Sunday, December 25, 2016

cut to the chase

Let's cut to the chase.
This year in our family version of the Icelandic Flood of Books, my wife gave me a copy of Urban Forests by Jill Jonnes, and I gave her a copy of a book about Iceland which is where the flood of books began. I heard from a friend that some of my books are under a tree, too. So surely books are one of the better ways for ideas (particularly good ideas) to be passed around.

Twitter, on the other hand has pushed politics to a dangerous edge. The defense minister of Pakistan has threatened nuclear war against Israel over fake news, but then our own American president-elect set the new international standard for stupidity like that– read fake news, then tweet about it, making sure to infect others.

Urban Forests explores the relationship between people, cities and the trees that are able to survive in the midst of it all. Trees actually have a way of humanizing a man-made environment. The irony of the Icelandic book flood is that the landscape of Iceland, shown in so many photographs is nearly devoid of trees, reminding me of how lucky we are to live in a forested landscape, and how much books are particularly needed when things become bleak.

In any case, this is Christmas Day and I wish the very best for all my readers and friends, where ever they or you may be. My friend Hans in Gothenberg (Sweden) says it's green there, which is unusual and an effect of global warming, which the president-elect of the US denies is real. Here in Arkansas on Christmas day it is 55 degrees. Trees are one of our best defenses against global warming that the greedy, the malicious, the ill-informed and the deliberately stupid among us deny is real. Let us read real books, make real sense of things, practice the scientific method in our examination of material qualities, make real objects of useful beauty and set the world on a better path for 2017.

Make, fix, create and increase the likelihood of others learning likewise.

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