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Man may be infinitely adaptable but that doesn’t mean a man or group of early colonists can do that in their own body. They may all have to expect the fact that the whole experience might be a bit like Moses not quite entering the Promised Land. And space doesn’t sound all that promising – especially not as a refuge for the Human race. It could become the mousetrap of the more well healed and aggressive mice. The dubious trap for Social Darwinists who think they can live above it all and seek refuge from the wreckage either they or everyone else, or both created. Isn’t there a movie along these lines out there now? Something about a space station?
Man may be able to live in all the environments of this planet but that ignores the fact that most of the adaptation was obtained the hard way through death of the unfit for the rigors of that new environment and the tenuous existence of offspring who could actually survive the rigors of the new environment. Think of the first settlers in the colonies here. So many of them died on the “trip across and the first winter killed off a great many more. And some of that may have been due to nothing more than the stress of making a very hard to establish new life that required very hard work and it killed them. Stress kills or it wears you down. Some are more durable, others less so.
The Euroepans that colonized this new territory also did so at the cost of infecting the natives with deseases they had no immunity to. They also tended to inhabit climates very like those they had left. The Spanish went south, The French and English went North. The English couldn’t seem to handle the rigors of the south and died in larger numbers down there. That may have been why they had to use black slaves who could handle the heat better.
England is a very cool environment “the green and pleasant land” as William Blake called it in that beautiful hymn I wish I knew the name of. I can only remember the melody and hardly any of the words. It is usually not humid or full of insects and other environmental threats they were not at all accustomed to. I can never understand how they didn’t bring the black death here? They had scarlet fever, sometimes Cholera and probably other diseases but I don’t know much about this. London had a severe plague in the time of Charles II. But there was never a plague in the colonies as far as I know yet there were ships from China in our ports too. Why didn’t that happen? Perhaps because the houses were so separated by large open spaces?
I wish you wouldn’t preach about “wisdom”. It is seldom transferable and never seems to work in new situations. I probably had my share in life but now that I am old and weak and very poor no wisdom or good choice I ever made seems sufficient and all I tend to look at now are my faults. I was raised a Roman Catholic. The prayer “through my fault – through my fault, through my most grievous fault”. You should love that one but you only see it in everyone else. There have to be limits to that phrase but they never seemed very good at setting them But what does God expect? All I ever saw were faults. God didn’t quite seem to have his act together either and I couldn’t live in a monastery. I may sound like “Debby Downer” but unless one is aware of the fact that life isn’t all optimism it always comes as a rude surprise. I’ve read novels and watched movies that make me feel like Pollyanna even when I’m ready to snuff it myself. Well not quite. You make too many excuses for what man wants to do anyway and you make it too easy for yourself. How about living with no advantages, honest or not, and see how well your wisdom holds up to that?
Poverty is a killer. Time may call Pope Francis the person of the year but most of his followers don’t want to walk his walk and he is only doing St. Francis in the media friendly version for the at home TV crowd. He is not truly walking the Franciscan way except by adhering to the rules of his order. The stories of St Francis I read said the St. Francis had a much harder time of it and was very afraid during his life that the church would turn on him and call him a heretic, kill him and destroy his order. He had to spend some time trying to get Papal approval as a way to protect them all. They are as dependent on the political will and public acceptance of their actions as any other human organization is.
It is also ironic that a Saint who preached poverty founded an order that actually got very wealthy. Go figure? All the orders got very wealthy for the most part because their adherents were voluntary slaves and spent little or nothing on themselves but could generate fortunes in incomes. It is an ugly business shot through with fraud and outright theft if you follow the money trail of Vatican finances, if even they could follow the money trail and I’m not at sure they ever effectively could. Maybe the Borgias “knew the ropes”, but a lot of those Popes may not have. It would not have been unusual for the time when so many crowned heads, princes and aristocrats didn’t always now how to tie their own shoelaces either. They all lived with bureaucracies too and organizations can and do have minds-or not-of their own. They are managed as much as they manage and systems can make an idiot of one and render one’s best instincts useless and can waste all of one’s best efforts. The Catholic Church learned the secrets of how to become large and powerful but that also meant they made “friends with the devil” you might say, and had to live with the corruption and all the temptations and “sins” they preached against. I actually understand that better than it sounds and I think I understand how and why that happened and they could still claim they followed in the path of their founder. Judge not lest ye be judged
BTW – It chills me to the bone every time I think of the Gospel saying – “sell all you have and give to the poor and follow me”. Christ did not say – “sell all you have and give it to me” he said throw it away and give it to those who need it more than you. You are a guy who tends to congratulate yourself about your success and that is not such an admirable quality. In fact it is not at all admirable. If you were a flower you would be the ridiculous one who always praised itself for it own beauty and you aren’t that beautiful. Self congratulation is disgusting and so tacky. You may as well just beat off on yourself. I’ve done that in a mirror because I haven’t so much as touched another person in almost 14 years. I’ve heard glib wisdom and even disposable advice and so called advice for better living my whole life and it is as prone to changes of fashion and of mood or even total amnesia on the part of the whole society that it is very nearly worthless now.
Doing the Franciscan thing terrifies me and now I am living on a very small income. But it is boring and very depressing. I am not a happy camper and feel like sin on toast with hardly any butter. And the next question I ask – If I do that – follow what in the flesh where? At 62 I’m a dead liability to any organization that could use what I can still do. I don’t really want to and life is already more than enough of an hallucination as it is. I do so love to tease myself. But I do think those people know something that most never see and can’t imagine. They learn somehow to forget themselves and they do not make monuments of heir own egos. And that is where those people are so much better than you OOTS, or me with your smug masturbatory “wisdom”.
Religious people don’t do like you do OOTS and congratulate themselves on their good fortune and baste themselves in their own juices. And they do not usually pretend to an easy user friendly wisdom (insight into what?)that somehow never hears anything that doesn’t perturb him. You lie to yourself and everyone else every time you do that. Or you would not make so many preparations for the awful to the exclusion of all other concerns.
BTW – Ocean living shouldn’t be all that insurmountable. The larger the structure the safer it is. There are a lot of shallow ocean water areas nearer to shore that go miles out. The foundations of very large ocean structures could actually require about the same subsurface preparations as the very deep and sometimes complex foundations of large office towers. They can use their own surface area against the water to relieve some of the weight on those foundations in as much as they could be buoyant and the foundations are really a way to keep the structure stable and at a constant elevation above sea level but would not be as heavily loaded.
I have no other way of sharing these ideas so I do it here.
I love to light up and sketch myself silly. One could produce floating bays with high enough protective walls – that could also contain useful space and at the same time provide for cheap and easy to construct homes – I have drawn up dozens as sketches – for thousands or even tens of thousands of inhabitants – all of which could float like houseboats. And I mean everything from floating homes – like the typical houseboats to much larger buildings like apartment houses or even Venetian Palazzi (an idea I tried in a few sketches – but not made of stone. Modern architecture can apply style like it was wall paper. It can be done much better than that but I’ve never considered myself a very good designer. .
Substantial structures able to meet the force of the seas and storms would shelter much less ocean worthy craft. The streets are the ocean surface and unlike land based cities nothing within the protective walls is fixed in place permanently and can be moved around as needed.
One of the reasons slums develop on land is buildings get trapped in declining areas or people are trapped in decay. People who fear the situation for good reason, leave and entire neighborhoods start a downward decline of neglect and exploitation by building owners who are themselves trapped by the situation. The neighborhoods become terrible places to live and it is only because the buildings are trapped along with their inhabitants. If no building is fixed in place but is docked -then the trap can never close. If a settlement on the water declined the structures could be moved to one that isn’t. The buildings need never be torn down for renewal but could always be used somewhere and even taken back to shore for recycling of for some other uses and even for use on land.
Why does Mr. Hadas let us go on like this. We are so off topic? But I hope he puts this one in.
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Source : http://blogs.reuters.com/edward-hadas/2013/12/11/how-not-to-do-healthcare/