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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Super Storage Devices

We have spoken on the nature of glaciers, and how they are excellent storage devices for water, keeping great masses of it almost inert and releasing it over time to flow downstream. A lot of human civilization depended on them for their geneses, and many still do for their ongoing daily needs.

Yet another simple storage device has been around for a long time, and has been an instrument of great importance in human life: Grandparents.
Well beyond their nurturing abilities, which are of extreme importance for the human group and the group's young members, the elders acted as the Libraries and Museums, the repositories of the accumulated knowledge of the group. Now this knowledge was indeed probably specialized 40,000 years ago: the shaman had his own offspring or apprentices, the flint-nappers were separate, the weavers may have been a sub-group, and so on. However, the train of wisdom requires time to get from point A to point B,  and it is the elders who conserved the accumulated knowledge, the old and the new, that was available to the group.

In today's world, it seems we no longer need glaciers, since we are letting them go and have squandered the money needed to launch a large scientific inquiry. I suppose we think we shall airlift water to cities  built upon the banks of rivers, something vaguely like our glory days of the Berlin Airlift.
And no longer are grandparents needed to be the reservoirs of knowledge.

Yet it seems that no one excels them at nurture: how many children today have been and are being raised by grandparents?
And no one excels them at the type of Knowledge that is based on Longevity, Interaction with the World, and Reflective Meditation. Whereas the world may run schemes and scams and bubbles, the grandparents know that "a haughty spirit goes before a fall", and that this Truth is embedded in the rise and fall of empires and pueblos.
dedicated to Ruth, who - I believe - is soon to be a extraordinary source of nurture and knowledge.
I say "I believe" because of the unusual way I read things, such as her blog: reading for me is a bit like a committee meeting, a debate, my first kiss, and an endless cinema.

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