchambers  neelamukherjee  india  thailand  philippines  gis  geography  latinamerica  1970s  squatters  economics  development  africa  cities  resources  mapmaking  cartography  maps  mapping  googlemaps  openstreetmap  osm  ushahidi  crowdsourcing  infrastructure 
march 2013 by robertogreco
rintala eggertsson architects: library in thailand
"sami rintala of rintala eggertsson architects lead a group of NTNU trondheim university (norway) architect students on a social project. they worked together to build a two storey library building for safe haven orphanage in ban tha song yan village, thailand near the burma border for 42 children ranging in different ages.

the task was to utilize local materials and building techniques to create a building that would solve the problems of education in the orphanage in the most practical way. at the same time, the design also worked with the surrounding environment, with research on natural ventilation systems and sunshades completed and incorporated into the building. the structure was built from natural lava stone from the site, concrete bricks, wood and bamboo. the lower level of the library houses the books and a computer area while the upper level is more for lounging, play and enjoying the books.

the project was organized by tyin tegnestue, trondheim, norway and NTNU teacher hans skotte."

[See also: http://www.archdaily.com/30764/safe-haven-library-tyin-tegnestue/ ]
architecture  design  libraries  learning  lcproject  education  thailand  rintalaeggertsson  wood 
december 2009 by robertogreco
James Clark's Random Thoughts: Thai personal names
"I guess that historically the main reason for the dominance of given names in Thai culture is because family names are a relatively recent innovation: they were introduced by King Rama VI towards the beginning of the 20th century. Family names were alloc
i18n  culture  language  names  identity  thailand  thai  naming  programming  society  international 
january 2008 by robertogreco

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