Ice Age Murder Mystery

Deep in a Romanian cave laid buried a skull for over thirty thousand years….. this skull held testament to a brutal, vicious murder that occurred over 30 thousand years ago. Who this skull belonged to we don’t know, too much time has passed. We don’t even know the context he was buried in….. only that he was murdered, brutally by a left-handed foe. He lived in a pivotal moment in human history, he belonged to a people whom were the first modern humans to settle the European continent, the Aurignacian folk.

His people created works of art that remain unrivaled to this day: flutes, sculptures, paintings….. They were reindeer hunters, first and foremost, dark skinned with brown hair, they were not light skinned like their distant white descendants. It was a time of immense beauty, but also of horrifying weather unlike anything anyone alive in the modern day has seen (at least for now), glaciers covered huge expanses of the globe, and polar bears roamed off the coast of what is now Portugal.

This man’s skull holds testament to the first homicide recorded in the archaeological record. What truly happened on that fateful day over 30 thousand years ago we’ll never know for sure, hell, because his skull was unearthed in the 50’s modern archaeological techniques had yet to be invented, so we lack key context about the site his skull was unearthed from.

We only have his skull, and even the fractures on his skull are enough to tell us even things about his attacker. His attacker was left handed, and was face to face with their victim when they struck him down, with a sort of bat or club as the murder weapon.

I’d venture to say this was a personal dispute amongst people who knew each other intimately… Hunter-gatherer bands are small, comprised primarily of close relatives, everyone in the band is related to each other in some way…. Whatever happened on that fateful day, it was bad enough to cause his attacker to strike down a close friend or relative of his.

His skull is a testament to the inner cruelty of man, an attacker desperate enough to strike down a loved one or close friend, and given how the man was face to face with his attacker when he was struck down, it was evidently some form of confrontation. Unfortunately what truly happened on that day, what caused a person to go far enough and murder a close relation of theirs, will forever remain unknown.

References:

“State of the art forensic techniques reveal evidence of interpersonal violence circa 30,000 years ago” Kranioti et al (2019) Plos One (https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0216718)

 

Fight for it

Congress just put a price stamp on our lives, $500 billion for large corporations, only $100 billion for us. We don’t matter. Our government has proven incapable of doing its job, that is, protecting its citizenry, but that was always a lie anyways, wasn’t it?

Governments exist to govern, to control, not to protect. Otherwise it’d be called a “protectorate” (ignoring the definition of that word more often used in the common parlance). The state serves to protect class interests, that class being the ruling class. Their stock options matter more than one million Americans, they’ve told us that.

Meanwhile a 17 year old kid died recently because he lacked healthcare, they (and their parents) were too poor to afford treatment for COVID-19, and they had to pay the ultimate price for being born poor, at 17 years old. Meanwhile Joe Biden is laughing onstage, saying “no healthcare for you, no, I don’t care if you die because you lack healthcare, I`m a capitalist shill and proud of it, no shut up and get in your place you damn pleb.”

The world is falling all around us, and those of us who want to do something about it, who see the urgency of the situation, are ridiculed and called “extremists,” “alarmists,” “radicals,” so on and so forth. May I put out there that the real extremists are the people wanting one million Americans to die for their stock options, the people who value profit over people, the people who fight tooth and nail against Medicare 4 All but then demand early access to vaccines?

This system needs to change, I`m not dying for some fucking billionaire, if anything, he should die for me. It’s time for a general strike, and by Jove it’s time for even more than that, it’s time for revolution, a complete societal overhaul. The planet dies but the people in power don’t care, they only care about what the next fiscal quarter looks like. Time is running out, and those who are responsible for this crime against humanity will get away with it if we don’t demand justice.

Freedom is taken, not given, now show some class solidarity and get out there and fight for it!

(excerpt from a book I just started writing)

Ozymandias

I feel like the poem “Ozymandias” by Mary Shelley sums up this global situation fairly well:

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: “Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert . . . Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed:
And on the pedestal these words appear:
‘My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!’
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.”

We keep this shit up (especially with climate change) and that ruined statue in the desert will be all that’s left of us.

Planting trees

https://www.skepticalscience.com/pros-cons-planting-trees-gw.html

This is a new article from Skeptical Science that raises several important points, summarized below:

First is that even if you plant enough trees to cover the entire world without tearing down cities and farms, you’d only suck out a third of the carbon put out by human emissions over the last two centuries. Trees also need time to grow and mature, and often take years to do so, even decades and centuries for trees like the behemoth California redwoods out west. You also need to ensure these new forests you’re planting are biodiverse and filled with genetic variation, otherwise you wouldn’t get very far.

Planting trees is good, there’s no doubt about that, but the money being fronted towards this is better spent helping, say, indigenous peoples keep their lands in the Amazon, or preserving and restoring already existing ecosystems like the beleaguered pine forests of the Rockies.

Coronavirus and climate change.

You know, I`m glad for the urgent response to the Coronavirus situation, it’s genuinely this bad, but it’d be a million times greater if these assholes in power did the same for climate change, which is a threat entire orders of *magnitude* greater in scope and danger than COVID-19. Things won’t be the same even after this pandemic’s over, I get that, but we have the chance of returning to some new kind of “normalcy.”

With climate change we won’t get that chance, we’re running out of time, the fate of the entire species depends on us acting on it *now*. I don’t want my descendants to be living in dirt hovels near the poles in the far future because of the actions of a few billionaires now.

Indeed, the response to coronavirus is essentially the response to climate change fast tracked, with pundits and politicians claiming it’s a “hoax,” then when that was no longer feasible saying it was “under control,” and then when the stark situation become all too apparent it was almost too late. Ring a bell?

Darwin and animal cognition

As dogs, cats, horses, and probably all the higher animals, even birds, as is stated on good authority, have vivid dreams, and this is shewn by their movements and voice, we must admit that they possess some power of imagination. … Few persons any longer dispute that animals possess some power of reasoning. Animals may constantly be seen to pause, deliberate, and resolve. It is a significant fact, that the more the habits of any particular animal are studied by a naturalist, the more he attributes to reason and the less to unlearnt instincts.

– Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man

He’s not wrong, even bees are now known to dream, and the higher animals have shown much inventiveness that we, in our arrogant and anthropocentric view of nature, have denied to them. What is clear now that intelligence has existed on this planet for a long time, and the wonders of man are the result of inheritance of the intelligence and cleverness of our distant, primeval ancestors.

My cats recognize that door knobs open doors, for example, and puffins have recently been seen to use tools:

https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2019/12/watch-puffin-use-tool-scratch-itch

The difference between humans and other animals is one of degree, not of kind, and to downplay or dispute that fact is to not only deny animals of what is rightfully theirs, but to deny humanity of our own dignity as well.