7 December 1998
The first Friday Woodworker article is on the site this week. If you click through you should be able to access it. They were written in 1988, and were my first attempt at creative writing. Some people when showm these fell about laughing, some smiled faintly - and some yawned.
I thought I was going to write a technical book, but it soon became apparent that I was much more interested in the people than the technology - and that is the main reason there are no drawings.
Index of Friday Woodorker articles (and a means of access).
We are still redesigning The Other News From England. At last there are a few drawings (see below), and work has begun on putting together old articles form the early nineties. It will be somewhat sparse for some time yet
There is at least one new article this week, and articles on many subjects in earlier issues (which can be seen by clicking below).
Index of earlier issues.
There are some other drawings too, and they work with my browser. The intention is that you will be able to download them, but I am still not quite sure how this is done. Presumably you just copy and paste into a graphics application.
I will be working to make the sheet music accessible (some people have complained!) next, and if I get one email saying it has worked I`ll put some more there.
The problem has been largely to do with file types.
(this article kept from last week).
I`ve been reading (these things do come to pas from time to time) a book written at the end of the sixties by a very good author called Gordon Rattray Taylor.
Mr. Taylor was one of those people who seem to have begun to make us all ecologically conscious, but it was a particular item in the book I was interested in.
He tells us that at the beginning of this century about five Sika deer were let loose on an uninhabited island in the Chesapeake, and that when an ethologist, John christian, went to have a look in the mid fifties their numbers had built up to nearly 300 (there must have been no predators). He was interested in the effect of numbers on population.
Between the middle fifties and the end of the fifties many of their population died off, and by the end of the fifties they had stabilised at about 80.
Autopsies revealed that most who died during that period of high mortality had overdeveloped adrenal glands, and John Christian concluded that they were dying not because of lack of food (there was plenty) but because of stress. I will make my own guess here, and suggest that it was probably the type of stress you get when you have to constantly guard your little bit of territory - overcrowding.
Mr. Rattray then goes on to suggest that humans must reach this stage in due course, and suggested about now for the sudden dropping off of numbers. If you live in England we seem overcrowded, and this idea seems likely, and probably in some other countries it seems much more likely, but if you live in the USA, which has fairly low population density it must seem very unlikely - but whatever else, there must come a time when numbers get to the stage where this happens if we don`t first check our own numbers.
This seems to give us a choice between going to war, behaving like Hitler or one of his modern-day equivalents (plenty of those about) or being a bit more sensible and looking for ways to control births. We have the means, of course, but we don`t seem to have the inclination, particularly those of us with a religion.
I tried to look at the other options, and found them too awful. Certainly, I know who I would choose to have exterminated if I was that way inclined and had the opportunity, and it may surprise you to know that it doesn`t include people like me - it couldn`t, otherwise I couldn`t get the job done. On the other hand, if I were Hitler I would have managed to kid myself that I was infinitely superior to those I was knocking off, and thus armed with a lie I would go ahead with impunity - until the rest of the world exterminated me.
I think we are probably all so familiar with that line of thought that I needn`t go any further, but perhaps a law making sex illegal in all but extreme and special circumstances might work? No? Well, then what about executing all children born who excede a legally allowed number (necessarily either two or one), or making all crime punishable with instant death (which wouldn`t be effective anyway unless one had even more bent convictions)?
I can`t think of anything else. We will have to wait and allow ourselves to be culled by our own stupidity, which is at least a tiny bit better than going to war - and certainly in some way `natural`.