Feb. 26, 2013

Feb. 26

Just sitting at the round black table in Ireyca’s living room, online. I am spending most of each day online. I am glad for this opportunity to be alone and quiet.

I don’t like going outdoors here. The traffic on the way to the stores is intense. And everything looks grey. I went out to the stores yesterday. I liked the trip out, despite the visuals being ugly and crossing the freeway on and off ramps being difficult. I wore my earplugs.

Note: when I went out to the stores today, it was much easier and even pleasant (simply because it was not new). I didn’t even wear my earplugs.

I think I’ll just look at my DF experience for what it is: something that’s temporary and wonderful in its own unique way. Being indoors here is one thing (peaceful), and being outdoors is another thing (chaotic).

I posted this today on Facebook:

The Nazis killed half a million Gypsies during WW II because they didn’t like the way the Gypsies lived, looked, and behaved. The Gypsies DIDN’T “behave”! They didn’t conform or assimilate. They didn’t WANT to! Ha ha.
I object to people treating me badly because I choose to not have a permanent home and because I like to travel (and camp out) most of the time. I am keeping this issue front and center so people won’t forget to respect American Traveller-Gypsies like me.
Sedentary people all over the world have strong prejudices against travelling people. This is an ancient rivalry/conflict.


Definition of Nomadic

  • The word nomadic describes the state of members of a group of people who have no fixed home and move according to the seasons from place to place in search of food, water and grazing land. Although the term historically described a lifestyle of a group of people such as some Native American tribes or gypsy people, it is also describes someone in modern society who has no fixed residence. Forms of the word include nomad, nomadic and nomadism.

Definition of Sedentary

  • The term sedentary is defined as “remaining or living in one area” or “not moving freely.” This term can refer to individuals, groups of people, animals or even objects. Other forms of the word include sedentarily and sedentariness. Developed American and European societies are examples of sedentary society, marked by land ownership and established localities.

Read more: Difference Between Nomadic & Sedentary | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/info_8204701_difference-between-nomadic-sedentary.html#ixzz2M0sbiImf


The difference is obvious. Nomads move around and therefore do not create any artwork of great dimensions,if any. It is a very hard life and leaves them little time for leisure. Nomads however have a love for words and their language is rich and refined. They are born poets and story-tellers,though many of them do not even have a written language.
Sedentary people having settled down build houses,temples,palaces etc and have the opportunity to create art of all kinds. They have more free time and can dedicate themselves to science and technology. They developed a writing system, which was needed for levying taxes, recording property, trade and the administration of the country in general.
Two totally different ways of life which could never co-exist peacefully in one and the same place.

(at answers.yahoo.com, Best Answer to question of differences between nomads and sedentary people, by “Gino’s Mom”: this answer favors sedentary people)


Interactions between sedentary and nomadic people are very interesting.



In evolutionary anthropology and archaeology, sedentism (sometimes called sedentariness), is a term applied to the transition from nomadic lifestyle to a society which remains in one place permanently. Essentially, sedentism means living in groups permanently in one place.

It is difficult to settle down permanently (to become sedentary) in a landscape without on-site agricultural or livestock-breeding resources, since sedentism requires sufficient year-round easily-accessible local natural resources.

In the last 30 years archaeological research has shown the earliest sedentism began with on-site agriculture and cattle breeding, and most researchers now believe that sedentism was a prerequisite for the first agriculture to occur. Sedentism usually meant more people, sturdier houses, new stone tools, more jewelry, burials or cemeteries, more long-distance goods and also clear signs of stratification. At sedentary sites usually more people lived together for a longer time compared to earlier base camp sites or annual gathering sites. This created deeper cultural layers and thus generally richer archaeological materials. There are also indications that the use of rock art is connected to sedentism, both pre-agricultural and agricultural forms.

Sedentism requires good preservation and storage technologies. These include smoking, drying and fermenting of foods, as well as good containers such as pottery, baskets or special pits in which to securely store food whilst making it available. It was only at locations where the resources of several major ecosystems overlapped that enabled the earliest sedentism to occur (pre-agricultural sedentism). For example where a river met the sea, at lagoon environments along the coast, at river confluences, or where flat savanna met hills and mountains with rivers.

At the end of the 19th and throughout the 20th century many previously nomadic tribes have turned to permanent settlement. It was a process initiated by local governments, and it was mainly a global trend forced by the changes in the attitude to the land and real property and also due to state policies. Among these nations are Negev Bedouin in Jordan, Israel and Egypt, Bashkirs in Soviet Russia, Tibetan nomads in China, Babongo in Gabon, Baka in Cameroon, etc.

(excerpts from Wikipedia article)


Forced sedentarism:

~~Native American tribes in the US and other indigenous people around the world.

~~Gypsies in various countries (eg. England).


A sedentary lifestyle is a type of lifestyle with no or irregular physical activity. A person who lives a sedentary lifestyle may colloquially be known as a couch potato. It is commonly found in both the developed and developing world. Sedentary activities include sitting, reading, watching television, playing video games, and computer use for much of the day with little or no vigorous physical exercise. A sedentary lifestyle can contribute to many preventable causes of death. Screen time is the amount time a person spends watching a screen such as a television, computer monitor, or mobile device. Excessive screen time is linked to negative health consequences.

One response that has been adopted by many organizations concerned with health and environment is the promotion of active travel, which seeks to promote walking and cycling as safe and attractive alternatives to motorized transport. Given that many journeys are for relatively short distances, there is considerable scope to replace car use with walking or cycling, though in many settings this may require some infrastructure modification.

(from Wikipedia)



(excerpt from aquestionofmovement.blogspot.mx/2011/2)

Sedentarism vs Anti-sedentarism
     (Lisa) Malkki’s analysis regarding a national perception of being ‘rooted’ to a particular place derives from the post-modern anti-sedentarist school of thought. Malkki’s argument lays in staunch opposition to that of the sedentarists. Sedentarism preaches, “that a culture is the property of a spatially localized people and that the world therefore can be mapped as a mosaic of separate, territorially distinct cultures” (Turton, 2005:260).
     The structure of this paper will first introduce and critically assess the theoretical aspects introduced by to Lisa Malkki in her 1992 anti-sedentarist paper (National Geographic: The Rooting of Peoples and the Territorialization of National Identity Among Scholars and Refugees) where she stated that socially constructed metaphors are the building blocks that territorialize identity. The second part will explore the philosophical aspects of anti-sedentarism space, place and identity. The following section will turn to David Turton (2005) and Laura Hammond’s (2004) case studies exploring how these theoretical approaches of ‘place-making’ relate to pragmatic experiences.

My aim through this article is to argue that moral and spiritual beliefs are based on sensationalised irrational values and subsequently fail to provide empirical evidence on which to ‘root’ cultural identity to a specific territory.


Malkki argues “the widely held commonsense assumptions linking people to place, nation to territory are not simply territorializing, but deeply metaphysical” (Malkki, 1992:27). In other words, the belief of being rooted to a particular place, land, country is due to socially constructed metaphysical connotations. Malkki asserts her premise by producing a series of persuasive examples in how, through the use of syntax and botanical metaphors (mythologies), our national identity is territorialized.

     Malkki, through her analysis of syntax, utilises deconstruction as a mechanism to claim that sedentarism is merely based upon linguistically construed mythologies. Deconstruction argues that “in the unity of the community of communication among several persons the repeatedly produced structure becomes an object of consciousness, not as a likeness, but as the one structure common to all” (ibid:22). Essentially sedentarism, according to Malkki, through the mythology of language (community of communication) transforms the concept of being rooted to specific land (object of consciousness) into a national belief (structure common to all).


     Although Malkki’s anti-sedentarist theoretical deconstruction is logically conclusive, it arguably skirts around several issues regarding the origins of space, place and identity. As Camus stated so astutely a “sense of place…is not just something that people know and feel, it is something people do” (Camus, 1955:88). Anti-sedentarists don’t seem to take seriously that just as ‘homelessness’ entails a precondition of a home, the “notion of displacement implies emplacement, ‘a proper place’ of belonging”(Malkki, 2002:353).
     Foucault expressed that “space was treated as the dead, the fixed, the undialectical, the immobile. Time on the other hand, was richness, fecundity, life, dialectic.” (Foucault,1980:70). The question therefore arises, how is one to position time (life) within the context of space (the dead)? According to Archytasian philosophy “to be is to be in place” (Casey,1993:14). In other words “space is absolute and infinite as well as empty and a priori in status, place becomes the mere apportionings of space, its compartmentizations” (Field&Basso,1996:14).
     The concept of ‘time’ as discussed above has been a key in explaining people’s attachment to places of origin, places of home. As Anthony Appiah describes “time consists in the transmission, through the generations, of distinctive institutions and values and practices”(Appiah,2005:133). This is also recognized in Laura Hammonds research; “On my return visits, I have observed ever-increasing and deepening connection between people and place”(Hammond,2004:14).
     According to post-modernists, the debate between place, displacement and identity has been heavily overshadowed by sedentarist policies. Refugees “outside of that physical context [home]…are treated as strangers or as non-members of the host society with conditions that attend ‘otherness’”(Kibreab,1999:387).
     In examining the Tingray’s community formation what becomes apparent is that “it is the sharing of a common view…that makes a household”(Aristotle, 1982:60). In fact the debate between the post-modernists and the sedentarists is not one of the territorialisation of a house or a land but rather that of the territorialisation of a home or a country. For a house/land and a home/country represent distinct differences. “The concept of ‘home’…[is]..the place where people live, to which we return, or where they dream of returning if they are obliged to leave” (Hammond,2004:10). ‘Home’ unlike ‘house’, is a place of deep spiritual and moral attachment. It is due to these emotional attachments that such events as “civil war forces one to call into question assumptions about identity and home” (Warner,1999:412). This therefore begs the question when does a ‘house’ become a ‘home’? Or does a ‘house’ ever truly become a ‘home’?
    With the “integration of international markets for goods, services, technology, finance and to some extent labour mobility” scholars have argued that borders have lost their significance (Goulbourne, 2001:432). Furthermore, this has led anti-sedentarists to claim “that people are becoming citizens of a global world in which we are all refugees or tourists” (Stepputat, 1999:416) devoid of moral and spiritual attributions to a specific land.

Through this analysis, it is feasible to assume that the post-modernist approach dismisses the process of familiarization as an emphasis of rootedness. Cultural identity is removed from ‘a place of familiarity’ and rather claimed to be “matter out of place”, a ‘matter’ which exists beyond the borders of a place (Malkki, 1992:34). Put differently, this can be understood within the framework of Heidegger’s philosophy of the ‘dwelling’, “these buildings house man. He inhabits them and yet does not dwell in them” (Heidegger, 1999:348).[2]

[2] Heidegger’s theory of ‘dwelling’ is based upon the premise that although actions, such as work, occur in buildings, they are not the places with which we identify with. “Bridges and hangers, stadiums and power stations are buildings but not dwellings; railway stations and high-ways, dams and markets halls are built, but they are not dwelling places. Even so, these buildings are in the domain of our dwelling. That domain extends over these buildings are so are not limited to the dwelling places. The truck driver is at home on the highway, but he does not have his lodging there; the working woman is at home in the spinning mill, but does not have her dwelling place there”(Heidegger,1999:347).
     The postmodernist thought, although violently detached from emotions, is based on rational logically conclusive thought. As Malkki explained, our perception of being rooted is based upon the activity of up-keeping social mythologies. Consequently these mythological beliefs, in being communicated through language, have rooted themselves within moral and spiritual values. This has therefore arguably led the ‘national order of things’ to be entrenched within irrational thought. For moral and spiritual ideals, in being emotions entail irrationality. In other words, because emotional attachments are based on intangible evidence, due to being socially constructed, they do not allow for logical origins.
     To perceive one’s faith of being rooted to a specific country entails (to borrow Kierkegaard’s theory) a ‘leap-of-faith’. Kierkegaard explained that in order to have faith in the concepts, such as for example religion (an institution vehemently debated of being grounded upon irrational, unempirical evidence) we must “abandon the laws of logic” and under go a ‘leap-of-faith’ (Evans,1989:348). The same applies to our moral and spiritual perceptions of being nationally rooted to a specific land.
     As we have examined through this paper, the debates surrounding the origins and habitat of cultural identity are not mutually exclusive. Concepts of ‘rootedness’ derive from abstract intellectual theories right through to emotional irrational arguments. What becomes self-evident through this critical analysis is the extent of the feeling of ‘belonging’, whether to a cultural historical identity that is either mobile or sedentary, is the overarching issue in understanding what it is to be rooted. Sedentarism and Anti-sedentarism, although both suffering from contradictions have both been ‘motivated by a [convincing] desire to ‘get a handle’ on populations and their environments” (Turton, 2005:264).
Here’s the bio of the guy who writes this blog (above), A Question Of Movement: Dan Salmon

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Información sobre mí

Sexo Hombre
Ubicación Geneva, Suiza
Introducción Junior international migration specialist. Academic background: BA Political Philosophy and MSc Migration, Mobility and Development – School of Oriental and African Studies. Professional experience: Project Coordinator at Intouch, International Team Leader at the Charity Fundraiser Association Cornucopia, Consultant for the International Migration Department of the Australian Red Cross. International NGO work: Nepal, India and Cambodia establishing educational, health and cultural projects. Independent and voluntary projects: Founded and managed the one to one refugee mentoring project teaching English, first aid and I.T. at the Australian Asian Association; set up and managed the artistic association ‘Vine Art’ exhibiting artists from Belgium, Italy and Britain; initiated the SOAS Migration Film Club promoting awareness of current migration issues. Currently interning at the International Labour Organisation. Fluent in English, Italian and French. Key areas of interest: Irregular migration, labour migration rights, climate-induced migration, North Africa and Middle East migration.
People mentioned in the very interesting blog (above):
1.)     Albert Camus (French: [albɛʁ kamy]; 7 November 1913 – 4 January 1960) was a French Nobel Prize winning author, journalist, and philosopher. His views contributed to the rise of the philosophy known as absurdism. He wrote in his essay “The Rebel” that his whole life was devoted to opposing the philosophy of nihilism while still delving deeply into individual freedom. Although often cited as a proponent of existentialism, the philosophy with which Camus was associated during his own lifetime, he rejected this particular label. In an interview in 1945, Camus rejected any ideological associations: “No, I am not an existentialist. Sartre and I are always surprised to see our names linked…”
2.)     Foucault:  Michel Foucault (French: [miʃɛl fuko]; born Paul-Michel Foucault) (15 October 1926 – 25 June 1984) was a French philosopher, social theorist, historian of ideas, and literary critic. His philosophical theories addressed what power is and how it works, the manner in which it controls knowledge and vice versa, and how it is used as a form of social control. Foucault is best known for his critical studies of social institutions, most notably psychiatry, social anthropology of medicine, the human sciences, the prison system, and the history of human sexuality. His writings on power, knowledge, and discourse have been widely influential in academic circles.
3.)     Søren Aabye Kierkegaard (/ˈsɔrən ˈkɪərkəɡɑrd/ or /ˈkɪərkəɡɔr/; Danish: [ˈsɶːɐn ˈkiɐ̯ɡəɡɒːˀ]  (5 May 1813 – 11 November 1855) was a Danish philosopher, theologian, poet, social critic, and religious author. He wrote critical texts on organized religion, Christendom, morality, ethics, psychology and philosophy of religion, displaying a fondness for metaphor, irony and parables. He is widely considered to be the first existentialist philosopher.
4.)     Kwame Anthony Appiah (pron.: /ˈæpɪɑː/ API-ah; born May 8, 1954) is a GhanaianBritishAmerica philosopher, cultural theorist, and novelist whose interests include political and moral theory, the philosophy of language and mind, and African intellectual history. Kwame Anthony Appiah grew up in Ghana and earned a Ph.D. at Cambridge University. He is currently the Laurance S. Rockefeller University Professor of Philosophy at Princeton University.
5.)     Martin Heidegger (German: [ˈmaɐ̯tiːn ˈhaɪdɛɡɐ]; September 26, 1889 – May 26, 1976) was a German philosopher known for his existential and phenomenological explorations of the “question of Being“.His best known book, Being and Time, is considered one of the most important philosophical works of the 20th century. In it and later works, Heidegger maintained that our way of questioning defines our nature. But philosophy, Western Civilization’s chief way of questioning, had in the process of philosophizing lost sight of the being it sought. Finding ourselves “always already” fallen in a world of presuppositions, we lose touch with what being was before its truth became “muddled”. As a solution to this condition, Heidegger advocated a return to the practical being in the world, allowing it to reveal, or “unconceal” itself as concealment.(all bios are excerpts from Wikipedia)

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