Traveling notes

  • Airport culture shock. NYC still a walking culture. At airport, breathless. Barely breathe. Very, very, very fat. Grotesquery of broken bodies. Impending health care epidemic. Fear & trembling.
  • Agriculture and dehumanization. Manning, in Against the Grain, traces problems w/ food back to the beginnings of agriculture 10,000 yrs. ago. Epochal change from hunter-gatherer to agricultural. After intro. & spread of single crop (maize, wheat, rice): origin of abundance; food storage & preservation; exacerbation of division of labor; birth of immense wealth & profound inequality; of civilization itelf. M. also descries Green Revolution (1960 – present): industrial ag plus petrochemicals; conceptual change from food to commodity; surplus corn turned into corn starch, corn syrup, Karo syrup. 21st C. results: ecological disaster, disease, fat people. 
  • Political decay. Fukuyama from Origins of Political Order: “When the surrounding environment changes and new challenges arise, there is often a disjunction between existing institutions and present needs. Those [past] institutions are supported by legions of entrenched stakeholders who oppose any fundamental change” (7).
  • New institutions. Now, more than ever: new ways of living & new institutions that meet present needs.