Last night was the first of the season’s Xmas parties. This was the Infomine event: at the local synagogue just off Taylor Way in Vancouver. A pretty standard affair with fancy tables, replete with wine & fine food, preceded by two drinks “paid for” via two black tickets.
An auction paid for by $20 in tickets placed in the box of the object of desire; in my case a new men’s watch. Of course I did not win it, leaving with only some plastic pellets for the granddaughter who likes small shiny things.
Then there were the talks with the girlfriends and wives of the fellows working for InfoMine. Here is a link to the blog of the nicest of them. She writes mainly poetry on her blog. Beautiful stuff that I spent too long revelling in. Which only goes to prove the infinite variety of people in mining. A mining poet! Well worth the note. Go take a look and read at least one of the poems
At supper, I sat besides three professors from the local mining university. Nice fellows all. But obsessed with things academic: how many students put through courses; how to use the web to maximize exposure; the next masters defence–not yet read; the last trip to an African country.
How abysmally naive they are. I could not refrain from reminding them that in Africa the gods reward the bold. Riches and possessions are the reward of the gods for boldness and action. The big man wins and that is the will of the gods. Theft by our standards is merely appropriation for the benefit of the man, the tribe, and the gods. There is no deceit; it is but action in a harsh place. The system is a perfect example of a successful Darwin environment: a place where you survive and breed, and if you do not, your genes die.
They were silenced. For they had spent years trying to inculcate western norms of action in defence of sustainable mining. Here I was degrading their idealism by telling them they are deluded and blinded by western concepts of survival. So much, in my opinion, for professors–nice guys but prejudiced in their egos to the point of blindness to cultural variety. Maybe they should abandon technology and spend more time studying sociology and anthropology. But that is of little hope—–for they will but study more western norms run egotistical and fallacious.
I suggested to them that we should seek a CIDA grant to do public health and seismic resistant adobe construction courses in Guatemala. I may have succeeded in getting through; but I doubt it. They are too obsessed with the next Masters Degree and PhD student and the next taxpayer-funded institute to study things. Doing is not their style. Nice guys as I said.
The point is there is no substitute for poetry to defray the deceit of human nature. Here from the site previously linked to:
DisownedI hate for how I feel, my feelings run deep.I dread with how I act, my actions don’t sleep.All this pain weighs in my soul,I try to escape each day.When I think I’ve found a hole,I get stuck every day.For these decisions are my own to make,my very possible future mistakes.For every direction that I choose,I needst not worry about your abuse.So take me as I am,for what I amand what I do,don’t make me choose,between me and you,because it hurts me losing you.Family, through death we lose.Family, through birth we gain.So how do I describe my pain,with each decision that you choose,leaves us both with a loss, suffering and pain.