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Every year, it’s La Braderie, a huge flea market in the city of Lille, in the North of France.
It’s a pretty big event here, happening during two days, people sell their old stuff, buy, wander, and… eat mussels with French fries.
It’s been canceled last year because of these few guys in trucks who killed people driving in crowds. This year is security enhanced (some concrete blocks in streets, etc) and people are happy to find their braderie back.
On the last picture, you’ll see our French way to use the concrete “blocks”. Have a beer?
I like it, just to feel the happy mood of my city, the many different people coming from whole Europa, and to buy things, of course (well, mainly books).
I took pictures for you, my readers. It’s nothing important, just a way to feel the… French energy of it. Have fun!
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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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 :
Thanks for reading!
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!
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.
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