Today’s Naturalist

We are in a world where most of the things we deal with we have no idea how it is made. Seriously, how many people know how a speaker is made, a TV, an internal combustion engine, or a watch? In this day and age where we are totally detached with the how, what is the value of this? We want the why, what and the who; not the how. For example:

Question: “how do you make a guitar?”
98% of people’s response: “I don’t care…”

Why does nobody care how anything is made. We concerned with what Oprah is giving for her yearly Christmas garbage and who Brad Pitt is dating, but we don’t care about things that actually have something to do with our life. Some of you may say, “well what does a guitar have to do with our life?”

In today’s disposable society… wait, lets look at this from a different direction.

You’re beloved grandpa, I bet when you talk about him you talk about how he could do anything. He could fix the plumbing in a house, fix a car, unjam a gun; you probably have a fond memory of him giving you a toy made out of wood when you were a child. The difference between him and you is the fact that he knows more than how to operate a computer and adjust his chair, he could make things.

One of the most valuable an enriching things in life is building something with your own hands, but today we sit in front of computer’s all day and watch videos about people making things themselves. After we watch said videos we say “that is so cool” and go on to kill some newbs or read some more news. I guess my point is this: 90% of the knowledge we peruse today has no residual value.  Being socially informed is overrated. Yeah it seems cool in that awesome argument you have with your coworker about the United States financial budget. At the end of the day the only thing you walk away with is a pissed off attitude and a hatred for your coworker’s ignorance.

Get out there, learn something new, and do it.

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Tourism, why?

Why do we goto places like Arizona for vacation. There really isn’t anything there. To be honest most of the United States isn’t worth very much visually or culturally. I know somebody can make a great argument for Arizona or really most other states in the US, but bear with me.  Seriously, Costa Rica, St. Marten? A palm tree and hammock can be found anywhere.

The US was recognized in 1776. The idiot Columbus got here in around 1492. In 1625 we had a population of 1,980 people. What amazing things had happened in the rest of the world centuries before? Well, over 100 year before the successful population of the US by Europeans, the Incan’s built Machu Picchu. Incan’s sucessfully implemented brain surgery, founded astrology, and many other things. The Spanish had guns. Good work. My point is, what is there to see after 300 hundred years of work? More so, why do we want to see things that have been here for 50 years rather than things that define our culture. There are places in the world where you can see an invention that made modern life possible. You can visit the birth place of language, and some of the greatest monuments to the human will, but we goto Chicago for deep dish pizza.

My point is, people of the United States, we waste our time traveling to places that add no real value to life. We travel for cheese steaks, hamburgers, political rallies, and concerts, but we don’t travel nearly enough for great works of art, fallen civilizations, ancient cultural displays, and spectacular geographical vignettes. Yeah there is some value in modern cultural events, but seriously, I’d goto Machu Picchu or Lake O’Hara in Canada 1000 times before I’d go see a Presidential Inauguration. Plus, which would be more money? Which would change your life.

Yoho National Park - Lake O'Hara

I realize some people live for these things in the United States, but I guess all that this is about is: for me, what really gets me going, are things that you can’t put a price on. Things that have stood the test of time. Things that you sit at, look at, and wonder how the hell did this happen? How would the world be different if this civilization lived on? Why the hell is our world dominated by weapons, and not by knowledge.

Yeah the United States has some tourist worthy stuff. The big cities like New York, Chicago, and SF are worth going to. Places like the Grand Canyon and Denali are breathtaking, but for every one of those we have here in the United States you can name twelve that are more remote, more special, and probably just as breath-taking as the above.

Technology is great and all, but it’s not much to see when you live your life surrounded by it every second.