André Glucksmann on state of contemporary “European community”

André Glucksmann famed New Philosopher– sees a dark Future for Europe. He outlines it in an interview published by Spiegel Online.

one can draw the general conclusion that Europe actually isn’t a state or a community in the national sense, which grows together organically…European nations are not alike, which is why they can’t be merged together. What unites them is not a community but a societal model.

Towards the end of the discussion Glucksmann highlighted the importance of bigness in geopolitical and economic terms in the 21 century. This concern, helps to explain why he is still pro European integration….

SPIEGEL: Are you saying that the idea of a European community of fate hasn’t really taken hold yet?

Glucksmann: Not in practice. Globalization brings global chaos, and a global police force — which the United States played for a long time — no longer exists. The players may not be keen on war, but they don’t exactly mean well by one another. Everyone is playing his own game. In this anarchic confusion, Europe has to assert itself and face up to threats offensively…Look at the elections in Europe. What role do foreign policy and Europe’s place in the world play? A few years ago, the EU gave itself a high representative for foreign affairs and security policy, Catherine Ashton, with a separate agency employing several thousand civil servants. Where is she, what is she doing and who notices her? The 21st century will be the century of big continents that will either get along with each other or not.


Parking above the flood waters…

Getty Images

Cars sit parked on an elevated road way over flooded streets on October 25 in a northern suburb of Bangkok, Thailand. Around 350 people have died in flood-related incidents around the country since July, according to the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation.

Graphic: Bangkok on the edge of a flood via Der Spiegel

More here via Der Speigel

I wonder if it was planned and orderly… And this line is perhaps the most concerning/eye opening “And he doesn’t think the drama will be over anytime soon. “The water won’t drain away before Christmas,” he predicts“.

It makes clear the fact that the citizens even just on a short term basis will need to learn how live in flooded conditions. The scale(s) in both time and urban geography are quite clarifying. Similar to the Fukushima disaster this isn’t quick and easy. Once this has happened once policy, plans and land usage will adjust to a new reality.

Euro debt crisis and spatial memory as baseball nostalgia.

Data Points: Bill Marsh for NYT

Arrows show the imbalances of debt exposure in Europe during this current and ongoing Euro monetary and PIIGS crisis in a great infographic from the NYT. Image found in this article It’s All Connected: An Overview of the Euro Crisis.

Steven Heller for the NYT reviews Nader Vossoughian’s Otto Neurath: The Language of the Global Polis “, wherein Vossoughian, argues Neurath believed that “the dissemination of images or pictures could foster Bildung, that is, education and self-actualization” and Angus Hyland and Steven Bateman’s, Symbolwhich contains over 1,300 logos classified by visual type” divided into two section Abstract and Representational.

In No True Sense of History Without a Sense of Place, Jane Leavy explores baseball’s heavily nostalgic and rich sense of history and place, particularly with regards to the architecture/layout of baseballs stadium/fields (for instance see here and here). After noting how many historic diamonds have been lost over time, she proposes “Why not create a national baseball landmark society to protect the places that still exist and mark those that once mattered?“. The piece raises interesting questions about the role space plays in memorialization. As Leavy explains, as fields are moved or closed physicists, are even dragged into to assist with the detective work need to correctly identify and landmark (if only with a plaque), sites of various record holding significance…

All of these articles are from a Sunday NYT edition, which is now almost two weeks old, but I have been busy and they are interesting anyways…