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Only after the last tree has been cut down;
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Love of Nature or Love of the Idea

By Pipit Tai

......It was not very much appreciated and that was the end....

In that famous meaningless phrase "All men are created equal", one finds more than just a few questions. However it does contain a sobering element in the sense that there are at present a few billions of us men who are supposedly created equal. How then do we tell each other apart? What is the price of individuality? We are obviously extremely successful at telling each other apart since there are billions of us and counting. We, in other words, appear to be incredibly successful at finding suitable mates and then reproducing at an ungodly pace. There must be a good mechanism for telling each other apart, no, not just that, we are able to make subtle judgements on who is better or more suitable. In other words, we can tell who is preferred or who is superior.

Yet we are all just human. Apart from the brutish physical aspects of prowess and health, there is of course, the human creation of status and wealth with which we can more effectively still, differentiate one from the other. Yet, one can be of very high status and wealth and still be a complete put off.

I think what is more important (in spite of the claims some scientists make) is a person's personality and values - things that are almost completely human, artificial and controllable. In a world that is dominated by man, things that are artificial, constructed and controllable have the highest value. For example, it is preferred to have a late night of riotous testosterone and progesterone charged karaoke than the boring stillness of a god forsaken (or is it human forsaken?) place. It is definitely better to have electric lights and the steady hum of the generator than a deadly darkness softened only by the light of the moon and stars. I can even prove this to be true, since I talked to the carpenters who complained that..."yes, it is a nice place for you city folk to come and relax for a few days, but for us who have to stay here for months on end without any entertainment, it is a different case." As a sorry attempt at consolation, I sort of suggested..."well, maybe you can join in the karaoke". It was not very much appreciated and that was the end of that conversation - put my feet in my mouth again - been doing that a lot lately.

But it did leave me wondering why I paid quite good money and undertook a long hard journey to come to this god forsaken place to de-stress and unwind. Is it love of nature or love of the idea? Am I really human or just a brute?

Pipit Tai
6th August 06


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All photographs by Forest Ang unless mentioned.
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