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One viewpoint of mankind's history, a constructive viewpoint, is that as population grew from Kenyan lands, new tribes were formed that were on the outskirts and eventually encountered very different kinds of environments like coastal areas. When having expanded higher up north where the seasonal colds brought winter inhospitality, migration north and south began to be routine per seasons.
At each location they had expanded into, they would hunt out all the food in their hunter-gatherer lifestyle. A large enough area and small enough tribal population, nature's rejuvenation could make it self-sustaining, but as population grew and/or nature's efforts to revive was significantly less successful some years, eventually someone thought of the idea that deliberately helping nature revive to re-supply the food sources, would result in a longer term sustainability. Perhaps even dangerous forays into neighboring territories were necessary to gather some living samples of foodstuffs which they had entirely devoured to extinction in their own territory, re-planting tasty forms of plants, and herding around tasty forms of animals, enabled nature to become far more productive for those kinds of plants and animals per area occupied, thus agriculture was started. A new kind of human activity then became very life-promoting for their kinfolk, involving not just knowledge of where plants and animals could be acquired through hunter-gathering, but also of what kind of things provided those food sources with that which they needed for life, including soil, water and sunshine, as well as the spark of life that reproducing samples somehow provided. Deliberate, consciously directed activity was utilized to dig holes, put small plants or seeds in the holes and adding fertilizing chemicals to the soil refilling the holes, then ensuring rain or deliberately supplied water and sunshine was applied to the growing plant as it became large enough to supply food for the people growing them. Similarly animals were observed as to what they needed to thrive, such as food, water, shelter from severe weather, protection from other predators, even good air to breathe were not supplied b=enough by nature, much like was needed by the humans themselves, so was more easily observed and tended. Fencing off specific family territories defined a resource territory for growing and harvesting; surplus of what they grew there could be exchanged for speciality items grown by neighbors. They could take their surplus farm products to a group-designated location in which they could exchange foodstuffs and even products of handicrafts and live plants and animals for others to grow, all done in the bazaar scenario as barter transpired and folks went home with kinds of things that they themselves had not grown nor made, bringing variety and diversity to their life options when back in their home territory, family farm. They thus had more resources for better living and having more children, which in turn eventually provided more hands to do the farming; more resources were needed so more conscious conservation of resources was needed, such as making containers for rainfall, terraced areas for growing plants and animals where they could not live before, and some control of shade and sunshine where each was most needed.
Although humans could thrive in a wide variety of climates, their plants and animals could not do so as easily, so transportation means to provide surplus food and handicrafts from areas so far away as to have different ecological zones that enabled different agricultural products and associated handicrafts, were contrived to bring one's farm products to far away places where they were more highly appreciated, would provide exchange for the goodies unique to those far away places. Some people specialized in this transportation, enabling the farmers to stay home and the traders would do intermediate barter for them, bringing goodies from far away places and people with different handicraft skills, to the local bazaar for exchanges; symbolic items became useful in this intermediary effort, coins of gold and glass beads, seashells and even highly treasured consumables such as the coco seed in the Americas that was used for both monetary symbolic exchanged and yet also could be used for the highly cherished chocolate brew.
Meantime, the work to plant, sustain and harvest the farm foodstuffs, was found to be a commodity itself; one could hire other people to do some of the work, some kinds of animals could be used to drag along the ditch-digging plow to make ready for planting seeds, windmills could lift water up for irrigation. Where found, waterfalls could have some of their falling water's mass kinetic energy to push around water vanes which in turn could turn the heavy stones used for crushing the grain into forms directly usable in food preparation; energy itself became noticed as an important factor in providing the necessities and luxuries of life.
It was noticed that the study of the factors needed for sustenance of farm plants and animals was itself useful, and extended to the study of ways to convert energy from one form to a more needed form to do a specific job; science became a usefully productive field,and some people were more apt to do that than other kinds of things needed. Specialization grew, as the multiplicity of factors involved in each field became more than any one person could learn and utilize; specialization analogous to that of farm produce unique to different ecological zones. The accumulation of these various ares of understanding of what does what, and the copying of these knowledge accumulations into new students, was an endeavor in itself and educational systems were created, schools built, letters of certification of skills learned were issued for the graduating students. Since much of this learning was not done hands-on out on the farms and mills, the learning experiences needed to be done symbolically, using dioramas of scenes, and small samples of earth, plants and animals, but increasingly it was found that placeholders of sorts that merely had defined characteristics of the farm products natures and handicraft components, symbolism became far more easily trained into other people and then the manipulation of the symbols as education, then the re-deployment of the symbolic items back into real-world components, and the long range delivery of such symbolic components and processes could travel far easier than the physical items themselves, long range communication developed along with the monetary symbol exchanges was developed, symbols traceable to ownership and work done, yet symbolic utilization enabled the exchanges among people to happen far more efficiently than the actual physical back and forth hauling would have done. Only the end results of the symbolic interactions among people and their environments and resources then needed hauling.
some handicrafts such as the making of windmills for pumping water and waterfall mills for grinding grain, became the focus of some, realizing that natural forces could be used to get things done more easily and more abundantly than people and their labor animals could do them; the study of energy processes led to steam-driven machines to power factories, high temperatures to melt ores into shapes of tools, and eventually the invisible small forces of natures magnetism and static sparks was also explored and found to be able to be linked to transmit energy along wires to far away places with almost no effort, and so the energies extracted from windmills, waterfalls, combustion-driven steam engines, then combustion of fossil fuels, was converted into torrents of the electrical energy to pour efficiently through long range wires to places of utilization of that energy to do work, such as lighting of homes at night, machines to drill and grind to make new handicrafts.
\More people became specialized in the activities of symbolic processing and use of energy from distant sources, industrial civilization was the focus, yet all ultimately supporting the agricultural efficient use of sunlight, water and soil chemistry and support, the diversity of lifeforms interplaying there on the farms to produce the lifestuff needed by humans, as well as the lifestuff needed by the various intermediaries in the artificially supported food chains.
Shelter structures for providing artificial environments for people became shelter for their farm animals and shelter for their agricultural products, artificial environments contrived to maximize food production, and mankind gradually took over the task of enabling the food-efficient conversion of the elements into foodstuffs as powered by the sun's incoming energy and using the micro-assembly machines that nature had originally supplied by living creatures of a vast diversity intermingled food chains that had extended throughout the world, and now made far more efficient by the learned conscious direction of people.
In the process of beginning agriculture, plants and animals that were not considered edible by people, were destroyed and the soil and sunlight and rainfall resources were then used to grow desired types of plants and animals. This had interfered with the great system that nature had created over vast time periods, yet they all were needed in the larger picture; but humans were specific living creatures and thus were dedicated to their own survival and reproduction exclusively; as they learned that their welfare improved greatly when also they used their efforts to enable the thriving of foodstuffs nearby, a process was started that could only end result in the entire takeover of the conscious support of the planetary ecosystem, the planet being a huge stew of substances stirred by the 24 hour a day rotation of the planet exposing materials alternately to the incoming energies of sunshine and the night's outgoing of discarded energy out into space at night, and by the lunar tides stirring the oceans, and temperature gradients from slant angles of sunshine bringing seasons to specific areas on the planet. This whole picture now needed to be included in the husbandry of all the planets living systems for mankind to thrive.
As mankind re-built this planetary world toward limits of improvement and expansion, looking upward and outward to more efficient locations for gathering the solar energy and re-radiation of waste heat energy residue from life processes out into space, the means of transportation became the focus. Aircraft and lighter-than-air balloons could only go so high in the thinning atmosphere as altitude increased; rocket propelled vehicles could just barely get to space, expending nearly all of their energy just to lift the fuel's mass itself needed for the trip. Thus only very small payloads could be lofted into orbit around the planet, small items that could provide efficient communications and distant wide field observation of the planet. Even a few people were lifted by rockets to live for short durations in space orbiting the planet, and fewer still to visit the Lunar surface, yet they proved it could be done and people could live in such places if their needs were supplied there. Energy and its use in transportation as always was the required focus of attention to provide the means for expanding life up to more efficiently utilize the resources of space. And also, each such new transportation system had to be established across territories already claimed and utilized by others; and continuing occasional interactions with the local fauna happens with trains plying their railroad tracks across the vast distances. The extreme environments such as huge mountain chains and wide rivers needed great effort to enable the trains' safe easy passage routinely across these remote areas; the new transportations systems bridging the earth surface with high earth orbit would similarly face these kinds of difficulties. Yet the opening up to large areas of space to the teeming activities of mankind's thriving depends of the creation of the new forms of transportation. The principles of several such transportation means had long been in existence; the anchored earth tether space elevator, which would use the earth's rotation to swing around a weight attached through a along tensile structure, providing a structure which could be climbed up and down to reach the space high above the planet, was one form. Another form was based on centrifugal outward force of moving parts of a large structure, traveling in a loop, was another, one form would circulate between two points along the ground, its centrifugally out-flung loose part spanning high into the sky, possibly up to the upper fringes of the atmosphere, where spacecraft could be lifted along itself on the way up and loosed from up there. A more complete system would use the centrifugal force of material circulating in a closed loop entirely around the planet, an eccentric loop touching ground at its low point and reaching high into space above the other side of the planet, ideally up to the earth synchronous orbital altitude, where material it lifted could be place and would sty there with little or no added energy thereafter, except for station-keeping. In fact, that was an ideally efficient energy use, thus a place for civilization to build hugely, utilizing the endless huge incoming constant solar energy arriving there to power everything, and using the free fall balance of energy and hard vacuum there for materials processing including industrial recycling of waste materials back into pure form for re-building, no longer needing nature's garbage processing systems to do the job, which would have require nature millions of years to do itself. So, as mankind took responsibility for the well-being of all the complex diversity of the processes that made for life abundance, success won.
An Excalator Hi page titled ConstructiveHistory by J E D Cline started on Monday, May 5, 2008 10:56:28 AM US/Pacific
Copyright © 2008 James E. D. Cline. Permission granted to reproduce providing inclusion of a link back to this site and acknowledgment of the author and concept designer James E. D. Cline.