Human beings have been on Earth for a long time, counting from the “split” about 6-7 million years.
I still daily fast walk four miles along Alameda Creek, although due to the virus my other outside activities remain minimal.
First human ancestors in genus Homo, 2.6 million years.
This means everyday walking along with my camera, seeing the same things.
First modern humans, Homo sapiens about 200,000 years ago . . .
Is it better to know less about what I see or just see it differently?
Human beings have been writing for about 5000 years, writing represents about 0.025% of human history. Yet writing is the most important information we have for knowing history, and the worst.
Still everyday on the path I see different people .
Estimates of petroglyphs, Venuses, and other art forms date back 700,000 years old. These are forms of artistic information as well as information about culture.
Sometimes, for some the trail is a a motel room.
Human tools date back 3.3 million years. Writings, art, tools are all things which pass on history between generations.
I usually try to say hello to everyone I pass on the trail where we all share the same reason to be there.
Art, which has been around much longer than writing, is material objects with a personal statement and can only be created by the artist.
Some people I only see once, and for some reason we stop and talk.
You could say that Homo Sapiens are “more causally related” to the evolution of human society, while having been around for 200,000 years it took them 195,000 years to create writing, the writing period being about 0.025%.
This gentleman is proud of his career in the US Army.
Tools which have been around for 3.3 million years are material objects designed so anyone willing to learn the skills can use them, skills which are not the property of the the creator —anyone can use them.
Some people I see very regularly on the creek for a long period of time never go beyond saying hello.
Where art is a personal expression of human feeling, and dependent on the creation of an individual tools represent human technology which works the same way for most humans. Tools do not transmit the opinions of their creators.
If I do stop and talk AND if the person is wearing listening devices I will ask them to what are they listening. Only once has the person asked me (in return) “What are you listening to?
Tools are not personal, a tool to dig the ground will dig the ground no matter what person was using it as long as they developed some basic skilling using it.
Generally people know more about something than I do and I must remind myself to stop talking and start listening—stillI put two “I” s in the sentence and I could not resist a third.
All of these things, writing, tools, pottery may have a lifetime longer than individuals, and facilitate communication between generations,— tools simply by their use transmit culture transmit culture.
I have a brace (u-shaped drill) which was once owned by my grandfather and every time I use it is a special experience.
For most of the time human beings sensual experiences were in balance but with print written words and print (as opposed to manuscripts) resulted in an imbalanced use of our senses. Electronic media may bring rebalance to the use of our senses for knowing or perhaps minimize the part the visual experience plays.
And on the trail people still read books
Still writing, as short as its time has been, is the human creation which has had the greatest power to influence human behavior.
Writing can communicate important information while also being used to communicate disinformation. Assume all through its history writing has been like that. What is truth, what is not truth, what is knot truth? How do we know if the historical writing of Thucydides is not just some personal revengeful rantings by someone who was exiled for his failures as a military leader.
This gentleman worked reporting and editing at a local newspaper most of his life, was employed pre-digital and during the transition from print to digital and has many interesting stories about events of business investors, cutting expenses and compromising reporting.
Pottery, containers made with clay or ceramic materials used for various purposes, have been around for 25,000 years. Pottery combines art and tool. This suggests teaching — passing on skill and knowledge necessary for survivial is also one of the oldest skills. For most of history the success of teachers was directly related to survival.
Here are examples of bizen, oribe, kuro-oribe, shigaraki. shino, hagi, ki-seto, mashiko, Okinawa, Seto-yaki ekaratsu and one family treasure. Folk kilns in Japan have centuries of history, and in a pot, old or new, the potter expresses the artistic tradition as well as see their own individual artistic statement.
Time can change writing, Governments write on the streets, and here is an example of what happens naturally—entropy.
Even letters change their message, here are 25 examples of the top of the “O” in the word “STOP” probably all painted on the street within the past 40 years, a tiny time period relative to 5,000 or 200,000 years.
Now literally at our finger tips we have immediate access to the knowledge of all human kind and that will have its own effect on history.