I remember a Generalist Test from Co-evolution Quarterly or the next magazine in that line. The questions crossed areas of study in ways that required a working knowledge of history, chemistry, math, more sciences, engineering, social and psychological, and philosophical, literature and cosmology, and practical experience. Who might know enough? What information will you need to know? Reading from a computer, access to internet and all, (most), some, information is available, but not always what you need. And you have to know what you are looking for, the correct words are necessary, and I don’t always have that available. And often the information came from a specialist.
I have been reading a book about Oxygen, struggling through the chemistry, but getting enough to think about this planet in time. The years reach back through times of low oxygen in the atmosphere, ocean debris sinks and is sub ducted and pushed into mountains. My time fantasy is stretched beyond my simplistic notions. Creatures feeding at volcanic vents in the ocean and that lasts a long time. Geologists have to go to Australia, southern Africa, Greenland,
Canada, looking for the old rocks. The iron and sulfur, carbon and calcium, and he hasn’t really gotten to the plants we see each day. The leaves I have found in shale are a young ten million years old. The helix of time and DNA.
Delving into information due to curiosity is work, but there’s always something to shake my chosen fantasy, taking a belief I hold and turning it over, showing the fault lines of the inevitable, having it collapse into rubble, and rebuilding a new conceptual edifice, to be encased for the moment.
When I read about present day events, the certainty of the truth of the speaker, the pictures, the claims of one side and counter claims, and knowing most people living today have no idea of life two centuries ago, or the extremes of human life and the strain on the natural resources taken to appease human “need”; I think the belief that this will continue unabated is faulty. The easiest change is to reach some limit of a necessary resource, or to slip a toxin into the food or water change, like pollution, and rearrange the biologic systems. The big animals are gone. Now we are the big animal.