If a Tree Falls in the Forest
Sam Aurelius Milam III
I don't know how to manage a forest. I doubt that anybody alive on the planet today knows how to manage a forest. Probably, even the people who want to save the old-growth forests don't know how to do it. I expect that they're improvising, just like all of us are.
By forest, I don't mean a commercial tree farm, or some little woodlot behind a pasture. A forest isn't just a collection of trees. It's an entity unto itself, a stable (relatively), dynamic (variously) system in which all of the parts, from the smallest microbe to the largest tree, and all of the animals therein, are interconnected and interact. To actually be a forest, and not just some trees, it has to have been in existence long enough to have established itself and its microclimate, from floor to canopy.
The main problem with knowing how to manage a forest is time. When a forest manager does something, he might not live long enough to see all of the results. The consequences of his action can be complex and subtle. They might not play out to completion for decades, or maybe even for centuries. According to a report in the April 14, 2008 issue of National Geographic News, a living spruce in the Dalarna province of Sweden was determined, by radiocarbon dating, to be 9550 years old. A forest lasts even longer than its trees. It's difficult for us to comprehend something that lasts so much longer than we do. In addition, a forest is probably even more complex than we are. It seems to me to be presumptuous of us to believe that we have the perspective and the wisdom to manage such things.
I'm presently trying to take care of about 140 trees, of various kinds and sizes, in northeast Georgia. They occupy part of a one acre lot. I'll admit that I'm an amateur. I can't even identify most of them. Even so, I'm trying to take care of them. There was probably a forest here, many years ago, but these trees aren't a forest. Almost the entire lot was bulldozed about 30 or so years ago, in preparation for the construction of the house. A few trees were spared from that mindless massacre by the last-minute arrival and intervention of one of my sisters. Since then, a good many trees, many of them not native to this particular piece of land, have been added. The newcomers are from various locations, from as far apart as Massachusetts and Texas, and from as far west as California. Maybe someday, several centuries from now, if these trees remain unmolested, if commercial and residential "development" in this region recedes, and if the kudzu doesn't kill them first, then they might become part of a forest.
One problem with this little collection of trees is the erosion of their soil. That's probably been going on since whatever forest previously existed here was dismembered. The present collection of trees isn't mature enough, or widespread enough, to manage its own soil and microclimate. A forest floor doesn't exist here, just a piece of ground with some trees on it. Several consequences are evident. Roots have become exposed and are being damaged on their exposed surfaces. Some trees have lost branches for no obvious reason. Some seemingly healthy trees have blown over in the wind. I'm doing what I can to help. I recently learned not to burn fallen wood, or to dispose of it. Instead, I let it sit and decay into humus. I run some of it through a chipper, hopefully creating future soil. I use fallen trunks and branches to define and maintain the edges of terraces, hopefully retaining both water and soil. Those branches and trunks will also add to the supply of dead wood in the vicinity. After I learned that dead wood, either fallen or standing, is important in a forest, I started leaving dead trees standing until they fall under their own weight.
I don't know if I'm doing the right things, and avoiding harmful things, but I'm doing the best that I can. Maybe it doesn't matter. After all, considered in terms of the longevity of a forest, my efforts are the merest flicker, gone from the forest's awareness almost before I've begun them. I'll keep trying because it seems like the right thing to do, but I have to wonder. Maybe the best way to manage a forest is to do as little as possible. I suspect that, given a few centuries, a forest will solve most of its problems by itself. Given a thousand years, it will probably solve all of them. So, if a tree falls in the forest, and there isn't anybody there to hear it, or to clear it, then maybe that's the best thing for the forest.
Sam Aurelius Milam III
I recently watched a Frontline documentary about Facebook. According to the documentary, Facebook is at the center of a brouhaha. The allegation is that Facebook is knowingly transferring fake news and disinformation, that is, malicious propaganda, that's being uploaded by bad people with ulterior motives.
Let's admit that such propaganda is the life-blood of government, religion, and marketing. It's used by all institutions from high school football teams to the United Nations, from local churches to the Vatican, from flea market venders to the IMF. Let's admit that the only difference between such propaganda on Facebook and such propaganda on other sources of information, like the network news, is that Facebook is, or was, freely and universally accessible to anyone with an agenda. That being the case, I suggest that the complaints aren't because Facebook transfers such propaganda, but because it transfers such propaganda for anybody, and not just for our side.
I suspect that the goal of the complainers is to regulate Facebook into the same condition of intellectual incapacity as other sources of information. I don't use Facebook, but I do occasionally get information from the Apple Support Communities. I mention that only as an example of what the complainers have in mind for Facebook. The content enforcers in the Apple Support Communities regulate the content so strictly that even the least offensive statement can cause a message to be deleted. One of my messages was deleted because I stated that Apple is a participant in the conspiracy of forced obsolescence in the computer and electronics industry. The enforcers claimed that my statement wasn't information. They called it a rant, and deleted it.
I wouldn't be surprised if (for example) the alleged Russian tampering with U.S. elections, via Facebook, was instigated by the CIA. The purpose of such a scheme would be to foment fear and, as a consequence, create a demand for the regulation of Facebook. However, if Facebook doesn't have the right to transfer biased or false information, then it doesn't have the right to transfer any information at all. What it has, instead, is a regulated privilege of transferring approved information. The information transferred will still be propaganda. The only difference is that it will be U.S. government propaganda.
Even though I don't use Facebook, I'm in favor of any source of information that provides unregulated content. Do the users of Facebook really want it to be reduced to the condition of innocuous irrelevance achieved by the Apple Support Communities, or by the network news? There's a lot of false, biased, or misleading information around. To prevent it from existing is impossible. To prevent it from being disseminated would be repressive. To prevent it from affecting our behavior is something that each of us will have to do for himself. An answer to the Facebook dilemma is suggested by the term caveat lector. Bad things don't result from false or biased information unless gullible, ignorant, and submissive people fall for the deception. We won't defeat bad people and their harmful intentions by trying to pretend that they don't exist. We'll defeat them, if such a thing is even possible, by facing them.
That makes the name a lot more interesting. They don't call it Censorbook, Ignorebook, or Deletebook. They call it Facebook.
Letters to the Editor
Dear Comrade Sam
Greetings in solidarity! I'm moving back to New Folsom in the morning.
Thank you for your last few newsletters. I did not respond back to others' letters because they made my point for me. I was not trying to get into a war of words with anyone through the mail. I just wanted to open everyone's eyes to the truth of what CDCr is doing. They are creating war zones behind these walls, no matter if it's the SNY's kicking ass or the main line's kicking ass. It's still pitting prisoners against each other that do not get along, no matter who's right or who's wrong....
Thank you very much my respected elder....
recently at Corcoran, California
Hi Sam, still here in Superior, AZ and have purchased land to live on and farm. Please change my street address....
In regards to your Frontiersman, Nov 2018, I too have noticed that Progressive commercial [Commercial Message, November, page 1]. Perhaps you are right, maybe there is a hidden message, regardless, things will never be the same again.
You have Donald Trump touting "Make America Great Again", and he makes false promises to bring back coal and manufacturing.
Coal? That's like saying "piss on cell phones! Let's bring back the pager!" And he can't
|bring back manufacturing when he renews NAFTA
and raises Mexico's wages to 1600
But that Little Caesar commercial [Cull, November, page 1] is the way of the future. Automation. It won't be long until they have a complete pizza machine that sits outside like a coke machine that makes a pizza you pay for with a debit card. Then the only employee they'll need is a machine re-stocker. Sam's Club, JCPenneys, K-Mart, Sears, etc., brick and mortar stores are closing at an astounding rate, yet Trump touts 250,000 jobs a month are being created.
What he's not telling you is they aren't livable wage jobs, for every automobile plant who lays off and moves out of our country, taking away union jobs that pay 4000 an hour, they get replaced with a Krispy Kreme job that pays federal minimum wage, 7.35 an hour.
The rich are getting richer, the poor are getting poorer. The companies like Amazon tout, "we're creating jobs that aren't going away" but, in the TV program I watched about them, in the background was a research and development dept., where they were testing autonomous robots doing all of the work, moving stuff, packing boxes, etc... (a humanless warehouse)
So, what happens when we get down to two classes, upper and lower, no middle. The lower will be the younger generation who will fill the service industry. The rich will need baristas at Starbucks and a smiling face to work at Circle K. They will need college girls who are working their way through college as an escort to suck their dicks.
But what happens to blue collar America, the ones whose jobs get taken by automation?
It's called the Prison Industrial Complex. If you can't change with the times and be a productive member of society, meaning, either get rich by winning the lottery or get really good at sucking cock, if you can't adapt, then the P.I.C. will take care of you. Here in California, the state pays almost 80,000 dollars a year for a man to fill a bunk. So, once your blue collar job is gone, your new job will be as a convict, or a guard doing life on the installment plan.
Hell, even police and guard's jobs aren't safe. With artificial intelligence, the machines are on the way.
I doubt the powerful and affluent will get tired of the clamoring and kill us off. It's called the 13th Amendment. Convicts will be the new Jim Crow population.
But maybe you're right Sam, maybe we'll be sent to suicide booths, and made into "Soylent Green" wafers and fed to all of the Charlton Heston look alikes working at Starbucks.
Either way, our future looks grim. I think we have grown too populous anyway and we are heading to another bottleneck die off.
I think we have fiddled too much with our biologies and with being force fed vaccines and pharmaceuticals, our days are numbered. Less people are being born today than there are dying. And with the world's mass immigrant migration, I don't believe the census on population. Look at the numbers in the World Almanac, the proof is there, I just can't figure out the whole story being told.
I'm kind of glad I'm 50, so I'm getting close to the end of my tenure. Or, what if I'm only half way there? What if I'm one of those people who hits 100? I can only imagine the chaos that is coming.
Sammy, I shall close. Have a good day my friend.
Regarding cell phones, as I remember it, we had more reliable telephone service in 1958 than I have today with my cell phone, and that old dial telephone was simple and easy to use.
Your comments about the Prison Industrial Complex (PIC) reminded me of my essay Rich Man, Poor Man, Beggar Man, Thief: A Satirical Essay. It's the first essay that I ever wrote. It's been a long time but I think that I started it sometime during the late 1970s. I wrote it as a satire, but your comments about the PIC are strangely apropos.
The Floundering Fathers
Sam Aurelius Milam III
It might be safe to assume that the people who wrote The Declaration of Independence had good intentions but, if so, then they defeated those good intentions with sloppy thinking. It's obvious that not all men are created equal. To claim otherwise is stupid. The writers could have better served their allegedly good intentions by avoiding such a false and stupid claim. In its place, they could have required that government must always treat all men equally, whether or not the men themselves are equal. It would have been just that easy to get it right.
Sam Aurelius Milam III
•If you have to get permission to protest, then it isn't a protest. It's an exercise in obedience, and window dressing for the authorities.
•I never agree to disagree. I just accept the fact that the other person is wrong.
My thanks to the following: El Dorado Bob; Betty; and Eric, of Ione, California.
Shirk Work Ethic
— Sam Aurelius Milam III, editor