The Future of Transportation : Rent a louteuse!

I posted this article on https://brainsunite.wordpress.com/ – a collaboration based wordpress page I’m proud to work with…

 

Foresight is a risky field. Writing, in France, in my wobbly English, an article about the future of transportation is even more risky. Donc, well, you go girl! (or boy).

25 years ago I wrote a story where young people used what I called louteuses (could be “looters”) which were flying cameras you could hire for a certain amount of time (in my story it was used to spy people in their homes). Let’s say I invented self-service drones, parked everywhere at the top of buildings, computer piloted.

Drones! I’m proud! But I’m really today not able to imagine the future of transportation, though. Of course, I could watch some levers and pull them. Change of “nature” (teleportation?), or intensity (go “faster”), or go elsewhere (space?) etc. That’s boring, it’s just dial-watching.

I prefer to imagine an oblique way to move for the future : Not moving any more.

Virtuality and powerful computers will allow you to “travel” with 3D-glasses. You probably will be able to walk in every street of the Earth (or the Google Earth, hmm). Ahhh wandering in the suburbs of Yalta in autumn!!

But maybe you need real time?

There will be hundreds of ready-to-use self-services drones EVERYWHERE. They will be clever enough to navigate between your orders and security issues and laws. If you want to fly over Greenland NOW, let’s hire one sponsored-therefore-free drone, put your glasses on, and have fun!

My future of transportation : virtuality.

Of course it is baaaad. Nothing is better than to go “on site”, meet people, see the sky, and feel the air of Delhi. For this : read my colleagues’s articles, OK ?

Thanks for reading, and sorry for my Frenchenglish!

 

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“Pylons & Passing Lands” : Brain Meandering Vagrancy in a Train

Traveling by train is different. Plane is powerful and a bit frightening, and windows are seriously too small. In a car you have to focus on the road, and if you’re a passenger you often… talk to the driver, right? In a car, if you’re the passenger, there IS a driver, obviously.

When you’re alone, traveling by train is different. Windows are big. Today’s trains are really fast. You can breathe, sleep, even have a walk in the aisle… Your spirit can wander, c’est la rêverie, the dreamery.

So for this article I vocabularied a bit for my “brain in train” metaphor. I found : meandering (like a little train around mountains?), wandering (walking for leasure), rambling seems colored by “rambling discourse” : is it like drunk, or undecided?, drifting seems more lost, right?, sauntering seems more lazy, showing a silhouette, peregrinating, perambulating

In a two hours travel by train, alone, you watch by the window pane.

At first, your brain plays with your eyes. At 200 Mph, if you fix the ground (which is often the neighbor railroad) with a look, you get a fastblurred confusion, which is, in a way, very pleasant, a mix of “Oh that’s a fast train/Oh I saw something but it’s already gone/I’m lost in a time illusion/OK I let go sssshhhh”.

It can happen this : at one moment your head decides to separate its own work from what your eyes continuously, almost in a panic (“Hey it’s to fast, buddy!”) send to it. Here you are, unplugged.

High speed staring up gives you a dance of pylons and cables, you could really feel like you’re in a Steve Reich from Chicago to New York/One of the fastest trains music.

 

One sad thing though :

The high speed trains today need continuous railroads, therefore we lost the magic sound of train traveling, the famous “tak’tooossh-tak’tooossh-tak’tooossh-tak’tooossh”. This was, during long hours of the night, when I was traveling with unknown kids towards a new summer camp, almost comforting. Someone put a 8 hours (!) sound of this on YouTube :

 

If your staring activity comes from the ground then goes further, your brain will be pleased with this concept : the closer you watch, the faster it seems to go. If you watch in long range, things in the distance (a horse, a church, a village, a wood) move slowlier. That’s lovely, oui?

You wander, you dream without sleeping, your brain forgets the bridle…

But something has to be seen by the window. Hoooo a funny factory. Hooo these cows are funny. Hoooo a tall redhead in a lost station… Interruptions. Then you’re back in dreamery, in the moment, you watch your thoughts passing by, they’re not THAT important, you’re quiet, you… hey, but wait a minute :

Isn’t it meditation?

Thanks for reading!

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#wheat

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Sleeping in the speed…

I know a friend who will, tomorrow, take a train to Paris. A TGV train (TGV means “Train à Grande Vitesse” : high-speed train – around 200 mph).

Departure at 7 AM, and she said to me : “That’s early, but I will probably sleep in the train”.

I thought about a psychoanalyst and philosopher I like, called D. Sibony. He wrote a chapter about this idea : it is strange to travel by plane or train, at high speed. As you’re not the driver (like in your car when you travel from Binkley to Madrone), you really have to let go : trust the guys who made the train (or the plane), and trust the guys who organize the mess of “all the planes/trains”, and trust the guys who pilot this crazy fast shit.

As in entertainment you have to Elbowing the Audience by killing the Suspension of Disbelief, I think like Sibony that in the world of powerful technology, you just have to… let go and trust the system, trust the guys.

And this is what we do, right? You HAVE to trust the pilot who will take you from Frisco to Paris (what for, after all?).

Then, at full speed, you can sleep!

Tool/Dial : What does this mean? Why, when you trust, are you SO surprised when something goes wrong?

Have a nice day!

#sicksky

Coffee for Ants, Cars for Ants

When I was in my twenties, I had wealthy friends coming back from the USA. Each time, of course, I was like “Hey ! How was New York ? How was L.A. ?”

Each time they had ONE first thing to say.

“Everything, in the USA is big, BIG, BIGGER”

Coca Colas are huge. Steaks are Texas size. Popcorn bags are huge. Cars are huge. Coffees are huge. Trucks are huge. It was so funny to see their eyes like plates, while they were telling this…

Now I know a little more about this country, I know that distances are huge TOO, but the cars are not huge anymore : they probably understood the stupidity of it. This is sad, though… Happily we have some great photography books about this aspect…

Well, in France, one day, my Californian friend ordered a coffee in les Jardins du Luxembourg (you know, this magic place near le Musée du Louvre). It was grey and cold, so she asked for the biggest sized coffee they had, and got the, well, French “normal” idea of it.

“Coffee for ants”, hahaha.

I don’t know what’s the use of this article. The cultural differences are always interesting to list (imagine between Italy and China, or between Brazil and Canada, Angola and Norway). At the lowest level (the sizes of things – for example : houses), it’s just funny. You can compare flowers, insects, the name of different parts of your body, but also the way people make love, how our chakras meet, how we argue on the phone, or say bonjour with a new mother-in-law (in French, say “vous”, not “tu”)  : there’s a pleasure in comparisons.

Oh, voilà!

Well, that’s a beginning, right? Then you can explore narration, influences, money use, etc. It’s infinite. I wish for the moment we will meet people from other planets, don’t you?

Well, have a nice day !

Picture by W. Eggleston

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Deterritorialization is a funny tool/dial to use!

Deterritorialization (game : try to say it) is a concept invented by Gilles Deleuze (a French philosopher) in the seventies.

Of course it’s just a “concept”, a little tool or a grid you can use to study anything which, you think, is concerned by it.

As you’re a thinker, it’s a game for you.

Deterritorialize yourself, it means you quit some habits, rules, sedentarity. You go out.

Maybe it’s simple : because you travel abroad! But maybe because your own territory is moving, changing, disappearing too.

A new love story is a double-deterritorialization : each one, meeting a new personality, is changing, has to adapt, dances, unfolds possibilities and wonders, has to watch the other one, who is changing too, in a similar way : interested, moved and fascinated. Deterritorialized…

The funny part is that each lover meets a moment when he or she goes visit the other one’s house or apartment. Another… territory. You are blissfully (I hope) lost on a REAL new territory.

Of course, a deterritorialization is also often a reterritorialization. You go back on your field (before you’re tempted again, because it’s enriching, right?), where you regroup, you find yourself back, and you also begin to THINK : because you are different now, enriched, you gained experience : your inner frontiers have moved, you learned, your inner reterritorialization shows you new inner boundaries, it’s a new you, a new territory you live in.

Of course, you can live a micro-deterritorialization when you explore something you really didn’t know before : learning a new language, a new instrument, meeting a new person. It’s like a deterritorialization in parenthesis, a short one : you plunge into something new then you go back to what you know.

Think : decisions to change, migration, tourism, economical transformations, political change, collaboration, curiosity, melting pot, interbreeding, exchange and switches. Apply the concept everywhere and see what you find!

You can also read this article about frontiers and movements.

Thanks for reading! Have a great day!

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Fixin’to #traveling (again without moving) in the #USA

Sweatin’ like a sinner in church…

I downloaded a bunch of Smithsonian TV episodes of Aerial America. I just watched the Michigan one, and, say, I’ll probably watch the whole pack!

It’s just one hour long, it’s “taken from helicopter” so I see the country from above, it’s… interesting. There’s a little of History and some funny stories (Kellog’s, Detroit, Eminem, General Motors, Ford, the German population, lakes, and the fact it’s divided in two pieces). The flaws are : there are not enough maps to explain things. It’s not linked enough to the neighbor states. And the narration is a little too much American-TV (so everything is “THE BEST OF THE WORLD” – or the biggest stadium of the country, the greatest factory of the fifties in America, or the longest bridge EVER, etc).

I also have a pack of movies about American History. It’ll help, this summer, I bet, to move forward.

You’ll find plenty of arrogant European people telling that people in USA are non traveling ignorants who don’t even know where Belgium or Italy are on a map. But ask a French what is the capital of Colorado, or to place Oklahoma on the US Map, and you’ll see.

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I began to read the hilarious Bill Bryson book called The Lost Continent. This guy is from Iowa and decided one day to explore his country with two big loops (cf map). So my next episodes will be Iowa and maybe Missouri. It’s another way to visit without moving, right?

When Bryson crosses some cities like Des Moines, Hannibal or Palmyra, I often stop reading and I go on Instagram. I search Pella, Iowa, for example, and, well, I see the land, the sky, the church, the roads, what people do, what people like (cycling or all terrain vehicles?). Do I see vineyards or corn fields? I can’t wait for Wiscasset, Maine, right? I Google-mapped too, a little.

I wonder what you people “feel” when you see one of yours words written in the UK way. For example with realise/realize or colour/color.

Yesterday I spent a lot of time on YouTube exploring accents. What is really the Southern Accent? So I watched this :

 

Sorry for my English, it’s difficult some days. I’m French, after all!…

Thanks for reading!

JP

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