Reading and More

Reading and More

I finished the Witches book yesterday (thank you Nils).  I’ve been reading two books about time, technology and the future: River of Shadows by Solnit (describing the development of the American railroad, westward expansion and the man who developed quick photography, leading to film) as well as After the Future by Biffo Berardi (theory book about the disintegration of the idea of the FUTURE, and the economic mythologies and realities that supported Futurism and then destroyed it).

In relating to this project the Solnit book is stunning because of its description of San Francisco as it first developed, a no-mans land that became a center of commerce, and discovery and personal mythology; at the cost of the genocide of the Native peoples of the area. SF as a place of change and innovation echoes today with all the tech and silicon valley. It was the final destination of the transcontinental railroad, the end of westward expansion. You all are coming here, to this foggy place, a place I often find is liminal as much as bubbled by the geography. So I’ll share this…

 

“In the heyday of the gold rush, the immigrants were busy building California’s physical infrastructure: dams, roads, cities, farms. At the same time, a more subtle project of construction was launched, of California as a distinct culture. Immigrants bent the places’s meanings to suit their needs and dreams, and when they were done, something entirely new had been invented, something that would change the world, a kin of headstrong, rootless sense of heroic possibilities and glamour still summed up by the word CALIFORNIA. And much that was ancient had been lost, including the way that Modoc culture was tied, with a thousand threads of food and story and name and knowledge, to the place where Modoc had been as long as they remembered.” River of Shadows, Solnit

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