Environmental problems tend to be tackled as single issues with inventive technological solutions. At the Palo Verde Generating Station nuclear reactors are cooled by sewage from nearby towns. Non-native oranges now thrive across the state. Yet a larger conundrum remains; Phoenix exists far from equilibrium, requiring massive external inputs for its continued existence. Despite the desert, not within the desert.
Holding onto an idealised image of urban life, haunted by the shadow of its possible demise. Water, power and other essentials imported from afar to keep up an appearance of a stable oasis.
Red, or snow-capped?
The myth of the Wild West in a desert on demand. The purity and dread of the Wilderness kept at arms length, only to be occasionally appropriated for solitary transcendence, urbophobian escapism and utopian experimentation. Alongside King Clone the unassuming 11, year old creosote bush lie the ruins of a vanished Pueblo Grande. We reached Shadow Belmont. A place deeply familiar with shade. Shade architecture, shaded transport, sheltered time.
A cityscape layered with a latticework of porches, pergolas, verandas, galleries, awnings, canopies, umbrellas and trees. From above the city looks like a desert garden.
The shade of the high canopy stands on cactimorphic succulent pillars, doubling as public water sources. Closer to the ground, multi-trunked mesquite marquees diffuse light across outdoor kitchens and intimate courtyards. The ubiquitous antennae of the place mingle with soaring ocotillo vines, their cabling protected by dessicated saguaro skeletons. Solar-powered screens radiate the shadow forecast and a cooling breeze.
steps to eat like a Roman
The STA Shade Traversal Association maps show real-time shade developments, with roads in direct sun coloured flaming red. The droning of traffic blends into the murmur of slowly adjusting shade structures, punctuating the continuous background hum of insects, psychic noise and ambient communication. Shadow Belmont, a city enfolded in the long temporality of the desert.
It abides in time marked by feasts and silences. All activity eventually ceases.
Idleness is required to attune to desert time, yet it is a world capable of sudden bursts of ecstatic action, like blooms after a desert rain. A city in a city living the experiential time of spiders, snakes and saguaro. The variable abundance of time is sensed and modulated by the antennae-centric tech industry. Deep listening technologies.
The Roman Empire, explained in 40 maps - Vox
Nomad tech on smart grids accustomed to oscillations of resources. People and technology attuned to differentials and committed to the act. Fanboys will be familiar with this theory. Plot points are also set up here that will surely lead to Khrome questioning who he can really trust around him, including his fellow cop, Sonja. There are also more obvious horror themes here than last issue, with the various creepies beginning to reveal themselves as the GBI discover the hard way and presumably make their way into the real world to show that they can not be so easily forgotten.
This rich diversity encouraged political, economic, scientific, and technological breakthroughs that allowed Europe to surge ahead while other parts of the world lagged behind, burdened as they were by traditional empires and predatory regimes that lived by conquest. He will zoom you to high levels of analysis as smoothly as an electric elevator. You want solutions to historical problems of baffling complexity? He has an app for that. A challenging and counterintuitive hypothesis. Quite simply, he has no peer. Erudite, enlightening, and wonderfully provocative, Escape from Rome is destined to become a classic.
This is the remarkable, but tightly argued, conclusion of Walter Scheidel's virtuoso exploration of counterfactual world histories. And better still, it's immensely enjoyable to read as well. A must-read for anyone curious about the long shadow of Rome. A fascinating book.
This is a wholly convincing and innovative account, logically driven and based on stunning scholarship.