I hardly text or email. If I’m on the phone twice in a day, that’s a lot anymore for me. I’m listening, reading, pecking away at the book...but I’m not driving an agenda, or selling anything. 

        I think. I’ve got the time to do it. I fill the bird feeder. I cook. I sweep the fake wood floors of the double wide. Breadcrumbs won’t work. A trail is a trail. 

         I learned to read tracks and how to trail as a boy. I was always an observer more than a participant in cultural activities. I was happier on the river or in the estuary than I ever was in school or church activities. 

         I saw where humans went of course...as individuals and in mass. The mistakes seemed obvious. The root of cultural problems was much harder to track down. I searched and searched. I wanted to help, to be of service. I used the skill set I had acquired in the estuary. I observed, I trailed...I studied the evidence. 

          I went to college...for decades part time. I worked. I never stopped thinking, tracking down answers or following trails. At some point I realized happiness was in another direction, but kept pushing on. 

            After some long, hard years I  turned around, and went back to the river. I left tracks, and then I disappeared. 

         

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Comment by Tom Cordle on February 11, 2019 at 12:47pm

When all humans were hunter-gatherers, a certain level of equity was essential to the survival of the individual. With agriculture, things changed considerably, and a particular human could afford to be more independent, thought the vagaries of weather ensured a certain level of interdependence. Agriculture made cities possible, and with cities came division of labor, and with division of labor came class distinctions, and thus came less equity.

Running through all this was the development of a priestly caste, who possessed knowledge, and of course, knowledge is power. All this was forever altered by the invention of movable type, and the democratization of knowledge. Humankind was altered again with the Industrial Age, and altered again with the Internet Age, which further increased the democratization of knowledge, but without gatekeepers, exploitation of the medium also increased – need I say Facebook and Info Wars?

Ironic that the Internet, which began as a print medium for the intellectual elite to exchange information, has now become the New Television, the second coming of the Vast Wasteland of which Newton Minow spoke. Thus has the written word given way to pictures, and thus it has also become a tool for those who can manipulate pictures and thus manipulate people, because unlike words, which largely convey ideas, pictures largely convey emotions. And thus does it become easier to manipulate people through fear.

What is apparent is that the rate of change has increased over time, and it is now increasing at a speed far beyond human capacity to adapt. Biologists call this process entropy.

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