Could the missing gold be hiding in this building? I don’t no.
Still for sum of us its just inside the next door down a back street in San Francisco somewhere off Van Ness.
The West, the Western World, is built on the principles of the democratic nation state, individual rights, common law and due process, separation of religion and state, free and open markets and freedom of speech, which have opened the door for people to live financially comfortable in peace with opportunity for change towards justice. Considering the past and present of human history that is quite amazing.
Non-Western peoples do not hold these institutions in high regard and there is not a common set or hierarchy of these institutions that makes them unified. Still in a war its the winners that decide what happened.
Nation states have the structure, if not the will, to establish an increased common world order and through negotiation, understanding and compromise to build it in the interest of those involved. Non western peoples with no history of such an institution tend to have a history of “change by violence, winner take all,” with no space for negotiation and compromise, both of which tend to be considered weaknesses. Those that do not separate “religion” from the “political” tend to be very cruel and violent, , as they are doing “God’s Will, ”and whimsical and arbitrary in their behaviour.
Perhaps we are at a cross road. A few years ago I wrote about being thankful I could take photographs of my shadow and muck around in photoshop instead of having to be a suicide bomber or live in a refugee camp. I am still thankful, even more so today.
What difference would it make if there were no news, just information floating past with no means to differentiate one piece from another and give it a name or a headline or an image? How we see things, as some thing discrete from some other thing and give it a name and meaning and then the meaning stays the same even though the “discrete thing” was simply a piece of some process, such as defining a tree as something with with green leaves because we saw it in the the summer and then in the winter we say its not a tree because it does not have green leaves.
Its more fun to look at pictures:
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On the wall in the garage is a brace (a large hand drill shaped like a big “U”) that belonged to my father who got it from his father. I have used it twice as an adult but when I was a child I often used it. I have a few other tools from my father as well as some I purchased in the 1960s when I used tools to earn a living, including a Millers Falls 20 oz hammer.
The tools we use play a part in our lives and the meaning of living, not just for ourselves but through generations. My people traditionally believed it was important to get good tools, learn how to use them correctly and take care of them so they will last a long time.
When I became a graphic designer, pre-computer, hand tools, such as ruling pen, rapidagraph pen, cutting tools, t squares, triangles, etc were commonly used in production and if you followed the above advice you were prepared to do good work. Taking care of good quality tools was a foundation for quality work.
In a sense if a tool outlasts the person and is to be passed down, the the “owner” is a steward for the tool. There is a sense of relationship between a person, people before and people after.
Today when I look at the tools I use in my daily life no matter how well I take care of them it seems they are out of date the day after I buy them. Up grades, new software, new chips, this machine no longer works with that computer, “We don’t support that anymore,” and so on.
Not only is there no reason to take of the tools for yourself, much less for another generation, but the out-of-date-discarded tool maybe toxic to the environment.
What kind of stewardship is this? What are we passing down? —just a bunch of “0”s and “1”s on fire and out of control.
Heinlein wrote a story entitled “The roads must roll,” in Dune the saying was “the spice must flow,” and in our life its the oil which must move around the world. Who would have thought when in 1914 T.E.Lawrence was the middle man was the middleman for a deal between the Arabs and the England and France. In return for fighting the Turks who were aligned with Germany the west would designate the Arab Peninsula as a land for the Arabs.
During the war various kinds of vehicles were increasingly used, the fuel to operate them was oil, by the end of the war vehicles were a part of the wester world and a major source of oil was in the Arab Peninsula and England and France reneged on the deal.
Sidney Reilly, Ace of Spies, played a role in this fiasco by convincing England that oil was the key to the future and the famous story of how impersonating a Catholic priest he interrupted negotiations between the Rothchilds and the Arabs to close out the deal for England.
And so look what we have today…