Day 2363, history.

Books, Daily picture

Friedrich Nietzsche

Untimely Meditations

On the uses and disadvantages of history for life
  1. Consider the cattle, grazing as they pass you by: they do not know what is meant by yesterday or today, they leap about, eat, rest, digest, leap about again, and so from morn till night and from day to day, fettered to the moment and its pleasure or displeasure, and thus neither melancholy nor bored. This is a hard sight for man to see; for, though he thinks himself better than the animals because he is human, he cannot help envying them their happiness – what they have, a life neither bored nor painful, is precisely what he wants, yet he cannot have it because he refuses to be like an animal. A human being may well ask an animal: ‘Why do you not speak to me of your happiness but only stand and gaze at me?’ The animal would like to answer, and say: ‘The reason is I always forget what I was going to say’ -but then he forgot this answer too, and stayed silent: so that the human being was left wondering. But he also wonders at himself, that he cannot learn to forget but clings relentlessly to the past: however far and fast he may run, this chain runs with him. And it is a matter for wonder: a moment, now here and then gone, nothing before it came, again nothing after it has gone, nonetheless returns as a ghost and disturbs the peace of a later moment. A leaf flutters from the scroll of time, floats away- and suddenly floats back again and falls into the man’s lap. Then the man says ‘I remember’ and envies the animal, who at once forgets and for whom every moment really dies, sinks back into night and fog and is extinguished for ever…

See also: https://nochrisis.blog/unzeitgemasse-betrachtungen/

Day 2223, nuts.

Day's pictures

Life is interesting, and the problems we meet are too; there are also enough wars and people that want to tell you how to live. To compensate for all of this, we have inventors and the things they make. Here is an article from Nord-Lock where you can read about the history of the bolt: https://www.nord-lock.com/insights/knowledge/2017/the-history-of-the-bolt/

Day 2148, thought pattern.

Day's pictures

Every skull in this monument somewhere in Cambodia once belonged to a human being with hopes and dreams, a life filled with sunsets and worries. Then one day a group of people decided that their way of living was wrong and they got murdered. This picture was taken in the early nineties when I worked in Cambodia as a UN soldier. Our task was to keep the former murderers, the Khmer Rouge, away from the people who wanted to live again on their ancestors’ land. Today, it is not going so well in Cambodia, and I wondered how much they have learned from their history.

I have written about these skulls before; they fascinate me, and they have also put my life on a trajectory I would probably not have taken If I hadn’t lived in that country for a while, between monuments

Day 2092, history

Day's pictures

Friedrich Nietzsche

Untimely Meditations

On the uses and disadvantages of history for life

Excerpt of part 3

History thus belongs in the second place to him who preserves and reveres – to him who looks back to whence he has come, to where he came into being, with love and loyalty; with this piety he as it were gives thanks for his existence. By tending with care that which has existed from of old, he wants to preserve for those who shall come into existence after him the conditions under which he himself came into existence – and thus he serves life…

…Sometimes this clinging to one’s own environment and companions, one’s own toilsome customs, one’s own bare mountainside, looks like obstinacy and ignorance -yet it is a very salutary ignorance and one most calculated to further the interests of the community: a fact of which anyone must be aware who knows the dreadful consequences of the desire for expeditions and adventures, especially when it seizes whole hordes of nations, and who has seen from close up the condition a nation gets into when it has ceased to be faithful to its own origins and is given over to a restless, cosmopolitan hunting after new and ever newer things. The feeling antithetical to this, the contentment of the tree in its roots, the happiness of knowing that one is not wholly accidental and arbitrary but grown out of a past as its heir, flower and fruit, and that one’s existence is thus excused and, indeed, justified – it is this which is today usually designated as the real sense of history…

…The best we can do is to confront our inherited and hereditary nature with our knowledge, and through a new, stern discipline combat our inborn heritage and inplant in ourselves a new habit, a new instinct, a second nature, so that our first nature withers away. It is an attempt to give oneself, as it were a posteriori, a past in which one would like to originate in opposition to that in which one did originate…

Day 2079, Calydon.

Day's pictures
National archeological museum Athens – terracotta sphinx from Corinthia, ca.630 BC, Greece, 2014

I love to go to museums, but one thing that I do wrong is bringing a camera with me. With the camera in my hands, I look at the sculptures and jewelry but also how to take pictures of these objects and the rest that is exhibited. Doing this, I often forget to read what it is that I take pictures of, or I just glance at the text. I was in Greece 7 years ago, and for some reason, I felt the urge to see where all these objects I have taken pictures of are coming from.

I have found a lot of information on the internet, and you can read endlessly about the objects and where they came from and follow a trail of links. I do not intend to describe these objects in detail here on this blog; I just hope you get interested and start reading and searching yourself.

For this particular sculpture, I searched for the name of the museum in Athens, and after 30 pages of pictures, I finally saw a picture of this particular sculpture. I found the image on a site called hellenicaworld.com, and I found it specifically here and more here.  

Day 2076, Artemis.

Day's pictures
Archaeological Museum of Delphi – Greece, Artemis, ivory and gold, 550 BC, 2014

Artemis is the Greek goddess of the hunt, the wilderness, wild animals, the Moon, and chastity. The goddess Diana is her Roman equivalent.

Artemis is the daughter of Zeus and Leto, and the twin sister of Apollo. She was the patron and protector of young children and women, and was believed to both bring disease upon women and children and relieve them of it. Artemis was worshipped as one of the primary goddesses of childbirth and midwifery along with Eileithyia. Much like Athena and Hestia, Artemis preferred to remain a maiden and was sworn never to marry.

Artemis was one of the most widely venerated of the Ancient Greek deities, and her temple at Ephesus was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Artemis’ symbols included a bow and arrow, a quiver, and hunting knives, and the deer and the cypress were sacred to her. Diana, her Roman equivalent, was especially worshipped on the Aventine Hill in Rome, near Lake Nemi in the Alban Hills, and in Campania.

From Wikipedia.

Day 2014, progress.

Daily picture

Yesterday I wrote about Covid deniers and how baseless their arguments are specially compared to the research that has been done for many years towards understanding these kinds of deceases. The people that have a hard time believing in what science has to say are often also negative about the progress we have made as humans.

The humans that lived 200.000 years ago where more or less like us in capabilities, if you put modern clothes on them and teach them English for instance you wouldn’t see a difference. Why is it important to know this you might wonder? It is important to know because most modern cultures look at the people that still live as hunter gatherers in remote places as primitive and backwards. But these people are exactly like us, the biggest difference is that they are raised in a totally different environment than ours. But they also have ambitions, fall in love, some like adventure others like to learn like we, people that live in cities. The biggest difference between the hunter gatherers from 200.000 years ago, and in a lesser amount, the “modern” hunter gatherers, is that they live(d) more in fear than we do.

Day 1778, Sapiens.

Books, Daily picture

Yesterday I wrote that I wanted to start reading some of the books I have (read). I decided to start with Sapiens, from Yuval Noah Harari. It is a well known book that I read it a couple of years ago, well, I listened to it. I have listened to the first chapter today. I do this listening in the car and at work. Wile listening I sometimes get distracted and forget to pause, this is the reason why I didn’t mind listening to the book again. I took some notes this time, and after the first chapter I listened to it again in a faster speed. It is a good thing that I did that because I missed some parts again… Normally I don’t mind not getting it all in, but now I want to listen to it all I notice that that is not so easy. I am sure this will also happen when you read a book, but I was quite obvious now. I work as a carpenter, it is often impossible to concentrate on a book, but today the work didn’t need much attention, but I guess my mind wondered off at some point.

This is written on his website of Yuval Noah Harrari, a brief history of humankind.

Homo sapiens rules the world because it is the only animal that can believe in things that exist purely in its own imagination, such as gods, states, money and human rights.

Starting from this provocative idea, Sapiens goes on to retell the history of our species from a completely fresh perspective. It explains that money is the most pluralistic system of mutual trust ever devised; that capitalism is the most successful religion ever invented; that the treatment of animals in modern agriculture is probably the worst crime in history; and that even though we are far more powerful than our ancient ancestors, we aren’t much happier.

If you are interested in human history than I recommend starting with prehistory. How did people live before the periods we have some (written)information from. I find it interesting, and this book tells it without nonsense and it is reasonable up to date with the latest findings as far as I can tell. The way he writes tell me that he is a skeptical person, he tries to show different opinions but he doesn’t shy away from telling his own opinion. It is by no means a book that will tell you everything you need to know, it is a book written for a large audience and the ideas it brings are a good starting point for more research.

A few things that I realize better now are the facts that not only Homo Sapiens and the Homo Neandertalensis lived at the same time, but that there were other Homo … living also at the same time. We also pride ourselves of the big brain we have and that this is the reason why we are ahead of other animals, but we had that brain for 2 million years and didn’t do much with it. He writes that those “brains” were as capable as ours, they could in principle learn what we can learn if one would wake up now.

There is also a discussion about how we became Homo Sapiens. Did we replace the other species or did we breed with them. Most scientist prefer the so called replacement theory because this fits better with the idea that all humans are the same. The other idea is known as interbreeding and suggest that some Home Sapiens have DNA of other species that where living in the area they moved into. They now know that a lot of people in the west have some Neanderthaler DNA and people in other parts of the world carry DNA from other local, and extinct species. This is something I like to know more about.

Tomorrow I will write more about chapter one.

Day 1772, how to repair a TV.

Daily picture, Poetry

We all know that if you want to become better in something, you have to practice and learn. But something strange happens if you learn more and more. There comes a point that you learn so much about a specific task or subject, that you loose control, to many variables make choosing the right direction, to hard.

If you are born before the 1990’s you probably know how to fix one of those old TV’s, you make a fist and bang on it, it is easy. You know only one way of fixing it, banging it. Now you’ve been to TV repair school and know all about TV’s, the next time it is broken, you have to go over a long checklist and rule out 50 possible problems. You gained a lot of knowledge, but it didn’t get easier, the only thing you know for sure is that banging on a TV is not good. This example is of course a little silly, but you can replace the TV with whatever you want, and you will see that this example still work.

Look at history, with little knowledge you can take big steps and proclaim that we are living like this because they did that 50 years ago. When you then start to read and learn more about that period, you will find out that it is more complicated once you take in account all the other facts and circumstances. A lot of historians will tell you that after many years of study they understand less of what happened, because they know to much.

It was still normal before the 18th century that a scholar was not only a philosopher but also a astronomer, chemist, physicist and also a mechanical engineers. All those different fields of knowledge where still so small that one person could understand it all. After the 18th century you will see that more and more people are specializing in one or two fields. These day’s you can be an engineer specialized in a subsection of a subsection of the department that is specialized in the designs of a wheel for an airplane.

If you know little, you will bang your fist on the TV in the hope you will fix it. If you know to mush you spend the rest of your life thinking about why the TV is broken.

I was inspired by Day 1548

In

and out of focus

we climb up

~

till our branch

bends down again

to where we started