Monday, December 07, 2009

Cascadia Wild

:: glenn's presentation, other stuff ::

Cascadia Wild had one of the biggest turnouts ever, according to natives. The bitter cold was not a deterrent. CW has headquarters here in the Pauling House, unlike Wanderers or the 4D Syndicate, which meet here but have no offices in the building.

This is an outdoorsy group, stows some gear in the basement.

I don't usually get to CW events (recalling the excellent avalanche talk), however tonight Glenn Stockton is here to discuss lapidary, aspects of Neolithic technology.

Pebble culture started around 1.5 million years ago: bang two rocks together to get a sharp edge. Add a hot fire and a hand ax and you've got a culture, about 1 million years ago. Having tools that make tools is the name of the game.

Tools, not weapons, are the primary thing to make. Don't forget musical instruments.

He's demonstrating what stones work on what other stones, is passing around examples of early money, from different regions. Spiny oyster and turquoise in the southwest. Other kinds of shell, antler, bone... tusk.

He's discussing the concoidal fractures associated with flint, obsidian, agate, jasper, a consequence of their crypto-cystalline structure.

He's brought a valuable collection of primitive artifacts (stone arrowheads, an impressive spearhead), in addition to some of his own work.

Early Neolithic is about 100K years ago, after Paleo and Mesolithic eras.

Cultures based around nets, for fish or small animals, have a different dynamic. Net-making and deploying is a relatively democratic business; almost anyone can play.

Even today, obsidian tips some of the sharpest surgical implements.

Stingray spines make cool tools, not to mention jewelry.

Glenn actually uses Neolithic tools he's found for production work. He practices with originals. He lived without electricity for a long time. His cats claw throwing stick is a wonderful piece of work. Hopi and Anasazi would use these implements.

From our interview earlier this morning, I know he started trapping mice at age four, moving up to moles by age six (these were family authorized activities). Here at the Pauling Campus, he's been after the raccoons.

I'm limping around having sprained my foot, maybe by walking so much over the weekend (which I enjoyed doing). The company car does very little besides necessary company business.

I did chauffeur myself here though, helping my foot.

But hey, this is a workshop in Neolithic Math in some dimensions (also Supermarket Math, given all this money), so I'm punched in, auditing one of our certified teachers, and documenting the event.

Speaking of school: Tara won two out of three of her debates. She's actually surprised. The one she lost was to a recognized champion so that made sense. She appreciated all three opponents for their obvious talent, wants to be better prepared for the next meetup.