To Orwell Today,
Just a word of support/encouragement to say I read your ORWELL CONVERSION and liked your answers throughout and your spirit.
I ran across your website when reading generally about Eric Blair.
John at LachlanHunter Associates
(information sharing in earth science and prehistory)
Thanks for letting me know that in your archaeology-like pursuit digging around for Eric Blair you've unearthed "Orwell Today".
I've had a quick look at your website and plan to go back and read in greater depth. I see you have an article about "Lucy" in your section MORE RECENT EARTH HISTORY - THE AGES OF HOMINIDS:
"3.2 million BC - 'Lucy' lived: An upright-walking hominid, Lucy became man's oldest discovered ancestor by almost 1 million years when her skeleton was uncovered in Hadar, Ethiopia, in 1974. Then later on a stunningly complete skeleton of a three-year-old girl who lived 3.3 million years was uncovered in Ethiopia in 2006. This tiny female was a child belonging to this ancestral pre-human species called Australopithecus afarensis, the same species as the iconic fossil specimen Lucy belongs to. Their kind lived in East Africa 3 million to 4 million years ago. Modern humankind, by comparison, is thought to have arisen only 200,000 years ago..."
You may not have discovered the Rwanda section of the website yet where I tell about seeing Lucy's bones on the way OUT OF AFRICA.
The photos were taken in the Ethiopian National Museum in Addis Ababa. It was a thrill of a lifetime.
All the best,
To Orwell Today,
I was just interested to see that there was someone who was a "scholar" of George Orwell's life and specializing in "1984".
I knew someone had written a biography on him not long ago as I saw it in the shops (browsed it but did not buy it as I was not all that interested, just curious because I have wide interests as I guess many do).
I have always been interested in how the opposite to what one first thinks may actually turn out true or more true as one digs more ... like Orwell's Ministry of Truth, and the Ministry of Peace, and so many other examples express.
And in many other common sayings, like that the victors always write or re-write the past .. which I generally accept has a lot of truth in it.
This may all immensely colour peoples' perceptions of the past, how they think they know the past, and so forth.
So that is one of my interests and I hope to develop something more on that, webpages, under the general topic/heading of "Project Past". I've made a very small beginning (at http://www.geo-sites.zoomshare.com) but so far have not expressed myself ideally there (..." - to give consideration to the ways and methods that people use to interpret and shape the past; and plan to know the past more fully").
One topic therein concerns curious circles seen on the stone around Sydney, Australia. These are locally called "snames" (a bit of a nonsense name like w'ats-is-name) as nobody really knows what they are .. are they completely natural or human-influenced as the main theory runs [effects on the sandstone of long-maintained camp fires at those spots].
After a couple of people at Sydney Uni proposed the campfires-caused theory, the leading rock art expert of our times (Robert Bednarik) dismissed that as a lot of nonsense.
And so yet another controversy.
Snames are only a tiny controvery as few people are even aware of them.
Bigger controveries are many, and about the earth/nature the biggest was probably the theory of evolution in the not very distant past but now is if the earth is cooling or if the earth is warming.
In Australia you can find geologists of views right across the spectrum on that controversy.
One famous Aus geologist is Tim Flannery, named one year recently as Australian of the Year for his varied work.
Flannery has written book/s about the fact of global warming and something badly needing to be done to combat it.
At the opposite pole we have another quite well known and widely respected Aus geologist, Professor Ian Plimer, who is at the skeptics/denialists end of things that asserts global warming is the greatest hoax in all of human history.
Another controversy in Aus is called the "History Wars".
Most Australians have very little interest in extremely old past. I started off many years ago considering clearly defined fossils agreed to be hundreds of millions of years old but not understood as to biological affinity ,, not even as much as if they are plants or animals! I dabbled away for years on that and still could not prove if they were plants or if they were animals! Ha ha, were these my "lost" years? These fossils are called "receptaculitids". That sort of stuff is not of much popular interest .. and receptaculitids I think still languish on as still uncertain if they were plants of if they were animals.
What does interest people is more recent years of the "ancient" .. the origin of 'Man' (and woman) and all that.
"Out of Africa" has been the most popular idea, with humans coming to Aus via southern India etc.
There was formed in Aus years ago the theory that they came in waves, at least two or three waves (and possibly connected to geological events?).
This theory (or theories if there were variants) held of course that not all the Aboriginal newcomers were likely the same. And proponents of this also recognised a "Pygmy" or negrito-like race .. saying this survived into modern times, in Queensland.
A chief supporter of all this was an ?amateur anthropologist named Keith Windschuttle.
But as time went on, mainstream antrhopology/archaeology largely drifted away from these theories.
Windschuttle interpreted this as things like the Pygmy race getting 'written out of history' in Australia.
Seems to me that he then began seeing it as a sort of conspiracy, by the 'revolutionary' students of the sixties, who grew up to become left-wing academics who Windschuttle thought polluted the universities and polluted or ruined the truth etc .. or at least something along those lines.
Windschuttle researched all this, quite minutely, and his resulting magnus opus was a book claiming "The Fabrication" of Aboriginal history in Australia.
It dissects and presents most of the stuff by most prominent historians before him about massacres as 'fabrications', 'inventions' or gross exaggerations. He or his supporters believe there were no stolen children or generations in Aus - something long told of by the Aboriginal people and for which the latest Australian prime minister has now formally apologised for on behalf of the nation. All that was fabricated too, according to Windschuttle or supporters.
Windschuttle with his book on the fabrication of Aboriginal history began what has become known as the 'History Wars' here, or more generally the 'culture wars'.
I suspect you've probably heard of much of that?
Hard evidence of course is sparse but will always continue to increase. In Australia as in Africa we have preserved footprints in time (some photos of such copied on the LachlanHunter webpage).
You are right that I had not known you had visited the Ethiopian National Museum.
I also had not read your Canada/China page.
What you say for Canada is much as in Australia too. Some see it all as a good thing .. a great neoliberal boom. Others see it as the opposite - that all over the world China is devouring the natural resources of countries and destroying their economies by flooding back products made with cheap labour the inhabitants can never 'compete' directly against .. leading to the death of those 'quarry' nations' secondary industries. But trade is trade and China is thanked for the recent mining boom in Australia. It also means that Australia couldn't possibly be too critical of China over the Chinese invasion and takeover of Tibet. It is unlikely that China would ever now give Tibet back to the Tibetans. Tibet was sparsely populated and China is now developing it and sending in Han Chinese settlers from the more over-populated parts of China central.
But is this just not 'human nature'?
The English assumed ownership of Australia as it was but sparsely populated. It always remains at least a bit vexed and the government did 'give back' a national icon at the centre of the continent, Ayers Rock .. now called Uluru.
Perhaps the Chinese will eventually give Lhasa back to the Tibetans, but never the whole country?
Comparably on a large scale, the US expanded west and 'took the lands' of the plains Indians. The Sioux "resisted" as late as "Wounded Knee II", and even though all conquered people are ALWAYS divided (the conquerors see to that) the Sioux still hold out in their claim to own the "Black Hills" .. The Black Hills are seen by many as a sacred/symbolic blob at the heart of North America and a little like Ayers Rock in that respect (but with lots of gold that central Australia does not have - and hence unlikely to ever be "given back").
Whatever one side says on all these things, the other side can .. or will .. be saying the opposite.
A fair prediction I think.
~ an independent researcher monitoring local, national and international events ~