I started indulging an interest in ancient history a couple decades ago. This is an example from a larger article I have been working on but can't seem to get complete.

The issue is living water.

To us water moves because of gravity. It flows downhill. There is nothing special about that. It also had to be incredibly obvious to the ancients that is what was going on although in long rivers like the Nile it might not have been so obvious but even they knew of the cataracts where water flowed downhill. The incredibly accurate slope of the Roman aqueducts over tens of miles shows they not only understood the idea but had mastered everything there was to know about it.

Yet moving water was living water and distinct from water that did not move. Living water had a spirit. Living water had a religious significance. Consider baptism can only be done with moving, aka living, water, the water of life. And stagnant water was swamp, dead water than smelled of decay. Stagnant water was undrinkable compared to the moving water of life. It is associated with death and disease. Although our connection is much different as to cause it is the same correct association.

If you get your head around this idea you can get to their general idea that things which move are alive or evidence of the action of living things. Clouds, wind, rain, tides, occasionally the earth, lightning, all are alive. To the credit of the ancients the nebulous living things like winds had rather nebulous gods to go with them. Lightning and storms get gods, the gentle breezes not so much.

Yet to us moderns living means something entirely different as in breathing, heart beat, green not brown. The issue is not understanding our ancestors. The issue is we cannot look at the world and perceive it as our ancestors. We cannot perceive moving things as living just because they move. Our view of living is much narrower than their view.

Thinking is observing and connecting observations and drawing conclusions. We look at non-living moving things and connect them with inanimate causes. Our ancestors would look at the same things and connect them with other living things. We cannot do that. We might think about it and imagine connections but they do not pre-exist in our heads. We cannot think like them. What would be a "perfectly natural" connection for them leaves us scratching our heads on how and why they made the connection.

But as with aqueducts and swamps even though the foundational concepts were completely different they lead to general successes. Running water in Roman cities brought life to the cities. It was not a metaphor for them. It was a direct reference to moving, living water. The moving waters of the Nile brought life to the land which then grew food which bought life to people.

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I don't see the connection but in point of fact farmland today produces more food than at any time in the past. Obviously this quality thing has not mattered at any time in the last 6000 years because the human population has been increasing.

Who really believes the pre-industrial global climate was the best of all possible global climates and not one degree warmer? From anyone who claims that, which is all the melters, I am afraid I am going to have to ask for evidence not mere assertion.

We can only go by results. IF we were to stop using the fertilizers and fossil fuels we would condemn a billion or more to death by starvation. So we continue as we are and look for solutions before the fuels run out or we stop now and take responsibility for the mass starvation as a matter of choice.

Do you have a third choice?

And after it is all stopped at huge cost we discover warmer is better. Melters know the best of all possible global climates was in 1850 because it was "natural."

Please tell me how you know for a fact and the physical evidence it is based upon that warmer absolutely cannot be better than it was in pre-industrital times.

Upon what basis do you declare that to have been the best of all possible climates?

400? What makes numbers with zeroes significant? Why not 412 or 393?

A world like the good old days with a temperate climate pole to pole sounds pretty good to me. What is your problem with it?

We evolved in the tropics. Tropics are good for us. Ten times and more die in the cold of winter than that heat of summer.

I can't help but think of the mixed bag which is Monsanto. It had undoubtedly contributed hugely to feeding the world on the one hand, but it has had an equally huge role in promoting monoculture and the crime (to my mind) of patenting genes and species.

Monoculture produces more food. We need more food. What is the problem?

The problem is that monocultures are far more vulnerable to disease due to lack of genetic diversity.

For example: The current banana, the Cavendish, is a replacement for a previous variety, the Gros Michel which was wiped out by a fungal infection. Right now the Cavendish is in danger of being wiped out in turn (and has been in several Asian countries) by a new strain of fungal infection which it has no resistance against. And since all of the Cavendish plants are genetically identical (a monoculture), it cannot evolve a defense. It is possible that in 10-20 years the banana (Cavendish type that most in Europe and the US are familiar with) will no longer be available, following the Gros Michel into oblivion.

That's the problem.

That might be a concern to Chiquita and likely a similar case could be made for the pomegranate but neither is a significant food source. Plantains are not bananas. Several grains with dozens of varieties each are the basis for our food supply.

I still do not see a problem.

This article will give you lots to think about regarding monoculture.

Monsanto has gone after farmers, some of them rather small-time, for patent infringement when some of the genes they have developed end up in the farmer's crop across the road or down the road from a field where Monsanto seeds have been placed. I guess you can't sue bees for pollenating or the wind for blowing seed, so they go after the farmer for patent infringement (there are lots of articles to google over this issue). 

Sadly, the Supremes have sided with Monsanto in several lawsuits, perhaps trapped by prior patent decisions, including their own which allowed for the patenting of the products of genetic engineering.

I suspect some on the court are looking back and wishing they had decided differently, but the Supremes seldom reverse themselves, so it might take an entirely changed over court 50 years from now to reverse that deicision, or at least revise it.

But still no one will tell me what is wrong about producing more food than we ever have before in human history. Bananas? Who is going bananas over that?

Also, when I go to the market, there is a wide variety of apples, which is wonderful: Macintosh, Gala, Fuji, Red and Green Delicious, Granny Smith, and several others. However, they are just the tip of the iceberg. The apple, which hails from Eastern Europe originally, has given birth to a wide variety of choices. 

Yet, apparently we have to live with just one variety of banana in the grocery store. Should I be happy about that? Maybe I'd choose the type of banana currently being sold if given a choice, but where is the choice?

When I get a Wayback machine or a TARDIS I might do something about that. Other than that I have no idea how to change the past. although I doubt very, very strongly that it could have been millions.

However I do not like people complaining about paying people in other countries what is a fair wage in those countries. That is the price every country has paid for advancement including Britain and the US. In all cases farm labor is the most dangerous of all even in the US today and there are no child labor laws for US farmers.

Why can't people today think in terms of reality instead of causes?


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