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"...a tool-making animal."

A recent campsite featured a lot of something that I have never seen so much of, in one place.  Obsidian rock.  Every two steps on the ground, there was another piece of it, usually fist-sized.  It is quite pretty.  Fresh surfaces of it are shiny black.

And speaking of fresh surfaces, isn't that how Stone Age men supposedly made tools?  But how do you strike two rocks together so that a useful tool would fracture off?  Most rocks have crystallographic axes, making them weaker in some directions than others.  But obsidian is a glass so it has no weak and strong axes.  

What was the point of over-thinking this?  I grabbed two baseball-sized pieces of obsidian and gave them a glancing blow towards each other, like a musician might give to a pair of cymbals.  And I'll be damned if a large flake didn't come off.  It was quite sharp on the edge.  You could call it a stone blade since it could cut things in the kitchen. 

But there is a long way to go in turning this stone blade into a more useful tool.  Where would I find a vine to tie the obsidian blade to a wooden stick?  What kind of knot would work best?  Wouldn't the vine-string have to be twisted just right?

Stone Age men had to know a lot!  They made fishhooks from bones.  How did they make awls or needles from bones?

The more you think about it, the more our proud sense of modernness evaporates.  What do we do that is so sophisticated?  Sitting in an office, dicking around with a word processor or spreadsheet, and then going out on the weekend and buying the latest iPhone?  What is so sophisticated about buying crap?

The more modern we become, the more helpless we become at doing anything real. But there is hope: You Tube shows a lot of D-I-Y videos.  I think they are reviving people's interest in doing things.


Barb in FL said…
You cut the cheese!! Sorry, couldn't pass that up :o)

I agree with you on YT being a good teacher. Fixed many things around here instead of buying new or calling a repairman.

I think the internet has also taught many about what's going on in the world & waking people up to many things, but also distracting many from what's real & good about being human on planet Earth. It's a real love/hate relationship I have.
Yes Barb the internet has some pretty strong positives and negatives.