Not de-bunking bunk. Questing better understanding, universal hot buttons, maybe hit a nerve or strike a vein of gold. Not because they are real, logical or plausible – because we have them. Common – universal thoughts, ones mattering to us all, whether or not they matter. There is no cure for the common cold, or the uncommon thought.
Before numbers, who could you count on?
What about that Big Bang?
Maybe. Some say no. Like climate change denying folk. Agreeing there is a universe, there is a climate – but they can’t agree how anything was caused, or might be fixed. Little changes with either. Over thousands, millions of years. Sure, but in the short term?
Still we have windmills, and we tilt …
Some people, all thumbs.
Some, all brain.
Before math, some early human looked at their toes or their fingers and suddenly, they could count to twenty.
And do math in tens. Oops, maybe not that fast. But our digital metric world was born then.
Who did that?
We don’t know.
Nobody wrote it down.
Numbers, I suspect, were invented before words. Can you imagine, how math and science would have developed if early humans had six fingers on each hand or six toes.
Everything measured in dozens? Would Pi exist, or matter. Actually, Pi isn’t a thing – it’s a thought, a mathematical relationship. Toes, fingers – those are things. Tens, or twelves, are not.
Our brief time on earth is the root of this conundrum.
If we lived hundreds of years we could do more, see more, be connected more.
Most of us will live 100 years, more or less. In obscurity, mostly.
Leaving memories, trinkets and cash – not remembered by anyone beyond family and close friends. Or very long. I remember my paternal grandparents. Maternal ones died before I was born. I have pictures. When all their grandchildren are gone – who will know them, remember, or care?
Before there was everything, was there anything? What?
Here, or over there – where was it?
Our quest to figure out, explain things – as old as trying to figure ourselves out.
Journalistas and historians speculate, on someone’s legacy. Wasted energy.
Universal truths, themes, questions – trying to understand better what connects us all, friends or strangers, speaking similar languages, common thoughts – there is no perfect understanding, no universal understanding, of anything. Not because we have opposable thumbs or because someone, way back, invented mathematics. Those discoverers were more important but far less renowned that Newton was for watching that apple falling, proving gravity was a ‘thing’.
Apples had been falling long before Newton arrived. He didn’t invent gravity, he just described something obvious as nobody had described it before. He used numbers to calculate and prove it. But where would he have been if no one had invented numbers?
Newton will be remembered for his laws long after every lawmaker passes to dust, and nobody knows who first counted on his/her fingers, or toes.
What will I be remembered for?
What about you?
Essential ingredients: one three-pound brain, two opposable thumbs.
We’ll be remembered for what we did, who we gave birth to, not for what we worried about. For who were. Not because we invented counting, but because we were someone who could be counted on.
written / published from Calgary, AB
morning walk: 0C/33F, mostly cloudy, streets empty and surreal suspense– like in a Hitchcock movie, not knowing what will happen next. Gusta tricked me. She wouldn’t poop … so we walked some more, and she wouldn’t poop. Maybe she didn’t need to? Maybe she’s storing up to give a present, a social commentary on my condo-board’s attitudes. But seriously, that might be a waste of perfectly good poop – better used to fertilize asphalt and concrete where there is hope of growing some kindness in a frost-boiled crack in the ground …
If you liked any Musing column, it would mean a lot to me if you let me know. Comments always welcome - please contribute to the discussion. Reply to: email@example.com. You can also connect with me on LinkedIn. You can sign-up friends at: MarkMusing.com . This site is updated daily, each column is retained in the archive when the next day's column is loaded ...
I publish FACILITYCalgary, weekly newsletter, free every Tuesday; to sign up, CLICK HERE