busy

I’ve been busy lately, but I haven’t been forgetting about the blog. Been thinking about what the next post should be about, and real life got in the way. Pesky thing. Maybe people’s bug-out bags? I recently went back home to the big D and found that only one of my oldest friends does NOT have a bag ready. I have a few opinions about the concept, though honestly more about the contents than anything else.

I keep seeing something that I’m finding a little disturbing: why are people packing so much? I’d like to hear the lists people are putting into them and what the rationale is for a lot of it. I’m personally of the opinion that I’d prefer not to have the bag at all as it’ll likely be filled with things I’ll find myself relying on – crutches, if you will. A few field guides and enough gas in the tank to get out of Dodge – or at least far enough away that the abandoned car won’t be found for a few hours – would suffice, I would think.

If there’s more than one reader, I’d love if they compared notes! Let’s see them comments!


funz

I went to the Knap-in. Was fun! I didn’t knock any rocks together myself, but I did buy an antler pressure flaker for $4. I couldn’t help it.. I picked it up and the way it was curved was a perfect fit in my hand, so it won the buy-me lottery.

A lot of the people seemed to be buddies with each other, which I kind of expected since it’s not the largest community in the world, but what I didn’t expect was the most talkative of the bunch seeming like carnies to me. Don’t get me wrong, they knew what they were doing with the prim skills, but wow I wouldn’t have trusted them any further than I could’ve thrown them. It’s plainly obvious when a person discounts you as you stand there. Kind of makes for strained conversation.

That was the down note. There were many ups! I attended a talk about Clovis hunting technology, which was fascinating, and I saw a lot of different things. One guy I watched shoot his (looked like) self-bow. He couldn’t hit the targets to save his rear, so he asked if he could shoot the fake bear that was out as a target. On THAT, however, he put three cane arrows into a 2-inch grouping where the heart of the animal should have been, and he did it in about 15 seconds from 20 or so yards away. I was impressed. I wish I could shoot like that, with such confidence, and watching the guy… he had a total hunter’s form when he shot, like his whole world fell away the moment before he loosed his shot. Was a sight to see.

In that same vein, I threw a set of three darts with an atlatl for the first time in my life. I couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn. I had some power behind those darts, though. All three would’ve killed whatever it was they’d hit… if only they’d hit what I was trying to aim at! Most people’s attempts flew off into the air or got caught in the backdrop meant to catch what us noobs couldn’t put in the right place. Mine, on the other hand, did no such thing. The first went to the right and low of the target and then slid out of the range completely underneath the bottom edge of the backdrop. My second was high and to the left… and went completely through the backdrop, and the third one went low and left and slid along the ground until it caught dirt and stuck out at a 45. But they flew straight! Straight into lala-land! Not my weapon of choice, haha.

The hide-scraping demo was cool, too. I got to dry-scrape part of a deer hide to remove the outer layer where the hair follicles stick. That was cool.

I also did get a tip on where to find florida coral stones and some chert to try knapping. I just have to make sure I grab it from outside of the island park!

Fun trip. I told the SO that she’s going next time.


Dirt Time

Well, I won’t be camping the knap-in but I’ll just be attending on the Saturday. The Significant Other ™ is having an allergy issue this year so I’ll be doing it alone. That’s ok. I’m basically looking to learn only a few things… what these rocks look like in the wild so that I can gather them, and what the most basic techniques are. That will get me something to chew on and it’s all I’ll really need. I was hoping to camp it but I won’t go nuts…. I’m going to be there for the knapping anyway.

In another note, I decided it’s high time I did something about the grocery store situation, and the fact that the price of gas is going up and up and up and will never again come down, thus driving up the price of food as well – I planted a wee box garden that won’t feed the whole world… won’t fee a single person, really, but will help with the gardening and plant confidence. In effect, I got some dirt time today! XD

Here’s a pic:

It’s not what my dad does, but I’m already proud of the start, as small as it is.


Awesome by-products.

I went to my second session for my cardiac rehab today. When I got out I realized something – I have better eyesight after the workout. Coincidence? Nah. I think it’s because I get the blood flowing more.

My goal is to get back to where I was when I was 18 or 19, only in better shape. People will say “oh, it can’t be done,” but I think they’re just defeatist BS-mongers. There is no way I’d survive without civilization in my current shape, so that’s how it ties in to this here blarg. I intend to be a parkour crazy-man before I skip out to the woods for any length of time. Of course, by that time there will be no more cardiac medication whatsoever. If I need aspirin, I’ll drink birch tea.


Knap-in March 26-27 Silver River State Park, Ocala, Florida

March 26-27. Be there? I will! Thinking about camping. Have no tent, though. Technically I shouldn’t need one.

http://www.eskimo.com/~knapper/knapins.html


Response #1

FINALLY. I managed to get myself together and actually post my thoughts on Thesis #1 by Anthropik. It’s taken a month and 3 days since I promised, and it’s short, and the first paragraph doesn’t matter. Here I go, anyway:

Picking Nits

Just because killing someone reduces their utility it does not necessarily mean that loss of utility is profoundly negative. There are other factors involved that aren’t touched upon. Sometimes it will decrease the utility of the group in the short term, but with profoundly positive effect in the long. Imagine you still have 100 people (since that is all the land will support, let’s say) and this incredibly annoying trait has begun to breed. Eventually this trait will become commonplace and will thus decrease the utility of the group far more than the loss of the one individual in the beginning. I say lose the one and increase the short-term happiness of the rest of the group. Since the population will grow to be what the land can support, this one person’s utility will be replaced before too long. Again, this is an overly simplistic nit-picking of an overly simplistic example.

There is a fundamental issue in my mind with the stated premise of this thesis. I say diversity is not the primary good – I say that diversity performs two functions toward the primary good, which is nothing more nor less the continuation of life as a whole: diversity is a result of the expansion of forms of life to fill niches in the environment, and it is also the engine by which those niches are filled. These may sound like the same things, but they most definitely are not.

Diversity as a result

When a niche is open in the circle of life, meaning that there exists an unused method of survival available to organisms that will take advantage of it, some organisms will in fact take advantage of it. Those organisms that do will eventually differentiate from their root stock in ways that capitalize on that survival method.

Doing so accomplishes three functions:

1. The organism become much better suited to making a living in the new mode.

2. The new changes will tend to help it protect that niche by out-competing other organisms that may be considering that niche as well.

3. This new population will grow to fill that niche and not crowd the former organism from its place.

Diversity as an engine

The differentiate and change to match ones environment and mode of life, one become a new organism related to its parent, but different enough to be called a new organism. This is diversity in action. In this way, when blight strikes the food supply of one organism and wipes it out, the other organism is not affected. This is one way that diversity helps protect the fact of life itself.

These are only cursory examinations of some of the holes I find in this first thesis. No doubt others can find more, and no doubt others could easily expand on what I have said.

It’s not that I disagree that diversity is good, quite the contrary: I believe it is paramount. I just do not believe it is primary; it’s just a means to an end.


Thesis #1 Link

I wanted to post the Theses here, but it occurs to me that if I do that I might be in violation of some copyright somewhere, even if I properly attribute it. I’ve got a local copy on my hard drive and I will make sure it doesn’t die – if they fall off the net, I will repost them. Otherwise, here is the link to Thesis #1: Diversity is the Primary Good.

I’m reading an re-reading it a few times to make sure my thoughts on it are solid (and so that it will be hard to argue with me, haha). Feel free to read them over and over and try to find holes in it. I love a good argument when the other side has actually read the materials.

More later.