Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Wednesday, Oct 21st, Canberra


Today, we spent the morning at the Australian National Film and Sound Archive, and the afternoon at the Australian National Botanical Garden and the Heritage Nursery.  We learned about the country's colonization of its northern neighbor (Papua New Guinea) from 1948 to 1975, and then about the colonization of Australia by the plant community.  The short of it was that the plants were a heck of a lot more successful.

And at dinner tonight, we talked about under what conditions two cultures could interact successfully when values, governance, and technology were so far apart.  Is it inevitable that colonization and conflict result?  Is it made more inevitable when valuable resources are coveted?  Can international bodies like the UN really dissuade bad outcomes?  Are prime directives (think early Star Trek episodes) implementable?

I'm going to work to see that the NFSA's library of films and radio programs are fully-digitized, and made available online.  Their historical and cultural value is unparalleled, incorporating much of the materials produced by the British during and after World War II.  It was a pleasure to spend a few hours in their luxurious theaters and sound studios watching unique perspectives on the history of Australia.

And thanks very much to The Heritage Nursery staff for assembling and operating such an excellent nursery.  It was an wonderful ending point for our day, and we only wish we could have brought a bundle of plants home with us.

Here is a link to the photos we took today.
Wednesday, Oct 21st, Canberra


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