The thwarted excitement of Planet Control Center

Ahead is an interesting word. Bed load is a word I have learned. I stop looking at my feet, look over to the stream, at its bed load and feel satisfied to know a word that stands for, or indicates, the rocks, pebbles and sand that comprise its bottom. HEH JERRY HAVE A LOOK AT THIS BED LOAD! ALRIGHT TOM I’M COMING BUT IT BETTER BE GOOD. If vocabulary could be considered geologically, I suppose bed load would be a kind of clastic sedimentary rock, the ancient matter that comprised bed, the ancient matter that comprised load, here made to congeal in one mass by intense volcabulaic processes.

There had been a cat on the path, remember when that happened years ago? You had stopped and held the cat down and called someone over to use their phone to call the number on its collar and they had reached the owner and the owner had said it was alright because the cat was an outdoor cat.

Q: on the geologists twitter page, when she asked her community what were the most important attributes of a geologist, what answer was the most overwhelmingly given? (The capacity to think in terms of very long periods of time.) Follow up: what was another interesting attribute that was stated? (Ability to work with incomplete data sets.) To be able to look at a rock and say: here was where a mountain stream met a river comprised of glacial melt, which then dried up as the region became a desert, would be a very fine skill to have, it seemed to me.

This simple bare concrete is the rock that represents the present, and tells us nothing. If an archeologist a million years from now would be able to get into my mind, the excitement would be intense in the Planet Control Center. We’ve done it! We’ve entered the mind of our most ancient of ancient ancestors! Then they would turn on the view screen and find nothing, this bare concrete. They would ask themselves why did they bother: they have worked so hard to discover what ancient life is like and they have found it only to contain the inadequate blankness of their own present. Bare concrete, a stretch of bare squares, that have somehow amounted to history.

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