Les Others Magazine – Volume 10: DATA
Les Others Magazine is a biannual and bilingual (French and English) publication thought for outdoor, travel and photography lovers.
Saturday, June 3rd, 1950. The French expedition led by Maurice Herzog makes it to the top of Annapurna. For the very first time, a summit with an altitude of over 8,000 meters had been conquered by humankind. Tuesday, October 29th, 2019. By reaching the highest point of Shishapangma, Nepalese mountaineer Nims Dai has just accomplished his mission: climbing all 14 peaks higher than 8,000 meters in record time. It took him less than seven months. The intense coverage of these two feats in the media is indicative of something more: we demand numbers! Numbers to measure, classify, compare. Celebrating the victory of French mountaineering in this magazine, defining new limits for humanity in that one. Faster, further, stronger.
But the mountains – and nature in general – are not just the playgrounds of heroes, much in the same way arithmetic isn’t reserved for geniuses. Figures order our world, down to the smallest details, going so far as to draw out the contours of our outdoor practices: the distance of a short Sunday morning run, the weight of a back- pack as you set out on a camping trip (page → 94), or the amount of fresh snow on a coveted, off- piste ski run (page → 156).
In recent years, the digital world and its astronomical computing power has opened up the field of possibilities more than ever before. From the reproduction of the wilderness in video games (page → 68) to the hope that some people place in data as a way to curb climate change (page → 199), it casts a long shadow, and the tension between the real and virtual words is very real.
How do numbers shape our relationship to nature? As the French expression goes, can we live on love, water (and new technologies) alone? Just how far will this colos- sal accumulation of data take us?
It seemed only natural for us to wait until our tenth volume to attempt to answer these questions. 1 and 0: a binary-number-inspired anniversary and one that, depending on your point of view, makes us seasoned adepts of the independent press, or aligns us with green media outlets that have everything left to learn.