10 Matching Annotations
  1. Last 7 days
    1. Human empathy in the perception of nature

      Many people seem to think that a universal conception of morality requires that we find moral principles that admit no exceptions. If, for instance, it is indeed wrong to lie, it must always be wrong to lie—and if one can find a single exception, any notion of moral truth must be abandoned. However, the existence of moral truth—that is, the connection between how we think and behave and our well-being—does not require defining morality in terms of unvarying moral precepts. Morality could be a lot like chess: some principles generally apply, but they might admit to essential exceptions. If you want to play good chess, a principle like “Do not lose your Queen” is almost always worth following. Nevertheless, it admits exceptions: sometimes sacrificing your Queen is a brilliant thing to do; occasionally, it is the only thing you can do. However, it remains a fact that from any position in a game of chess, there will be a range of objectively right moves and objectively bad ones. Suppose there are objective truths to be known about human well-being—if kindness, for instance. It is generally more conducive to happiness than cruelty is—then science should one day be able to make exact claims about which of our behaviors and uses of attention are morally right, which are neutral, and worth abandoning (Harris 2010).

      Harris, Sam. The Moral of Landscape. New York: Free Press, 2010.

  2. Oct 2020
    1. The Nile, an example of a mysterious river

      The periodic rise of the Nile remained an unsolved mystery until the discovery of the role of the tropical regions in its regime. In effect, there was little detailed knowledge about the hydrology of the Nile before the 20th century, except for early records of the river level that the ancient Egyptians had made with the aid of nilometers (gauges formed by graduated scales cut in natural rocks or in stone walls), some of which still remain. Today, however, no other river of comparable size has a regime that is so well known. The discharge of the main stream, as well as the tributaries, is regularly measured (Harold Edwin Hurst n.d.).

      The Nile swells in the summer, the floods rising as a result of the heavy tropical rains in Ethiopia. In South Sudan the flood begins as early as April, but the effect is not felt at Aswān, Egypt, until July. The water then starts to rise and continues to do so throughout August and September, with the maximum occurring in mid-September. At Cairo the maximum is delayed until October. The level of the river then falls rapidly through November and December. From March to May the level of the river is at its lowest. Although the flood is a fairly regular phenomenon, it occasionally varies in volume and date. Before it was possible to regulate the river, years of high or low flood—particularly a sequence of such years—resulted in crop failure, famine, and disease (Harold Edwin Hurst n.d.).

      The Nile waters are at present used mainly well below the sources of inflow. The cumulative effect of all these influences on the series of annual flows and their seasonal distribution has been the source of hydrological interest in the Nile over many centuries and will remain so (Sutcliffe 1999).

      Harold Edwin Hurst, Charles Gordon Smith. Britannica. n.d. https://www.britannica.com/place/Nile-River/Climate-and-hydrology (accessed October 14, 2020).

      Sutcliffe, J. V. The Hydrology of the Nile. Oxfordshire : International Association of Hydrological Sciences, 1999.

    1. Our feet on the forest

      Context

      Because of deforestation, the soil suffers by runoff and eroded soil from deforested hillsides increased the amount of silt and impeded the flow of water into agricultural areas. On the article above it mentions the importance of forest more specifically to the soil and how forest prevent to soil be washed on extreme slopes. Forests cover 31% of the land area on our planet. They help people thrive and survive by, for example, purifying water and air and providing people with jobs; some 13.2 million people across the world have a job in the forest sector and another 41 million have a job that is related to the sector. Many animals also rely on forests. Eighty percent of the world's land-based species, such as elephants and rhinos, live in forests. Forests also play a critical role in mitigating climate change because they act as a carbon sink—soaking up carbon dioxide that would otherwise be free in the atmosphere and contribute to ongoing changes in climate patterns (World Wild Life 2019).

      Without trees to anchor fertile soil, erosion can occur and sweep the land into rivers. The agricultural plants that often replace the trees cannot hold onto the soil. Many of these plants—such as coffee, cotton, palm oil, soybean and wheat—can actually exacerbate soil erosion. Scientists have estimated that a third of the world’s arable land has been lost through soil erosion and other types of degradation since 1960. And as fertile soil washes away, agricultural producers move on, clearing more forest and continuing the cycle of soil loss (World Wild Life 2019).

      The effects of soil erosion go beyond the loss of fertile land. It has led to increased pollution and sedimentation in streams and rivers, clogging these waterways and causing declines in fish and other species. And degraded lands are also often less able to hold onto water, which can worsen flooding. Sustainable land use can help to reduce the impacts of agriculture and livestock, preventing soil degradation and erosion and the loss of valuable land to desertification (World Wild LIfe 2020).

      Without plant cover, erosion can occur and sweep the land into rivers. The agricultural plants that often replace the trees cannot hold onto the soil and many of these plants, such as coffee, cotton, palm oil, soybean and wheat, can actually worsen soil erosion. And as land loses its fertile soil, agricultural producers move on, clear more forest and continue the cycle of soil loss (World Wild LIfe 2020).

      World Wild Life. "Deforestation and Forest Degradation." WWF, 2019.

      World Wild LIfe. "Soil Erosion and Degradation." WWF, 2020.

    1. Colonization of Plants

      Context Translocating plants is nothing new. Humans have been moving plants, particularly edible, medicinal, and more recently, ornamental species throughout our history (Mack, 1999; Mack and Lonsdale, 2001). Modern horticultural and agricultural industries are responsible for wide scale translocations. This includes intra-continental plant transport, as in Europe where 73% of commercially available plant species have commercial northern range limits that exceed natural northern range limits by an average of 1000 km. Restoration ecologists have been moving species from site to site for decades in attempts to revegetate marginal or highly impacted areas, or in response to large disturbances such as wildfire. Conservation biologists around the world have been translocating and reintroducing populations for decades. For example, in the United States the federally threatened Cirsium pitcheri (Pitcher’s thistle), extirpated from the state of Illinois since the early 1900s, was reintroduced back to the state in 1991 (Pati Vitt 2009). Translocating plants is not without risk, the most problematic is the potential for a species to become invasive in its introduced range. Intercontinental movement of species has indeed resulted in problems with invasive species, but the vast majority of introduced species do not become invasive. Many of the ideas Humboldt presented to demonstrate how geography determines the plant life growing in a particular place were conceived much earlier when he met George Forster. He had been on Captain James Cook’s second round-the-world expedition. Forster had a broad knowledge of vegetation in very different environments and opened Humboldt’s eyes to how plant life varied with access to water, altitude, and distance from the equator. At several points in the essay, Humboldt noted the environmental damage done by agriculture as forests were replaced by fields that quickly lost their fertility, leaving a degraded and useless landscape that affected local weather patterns. (Flannery 2019) Flannery, Maura. Humboldt: Essay on the Geography of Plants. September 23, 2019. https://herbariumworld.wordpress.com/2019/09/23/humboldt-essay-on-the-geography-of-plants/ (accessed September 9, 2020). Pati Vitt, Kayri Havens, Andrea T. Kramer, David Sollenberger, Emily Yates. Assisted migration of plants: Changes in latitudes, changes in attitudes. Acadedmic Article, Biological Conservation, 2009.

  3. Sep 2020
    1. Translocating plants is nothing new. Humans have been moving plants, particularly edible, medicinal, and more recently ornamental, species throughout our history (Mack, 1999; Mack and Lonsdale, 2001). Modern horticultural and agricultural industries are responsible for wide scale translocations. This includes intra-continental plant transport, as in Europe where 73% of commercially available plant species have commercial northern range limits that exceed natural northern range limits by an average of 1000 km. Restoration ecologists have been moving species from site to site for decades in attempts to revegetate marginal or highly impacted areas, or in response to large disturbances such as wildfire. Conservation biologists around the world have been translocating and reintroducing populations for decades. For example, in the United States the federally threatened Cirsium pitcheri (Pitcher’s thistle), extirpated from the state of Illinois since the early 1900s, was reintroduced back to the state in 1991 (Pati Vitt 2009). Translocating plants is not without risk, the most problematic is the potential for a species to become invasive in its introduced range. Intercontinental movement of species has indeed resulted in problems with invasive species, but the vast majority of introduced species do not become invasive.

      Many of the ideas Humboldt presented to demonstrate how geography determines the plant life growing in a particular place were conceived much earlier when he met George Forster. He had been on Captain James Cook’s second round-the-world expedition. Forster had a broad knowledge of vegetation in very different environments and opened Humboldt’s eyes to how plant life varied with access to water, altitude, and distance from the equator. At several points in the essay, Humboldt noted the environmental damage done by agriculture as forests were replaced by fields that quickly lost their fertility, leaving a degraded and useless landscape that affected local weather patterns. (Flannery 2019)\

      Flannery, Maura. Humboldt: Essay on the Geography of Plants. September 23, 2019. https://herbariumworld.wordpress.com/2019/09/23/humboldt-essay-on-the-geography-of-plants/ (accessed September 9, 2020).

      Pati Vitt, Kayri Havens, Andrea T. Kramer, David Sollenberger, Emily Yates. Assisted migration of plants: Changes in latitudes, changes in attitudes. Acadedmic Article, Biological Conservation, 2009.

    1. Palma, Vittoria Di. Wasteland, A History. The Annie Burr Lewis Fund. , 2014. Context The early years of the Royal Society saw revolutionary advancements in the conduct and communication of science. The Society's fundamental purpose, reflected in its founding Charters of the 1660s, is to recognize, promote, and support excellence in science and to encourage the development and use of science for the benefit of humanity. The Society has played a part in some of the most fundamental, significant, and life-changing discoveries in scientific history and Royal Society scientists continue to make outstanding contributions to science in many research areas (The Royal Society 2017). Bacon introduced history alongside philosophy and poetry as one of the three significant parts of learning. He founded this classification on the faculties of the human soul, associating history with memory, poetry with imagination, and philosophy with reason. His ideal of history consisted of an account of deeds and works of nature and men, which faithfully reproduced the "things themselves," avoiding any kind of adulteration by an improper intervention of the human mind. In other words, Bacon's model of history stresses the impartiality of history as a record of things. To achieve this ideal, both memory and sense play a fundamental role. The material accumulated in memory comes from the senses, which are said to be the "doors of the intellect." The senses have the task of bringing to the intellect the images produced by the external world, providing the primary matter of knowledge. In gathering the sense perceptions, memory reproduces them in the same way as they were originally received by the senses (Manzo 2019). Empirical evidence includes measurements or data collected through direct observation or experimentation. Qualitative research, often used in the social sciences, examines the reasons behind human behavior. Second is quantitative research involves methods that are used to collect numerical data and analyze it using statistical methods. Manzo, Silvia. Francis Bacon’s Natural History and Civil History:. Article in Early Science and Medicine, La Plata: Universidad Nacional de La Plata, 2019. The Royal Society. The Royal Society. 2017. https://royalsociety.org/about-us/mission-priorities/ (accessed August 23, 2020).

    1. Tetzcotzingo

      Context Texcotzingo was located next to the capital city of Texcoco, served as the imperial summer gardens, and was resplendent with all the royal paraphernalia of the time, including the imperial and courtesan residences; it also had a genuinely exceptional water supply. However, Tetzcotzingo must also be seen as a sacred/hedonistic space, an agricultural space, a kind of political statement or emblem, a space for performance, and land works. Texcotzingo was created and designed by Nezahualcóyotl in the 15th century. These imperial gardens were used to collect and display specimens of plants and animals for an exhaustive understanding of the entire Aztec Empire and the cultivation of medicinal plants. It was conceived as a place for sensual indulgence and as a recreation of paradise. Dedicated to Tláloc, the god of rain, these gardens were designed and built with sculptures depicting Aztec mythology, including the celebration of sacred numbers. Texcotzingo was the outstanding achievement in the brilliant career in the landscape architecture of one of the Aztec empire’s most powerful kings, Nezahualcoyotl. Texcotzingo was not just a botanical garden, but it was the family dynasty’s own sacred and recreational retreat, their columbarium for ancestral remains and living map of their domain. This imposing hill overlooking the city and imperial capital, Texcoco, was also a triumph of hydrological engineering which brought water from the adjacent lower slopes of Mount Tlaloc, “the holiest mountain of pagan Mexico,” via a massive aqueduct and then sent it downslope, flowing through channels and pools, cascading in waterfalls over the king’s extensive gardens and highlighting the sculptures gracing them. Finally, the water-fed the terraced farm fields that bordered the lower edge of the royal pleasure park. (Evans n.d.) The Aztecs have a divided sympathy of their culture because of the relationship with their bloody sacrificial rites. Even though a lot of many botanical gardens landscape design based on a format made by the Aztecs and many of species were nurtured by them. The eastern side of the hill was dominated by two major features: an aqueduct terminus and its receiving pond. This landscape got several features that represent not only a technical side but also several philosophical statements. Evans, Susan Toby. The Garden of the Aztec Philosopher-King. Pennsylvania: PennState College of Liberal Arts, n.d. Evans, Susan Toby. Aztec royal pleasure parks: conspicuous consumption and elite status rivalry. Pennsylvania: PennState College of Liberal Arts, n.d.

    1. Context

      The Zhuangzi is a large collection of tells, anecdotes, parables, allegories, and fables which are often not serious or comical in nature. These anecdotes try to identify and demonstrate the vanity and uncertain human distinctions between some of the next opposites, life and death, good and bad, big and small, but really also highlights human and nature. This tells mean to be part of ancient Chinese Philosophy. Zhuangzi or Master Zhuang he was one of the most significant first interpreters of Daoism. The Daoism is a pseudo religion and philosophical believing that has shape Chinese culture. “Your life has a limit, but knowledge has none. If you use what is limited to pursue what has no limit, you will be in danger. If you understand this and still strive for knowledge, you will be in danger for certain! If you do good, stay away from fame. If you do evil, stay away from punishments. Follow the middle; go by what is constant, and you can stay in once piece, keep yourself alive, look after your parents, and live out your years.” (Zhuangzi n.d.) The Utopia is reference to the perfect place where everything is equal. So for an actual urban development there is not a close relation between city and nature, as nature is only seen a resource or a place to settle, there is more to it, and there is where the Not-Even-Anything Village comes to place. A base principle on Daoism is the self-awareness of nature and we as a part of it, a way to settle an agreement to land and to everything. A Utopia should be work on similar interests to this Chinese idea of the perfect place to live or to build.

      Zhuangzi. The Zhuangzi, History of Chinese Philosophy. University of Hawaii, s.f.

    1. Be aware of nature

      The awareness of how nature works has been part on humans to decide how and where to settle, however, the survival desire has let a path of pollution and damage to nature. Still every time when people notice how nature provides without being destroy, a continuous fight awakes between the consumption and environmentalists. In social science interpreted as culture history, there is a dominant geographic them which deals with the growing mastery of man over hist environment. (Sauer 1963, 145). Life on Landscape is a cycle where animals get to eat, sleep, and grow, is a wisdom planet, each living being, and geographical formation has been placed to work with each environment. Landscape itself is art and is an ethical duty to work with it and do not let the hunger destroy what is carefully created, as nature is a process that lives within the work of the whole. Sauer, Carl Ortwin. Land and Life. University of California Press, 1963.

  4. Aug 2020
    1. In essence, landscape is nothing more than a chosen form of topography responding to cultural demands

      Landscape has evolved in the way in is perceive, and the way people represent them, change them, and how they start to study them. Conventions and customs also direct human action to make landscapes, particularly vernacular landscapes (Nassauer 2003). The perception has played a key role on how people take decision according to their lands, in conditions of rural, or urban places. From the first Civilizations to modern days, the landscape is shaped according to the situation, to the time, to the necessities. It began with farming and settlement, where land must accomplish certain characteristics while the rest was modified by the tribe, or the group of people. However, the land was not only a thing to be ruled, its characteristics impact on people sensitivity.

      Nassauer, Joan I. "Culture and changing landscape structure." Landscape Ecology, 2003.