Illustration for Primary Technology Material
The Realm Of The Primary-Technology
By Ron O. Cook
I periodically revisit old movies that make me feel sad so I can say I am humble. So, a few weekends ago in the comfort of my office, I reviewed the old Kevin Costner movie--"Dances With Wolves." It was while contemplating (through misty eyes) the transcendental depth and cinematic beauty of the video, that my wife asked if I was crying. She knows I am the softest "softy" on God's-semi-green-Earth when it comes to Indians and the outdoors. Yes, I miss my Cherokee ancestry and the once-known experience of truly harmonizing with the roots of pristine Nature. I live for the day when I can return to the freedom that the persona of being-an-Indian once meant to humankind. That life of communing with the primary-technology--the original gift to man, and also first called "The Garden of Eden"--is now very much a receding dream of mine.
Backpacking and hiking just does not do it anymore. I want to know the feeling and unless we are forced out of our comfortable abodes, driving a sports car through the hills will just be anticlimactic to my deep inborn desires for being imbued with nature.
Living with the primary-technology was, in the past, a great and grand journey through unbelievable beauty. It has always caused man to stand in awe at the sight of a sunset or a mountainous vista couched in the blue depth of a changing sky. Then, living also was using the creativity of one's mind with the immediacy of provisional raw Nature. Stone, wood, bone, fire, and ingenuity went a long way for those who knew how to fashion tools from the basic foundations. The Indians were schooled from birth by the act of living for pure survival. Observation of the environment such as hearing a certain birdcall could mean venison on the teepee's hearth or danger of an approaching menace. Knowing the meaning of Nature's broadcast was everything to a long happy existence. Passing, in this school's class, was directly proportional to the amounts of knowledge and effort put forth to avoid death. Failure or non-participation insured an easy out of the tribal community...it lead to a life of scavenging the land in loneliness and rejection.
In those distant smoky days of fog enshrouded landscapes that hid the dwellings of the truly freed man, land belonged to no one person...it belonged to all. His only true possession was his mind full of directed knowledge poised to the conquering of challenge brought on by constant "natural" or spiritual change.
Today as we stand at the threshold of a Phase 2 Civilization--one capable of drawing the world's nations toward unity in morality, vocation, technology and mind expansion, we seem somehow inept in the face of our next step. We stare from the top of the highest crest wave of unbridled technology at a world transfixed by its own agglomeration. Do we stay in a trash-heap of over extended greed, corruption, and fear of failure, only to slide down the proverbial curve's backside toward another "Roman bath party?" Or, perhaps civilization has finally come to the higher level of theosophical or altruistic choice, thus allowing us the intellectual power to fly across the old grave to land on the next great wave of mankind.
Amplified change is hurrying our spiraling courses toward forced decisions about our futures. Every socioeconomic trend and condition is currently being impacted by exponential change that is blurring into chaos. Our futurists cry out through the ultracast channels of the "super-media" in a Noah-like fashion, warning of our out-of-sync progression, and technology continues to rip jobs from the feeble grasp of even the qualified professional. Recent examples of people losing to technology (computer conversions) for the sake of profit are illustrated by almost every business decision performed daily. One can just observe our children and their video games for RPG simulations of everything we do to see the future rolled up in a Mirror World. When one can go to college via the net to learn obsolete knowledge, one begins to yearn for a more sophisticated existence with what "brung" us. Nature.
As the "technology behemoth" expands from computers to robotics to nanotechnology, more of the Human Intellectual Utility--what we collectively educated ourselves to become--are being replaced by faster, smarter, and hardier species of thinking entities...computers, which makes us become part of the "techno-utility." Once secure worlds are crumbling from China to Wall Street under the burden of the "information age." One may wonder, what kind of civilization are we (not) building and may (not) participate in? In my mind's eye, I see a snake just about to bite its own tail...Atlantis here we come.
Something is happening within our global culture. Have you noticed? We seem to be creating an elitism of the "haves and have-nots" to the highest degree that this on-going condition has ever experienced. Even now as the Earth turbos toward a population of perhaps 16 billion by the year 2050 -- some say 10 billion--the rich are getting richer and the poor are indeed getting poorer. Why? Answer: The "Darth Vader" side of technology has offered government and business the tools to expand profits through automation and robotics. Computerized concepts do not slack off or have babies. They do not talk back. They, in fact, do everything a human can do at 40 to 400 times the speed of any obsolete "fleshy" being. With expert systems amplifying, computers in parallel expanding, and neuronic concepts burgeoning toward the trillions of instructions per second, is there anyone for whom prediction of the future is not possible just by observing the above facts?
More and more each day, the average person is awakening to the realization that he/she will have to change and re-educate in order to keep up and have employment. Community educational programs are springing up everywhere. Bureaucratic solutions grind onward. Our public schools and colleges are trying to stay in step with what is needed by the "volatile dragon" of a changing world of economic competition. We talk and position on the unavoidable move toward automated education. "Bring technology on," say the pundits, but without a plan, a delivery system or a communication curriculum (which I advocate), all the hardware and software in the world will not speed up the process to interface with the demands of the world marketplace. Will the advanced needs of today's/tomorrows student ever be relevantly served?
Politicians, business leaders, and educators all voice the need for more highly educated individuals to fill the scientifically oriented professions of the future, yet we are creating more dropouts than ever with 80-90 percent of them eventually pointed in the direction of prison. It seems that the more complex our society becomes, the closer we get to barbarism for some segments of our world. If education is the key to overcoming our inabilities to go beyond our changing trends and conditions, then we had better offer a more open-ended or spectral (gestalt) form of coping with the present and future. Perhaps the time has come to address broader forms of societal existence such as the life within the "primary-technology," thus creating a right-brained form of existence.
For those who do not want to participate in the world of the "Jetsons", a way-of-life needs to be developed. Since the environment is an issue that also needs to be addressed in a firm and results-oriented manner, the proposal of this article is that for those that qualify educationally, socially, and "spiritually"--our government needs to open the vast expanses of its own holdings to a new Bio-2010 project. We need to revisit that project concept. It would be a project not unlike the "Biosphere-2" project, only the scope could be much more vast. The Biosphere-2 project was an experiment to better understand ecological food and waste processes, including global and scientific processes that would have given us a better comprehension of agriculture. While this old experiment will take us to the colonization of space, it could have also served to point us to the re-evaluation of the wonders of the primary technology as well. We need a mindset that will allow us to participate with nature on a higher level.
The Bio-2010 project would be an opportunity to go live the life of an Indian or a mountain-man. It would also be an opportunity for individuals to serve as the guardians of Nature. They would live and work in unison within the processes of a living Earth--recording, researching, and experimenting to relearn what was lost when "civilization" was imposed on the Red Man. The introduction of man back to nature would first start small with teachers training, them little by little, those who wanted to return to living with the land could join the project. The key would be to live life with the technology provided and not to just import technology into the wilderness. Everything would have to be handmade, engineered and designed by those in the field...nothing taken in and nothing taken out except knowledge.
A Media Interface Complex on site within each wilderness area would accomplish feedback to the public. There the Primary-Technology would come in contact with the Phase-2 Civilization for reporting, testing, experimentation, analysis, and amplification to the public. Schools for hunting, gathering, skinning, flint tool-making, sewing, weaving, and aesthetic development of the artisan would emanate from these Media Interface Complexes to be used by those who wished to pay the price of learning how to live with Nature. Of course money would be of no use in the wilderness areas, only guardianship and brotherhood would be required. Payment of taxes would be dismissed if the students and teachers of the Primary-Tech-World would give back to society their experiences by seminars, demonstrations, and media participation, thus allowing common (Phase-2) technologists the therapy of at least a weekend of natural freedom.
Living in unison with nature is an experiment humanity needs to seriously consider on a major level. A business sure could make a great name for itself, if it championed such an endeavor. Would that we could awaken to the re-exploration of the wilderness that still lives just outside our doors.
Could man ever return to the Primary-Technology to live once again a free and happy life if he knew how? I wonder. Often I catch a glimpse of the wilderness when I fly, or take a trip to the mountains. I feel this tug at my heart and the visions of nature fill my mind full of dreams of an earlier time when man was truly free...and that is when the mistiness really betrays my mood...for purer truths.