Saturday, August 19, 2006

A Question of Papyrus

With John and Dan and Anurag today I visited San José's Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum. The way I understand it (please forgive me if my facts are wrong, I don't give a damn) the use of papyrus by the ancient Egyptians was pretty unimportant.

Papyrus helped them keep records. It helped them transfer and advance their knowledge. It gave rise to new forms of expression. But none of that matters. Silly papyrus, it could never give people a better life, they could only get that for and from themselves.

Yesterday (Thursday) or so I nearly fell off a rock formation one hundred or more feet to my death. Well, that's probably a bit melodramatic, I was pretty much in control for the few feet that I was actually sliding down, and I had plenty of stuff to grab onto had I not found what I did. Then getting down was all about caution, patience, sustained focus and tolerance of low-level pain, controlling heart rate and breathing... so basically it was like long-distance running but crazier.


heatrose said...

i'm an awful person, because when i began reading the last paragraph the first thing i thought was "hey what kind of rock is it?"

also, its good that you didnt fall, and i'd like to think that if you had, that wouldnt have been the first thing i'd think.

today i was at a renaissance fair with some folk and there were maps of the fair held down with rocks as paperweights, and they were all "oooh maps" and picked up them, and i was "oooh neat rocks!" and proceeded to neglect the maps and look at the rocks.

(more importantly, how much of what is generally termed "progress" is actually important in the sense of improving people's lives? GO!)

Al Dimond said...

NOTHING THAT CAN BE TERMED PROGRESS IS ACTUALLY IMPORTANT IN IMPROVING PEOPLE'S LIVES because people's lives are what they perceive them to be and if people in a pre-progress state were that completely miserable in their lives they'd all have jumped off giant rock formations and would never have been invented (!).

I can't decide whether I think progress is about finding ways to perpetually grow the human population until we eventually conquer the universe (wtf?) or whether it's about preserving inequalities that can be exploited for gain. I mean, it's not really *about* either of those things, because it's more of an inevitable force, one of the few things I'm comfortable calling "human nature", and those are just some of the results of it.

I don't really know anything about rocks, so I don't know what kind of rocks they were. The formation was on Pfeiffer Beach in the Big Sur area (I don't know exactly what is and isn't Big Sur), and the rocks were kinda sharp and there were lots of small loose ones that made climbing difficult, and that ultimately cut me up when I fell.

There was another set of rock formations that was smooth and reminded me of coral reefs, but that could just be because I'm uneducated. They were much easier to climb.

Anonymous said...

The Oscar Wilde quote, "True friends stab you in the front" comes to mind. You must not be a true friend, because when you slipped, the a falling rock came and hit me in the back. Oscar Wilde quoatation Rev 1. "True friends kick rocks at you in the back".
I don't know. Hi :-) I enjoyed our trivial pursuit and white russian extravaganza.