[OSGeo-Discuss] RE : Distracting discussions of discussing [was:] What is North America?

Landon Blake sunburned.surveyor at gmail.com
Thu Nov 24 13:25:02 PST 2011

So did we decide what we would geographic region we would include in a
"North American chapter"? How would this chapter interact or relate to
existing chapters in the United States and other parts of North


On Sun, Nov 13, 2011 at 1:13 PM, Jean-Philippe Lagrange
<Jean-Philippe.Lagrange at ign.fr> wrote:
> Dear Adrian,
> I agree that being a non native speaker, I may misunderstand some sentences. However, you wrote:
> 'you have to include France as well in North America for the
> two itty, bitty islands it claims of the eastern coast---doesn't
> territorial occupation suck?'.
> Am I inventing in finding this sentence somewhat disparaging?
> You could use another word than 'occupation', couldn't you?
> Would 'territorial occupation' have no link with 'occupied territories'?
> Anyway, this matter is not worth long exchanges!
> Best,
> Jean-Philippe
> ________________________________________
> De : Adrian Custer [acuster at gmail.com]
> Date d'envoi : dimanche 13 novembre 2011 18:27
> À : Jean-Philippe Lagrange; OSGeo Discussions
> Objet : Distracting discussions of discussing [was:] What is North America?
> On Sat, 2011-11-12 at 10:07 +0100, Jean-Philippe Lagrange wrote:
>> Hi Adrian,
>> Should now French people feel some prejudice because of your disparaging words?
> Jean-Phillipe Lagrange,
> There were no "disparaging words" in my email. I am a native speaker of
> English so I know how to use the language pretty well to have it say
> what I mean to say rather than something else. Also, I had no intent to
> disparage the people of the country where I was born, where I have spent
> the past few years, and where part of my family lives. So if you have
> read something you find disparaging of yourself or others in my email,
> please know that you have invented it.
> Also, since these emails are (1) lighthearted (2) ironic and (3) joking,
> it would be best if everyone made the effort to read them looking for
> irony and happiness rather than looking for insults. Arnulf is playing
> on the tensions between 'north americans' and others in the americas,
> playing on the history of violent confrontation between those groups. He
> is playing in order to, light heartedly, call into question what 'North
> american' might mean for a regional chapter of OSGeo. That is the
> interesting question.
> The rest of this bantering is merely irrelevant irreverent political
> banter. Even 'gringo' that started this all, is, in my experience, used
> much more frequently as a statement of fact, or as a lighthearted
> comment, than as a direct insult. I personally found it much quicker to
> call myself a 'gringo' than the mouthful 'estado unidense' or 'norte
> americano'. Daniel, to my surprise, finds the term obviously and clearly
> insulting. Such is the spectrum of human experience. Nonetheless, I
> suspect we all can recognize that Arnulf did not start his email trying
> to insult people but rather, in a fit of his boundless energy, to spark
> a discussion about the OSGeo chapter.
> ~adrian
> PS If you still consider my mail insulting, I would be glad to reassure
> you that it was not written that way. Contact me directly, in french if
> you like, and we can resolve this offline.
>> Should we follow up by wondering what natives of Northern America
>> think of 'occupation which sucks'?
> By all means. Although, if you look at my last name, you will perhaps
> understand that I usually start with the genocidal conquest of these
> united states rather than end up considering it.
>> Such consideration do not lead anybody anywhere. Nowadays borders are
>> a result of history, including past wars, and nobody should argue too
>> much against the formers, for we do not want the latters to develop
>> again among nations.
> Actually, many people do argue against and question borders; others try
> to undermine the nation states and focus on human well being instead.
>> By the way, French Islands in your area do not stop at two bitty islands
>> off the Eastern coast, you may also include French Antillas,
> Except that this was the whole point of Arnulf's email; the carribean is
> almost never considered part of 'north america' despite being (1) in the
> americas and (2) north of the equator. Nor is the much more sizeable
> Mexico.
>> not so far
>> from Puerto Rico, recently added to the USA.
>> Best,
>> JP
>> ________________________________________
>> De : discuss-bounces at lists.osgeo.org [discuss-bounces at lists.osgeo.org] de la part de Adrian Custer [acuster at gmail.com]
>> Date d'envoi : vendredi 11 novembre 2011 20:25
>> À : OSGeo Discussions
>> Objet : Re: [OSGeo-Discuss] What is North America?
>> On Fri, 2011-11-11 at 11:29 +0100, Seven (aka Arnulf) wrote:
>> > Hash: SHA1
>> >
>> > Now that a North American Regional Chapter is emerging I wanted to
>> > understand what the term "North America" actually means. Just a few
>> > example:
>> >
>> > In my cultural context (Germany) the Unites States on their own are
>> > typically called "Amerika" which in reality is a whole continent. To
>> > many Germans Kanada (yes, with a "K") is just a US wilderness adventure
>> > park (Canadians: no offence meant). In many South American countries US
>> > citizens are nowadays called "Gringo" which originally meant "Green Go"
>> > and relates to US "interventions" in Middle and Southern America.
>> >
>> > So for many non-North-Americans the term might be really, really fuzzy
>> > which is why I thought it would be a good idea to define it more
>> > closely, started here:
>> > http://wiki.osgeo.org/wiki/Talk:North_America_Regional
>> >
>> > Looking at the typical roles of a local chapter (or in this case a "meta
>> > local chapter" or "regional chapter") I would suggest that this chapter
>> > would be the primary point of contact for the organization of a FOSS4G
>> > event in English language in either the US or Canada. Extending it
>> > beyond these two countries would probably raise a whole lot of
>> > additional issues starting with language (Spanish) and ending with
>> > politics (Cuba) - which will probably complicate things beyond
>> > recognition. I can also see other meta chapters forming with a more
>> > Spanish speaking background in the Middle Americas, so there is no
>> > exclusivity here at all. The Spanish speaking Local Chapter might also
>> > be a good template to see how this could look.
>> >
>> > But anything I say here is absolutely not fundamental at all, just 2ct
>> > from an outsider (sent in the hope that this list will see a broadly
>> > inclusive dialog about how this group will evolve).
>> >
>> > Have fun,
>> > Arnulf
>> What a strange mail.
>> If you are playing with a definition based on geography and nation
>> states, then you have to include France as well in North America for the
>> two itty, bitty islands it claims of the eastern coast---doesn't
>> territorial occupation suck?
>> Your language argument, however, seems to abandon any geographic basis
>> and focus on English based on some definition by cultural domination.
>> For a geographic definition, you would have to include French both for
>> Québec and for the French territories in the Atlantic(vis above). To be
>> realistic, you should probably include Spanish a well since that is an
>> officially supported language in many regions of America, north of the
>> Rio Grande. Finally, if you wanted to be correct, then there are many,
>> many other languages spoken here, many of which are native to the
>> geographic region.
>> Then again, if you leave things vague, then people who want to do 'free
>> software' in 'the general area around the great lakes' might all want to
>> play. Oh sorry, not the people focused on freedom, the people focused on
>> 'openness' of source 'code' for whatever benefit that might bring.
>> But anything I say here is absolutely a waste of time.
>> ~adrian
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