February 23rd, 2008

breaking bad

Flaying the outfield

A year or so ago I read Collapse by Jared Diamond. In that book he compares examples of sustainable and unsustainable societies. His main examples of unsustainable and hence collapsing societies are the Vikings in Greenland, the Maya, and Easter Island of course. Sustainable societies were various island economies, including Japan. A key term in that book is 'mining'. He calls it mining if a culture is just stripping out a resource. For instance the Vikings stripped the peat from southern Greenland, much faster than it could be replaced (they called it 'flaying the outfield').
Collapse )
breaking bad

Yaoi and Apollo

Best wishes to matildabj who is moving house today. Good luck and enjoy it.

Two things I just read and thought I'd post. World Wide Words today analyses the etymology of yaoi. I thought it meant simply 'young men get it on': didn't realise it is the equivalent of the English acronym 'PWP' (plot, what plot?), being literally an acronym derived from 'no climax, no resolution, no meaning'. Fascinating. The Japanese pronounce it 'yah-oh-ee' not 'yow-ee' which is the only way I have heard it said. The article says the Japanese generally prefer the English acronym 'BL' (I don't know how they pronounce that). How complex.

And now for something tangentially related. A Poem recently posted by cruisedirector which I liked:Collapse )
I'm now off to look after my boss's blind and very old rabbit while he's on holiday. I bloody hope she doesn't peg out while in my care.