Sunday, February 24, 2019

In case of diminished capacity

In the monthly report packets from my broker on 1-9-19, I found slips asking who he should contact in case he noticed "diminished capacity."  I had pretty much concluded that there might be no one in easy reach in case I noticed any such thing in the world round about.  It isn't that I blame God for Susan's years of suffering and demise in a wasted-away condition, but I did notice that the church round about seemed in a diminished capacity -- unless it was the other way around which those involved seemed willing to believe -- that is, that any diminishment is in what they saw and not in what they were.

I often think of Ted Kaczynski and how our part of the world thinks of him as a thorough-going nutter.  He was partly right of course.  We have filled up this planet and then some -- not enough to destroy it most likely, but enough to destroy us; which Richard Leakey in Nairobi Kenya wrote about before giving it (writing) up to protect the rhinos and elephants; that is, that our species is unlikely to last any longer than any other species, which he told us was about 200,000 years.  Of course that was before all the work done by geneticists so, not being a geneticist,  it is just as well he gave up writing about it. 

Perhaps we ought to ask who we should contact in case of our species diminished capacity?  Perhaps if provide the evidence of the cave paintings in France and Spain of our species having begin just shy of 200,000 years ago, we are very near Richard Leakey's time limit.  But if as the geneticists say, we have evolved only slightly from the "species," that preceded ours, I don't think that is what Leakey had in mind.  If the Great Ape in Kenya and elsewhere dwindles further and as a species dies, Leakey can count back and pause perhaps in his tracking down of elephant-tusk poachers and say to himself, "yup."  But in our case it is not quite that clear cut.

Kaczynski thought that if he killed a few scientists and got the world to read his manifesto, he could coerce it away from technology and return it to a system of pre-technological villages -- well he was a complete nutter, but he was right about believing that something needed to be done. 

Being privy now to genetic information not available to Richard who predicted our diminished capacity and demise, or Ted who attempted to cause our demise, evolution is continuously at work and "may" cause us to supersede our species in the same way that we superseded homo erectus and his like; thus causing Leakey's 200,000 year clock to begin again (of course the "us" in the above is a matter for ongoing speculation and concern). 

Or . . . if we accept the Koheleth "there is nothing new under the sun" belief that mankind is the same as it has always been and will be the same on into the future however long our future lasts; then, as we can read in NASA and other such organizations' proposals, we can hie ourselves to the moon, Mars, Saturn's moons, and continue on as we have always been for another 200,000 years and etcetera. 

Kaczynski built himself a little ten by ten hut and lived as a hermit before his brother and the law caught up with him.  In my case I had my son build a ten by ten Hobbit House . . . or at least that is what I told him to build, but it looks pretty much like the tool sheds in my neighbor's yards.  And of course it contains tools and not me.  I live mostly upstairs in my study (in case anyone is trying to catch up with me); although I have converted Susan's bedroom to the room in which I do dumbbell exercises.  My main workout area is downstairs in my three-car garage.  Having just one vehicle, I have plenty of room in the other two spots for barbells, and some other workout equipment.  Also, I use all this equipment, and beyond that continue to hike very regularly with my dogs while brandishing a camera.  Thus, despite actuarial criteria to the contrary, at age 84 I am not feeling a need to have anyone else determine when my capacity has diminished.  My portion of 200,000 years is showing no signs of ending any time soon.

As to writing, I still do quite a lot -- nothing poetic recently, of course.   T. S. Eliot, I hasten to remind the inquisitive, gave me permission to write away in all sorts of forms so that when the white-hot heat of whatever it is that inspires me to write poetry is of a sufficient incendiary nature, I shall be able to.  Still not feeling in any way diminished I expect I shall be sufficiently fiery in the not too distant future. 

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