Civilization.

November 17, 2012 § Leave a comment

“There is something hugely civilised about allowing long pauses in a conversation. Very few people can stand that kind of silence. – James Robertson

 

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Hovenweep National Monument

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“Though we became experimental creatures of our own devising, it’s important to bear in mind that we had no inkling of this process, let alone its consequences, until only the last six or seven of our 100,000 generations. We have done it all sleepwalking. Nature let a few apes into the lab of evolution, switched on the lights, and left us there to mess about with an ever-growing supply of ingredients and processes.
The effect on us and the world has accumulated ever since. Let’s list a few steps between the earliest times and this: sharp stones, animal skins, useful bits of bone and wood, wild fire, tame fire, seeds for eating, seeds for planting, houses, villages, pottery, cities, metals, wheels, explosives.

What strikes one most forcefully is the acceleration, the runaway progression of change – or to put it another way, the collapsing of time. From the first chipped stone to the first smelted iron took nearly 3 million years; from the first iron to the hydrogen bomb took only 3,000.” – Ronald Wright

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Hovenweep Solstice

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“Public libraries have been a mainstay of my life. They represent an individual’s right to acquire knowledge; they are the sinews that bind civilized societies the world over. Without libraries, I would be a pauper, intellectually and spiritually.” – James Michener

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Sun dagger at Hovenweep National Monument

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Marvin Gaye “Mercy Mercy Me”

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“If there hadn’t been women we’d still be squatting in a cave eating raw meat, because we made civilization in order to impress our girlfriends.” – Orson Welles

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Hovenweep Night

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“Books are the carriers of civilization. Without books, history is silent, literature dumb, science crippled, thought and speculation at a standstill. Without books, the development of civilization would have been impossible. They are engines of change (as the poet said), windows on the world and lighthouses erected in the sea of time. They are companions, teachers, magicians, bankers of the treasures of the mind.

Books are humanity in print.” – Barbara W. Tuchman

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road from Cortez down McElmo Creek toward Hovenweep

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“Societies in decline have no use for visionaries.” – Anais Nin

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Hovenweep

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“The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.” – Albert Camus

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