Regional Geography Quotes

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The decline of geography in academia is easy to understand: we live in an age of ever-increasing specialization, and geography is a generalist's discipline. Imagine the poor geographer trying to explain to someone at a campus cocktail party (or even to an unsympathetic adminitrator) exactly what it is he or she studies. "Geography is Greek for 'writing about the earth.' We study the Earth." "Right, like geologists." "Well, yes, but we're interested in the whole world, not just the rocky bits. Geographers also study oceans, lakes, the water cycle..." "So, it's like oceanography or hydrology." "And the atmosphere." "Meteorology, climatology..." "It's broader than just physical geography. We're also interested in how humans relate to their planet." "How is that different from ecology or environmental science?" "Well, it encompasses them. Aspects of them. But we also study the social and economic and cultural and geopolitical sides of--" "Sociology, economics, cultural studies, poli sci." "Some geographers specialize in different world regions." "Ah, right, we have Asian and African and Latin American studies programs here. But I didn't know they were part of the geography department." "They're not." (Long pause.) "So, uh, what is it that do study then?
Ken Jennings
The pain is stronger than ever. I've seen bits of lost Paradises and I know I'll be hopelessly trying to return even if it hurts. The deeper I swing into the regions of nothingness the further I'm thrown back into myself, each time more and more frightening depths below me, until my very being becomes dizzy. There are brief glimpses of clear sky, like falling out of a tree, so I have some idea where I'm going, but there is still too much clarity and straight order of things, I am getting always the same number somehow. So I vomit out broken bits of words and syntaxes of the countries I've passed through, broken limbs, slaughtered houses, geographies. My heart is poisoned, my brain left in shreds of horror and sadness. I've never let you down, world, but you did lousy things to me. (from "As I was moving ahead occasionally I saw brief glimpses of beauty", 2000)
Jonas Mekas
I don't give a damn about geography, but I'll note that Vance has transcended one of the most authentically Appalachian experiences of them all: watching someone with tired ideas about race and culture get famous by selling cheap stereotypes abou the region.
Elizabeth Catte (What You Are Getting Wrong About Appalachia)
The routine expression of hatred for others is so common in the Arab world that it barely draws comment other than from the region’s often Western-educated liberal minority who have limited access to the platform of mass media.
Tim Marshall (Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Tell You Everything You Need to Know About Global Politics)
Apple, for example. It employs 12,000 workers in Cupertino. Through the multiplier effect, however, the company generates more than 60,000 additional service jobs in the entire metropolitan area, of which 36,000 are unskilled and 24,000 are skilled. Incredibly, this means that the main effect of Apple on the region’s employment is on jobs outside of high tech.
Enrico Moretti (The New Geography of Jobs)
All the sovereignty issues [in the Arctic region] stem from the same desires and fears -- the desire to safeguard routes for military and comercial shipping, the desire to own the natural riches of the region, and the fear that others may gain where you lose.
Tim Marshall (Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Tell You Everything You Need to Know About Global Politics)
In any of these evolutions, India will be a fulcrum of twenty-first-century order: an indispensable element, based on its geography, resources, and tradition of sophisticated leadership, in the strategic and ideological evolution of the regions and the concepts of order at whose intersection it stands.
Henry Kissinger (World Order)
Ideas are like bananas. That bananas grow only in tropical regions doesn't make them any less delicious in Scandinavia.
Eric Weiner (The Geography of Genius: A Search for the World's Most Creative Places from Ancient Athens to Silicon Valley)
THE MIDDLE OF WHAT? EAST OF WHERE? THE REGION’S VERY name is based on a European view of the world, and it is a European view of the region that shaped it. The Europeans used ink to draw lines on maps: they were lines that did not exist in reality and created some of the most artificial borders the world has seen. An attempt is now being made to redraw them in blood.
Tim Marshall (Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Tell You Everything You Need to Know About Global Politics)
I have begun with the assumption that the Orient is not an inert fact of nature. It is not merely there, just as the Occident itself is not just there either. We must take seriously Vico’s great observation that men make their own history, that what they can know is what they have made, and extend it to geography: as both geographical and cultural entities—to say nothing of historical entities—such locales, regions, geographical sectors as “Orient” and “Occident” are man-made. Therefore as much as the West itself, the Orient is an idea that has a history and a tradition of thought, imagery, and vocabulary that have given it reality and presence in and for the West. The two geographical entities thus support and to an extent reflect each other.
Edward W. Said (Orientalism)
A high upland common was this moor, two miles from end to end, and full of furze and bracken. There were no trees and not a house, nothing but a line of telegraph poles following the road, sweeping with rigidity from north to south; nailed upon one of them a small scarlet notice to stonethrowers was prominent as a wound. On so high and wide a region as Shag Moor the wind always blew, or if it did not quite blow there was a cool activity in the air. The furze was always green and growing, and, taking no account of seasons, often golden. Here in summer solitude lounged and snoozed; at other times, as now, it shivered and looked sinister. ("The Higgler")
A.E. Coppard (Dusky Ruth: And Other Stories)
Caesar laid the foundations for the political geography of modern Europe, as well as slaughtering up to a million people over the whole region. It would be wrong to imagine that the Gauls were peace-loving innocents brutally trampled by Caesar’s forces. One Greek visitor in the early first century BCE had been shocked to find enemy heads casually pinned up at the entrance to Gallic houses, though he conceded that, after a while, one got used to the sight; and Gallic mercenaries had done good business in Italy until the power of Rome had closed their market. Yet the mass killing of those who stood in Caesar’s way was more than even some Romans could take.
Mary Beard (S.P.Q.R.: A History of Ancient Rome)
Since the security benefits of hegemony are enormous” in an anarchic system in which there is no world hegemon, “powerful states will invariably be tempted to emulate the United States and try to dominate their region of the world.”15
Robert D. Kaplan (The Revenge of Geography: What the Map Tells Us About Coming Conflicts and the Battle Against Fate)
In fact, the fear of another Munich was not altogether new. It had been an underlying element in the decision to liberate Kuwait from Saddam Hussein’s aggression in 1991. If we didn’t stop Saddam in Kuwait, he would have next invaded Saudi Arabia, thereby controlling the world’s oil supply and taking human rights in the region to an unutterable level of darkness.
Robert D. Kaplan (The Revenge of Geography: What the Map Tells Us About Coming Conflicts and the Battle Against Fate)
As a result, Hobyo is as good an example as any of a “feral city.” It’s a term that is used in military circles to describe regions that have no effective government but sustain an internationally networked criminal economy. Feral cities are the ragged end of spaces of exception: they are not the product of governments or ideologies but show what happens when such structures fall away.
Alastair Bonnett (Unruly Places: Lost Spaces, Secret Cities, and Other Inscrutable Geographies)
Where-to-play choices occur across a number of domains, notably these: Geography. In what countries or regions will you seek to compete? Product type. What kinds of products and services will you offer? Consumer segment. What groups of consumers will you target? In which price tier? Meeting which consumer needs? Distribution channel. How will you reach your customers? What channels will you use? Vertical stage of production. In what stages of production will you engage? Where along the value chain? How broadly or narrowly?
A.G. Lafley (Playing to win: How strategy really works)
vast and pivotal expanse of Central Asia and its Mongol-Turkic hordes. These four marginal regions, as he informs us, correspond not coincidentally to the four great numerical religions: for faith, too, in Mackinder’s judgment, is a function of geography. There are the “monsoon lands,” one in the east facing the Pacific Ocean, the home of Buddhism; the other in the south facing the Indian Ocean, the home of Hinduism. The third marginal region is Europe itself, watered by the Atlantic to the west, the hub of Christianity. But the most fragile of the four outliers is the Middle East, home of Islam,
Robert D. Kaplan (The Revenge of Geography: What the Map Tells Us About Coming Conflicts and the Battle Against Fate)
There can be little reasonable doubt that the enclosed oppida and territorial oppida of the Late Iron Age represent the emergence of an urban system. At many of these sites coins were minted with mint marks giving the name of the centre – Calle (Calleva), Camulo (Camulodunum) (71) and Ver (Verulamium) – and some, as we have seen, were centres for royal burial. But the most impressive evidence for their importance is that so many were developed by the Roman authorities as the urban centres of large administrative regions. The Romans had simply accepted the reality of the political and economic geography of the south-east.
Barry Cunliffe (Iron Age Britain)
The principal reason that districts within states often differ markedly in per-pupil expenditures is that school funding is almost always tied to property taxes, which are in turn a direct function of local wealth. Having school funding depend on local wealth creates a situation in which poor districts must tax themselves far more heavily than wealthy ones, yet still may not be able to generate adequate income. For example, Baltimore City is one of the poorest jurisdictions in Maryland, and the Baltimore City Public Schools have the lowest per-pupil instructional expenses of any of Maryland's 24 districts. Yet Baltimore's property tax rate is twice that of the next highest jurisdiction.(FN2) Before the funding equity decision in New Jersey, the impoverished East Orange district had one of the highest tax rates in the state, but spent only $3,000 per pupil, one of the lowest per-pupil expenditures in the state.(FN3) A similar story could be told in almost any state in the U.S.(FN4) Funding formulas work systematically against children who happen to be located in high-poverty districts, but also reflect idiosyncratic local circumstances. For example, a factory closing can bankrupt a small school district. What sense does it make for children's education to suffer based on local accidents of geography or economics? To my knowledge, the U.S. is the only nation to fund elementary and secondary education based on local wealth. Other developed countries either equalize funding or provide extra funding for individuals or groups felt to need it. In the Netherlands, for example, national funding is provided to all schools based on the number of pupils enrolled, but for every guilder allocated to a middle-class Dutch child, 1.25 guilders are allocated for a lower-class child and 1.9 guilders for a minority child, exactly the opposite of the situation in the U.S. where lower-class and minority children typically receive less than middle-class white children.(FN5) Regional differences in per-pupil costs may exist in other countries, but the situation in which underfunded urban or rural districts exist in close proximity to wealthy suburban districts is probably uniquely American. Of course, even equality in per-pupil costs in no way ensures equality in educational services. Not only do poor districts typically have fewer funds, they also have greater needs.
Robert E. Slavin
...moderate social deviance or class non-conformism I have imputed to the first generation of pedestrians. Improved roads, after all, were one of the principal means by which the country was building a national communications network that would underpin the huge commercial and industrial expansion of the nineteenth century; changing the landscape of the country to produce the arterial interconnection of the modern state in place of a geography of more or less self-enclosed local communities; consolidating the administrative structures of the state and facilitating political hegemony over a rapidly growing and potentially unstable population; and promulgating a 'national' culture in the face of regional diversity and independence. With the main roads such powerful instruments of change, the walker's decision to exploit his freedom to resist the imperative of destination and explore instead by lanes, by-roads and fieldpaths, could well be interpreted as an act of denial, flight or dissent vis-a-vis the forces that were ineradicably transforming British society.
Robin Jarvis (Romantic Writing and Pedestrian Travel)
As a method of warfare with “beyond limits” as its major feature, its principle is to assemble and blend together more means to resolve a problem in a range wider than the problem itself. For example, when national is threatened, the answer is not simply a matter of selecting the means to confront the other nation militarily, but rather a matter of dispelling the crisis through the employment of “supra-national combinations.” We see from history that the nation-state is the highest form of the idea of security. For Chinese people, the nation-state even equates to the great concept of all-under-heaven [tianxia, classical name for China]. Nowadays, the significance of the word “country” in terms of nationality or geography is no more than a large or small link in the human society of the “world village.” Modern countries are affected more and more by regional or world-wide organizations, such as the European Community [sic; now the European Union], ASEAN, OPEC, APEC, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the WTO, and the biggest of them all, the United Nations. Besides these, a large number of multinational organizations and non-state organizations of all shapes and sizes, such as multinational corporations, trade associations, peace and environmental organizations, the Olympic Committee, religious organizations, terrorist organizations, small groups of hackers, etc., dart from left and right into a country’s path. These multinational, non-state, and supra-national organizations together constitute an up and coming worldwide system of power.3
Qiao Liang (Unrestricted Warfare: China's Master Plan to Destroy America)
Thoughts for the 2001 Quadrennial Defense Review If you had been a security policy-maker in the world’s greatest power in 1900, you would have been a Brit, looking warily at your age-old enemy, France. By 1910, you would be allied with France and your enemy would be Germany. By 1920, World War I would have been fought and won, and you’d be engaged in a naval arms race with your erstwhile allies, the U.S. and Japan. By 1930, naval arms limitation treaties were in effect, the Great Depression was underway, and the defense planning standard said ‘no war for ten years.’ Nine years later World War II had begun. By 1950, Britain no longer was the world’s greatest power, the Atomic Age had dawned, and a ‘police action’ was underway in Korea. Ten years later the political focus was on the ‘missile gap,’ the strategic paradigm was shifting from massive retaliation to flexible response, and few people had heard of Vietnam. By 1970, the peak of our involvement in Vietnam had come and gone, we were beginning détente with the Soviets, and we were anointing the Shah as our protégé in the Gulf region. By 1980, the Soviets were in Afghanistan, Iran was in the throes of revolution, there was talk of our ‘hollow forces’ and a ‘window of vulnerability,’ and the U.S. was the greatest creditor nation the world had ever seen. By 1990, the Soviet Union was within a year of dissolution, American forces in the Desert were on the verge of showing they were anything but hollow, the U.S. had become the greatest debtor nation the world had ever known, and almost no one had heard of the internet. Ten years later, Warsaw was the capital of a NATO nation, asymmetric threats transcended geography, and the parallel revolutions of information, biotechnology, robotics, nanotechnology, and high density energy sources foreshadowed changes almost beyond forecasting. All of which is to say that I’m not sure what 2010 will look like, but I’m sure that it will be very little like we expect, so we should plan accordingly. Lin Wells
Philip E. Tetlock (Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction)
Geopolitics is ultimately the study of the balance between options and lim­itations. A country's geography determines in large part what vulnerabilities it faces and what tools it holds. "Countries with flat tracks of land -- think Poland or Russia -- find building infrastructure easier and so become rich faster, but also find them­selves on the receiving end of invasions. This necessitates substantial stand­ing armies, but the very act of attempting to gain a bit of security automat­ically triggers angst and paranoia in the neighbors. "Countries with navigable rivers -- France and Argentina being premier examples -- start the game with some 'infrastructure' already baked in. Such ease of internal transport not only makes these countries socially uni­fied, wealthy, and cosmopolitan, but also more than a touch self-important. They show a distressing habit of becoming overimpressed with themselves -- and so tend to overreach. "Island nations enjoy security -- think the United Kingdom and Japan -- in part because of the physical separation from rivals, but also because they have no choice but to develop navies that help them keep others away from their shores. Armed with such tools, they find themselves actively meddling in the affairs of countries not just within arm's reach, but half a world away. "In contrast, mountain countries -- Kyrgyzstan and Bolivia, to pick a pair -- are so capital-poor they find even securing the basics difficult, mak­ing them largely subject to the whims of their less-mountainous neighbors. "It's the balance of these restrictions and empowerments that determine both possibilities and constraints, which from my point of view makes it straightforward to predict what most countries will do: · The Philippines' archipelagic nature gives it the physical stand-off of is­lands without the navy, so in the face of a threat from a superior country it will prostrate itself before any naval power that might come to its aid. · Chile's population center is in a single valley surrounded by mountains. Breaching those mountains is so difficult that the Chileans often find it easier to turn their back on the South American continent and interact economically with nations much further afield. · The Netherlands benefits from a huge portion of European trade because it controls the mouth of the Rhine, so it will seek to unite the Continent economically to maximize its economic gain while bringing in an exter­nal security guarantor to minimize threats to its independence. · Uzbekistan sits in the middle of a flat, arid pancake and so will try to expand like syrup until it reaches a barrier it cannot pass. The lack of local competition combined with regional water shortages adds a sharp, brutal aspect to its foreign policy. · New Zealand is a temperate zone country with a huge maritime frontage beyond the edge of the world, making it both wealthy and secure -- how could the Kiwis not be in a good mood every day? "But then there is the United States. It has the fiat lands of Australia with the climate and land quality of France, the riverine characteristics of Germany with the strategic exposure of New Zealand, and the island fea­tures of Japan but with oceanic moats -- and all on a scale that is quite lit­erally continental. Such landscapes not only make it rich and secure beyond peer, but also enable its navy to be so powerful that America dominates the global oceans.
Peter Zeihan (The Absent Superpower: The Shale Revolution and a World Without America)
India is one of the world’s most fascinating tourist destinations sanctified with mind-bending diversity. Diversity could be seen in its climate, geography, traditions, culture, language, and topography. These myriad attractions providing different charm and flavors make India the most sought-after destination in the world. Since summers are approaching, a huge buzz of tourists is seen in several parts of India. With different topographies, India has become the ideal place for tourists throughout the year. Particularly, the Indian hill stations are the most popular destinations during summer days as these vacations not just offer relief from the heating sun yet also help you indulge yourself. When it comes to the enticing summer tours, the northern regions of India will be the best to explore. Want to get a lifetime holiday experience? If so, travel to India. India’s summer tour packages offer a wide range of tours touching different themes including adventure, wildlife, sand dunes, adventure, honeymoon, fairs & festivals, hill stations, beaches, backwaters, honeymoon, yoga, Ayurveda, monuments and pilgrimage sites. Summer Tour Packages India provides a wide range of options to select from. Hence, visit India to explore some fascinating destinations such as Charm Dham Tour, Ladakh, Valley of Flowers, Kashmir, and the Himalayas. These are just a few of the destinations, which you could explore to get free from the boring routine of everyday life. Further, these places are quite popular because of their alluring attractions and pleasing ambience. Each and every state of this incredible country has something unique to offer.
Payal Soni
Few exchanges in the history of science have leaped so boldly into the future as this one, which occurred a thousand years ago in a region now often dismissed as a backwater and valued mainly for its natural resources, not its intellectual achievements. We know of it because copies survived in manuscript and were published almost a millennium later. Twenty-eight-year-old Abu Rayhan al-Biruni, or simply Biruni (973–1048), hailed from near the Aral Sea and went on to distinguish himself in geography, mathematics, trigonometry, comparative religion, astronomy, physics, geology, psychology, mineralogy, and pharmacology. His younger counterpart, Abu Ali al-Husayn ibn Sina, or just Ibn Sina (ca. 980–1037), grew up in the stately city of Bukhara, the great seat of learning in what is now Uzbekistan. He was to make his mark in medicine, philosophy, physics, chemistry, astronomy, theology, clinical pharmacology, physiology, ethics, and music theory. When eventually Ibn Sina’s magisterial Canon of Medicine was translated into Latin, it triggered the start of modern medicine in the West and became its Bible: a dozen editions were printed before 1500. Indians used Ibn Sina’s Canon to develop a whole school of medicine that continues today. Many regard Biruni and Ibn Sina together as the greatest scientific minds between antiquity and the Renaissance, if not the modern age.
S. Frederick Starr (Lost Enlightenment)
LYING WARS The war in Iraq grew out of the need to correct an error made by Geography when she put the West’s oil under the East’s sand. But no war is honest enough to confess: “I kill to steal.” “The devil’s shit,” as oil is called by its victims, has caused many wars and will certainly cause many more. In Sudan, for instance, a huge number of people lost their lives between the final years of the twentieth century and the first years of the twenty-first, in an oil war that disguised itself as an ethnic and religious conflict. Derricks and drills, pipes and pipelines sprouted as if by magic in villages turned to ashes and in fields of ruined crops. In the Darfur region, where the butchery continues, the people, all Muslim, began to hate each other when they discovered there might be oil under their feet. The killing in the hills of Rwanda also claimed to be an ethnic and religious war, even though killers and killed were all Catholics. Hatred, a colonial legacy, stemmed from the time when Belgium decreed that those who raised cattle were Tutsis and those who grew crops were Hutus, and that the Tutsi minority ought to dominate the Hutu majority. In recent years, another multitude lost their lives in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in the service of foreign companies fighting over coltan. That rare mineral is an essential ingredient in cell phones, computers, microchips, and batteries, all of which are staples of the mass media. The media, however, forgot to mention coltan in their scant coverage of the war.
Eduardo Galeano (Mirrors: Stories of Almost Everyone)
Today, Chicago, like London, sucks in the best talent from its interior in the Midwest, where the swing to Trump was strongest. In the past, Chicago acted as a regional locomotive, buying the Midwest’s farm produce and other raw commodities and then converting them into products. The city was linked to its surrounding geography and vice versa. Now it mostly hovers above its hinterlands. In some ways it is also parasitic on them.44 Much like the giant sucking sound of London hoovering up the UK’s talent, Chicago now takes the best and the brightest from the small towns of America and plugs them into the global economy. Chicago’s success is no longer symbiotic with its rural neighbours. It comes at their expense
Edward Luce (The Retreat of Western Liberalism)
If ethnicity is one side of the coin, then geography is the other. When the first wave of Scots-Irish immigrants landed in the New World in the eighteenth century, they were deeply attracted to the Appalachian Mountains. This region is admittedly huge—stretching from Alabama to Georgia in the South to Ohio to parts of New York in the North—but the culture of Greater Appalachia is remarkably cohesive.
J.D. Vance (Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis)
Regions and Identities in South-West England: …at first glance, Edward’s south-western regional hegemony does not appear to have been based on any pre-existing region in relation to geography, economy, or culture. From this exploration of the multiplicity of regions within, and inclusive of, the western counties two major arenas of interaction appear to have emerged: the couplings of Cornwall and Devon, and of Somerset and Dorset (p. 56). …Finally, with respect to political structure, there seems to have been no configuration that encompassed all four shires at a macro-scale… Political regions as the districts of lordship of magnates and institutions, such as the duchy of Cornwall, could vary in extent and over time, and may have even expanded to include all the south-western shires, in certain instances… (pp. 57–8). …The region was certainly a country of plural loyalties, multiple laws, and differing cultures (p. 58). …Clearly, an important part of this investigation is to discover whether the four western counties were subject to a shared political centre during the period. Did Edward’s regional magnates constitute political cores? (p. 59).
Robert Stansfield-Cudworth (Political Elites in South-West England, 1450–1500: Politics, Governance, and the Wars of the Roses)
County, two-county (meso-regional), and broader regional elites and identities: …the greater gentry were in a better position to form an identity that was regional in nature than the lesser gentry because of the broader nature of their landed, marital, and personal interests; in addition, they were also the individuals who would be recruited by magnates for the influence that they could wield over their clients. It appears possible to speak of ‘county elites’: the shires seem to have been the primary foci for identification … The ‘regional elite’ – comprising those involved in all counties – was small in number, being composed mostly of peers and greater gentry. While there was a significant supra-shire dimension to elites’ landholding, office-holding, and marriages, this seems to have been focused on meso-scale regions – the coupled-county units of Somerset/Dorset, and Devon/Cornwall. (p. 147) …With the principal foci appearing to be at shire and meso-regional levels, the concept of a broader south-west regional identity seems somewhat problematic. However, that said, the trans-county and trans-regional nature of the Hungerford affinity – with many of the same clients utilised in transactions concerning different shires – shows how a magnate and his circle could provide a focus for patronage that was extra-county, perhaps even regional, in scope (p.148). The principal themes of this study have been the interplay of the contemporaneous politics of the south-western elites, and long-term shire and regional identities (p. 347). …The ‘regional elite’, as seen, appears to have consisted mostly of only a small number of peers and the greatest gentry who cannot be regarded as a purely ‘regional’ elite because of their possession of wide-ranging estates on a trans-regional or national scale. The surveys of landowning and office-holding showed that, amongst the political elites, there tended to be some emphasis on the county unit; yet, while there were distinct shire elites, there were also extra-county elements to their identities. A significant emphasis seems to have been on the meso-regional communities of Somerset/Dorset and Devon/Cornwall, corroborating the earlier exploration of the region’s broader geography, economy, and culture (pp. 347–8) ... Both sets of political elites seem to have become more entwined over the period, and there was a growing region-wide dimension… (p. 348).
Robert Stansfield-Cudworth (Political Elites in South-West England, 1450–1500: Politics, Governance, and the Wars of the Roses)
It is no wonder that historians trace the birth of Western civilization to these jewels of the Aegean, Ionian, and Mediterranean seas. The Greek Isles are home to wide-ranging and far-reaching cultural traditions and mythic tales, not to mention the colorful history and unforgettable vistas that still draw thousands of tourists to the region every year. Minoan ruins stand alongside Byzantine churches and Crusader fortresses. Terra-cotta pots spilling over with hibiscus flowers adorn blinding-white stucco houses that reflect the sun’s dazzling light. Fishing villages perched upon craggy cliffs overlook clusters of colorful boats in island harbors. Centuries-old citrus and olive groves dot the hillsides. Lush vegetation and rocky shores meet isolated stretches of sand and an azure sea. Masts bob left and right on sailboats moored in secluded inlets. Each island is a world unto itself. Although outsiders and neighbors have inhabited, visited, and invaded these islands throughout the centuries, the islands’ rugged geography and small size have also ensured a certain isolation. In this environment, traditional ways of life thrive. The arts--pottery, glass blowing, gem carving, sculpture, and painting, among others--flourish here today, as contemporary craft artists keep alive techniques begun in antiquity. In the remote hilltop villages of Kárpathos, for example, artisans practice crafts that date back eons, and inhabitants speak a dialect close to ancient Greek. Today, to walk along the pebbled pathways of a traditional Greek mountain village or the marbled streets of an ancient acropolis is to step back in time. To meander at a leisurely pace through these island chains by boat is to be captivated by the same dramatic landscapes and enchanted islets that make the myths of ancient Greece so compelling. To witness the Mediterranean sun setting on the turquoise sea is to receive one of life’s greatest blessings.
Laura Brooks (Greek Isles (Timeless Places))
What exogenous causes are shifting the allocation of moral intuitions away from community, authority, and purity and toward fairness, autonomy, and rationality? One obvious force is geographic and social mobility. People are no longer confined to the small worlds of family, village, and tribe, in which conformity and solidarity are essential to daily life, and ostracism and exile are a form of social death. They can seek their fortunes in other circles, which expose them to alternative worldviews and lead them into a more ecumenical morality, which gravitates to the rights of individuals rather than chauvinistic veneration of the group. By the same token, open societies, where talent, ambition, or luck can dislodge people from the station in which they were born, are less likely to see an Authority Ranking as an inviolable law of nature, and more likely to see it as a historical artifact or a legacy of injustice. When diverse individuals mingle, engage in commerce, and find themselves on professional or social teams that cooperate to attain a superordinate goal, their intuitions of purity can be diluted. One example, mentioned in chapter 7, is the greater tolerance of homosexuality among people who personally know homosexuals. Haidt observes that when one zooms in on an electoral map of the United States, from the coarse division into red and blue states to a finer-grained division into red and blue counties, one finds that the blue counties, representing the regions that voted for the more liberal presidential candidate, cluster along the coasts and major waterways. Before the advent of jet airplanes and interstate highways, these were the places where people and their ideas most easily mixed. That early advantage installed them as hubs of transportation, commerce, media, research, and education, and they continue to be pluralistic—and liberal—zones today. Though American political liberalism is by no means the same as classical liberalism, the two overlap in their weighting of the moral spheres. The micro-geography of liberalism suggests that the moral trend away from community, authority, and purity is indeed an effect of mobility and cosmopolitanism.202
Steven Pinker (The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined)
Unlike in North America, however, there was no single giant ice sheet that covered the entire northern half of the continent. The biggest ice sheet covered all of Scandinavia and extended east as far as the eastern shore of the White Sea today. The Urals and parts of the Putorana Plateau in northern Siberia were also heavily glaciated. In between, however, and all the way to the Pacific Coast, only small areas of the highest terrain had much ice cover. The remainder was ice-free, but with hundreds of meters of permafrost extending deep into the soil. This may seem counterintuitive, but it can be understood if we remember that moisture available at cold temperatures is what makes ice and snow, not the cold temperatures themselves.
Mikhail S. Blinnikov (Geography of Russia and Its Neighbors: Texts in Regional Geography)
a Babylonian map of the world was discovered that dated back to approximately the ninth century B.C. As seen below, this map was unique from other Mesopotamian maps because it was not merely local but international in its scale, and contained features that appeared to indicate cosmological interpretation.[86] That map and a translated interpretation are reproduced below.[87]   The geography of the Babylonian map portrayed a flat disc of earth with Babylon in the center and extending out to the known regions of its empire, whose perimeters were surrounded by cosmic waters and islands out in those waters.
Brian Godawa (Noah Primeval (Chronicles of the Nephilim Book 1))
My name is Claudine, I live in Montigny; I was born there in 1884; I shall probably not die there. My Manual of Departmental Geography expresses itself thus: "Montigny-en-Fresnois, a pretty little town of l, 950 inhabitants, built in tiers above the Thaize; its well-preserved Saracen tower is worthy of note .... "Tome, those descriptions are totally meaningless! To begin with, the Thaize doesn't exist. Of course I know it's supposed to run through the meadows under the level-crossing but you won't find enough water there in any season to give a sparrow a foot-bath. Montigny "built in tiers"? No, that's not how I see it; to my mind, the houses just tumble haphazard from the top of the hill to the bottom of the valley. They rise one above the other, like a staircase, leading up to a big chateau that was rebuilt under Louis XV and is already more dilapidated than the squat, ivy-sheathed Saracen tower that crumbles away from the top a trifle more every day. Montigny is a village, not a town: its streets, thank heaven, are not paved; the showers roll down them in little torrents that dry up in a couple of hours; it is a village, not even a very pretty village, but, all the same, I adore it. The charm, the delight of this countryside composed of hills and of valleys so narrow that some are ravines, lies in the woods-the deep, encroaching woods that ripple and wave away into the distance as far as you can see .... Green meadows make rifts in them here and there, so do little patches of cultivation. But these do not amount to much, for the magnificent woods devour everything. As a result, this lovely region is atrociously poor and its few scattered farms provide just the requisite number of red roofs to set off the velvety green of the woods. Dear woods! I know them all; I've scoured them so often. (...)
Colette (Claudine at School)
The visible present is not in time and space, nor, of course, outside of them: there is nothing before it, after it, about it, that could compete with its visibility. And yet it is not alone, it is not everything. To put it precisely, it stops up my view, that is, time and space extend beyond the visible present, and at the same time they are behind it, in depth, in hiding. The visible can thus fill me and occupy me only because I who see it do not see it from the depths of nothingness, but from the midst of itself; I the seer am also visible. What makes the weight, the thickness, the flesh of each color, of each sound, of each tactile texture, of the present, and of the world is the fact that he who grasps them feels himself emerge from them by a sort of coiling up or redoubling, fundamentally homogeneous with them; he feels that he is the sensible itself coming to itself and that in return the sensible is in his eyes as it were his double or an extension of his own flesh. The space, the time of the things are shreds of himself, of his own spatialization, of his own temporalization, are no longer a multiplicity of individuals synchronically and diachronically distributed, but a relief of the simultaneous and of the successive, a spatial and temporal pulp where the individuals are formed by differentiation. The things—here, there, now, then—are no longer in themselves, in their own place, in their own time; they exist only at the end of those rays of spatiality and of temporality emitted in the secrecy of my flesh. And their solidity is not that of a pure object which the mind soars over; I experience their solidity from within insofar as I am among them and insofar as they communicate through me as a sentient thing. Like the memory screen of the psychoanalysts, the present, the visible counts so much for me and has an absolute prestige for me only by reason of this immense latent content of the past, the future, and the elsewhere, which it announces and which it conceals. There is therefore no need to add to the multiplicity of spatio-temporal atoms a transversal dimension of essences—what there is is a whole architecture, a whole complex of phenomena "in tiers," a whole series of "levels of being," which are differentiated by the coiling up of the visible and the universal over a certain visible wherein it is redoubled and inscribed. Fact and essence can no longer be distinguished, not because, mixed up in our experience, they in their purity would be inaccessible and would subsist as limit-ideas beyond our experience, but because—Being no longer being before me, but surrounding me and in a sense traversing me, and my vision of Being not forming itself from elsewhere, but from the midst of Being—the alleged facts, the spatio-temporal individuals, are from the first mounted on the axes, the pivots, the dimensions, the generality of my body, and the ideas are therefore already encrusted in its joints. There is no emplacement of space and time that would not be a variant of the others, as they are of it; there is no individual that would not be representative of a species or of a family of beings, would not have, would not be a certain style, a certain manner of managing the domain of space and time over which it has competency, of pronouncing, of articulating that domain, of radiating about a wholly virtual center—in short, a certain manner of being, in the active sense, a certain Wesen, in the sense that, says Heidegger, this word has when it is used as a verb. In short, there is no essence, no idea, that does not adhere to a domain of history and of geography. Not that it is confined there and inaccessible for the others, but because, like that of nature, the space or time of culture is not surveyable from above, and because the communication from one constituted culture to another occurs through the wild region wherein they all have originated.
Maurice Merleau-Ponty (The Visible and the Invisible)
In c. 1700 BC, another group of Indie speakers settled in south Afghanistan and took to the composition of the Ṛgvedic hymns in the region between the Helmand and the Arghandab. We have shown that the description of Sarasvatī and Sarayu in the Ṛgveda, and even sūtra literature, fits the Afghan rivers Helmand and Hari-rud better than any river in India. In c. 1400 BC, the Ṛgvedic people moved eastwards to the middle Indus. Eventually, they absorbed the Cemetery H people to found the Painted Grey Ware culture in c. 850 BC in Punjab and on the upper Ghaggar. The Vedic people remained to the west of the Yamuna-Ganga doab until c. 850 BC. The large-scale settlement of the Ganga Plain took place only when the use of iron became widespread and, perhaps, when population increased. During their migrations, the Indo-Aryans carried with them not only their poetry and religious beliefs, but also place and river names which they selectively reused. (Table 15)
Rajesh Kochhar (The Vedic People: Their History and Geography)
The Soma cult along with the associated terminology is common to both the Ṛgveda and the Avesta (chapter 6). Soma is not known to the Indo-Europeans. It must therefore have been discovered in central Asia whose mountainous regions produce the candidate Ephedra plant. In other words, the Avestan and the Ṛgvedic people must have been living together in central Asia. Furthermore, Zoroastrianism presupposes the existence of the Ṛgvedic elements which it selectively retains (Vrtrahana, Soma) or negates (Indra, Devas). Zarathushtra himself is said to have been a Ṛgvedic hotr priest to begin with (table 4; chapter 3, p. 32).
Rajesh Kochhar (The Vedic People: Their History and Geography)
In the period c. 1700-1400 BC, the used in Vedic people were stationed in the Helmand area in south Afghanistan, where they composed the bulk of the Ṛgvedic hymns. In about 1400 BC they arrived on the western tributaries of the Indus. Crossing the Punjab rivers, they arrived in the upper Ghaggar region where they merged with the Cemetery H people to produce the Painted Grey Ware culture (figure 6). It is these people who, armed with iron technology, moved east of the Yaga doab after c. 900 BC.
Rajesh Kochhar (The Vedic People: Their History and Geography)
The Aryans were avid Soma drinkers and could pluck the Soma plant by the wayside (Ṛv 8.80.1). The Soma plant has been identified with alkaloidal Ephedra which grows only in mountainous regions (chapter 6). It does not grow in the plains. The entire Harappan expanse is without the drink-yielding Ephedra. The fact that the Brāhmaṇa literature talks of substitutes for the unavailable Ṛgvedic Soma plant shows that the theatre of the Brāhmaṇas was different from that of the Ṛgveda. Had the Ṛgveda been composed in the Harappan expanse, there would not have been any need for its replacement in the subsequent period.
Rajesh Kochhar (The Vedic People: Their History and Geography)
Slavery existed long before the outside world returned to where it had originated. Traders in the Sahel region used thousands of slaves to transport vast quantities of the region’s then most valuable commodity, salt, but the Arabs began the practice of subcontracting African slave-taking to willing tribal leaders who would deliver them to the coast. By the time of the peak of the Ottoman Empire in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries hundreds of thousands of Africans (mostly from the Sudan region) had been taken to Istanbul, Cairo, Damascus and across the Arabian world. The Europeans followed suit, outdoing the Arabs and Turks in their appetite for, and mistreatment of, the people brought to the slave ships anchored off the west coast.
Tim Marshall (Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Tell You Everything You Need to Know About Global Politics)
the Free Tibet movement claims that in the wider cultural Tibetan region Tibetans are now a minority, but the Chinese government says that in the official Tibetan Autonomous Region more than 90 per cent of people are Tibetan. Both sides are exaggerating,
Tim Marshall (Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Tell You Everything You Need to Know About Global Politics)
the key states look to be Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore. These three sit astride the Strait of Malacca, which at its narrowest is only 1.7 miles across. Every day through that strait come 12 million barrels of oil heading for an increasingly thirsty China and elsewhere in the region. As long as these three countries are pro-American, the Americans have a key advantage.
Tim Marshall (Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Tell You Everything You Need to Know About Global Politics)
Nigeria is sub-Saharan Africa’s largest producer of oil, and all of this high-quality oil is in the south. Nigerians in the north complain that the profits from that oil are not shared equitably across the country’s regions.
Tim Marshall (Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Tell You Everything You Need to Know About Global Politics)
In King Leopold’s days the world wanted the region’s rubber for the expanding motor car industry; now China buys more than 50 per cent of the DRC’s exports, but still the population lives in poverty.
Tim Marshall (Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Tell You Everything You Need to Know About Global Politics)
Egypt was, arguably, a nation state when most Europeans were living in mud huts, but it was only ever a regional power. It is protected by deserts on three sides and might have become a great power in the Mediterranean region but for one problem. There are hardly any trees in Egypt, and for most of history, if you didn’t have trees you couldn’t build a great navy with which to project your power. There
Tim Marshall (Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Tell You Everything You Need to Know About Global Politics)
Jordan occupied the West Bank region, including East Jerusalem. Egypt occupied Gaza, considering it to be an extension of its territory. Neither was minded to give the people living there citizenship or statehood as Palestinians, nor was there any significant movement by the inhabitants calling for the creation of a Palestinian state. Syria, meanwhile, considered the whole area to be part of greater Syria and the people living there as Syrians.
Tim Marshall (Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Tell You Everything You Need to Know About Global Politics)
Various Arabian tribes had helped the British against the Ottomans during the First World War, but there were two in particular which London promised to reward at the war’s end. Unfortunately both were promised the same thing – control of the Arabian Peninsula. Given that the Saud and Hashemite tribes frequently fought each other, this was a little awkward. So London dusted down the maps, drew some lines and said the head of the Saud family could rule over one region, and the head of the Hashemites could rule the other, although each would ‘need’ a British diplomat to keep an eye on things. The Saudi leader eventually landed on a name for his territory, calling it after himself, hence we know the area as Saudi Arabia – the rough equivalent would be calling the UK ‘Windsorland’.
Tim Marshall (Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Tell You Everything You Need to Know About Global Politics)
The French had long allied themselves with the region’s Arab Christians and by way of thanks made up a country for them in a place in which they appeared in the 1920s to be the dominant population.
Tim Marshall (Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Tell You Everything You Need to Know About Global Politics)
The French had long allied themselves with the region’s Arab Christians and by way of thanks made up a country for them in a place in which they appeared in the 1920s to be the dominant population. As there was no other obvious name for this country the French named it after the nearby mountains, and thus Lebanon was born.
Tim Marshall (Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Tell You Everything You Need to Know About Global Politics)
The US houses its growing fleet of drones in at least ten bases around the world. This allows a person sitting in an air-conditioned office in Nevada with a joystick to hit targets or transfer control to an operative near the target. But it also means the US needs to keep good relations with whichever country is housing the regional drone headquarters.
Tim Marshall (Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Tell You Everything You Need to Know About Global Politics)
The fixation with Israel/Palestine does sometimes return, but the magnitude of what is going on elsewhere has finally enabled at least some observers to understand that the problems of the region are not down to the existence of Israel. That was a lie peddled by the Arab dictators as they sought to deflect attention from their own brutality, and it was bought by many people across the area and the dictators’ useful idiots in the West. Nevertheless the Israeli/Palestinian joint tragedy continues, and such is the obsession with this tiny piece of land that it may again come to be considered by some to be the most pressing conflict in the world. The Ottomans had regarded the area west of the River Jordan to the Mediterranean Coast as a part of the region of Syria. They called it Filistina. After the First World War, under the British Mandate this became Palestine.
Tim Marshall (Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Tell You Everything You Need to Know About Global Politics)
When the Ottoman Empire began to collapse, the British and French had a different idea. In 1916 the British diplomat Colonel Sir Mark Sykes took a Chinagraph pencil and drew a crude line across a map of the Middle East. It ran from Haifa on the Mediterranean in what is now Israel to Kirkuk (now in Iraq) in the north-east. It became the basis of his secret agreement with his French counterpart François Georges-Picot to divide the region into two spheres of influence should the Triple Entente defeat the Ottoman Empire in the First World War. North of the line was to be under French control, south of it under British hegemony. The term ‘Sykes–Picot’ has become shorthand for the various decisions made in the first third of the twentieth century which betrayed promises given to tribal leaders and which partially explain the unrest and extremism of today. This explanation can be overstated, though: there was violence and extremism before the Europeans arrived. Nevertheless, as we saw in Africa, arbitrarily creating ‘nation states’ out of people unused to living together in one region is not a recipe for justice, equality and stability.
Tim Marshall (Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Tell You Everything You Need to Know About Global Politics)
When the Ottoman Empire began to collapse, the British and French had a different idea. In 1916 the British diplomat Colonel Sir Mark Sykes took a Chinagraph pencil and drew a crude line across a map of the Middle East. It ran from Haifa on the Mediterranean in what is now Israel to Kirkuk (now in Iraq) in the north-east. It became the basis of his secret agreement with his French counterpart François Georges-Picot to divide the region into two spheres of influence should the Triple Entente defeat the Ottoman Empire in the First World War.
Tim Marshall (Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Tell You Everything You Need to Know About Global Politics)
Modern-day Iran has no such imperial designs, but it does seek to expand its influence, and the obvious direction is across the flatlands to its west – the Arab world and its Shia minorities. It has made ground in Iraq since the US invasion delivered a Shia-majority government. This has alarmed Sunni-dominated Saudi Arabia and helped fuel the Middle East’s version of the Cold War with the Saudi–Iranian relationship at its core. Saudi Arabia may be bigger than Iran, it may be many times richer than Iran due to its well-developed oil and gas industries, but its population is much smaller (33 million Saudis as opposed to 81 million Iranians) and militarily it is not confident about its ability to take on its Persian neighbour if this cold war ever turns hot and their forces confront each other directly. Each side has ambitions to be the dominant power in the region, and each regards itself as the champion of its respective version of Islam. When Iraq was under the heel of Saddam, a powerful buffer separated Saudi Arabia and Iran; with that buffer gone, the two countries now glare at each other across the Gulf. The American-led deal on Iran’s nuclear facilities, which was concluded in the summer of 2015, has in no way reassured the Gulf States that the threat to them from Iran has diminished, and the increasingly bitter war of words between Saudi Arabia and Iran continues, along with a war sometimes fought by proxy elsewhere most notably in Yemen.
Tim Marshall (Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Tell You Everything You Need to Know About Global Politics)
The Americans are keen to scale down their political and military investment in the region due to a reduction in their energy import requirements; if they do withdraw then China, and to a lesser extent India, may have to get involved in equal proportion to the US loss of interest. The Chinese are already major players in Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Iran. That scenario is on a global level and will be determined in the chancelleries of the capitals of the great powers. On the ground the game will be played with people’s imaginations, wants, hopes and needs, and with their lives. Sykes–Picot is breaking; putting it back together, even in a different shape, will be a long and bloody affair.
Tim Marshall (Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Tell You Everything You Need to Know About Global Politics)
Egypt was, arguably, a nation state when most Europeans were living in mud huts, but it was only ever a regional power. It is protected by deserts on three sides and might have become a great power in the Mediterranean region but for one problem. There are hardly any trees in Egypt, and for most of history, if you didn’t have trees you couldn’t build a great navy with which to project your power. There has always been an Egyptian navy – it used to import cedar from Lebanon to build ships at huge expense – but it has never been a Blue Water navy. Modern Egypt now has the most powerful armed forces of all the Arab states, thanks to American military aid; but it remains contained by deserts, the sea and its peace treaty with Israel. It will remain in the news as it struggles to cope with feeding 97 million people a day while battling an Islamist insurgency, especially in the Sinai, and guarding the Suez Canal, through which passes 8 per cent of the world’s entire trade every day. Some 2.5 per cent of the world’s oil passes this way daily; closing the canal would add about fifteen days’ transit time to Europe and ten to the USA, with concurrent costs. Despite having fought five wars with Israel, the country Egypt is most likely to come into conflict with next is Ethiopia, and the issue is the Nile. Two of the continent’s oldest countries, with the largest armies, have at times edged towards conflict over the region’s major source of water.
Tim Marshall (Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Tell You Everything You Need to Know About Global Politics)
The colonial powers drew artificial borders on paper, completely ignoring the physical realities of the region. Violent attempts are now being made to redraw them; these will continue for several years, after which the map of nation states will no longer look as it does now.
Tim Marshall (Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Tell You Everything You Need to Know About Global Politics)
The heartland is the political, cultural, demographic and – crucially – the agricultural centre of gravity. About a billion people live in this part of China, despite it being just half the size of the United States, which has a population of 327 million. Because the terrain of the heartland lent itself to settlement and an agrarian lifestyle, the early dynasties felt threatened by the non-Han regions which surrounded them, especially Mongolia with its nomadic bands of violent warriors. China chose the same strategy as Russia: attack as defence, leading to power. As we shall see, there were natural barriers which – if the Han could reach them and establish control – would protect them. It was a struggle over millennia, only fully realised with the annexation of Tibet in 1951. By the time of the famous Chinese philosopher Confucius (551–479 BCE) there was a strong feeling of Chinese identity and of a divide between civilised China and the ‘barbarous’ regions which surrounded it. This was a sense of identity shared by 60 million or so people.
Tim Marshall (Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Tell You Everything You Need to Know About Global Politics)
A few outside observers thought the post-war years might bring liberal democracy to China. It was wishful thinking akin to the naive nonsense Westerners wrote during the early days of the recent ‘Arab Spring’, which, as with China, was based on a lack of understanding of the internal dynamics of the people, politics and geography of the region.
Tim Marshall (Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Tell You Everything You Need to Know About Global Politics)
Why would the Russians want Moldova? Because as the Carpathian Mountains curve round south-west to become the Transylvanian Alps, to the south-east is a plain leading down to the Black Sea. That plain can also be thought of as a flat corridor into Russia; and, just as the Russians would prefer to control the North European Plain at its narrow point in Poland, so they would like to control the plain by the Black Sea – also known as Moldova – in the region formerly known as Bessarabia.
Tim Marshall (Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Tell You Everything You Need to Know About Global Politics)
It remains a feature of China to this day that when China opens up, the coastland regions prosper but the inland areas are neglected. The prosperity engendered by trade has made coastal cities such as Shanghai wealthy, but that wealth has not been reaching the countryside. This has added to the massive influx of people into urban areas and accentuated regional differences.
Tim Marshall (Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Tell You Everything You Need to Know About Global Politics)
But, in adding to its size, China also added to its problems. Xinjiang, a region populated by Muslims, was a perennial source of instability, indeed insurrection, as were other regions; but for the Han the buffer was worth the trouble, even more so after the fate which befell the country in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries with the coming of the Europeans.
Tim Marshall (Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Tell You Everything You Need to Know About Global Politics)
Until now China has never been a naval power – with its large land mass, multiple borders and short sea routes to trading partners, it had no need to be, and it was rarely ideologically expansive. Its merchants have long sailed the oceans to trade goods, but its navy did not seek territory beyond its region, and the difficulty of patrolling the great sea lanes of the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Oceans was not worth the effort. It was always a land power, with a lot of land and a lot of people – now nearly 1.4 billion.
Tim Marshall (Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Tell You Everything You Need to Know About Global Politics)
Inter-ethnic rioting erupted in 2009, leading to over 200 deaths. Beijing responded in three ways: it ruthlessly suppressed dissent, it poured money into the region, and it continued to pour in Han Chinese workers. For China, Xinjiang is too strategically important to allow an independence movement to get off the ground: it not only borders eight countries, thus buffering the heartland, but it also has oil, and is home to China’s nuclear weapons testing sites. The territory is also key to the Chinese economic strategy of ‘One Belt, One Road’. The road is, oddly enough, a sea route – the creation of an oceangoing highway for goods; the belt is the ‘Silk Road Economic Belt’ – a land-based route formed from the old Silk Route, which goes straight through Xinjiang and will in turn connect down southwards to the massive deep-water port China is building in Gwadar, Pakistan. In late 2015 China signed a forty-year lease on the port. This is part of the way in which ‘the belt and the road’ will be connected.
Tim Marshall (Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Tell You Everything You Need to Know About Global Politics)
The maps of the region that the Chinese now print show almost the whole of the South China Sea as theirs. This is a statement of intent, backed by aggressive naval patrols and official statements. Beijing intends to change its neighbours’ ways of thinking and to change America’s way of thinking and behaving – pushing and pushing an agenda until its competitors back off. At stake here is the concept of international waters and free passage in peacetime; it is not something which will easily be given up by the other powers.
Tim Marshall (Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Tell You Everything You Need to Know About Global Politics)
This could be because in the geography of origin of decolonial thought, namely the Americas, colonised societies have become almost entirely Christian. In other words, the preoccupation of decolonial scholarship with race and its reluctance to address religion with the same degree of candour may be attributed to the fact that the regions that have produced much of the scholarship on coloniality so far, follow the religion of the coloniser, namely Christianity. Their demographic reality, perhaps, offers an explanation as to their gaze being more alive to race than to religion, since reclaiming their indigenous religious identities may seem impossible despite having embarked on their decolonial journeys. Given the huge Christian settler colonial populations in the Americas in particular, the numbers may not even be conducive for indigenous peoples even if they wanted to revert to the faith of their ancestors. And if this were not enough, pragmatic considerations, such as the highly organised and evangelical nature of Christianity and its status as a global majority, have a direct and real bearing on the ability of any erstwhile non-Christian colonised society to reclaim and return to its roots.
J Sai Deepak (India that is Bharat: Coloniality, Civilisation, Constitution)