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21 posts tagged with colonization.
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The Cloud Colonies of Venus

While talk of a moonbase or terraforming Mars has tended to dominate the discussion for the first step in human colonization of the solar system, another possibility exists: floating habitats above the cloud tops of Venus. [more inside]
posted by fairmettle on Nov 24, 2014 - 48 comments

“scarifying and fetching off a great part of the Skin.”

Indelible Ink: The Deep History of Tattoo Removal
By the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, documentation of tattoo removal was often found in accounts of Europeans in contact with cultures overseas—particularly, although not exclusively, societies in the New World. The failed effort to remove the English pirate’s facial tattoo was not the only attempt at such a procedure in the early modern Atlantic world. A number of French, Spanish, English, and Native American sources suggest that people of the period could regret their permanent body modifications just as much as modern people do. Tattoo removal in the past, however, reflected something more powerful than transient personal taste.
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jun 3, 2014 - 10 comments

Red Planet Blues

The trouble with terraforming Mars...
posted by Artw on Dec 20, 2013 - 73 comments

Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca: explorer, shaman, proto-anthropologist

' "Discovery" is such a loaded term nowadays in American cultural studies that one dare not use it without immediately qualifying it as problematic and politically charged. We tend to prefer "invasion" or "dispossession" or "conquest" because those words, and their attendant categories, suggest a more accurate way to characterize early American exploration.... Homi Bhabha's theory of the "hybrid" colonial subject, and his focus on the production and maintenance of colonial power, has compelling implications for the relationship between European explorers and Native Americans in Cabeza de Vaca's 1542 discovery narrative La Relación. Several scholars have commented on Cabeza de Vaca's hybridity—the collision between his Spanish heritage and his acquisition of Native American culture—but none has discussed it in terms of the exercise of colonial power and its resultant ambiguities.' This is a verbose introduction to the interesting and complex life of Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca, one of the four survivors of the 600-strong Narváez expedition, in the period of inland Spanish conquistadores. You could read more, or watch Cabeza de Vaca, the 1991 film that is "sometimes straightforward, sometimes pagaentlike and sometimes hallucinatory ... a road trip movie set in a time before there were roads."
posted by filthy light thief on Oct 13, 2013 - 14 comments

RETROREPORT - The truth now about the big stories then

How often does a great story dominate the headlines, only to be dropped from the news cycle? How often do journalists tell us of a looming danger or important discovery – only to move quickly to the next new thing? What really happened? How did these events change us? And what are the lingering consequences that may affect our society to this day? These are the questions we are answering at Retro Report, an innovative documentary news organization launched in 2013 as a timely online counterweight to today’s 24/7 news cycle. Combining documentary techniques with shoe-leather reporting, we peel back the layers of some of the most perplexing news stories of our past with the goal of encouraging the public to think more critically about current events and the media in ~10 minute segments. [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Sep 10, 2013 - 15 comments

Al-Qahira, Ares, Auqakuh, Bahram...

Do you have $500,000 lying around? If you do, Elon Musk might just send you to colonize Mars. This is not the first time that Musk has discussed his desire for a colony on Mars. Interesting as it sounds, not everyone is excited about the idea.
posted by A Bad Catholic on Nov 27, 2012 - 70 comments

The cosmos is also within us, we're made of star-stuff. We are a way for the cosmos, to know itself.

Cosmos: A Personal Voyage is a thirteen-part television series of one hour shows written by Carl Sagan, Ann Druyan, and Steven Soter, that was aired at the tail end of 1980 and was - at the time - the most widely watched series in the history of American public television. It is best introduced by an audio excerpt of one of his books, The Pale Blue Dot. Inside is a complete annotated collection of the series. [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Nov 3, 2012 - 46 comments

Beautiful Civilization

Sid Meier's Civilization IV: Colonization, the 2008 remake of 1994's Sid Meier's Colonization was met with some hostility over the concept at the outset. Trevor Owens and Rebbeca Mir, contributors to Play the Past, have been making a series of blog posts about the inherently problematic nature of the game. It started with "Sid Meier's Colonization: Is it offensive enough?", next was "if (!isNative()[returnfalse;]: De-People-ing Native Peopls in Sid Meier's Colonization?", then "Guns, Germs and Horses: Cultural Exchange in Sid Meier's Colonization" and, the latest, "Playing at Slavery: Modding Colonization for Authenticity" [more inside]
posted by griphus on May 25, 2012 - 88 comments

Colonial sunset

The Foreign Office’s “guilty secret” revealed Thousands of documents detailing some of the most shameful acts and crimes committed during the final years of the British empire were systematically destroyed to prevent them falling into the hands of post-independence governments. Those papers that survived were flown back to Britain and hidden for 50 years in a secret Foreign Office archive in breach of legal obligations for them to be transferred into the public domain. The Guardian details some of those papers released earlier this week. [more inside]
posted by infini on Apr 21, 2012 - 34 comments

Australia Day

It's a day of high jinx, high revelry and high people in Australia; a day when a large and vocal majority come together to "celebrate what's great" about this country. But what is the meaning of all this fanfare? What is the true origin of this passionately marked day of facepaint and binge drinking? Is everyone in Australia so keen on this particular anniversary? To get to bottom of these questions, and more, join your amiable host Robert Foster [previously] as he conducts a high-octane, high-frequency satellite link-up with a representative of the Mainstream Australian media: multi-Logie award-winning broadcaster, entertainer, emu-wrangler and true blue Aussie, Kenneth Oathcarn. Rap News Episode 11: Australia Day
WARNING: contains adult Australian vernacular - viewer discretion is strongly advised.
posted by finite on Jan 25, 2012 - 12 comments

The forgotten gentleman lawer turned privateer who founded Jamestown

In 1602, he became the first Englishman to sail directly to New England across the ill-charted waters of the North Atlantic (Google books; alt: Archive.org). He is credited with setting up a fort on Cuttyhunk Island, and naming both Martha's Vineyard and Cape Cod in that voyage. A few months later, he then returned to England, where he planned the first English settlement to take hold in the new world. He returned in 1607, but only survived 13 weeks in Jamestown (Gb). Who was this founding father of the first English colony take hold in North America? Bartholomew Gosnold. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Dec 7, 2011 - 12 comments

Language, culture, society and the frameworks used to define experiential reality; living a good life, pathways of decolonization

An internationally recognized Kanien'kehaka (Mohwak) intellectual and political advisor, Taiaiake Alfred is well known for his incisive critiques and groundbreaking work in the fields of Indigenous governance and political philosophy. In the past, Taiaiake has served as an advisor on land and governance and cultural restoration issues for many indigenous governments and organizations, and he has authored several important books including Wasáse: Indigenous Pathways of Action and Freedom and Peace, Power, Righteousness. Currently, Taiaiake serves as a Professor of Indigenous Governance at the University of Victoria. Recorded March 23, 2009 at the Heard Museum in Phoenix, University of Victoria Professor of Indigenous Governance; a broad, deep, and beautiful discussion of pathways toward the future for indigenous people, Gerald Taiaiake Alfred talks about the “Resurgence of Traditional Ways of Being: Indigenous Paths of Action and Freedom” [more inside]
posted by infinite intimation on Oct 26, 2010 - 14 comments

iPod, iPhone, iDal.

"Every input in agriculture is a war chemical. Every agrichemical is a war chemical." Physicist Vandana Shiva on monoculture, agricultural imperialism, and protests in Delhi conscribed to the hours of 9-5. [more inside]
posted by simulacra on Sep 3, 2010 - 14 comments

The Humphrey Winterton Collection of East African Photographs: 1860-1960

"This week -- for the first time ever -- a searchable collection of thousands of rare photographs chronicling Europe’s colonization of East Africa becomes available to anyone with an Internet connection anywhere in the world, thanks to the efforts of staff at Northwestern University Library." (press release)
posted by gman on Jul 1, 2009 - 12 comments

The Millennial Project

The Millennial Project is a comprehensive plan for space development, beginning with the terrestrial cultivation of an environmentally sustainable civilization and Post-Industrial culture and culminating, far in the future, in the colonization of our immediate stellar neighborhood. The TMP2 project is specifically a project of the Living Universe Foundation community to continually update and revise the content of the original plan as described by Marshal T. Savage in his book The Millennial Project. [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese on Jun 12, 2009 - 8 comments

ChinAfrica

China, Africa see closer cooperation since Beijing Summit. Others see it a bit differently: 'We never pay,' he said, 'because once you pay you become their bitch; you will pay for ever and ever.' The phenomenon even has a name on the ground in the sub-Sahara: the Great Chinese Takeout. China, Africa and Oil: China's national oil companies are, in some cases, politically stronger than the government agencies charged with regulating them. previously
posted by allkindsoftime on Oct 21, 2008 - 22 comments

Is life on Mars a good sign for us?

The "Great Filter" is a hypothetical barrier to explain why civilisations are so unlikely to progress to the point of inter-stellar colonisation that we have not encountered any in 40 years of looking. Maybe humanity has already negotiated the filter - as some massive evolutionary improbability - or perhaps it lies in our future as an almost-certain threat to our existence? We should hold our breath as we look for evidence of life on Mars.
posted by rongorongo on May 12, 2008 - 85 comments

A sordid tale

Diego Garcia islanders await call to go home. 'Cherry and thousands of other islanders were the victims of a brutal depopulation strategy by Britain in the 1960s and 1970s which sought to hand over an empty island to the United States for use as a key military base. The depopulation campaign ended in 1973 with the removal of the last islanders, who were dumped on the quays of the Mauritian capital, Port Louis ... '
The Chagos Islands: A sordid tale. 'The story involves "bribes" from the United States, racism among senior civil servants, and the UK Government deceiving parliament and the United Nations.'
The Chagos archipelago: Decolonisation and human rights., by the Southern African Human Rights NGO Network, includes a brief history of the islands from original settlement by French settlers and African slaves. 'For a people as a whole to be actually victimised by the act of forced eviction from their homeland must be the most humiliating, supreme injustice and degrading treatment any people can be made to undergo. '
posted by plep on Jul 29, 2003 - 4 comments

Monroe Doctrine

December 2, 1823 President James Monroe made his annual speech to congress and outlined his policy that the American continents were "henceforth not to be considered as subjects for future colonization by any European powers" Since then the US has, for better or worse, at times stood by the Monroe Doctrine, ignored it when they had bigger issues back home and even argued that it doesn't apply in the case of American imperialism. Is it time to retool our Latin America policy now that Europe doesn't seem so bent on imperialism there, or is the Doctrine needed as much as ever?
posted by Pollomacho on Dec 2, 2002 - 9 comments

The New Frontier-

The New Frontier- Preparing the law for settling on Mars. "Like the abandoned launch fields [at Cape Canveral], the Outer Space Treaty [of 1967] needs to have its valuable parts salvaged, and the dangerous ones demolished."
posted by Ty Webb on Jun 4, 2002 - 12 comments

"They appear to have been skilled workers capable of stupendous productivity under harsh circumstances. When they failed, it was not from lack of inventiveness, but because of poor leadership, bad luck or the inherent instability of all-male commercial ventures."

It sounds like the writer is describing the typical failed dot-com. Actually, he's writing about 17th Century commercial colonization of North America. The similarities are quite amusing. Read on...
posted by ratbastard on Nov 23, 2000 - 1 comment


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