[ExI] happy solstice!

spike spike at rainier66.com
Fri Jun 21 14:54:45 UTC 2013



From: extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org
[mailto:extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org] On Behalf Of BillK
Sent: Thursday, June 20, 2013 11:53 PM
To: ExI chat list
Subject: Re: [ExI] happy solstice!


On Fri, Jun 21, 2013 at 6:36 AM, spike  wrote:
> Parting observation: I have been climbing Mission Peak above Fremont
> California for nearly a quarter of a century.  This observation I share
> great pleasure: the air is sooooo daaaaamn much cleaner now than it was
> in those days.> Life is good.

Hi BillK, thanks for posting the photo.  This picture was taken from what I
call the second bench, a rest stop about 40 minutes' walk if you hustle from
the parking lot you see down there slightly right of center.  The first
bench is close to where that gang of people are down there near the bottom
left of the photo.  There are two more rest benches above this one.  This
photo is a good example of what I am talking about.  That structure right
under the word Mission is are the hangars at Moffett Field.  In the old
days, you could seldom see that far.  The actual peak is about another hour
walk from this point, if you don't dawdle or stop to watch any Pagan
solstice festivals.

 Inline image 1 <http://www.redwoodhikes.com/EastBay/MissionPeak3.jpg> 



It is entertaining that this would be listed under redwoodhikes; there are
no redwoods out there, very few trees of any kind.


Those white areas in the top right side of the photo are salt harvesting
areas.  They built earthen walls you can see there that look like zigzag
lines, then they pump seawater in there, let the water evaporate, collect
the salt.  You can walk along those walls in some places, and create a
surreal experience.  Reason:  There is nothing but water (or dried salt) on
either side and the wall itself never changes.  It feels a little like
walking on water.  So if you walk on that wall, especially if you go alone,
your mind so accustomed to receiving ever-changing sensory input now has a
very rare situation where nothing is changing.  My brain goes to sleep under
those conditions.  Clearly that is not among its options when hiking.  So
you can walk for an extended period of time where the goal doesn't appear to
be getting any closer and the near-field surroundings don't change at all.
It can cause one to kinda hallucinate, where one gets the feeling that some
cosmic joker has set one on a huge treadmill, waiting to see how long before
one figures it out.  That treadmill effect works on the salt ponds as well
as out over the water.  There is a 9 mile loop out there, which you can find
on Google maps, out behind Moffett Field and Lockheed Martin.


If one is out there with a companion or group, it is really cool, because
the lack of external sensory input causes your fellows to concentrate on the
discussion, making for interesting high quality content.  I would propose an
experiment: get a friend or a group of them, go out to someplace that has a
lot of flashy distractions, such as the strip at Las Vegas.  Discuss some
weighty matter that requires a lot of concentration, not sports or current
events but some heavy philosophical something.  Record discussion,
transcribe.  Take the proles out to the salt ponds, start walking, repeat
experiment, record, transcribe, compare.  My theory is that the discussion
will be an order of magnitude deeper, more profound, with more discovery and
transfer of actual data on the salt pond walk.


Note of caution: that loop is lonely, as you can see.  When you are out
there, there are no boats around, a car or ambulance cannot come get you.
If you break down, your lads cannot carry you out, even if you are a light
person; it's too far.  There is no water available, no McDonalds.  There is
a ghost town called Drawbridge, but no one lives there.  Drawbridge might be
findable on Google Maps.  


It isn't completely void of external stimulation: birds entertain a hiker.
It is an ideal place to watch birds, for there is little competition for
attention.  I noticed things out there I had never seen elsewhere: gulls
dropping and catching pebbles for instance, and ravens doing their macho
act, trying to impress their buddies by letting the big ugly two-legged
things get within a couple meters.  Ravens will dare you: they spread their
wings and stand there.  Ravens gangs have a leader who will do this.
Apparently he gains status and presumably later gets rewarded with tail
feather for letting the bipeds get close.


Life is good.  {8-]





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