Idle, very idle night thoughts

Well for the hunter gatherers their day also was 24 hours long. Did they sleep most of the day? If not, they probably had as many “sensorial” experiences as we do, their lives having been in that sense no less full than ours.

And yet they, because they were without even the tiniest bit of our technology (if you except the cave painters of Southern France and Northern Spain, who in the darkness on the walls of their caves have given us almost the only real glimpse we have of them) have left us with little, almost no account or their days, or nights.

Therefore, faute de mieux, we impose upon them, those tribes of 10, 20, 30 thousand or more years ago, what we see going on in the few intact hunter gatherer groups we have uncovered mostly in the tropics during the past 100 years of so.

Are there others of these, much like our earliest ancestors, still covered, still undiscovered? I don’t know. From my easy chair in Tampa, Florida it doesn’t seem so, but then I have never spent any time in the jungle regions and have no idea if there are well hidden still undiscovered places out there where these people might still be hunting and gathering.

In any case, because of our technology, that which constantly holds and compounds the mountains of available information available to us, much as the bank compounds interest, we are leaving behind us (for how long, who knows) a vast, although woefully incomplete in respect to the entire 7 billion or so of us alive today, record of (some of) our activities.

Can anyone other than Google or an even more powerful Google robot, put it all together, and then somehow hold it all together, all the vast record of the lives of the billions of representatives of homo sapiens alive today, let alone those of earlier epochs?

In my own case I now I have thousands of pieces of my own writing, tens of thousands of pieces of the writing of others in articles and books, all of it propping me up as it were in my large upstairs room-study where I work at my computer, along with my wife who is there also working at hers.

Propping me up in the sense that with all those written words about me and within easy reach, and especially the little of them that I have grabbed hold of, swallowed as it were, and digested and made a part of me, I now am somebody. They have in a way lent me a little of their substance.

Take them away, move me away from the thoughts of others, that which will of course in time, and not too long a time, happen, then what will remain of me? I wonder sometimes if my soul, the imperishable part of me, is made up only of them.

An important question because they will in time, I know, perish. I might ask if there is anything to me other than the ideas, nearly all the ideas of others, that I have accumulated during almost 80 years and have now in books alined in rows on shelves where I am now living in Tampa.

And without them, much as without the technology that also surrounds me, would I find myself back entirely in the grip of the sensorial impressions of my long day, the same 24 hour day as that of the hunter gatherers? There are those who say that would be a good thing if it were to happen.

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