04/07/2011

Where did White Man go Wrong?

Recently, digging through the Internet I came across a curious newspaper clipping. The piece has been reblogged so many times it was quite impossible for me to trace its origins, but I am pretty sure that the real author would not mind me posting it here. Rebuilding Civilization is all about sharing the ideas worth spreading.


For those of you who forgot their reading glasses, the story goes:

An old Indian Chief sat in his hut on the reservation, smoking a ceremonial pipe and eyeing two U.S. government officials sent to interview him.

"Chief Two Eagles," asked one official, "You have observed the White man for 90 years. You've seen his wars and his technological advances. You've seen his progress, and the damage he's done."

The Chief nodded in agreement.

The official continued, "Considering all these events, in your opinion, where did the White man go wrong?"

The Chief stared at the government officials for over a minute and then calmly replied, "When White man found the land, Indians were running it. No taxes, no debt, plenty buffalo, plenty beaver, women earned keep, medicine man free, Indian man spent all day hunting and fishing, all night having sex."

Then the Chief leaned back and smiled... "Only White man dumb enough to think he could improve system like that."



Funny as it may seem, the story about the Chief poses an interesting question:
How far should we go in terms of innovation and technology?

In the 1st century AD, Heron of Alexandria created the aeolipile, a basic steam engine. Using the technology he created automated doors for an Apollian temple, but little else. Many philosophers believe that the ancients simply did not feel the need for that kind of technological advancement. Maybe Heron, like many other inventors, was just ahead of his time and nobody could see his real potential.

We live in the greatest age of discovery the human race has ever seen. Looking back in time, it is crucial that we learn from our mistakes and adopt a more sustainable way of thinking. I firmly believe that with the modern technology at hand we will be able to rebuild our civilization to the state Chief Two Eagles has once seen, but with all the amenities of modern 'white man' way of life.

Although I've been trying really hard to obtain some detailed information about Chief Two Eagles, the only tangible pieces of evidence for his existence are the pictures presented in this post. If you happen to find some factual information about him, please let me know so we can extend this post and create a Wikipedia entry.

image sources: nynerd.com & cherokeeadvocates.org

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