pack donkey/man

"Man walks in a straight line because he has a goal and knows where he is going; he has made up his mind to reach some particular place and goes straight to it.The pack-donkey meanders along, meditates a little in his scatter-brained and distracted fashion, he zigzags in order to avoid the larger stones, or to ease the climb, or to gain a little shade; he takes the line of least resistance.

But man governs his feelings by his reason; he keeps his feelings and instincts in check, subordinating them to the aim he has in view. He rules the brute creation by his intelligence. His intelligence formulates laws which are the product of experience. His experience is born of work; man works in order that he not perish. In order (for) that production to be possible, a line of conduct is essential, the laws of experience must be obeyed. Man must consider the result in advance.

But the pack-donkey thinks of nothing at all, except what will save him trouble." 
Le Corbusier, The City of Tomorrow, p. 11-12

Critics of Euclid, such as the Greek philosopher Epicurus, used the pack Donkey's geometric intuitions to ridicule Euclid's insistence on "proving things that have no need of proof." Euclid's science is ridiculous, Epicurus claimed, pointing to a proposition half way through the first book of the Elements, in which Euclid labors to show that no side of a triangle can be longer than the sum of the other two sides. "It is evident even to an ass." For a hungry ass will go directly to a bale of hay at B, without passing through any point C outside the straight line. 

So much for the superiority of Corbusian man. 

"The European is a close reasoner; his statement of fact are devoid of any ambiguity; he is a natural logician, albeit he may not have studied logic; he is by nature skeptical and and requires proof before he can accept the truth of any proposition; his trained intelligence works like a piece of mechanism. The mind of the Oriental, on the other hand, like his picturesque streets, is eminently wanting in symmetry. His reasoning is of the most slipshod description." Evelyn Baring Cromer, quoted in Edward Said, Orientalism, p. 38

What is the relation between Le Corbusier's polemic and Deleuze and Guattari's criticism of "royal science?" (see form / matter) The itinerant follower of haecceities that is the nomad seems more like the pack donkey than like the follower of the royal road. See also theory

Compare the motion of the steamship to the sailing ship. Preindustrial travel is mimetic of natural phenomena, whereas the steamship traverses the ocean against wind and waves. Preindustrial travel also uses animal power (eg. the pack-donkey) The railway cuts accross the landscape in a straight and level line. (Although this is actually truer of European railways than of American ones. In Europe, land was expensive and labor cheap. In America, the reverse was true. Thus American railways are more like rivers -- which were previously the principal means of transport-- avoiding natural obstacles out of the wish to build the line as cheaply as possible. (like the pack-donkey?)

Does the concept of "form finding" ressemble Le Corbusier's "Donkey's path?" Hugo Häring talked of finding shape rather than giving shape, of releasing form instead of imposing form from the outside. With this principle, he placed himself in opposition to Le Corbusier, who seemed to him to represent a geometrical culture. (Pehnt, Expressionist Architecture, p. 202) Of course, Le Corbusier talks of creation as a "patient search", and the recombinations of form and image in his drawings is anything but a linear process. Häring demanded that the basic forms of architectural creation be drawn not from the world of geometry but from the realm of "organic formations". He did not mean that the proper repertoire of architecture should consist of prototypes drawn from nature ; it was a question rather of hunting down "the shape imprisoned in the thing", giving it life, and bringing it out.