As a long time metal detectorist and treasure hunter I cannot say enough about how envious I am of the two people in California who found the 10 million dollars worth of gold coins while on a walk. I have many coffee cans full of dirty old Lincoln pennies, some of them half eaten up by the acidity in the soil, I have Nestle’s containers full of oddball metal stuff that I still have not identified…some old Civil war lead bullets, some marbles I found while digging up a ton of coke pop tops, and pull tabs (which by the way I took home and properly disposed of) but…the most rare thing I ever found during my metal detecting and treasure hunting career was one single silver half dollar…pristine and beautiful. I saw one of the gold coins on the news tonight…the rare one worth a million bucks by itself…wow. I still look for “treasures” every week at flea markets and trade days…and I have found some nice stuff over the years…but absolutely nothing would approach actually digging up a gold coin from the ground. I would probably just drop over….
If the United States of America is the “melting pot” of the world, then New York City is at the center of the pan. It’s the hot, hot cauldron which has produced many a hero, but conversly has produced many a fiend.
The five boroughs of the great city which was founded in 1626 as New Amsterdam have given us Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt, Mark Twain and Walt Whitman. It has given us Carl Sagan, Lou Gehrig and Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Also Anton Scalia, and Harry Houdini. A diverse group of good folks.
There also have come the “Son of Sam” and the Oklahoma City bomber, born in New York City. Many others…good and evil, darkness and light..
The complex interwoven city, with it’s open mindedness also harbors the most secret of secret societies and relationships between people who might at first glance seem to be on opposite ends of the spectrum from each other.
Businessmen and mobsters in relationships. Prostitutes and politicians. Rabbis and priests. Strange bedfellows, strange indeed.
Now comes Donald Trump…and the story begins……
There will be more….
So, when two different people “search” Google….both typing in the exact same word or phrase, different information may be retrieved depending on the identity and biased preferences which have been stored for that person. Thus, the idea of “impartiality” of the internet is nothing but a myth, as what people find when they search for things has been slanted by the information which has been stored on what they have looked for in the past, things they have favored, things they have stayed away from, etc.
I think I realized this, but was unable to accept it totally until I read an article another friend posted last night on how the internet was being manipulated by multi-billionaire programmers.
I now must definitely stick to my Dad’s old axiom of believing nothing I hear (or read in this case) and only half of what I see…(and that half being what I see in person)
The age of internet propaganda is going to be a very, very hard road to navigate, full of pitfalls and dead end roads, wrong turns and tom foolery. Good luck to everyone in trying to get through the maze.
If you don’t think you are being tracked and manipulated by the internet just do a simple experiment. Go onto Amazon and search for a product, but don’t buy it. Then see if the next time you get on Facebook an advertisement doesn’t pop up, with the item that you searched on Amazon being right there on your timeline. Same thing for sites like Ebay, etc. Every time we have gone on these huge sites and without much thought, have checked the box that these sites could “share” our information with FB, or any other site for that matter, we have opened a Pandora’s box for ourselves that it will be difficult, if not impossible from which to extricate ourselves.
Our closest relatives are quite telling. I mean, they are not telling us as in writing us a book or anything. They are not speaking English to us. Maybe a little sign language now and then. Rudimentary stuff. Yes, No…Gimme’ banana. Stuff like that.
99.6% of our genome is shared with Chimpanzees, and now scientists have found, also with Bonobos, (pygmy chimps) although we share a different 1.6% of our genetics with Chimps than we do with Bonobos.
Monkeys and Greater Apes, like the Chimpanzees, are generally not pleasant creatures. Chimps especially will become very vicious creatures as adults. Just think back a few years when the poor lady in New York City got her face ripped off by one of her friends “pet” chimpanzees. Vicious.
My Father in law was a Veterinarian. Dr. L.J. Neurauter. He was an administrator, and after he retired from the Air Force, he ran the BIG primate center out in Davis, California. But he didn’t like monkeys. He certainly didn’t like the Chimpanzees. One time we visited them in Davis, and took a tour of the primate center. “Don’t get too near the Chimpanzee compound,” said Dr. Neurauter. “They’ll throw feces at you, and they are really accurate.” I took him at his word. He went on to tell us how none of the handlers would ever…ever…get in the chimpanzee compound with them out, unless they had a death wish. Vicious with each other, and vicious with human beings. Almost like a hatred of human beings.
Our closest relative, as far as genetics go. I know a lot of people are gonna’ say: “We didn’t evolve from monkeys!”
We had a common ancestor with the chimpanzees and bonobos about 4 million years ago, and the ancestor who eventually evolved into human beings split off from that common ancestor. I imagine they were pretty vicious animals. Out of the three most closely related Primates, the Bonobos, who are the smallest, are the least vicious. Humans and Chimpanzees….not so much.
Survival of the fittest…and the meanest.
As Anthropology major in college, I took a lot of classes in Physical Anthropology. Dr. Butler. A hard man to please if you didn’t study like you outta’. He once told me that early man was probably a vicious animal, but also a social animal. Conditions of living dictated that families stay together for protection from larger predators. Sabre tooth tigers, Cave bears. You know…all that Jean W. Auel stuff. Eventually families started hanging around together for even more protection. They became tribes. Tribes grouped together and became ethnic groups. Discovered agriculture. Started building small villages, towns, cities. Still maintained the viciousness. The aggression and the primal instincts of those first ancestors.
Survival of the meanest?
For how long?
The creator alone knows, and he ain’t telling.
Often when I’m walking around on a day like today, and look up and see our moon, Earths very own personal companion, I am struck by a deep desire, almost a need, to take off up into the sky. I feel like I could just fly up there in the blink of an eye and make a soft landing, and just walk around and explore.
Two things for which I’ve always had an affinity. The moon, and exploring. I know it’s a silly thought to even imagine being able to have an out of body episode and go to our moon. At times I feel as though I might be able to one day, who knows. Who’s to say it’s impossible.
Man once did go there. We once had the technology to go there. Even more than that, we had the heart of explorers to get it done. We saw potential out there, out in the stars. Now, we are mired in the mundane muck of partisanship, which causes us to barely be able to get a trio of people together who agree on any subject, much less to make plans for the future of the survival of the human species.
Where once our schools and universities turned out graduates with high ideals and aspirations, we most often now turn out technocrats and bureaucrats who’s only wish is to line their pockets as easily as possible with other people’s money.
How’d we get this way? That question is less important than how we get out of being this way, and start again anew with people who wish to add and multiply, instead of subtract and divide.
To start again to learn simply for the satisfaction and for the beauty of knowing the truth. The truth must be sought out with singularity of purpose in this day and age. It must be sniffed out with the nose of a bloodhound. Why? Because non truth is so, so easy to find. It lays around on the ground, and on the pages of rags called newspapers, and on internet posts and “news sites” and memes, always conveniently right within reach. Right at our fingertips. It’s an easy, fattening fast greasy food, and it gets gobbled up like grass by sheep.
I know I ramble on and I apologize. I believe there are many more good people out there than I sometimes think. I know our younger generations will be wiser than we old ones. I sometimes think people of my generation got dropped right in the middle of this rapidly changing age of technology, and a lot of us have difficulties keeping track of it. The coming generations will have known nothing but the current and future technology, and hopefully will be able to make it work to their advantage. That’s my hope. That, and a trip up to the moon one day to explore.