Pattern Recognition

by Dhamaka

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"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results"........ Albert Einstein

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"When you're standing on a comfortable rug, you have to expect it to be pulled from under your feet sometimes"
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This is my personal blog, not a venue for saleable images. In fact, because it's here that I share things that are important to me with the members of the moblog community, photo quality's not my priority. Events, occasions, achievements, thoughts, trips and experiments - you'll find them all here. Contact me for the development version of my photo portfolio, for a selection of saleable images or visit my dance photography blog or my website for cuttings. And remember that all photos remain my copyright unless I've specifically said otherwise.

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"Every time I see an adult on a bicycle I no longer despair for the future of the human race"
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No-one batted an eyelid at this cyberman. "It's normal" said Andres, "He's a semaforo".

... It's because of their Mayor.

Antanas Mockus, a mathematician and philosopher, resigned as Rector (top dog) of of the prestigious Colombian National University and found another big challenge, one he described as "a 6.5 million person classroom."

Although he had no experience in politics Mockus became mayor of Bogotá mainly because people believed him to be honest. A truly innovative individual, he turned Bogotá into a social experiment.

By communicating through symbols, humour and metaphors Mokus changed a city choked with violence, lawless traffic, corruption and gangs of street children who mugged and stole into the place I described in my last post.

As part of the campaign he wore a Superman costume and acted out the role of a hero called "Supercitizen." Laughter and example worked! (he also went on TV naked to demonstrate how to save water while showering which resulted in a water saving of 40% in just one year)

Mockus' out-of-the-box ideas are informed by some heavyweight intellectual influences. He says they include Jürgen Habermas's work on the creation of social capital through dialogue and that of Nobel Prize-winning economist Douglass C North. The Mayor says that he's still inspired by teaching, which he apparently does by finding theatrical ways to gain peoples' attention, thereby making them think.

He already had something of a reputation before becoming Mayor of Bogotá as he had pulled down his pants and mooned an auditorium of rowdy arts students. That got him silence - in which he explained that he had done so using "valid artistic tools".

He's done a lot and achieved miraculous results. During his first "Night for Women" around 700,000 women went out while their men stayed at home with the kids. On that night all the police on duty were women as well.

He also hired 420 mimes to control traffic. That's what a semaforo is - a traffic controller (or traffic light). It seems that this cyber uniform is just part of that scene.

However, I'm not sure whether he's still Mayor now!
16th Aug 2008, 14:28   | tags:,,

Doug(cyclist451-at-yahoo-dot-com) says:

I wish this country had a few mayors like him (and I am pretty conservative). I would love to see the semaforo in action.

16th Aug 2008, 16:02

This man desperately needs a biography written. If not a screenplay.

That would be the mayor. Not necessarily the mime/traffic light.


16th Aug 2008, 16:02

Alfie says:

Screenplay, director Roberto Benigni

16th Aug 2008, 16:25

Either him or Clint Eastwood.


16th Aug 2008, 16:36

MaggieD says:

Oh my, now I have a picture of Boris Johnstone mooning .......
Bogata sounds like a fascinating place, I would love to visit one day ...... shame that all the evils of capatalism can't be solved in such a manner :)
Oh yes, and ace pics :)

16th Aug 2008, 17:34

thanks all and thanks for the HL

Maggie.. ewww :)

The whole country's fascinating. In 10 days I barely scratched the surface... and yes Xalieri, Alfie.. doesn't he just!

16th Aug 2008, 18:18

Caine says:

What an amazing man. Great pics!

16th Aug 2008, 19:21

thank you - and indeed

16th Aug 2008, 20:06

frog51 says:

I wonder if it would work in conservative, polite, refined Britain :-) Very cool

16th Aug 2008, 20:49

crickson says:

Wow - fascinating stuff : )

16th Aug 2008, 21:57

it really is

17th Aug 2008, 02:14

Viv says:

That is amazing - such an exciting concept

17th Aug 2008, 10:45

Isn't it

17th Aug 2008, 23:10

540air says:

Is the cyberman moonwalking? That's what I think he's up to in pic 2, just for my own amusement :)

19th Aug 2008, 14:31


26th Aug 2008, 07:13