Venture

Caspar_David_Friedrich_-_Wanderer_above_the_sea_of_fog

 

We do not live in an especially mundane time and place. Adventures and miracles that happened long ago and far away are as likely to happen here and now. That we are color-blind to adventure and wonder tells us more about ourselves than the nature of our world.

I blame education. Our teachers tried to tell us that all was understood and there were no mysteries. Pfui! Even the recent LIGO results that purported to bolster General Relativity avoided the major questions. Quantum mechanics and Relativity simply do not fit. And avoiding this truth suppresses the mystery.

If you dreamed of pirates, well there are more pirates now than ever in the glory of the Caribbean. And more gallant navies fighting them. And private groups contracted as privateers.

We are ready for a revolution in art. We are in the birth of computer controlled machine tools and nearly magical revolutions in additive machining. We await our Michelangelo.

Juliana

Are you up for the challenge? And the permanence. If the Venus di Milo is damaged we cry and cherish the remains. A digital file can be reproduced. Forever.

Does anyone doubt that there are revolutions that need to be committed – or completed? Think of the starving, stunted masses in North Korea or South Sudan. [But know what you are doing. Most revolutions are roller coasters to hell. The best are quiet enough that their critics deny them to be revolutions at all. Mike Duncan has a wonderful webcast on the revolutions of the world, but even he neglected the Glorious Revolution. A revolution almost without violence. It surreptitiously deposed all future  monarchs to a status under parliament without tumbril and guillotine. There are wise books about how to do this. ] After six decades the people of Cuba are still waiting for their presidents to submit to a vote. This is not democracy, nor is it socialism. Monarchy, I can believe. Fidel I even passed his kingdom to Raoul I as a king to his heir. Castro has a duchy not a democracy.

Do you wish to explore? SpaceX and Blue Origin and hundreds of competitors are opening up a frontier. They need help. There is so much wealth two hundred miles up that competence can demand its own price. We are like Prince Henry the Navigator waiting for Columbus. And there are companies looking for help. Only one Earth, indeed!

Are you concerned about man-made CO2? We have two choices: Get rid of most people and go back to an agrarian society via negative population growth – And such societies loved slavery and forbade equal rights. Or devise new energy sources and treat our home, Earth, as a garden. We know fusion power works. The Sun rises. Thorium power can work today. Burning fossil fuels works. But burning all those irreplaceable complex organic molecules for power is like burning a Van Gogh to keep warm.

European and international elites are health, rich and spiritually starved. The established cathedrals are empty but for tourists. The established universities argue discredited economics as though it were real philosophy. In an arc from Libya to Iran, the House of Islam, poor and wealthy, fights insecurity and a fear of inferiority by seeking a conspiracy that has stabbed them in the back. Else the have done this to themselves. Their feelings of inferiority turn to rage when tiny, poor Israel thrives on wasteland and cannot be eliminated after decades. The world is ready for a new spiritual reformation.

Revolutions await. Scientific, cultural, artistic, and more. One thing history teaches is that if revolutions are put off until any fool can spark them, they will likely be sparked and directed by fools. The new worlds come without our permission.

Care to participate?

 

 

 

 

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The Little Big Horn

 

montana_spring_afternoon

 

Dad and his siblings grew up a couple of miles from the Custer Battlefield in a place called Hardin in Montana. It was a large family. My oldest uncle as an adolescent was one of the people hired to tear down the old Fort Custer when it was terribly decayed. Dad’s best friends were Absaroka.

This is not important, except…. My entire aware life I have heard the national media refer to ‘The Little Big Horn.’

Little Horn River

My generation and younger often call the Greasy Grass River that just from the power of television and movies. I don’t think the locals ever referred to it as such before the movie ‘Little Big Man.’ Heck, We even have Little Big Man Pizza.

The natives from before my time always call it the Little Horn River. As opposed to the Big Horn River a short way away.

[ If you wish to know how Custer could have missed an encampment on the plains of eastern Montana just look at the picture at the top of this page. ]

So Hollywood it seems has renamed a geographic feature without many people noticing. If you haven’t been there you would never notice. Does anyone else have such an example?

Oh, Here is a small reference to how my aunt and uncles referred to the place.

LH Bank

Shields and Arrogance

Versailles

versailles-3

 

My friend, Al, visited Versailles years ago. Al was very disappointed. He knew what a king’s home should look like. Shield walls. A portcullis. Drawbridges. Instead he found this very large, nice house. Not even a moat.

I tried to suggest the arrogance in such a choice was the mark of an absolute monarch. The statement that one’s armies are so strong that one needn’t live in a bunker. Indeed, the walls of a medieval castle were less than useless against artillery such as Louis had. Real wars became contests of maneuver in the field since castle walls could only stymie people without cannons. Imagine the break in tradition. Louis IV told the other nations that he was too tough to be touched or intimidated. Worse, he told their people that their rulers were insecure and hiding in fortresses. The other absolute rulers could look insecure – a fatal thing for a leader – or spend money to look confident. Even then they were seen to copy the French King. A beautiful move that put him on top culturally.

Too bad that Louis VI had no walls to hide behind when the peasants came for him.

There is a fellow that keeps saying ‘architecture is art in which you live.’ That is very like Louis IV because the 1950’s were very like King Louis. America came out of the Second World War with no threats. Nuclear weapons were beyond defense, but no army could dream of attacking us. People around me live in open, wooden houses with large windows because they are inexpensive, attractive, comfortable, and easy to build. What they are not is secure. The locks on my house keep out the honest or the curious. Since the 1950’s real security has been provided by the military, the police, the Bill of Rights, and a secure culture. Anyone can get in my house by breaking a picture window. Going through a wood frame wall is not hard either. To this day I don’t fear the police coming through my door because the Bill of Rights still holds. I don’t much fear anyone else because I live in a very safe culture. As Louis VI learned, cultures change.

A century and a half ago folks out here had different houses. First floors had small windows and walls could stop bullets. A log cabin isn’t just concealment. It is real cover. Picture windows are a vanity in crime-ridden neighborhoods. Your architecture depends on its culture. My house is only sensible if I maintain a civil culture.

1831 South Face of the White House. Library of Congress. (2)

We can see this in the White House. When there was a Civil War looming nearby the White House was still open and accessible. The fence came later. It wasn’t until 1995 that Pennsylvania Avenue was closed in front of the mansion. Richard Nixon had a bowling alley. Barack Obama has built a bunker. Thus our cultural changes are visible.

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The real question is what will our culture be and what architecture will match it.