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January 25, 2013

Shopping for groceries was a bit different in Germany 400,000 years ago. It involved trekking into the wilderness and chucking your spears into an unsuspecting beast of some sort, then hauling the critter back to the village to be roasted on an open fire.

We know that because, about 20 years ago, archaeologists unearthed a set of hunting tools that included three spears. Carbon dating postmarked them somewhere between 380,000 and 400,000 BCE.

Remnants of humans past tell us much about our ancestors. Sad to say there were multiple generations of people who lived, thrived, and died over hundreds of thousands of years who left no written record of their existence. We know they were here because they left traces of stuff behind.

Throwing a dart at at a Mesolithic timeline, then pondering what people did and how they lived at that point in the past is a mental exercise that transcends the mind-numbing habit of watching a movie on a flat screen or killing cyborgs or mutant zombie bikers on one's computer. What we do know is that they wasted no time staring at flat screens or killing zombies.

Nay. Today we live at the apex of human civilization, as made manifest by technology.

During a dinner conversation tonight we reminded ourselves how far technology has brought us in the past few years. Why, I can recall when cell phones came with roaming charges, said one. Another remembered telephones that were actually hard-wired to the wall.

What's more, conversing with my grandkids about history often includes my notation, "Yeah. I remember that."

Add a tech graph to humanity's time line and you will see a spike that began about 200 years ago that soars off the chart in the last 20 years. Sad to say that spike is about to reverse itself as the Marxist mindset prevails and the infrastructure that gave us everything from digital this to solar-powered that comes tumbling down.

So let's enjoy our gadgets, apps, whistles and bells that replaced the spears our ancestors used; whirl ourselves down Interstates at literal break-neck speeds, poop indoors and flush it away with the flip of a lever, talk via text with our thumbs sending messages globally, and get immensely fat on the bounty that terminates at IGA. Imagine that. Bananas anywhere in the world. In the winter, no less.

While I refuse to allow my thinking to be tainted by one of the zillion conspiracy theories permeating our culture, and while I have no serious apocalyptic agenda to ponder, I do understand the travesty begotten by normalcy bias. Ignore termites or tooth decay at your own peril. Eventually the pain will be upon you. And civilization is, in fact, rotting.

Who is foolish enough to believe a $16-trillion national debt can continue to grow by 60 percent per president without consequences to pay? Who is dumb enough to suppose the merging of Western civilization with decadent cultures can produce anything other than chilling, cultural thermodynamics? Whose mental lameness lends itself to believe that wealth transfer from productive people won't stymie innovation?

So here's my placard: "The end is nigh!" And I'm  not talking of global warming or the Second Coming. Rather, I'm acknowledging reality for what it is while being grateful to be where I am at this peak point in human existence. 

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