Place

Space whose local narrative can still be heard, and could be heard again, given the chance. Place is the practical, located, tangible, bounded setting which protects us from abstractions, generalities and ideologies and opens the way to thinking as discovery. On this scale, there is elegance, and some relief from the need to be right, for if you are wrong, the small scale of place allows for revision and repair, supported by conversation.

The philosopher David Hume considers the matter:

There are in England, in particular, many honest gentlemen, who being always employ’d in their domestic affairs, or amusing themselves in common recreations, have carried their thoughts very little beyond those objects which are every day expos’d to their senses. . . . They do well to keep themselves in their present situation; and instead of refining them into philosophers, I wish we cou’d communicate to our founders of systems a share of this gross earthy mixture, as an ingredient, which they commonly stand much in need of, and which wou’d serve to temper those fiery particles, of which they are compos’d.P23

Place is the endangered habitat of our species.

 

Related entries:

Neighbourhood, Social Mobility, Harmless Lunatic, Home, Localisation, Transition.

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David Fleming
Dr David Fleming (2 January 1940 – 29 November 2010) was an economist, historian and writer, based in London. He was among the first to reveal the possibility of peak oil's approach and invented the influential TEQs scheme, designed to address this and climate change. He was also a significant figure in the development of the UK Green Party, the Transition Towns movement and the New Economics Foundation, as well as a Chairman of the Soil Association. His wide-ranging independent analysis culminated in two critically acclaimed books, Lean Logic and Surviving the Future. A film about his perspective and legacy - The Sequel: What Will Follow Our Troubled Civilisation? - was released in 2019, directed by BAFTA-winning director Peter Armstrong. For more information, including on Lean Logic, click the little globe below!

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