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Old 09-22-2010, 09:25 PM   #101
colden46
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Originally Posted by poconoron View Post
I believe that questioning gregphoto's motives here and an accusation of trolling crosses the line somewhere..........why not debate the philosophical point he is arguing instead?
Perhaps it's due to the fact that some of the places I hang out online have more of that type of thing... but when I see someone say with a straight face that Indian burial mounds are no different than modern-day Pepsi bottles, yes, my first instinct is that they're trolling.
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Old 09-22-2010, 09:32 PM   #102
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I just don't see the logic in how corn cobs, left behind by Anasazi, Clovis, and other tribes, constitute artifacts, but waste remnants of our time in history are delegated as simple trash.
Let's leave the trolling accusations for the "appropriate authorities" to pass judgement on. The personal remarks can also close the door from the outside so the discussion can continue.

With repsect to the Anasazi, clovis , etc. they don't compare to us. We have reading and writing, historical perspective, and are conscious of our impact. They were woefully in the dark compared to us.

For instance, as the first humans (or nations if you will) spread north to south from Bering Strait to Terra del Fuego a massive wave of species extinction accompanied them. The Anasazi exhausted their resource base, totally deforested the land around them and IIRC ended up killing and cannabilizing each other. Today, we can't pass judgement on them but we can learn from them.

So, I would consider objects, cave paintings etc. they left behind as extremely important. But when I see a pile of crap from an old hunting camp or rotting tents behind lean-to's, or graffiti on a bridge I turn up my nose. Nothing there to learn or benefit from.

Garbage piles from 500 to 1000 years ago in Greenland have valuable lessons for us "moderns" about how and why a society managed to survive for 500 years (longer than us in North America incidentally) but then withered and died. Fascinating educational stuff. Comparing that to a disgarded Pepsi Bottle is like comparing gold to cigarette butts.
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Old 09-22-2010, 09:59 PM   #103
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ok, it's not a coke bottle but .........
found this while remote on a adk paddling trip.
It was part of a larger "dumping ground" of stuff ....
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Old 09-22-2010, 11:36 PM   #104
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Several people, including geogymn who you responded to, said as much. But I don't buy that today's Pepsi bottle is an artifact today, and I doubt anyone else does either.



Again I ask, what are you arguing here? But I'll take a stab anyway:

Pepsi bottles are everywhere. You can find them in any grocery store, gas station, garbage can, landfill, ditch, etc. Anasazi remnants are only in the southwest US, and in small parts of that. There were fewer of them to begin with.

Pepsi bottles are sturdy. Jump on it, and you'll still have a bottle. Manage to break it, and due to the above, you'll be able to find a new one anywhere for a buck. Anasazi remnants are fragile. That's partially why there are so few of them.

Then there is something about old stuff that attracts people. A Model T goes slower than a modern car, is a heck of a lot less safe, with fewer amenities. But when most people see an old car like that their heads turn. Again, perhaps it's because it's a more rare event. Or perhaps it's something more intrinsic -- just look at the entire antiques industry. There's that feeling of connection with a past time, especially when it's one's own ancestors.
I can see the points youre making, I would refute the idea of sturdiness, as ceramic pots are quite resistant to wear, especially towards corrosion, but I agree with your gist. I understand that a coke bottle today is not what most would consider to be an artifact. But the pile of rocks atop Mt. Skylight? To me, that is of just as much cultural significance, being built by those like me who hike the land, as any First Nation ruin I might visit.

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Let's leave the trolling accusations for the "appropriate authorities" to pass judgement on. The personal remarks can also close the door from the outside so the discussion can continue.

With repsect to the Anasazi, clovis , etc. they don't compare to us. We have reading and writing, historical perspective, and are conscious of our impact. They were woefully in the dark compared to us.

For instance, as the first humans (or nations if you will) spread north to south from Bering Strait to Terra del Fuego a massive wave of species extinction accompanied them. The Anasazi exhausted their resource base, totally deforested the land around them and IIRC ended up killing and cannabilizing each other. Today, we can't pass judgement on them but we can learn from them.

So, I would consider objects, cave paintings etc. they left behind as extremely important. But when I see a pile of crap from an old hunting camp or rotting tents behind lean-to's, or graffiti on a bridge I turn up my nose. Nothing there to learn or benefit from.

Garbage piles from 500 to 1000 years ago in Greenland have valuable lessons for us "moderns" about how and why a society managed to survive for 500 years (longer than us in North America incidentally) but then withered and died. Fascinating educational stuff. Comparing that to a disgarded Pepsi Bottle is like comparing gold to cigarette butts.
A pepsi bottle, or any food related detritus of our time, would provide anyone who holds it a look into the diet of the person that consumed it. So while we may not be learning anything new, if we don't leave *some* trash to be found, no one will ever learn about our society (especially since we are becoming more and more an electronic based society). In no way am I advocating littering, but if the Anasazi practiced "Leave No Trace" then would we even know they existed, let alone what their diet may have consisted of?

The remnants of a hunting camp, to me, are as much a part of the land as a termite mound. We humans build things, just like lots of other animals. Only we build bigger and (usually) longer-lasting structures.

And thanks to the members who realized that I am not trolling, only trying to curiously question the views of those here who seem to think man's mark upon this planet is somehow "unnatural" even though we are as much a part of this earth as any other species.
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Old 09-23-2010, 12:13 AM   #105
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I think Neil touched on a big part of it but I'll expound why you can't make the comparison.

It boils down to population, consumption, and civilization. Let's tackle them somewhat in conjunction.

If we are talking about earlier cultures in the United States (say pre-dating Columbus) estimates range from 1 to 20 million people or approximately .33% to 6.7% of todays population. Consumption per average human was a fractional amount of what today's modern citizen uses and the biodegradability of the items used were also significantly higher. So your baseline early man contributed a fractional percentage of waste compared to modern man.

Also, lacking written history or museums people had no way to pass down knowledge of their culture outside of things like archaeological remnants or word of mouth. We have museums, written record, time capsules, etc.

We also have private property, the Adirondacks are not public property, neither is BLM land although most people are somewhat confused by this and think things like national forests are public property.

So, we have a huge population base using other people's property these days with a plethora of non environmentally impacting ways to pass down records of our society and its habits. Leaving a soda bottle behind in no way benefits future man's ability to understand the 21st century, it is littering on someone else's land.

Time's change, lacking a history of early people their leavings represent a source of knowledge, ours don't, they are simply garbage. You can't make apples to apples comparisons between modern man and early man.

Graffiti? It is generally defacing someone's property, I love community sponsored areas where people are allowed to express themselves but if you do it elsewhere it in no way mirrors petroglyphs drawn before the concept of property even if the author's intention is the same. You can't even make the argument about it being a record because of its short survivability. A pepsi bottle versus a clay pot? How about a few hundred million strewn about versus a couple hundred?

It isn't a valid comparison unless you make it in a void. As far as things like a hunter's camp we now have an understanding of the impact reckless littering can cause, early man had no such understanding because given their consumption and materials and population their impact was negligible. People may not have evolved physically in the last 50,000 years but the rapid advancement in knowledge since the renaissance has evolved us culturally to the point where people have an awareness of their impacts. Whether they choose to at on it is another matter. Shoot, given the industrial revolution and population growth of the US http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:US...90_to_2000.svg
you can't even make apples to apples comparisons between the leavings of camps, mines, and cabins in the 1800s to today.

If you are dumping stuff you are aware of the consequences of what would happen if everyone took that path. As far as cairns go? I don't see much harm in them so long as people are aware enough of the local ecosystem to realize whether they are actually detrimental or not. Ripping up cryptobiotic soil in the dessert to get rocks? A bad idea. Ripping up rocks in a lush, loamy, forest? I don't see the issue. I've been tossing rocks on the cairn I posted above for 18 years and I see the same birds and mammals every time I'm up there.

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Old 09-23-2010, 06:34 AM   #106
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I dunno. A pop-top Budweiser can? In the 30th Century, that'll be like a Clovis Point, they'll be able to track the path of civilization around the globe. I'd be curious to see some future Darwin's interpretation of the extinction of the Schlitz species, though.
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Old 09-23-2010, 08:34 AM   #107
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I dunno. A pop-top Budweiser can? In the 30th Century, that'll be like a Clovis Point, they'll be able to track the path of civilization around the globe. I'd be curious to see some future Darwin's interpretation of the extinction of the Schlitz species, though.
I was just trying to lighten things up a little, as things are quite serious over this topic. Yeah, it's trash, but it's kinda cool seeing such old pop top cans. That area at one time was private property, and dating the cans bring you back to that time era. A cairn of cans? Not exactly. Does it belong there? Not exactly, but it is a small piece of recent history, and getting older .......

I once found an old milk bottle while diving in a adk lake. Don't know how old it is but I went and did the "Unlitter" thing and it's now sitting on my shelf. A Clovis Point, not exactly ..... so just when and where is that dividing line between historic junk and just plain ol' junk anyway? On second thought, forget it, don't really want to know ......
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Old 09-23-2010, 10:23 AM   #108
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Originally Posted by gregpphoto View Post

And thanks to the members who realized that I am not trolling, only trying to curiously question the views of those here who seem to think man's mark upon this planet is somehow "unnatural" even though we are as much a part of this earth as any other species.
When we include man and man made things in "nature" don't we make the word meaningless? I always thought that "nature" was a way of describing things that are not made by humans.
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Old 09-23-2010, 10:30 AM   #109
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All anyone will need to know what the latest culture is all about will be archived YouTube Videos. It's all laid out the good, the bad and the Ugly, mostly the latter two.

It's been pretty well covered but the biggest difference is the methods of communication that have changed over the centuries. There are books, photographs, recordings and videos today in preponderance that has recorded and pictured our life styles and out history. The directions for manufacturing the Pepsi can are written down somewhere, so there are no mysteries.

As for the artifacts that were left by the ancient people, they were hand crafted from local materials in general, so they give us an insight into their culture which has not been recorded for posterity. many of these cultures disappeared without a trace, for reasons that have yet to be determined. If they had a written history, there would be no mystery. Today we have only the remains of their passage to try to determine who they were, what they were like, and how they lived. What the pictographs (petroglyphs) that they drew were is the closest thing we have to any kind of history since it most cases it is depictions of significant events that occurred in their history.

Finally some rock in the wilderness with the "Redhawk" on it is just a scar on the landscape. "M. Lewis" or "W. Clark" or "J. Colter" however is another story entirely. Many of the names that are mmarked on rocks headed west were put there by the people who walked across and settled this country, for better or for worse. It's historic and it shows the progress of the settlement of this country. It's not some ego driven action by someone who thinks that walking up a mountain or hiking a couple hundred miles thinks is a big deal. After all, we have all the technology and the knowledge of whats around the next bend so it's literally a walk in the park. And as I said in the past, no one really cares, so why bother?

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Old 09-23-2010, 11:15 AM   #110
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Originally Posted by spidennis View Post
ok, it's not a coke bottle but .........
found this while remote on a adk paddling trip.
It was part of a larger "dumping ground" of stuff ....
Hah! Cool... just the other weekend I used a pop-top can (Schlitz) to date a lumber camp site - I later found that I was mistaken in using the can to date the camp - the lumber camp was abandoned in 1950, and Schlitz didn't introduce the pop-top until 1963 - http://inventors.about.com/od/sstart...soft_drink.htm - so the can must have been left by someone who was investigating the ruins.

I guess you "what's the big deal?" folks aren't familiar with the concept of the "tragedy of the commons" - "The tragedy of the commons is a dilemma arising from the situation in which multiple individuals, acting independently, and solely and rationally consulting their own self-interest, will ultimately deplete a shared limited resource even when it is clear that it is not in anyone's long-term interest for this to happen." - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tragedy_of_the_commons

All of these "silly rules" are meant to protect the collective, long-term interest, which would be compromised by individuals acting out of short-term self-interest.

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Old 09-23-2010, 11:42 AM   #111
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I always thought that "nature" was a way of describing things that are not made by humans.
I guess that makes you a natural man.
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Old 09-23-2010, 12:02 PM   #112
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I guess that makes you a natural man.


As opposed to

where is the windex..need to clean the monitor
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Old 09-23-2010, 12:16 PM   #113
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Here's a beach cairn I put together ......
sand is just a bunch of tiny rocks and whatnot .....
and if the tide doesn't get it,
for sure the Sand Castle Terrorists will!
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Old 09-23-2010, 12:26 PM   #114
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All anyone will need to know what the latest culture is all about will be archived YouTube Videos. It's all laid out the good, the bad and the Ugly, mostly the latter two.

It's been pretty well covered but the biggest difference is the methods of communication that have changed over the centuries. There are books, photographs, recordings and videos today in preponderance that has recorded and pictured our life styles and out history. The directions for manufacturing the Pepsi can are written down somewhere, so there are no mysteries.

As for the artifacts that were left by the ancient people, they were hand crafted from local materials in general, so they give us an insight into their culture which has not been recorded for posterity. many of these cultures disappeared without a trace, for reasons that have yet to be determined. If they had a written history, there would be no mystery. Today we have only the remains of their passage to try to determine who they were, what they were like, and how they lived. What the pictographs (petroglyphs) that they drew were is the closest thing we have to any kind of history since it most cases it is depictions of significant events that occurred in their history.

Finally some rock in the wilderness with the "Redhawk" on it is just a scar on the landscape. "M. Lewis" or "W. Clark" or "J. Colter" however is another story entirely. Many of the names that are mmarked on rocks headed west were put there by the people who walked across and settled this country, for better or for worse. It's historic and it shows the progress of the settlement of this country. It's not some ego driven action by someone who thinks that walking up a mountain or hiking a couple hundred miles thinks is a big deal. After all, we have all the technology and the knowledge of whats around the next bend so it's literally a walk in the park. And as I said in the past, no one really cares, so why bother?

Hawk
Oh I see very clearly now. When it's convenient for you, it's historical and significant. When it's not, it's just ego.

I would love to hear you try and rationalize why John Colter's scribbled name would be more worthy of posterity than any other. This same thinking is why baseball cards can be worth so much. Mindless masses follow the trends not realizing it's a piece of cardboard with colored dots on it. Same as you're doing. You're saying it's ok for some people to make their mark on nature, just not all of us. And pray tell, who are you to decide that?

My signature in the woods, bad. Merriweather Lewis' signature, another homo sapien made of the same carbon I am, good. Does that about sum up your logic?

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Old 09-23-2010, 12:44 PM   #115
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When we include man and man made things in "nature" don't we make the word meaningless? I always thought that "nature" was a way of describing things that are not made by humans.
So when a chimp makes a tool, that's nature. When we make a tool, it's not?
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Old 09-23-2010, 12:49 PM   #116
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So when a chimp makes a tool, that's nature. When we make a tool, it's not?
If nature includes everything it doesn't mean anything.

Any examples of chimp made tools you can give?
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Old 09-23-2010, 12:50 PM   #117
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Oh I see very clearly now. When it's convenient for you, it's historical and significant. When it's not, it's just ego.

I would love to hear you try and rationalize why John Colter's scribbled name would be more worthy of posterity than any other. This same thinking is why baseball cards can be worth so much. Mindless masses follow the trends not realizing it's a piece of cardboard with colored dots on it. Same as you're doing. You're saying it's ok for some people to make their mark on nature, just not all of us. And pray tell, who are you to decide that?

My signature in the woods, bad. Merriweather Lewis' signature, another homo sapien made of the same carbon I am, good. Does that about sum up your logic?

You've got a camera, twitter, the net, etc. Lewis didn't. Are you really looking for a discussion or are you just trying to justify that people ought to be able to litter and deface at will because people used to. Using the past as precedent is a flawed form of reasoning. Just because something was once done doesn't make it still ok, times change.

Insofar as man made versus natural it is an issue of silly semantics. Yes we are natural but we are also unique on this planet and clearly altering the face of the world in a way it used to take global extinction cycles to, that gives a tremendous responsibility to monitor ourselves as the ultimate stewards of the current eco system in a way unlike any other species that ever existed.
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Old 09-23-2010, 12:51 PM   #118
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You've got a camera, twitter, the net, etc. Lewis didn't. Are you really looking for a discussion or are you just trying to justify that people ought to be able to litter and deface at will because people used to. Using the past as precedent is a flawed form of reasoning. Just because something was once done doesn't make it still ok, times change.
It makes me incredibly angry when someone says "No, you can't do this, even though these other people already did." It's like Glenn Beck telling people "You don't have to listen to anyone, America!" only to order you to get down and pray in his next breath.
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Old 09-23-2010, 12:54 PM   #119
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If nature includes everything it doesn't mean anything.

Any examples of chimp made tools you can give?
Examples?

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/n...06_chimps.html
http://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=...001&as_sdtp=on
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chimpanzee#Tool_use

Hahaha, you lose this one my friend. Tool use by chimpanzees is extensively documented.
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Old 09-23-2010, 12:56 PM   #120
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I guess that makes you a natural man.
I'm sure I've been called worse.
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