Thursday, June 26, 2008

Logic and the USA

The two things I want to comment on this week are words. and most importantly they aren't concepts. In the states, they seem very much to be concepts, rich with respect and years of experience (sounds like a good presidential candidate right?) Anyways, here, they are words, and barely anything more. The one seems just as foreign as the other here, and to that extent its a major change in thought for me.
Logic. Examples:The most volumnious metro in the world has three escalators from the platform to the street. Regardless of the unimaginable volume, one of the elevators will not be working. Ask an attendent why: They're broken. Right. example: almost every public building has a double door entrance, regardles of the volume coming in, say a metro station building, school building, theater, etc, one of the two doors will be locked. Example: the city centrally heats water (hm, wonder where they got that idea from?) As a result they shut down the different plants for different districts for 3 weeks every summer, resulting in frigid cold water for about 3 million people at any given time. Ask them why they don't decentralize the water heating (which would actually make more money for the city) no one can give an answer. Instead public money is spent on tearing down perfectly functional, historically rich, buildings (see every major hotel in moscow) and building one of almost similar nature on top. Enough. With out negatively (in a historical sense) defining the city's relationship to logic, I want to point out that the concept, the word, etc., never comes into play. No one even manipulates the word to their advantage, it simply isn't of interest here. the noun itself, logika, is completely imported, and seemingly out of place here. I'll go no further in commenting on this, because I feel there is just as much good here as anywhere else, simply logic seems to be foreign in this city.
The USA. Everyone here seems to understand that the USA is the most dominant in many aspects of daily life: science, art, etc. but no one thinks of the national entity when they think of these things. Hollywood is in america, but it has nothing to do with the USA, as a nation. This is a confusing subject, and it plays itself out in strange ways, but people have ideas, opinions, comments on americans, american culture, etc. but when our government comes into play, or the name of the nation comes into use, it means nothing but "another country." Im speaking on a very personal level. Of course official channels pay politically correct words to the USA, but the people here seem to value as much the government of the US as the government of sri lanka (no offense to sri lanka). Its a really interesting disconnect, and much to our favor i feel, but nonetheless the words United states of america, mean nothing in comparison to our treatment of it. Why this is, goes without saying. I simply comment because its an interesting experience.

Other than that, I'm going to the second largest library in the world tomorrow for a back stage tour, and then on sunday Im going to a museum on revolutions in moscow which have all begun in relatively the same area. We'll learn why this area seems to volitile, etc. Pretty cool stuff.

I guess I should comment on the soccer game, since everyone else here is. Russia is in the semi's tonight with spain and after the riots after last game, the city has decided to call in the army to protect the city from the fans. If this will help, or hurt the city, is only to be seen, but honestly if the team wins I hope for the good of this place that they win again. A loss to germany would mean chaos and rampage here, given the utter hatred many people have here for things german. We'll see how it plays out, but I'll definitely be staying in, hiding my foreign origins.

Hope things in the states are well,

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