The Earth as a Filing Cabinet

"I hired a surveyor, who furnished the Machiguengas with a precise map of their homeland... ... The topographic map that he furnished w...

"I hired a surveyor, who furnished the Machiguengas with a precise map of their homeland... ...The topographic map that he furnished was, he explained, in certain ways incorrect. It did not correspond to the truth because it did not take into account the curvature of the earth. In such a little piece of land? I asked, losing patience. Of course, he said angrily, and pushed his water glass toward me. Even with a glass of water, you have to be clear about it, what we’re dealing with is not an even surface. You should see the curvature of the earth as you would see it on an ocean or a lake. If you were really able to perceive it exactly as it is—but you are too simple-minded—you would see the earth curve. I will never forget this harsh lesson." 
- Werner Herzog

That account was from Herzog trying to establish land entitlement for the Machiguengas of Peru as part of his deal for filming them (You can read more as he opens a discourse between Reality and Truth). In order to establish land entitlement, he needed;

1. A map delineating the land in question
2. Documents to prove land entitlement

It's catch 22. The Machigeungas only claim to the land was through their grandparents, word of mouth, their own existence. But land doesn't produce documents. We do. 

Set of Fitzcarraldo with Machigeungas

Placing a system of bureaucracy on Earth is bound to be fallible because, like the Projections post I put up earlier, it doesn't correlate at all to what's there. You take the 3 Dimensional thing and treat it like it's 2 Dimensional. After a while you start to believe that's how the world is, a static 2 dimensional thing and when reality pokes it heads up, it makes a mess of your 2 Dimensional map. 

Yet we insist our world fit into this 2 Dimensional map! We insist the world fit the view of a bureaucratic filing cabinet. Observe the island disputes between the UK and Argentina, China and Japan, do you know what they're doing? They're 'back dating claims' to land. Yes, that's right, the very same thing you would do if you applied for unemployment benefits or go through tax payments. Except this isn't money (our own construct), this is land and it's often forgotten there are people living on that land. Bureaucratic things work better in regards to things produced from bureaucratic procedures. It does not work well when you apply it to a living system. Living systems are not bureaucratic procedures; 

- they don't compartmentalise very well
- they use a different language
- they are not balanced (T-Rex isn't here, now we are. Go figure)
- they handle conflict differently
they don't sit still. This last point retroactively applies to all of the criteria just mentioned, bureaucracy can't deal with the effects of time.  

Land (this earth), things upon it, above and below it is a living 'system'. I use the word system at arms length, perhaps living fabrics, or mesh, or layered ecologies are a few more ways to actively describe it. How we describe the world affects how we see it and I'm all for re-describing it. Something honest that isn't relentlessly squeezing our expectations from it, but can accept it (as much as we are able to) for what is. As Herzog says, to get to The Truth. 

Saying that, if T-Rex came back from the dead with documents claiming ownership of England I would be the first to offer my friends as a meal of approval to his/her leadership.

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