Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

What is Europe Anyway? ...with poll!

by p------- Mon Feb 13th, 2006 at 11:22:12 PM EST

Wait, wait, wait.  Let's back up here.  This is "The European Tribune," but what are we tribuning exactly?

I was recently informed of the "true center" of Europe and it got me thinking.  Thinking about the fact that two people might be talking about Europe, but thinking of two different concepts: political or geographical.  And yet these are never entirely distinct, are they? Geography requires naming things and drawing borders and that's always a bit political.  And then there is the concept of Europe as a set of cultural values.  Or a group of people united by a shared currency.


It's all so frustrating to me.  Everyone knows where and what America is.  Even when we disagree about what it should be.  But "Europe?"  It's a malleable idea; we're happy to reshape it to fit the context and agenda at hand.  It might mean France.  It might mean the Continent.  It might mean wherever they use a Euro to buy cheese.  It might mean an ideology.

I went in search of a simple definition. Wikipedia is usually a good place to start.  

Europe is conventionally considered one of the seven continents which, in this case, is more a cultural and political distinction than a physiogeographic one.

For those of you wondering what that continent is, exactly (I know I am!):

Geographically Europe is a part of the larger landmass known as Eurasia. The continent begins at the Ural Mountains in Russia, which define Europe's eastern boundary with Asia. The southeast boundary with Asia is not universally defined. Most commonly the Ural or, alternatively, the Emba River serve as possible boundaries. The boundary continues to the Caspian Sea, the crest of the Caucasus Mountains or, alternatively, the Kura River in the Caucasus, and on to the Black Sea; the Bosporus, the Sea of Marmara, and the Dardanelles conclude the Asian boundary. However, numerous geographers consider Azerbaijan's and Armenia's southern border with Iran and Turkey's southern and eastern border with Syria, Iraq and Iran as the boundary between Asia and Europe because of political and cultural reasons. The Mediterranean Sea to the south separates Europe from Africa. The western boundary is the Atlantic Ocean, but Iceland, much farther away than the nearest points of Africa, is also often included in Europe.

There is ongoing debate on where the geographical centre of Europe is.

Well, if one cannot say with certainty what is the center, one must not be very certain about the boundaries either.  Yet while I still dont know just where it is, I've been assured it exists.

Photographic evidence of Europe:

They elaborate:

Because of political, cultural and geographical differences, there are various descriptions of Europe's boundary. Therefore, in some sources, some countries are not included in Europe, while the other sources do include them.

Almost all European countries are members of the Council of Europe, the exceptions being Belarus, and the Holy See (Vatican City).

The idea of the European continent is not held across all cultures. Some non-European geographical texts refer to the continent of Eurasia, or to the European peninsula, given that Europe is not surrounded by sea.

In the past concepts such as Christendom were deemed more important.

In another usage, Europe is increasingly being used as a short-form for the European Union (EU) and its members, currently consisting of 25 member states and the candidate countries negotiating for membership, and several other countries expected to begin negotiations in the future (see Enlargement of the European Union). This definition, however, excludes non-members such as Russia and Switzerland.

Eh?  We can't even agree that Europe's a continent?  Well, maybe we can all agree that the EU is Europe, even if all of Europe is not in the EU.  So what is this EU?

The European Union (EU) is a family of democratic European countries, committed to working together for peace and prosperity. It is not a State intended to replace existing States, nor is it just an organisation for international cooperation. The EU is, in fact, unique.

"Unique?"  That's all ya got?  Well, we may not have vocabulary sufficient to communicate what it is, this "Europe as big beautiful idea/burocracy," but we do have a name for the currency to represent it.  A Euro is worth a thousand words...

Google can find us a nice, easy-to-swallow definition of Europe, right?  The all-knowing Google?

Definitions of Europe on the Web:

~ the 2nd smallest continent (actually a vast peninsula of Eurasia); the British use `Europe' to refer to all of the continent except the British Isles

~ European Union: an international organization of European countries formed after World War II to reduce trade barriers and increase cooperation among its members; "he took Britain into Europe"

~ the nations of the European continent collectively; "the Marshall Plan helped Europe recover from World War II"

~ Europe is a Swedish hard rock band originally assembled as a progressive rock group; they later added keyboards to their sound in order to soften it, in hopes of gaining radio airplay. Europe's sound substantially influenced the power metal genre.

~ Europe is Europe's first album, released February 24, 1983, by Hot Records.

~ The Europe is a one-person dinghy. Designed in Belgium in 1960 by Alois Roland. LOA is 3.35 m (11 feet). Beam is 1.38 m. Weight 45 kg. Sail area is 7 m² (75 ft²)  

~ Britain France Italy The Netherlands Russia

~ Refers to a region where Prometric conducts business.

~ Europe is one of the Earth's seven continents. It is connected to Asia on its eastern side. Major rivers in Europe are the Rhine, the Rhone, the Danube, the Vistula, and the Volga. Historically, Western Europe and Eastern Europe have had many important cultural and political differences, though many of these are changing.

~is a region that contains a Nation States role-playing community.

Uhm, Thanks, I guess...

Map of some probable European but not necessarily EU nations, by flag:
 

Yeah... I don't feel any less confused now.  In fact, I feel rather like I'm being played. These "Europeans" must be up to something sneaky if they can't just give me a straight answer about this "Europe" place, thing, whatever.  There's something fishy going on here, but I can't tell if it's the herring or the moules...

Europe.  Europe.  A place over there across the pond with no distinct borders, no permanently defined number of member countries, no common religion, culture, land mass, or currency (what, is half of Russia using the Euro now?  Well, is it?)  It proclaims itself "unique."  Yet it has its own Superman.  I give up.  

Take my fun poll and then give me your own less snarky answer.  
What do you think, when you think, "Europe?"

Poll
Europe is:
. That place on that map up there. 20%
. An economic system. 0%
. A political system. 0%
. A mosoleum of antiquity where smug cheese-eating socialists hide from reality in cafes instead of getting off their asses and putting in a 40 hour work week. 8%
. "A giant free-wheeling experimental laboratory for rethinking the human condition and reconfiguring human institutions in the global era." -Rifkin. 8%
. Like porn, you just know it when you see it. 45%
. All of the above 17%

Votes: 35
Results | Other Polls
Display:
It is also usually only temporary.

We all belong to multiple different groups - family, friends. colleagues, city of origin, current residence city, sport club supporter, music genre, ET, etc etc. It depends who we are talking to. One thing is certain - the desire to belong to a 'gang', pack, flock or swarm - just to belong - is very powerful.

We who live or were born in a 'European' country, only find the definition important (and think about it) in comparison to other large groupings such as 'The States', Islam, Asia etc. If at all.

Europe is amorphous, hard to grasp, dishomogenous, in flux. The one thing that Europe (Europeans) is not is nationalistic. And that is a good thing. Nobody is very patriotic about Europe. Nobody salutes the European flag; nobody stands for the Euopean anthem (except to go to the fridge when the Eurovision theme song plays once a year, as we ready to settle into our sofas for an evening of kitsch).

In all other ways, Europeans are essentially local. We cherish our roots (afew and I have a connection merely by being from the same city culture even though neither of us have lived there for decades).

Being European is pretty much synonomous with being human. It is Big Picture stuff that is not terribly relevant to everyday life.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Tue Feb 14th, 2006 at 03:37:02 AM EST
Europe is an open project and can be what we want it to be.

"The USA appears destined by fate to plague America with misery in the name of liberty." Simon Bolivar, Caracas, 1819
by Ritter on Tue Feb 14th, 2006 at 04:51:33 AM EST
Some of "us" want it to be a closed project, unfortunately.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Feb 14th, 2006 at 04:59:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thinking about the fact that two people might be talking about Europe, but thinking of two different concepts: political or geographical.

It could also be: cultural, religious, 'anthropologous', geological.

Or a group of people united by a shared currency.

That's not even the entire EU :-)

Everyone knows where and what America is.

Really? Is it everything from Tierra del Fuego to the Barents Sea? Or is it the area of NAFTA? Or all areas controlled by the USA? (Is Puerto Rico America?) Or only the areas of the USA where people can vote for President and senators? Or as often in people's minds, only the contiguous 49 states?

Which brings me back to comment that:

It's all so frustrating to me.

Here is something Emmanuel Todt (the French sociologist/demographer who correctly predicted the collapse of the Soviet Union, and who recently predicted the same for the USA) called my attention to: that in the 'Anglo-Saxon culture' (itself a very vague term, but useful for the moment), the opposed allowance of variation and need for categorisation leads to the maxim, "you have to draw a line somewhere".

Only, I think reality is more complex. One has to accept multiple concepts of 'Europe'. It refers to the tectonical unit delimited by the once collision with the Siberian craton (the Urals), the island chains and mini-continents in the long gone Thethis Ocean (Caucasus Mountains etc.). It refers to the mapping convention roughly delimited by the same borders plus the sea breakthrough between the Mediterranean and the Black Sea. It refers to the traditional areas of Christianity. It refers to the areas affected by the Enlightement in the 18th and early 19th century minus (former) colonies. It refers to the traditional dwelling area of 'white people', alternatively: speakers of Indo-German and Finno-Ugric (and Basque) languages. It refers to all the member states of UEFA or Eurovision (an area from Vladivostok to Ankara, Jerusalem and Lisbon). It refers to the current and future EU (which currently heavily debates the joining of Turkey, but not everyone is against Russia joining in a further future, and let's not forget Morocco wants to join too). It refers to the EU countries and their non-member neighbours that run a welfare state. It refers to the Eurozone (which contains only 12 EU members of 25, but also contains 3 mini-states which aren't EU members). It refers to the  Schengen zone within which there are no border controls (again not all EU members, but Norway is in it).

Europe is an amorphous hodge-podge term, its meaning and geographical reach depends on context.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Feb 14th, 2006 at 05:14:12 AM EST
BTW, I took the last option in the poll (the empty one). You could name it "All of the above".

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Feb 14th, 2006 at 05:22:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I could not get that to delete.  I don't know why there is an empty option there.  Anyone who knows how to fix this?

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -Voltaire
by p------- on Tue Feb 14th, 2006 at 08:12:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Doesn't seem to be deletable. I called it all of the above.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Feb 14th, 2006 at 08:19:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think "America" is typically thought of as the fifty states plus DC.  Puerto Rico sits somewhere between statehood and independence.  I'm guessing they're allowed to vote in presidential elections, because Puerto Rico voting in the Democratic primaries -- they had asked that the Dean campaign produce "Puerto Ricans for Dean" signs; that's why I remember, but I don't think the GOP has a primary there; the Dems support statehood, I believe -- but they have no senators or congressmen, obviously.  (Neither does Washington, DC.  DC has, at best, a semi-independent local government, but the budget is controlled by Congress.)  They have "delegates" to Congress.  I expect that the country will probably swing toward statehood, eventually.

I don't think Puerto Rico is typically thought of as part of America, though it has just as much claim to being included in my definition as Washington.

Everything else is Canada, Central America, the Northwest Territory, or South America (Central and South America being "Latin America" in everyday discussion here in the states).

I'm not sure how we can define Europe, so I chose "All of the Above".

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Tue Feb 14th, 2006 at 10:54:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
We can't even agree that Europe's a continent?

Same for 'America': for example in Hungary, North and South America ('The Americas' in the AFAIK few-decades-old US neologism) are one continent. IIRC that was at German influence, but usage is changing in Germany at US influence.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Feb 14th, 2006 at 05:20:57 AM EST
The limits of Europe

with this graph which includes a few unconventional definitions of Europe:

(click for larger version)

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Feb 14th, 2006 at 05:23:09 AM EST
BTW, the EU and the Eurozone extends to South America and all three oceans: the French colonies are in it.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Feb 14th, 2006 at 05:26:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
For non-Europeans, key to Jérôme's graph:

  • CoE - Council of Europe (resides in Strasbourg, promotes democracy & human rights)
  • OSCE - Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (was meant for what its name says post-Cold-War, but both NATO [Kosovo] and Russia [Chechnya] sidelined it)
  • UEFA -  Union of European Football Associations (organiser of the once-a-year Champions' League and UEFA Cup tournaments for football clubs, and the once-in-four-years Eurocup, and the qualifications for the once-in-four-years World Cup)
  • UIT - Union Internationale des Télécommunications (or International Telecommunication Union, in truth now a UN sub-organ, but with European weight; it makes standards and assigns country prefixes, the world is divided into seven zones [first number of country prefix refers to zone], both European and Asian countries are divided between three zones)
  • Eurovision - European association of (state TV) broadcasters, organiser of the cheesy but connecting Eurovision Song Contest, and some other joint programmes of lesser reach (Jeux sans frontières, Wetten, dass...)
  • EU - European Union (a political-economic association with delegated sovereign powers)
  • Schengen - the open borders region (which presupposed common border control standards and information exchange) within the EU (Britain, Ireland, the new members are outside) and some associated countries (Norway, Switzerland, Iceland, mini-states)
  • Euro - countries that adopted the Euro as common currency within the EU plus mini-states

We could add some more to the list - for example UIC (Union International de Chemins de Fer), the association of major railway companies, which includes all of Europe and also the Middle East, North Africa and some further away.

Or ESA, an organisation for space reasearch and rocket science, which has 17 core members and 3 associated members, the latter includes Canada, and Russia may become part of it given that cooperation deepens.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Feb 14th, 2006 at 05:53:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I quite like the UEFA list, particularly if we realise that Monaco has a representative team in the Champions League arena and the Vatican... well I am not so sorry to see them not included...
by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Tue Feb 14th, 2006 at 08:32:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, if one cannot say with certainty what is the center, one must not be very certain about the boundaries either.

Not necessarily. As I explained in that thread, "center" is not unambiguous - it could be either be a territorial averaging, or an averaging of the borders, and both of the previous depend on what shallow water areas you include into the landmass.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Feb 14th, 2006 at 05:25:18 AM EST
As I also said in another thread, in the past it is quite likely that "the center" was found by balancing a cardboard cut-out on a pin, without much regard for which projection was being used.

From this earlier diary, it is clear where the centre of Europe is...

or maybe not so clear...


A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Feb 14th, 2006 at 05:32:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, if we take OMI maps for a definition of Europe, Spaniards and our Norwegian friends will wonder at what passes for Europe on the current maps on the website BBC took its pictures from:



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Feb 14th, 2006 at 06:11:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Okay, Europe is a subcontinental mass bordered in the east by the Ural Mountains south to the Caspian sea and the western shore of the Caspian down to the Casucasua mountains, where the borderline goes west until it hits the Black sea.

Everything else is defined by natural shorelines.

the Americas are divided between North America (the US and Canada) and Latin America (everything south of same)

In North America everybody speaks english (including in Quebec where they speak French in order to piss off the federal government).

In Latin America, everyone speaks Spanish, except for Belize, and the Gianas. Brazil allegedly speaks portuguse, but it's actually closer to spanish.

The Caribbean is technically part of North America except for the Greater Antillies, which are part of Latin America.

by messy on Tue Feb 14th, 2006 at 08:24:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What about Hawaii?
by asdf on Tue Feb 14th, 2006 at 09:06:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
North America includes Mexico.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 03:23:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In Curacao they speak Papiamento - a mix of English, Dutch, Spanish, French, Portuguese and African.

In Suriname they speak Taki Taki - a mix of English, Dutch, Spanish, French, Portuguese and African.

In the French Antilles (Guadaloupe, St. Martin, Martinique) they speak French (patois). Parts of Dominica also use a French Patois.

Brazilian Portuguese is not closer to Spanish than it is to European Portuguese.

Soon to be dead - Native languages are still spoken in North America.

Algic Amerindian Language Family

http://www.native-languages.org/linguistics.htm#tree

Amerindian Language Families

Actually, Amerindian languages do not belong to a single language family, but 25-30 small ones; they are usually discussed together because of the small numbers of native speakers of the Amerindian language families and how little is known about many of them. There are around 25 million native speakers of the more than 800 surviving Amerind languages. The vast majority of these speakers live in Central and South America, where language use is vigorous. In Canada and the United States, only about half a million native speakers of an Amerindian tongue remain.

Abnaki-Penobscot, Algonquin, Arapaho, Atikamek, Blackfoot (Siksika, Blackfeet), Cheyenne, Cree, Etchemin, Gros Ventre (Atsina), Kickapoo, Lenape (Delaware), Loup A/Loup B, Lumbee (Pamlico, Croatan), Maliseet-Passamaquoddy, Menominee, Mesquakie-Sauk (Sac and Fox), Miami-Illinois, Michif (Metis), Mi'kmaq (Micmac), Mohegan/Pequot, Mohican/Mahican, Montagnais Innu, Munsee, Nanticoke, Narragansett, Naskapi Innu, Ojibwe (Chippewa, Anishinaabemowin), Potawatomi, Powhatan, Shawnee, Wampanoag, Wiyot, Yurok; possibly Beothuk (Red Indian)

Athabaskan (Na-Dene) Language Family
The Athabascan, or Na-Dene, languages are spoken from northwestern Canada and Alaska south to the Rio Grande. They include:

# Athabaskan Languages

# Eastern Apache
# Navajo (Dine)
# Western Apache
# Northern Athabaskan Languages
# Alaska-Yukon Athabascan Languages
# Degexit'an (Ingalik)
# Gwich'in
# Han
# Holikachuk
# Koyukon
# Lower Tanana
# Tanacross
# Tutchone
# Upper Tanana
# Upper Kuskokwim
# Southern Alaskan Athabascan Languages
# Ahtna (Ahtena)
# Tanaina
# British Columbia Athapaskan Languages
# Babine
# Carrier (Dakelh, Yinka Dene)
# Chilcotin
# Northwest Canadian Athapaskan Languages
# Kaskan Languages (Nahanni)
# Kaska
# Tahltan
# Tagish
# Beaver (Dane-zaa, Dunneza)
# Dene (Chipewyan)
# Dogrib
# Sekani
# Slavey (Dene Tha)
# Clatskanie
# Sarcee (Tsuu T'ina)
# Tsetsaut
# Pacific Coast Athabaskan Languages
# Oregon Athabaskan Languages
# Galice
# Tolowa
# Tututni-Coquille
# Upper Umpqua
# California Athabaskan Languages
# Hupa
# Mattole
# Wailaki (Sinkyone/Lassik)
# Kato
# Eyak
# Tlingit
# Haida

# Northern Caddoan Languages
# Pawnee-Kitsai Languages
# Arikara
# Kitsai
# Pawnee
# Wichita
# Southern Caddoan Languages
# Caddo

# Eskimoan Languages
# Yupik Languages
# Alaskan Yupik
# Gulf Yupik (Alutiiq/Sugpiaq)
# Siberian Yupik (Yupit/Yuit)
# Inuktitut-Inupiatun (Inuit)
# Aleut (Unangan)

The Hokan languages are spoken in the southwestern and west coast US and in northwestern Mexico (Baja California and Sonora). They include:

# Yuman Languages
# Delta-Californian Languages
# Cocopa
# Kumiai (Diegueno)
# River Yuman Languages
# Maricopa
# Mohave
# Quechan (Yuma)
# Upland Yuman Languages
# Havasupai-Walapai-Yavapai
# Paipai (Akwa'ala)
# Cochimi
# Kiliwa
# Esselen
# Karok-Shasta Languages
# Karok
# Palaihninan Languages
# Achumawi
# Atsugewi
# Shasta
# Chimariko
# Pomo Languages
# Western Pomo Languages
# Central Pomo
# Kashaya
# Northern Pomo
# Southern Pomo
# Eastern Pomo
# Southeastern Pomo
# Northeastern Pomo
# Salinan-Seri Languages
# Chumash
# Salinan
# Seri
# Tequistlatecan Languages
# Lowland Chontal of Oaxaca
# Sierra Chontal of Oaxaca
# Washo

Iroquoian languages are spoken in the eastern US and southeast Canada. They include:

# Northern Iroquoian Languages
# Central Iroquoian Languages
# Tuscarora
# Nottoway
# Lake Iroquoian Languages
# Mohawk-Oneida Languages
# Mohawk
# Oneida
# Seneca-Onondaga Languages
# Cayuga
# Onondaga
# Seneca
# Huron/Wyandot
# Laurentian
# Susquehannock
# Southern Iroquoian Languages
# Cherokee (Tsalagi)
Kiowa-Tanoan languages are spoken in the American Southwest and Southern Plains. They include:

# Kiowa
# Tanoan Languages
# Tewa (Tano)
# Tiwa
# Towa (Jemez)

The Mayan languages are spoken in Guatemala and southern Mexico, in the Yucatan peninsula. Mayan languages include:

# Cholan Languages
# Ch'ol
# Chontal de Tabasco
# Chorti
# Huastecan Languages
# Chicomuceltec
# Huastec
# Kanjobal-Chujean Languages
# Chujean Languages
# Chuj
# Tojolabal
# Kanjobalan Languages
# Jacaltec
# Eastern Kanjobal
# Western Kanjobal
# Mocho
# Quiche-Mamean Languages
# Ixil-Mamean Languages
# Aguacatec
# Ixil
# Mam
# Tacanec
# Tectitec
# Greater Quichean Languages
# Kekchi
# Pocom Languages
# Pokomam
# Pocomchi
# Quichean Languages
# Achi
# Cakchiquel
# Quiche
# Tzutujil
# Sacapultec
# Sipacapense
# Uspantec
# Tzeltalan Languages
# Tzeltal
# Tzotzil
# Yucatecan Languages
# Itza Maya
# Lapandon
# Maya Chan
# Mopan Maya
# Yucatan Maya

The Mixe-Zoque languages, Mixe, Zoque, and Popoluca, have not been definitively linked with any of the larger Mesoamerican language families. They are spoken in Mexico and include:

# Mixe
# Zoque
# Popoluca

poken in the American southeast, Muskogean languages include:

# Eastern Muskogean Languages
# Muskogee (Creek)
# Central Muskogean Languages
# Alabama
# Appalachee
# Koasati
# Mikasuki
# Western Muskogean Languages
# Chickasaw
# Choctaw

Oto-Manguean languages are spoken in central Mexico and include:

# Amuzgo
# Chiapanec-Mangue Languages
# Chiapanec
# Chorotega
# Chinantec
# Mixtecan Languages
# Cuicatec
# Mixtec
# Trique
# Otopamean Languages
# Chichimec
# Matlatzincan
# Mazahua
# Otomi
# Pame
# Chocho-Popolocan Languages
# Chochotec
# Popolocan
# Ixcatec
# Mazatec
# Zapotecan Languages
# Chatino
# Zapotec

he relationships between the Penutian languages of the Pacific Coast are less certain and less well understood than in some of the other Amerindian language families. Some linguists consider the Penutian languages to constitute one rather divergent language family; others consider them a group of four to seven language families making up a broader linguistic stock; others consider them several distinct language families that should not be considered together at all; and some even think the Penutian languages should be grouped together with the Uto-Aztecan and/or the Mayan languages. In any event, languages that are usually discussed under this rubric include:

# Chinookan Languages
# Chinook
# Chinook Jargon
# Kathlamet
# Wasco-Wishram
# Maidu
# Oregon Penutian Languages
# Coast Penutian Languages
# Coos
# Siuslaw
# Alsea
# Kalapuya
# Takelma
# Plateau Penutian Languages
# Klamath-Modoc
# Sahaptian Languages
# Nez Perce
# Sahaptin Languages
# Umatilla/Tenino
# Walla Walla
# Yakima
# Tsimshianic Languages
# Nisga'a-Gitxsan
# Tsimshian
# Utian Languages
# Costanoan (Ohlone)
# Miwok
# Yokuts
# Molale
# Wintu

Spoken in the northwestern US and southwestern Canada, Salish languages include:

# Coast Salish Languages
# Central Salish Languages
# North-Central Salishan Languages
# Comox
# Pentlatch
# Sechelt
# South-Central Salishan Languages
# Straits Salishan Languages
# Klallam
# Northern Straits Salish (Saanich)
# Halkomelem
# Nooksack
# Squamish
# Lushootseed (Puget Sound Salish/Skagit/Snohomish)
# Twana (Skokomish)
# Tsamosan Languages
# Inland Tsamosan Languages
# Lower Chehalis
# Quinault
# Maritime Tsamosan Languages
# Cowlitz
# Upper Chehalis
# Tillamook
# Interior Salish Languages
# Northern Interior Salishan Languages
# Lillooet (St'at'imcets)
# Shuswap (Secwepemctsin)
# Thompson (Nlaka'pamux)
# Southern Interior Salishan Languages
# Coeur d'Alene
# Flathead Salish/Kalispel/Spokane
# Okanagan (Colville)
# Wenatchi (Columbia)
# Nuxalk (Bella Coola)

iouan languages are primarily spoken in the American Great Plains, and the far south of Canada. They include:

# Western Siouan Languages
# Missouri Valley Siouan Languages
# Crow
# Hidatsa
# Mississippi Valley Siouan Languages
# Mandan
# Dakotan Languages
# Assiniboine (Nakota)
# Stoney (Nakoda)
# Dakota-Lakota
# Dhegiha Languages
# Kansa
# Omaha-Ponca
# Osage
# Quapaw (Alkansea)
# Chiwerean Languages
# Chiwere (Iowa-Otoe-Missouria)
# Ho-chunk (Winnebago)
# Ohio Valley Siouan Languages
# Biloxi
# Ofo (Ofogoula)
# Tutelo (Saponi)
# Eastern Siouan Languages (Catawban)
# Catawba
# Woccon

Spoken throughout the western US and Mexico, the Uto-Aztecan languages include:

# Northern Uto-Aztecan Languages
# Numic Languages
# Central Numic Languages
# Comanche
# Panamint
# Shoshone
# Southern Numic Languages
# Kawaiisu
# Southern Paiute (Ute)
# Western Numic Languages
# Mono
# Northern Paiute (Bannock)
# Takic Languages
# Cupan Languages
# Cahuilla
# Cupeno
# Juaneno
# Luiseno
# Serran Languages
# Kitanemuk
# Serrano
# Gabrielino
# Tataviam
# Hopi
# Tubatulabal
# Southern Uto-Aztecan Languages
# Aztecan Languages
# Nahuatl
# Pipil
# Taracahitic Languages
# Guarijio
# Mayo
# Opata
# Tarahumara
# Yaqui
# Tepiman Languages
# Pima Bajo
# Tepehuan
# Tohono O'odham
# Corachol Languages
# Cora
# Huichol
# Tubar

Spoken along the coast in the northwestern US and southwestern Canada, Wakashan languages include:

# Northern Wakashan Languages
# Haisla
# Heiltsuk
# Kwakiutl/Kwak'wala
# Southern Wakashan Languages
# Makah
# Nootka

Other North American Indian Languages
Not all Native American languages have been classified into a language family. Some may be language isolates (unrelated to any other language), others may be unclassifiable due to lack of data or insufficient attention from linguists. Native North American languages whose relationship to other Amerindian languages is still uncertain include:
# Cayuse
# Keres
# Kootenai
# Quileute
# Tonkawa
# Wappo
# Yuchi
# Yuki
# Zuni

Other Central American Indian Languages
Not all Native American languages have been classified into a language family. Some may be language isolates (unrelated to any other language), others may be unclassifiable due to lack of data or insufficient attention from linguists. Native Mesoamerican languages whose relationship to other Amerindian languages is still uncertain include:
# Purepecha
# Tol      

Other South American Indian Languages
Not all Native American languages have been classified into a language family. Some may be language isolates (unrelated to any other language), others may be unclassifiable due to lack of data or insufficient attention from linguists. Native South American languages whose relationship to other Amerindian languages is still uncertain include:
# Andoque
# Camsa
# Cayubaba
# Itonama
# Mura-Pirah
# Paez
# Pankararu
# Puelche
# Puinave
# Ticuna
# Trumai
# Tsimane
# Tuxa
# Warao
# Vilela
# Yamana
# Yuracare

Atlantic Free Press

by ghandi (expatforums@gmail.com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 06:44:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks for the list.

I can't help but wonder if a link wouldn't have sufficed, though.  Some of us don't have the fastest connections ...

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -Voltaire

by p------- on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 08:25:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
the Americas are divided between North America (the US and Canada) and Latin America (everything south of same)
Geographically, Central america is North America.

As for the "everyone speaks" this or that language, refer to ghandhi's post.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 06:59:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
in Quebec where they speak French in order to piss off the federal government

I think this comment is just too funny for me to be offended by it. (Sorry Migeru, I support seperatists.)

Isn't everyone who speaks French just doing it to piss the rest of us off? LOL.

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -Voltaire

by p------- on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 08:30:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't know whether I'd call it funny or embarrassing.
Sorry Migeru, I support seperatists.
Explain this?

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 08:40:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh, just from reading some of your comments on the other threads, and here, I got the sense that, well, you don't.  Or at the least you think it's a nuisance.  Sorry if I misread you.

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -Voltaire
by p------- on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 02:02:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nice graphs and trying to get me to talk about America again, folks.  But seriously, what do you think Europe is, essentially?

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -Voltaire
by p------- on Tue Feb 14th, 2006 at 08:15:36 AM EST
Oh, so you are an essentialist? Why don't you join DoDo and me over in this other thread?

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Feb 14th, 2006 at 08:17:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't think I'm any anything-ist.

I think you are reading much too much agenda into my piece.  I tried to use satire to address what I saw as an opportunity to ask a question, a question a lot of people are going to be asking.  What does "Europe" signify for us today?  I was wanting your subjective take on the matter is all.  

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -Voltaire

by p------- on Tue Feb 14th, 2006 at 08:34:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think he's being funny. In his own inimitable way.

Honestly, what "Europe" signifies depends what you mean by Europe.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Feb 14th, 2006 at 08:36:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks, Colman.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Feb 14th, 2006 at 08:39:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If any of us - or anyone - knew that we'd be off taking over the world.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Feb 14th, 2006 at 08:17:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In fact, I can't work out what the EU is, never mind Europe.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Feb 14th, 2006 at 08:19:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Just borrow Franco's definition of Spain: a unity of destiny in the universal.

When you're done parsing that, would you mind explaining it to me?

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Feb 14th, 2006 at 08:21:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Actually it is quite a good distillation of fascism.

The universal is "the other", "the danger", "the challenge."

The unity of the destiny symbolises the belief that "the people are one" and propelled (destiny) to confront the universal and conquer it. It emphasises exceptionalism too.

Admittedly, you can put non-fascist interpretations to these concepts, but it does seem to me to fit well with Franco and other famous fascists. At the same time you can see the psychological parallels with people like the Bush administration in this attitude.

by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Tue Feb 14th, 2006 at 08:58:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think the problem is in the question: there is no answer.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Feb 14th, 2006 at 08:20:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If Europe is the answer, what is the question?

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Feb 14th, 2006 at 08:27:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Europe is a dream.
Everybody has different dreams.
Every dream has several different interpretations.
So it will take time to find the elements we all can agree with to put in that 'Europe'.
Some people have no dreams at all....they just wont the money.


The struggle of man against tyranny is the struggle of memory against forgetting.(Kundera)
by Elco B (elcob at scarlet dot be) on Tue Feb 14th, 2006 at 09:00:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ok, poemless, I tried several times to write a non-snarky comment, but it is really, really hard.

The problem is that most of the "usefully objective" notions, be they geographical, economic or cultural all tend to exclude a few grey areas/peoples who I do not wish to exclude. I don't want to put the limit on what Europe can be through what it is now. (Especially culturally.)

[Turkey is a great example of this, it is definitely only partly European in culture and in organisation. But I like to think it can become part of Europe. And when it does, that changes what Europe is too, but I think those changes do not alter the essence of Europe, even if I cannot articulate that essence well.]

So, an attempt to state some of what Europe represents to me and maybe some others too:

It is "first world," a sense of prosperity and organisation.

[I guess the implication here is of a sense of modernity and a sense of a place to have a good life. Sadly, in the end some parts of the world don't have that association in our minds. I think Europe, generally, does. There are some other ideas here that I hesistate to state because I am not sure how universal they are, but I think there is something else to the modernity. Something about the relations between people and institutions? Corruption is limited in some ways? Religion is present for many people, but not allowed to dominate the public sphere? Already it gets contentious perhaps, but there is something there.]

It is a collection of nations/peoples. The states of the USA have lesser conscious history before the USA existed, the myth of China is of a nation reaching back into the mists of time. But Europe is clearly a coming together of proud, independent peoples of long and powerful lineage.

[To me, this has requirements in terms of tolerance and consensus. Europe necessarily has to deal with diversity in a different way to the US or China. The other issue is that in essence it seems to me to be a collection of small nations. This forces? implies? relationships with other nations. The US or China have large sections who dream of isolation, who would happily claim no need to leave the "mother country" for any single thing. Europe is not like that. At the big level it is business and trade, but at the individual level it is perhaps just tourism, but still, if you want some variety in your holidays and you live in Europe, you will have to leave your nation eventually...]

by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Tue Feb 14th, 2006 at 09:20:08 AM EST
That topic quite good...I wish more people took it seriously...I thought I knew what Europe was!
For me, Europe is a geographical term more than anything else. The excerpt above that starts with "Geographically Europe is a part of..." best describes Europe as such. I cannot agree that Europe means EU. Simply because EU is a union that is constantly expanding and soon most probably non-European countries will be members of it. By non-European I mean countries like Turkey and Russia. Parts of them may be in Europe but this fact does not make them European. So, Europe has political borders and what is inside is Europe!
by Denny on Tue Feb 14th, 2006 at 09:58:49 AM EST
Parts of them may be in Europe but this fact does not make them European.

Can't you accept them to be both European and Asian?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Feb 14th, 2006 at 10:13:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I've found many people, both here and journalsts and writers using the terms "Europe" and "The EU" interchangeably.  

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -Voltaire
by p------- on Tue Feb 14th, 2006 at 10:41:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, and that irks me. But is boils down to the same thing as calling USAers "Americans" or even "North Americans". It's not necessarily wrong to do so. Words have a common meaning and a technical meaning. Europe is one of those words that has so many meanings that it is best avoid in any technical writing.

By the way, famously neutral Switzerland is not in the EU, nor do I think it is ever likely to be, but it is definitely in Europe. So...

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Feb 14th, 2006 at 10:45:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Beyond what Migeru responded, I'd like to emphasize this part of Denny's comment:

For me, Europe is a geographical term more than anything else. The excerpt above that starts with "Geographically Europe is a part of..." best describes Europe as such.

This is true for me too - and when I read "center of Europe", I can only think of the geographical sense of "Europe". BTW, the Southeastern geographical border ambiguities shan't change the center much - the Caucasus Mountains - Kura river difference is only a 100 km wide strip, the Ural-Emba rivers idfference is roughly 500 km x 500 km, altogether a difference of 0.33 million km² - in a 10 million km² area.

You can visualise it on another relevant map from the Wiki article (here the Emba and Kura rivers are the borders; Georgia's and Azerbaijan's northern border is the Caucasus Mountains, the Ural river follows Russian-Kazakh border half-way East and then turns South):


II Europe, according to one commonly-reckoned definition
II  Extension over Asia of the continuous territory of a European state
II Geographically in Asia, considered European for cultural and historical reasons

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 04:33:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Aren't two of Russia's major cities -- Moscow and St. Petersburg -- in Europe?

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Tue Feb 14th, 2006 at 11:24:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Depends on on what you mean by "Europe."  

It's insanity, I tell ya.

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -Voltaire

by p------- on Tue Feb 14th, 2006 at 11:32:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ah!  Well said.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Tue Feb 14th, 2006 at 11:46:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And here I though US identity politics were insanity... Welcome to the mirror world ;-)

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Feb 14th, 2006 at 11:49:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Denny,
You are looking at geography in too limited a fashion, I believe that you are equating it with cartography, or the type of geography that we learn in high school, Indianapolis.is.the.capitol.of.Indiana...Actually, geography would give you as good a chance at answering your question as any discipline since geography looks at the relationship of man and environment.  This often has a cartographic component and geographers are great ones for maps, but these maps can get pretty sophisticated.  There are maps that show population density, ethnic concentrations and mixtures, energy usage, crop types, religious affiliations, political divisions, annual income per capita, traffic density, and a dozen other things that can be presented spatially, and that can be composed to show these factors over different times.

If you overlay a general map of Eurasia with the specific types of maps above you would get broad pattern of agreement in-though not complete or perfect alignment by any means with-the general notion of Europe.  That would just be a starting point for the more significant question, which I think that you are asking, which is, who are you people who live in this large area?  Is there a set of commonalities between you that differentiate you in important ways from those of us who do not live there?  If there is a set of commonalities is it a result of facts on the ground, or is it an outlook based on ideas?

From across the Atlantic, it looks more and more that an European identity is coming into being, again.  From afar it appears that the history, the political organizations, and the economics are being expressed with a sufficient cohesion to at least superficially express a specific and identifiable grouping of people.  In the dark hour we are going through here, we hope both that people can see all the things that we have in common that are not expressed on these maps, and that Europe, whatever it is, stands for enlightenment.  

"I said, 'Wait a minute, Chester, You know I'm a peaceful man...'" Robbie Robertson

by NearlyNormal on Tue Feb 14th, 2006 at 04:13:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Whatever "enlightenment" is ;-)

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Feb 14th, 2006 at 04:43:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And wherever we can find it!

"I said, 'Wait a minute, Chester, You know I'm a peaceful man...'" Robbie Robertson
by NearlyNormal on Tue Feb 14th, 2006 at 04:59:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, I figured out that my point of view of what is actually Europe does not match most of those of other bloggers. And...yes, I confess it is kind of limited... But I was trying to do that associations game and the first thing that came into my mind about Europe was a map. And since the basic question posed was "What is Europe for you" I just put that down. But actually, you are quite right that this is what we learn in high-school (which by the way was two years ago). Thank you for that comment! I really appreciate it!
by Denny on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 01:10:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Denny,
It is the same thing that I learned in High School about 35 years ago (and how weird is that to think that).  In college I started out with a dual major of Econ and History and took a geography survey course and ended up switching majors.  I would highly recommend anyone that is in college with an interest in liberal arts to take cultural geography, and at least one regional geography class.

You will really learn to love all the info that can be mapped, and how it all integrates with econ, history, politics, etc.

Good luck on the journey.

"I said, 'Wait a minute, Chester, You know I'm a peaceful man...'" Robbie Robertson

by NearlyNormal on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 03:08:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Like porn, you just know it when you see it.

Love the Clarence Thomas stab. ;)

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Tue Feb 14th, 2006 at 10:33:26 AM EST
I love the fact that it's the most popular poll option.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Feb 14th, 2006 at 10:34:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, but it's true!  No one seems to be able to define Europe, but it's the sort of thing that you "just know".

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Tue Feb 14th, 2006 at 11:05:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
One of the ways that you know you're in Europe (or the US) when you see it (just by looking around) is the shape of cars (actually, all kinds of vehicles: the difference strikes you as soon as you see any service vehicles when looking out the airplane window after landing).

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Feb 14th, 2006 at 11:08:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I've noticed that.  European cars look very different from their American counterparts, especially service vehicles.  You're right.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Tue Feb 14th, 2006 at 11:21:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And I thought it was just me...  The first time I travelled abroad, I landed in Frankfurt, and I remember looking out the plane window and feeling like I'd landed in weird cartoon.  Those strange, cute little cars...

In France, it wasn't the service vehicles so much as the surreal number of bunny rabbits witnessed upon touching down that gave me that "feeling" of Europe.  Again ... the cute factor.  

I decidedly did not feel like I was in Europe when I arrived at Sheremetevo ...  

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -Voltaire

by p------- on Tue Feb 14th, 2006 at 11:40:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
William Gibson calls this feeling "the mirror world" (in clear reference to Carroll's through the looking glass) in his nover Pattern Recognition. It's "all the little differences".

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Feb 14th, 2006 at 11:48:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Poemless you brought back found memories. The Charles de Gaulle Airport rabbits were quite amazing. There were just hundreds of them happily living in the grassy areas between the runways. The last few times I landed however I didn't see them so I wonder if they were seen as a terrorist threat and chased away.
by Alexandra in WMass (alexandra_wmass[a|t]yahoo[d|o|t]fr) on Tue Feb 14th, 2006 at 09:18:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I do remember reading a few years ago that they had become such a problem, airport officials were looking into way to ... curb the rabbit population. :(

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -Voltaire
by p------- on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 08:33:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I always wondered how they got there in the first place. I've been to many airport and that CDG was the only one with such fauna. Oh well the end of another French exception ;-)
by Alexandra in WMass (alexandra_wmass[a|t]yahoo[d|o|t]fr) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 09:30:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I just wanted to admit that I chose option 4 in the poll because being a smug, cheese eating, cafe sitting, socialist who doesn't work a full 40 hours a week is actually a very good thing. And I am damned proud to be one even if fate has put me temporarily on the wrong side of the pond. As for hiding from reality, that may be an under-rated activity.

Do not feel safe. The poet remembers.
Czeslaw Milosz
by Chris Kulczycki on Tue Feb 14th, 2006 at 11:48:00 AM EST
Agreed.  In which case, I have "my own private Europe" going on here in the US.

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -Voltaire
by p------- on Tue Feb 14th, 2006 at 11:54:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Another way to think of Europe is through the lens of the multiple empires that ruled portions of this nebulous Europe at different point in history. The boundaries get even more confused.

Lets start with some great historical caricature maps of Europe (Click on the maps for a much bigger version and the source web site):



As for the Empires I'll just start with the Romans(section in pink) in year 1 and year 400:


Click on the maps for a bigger version and the source web site.

In the year 800 version of the same map you can see the Moorish presence on Iberian Peninsula

Then you have the growth of the Ottoman Empire (purple), the Austrian and then Austro-Hungarian Empire (dark green) and the Russian empire (light green):


Click on the maps for a bigger version and the source web site.

The post WWII Europe:

The caption reads more or less: Zone of western influence,  Pro-western states not aligned in 1945, States benefiting from the Marshall Plan, Neutral states, Zones of Soviet influence. The situation of Finland is then described in more detail.

Millennium Europe:

and how the EU maps onto that by year of membership, expected membership or, in the case of Turkey, membership negotiations:

Finally, Europe from a railway perspective - the way France is centered on Paris becomes quite apparent here (only major rail routes are on this map I couldn't find a more detailed map- maybe Dodo has some on hand for the next train blogging).

Click on the map for a much larger version

by Alexandra in WMass (alexandra_wmass[a|t]yahoo[d|o|t]fr) on Tue Feb 14th, 2006 at 12:52:35 PM EST
only major rail routes are on this map I couldn't find a more detailed map- maybe Dodo has some on hand

I have one on my wall, but found only two slightly better maps of mainlines on on the web - but, unlike your EuRailPass map, they at least show Eastern Europe and the routes rather than straight lines. (Here is the first [very big!], below the second, click image for large version.)

However, Trainspotting Bükkes has a nice and growing set of railway country maps and maps of some 'dense' regions that show all lines in each country/region, now only the Baltics, Belarus, Russia and the Caucasus still missing. (Incidentally, they were made by a French-Russian.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 05:22:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Great rail line maps. I knew we could trust Dodo to come up with a better version. I like the big one and the web site you reference is wonderful. Thanks for moving us beyond the EuRailPass map simplifications!
by Alexandra in WMass (alexandra_wmass[a|t]yahoo[d|o|t]fr) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 09:02:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's about feeling somewhat superior to those barbaric free-market Americans, with their ghastly food, their wretchedly suicidal self-absorption and their ridiculous flag-waving.

It's about believing you're the seat of culture on the entire planet - even if more people spend money on Hollywood, they just don't do slow B&W films about peasant women during WWI poignantly losing their virginity anything like as well.

It's about believing that being nice and getting along with most people is better than exploding them into small pieces and raping their women. (And/or men.)

It's about real style and class and poise, instead of the pretend style and class and poise that having money but no taste gives you.

It's about ideals rather than realities - some of which are plausible, some of which are silly, but all of which hide under a very quiet fervour that the rest of the world hasn't realised is there yet.

I think Europe is in danger of believing its own propaganda. (Much like the US does.) We'd like to believe we're nicer and more civilised and that we  own the moral high ground, especially wrt the rest of the world. But the reality may not be quite so simple.

Still, Europe is better than a lack of Europe. Imagine Europe without any Europe at all. It just wouldn't be the same, would it?

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Feb 14th, 2006 at 01:20:33 PM EST
Now this is what I was getting at...

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -Voltaire
by p------- on Tue Feb 14th, 2006 at 01:34:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There is a dilemma posed, hinted at above in the comments about Franco, and in the back of my mind when writing the piece.

In order to belong to something, you have to have an idea of what that something is.  One doesn't need to go as far as the nation-states did in definine & delineating identity, but until we all agree to live on a purley metaphysical plane, it will need to be done.  Europe might be hesitant to do the "Self/Other" thing, but the rest of the world is not yet there.  If you wont define "Europe," someone else will.  Because Europe, whatever it is today, is going to come into conflict with places and ideas what are not Europe.

It is as though, in the wake of the 20th century, Europe seeks to avoid the traps of nationalism and tribalism by ignoring the whole subject of defining itself.  Side-step boundary, cultural & political disputes by not placing import on them or by leaving it all open ended enough to be in a permanemt state of negotiation.  Wonder if it will work?  Sounds downright revolutionary to me...

Homework assignment for everyone: Read Benedict Anderson's "Imagined communities."

 

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -Voltaire

by p------- on Tue Feb 14th, 2006 at 01:42:11 PM EST
Europe seeks to avoid the traps of nationalism and tribalism by ignoring the whole subject of defining itself.

You may be on to something there, but I don't think it works quite as you say. In fact Europeans (insofar as one can generalize, and minus a vocal minority) don't feel concerned by nationalism and tribalism (in the sense I take it you're using, of tribalism as a strong attachment and sense of belonging to one's group of origin). It's as though, having contributed to forming those concepts in history, and having particularly sacrificed at the altar of the nation, having well-nigh destroyed ourselves in two cataclysmic wars that grew out of nationalism/tribalism, we have emptied our heads of them. We are just as likely today to feel regional ties (or, as Sven suggests above, city ties), as ties to the nation-state. It may seem presumptuous, but I think we avoid the traps of nationalism, not by seeking or by conscious effort, but quite unconsciously because we have got past that point. (Yes, it does sound presumptuous, but I think there's truth in it.)

Whether that means that we may succeed in inventing something new, I don't know. We may not succeed. But there's, let's say, an open door...

(Sorry if this doesn't address the question in your diary, it's just a thought bouncing off your comment...)

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Feb 14th, 2006 at 03:14:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
but quite unconsciously because we have got past that point

Quite possible, probable even, (although I'd bet there's some subconscious work going on as well.) Well, all evolution is about reaction to environment and adaptation to need.  I do see the creation of EU-type entities as a step in the evolutionary process.

I just propose that it's not so passive or inevitible as you might think.  It's all a social construct, and someone is doing the constructing.  And like I and others have said, there is a danger in accepting otherwise.  Things like Manifest Destiny were also ideas accepted as just the natural progression of humankind.  And nations accepted as having some kind of metaphysical bond holding its people together.  

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -Voltaire

by p------- on Tue Feb 14th, 2006 at 03:36:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I didn't mean to suggest passivity or some Manifest-Destiny inevitable process. Just that we (most of use born after the wars) grew up in a context where there was a weakening of nationalist feeling, in particular of the sense of the sacred concerning the nation. So that I don't think it's a case of seeking to avoid nationalism, as much of (fortunately) nationalism being attenuated.

I don't know if what I'm saying applies more to West Europeans than to Central and Eastern Europeans. I'd be curious to hear what others think.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Feb 14th, 2006 at 04:19:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Side-step boundary, cultural & political disputes by not placing import on them or by leaving it all open ended enough to be in a permanemt state of negotiation.  Wonder if it will work?  Sounds downright revolutionary to me...

According to my friend Floyd Gecko, this is Canada's approach to the Quebec question, and he suggested that we do the same in Spain. I also though it was clever and revolutionary.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Feb 14th, 2006 at 04:49:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, I'll admit that it's some time since I read Benedict Anderson, but I'm not sure what you are saying he adds to this discussion?

Colour me interested, but (perhaps due to poor memory and not having the book to hand) a little confused too.

by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 10:09:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hm. For me the book title alone is relevant.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 12:15:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well sure, but it's a decent size book, with good points and bad points like all books. I was hoping to be reminded about some part in particular, if poemless had a particular part in mind.
by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 01:17:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
RE: the book.  I don't know.  It was just the first book I read which really laid out the facts confirming many suspicions I'd always had about identity & nationalism.  It focuses on mass media being used to connect people who prior to that had no reason to consider themselves connected, mass media used to promote the agenda of the nation-state, and the immagination required to keep that sense of nation/community afloat.  He talks about all of this in realtion to nationalism, but it might be interesting to see how we can apply these idea to "Europe," which, like the nation state, is an idea & a community currently under construction...

Here's a link that might explain all this better.    

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -Voltaire

by p------- on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 01:46:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks for the reply!

I hope to get time to make some comments a bit later on.

by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 02:21:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And it's actually a not-very-big book.  An easy read.

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -Voltaire
by p------- on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 01:47:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Europe is the part of the world where France rules? ;-)

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Feb 14th, 2006 at 03:48:45 PM EST
Question : les pays qui sont membres d' EU  ??

Réponse : tous les pays autour de la France.

Belgian joke about French.

The struggle of man against tyranny is the struggle of memory against forgetting.(Kundera)

by Elco B (elcob at scarlet dot be) on Tue Feb 14th, 2006 at 04:11:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, it's a fact we're right in the middle... That's what allows us to be obnoxious... nobody can go around us.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Feb 14th, 2006 at 04:24:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
True....but watch out for a walk over.....more members are coming in the future....

The struggle of man against tyranny is the struggle of memory against forgetting.(Kundera)
by Elco B (elcob at scarlet dot be) on Tue Feb 14th, 2006 at 04:33:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In fact France has three neighbouring non-EU countries: Andorra, Monaco, and Switzerland.

Whereas the UK...

Heehee! ;)

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Feb 14th, 2006 at 04:37:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, I read above that "Europe", as seen from the UK, was what's on the continent (beyond the fog). So it would seem that the UK is the sole non-European member of the EU...

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Feb 14th, 2006 at 04:56:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If Russia and Turkey are in Europe, and if Britain is out, then France could be out too...

France only THINKS she's in the middle; the middle--by any measure, geographic, population, economy, is probably in Poland or Austria.

by asdf on Tue Feb 14th, 2006 at 09:11:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
France only THINKS she's in the middle

France thinks nothing - Jérôme does.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 03:24:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, it's a fact we're right in the middle...

Of come on. Southwestern even if we only consider the EU.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 03:26:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]


The Decline And Fall Of Europe by Fareed Zakaria (WaPo)

Cartoons and riots made the headlines in Europe last week, but a far less fiery event, the publication of an academic study, may shed greater light on the future of the continent. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), headquartered in Paris, released a report, "Going for Growth," that details economic prospects in the industrial world. It is 160 pages long and written in bland, cautious, scholarly prose. But the conclusion is clear: Europe is in deep trouble. These days we all talk about the rise of Asia and the challenge to America, but it may well turn out that the most consequential trend of the next decade will be the economic decline of Europe.

It's often noted that the European Union has a combined gross domestic product that is approximately the same as that of the United States. But the E.U. has 170 million more people. Its per capita GDP is 25 percent lower than that of the United States, and, most important, that gap has been widening for 15 years. If present trends continue, the chief economist at the OECD argues, in 20 years the average U.S. citizen will be twice as rich as the average Frenchman or German. (Britain is an exception on most of these measures, lying somewhere between Continental Europe and the United States.)

People have argued that Europeans simply value leisure more and, as a result, are poorer but have a better quality of life. That's fine if you're taking a 10 percent pay cut and choosing to have longer lunches and vacations. But if you're only half as well off as the United States, that will translate into poorer health care and education, diminished access to all kinds of goods and services, and a lower quality of life.

Funny, my diary a couple of days ago about the US having a lower GDP per capita, when adjusted for inequality, came from that same report. Wanker.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Feb 14th, 2006 at 05:08:13 PM EST
Eeew.  Contaminating my diary with Fareed Zakaria...

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -Voltaire
by p------- on Tue Feb 14th, 2006 at 05:18:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, I am very sorry about that. Sometimes he sort of makes sense, and then he writes the worst kind of tripe like today.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Feb 14th, 2006 at 05:36:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You have to remember - only the uber-rich are included in the analysis. Because they're the only ones who matter.

I was reading an analyst's report today and it made the usual dig about 'Europe's high welfare costs.'

I suppose it's because these are given to poor people. Which is a very bad thing, because it means the money isn't going to rich people, where it naturally belongs.

It's also completely different to Enron's corporate scamming, or Halliburton's naked corporate-welfare profiteering, or any of the other shams, crimes, swindles, cons, rip-offs and schemes that keep the corporate raiders happy on their unsustainably irrigated golf courses and private hunting and shooting parks.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Feb 14th, 2006 at 05:25:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What constitutes Europe is greatly being defined by what the EU stands for.  While for those coming from EU member states it might not seem so, it does for the majority of the Southeast European countries.  Every development--political, economic, or social--is undertaken to fulfill EU standards and conditions.  That is because currently the main aspiration of these countries is to join the EU, which they view as an entrance to Europe itself.  The EU is without doubt--at least for me--a club of European governments more than a union that unites the people of Europe.  Nevertheless, the influence it has in shaping and defining the lives of the ordinary people should not be underestimated.  An ordinary citizen of a Southeast European country cannot even visit the rest of Europe without having to undergo numerous visa procedures, and even then it is not for certain that that "right" will be given to that person.  Of course, such laws are in place due to the different transitions that have characterized Southeast Europe in the last decade or so--which have led to the vast immigration into Western Europe.  So, how uniting is Europe in fact?
by qika PR (qikadreqit@yahoo.com) on Thu Feb 16th, 2006 at 10:29:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Can I troll rate you this? Please?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Feb 14th, 2006 at 05:51:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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