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Storm at Sea, in the Arizona Desert

I was furious with myself. Why hadn't I pointed the bow of my trailer into the storm! The wind was shifting to the "sou'west" in a few minutes, when heavy rain was supposed to hit.

And then there was a lull in the rain, so I ran outside and got hitched up as quickly as possible. Now I can turn a circle on flat desert gravel, in order to get the perfect angle. 

I have to smile at this. I am reading Abulafia's "The Boundless Sea", about the history of oceans, or rather, the history of man's relationship with those oceans. And here I am: bracing for a storm at sea -- in the Arizona desert.

On one level it is enjoyable and satisfying to make a connection like this. But it is also humbling to think how timid and wimpy a modern man can be, compared to our ancestors just a couple generations ago. My own grandfather worked as a cabin boy in the Baltic Sea when he was 14. My father was on an LST in the south Pacific during World War II when he was eighteen. And now, look at me!

How can a person really think about this deeply, and still maintain a blind faith in Progress (and the Whig Interpretation of History)? 


XXXXX said…

You can't and perhaps you shouldn't.

John Gray (the British philosopher) wrote a great book on the subject "The Silence of Animals: On Progress and Other Modern Myths". In it he says: History may be a succession of absurdities, tragedies, and crimes; but --everyone insists--the future can still be better than anything in the past. To give up this hope would induce a state of despair.....Among the many benefits of faith in progress the most important may be that it prevents too much self-knowledge."

George, Gray's book sounds interesting. Do you know any place to get it in eBook form, hopefully for free?
Ed said…
Free @ Z Library ( but only in ePub format.
XXXXX said…

I'm not aware of anything for this book other than kindle.
Anonymous said…
The irony is most of us don’t ask for progress, it is rammed down our throats regardless!
Anonymous, yes, the coercion of progress is overlooked by "pro-Progess" partisans. As long as they are on the winning side, it doesn't matter to them that other people are being bullied.