Sunday, May 09, 2010


I'd like to take a moment and comment on something that I think we should all be amazed by. I'm currently writing this and distributing it to you on what is essentially a giant circulatory system for lightning that we humans have built and put up over the whole damn planet, but that's not the amazing thing I had in mind. A few moments ago I went out to my car to get something, it's 12:15 a.m. right now, the sky is mostly clear, no moon. In nature this would mean that I couldn't see. I've spent prolonged amounts of time in nature, by which I mean away from civilization and society since nature is really the normative state of the world, and the one thing you'll find while you're living outside of civilization is that you're not up past midnight. You wake up earlier too. There are a lot of little reasons for this, but the biggest one by far is that it's dark. And when it's dark you kinda can't do anything.

And this is what we should be amazed by. I went out to my car, middle of the night, clear sky but no moon, and I would say I had 85% visibility. Humans have beaten a lot of the things that challenged us. Our ability as predators is now greater then anything else the world has ever known. We've done more against disease and hunger then any other species could comprehend. But how often do you stop to consider what it means that we've beaten back night? Nighttime, darkness, it's one of those inexorable forces of nature that's supposed to be more or less the hand of God sweeping in and changing things. Now we have street lamps. They're everywhere, and they're free, and that's absolutely amazing.


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