Archive for August, 2010
13 October 2010: The message above and the posting below first appeared on this blog soon after the miners were trapped. Today I heard on the radio that 13 are already out and the rest are being lifted to safety. Thus we rejoice for their rescue, hold our breath for the rest as they come up, and stand in awe at their courage and fortitude. We applaud those who have worked to save them. But we must not forget the conditions that allowed this to happen; and we must hope that things now change.
This message of support appears on the InfoMine Careers page. We replicate it here to reinforce our empathy. (more…)
Today, we travel for work, escapism/pleasure, and information. In the past, the only travellers were soldiers, sailors, warriors, merchants, and crazy adventurers. Today old ladies go to Turkey to see the sights; in the past only society’s misfits would venture that far. Think of Alexander and his belligerents travelling from Macedonia to India. Think of silk transported from China to the wives of Roman senators. Think of Dutch sailors in search of the spices of the east. Think Livingston & Stanley in Africa. Think Spanish in search of gold. Think of why people go to Amsterdam? (more…)
In yesterday’s blog posting (see below) I write of the fact that the glory that was Athens was actually a product of 20,000 slaves working the silver mines. In the case of Cuba, it is in effect, a captive population working the nickel mines. Let us face the horrible fact that unless you are prepared to flee Cuba on a boat, you are as good as a prisoner. And if you want to eat, you will have to work for the state—and many people do work, for pitiful wages, in the nickel mines so proudly run by Canadians. (more…)
Let us bring crashing down another of those myths: the ancient Greeks were nice folk. Seems they got most of the money to support their poetry, philosophy, development of “democracy,” and sundry other habits from mining. It appears that ancient Greece was a society founded on mining, and the money from mining supported a small upper class that had time and slaves to sit around thinking, talking, writing, and leaving a legacy to impress future generations. Certainly, I like many others, was taught of the glories of the Greeks in literature, theater, and learning. Nobody ever told me this was made possible by large-scale mining. (more…)
Rossini is one of my favorite opera composers. Who can resist his comedies? Last night by comparison, I watched Rossini’s Moise et Pharaon, a distinctly religious work and quite different from the comedies. The DVD I watched is of a La Scala production of the opera conducted by Ricardo Muti. The story is of Moses trying to get the Pharaoh to let the Jews leave Egypt. There is thrown in for good measure an improbably love story between the Pharaoh’s son and the niece of Moses. At least the love story provides opportunity for some fine duets. (more…)