This post had me thinking about how the cultural associations we place on color (red, for example) is often influenced not only by aesthetic taste as it is by (economic) scarcity. The mere ubiquity of a certain plant makes it more or less appealing culturally depending on the locale in question.

I didn’t actually write it in this post, but on further reflection I imagine that colors associated with human passage (funerals or weddings, for example) couldn’t, by nature of inclusion, predicate that very rare colors be used. Otherwise, few would be able to participate. Hence, black for funerals (in the West), white in Asia (at least in Korea) and white for weddings in the West, that sort of thing. Colors of ubiquity given to rituals of ubiquity (everybody dies). The rare colors are linked either to rare events (vast economic success) or rare classes (royalty).

Plants. Changing the world one berry at a time.

A Turkish Red to Dye For This one track mind is apparently stuck on the use of dye extracted from plants and the sorts of cultural and economic implications that has for participating environments. Towards that end, today we turn our gaze to Turkey and the following, extremely thorough, article: Yunus Doğan , Süleyman Başlar , Hasan Hüseyin Mert and Güngör Ay (2003). Plants Used as Natural Dye Sources in Turkey. Economic Botany, Vol. 57, No. 4 (Winter, 2003), pp. 442-453 … Read More


By Michael Gallagher

My name is Michael Sean Gallagher. I am a Lecturer in Digital Education at the Centre for Research in Digital Education at the University of Edinburgh. I am Co-Founder and Director of Panoply Digital, a consultancy dedicated to ICT and mobile for development (M4D); we have worked with USAID, GSMA, UN Habitat, Cambridge University and more on education and development projects. I was a researcher on the Near Futures Teaching project, a project that explores how teaching at The University of Edinburgh unfold over the coming decades, as technology, social trends, patterns of mobility, new methods and new media continue to shift what it means to be at university. Previously, I was the Research Associate on the NERC, ESRC, and AHRC Global Challenges Research Fund sponsored GCRF Research for Emergency Aftershock Forecasting (REAR) project. I was an Assistant Professor at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies (한국외국어대학교) in Seoul, Korea. I have also completed a doctorate at University College London (formerly the independent Institute of Education, University of London) on mobile learning in the humanities in Korea.

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