Hiking up in the clouds. Lots of mountains here in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park.
Destination: Bonanza mine. This was one of the mines that was a part of the most lucrative and profitable copper mining ventures of all time. And behind me in this picture are the ruins.
Fall in McCarthy, AK. The leaves are changing early this year and there is a chill in the air.
It isn’t overt racism that is the problem. Most of us deplore it, regardless of our political differences. The challenge of our day is to counter the subconscious racism that has been instilled in our minds over the course of hundreds of years of social conditioning. From the perspective of neuropsychology, our brains are wired to respond to perceived threats. That’s natural. Scientific. Sadly, however, we have been trained to perceive black men as threatening. This is our reality, and we must own it. This article has some interesting facts to consider in this regard.
“Research in the last couple of decades suggests that the problem is not so much overt racists. Rather, the larger problem is a broad swath of people who consider themselves enlightened, who intellectually believe in racial equality, who deplore discrimination, yet who harbor unconscious attitudes that result in discriminatory policies and behavior.”
Near to McCarthy are a pair of glaciers. They are easily accessible. With a pair of cramp-ons, a hiker can hop on top and walk around on the glacier in search of cool little blue ponds and other interesting formations.
I may have just become a big fan of the Lord of the Rings. I was having a discussion with my boss wherein I was advancing my libertarian/anarchist position: that the centralization of power is a root of all kinds of evil. So it just now dawns on me that this is what Tolkien is doing in his books. Centralized power is represented by One Ring To Rule Them All. The bad guys and the good guys fight to have the Ring. The bad guys want to use the Ring to rule over others and exploit them. They are destructive and want power for the sake of power…..And the good guys? Why do they want the Ring?
Really interesting article on how we subconsciously judge each other based on our names. Instructive to me is the fact that we are conditioned to judge if they have racial-specific names. Again, this all takes place at the subconscious level. So, awareness is key.
From the article: “Teachers tend to hold lower expectations for students with typically black-sounding names while they set high expectations for students with typically white- and Asian-sounding names. And this early assessment of students’ abilities could influence students’ expectations for themselves….”
I went out for target practice with my friend Dave a few days ago. We took this NRA good ole boy picture, and I faded the color to make it look like 1974. Yes, I advocate for more gun control and law enforcement of gun laws, but I also live in Alaska, and there are many guns in this state.
Between widespread economic disparities, population growth, unsustainable agriculture and climate change, a study partially funded by Nasa predicted that civilization as we know it could be steadily heading for a collapse within the next century – and the window to create impactful change is narrowing. That means millennials are potentially the last generation during which creating meaningful change is possible. But how do we accomplish this?
It’s time to start a dietary revolution.
Here’s an article that tells you a bit about my little corner of the world. Someone in the article calls McCarthy the last frontier of the last frontier.” (Alaska’s state tag line is “the last frontier.”)….But just to clarify, I don’t know where the article gets their numbers for a summer population of 25k: “The McCarthy area has a permanent population of about 45 but swells to about 25,000 with the tourists and workers of summer, according to the local newspaper…” I haven’t seen em….Note: The above photo was taken some time in the middle of the night.
A thoughtful piece on gun control…..
If we had the same auto fatality rate today that we had in 1921, by my calculations we would have 715,000 Americans dying annually in vehicle accidents.
Instead, we’ve reduced the fatality rate by more than 95 percent — not by confiscating cars, but by regulating them and their drivers sensibly.
We could have said, “Cars don’t kill people. People kill people,” and there would have been an element of truth to that. Many accidents are a result of alcohol consumption, speeding, road rage or driver distraction. Or we could have said, “It’s pointless because even if you regulate cars, then people will just run each other down with bicycles,” and that, too, would have been partly true.
Yet, instead, we built a system that protects us from ourselves. This saves hundreds of thousands of lives a year and is a model of what we should do with guns in America.
“We have a whole gang of new actors out there that are far more extreme than Al Qaeda,” says Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, which employs some 17,000 American intelligence collectors in 140 countries around the world.
Those who live by the sword will die by the sword. – Jesus
Violence, even well-intentioned, always rebounds on itself. – Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching
Once or twice a week, I hike to this stream to get my drinking water (and coffee water). For most of the summer, this spot has a lot of mosquitoes, and I usually rush to fill my water jugs and bottles. But the mosquitoes are clearing out, so today I lingered a bit. It was a nice, sunny day, and I enjoyed this idyllic spot.
Quirky inspiration lurks in every corner at the Wrangell Mountain Center workshop.
A bit of a break from the hectic summer work schedule. I’m thoroughly enjoying myself at a writer’s workshop. This picture was snapped while we were discussing an essay from the New Yorker by Adam Gopnik, “The Death of A Fish.” Tonight is the Word Jam. Open mic style. Yours truly will be making his first spoken word appearance.
“We can misuse only things which are good.” — Montaigne.
A quote I came across in some required reading I am doing for a writer’s workshop here in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. Montaigne is defending writing about one’s personal experience in an era that frowned on such a practice.