My Side of the Cave - A Look at Our World With a Little Common Sense Thrown In by Robert Strait - HTML preview

PLEASE NOTE: This is an HTML preview only and some elements such as links or page numbers may be incorrect.
Download the book in PDF, ePub, Kindle for a complete version.

Chapter 1

Invention. The search

A place to start

Our world and our universe is such a beautiful and organized body making it quite obvious that man had nothing to do with its making.

Men and women throughout history have accomplished wondrous things. These common sense dreamers through hard work and diligence, through failure and success, have greatly enriched our world.

For me, my first enlightenment might have been when President John F. Kennedy spoke of Americans going to the moon………….. Wow! That was big stuff. He was telling this nation that we could build space ships, leave our planet earth and travel to the moon!

For crying out loud, we are still using outhouses and he is telling us we can go to the moon. Are you crazy? But there were people who could dream and people who could make dreams come true and, from that, the space program was born. These first steps allowed mankind to acknowledge the unlimited possibilities in front of us and the promise that we could achieve beyond our imagination.

The human element is so full of promise, yet we sometimes fall short. Why is this so?

Good proven standards have been set in stone, yet we sometimes look elsewhere for answers.

On one hand, we are wise and intelligent enough to make so much positive history, to write about it and to record it. But there is another side, our darker side, that can make grave mistakes that we tend to cover up, forget, and worst of all, not learn by those mistakes. George Wilhelm Hegel wrote, “Those who can not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” George Bernard Shaw said, “ We learn from history, that we learn nothing from history.”

Now, if we just made these mistakes one time, maybe that could be overlooked, but over and over again is wrong. Reading the past is to judge the future. I would hope and pray that man could learn to learn. It is the common sense, good and thoughtful decisions that will guide and determine our future. The way we govern, our educational system, the religion we choose and how we live our lives may be the mirrored reflection of our future. We will be what we allow us to be.

All things possible.

Thinkers and innovation.

The stepchild of common sense is thought, ideas, innovation and invention. All thought process begins when we ask questions and look for answers. Invention is not possible without using common sense.

We are inherently gifted to always be searching for what others can not see. Free flowing ideas, innovations and inventions have been an American phenomenon.

We have had our Edisons and Franklins and Gates, just to name a few. The history books are filled with people who have brought wondrous changes to our world. We are in debt to them.

There are also multitudes of achievers who have made and continue to make less notable advances, usually not as newsworthy, but most important, nonetheless. Albert Einstein said, “The whole of science is nothing more than a refinement of everyday thinking."" It is this everyday thinking that I draw your attention to. Thinkers gave us the common door hinge, screw caps, sun glasses, swings, string, wire, games, finger nail clippers, door mats, boots, pencils and about a zillon other things that we take for granted. Many of these great ideas came from ordinary working craftsmen and thinkers who would ask themselves, how can we do this better or faster or cheaper? These ordinary people had at least one thing in common, and that would be vision! Such a simple thing, doesn"t everyone have vision? Well, “duh,” I guess not.

The disturbing thing is that there seems to be a greater number of people who do not think outside the box. They are acceptant of written words and directions by others.

Big government perpetuates this thought. These vegetative and passive followers might well still be living in caves. Which side of the cave do you want?

Remember, as Americans, we have rights and privileges paid for in blood that allow us to express ourselves freely. Do not become complacent. Those of you with vision, get off the fence, step up to the plate, move your butts, step outside the box, for you are needed and we anxiously await you.

Inventions. old and new.

A chronicle of inventions throughout the ages.

8000 bc

Mesopotamia, (now Iraq), gave rise to early metal working.

China began producing art as did others.

5000 bc

Mesopotamia invented the wheel.

3000 bc

India began producing silk and growing rice.

Mesopotamia discovered bronze.

2000 bc

India may have been first to use plumbing.

Rome was the first to widely use plumbing.

Mesopotamia invented the chariot.

India used the arch for support in buildings.

China was the first to use ink.

1000 bc

Egypt invented glass.

MesoAmerica invented rubber.

India was credited with the water clock.

Asia first foundered iron.

500 - 100 bc

China first used the cultivating plough.

India began to grow sugar cane.

Greece invented maps and the first encyclopedia.

Rome developed the aqueduct system to move water.

China invented the compass.

50-500 ad

China invented paper.

Omar first used the windmill.

500-1000 ad

India invented the spinning wheel.

Afghanistan used wind powered gristmill.

China discovered gun powder.

Egypt invented the writing pen.

1000 -1500 ad

Persia is credited with the first thermometer.

China invented the first rocket.

Egypt is responsible for the first hand gun.

Germany invented the pocket watch.

1500-1600 ad

England discovered the first use of the lead pencil.

The telescope was invented by Zachoris Jansson.

1600-1700 ad

The calculator was invented by Wilhelm Schickard.

An early steam car was invented by Ferdinand Verbiest.

The piano was from the mind of Bartolomeo Cristofori.

1700-1800 ad

The Franklin Stove inventor was Benjamin Franklin.

Franklin also invented the lighting rod.

The oil lamp was discovered by Aime Arga.

1800-1900 ad

The first gas stove. Zachaus Winzler.

Locomotive inventor. Richard Trevithick.

Bicycle inventor. Karl Drais.

The first electric motor was invented by Michael Faraday.

Combustion engine inventor. Samual Morey.

Early refrigerator. Jacob Perkins

First revolver was made by Samuel Colt.

Telephone was invented by Antonio Meucci.

Invention of the repeating rifle. Oliver Winchester.

Pasteurization discovery. Louis Pasteur.

Jeans and Levi Strauss.

Phonograph inventor. Thomas Edison.

Early automobile. Karl Benz.

1900-1950 ad

Disposable razor. King Gillette.

The first airplane was built and flown by the Wright Bros.

The first helicopter. Paul Cornu and Igor Sikorsky.

Television inventor. Francis Jenkins.

Penicillin discovery. Alexander Fleming.

Early computer inventor. Conrod Zuse.

The microwave discovery was by Robert Watson.

Military tank invented by Sir William Tritton.

The theory of relativity. Albert Einstein.

Contractors working for the United States military invented new ways of war including radar, liquid propellant rockets, jet engines and the a-bomb.

1950-2000 ad

Nuclear power discovery. Walter Zinn.

Artificial heart inventor. Robert Jarvik.

The United States military is credited with the first use of black box flight recorders, lasers, solar power use, fuel cells, micro chips and numerous weapons.

The Nasa program is credited with early use of micro chips, miniaturization, computers, mobile phones, robot technology, astronomical/geological photography, The internet and countless advances in rocketry and space. Though not intended, the space program has enriched the lives of all Americans!

Major advances in agriculture. The science of fertilizers and pesticides, along with improved irrigation techniques has allowed farm production to feed the world.

The medical field with the help of technology is constantly remaking itself. Life expectancy has increased by 20 years.

Enlightenment seems to come in phases throughout history. There are periods of time when man seeks new direction, answers to old and new questions and a general acceptance of any and all findings.

There are also dark eras that involve stagnation of thought and learning. The Dark Ages of Europe ( the years 410 to 1095) were such a time. It took over 600 years to recover from the fall of Rome. Welcome the Renaissance period.

This is but one example of the cycle between sunshine and darkness. In the Bible it is written, “To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose.” It is no accident that our enlightened America has been blessed because of our chosen path.

Oh! The things we need.

A light hearted view.

The person who said everything has been invented was dead wrong. There is no end to the possibilities, and discovery is open to all. With vision you could be that rich aunt or uncle that people talk about. There are millions of future inventions and innovations right out there in front of us. Discovery is alive and well.

Now, I realize that not everyone is a great visionary, but most people have asked, why can"t we have this or that? That"s when the visionary steps up with a solution to the question. Let"s look at some everyday problems:

Light bulbs. The lightbulb comes in all sizes and shapes. Small screw ins and large screw ins get a “c” grade for the amount of light produced and a “d” grade for light produced where you need it. Removing an old bulb for replacement is difficult at best. For this, engineers get a “d” grade. Why do they have to screw at all and what kind of erosion producing metal do they use that practically seals the bulb threads to the fixture? In Europe, the bulb is pushed in and then, with a slight turn, they are secure. How about a bulb that simply pops in and pops out. Give me a break folks, there must be a better way!

Personal health care. In this technological age, it seems to me that something could be attached to each of us that would signal and prevent airborne infections. How about a personal diagnostic gismo that would allow us to analyze our own condition, not unlike home blood pressure cuffs? It seems to me, since it is our body, we should be in more control. We should be more informed. There is entirely too much secrecy concerning our personal health. Our health records from birth could be recorded on a disk so as to allow a doctor to give you a better diagnosis of a particular health issue. This disk would be yours to be used as you see fit.

Prescriptions. There are too many state and federal regulations. It should be much easier and less expensive to buy prescriptions across the counter. All information could be contained on your personal disk as discussed above. The present procedure from the doctor"s signature to the druggist to the patient, needs to be improved. Consider pill and container size, shape and color. For example, all pain pills could be red or all antbiotics could be blue. Goodbye to mistakes and lawsuits.

Bath tubs. About a zillion years ago someone invented a container that would hold water and the local neighborhoods could wash their bodies in this vessel. That was great because the annual bath could then be used over and over and over. Isn"t that a pleasant thought? Now, fast forward to modern present day and we find many folks bathing in a vessel, perhaps more often and with fewer persons using the same water. However, this contraption is still most unsanitary!

The sky. Before we started seeking shelter in and under something, we slept beneath the beautiful stars. People used the stars for direction and navigation and could count on their accuracy in the sciences. Then modern man built a roof to protect us from the elements.

A cover, yes, but at what cost? How about inventing a roof that could be clear to give us light in the day and the sky at night? Sounds simple enough!

Rain. Like the sky, we have separated ourselves from this wonderful source of water.

Generations past used the rain for their cleansing showers. We captured rain water for personal or agricultural use. It was also used to moderate temperature in buildings. It is time we look again at the possibilities. It is time for a fresh vision.

Car comfort. Creature comforts leave a lot to be desired in our travel modes including trains, planes, buses and automobiles. The seats are generally fitted for children and other very small people. However, those of us who are of average or above average size are going to be less than comfortable. Surely there is a market for human comfort!

Storage space. We are missing the boat here (no pun intended) for not thinking outside the box when it comes to storage space. Every nook and cranny in your car or home is screaming for attention. Every engineer and architect should try one up-man-ship in creating hiding places that stimulate our fun buttons.

Travel space. Develope places for all kinds of neat things such as microwaves, coolers, special lighting, internet and other tech devices. While on this subject, why do they call that storage space in the dashboard a glove box? Why in England do they call the rear storage the boot?

Politically correct communication device. We all get into trouble saying things we mean and having these spoken thoughts perceived in a totally different way.

This is especially prevalent when husbands try to explain, well......... almost anything, and then, to make things worse, we continue digging a deeper hole. So someone needs to invent a device that makes the necessary corrections ………….before they are spoken.

The sooner someone invents this device, the more marriages that will be saved!

Language decipherer. A machine that deciphers language both outgoing and incoming.

This seems so simple that it must already exist. Can you imagine traveling in a foreign country and being able to order from the menu or asking for directions that would be understandable to both parties? On the world stage fewer gaffs would lead to a more peaceful world.

New food sources. Same old! Same old! Why can"t someone come up with something new and fresh to eat. They did it in that latest science fiction movie. All you need is the sun, water and a medium. Right? How difficult could that be?

One piece houses. With everything included, delivered and installed at an affordable price that would allow worldwide ownership. The person who can come up with this would solidify their names in the history books.

Fire prevention. Fire is a chemical reaction fueled by oxygen. So if we eliminate oxygen, wouldn"t we stop the fire? Seems easy enough. Using water seems so 18th century.

Warm water therapy. What a healing benefit as it counteracts gravity and allows the body to work less. The water produces hydrostatic pressure that benefits the heart and lungs and reduces pressure on the spine. Could this therapy be artificially duplicated?

People mover. Using magnetics, a hover craft floating just above the surface, or perhaps a unit powered by liquid hydrogen or condensed combustion tablets or something yet unknown could be the future. Please, let"s make the greenies happy.

Artificial body parts. Spare parts to replace defective ones. Actually this science is evolving today. Bless the folks who are improving the lives of many.

Injected knowledge. Save on books and time. The sleep we get every day, about 8 hours, could be used as a time of learning. Suppose tonight in your sleep you experienced the thrill of reading Moby Dick, and the following day you could recite it.

Electricity. A wonderful invention but moving it from one place to another is a problem.

Think of our planet without those ugly poles and wires. Is there a different way of transferring electricity? We must rethink this system as there is a secondary problem concerning electromagnetic terrorism.

Stupid pill. For those of us who make stupid mistakes on a regular basis, let someone design a pill or an injection or perhaps an implant, that would signal us of the upcoming embarrassment. It might be a buzz or a twitch that would warn us that we are about to enter the twilight zone.

Zero gravity bed. A bed like surface where gravity could be reduced. Think of a hospital like environment where the pressure on both the body and the organs could be controlled.

Healing time would be vastly reduced.

Insanity detection device. Stop the nut cases and people who would do harm. Find the crazies before they find us.

The fun machine. This contraption would produce and allow only happiness. The machine would change doom and gloom people to happy, loving and positive people.

Invent this machine and save the world!!!!!!!!!!!!!

In fact, I have been working on this last one. I may call it my Utopia Machine. This contraption produces universal happiness. It allows only a positive and fun existence for those who are hooked up to this machine. It does not allow any negative thought.

For example, and with my fun machine in high gear: “ I"m suddenly a young boy or girl who just got my first bicycle this morning. Oh, the joy was beyond belief. With dad"s help, I got on for the first time, a bit wobbly, but I got the hang of it and now I"m gripping the rubber of the handlebars and pushing the pedals. It takes some concentration, but I"m doing all right. Now some of my friends are coming out and seeing me and cheering me on. I"ve got it all. This is so great. I may never get off of this bike, but now its been an hour and mom is calling me in for some pancakes with warm maple syrup. All my friends are joining me. Wow! What a kick. And when we finish eating we"re going to watch some cartoons on television. As far as I"m concerned, this day could last forever.”

The Utopia Machine also allows me to remember bubble gum. “ I remember my first chew, popping that hard sugar lump into my mouth.The sweetness was unbelievable.I"m chewing faster now and the gum is getting softer and it won"t be long now until my first bubble. It"s getting close. I stick my tongue between my teeth and push through, but it"s not quite ready yet, so I chew again with more determination. This time I blow out my first bubble. Its ok, but then the second test is even better. I blow and crack the bubbles and they keep getting bigger and better. Surely these are world class bubbles that I"m blowing here.”

“ Tonight some of my friends are coming over to my house. Dad helped me pitch a tent in the back yard and this is going to be so neat. It"s a small tent, probably only meant for two adults, but we"re going to cramp about six or seven of us in there. How neat will that be? We"ve been in here for a couple hours now, laughing and hooting it up. It"s been dark for awhile, but we"ve got this neat lantern that gives us these shadows and we keep trying to see who can scare each other the most. No one dares stick their heads out of the flaps and into the dark night because the boogieman might be out there. But, in here with my friends, we are secure.” Sleep finally comes..................

“ Going swimming for the first time in the really big pool is scary. My confidence is being tested because my skills are not great yet. We get there and my first reaction is mouth dropping. This is big, really big and deep, really deep. I"m having some doubts here, but all my friends are here and if they can do it, I can do it. After the first hero plunge (called hero because it takes one), I get my confidence up and, before long, I"m going out over my head and realizing how good that I"m getting. This is great. Later we"ll lay out in the warm sun, eat some chips and drink some Koolade.”

“ I"m a little older now and we"re going to the state fair today. Cotton candy and wild rides. How neat can that be! I"ll see my friends there and all of us together are going on the suicide ride. That"s the one where they strap you in a seat of this train looking affair that takes you to the top, where the air is definitely thinner and you"re looking down at the people. They look like ants from here. Well, our ride is nearing the top and things become real quiet. Then all of a sudden, it"s like the bottom falls out because we just drop like a rock. All you hear is screaming. Dropping and curving and up and down. Man, what a kick. When it"s finally over, I feel drained, not knowing if I ever want to do that again. We will talk about this for hours. We will brag about how easy it was, but right now I don"t hear any one voting to do it again. But next summer, we will definitely do it again.”

“ Another fun thing we do is hang out. I mean the wisdom you get is better than school.

These folks just go on and on about everything you can think of. And me, I have a lot of wisdom to hand out, too. It feels so good to have my friends laughing at everything I say.

I"m going to be a comedian because everyone likes my wisdom. But even when we get serious, we solve lots of things and have the knowledge that everything that we say is true and is right. No one is more right than us.”

“ I"m a little older now and one of the things that my fun machine is going to do is bring together a bunch of my old friends. We may drink a little beer, laugh and lie to each other. This is going to be a blast. Nothing dastardly, just passing around some friendship and love and good times.”

Well, I could go on and on about my new invention, but you get the picture. I think this is going to be a good seller, except maybe in Hollywood and the news media. Newspaper people don"t like happy things, claiming that only killing and disaster stories sell. But, miracles happen. They may come around.

Believe it.

Anything is possible.

From nearly the beginning of time we have been an inventive lot, always searching for something new. We seem to have an itch within us driving us forward. Most ideas and innovations go unnoticed. Every Tom, Dick, Harry and Judy has some small claim of success at home or at work. You and your discovery need to be applauded. We also need to be thankful for the capitalist system within our country that encourages people to think and do.

Although my previous dream pages are akin to reality, there is no scientific evidence that I am aware of that would indicate that any of these far out thoughts are possible. They will remain a conjecture, a simple study, only if or until someone makes them a reality.

If everyone could open their imaginative minds and fantasize outside of their constructed walls, our list of possibilities might extend from here to the moon!

There is no lack of ideas or dreams, there is only a lack of using the power of the human mind to make them happen! An interesting quote from nobel prize winner, Albert Szent Gyorgyi, stated, “ Discovery consists of seeing what everyone has seen and thinking what nobody has thought.”

• note: There are various sites on the internet, including the how to of inventing, inventing 101 for beginners, creative thinking, creating creativity, and innovation and so many more. Search and you will find!

It is important to recognize that freedom of the people is always the catalyst to thought and action. Freedom and surrounding yourself with other positive thinking people! It is important to remember that all things are posssible with God!

Getting it right.

I remember in one of my college classes there was a heated debate over things that are right or wrong; black and white or, whatever else most folks would consider to be

“no brainers.” However, one young lady stated, “There is no right or wrong, sometimes it"s wrong and sometimes it"s right.” This bit of intellect, practiced and honed by some people, is the type of thinking that scares the daylights out of people. What is really scary is that this person is allowed to vote!

However, and the point remains, that man will always fail and even when using seemingly good judgment may still get it wrong. Only God and God"s word is truth.

Everything else can be manipulated. (think revisionism). Having said that, the use of common sense wins most of the time. The dictionary"s definition of common sense is,

“ The result or agreement of a common people, based on sound judgment, a natural understanding and is self evident.”

An example of common sense comes to mind. “ If it sounds like a duck and walks like a duck, it is most likely a duck.” In recent years, trendy and politically correct people might say, well, maybe it"s not a duck. Their government schooled logic tells them to question everything and this is especially true if the discovery is old (pre their generation). Now, don"t get me wrong, to question something is generally a good thing. However, it makes no sense to reinvent the wheel. Listening, learning and thinking is normally positive, but you must ask yourself, from whom am I listening, learning and thinking?

Karl Marx was a teacher from whom many disciples were made. Following a man or a philosophy demands that we choose wisely.

Our great American forefathers did not stumble around in the dark without a sense of direction and a lived knowledge of history. Great thinkers and leaders are generally virtuous, moral, and of good character. They are able to see, absorb and positively react.

They generally believe that common sense allows one to see life more simply. History is chuck full of people who thought and excelled.

(Return to Contents)