Wednesday, August 7, 2013

This Wonderful World

You sometimes hear people say what a wonderful world God or Nature has created for us to live in.  This never fails to irritate me.  Maybe they are talking about beautiful.  I'll buy that.  I can appreciate beauty.  I'm no oaf.  I think trees and rocks and water and the sky...okay, you get what I'm saying - they're beautiful.

But wonderful?  I dunno, that's a whole other can of worms.  And how do you feel about those?  Or gnats, chiggers, fleas - the list is endless.  The weather is not wonderful.  Quite often it is not even nice.  My air conditioner is running right now.  And Leo would probably be inside stretched out cooling off but I guess he's out answering the call of nature to try and produce more of his kind.

Because that's the thing you know.  That's what got all these creatures and us here struggling to survive and get along in this "wonderful" world.  And it is one of the things that makes it not so wonderful.  Our lives are filled with decisions and way too often none of the choices suit us.

Yes, I'm aware I'm rambling.  I tried to write down my ideas serious and proper like but I got bored.  Bored, bored, bored.  So I'm having fun now and if you hate this, it's okay, just go to the next guy or gal's blog and really, I'll be serious here, I'm sorry I wasted your time.

This is the point I was going to make.  This is not a wonderful world and I have proof!

There is a TV show on Discovery channel called Naked and Afraid.  They drop off two people in the wilderness completely naked.  I think what they get in the way of survival items varies but it is always almost nothing.  Maybe flint and some kind of blade.  I haven't seen the show yet; my elder son was telling me about it.  At some point I will watch it but don't need to as far affecting my view of the world.

And that view is - this world would just suck big time for us humans were it not for the many, many, many wonderful human beings who have made this beautiful world a place where we can actually live comfortably and be happy.  If I could I would buy 'em all a drink and say, "fellow human beings, you did good, real good!"

While I'm on the subject, humans are not done with doing good.  Nature did not create the best.  In many cases it only created what was barely good enough to survive.  When it comes to creating things, man can and has done better and will likely continue to do so in the future.

One more thing I want to say before I wrap this up.  Man has made his share of mistakes.  Our natural environment has suffered tremendously in some cases because of it.  I do what I can to insure I leave as small a footprint as possible.  But I won't throw the baby out with the bath water.  I love all my stuff and I hope I'm never naked and afraid.

23 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Naked and Afraid is a dumb show.
God's creations trump all.
Have seen you around, David. Feel free to visit. The Ninja camp is always open.

David Oliver said...

Alex, thanks for the invite. I'm afraid we disagree and might even argue. That's okay. I actually like a good argument if both people can argue and not fight.

Sometime ago I read an article where some kind of worms were making some kind of chips. Here I apologize profusely because I remember so little and none of the details. The bottom line was this. Even though the chips were usable, they were not as good as man can make. However, there are many examples where man has improved on nature.

David Oliver said...

Oh and I couldn't find the article but if I do at some point, I'll post a link.

Andrew Leon said...

Some stuff is good. I think more stuff is bad.
I don't think I have more than that to elaborate with.
Well, man has potential that other things don't; unfortunately, man more often uses that potential for short term gain rather than long term good. That's no different than nature except that man can see beyond the short term but most often chooses not to.

David Oliver said...

Andrew, it took a second read but I understand everything you said. And I agree. Mostly. Not sure if I agree there is more bad stuff than good stuff. Without a doubt most often what man uses his intelligence for is making money. And of course that's not good especially if it is at the expense of some other person(s). But sometimes even that has improved our lives.

Helsie said...

Well this discussion is a bit deep for this time of the afternoon!
All I can say is I'm glad I live in today and not in times past. For me, life is good, safe, healthy and I am able to CHOOSE to embrace new stuff or not and all of this allows me to enjoy this wonderful world.

Gorilla Bananas said...

You are 100% correct. Humans who speak about the harmony and beauty of Nature have no concept of the incessant life-and-death struggle that wild creatures face. A pet cat has a far more pleasant life than a wild lion. I wish all humans were as wise as you are to appreciate the comforts that civilisation has brought them.

ADRIAN said...

I understand what you are saying.
My world is really wonderful.....I go out for a wander and keep saying to myself...."I wonder what that is?"

David Oliver said...

Good point! I didn't mean to advocate that we should accept every new thing man creates. And certainly not accept many of them as released. Look at the first boilers. They were a nightmare until the Boiler and Pressure Vessel code was adopted. Many people died horrible deaths and many others painfully injured but for longer than we can remember we have had safe and reliable power. Yes, we've paid a price because of green house gases. But how many of us would like to live without electricity? You are exactly right, we have to choose. We need to choose wisely.

David Oliver said...

I remember the day my Mom got her first electric cook stove. Barely, but I do remember. I was hungry and she said I would have to wait until the men finished working and she could cook. It is true we lived in a poor and backward area but it is still incredible how far we've come in the last 60 years.

And you are absolutely right about wild animals. My elder son wanted me to keep Leo in the house. He mentioned the statistic of how much longer cats lived who were not allowed outdoors than those who were not. But I also believe in freedom and there being little point in living if you can't enjoy your life. That applies to my cat as well. And he wants to go outside. :)

David Oliver said...

I have a tee shirt that says "not all who wander are lost." It's okay but I wanted it to read, "not all who wonder are lost." Maybe I need to get some printed up for all of us who wander around wondering.

Your wandering has made quite an impression on me. I'm beginning to see things I never gave a second thought about before.

A Beer For The Shower said...

I still have my toys, but it's about how you use them. Like, I'm amazed how many people leave everything they own plugged in 24/7, just drawing all of this useless power. Or how many people don't recycle. It's not hard to leave a smaller footprint, you just have to at least try. It doesn't mean completely sacrificing all of your goodies.

Andrew Leon said...

Specifically, I was thinking about cars. We continue to make resource guzzling cars even though we could make other, better things, but the oil industry doesn't want to let go and keep us using these devices that pollute and kill. I think cars alone make it be more bad stuff. And, you know, I have cars (although one is a Prius), but I wish I didn't have to have cars.

ADRIAN said...

David, if the big picture doesn't ring your bells then sit down and look at the other minutia that the world has to offer.

David Oliver said...

I get it now. One of these days you can find me sitting quietly outside in the woods. I won't be doing yoga. I'll be looking at whatever nature sends my way.

David Oliver said...

I am one those people who never unplug anything. Until today. As soon as I finished toasting bread, I unplugged the toaster oven. Really we could use push button electrical contacts instead of these plug in, unplug contraptions.

Should Fish More said...

Well, you're certainly not alone in the view, David. The catholic church has had it for eons, the men who started the industrial revolution in Europe in the 17th century practiced it, and it's alive and well today. The attitude has used everything from Kant's 'philosophy of reason' to Kissinger's 'realpolitik' to justify the results. The basis seems to me to be the idea that we may create problems with our solutions, but we'll fix them when they come up.

Then we butt up against some real hurdles, global warming comes to mind. Turns out we can't fix it, or are not willing to take the steps necessary to fix it. That's when the axiom of 'we'll fix it when it happens', turns out to be 'we'll let them fix it when it's really a problem', and depends on technology of the future to fix it.

Abrogating responsibility for expediency is one of those rationalizations we can't get through the day without.

Should Fish More said...

Another example might be power, specifically electricity. You said above 'we now have safe and reliable power'. Chernobyl and Fukashima nuc plants, the people around them, might disagree. Coal powered plants may be reliable, but the environmental costs are significant. Even the oil industry acknowledges oil will run out, but that's a problem for the future....

David Oliver said...

Mike, I might be wrong but what I'm getting from what you say is you feel guilty about using the technology man has created. And even, that all of us should feel guilty about it because of how we got to this point and because of the damage that is still occurring.

I don't feel guilty about it and you can dump me in any category you like. The reason is I think about what life would be like without technology. The horrors that have incurred because of progress would be a drop in the bucket compared to the widespread starvation and disease that would undoubtedly occur without it. Look at conditions in the poorest nations of the world now.

As for reliable power, I was referring to the safety of boilers. As for nuclear power, if I have to choose between being without power or using power generated from a nuclear plant, I choose nuclear. And if the only way we can have it is for me to go work in a nuclear plant, then just give my dress out clothing and I'm on my way.

Should Fish More said...

Huh, I don't think I mentioned or implied 'guilt' in any terms, nor was I trying to 'dump' anyone in any category. My intent was to point out that I think we are relying too much on technology to fix the problems that technology has created. I'm not suggesting that when man first started using and making fire, he should have stopped because someone would get burned.

Taking a point to the extreme, comparing what we are now to what we would be without any technology is sometimes a useful technique, but usually misses the point.

Please have a guilt-free day. I am, despite my gas-guzzling truck, carbon spewing charcoal grill and wasteful ways.

Carol Kilgore said...

I'm not a deep thinker. But I believe that if you look for the good, you will find it. Likewise if you don't.

David Oliver said...

Yes. That is what I try to do everyday. Look for the good in my life and the things around me. It makes me happy.

David Oliver said...

It took me awhile but I think I understand what you are saying. Is it this?

Since technology got us into this mess, then more technology will only make things worse, not better.

If that is what you are saying, then it is perfectly logical reasoning. But logic sometimes gives a false conclusion. Before the understanding of germs and the use of sterile equipment and procedures, surgery on the human body was doomed to failure and it was logical to think you simply couldn't cut into the human body. But technology not only made this possible but has progressed to a point beyond the wildest dreams of people 300 years ago.

I see no other solution than technology to the problems of today. Certainly conservation can help and I think desperately needed but only until man can devise some new method of producing cleaner and safer energy.

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