I can resist anything, except temptation! (Oscar Wilde)

History

in human ecology

Village life put demands on the minds of adults that resembled distorted versions of the growing pains of typical children of Homo sapiens everywhere. Perhaps the greater complexity of life in village society did not actually counterbalance the simplification of the nonhuman environment. Thus, the difference between the psychological world of the adult and the child in the villages was not as great as that between adults and children among the ancestral hunters. This is not what one expects from the traditional view of history. But history itself, an idea accounting for a made world, was invented by villagers as a result of five thousand years of strife and struggle to hold environment and self together. As a simplistic, linear, literal account of events and powers as unpredictable as parental anger, history is a juvenile idea.… we must stand apart from the conventions of history, even while using the record of the past, for the idea of history is itself a Western invention whose central theme is the rejection of habitat. It formulates experience outside of nature and tends to reduce place to location. To it, the plaints and passes of the desert fringe are only a stage upon which the human drama is enacted. History conceives the past mainly in terms of biography and nations. It seeks causality in the conscious, spiritual, ambitious character of men and memorializes them in writing.[1]


  1. Shepard, P., 1998. Nature and madness. University of Georgia Press. 

History of Internet

in history/presentation, expression & visualization

A short and abstract history of Internet with just right amount of technicality (for me at least). Mainly, two things were new to me. The first was that the documentary related the original conception of the Internet to the development of large centralized computers in 50s which demanded operators to work with them remotely. Second one was that at least 3 other networks (except ARPANET, military-research network) were fundamental in the development of Internet as we know it today: RAND military network in US, NPL commercial network in UK, and CYCLADES scientific network in France.

Eden was no garden

in human ecology

Two probable sources of the inception of “Garden of Eden”. One was the comparison between the emerging farming culture with the previous hunter gatherer one and the other was the increasing contrast between the ease of childhood and the burden of adulthood indicated that there must have been a good lost world; hunter-gatherers were living in it… children temporarily live in it…. In Shepard (1998)[1] words:

“… to the hunter, much of what he had seemed given; to the farmer, earned by continuing labor. For the farmer the contrast between the ease of childhood and the burdens of maturity had increased. For him there was a lost, more perfect world, the images of which were enhanced by his awareness of this contrast.”

According to Calder (ibid.):

“The garden image of paradise is apparently a debased figure, in which the cultures of husbandry described a lost world, using the best landscape images they knew. But “Adam” means “red” and has to do with men of the red uplands soils rather than the black cultivated ones. Geographically, Eden was a steppe plateau, the home of hunters and gathers. The yearning that the myth first expressed must have been that of disillusioned tillers of the soil for a long-lost life of freedom and relative ease. Eventually the urban ideology of civilization, in which men defined themselves by contrast to wild savages, made the nomadic image untenable…. Eden was no garden, but it was a gathering paradise.” (Calder, 1967)[2]


  1. Shepard, P., 1998. Nature and madness. University of Georgia Press. 

  2. Calder, N., 1967. Eden Was No Garden: an Inquiry Into the Environment of Man, First Edition. ed. Holt, Rinehart and Winston. 

From nomadic foraging to sedentary village life

in human ecology

Shift from hunter-gatherer to initial forms of village life demanded different style of consciousness: emergence of sedentary village life from nomadic foraging… Changes in thought, perceptions of the outer and inner world, and premises and assumptions … These shifts have to do with the quality of attention rather than ideas; with the significance of place rather than the identity of nations; with the theme of duality; with the subtle effects of food and trophic patterns on thought and expression; with the accumulation of made things and possessions that was part of village life; and, finally, with some of the subtler influences of domestication on the ways people saw themselves and the land, as well as their plants and animals.[1]

 


  1. Shepard, P., 1998. Nature and madness. University of Georgia Press. 

First global annihilation

in general

If we consider the story of life on earth, changes which led to presence of free molecular oxygen on Earth (known as GOE), is probably the most horrible event. It led to annihilation of anaerobic life forms which dominated the earth for more than a billion years.[1]

Cyanobacteria, which appeared about 200 million years before the GOE began producing oxygen by photosynthesis. Before the GOE, any free oxygen they produced was chemically captured by dissolved iron organic matter. The GOE was the point when these oxygen sinks became saturated and could not capture all of the oxygen that was produced by cyanobacterial photosynthesis. After the GOE the excess free oxygen started to accumulate in the atmosphere. Free oxygen is toxic to anaerobic organisms and the rising concentrations may have wiped out most of the Earth’s anaerobic inhabitants at the time. From their perspective it was a catastrophe. Cyanobacteria were therefore responsible for one of the most significant extinction events in Earth’s history. Additionally the free oxygen reacted with the atmospheric methane, a greenhouse gas, triggering the Huronian glaciation, possibly the longest snowball Earth episode. Free oxygen has been an important constituent of the atmosphere ever since.

Basically, the planet was saturated by toxic wastes (for the major inhabitants of Earth then) which led to a global bio-catastrophe and their annihilation. Sounds familiar?!


  1. Great Oxygenation Event, Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. 19-Jan-2013. 

Hello world

in me

I spent a lot of time to find a title for this place. I wanted a title to be original, meaningful, and not very specific. Also I did not want it to be flashy and pretentious. In addition, I thought that maybe it should not aim to be an umbrella for the topics that I would like to write about, instead it is better to reflect “me” an adjective-like word or combination of  words that reflect some part of me.

I found out that in “wordpress.com” I can change the title and URL later. Therefore, to get start with, I temporarily chose its first title: “the nomad of voids”. I am a nomad, not in traditional sense. I don’t seem to have strong sense of belonging to a place. Places do not seem to be of much significance to me. I care more for people, but ironically I keep distancing myself with people who I care the most. Nomads, do not do that. Maybe, I am simply a traveler, without permanent lodging place. I also feel a void inside me. I feel weak and unable to satisfy my needs. I do not ask much, but still I am stuck with the minimums. Others may think or say that I already have a lot and I should not underestimate my situation or my achievements. This is not how I see myself anyway

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