About Me

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I am a mother, a teacher, and a nature lover. I grew up on a mountain we called Owls' Knob in the Ozarks of Arkansas. The first seven years of my life were spent living in a log cabin, far from a store or streetlight, without electricity or running water and after twenty years of travel, I returned to the abondoned homestead. Now I live on a hill by a small lake and work at a public garden. These are stories about nature written from a women deeply influenced by place.

Friday, February 20, 2015

This New World

I think we all need to cool our jets and stop debating everything as if we are so sure of ourselves... We need to be more humble!
 This is why...
For the first 150,000 years of our humanity, homo sapiens lived in caves, hunted, gathered, and developed stone tools. There were not many changes.
During the next 40,000 years, human developed arrows, fire, made clothing, and more sophisticated tools. Think about that a little... in almost 200,000 years we only went from naked apes smashing two rocks together to clothed cave men with bows and arrows around a fire. That is not a lot of change in a really long time!
In the following 10,000 years, agriculture and animal husbandry was born. Civilizations were built. 
It took 10,000 years to go from arrows to swords, from leather loin clothes to elegant corset dresses, from the cultivation of native plants to tables decked with breads, beers, and exotic fruits. Significant, I must say; but 10,000 years is still a pretty long time.
Then, in just the last 100 years or so, everything else happened...
100 years ago people did not have electricity, cars, or super markets let alone the internet, smart phones, and gaming. When my grandmother was born her family did not have a car or a telephone. She remembers when the railroad got built through her town. She marveled at a train for the first time with awe and amazement. I am sure your ancestors have similar stories.
What I am getting at is this... It is naïve for us to think we know so much when we have been living this way for such a short amount of time!
I see articles claiming that "studies show" this or that about how technology, agriculture, and medicine affects our lives and our brains. I read about how TV or gaming is good or bad for our brains; I see information about how GMOs or pesticides change or don't change our DNA; or I see evidence about how vaccines either help or harm us. But how do we know anything, really! I mean we might be able to hypothesis how it will change our day, our year, or even our life. However, how these advances in technology, agriculture, and medicine will effect our brains, bodies, and collective culture from a big picture perspective, is totally unknown. How much can we really know when we have only been doing most of this for a few decades! After over 200,000 years of doing everything more or less the same way, how can we be so sure of ourselves after less than 200 years of doing it this way? We can not study how technology, new world agriculture, modern medicine, and other advances affect generations because only a few generations have had any of this! For tens of thousands of years we lived basically the same way. Changes happened slowly. Nothing in history compares to all that has happened in the last 100 years or so!
All I am saying is be a little more humble. We are new at all of this. You don't need to call someone stupid for believing one set of information. The world is not simple and established. The research or information you have read that has convinced you of your opinion is brand-new, cutting edge info in the big scheme of things. This is a brand new world, we are all new to all of this, so take it easy, will ya?