Stories

In 2004, in Mali, in west Africa, on the Bandiagara Escarpment, pottery pieces were unearthed; those shards were dated to 11,400 years ago.  Pottery is a convincing artifact.  It speaks of community and permanence in the first place. Continue reading

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Numbers

Have you noticed people use numbers in very limited ways, a grocery store, a sporting event or a political contest?   If I tell you that a 10 ounce can of beans costs 48¢ per can but that an 18 ounce can is spotlighted on sale for $1.18 per can, you will laugh at the store’s ploy.  When you hear that a batter is currently 3 and 2, Continue reading

BEDO

BEDO,  an acronym for Biological, Environmental Daily Observation, originated with my daughter’s 8th grade biology teacher. It was his scheme in the early 1970’s to get his students to look at and observe the world around them.

My daughter and I so enjoyed this ‘word’ (hardly a neologism as it is unlikely to enter common usage), we have adapted it across the years as a code for natural observations of all kinds. Some of these observations I will share here, under this category. You’re invited to participate.

Mind and Murder

Elites supply meaning by enforcing order, but even religious elites cannot supply purpose because an aristocracy in its orthodoxy cannot embrace chaos. (Orthodoxies demand strict adherence to rigid understandings, strata of realities.  Reality, of course, is not stratified and does not submit to rigid layers as stratified perceptions deny change, the ultimate reality of the universe.) Continue reading

Homo homicidium

Homo sapiens sapiens became a distinctly ‘modern’ species no earlier than a quarter of a million years ago. (That is, ‘they’ anatomically resembled ’us’ as distinct from archaic Homo sapiens.)  At that time, resources were sufficient for at least 4 other hominid species to co-exist with us.  Then, 161,000 years ago (+/-) the climate changed. Continue reading

Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson remains enigmatic precisely because he was American.  Inquisitive but passionate, self-educated beyond the confines of limiting social class but always a member of that class, a fervent proponent of the Enlightenment who owned nearly 200 slaves and never freed more than a handful, practical yet visionary, hopeful – even optimistic – in the face of prolonged personal and political losses, he preached a life long sermon of limited government yet doubled the size of the country.  Continue reading

The Wake

(Having attended yet another ‘visitation’, an American version of a funeral wake, the following came to mind.)

Tang Li, Director of the Academy of Ancient Empires To the Demes of Ch‘n,

Life and Health! Citizens! Our initial survey of the Great Dead Land is complete. At great expense and sacrifice we have examined artifacts and topography to reach useful conclusions. This is a Summary Report. The full report with pictorial disks is available to any citizen at request. Continue reading

First

I first encountered this sage advice 50 years ago in a college lit class.

Content thyself to be obscurely good.
When vice prevails and impious men bear sway,                                                             The post of honor is a private station.                  Joseph Addison

Nothing in 50 years has persuaded me to the contrary.