His [Gabriel Garcia Marquez] experience there [Paris], and elsewhere in Europe, seemed to reinforce his persistent sense of himself as a costeno—a Columbian of the Caribbean, “half Indian and half gypsy” as a friend described his looks, with the costeno’s quality of mamagallismo, ready to deal with the world by taking a piss. (Greenburg 2009, 19)
there, and elsewhere 1 in Europe, seemed to reinforce his persistent 2 sense of himself as a costeno— a Columbian of the Caribbean, “half Indian and half gypsy” as a friend described his looks, with the costeno’s quality of mamagallismo , 3 ready to deal with the world by taking a piss.
50 words reduced to 24. 1. Unless there were significant differences in his experiences in Paris and other places in Europe, then this qualification is unnecessary. 2. A sense of self is by definition persistent. If it is a fleeting sense of self, then it is not important enough to warrant this sentence. 3. All of the above is interesting filler and not at all helpful if the reader knows what costeno means. I am increasingly decided that there needs to be some burden on the reader to use contextual clues of Google, neither of which are difficult.
Here is some mamagalismo for dissection.
During the past 50 years, U.S. leadership in space activities has benefited the global economy, enhanced our national security, strengthened international relationships, advanced scientific discovery, and improved our way of life. Space capabilities provide the United States and our allies unprecedented advantages in national decision-making, military operations, and homeland security. Space systems provide national security decision-makers with unfettered global access and create a decision advantage by enabling a rapid and tailored response to global challenges. Moreover, space systems are vital to monitoring strategic and military developments as well as supporting treaty monitoring and arms control verification. Space systems are also critical in our ability to respond to natural and man-made disasters and monitor longterm environmental trends. Space systems allow people and governments around the world to see with clarity, communicate with certainty, navigate with accuracy, and operate with assurance. Maintaining the benefits afforded to the United States by space is central to our national security, but an evolving strategic environment increasingly challenges U.S. space advantages. Space, a domain that no nation owns but on which all rely, is becoming increasingly congested, contested, and competitive. These challenges, however, also present the United States with opportunities for leadership and partnership. Just as the United States helped promote space security in the 20th century, we will build on this foundation to embrace the opportunities and address the challenges of this century. The National Security Space Strategy charts a path for the next decade to respond to the current and projected space strategic environment. Leveraging emerging opportunities will strengthen the U.S. national security space posture while maintaining and enhancing the advantages the United States gains from space. (Clapper & Gates 2011)
The first thing to note is the authors of this passage. One is the Secretary of Defense and the other is Director of National Intelligence. That should raise a red flag. Not that everything coming from them is worthless, but the odds are good. The unclassified summary is not only a summary, which in DC means it is watered down jeremiads serving an interest, but it is also unclassified which is the same as a well-gin and tonic with the ice melted. The main problem with the content of what they are saying is obfuscation. Satellite and space technology does not create clear eyes, certain communications, accurate navigations nor assured operations.
What space technology does is increase data. How we then deploy and filter that data may help achieve some of those objectives. Clear communications? When was the last time communications was ever clear? ‘No’ is the simplest word in our language and yet we still acquit rapists because the ‘no’ uttered by their victims was not clear enough. The best space technology can do is increase the odds of something. Maybe our navigational charts showing the sandbars outside of North Carolina are now only two hours old instead of two days, but that is very different than saying we know where the sandbars are.
Clapper, James R. and Robert M. Gates. (2011). U.S. National security space strategy: Unclassified summary. click here.
Greenburg, Michael. (2009, July 16). Looking for the patriarch. New York Review of Books, LVI (12), 19-21.