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March 27th  2011    Tim Candler

    A cautious man would always carry a spare modem and instruction booklet around with him.  Then in moments of emergency he could reach into his suitcase and yell 'eureka'.

    Yet I wonder at the wisdom of such caution.   I wonder at it because despite a different opinion from godheads,  generations ago my species was nomadic, wandering and probably much happier.  We moved in search of our living, and we did so before domestication of beasts to carry our burdens and we did so before the advent of wheels that roll on axles.  Instead, in our minds we carried the ability to make things, an ability which these days has come to rule us in a manner I sometimes think quite unbecoming.

    I believe thirty pounds is about as much as I can carry from here to the barn without risking heart failure.  And probably I would have to make the trip four times a day for one whole year to move the burdens of my settled life just one hundred yards south east of where I now sit. 

     

     Anthropologists will tell you to maintain discipline when observing the practices of  stranger cultures.  Record precisely and do not infer, they will advise.  To hell with them because I will say that potlatch ceremonies of North Western American clans had their origin in the dawn of settled living.  Those brave men and women would on occasion burn their most precious possessions to demonstrate fortitude and independence.

      What to leave behind and what to take?  For me a computer and modem would be hardest to give to potlatch.  I would argue for them to be made smaller and smaller and lighter and lighter, so I might wear them as I might a headdress or socks.  Then my hands would be free to carry a shovel so I could dig up roots for sustenance while others picked berries or ran around chasing rabbits.

    Instruction booklets would of course be weatherized and fit neatly in the pocket. 

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