Shell carefully framed by the knapping. If you consider decoration as art, this is one of the first known art manifestations. West Tofts, England. Around 100.000? BP.

“Properly dating this object is impossible because it was extracted from an archaeological excavation when the strata and the dating still did not matter. They were only interested in extracting objects for the interest of antique dealers and collections.

For the industry in which it is carved, there are authors who say that it belongs between 500,000 and 300,000 years BP while others say it is around 100,000. Others even say it is 10,000 years ago. As there are so many different dates I have decided to put 100,000 BP.” -RCO_



There is no clean break between stories lived, and stories told.

Our world is a measureless ocean of stories, wriggling through and around each other like worms. Each wiggly meeting and each squirmy farewell is an edit.

We are living stories who make stories. Every relationship, ambition, fear, and plan is a story within a story. All have public and secret stories. Intimacy invites the other inside and downward, closer to the secret you wouldn’t even know how to tell.  Each story has an equal number of participants and versions: Of listeners and tellers. To know something is to tell it to yourself. Each of us is a tale being told. Our branching stories mingle and tangle with family, friends and loves branching toward us until they blend into distance and difference.

To imagine a time of people without stories who later, luckily, acquired stories is sheer fiction. No such animal existed. The outside borders of humanity are where the stories cut off suddenly in the silence of animals, plants and the great unknown. We exist in an atmosphere of exhaled and inhaled narrative. In the beginning…was the beginning.

Since stories are both proof of humanity and its universal means, we could not communicate without a framework, a system of recognition shared by all.

A narrative part or mechanism in the telling must match up with a corresponding part or mechanism in the listening. They must land, like drug molecules, on matching neuroreceptors. We easily refer to the smell of fall leaves, wet dog, or shit because we can take the same recognition system for granted. Continue reading



That didn’t happen.
And if it did, it wasn’t that bad.
And if it was, that’s not a big deal. 
And if it is, that’s not my fault.
And if it was, I didn’t mean it.
And if I did… You deserved it.



Knowing Things We Never Learned:

Nearly all of us must struggle diligently to acquire even modest talent in Mathematics, Music, and Art. We encounter genius as rare people who display an amazing gift. Below them are random individuals of great talent and below them, the rest of us in a bell curve spread from mediocre to hopeless. Yet an effortless, genius-level mastery of these areas appears to be latent in our brains. How to back up such a claim? We can learn much about ourselves through the exceptions of pathology and extreme variation. A break in the pattern is what reveals the pattern.

There are three kinds of savants that reveal these “genius modules”. Continue reading


Marcus Tullius Cicero writing 2000 years ago on our hollowed-out foundations in the age of Trump. 

  1. Laws are silent in time of war.
  2. The enemy is within the gates; it is with our own luxury, our own folly, our own criminality that we have to contend.
  3. Orators are most vehement when their cause is weak.
  4. When you have no basis for an argument, abuse the plaintiff.
  5. Nothing is more unreliable than the populace, nothing more obscure than human intentions, nothing more deceptive than the whole electoral system.
  6. It might be pardonable to refuse to defend some men, but to defend them negligently is nothing short of criminal.
  7. The false is nothing but an imitation of the true.
  8. The sinews of war are infinite money.
  9. It is the peculiar quality of a fool to perceive the faults of others and to forget his own.
  10. The higher we are placed, the more humbly we should walk.
  11. A liar is not believed even though he tells the truth.



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