STEP ONE

Mary Strachan Scriver
4 min readFeb 14, 2021

Do not lose the connection to the ecosystem, use the senses to relate to location, learn to connect with the planet, the solar system, the galaxy, and existence. Go out to look at the sky show. Pick berries off the bush. By the time we are extended into space, we must use metaphor but the human brain cells work by recording sensory code as metaphors. There is no limit but skull space. We can exceed that limit by sharing thought and using computers. Also simply by writing and conversing.

I’m told that the berry crop around here is always best in the 11th year because that’s when there is more rain water because of the sun driving the sky rivers.

We need to extend all this to all humans around the planet and to figure out how to reconcile all the different languages and world-views. As every one of us hits the limits of our resources, how can we cope to prevent pandemics and famine, both of which inevitably choose who dies. What will avoid chaos that destroys humans and human creations but also avoid oppression of the many by the few?

Some sociopathic individuals are pandemics in person, destroying whole categories of demographics for their own reasons, but thereby changing the world and often triggering boomerangs.

What IS wealth? Access? “Owning?” Privilege?

If our identities as humans is our use of our prefrontal cortex brain, what comes next, assuming that this current version of human persists long enough to evolve? A new grasp of reality? The emergence of a new ability to use what we have?

Or will it follow the pattern of extended cooperation and empathy, so that we enrich our circles of understanding and extend our reach into creation? We could not have achieved today’s technology and extension into space without the cooperation made possible by governmental funding and associations of specialists. Competition and specialization have their place, but in the end it is shared ends that are more powerful.

We are not aware of how fragile we are. Our satellites and energy grids could be destroyed in hours if the sun flares or some unknown space force is crossed — not people with bombs or germs. What are we doing to preserve for those who must start over? We’ve made seed banks and buried them but who knows what climate will let them grow? Who is likely to survive and on what terms? Inuit? Australian aborigines? Farmers in some remote valley? Teenagers in ruined cities?

I do not see the future as abolishing capital, but rather as reforming it. Give up on the idea of socialism as a rival, a cancellation of capital and begin to meld the two together by providing a floor that guarantees health care and basic food and shelter, whether in terms of “money” which is only a symbol, or the actual: settlements of little houses or grub lines or an income floor. But there must be better systems waiting to be invented that are outside these terms.

Which takes me to stigma as a control of capital. On the one hand, it restrains people from doing certain things and on the other hand it has the effect of “scarcity” which simply makes the forbidden more valuable whether it is elephant ivory or sex work. It shuts some people out of the economy and allows the rule of law to control wealth to allow exceptions that favor elites.

This leads to the need to resolve the relationship between individual and group because stigma is a way of excluding persons or treating them as less than human, but it is the enterprise and achievements of individuals that support the success of the whole, which should return the favor. The person who manages to exceed stigma, like admired Blacks or the king’s mistress, becomes more precious than his group and separates the achiever from his roots.

We need to resolve the differences among nations. Mitch McConnell grips our national scene so firmly, yet reacts to the possibility of his grandchildren’s heads being severed and mounted on poles. Other parents have in reality watched their son beheaded with a sword. “Game of Thrones” which depicts our Euro past has illustrated this, thanks to technology. Our constant “sand wars” and the like have created another body of people — like those created by the Civil War — who are brutalized enough to kill for money and ideology, which is a source of money.

I continue in dismay and opposition to the kind of liberalism and one faction of feminism that is all about sweetness and light. Calling for peace can be dirty work that they will desert. A major element of this demographic is denial, secrecy, and a determination to control. They privilege appearance rather than authenticity. They do not want to think about chain-sawed journalists but flock to the James Bond movies that include ingenious torture.

I was interested in Clark’s “River of the West” use of the term “book Indian.” I’d known about “fort Indians” who stuck around the fortifications in case of handouts or scraps. But the “book Indians” were a later development: those who mastered education and learned how to use the law, how to go “by the book.” A person who was raised on a rez and later learned how to use Algerian French deconstruction at an elite school is dangerous in a court of law or that academic setting.

There ought to be a term like “vid politicians” who depend on the major media outlets — both electronic and paper — which are owned by very wealthy and constrained people dependent on advertising unconnected to truth. In the beginning our communication difficulty was simple terrain distance, which took time, even after the telegraph. Now it is psychological distance constrained by both lack of time in the case of working people and too much time in the case of the unemployed, untethered, and possibly unconscious due to anodynes for their anxiety and need. Unable to think, they are hyperemotional. The key to their arousal is rage and destruction, as we have just witnessed.

I have some thoughts about mega-wealth which I’ll explore later. The short version is that it destroys those who “own” it.

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Mary Strachan Scriver

Born in Portland when all was calm just before WWII. Educated formally at NU and U of Chicago Div School. Clergy for ten years. Always happy on high prairie.