Montréal, October 11, 1999
The wonderful geometrical bounty of our natural container, ... patterns of space, matter and 'judgement', ... somehow thread their way into the social fabric of all life forms. There seems a basic duality in the way in which we can regard nature, ... on the one hand as a predominating, INTANGIBLE 'field' of resonances whose interference patterns implicitly induce the material and structure of our reality, .... and reciprocally, .... as a predominating TANGIBLE growth-and-decline of explicit material structures which impose themselves on our reality. A natural question presents itself as to whether there is a peer-to-peer equivalence of these views, ... or whether one or the other is more complete and informative. Mathematically, it is clear that the implicit interference view contains the explicit material view.
For me, ... the data seem to have a 'voice of their own', .. a voice which says, ... 'we of the western world have got things upside down on this perceptual question, ... and since reciprocation or 'upside down' is something which confounds the mind, ... now that we've 'flipped' we have trouble in even seeing things the other way round.'
One or two of the more curious social behaviors of insects and humans, which seem to shed light on this 'reciprocal confusion', follow, ... in a two part story of 'space, matter and judgement in the evolution of social fabric'.
Part I: Bee Who You Are
Henri Laborit introduces his book 'La Nouvelle Grille' ('The New Framework'), with the following prose from Montaigne (1533-1592) ;
Les abeilles pillotent deca les fleurs.
mais elles font apres le miel, qui est tout
leur; mais ce n'est plus thin, ny marjolaine :
ainsi les pieces empruntees a l'autruy, il les
transformera et confondra pour en faire un
ouvrage tout sien : a savoir son jugement.
Son institution, son travail et estude ne vise
qu'a le former. "
--- Montaigne, Essais liv. I, chap. 26
The bees 'pilot' to and fro within the flowers
but afterwards they make honey, which is
fully theirs; ... but it is no longer thyme, nor oregano:
thus those constituents borrowed from others, he
will transform and harmonise so as to create from them
a work uniquely his: to come to know his appreciation.
His campus, his work and his study aim only
to give form and substance to this purpose.
* * *
Now, I had to use my dictionary to do the above translation into english, because my french is not that good, .... but as the whole-and-part harmonic imagery began to resolve like a hologram in my mind, .... there was one pivotal word which I did not have to look up in the dictionary, ... 'jugement'. I didn't have to look it up because the beloved Bordelais magistrate's prose was his definition of 'jugement'. As Vygotsky said, "a word is a microcosm of human consciousness" and never was it more true than in this citation from Montaigne.
What Montaigne is saying is what Giordano Bruno was burned to death for in 1600 (8 years after Montaigne died), ... and what Kepler was saying as well, which had the Wuertemmberg courts preparing papers on him for indulging in the forbidden arts. (Kepler died 30 years after Bruno). The great minds of this era, the sixteenth century, were apparently thinking alike, ... that material structure was the precipitate of space, ... that 'the Universe adorns matter with harmony'. It would not be until Faraday and Einstein that we would hear these same ideas again, ... since Galileo, Descartes and Newton, stood this notion on its head, ... and that's where we've been for the past four hundred years of science history (and past 2500 years of philosophical history).
The bees didn't care diddly squat for the material structures they were building, ... they were concerned with 'space-time', ... making the space time for their children, so that their children could cry out; "I am Zinngwehonweh, I am Annishbuzzbek, ... bee who you are." The material structures were simply fallout from their expedient management of space-time, ... they were the fallout of 'consciousness' innate in nature. Certainly, one may object to using the sacred anthropomorphic term of 'consciousness' in this manner, ... even though we are the children of nature, ... giving our mother credit for our most precious capability kind of clashes with our routine raping of her.
Bees have figured in a lot of scientific research, of all types. They were important in Darwin's 'The Origin of Species'. Today, ... new astronomical data from NASA's space probes has some folks speculating that intelligent life on Mars seeded the bees with the extraodinary intelligence needed to design hexagonal honeycomb . Also out there are physicists working on the connection between general relativity theory and the structure of honeycomb which seems to me to be getting a little warmer, since it takes one into the domain of curved, self-referential space, ... which is clearly what Montaigne, Bruno and Kepler were also, implicitly, talking about. A space where 'reciprocal effects', ... or 'coevolutionary effects' have a dominant influence.
As far as I am concerned, ... Darwin 'nailed' this one, when he looked at the behaviors of various types of bees and perceived an evolutionary trail from making 'spherical' containers to hold offspring and honey, ... to packing these closer together and then to squeezing them up that tight that the two layered offset hexagonal cylinder structure came naturally. The hexagonal structure avoided the wasted space between the spheres, and avoided building the walls of the spheres twice, since in the hexagonal structure, ... one wall serves two containing cells.
The evolutionary geometry is a familiar one, ... growth, limits to growth, ... rebirth into a new story which contains the old, ... the fibonacci sequence. When space and matter start getting too self-referential, ... when things get too crowded and conflicting, ... the two combattants, .... the 'thesis' of matter and the 'anti-thesis' of container, swallow themselves up within a new 'synthesis', ... they are reborn into a new and larger story which contains the old story.
I don't know if Darwin read George-Louis Leclerc Buffon (1707 -1788: mathematician, zoologist, anthropologist). I doubt it, because Darwin was very good at quoting everyone else, and he quotes numerous people on the 'bees evolution of behavior' theme. Buffon was cited by Maeterlink  in regard to the hexagonal wonder as follows;
"There are only," says Dr. Reid, "three possible figures of the cells which can make them all equal and similar, without any useless interstices. These are the equilateral triangle, the square, and the regular hexagon. Mathematicians know that there is not a fourth way possible in which a plane shall be cut into little spaces that shall be equal, similar, and regular, without useless spaces. Of the three figures, the hexagon is the most proper for convenience and strength. Bees, as if they knew this, make their cells regular hexagons." ... ..." "Again, it has been demonstrated that, by making the bottoms of the cells to consist of three planes meeting in a point, there is a saving of material and labor in no way inconsiderable. The bees, as if acquainted with these principles of solid geometry, follow them most accurately. It is a curious mathematical problem at what precise angle the three planes which compose the bottom of a cell ought to meet, in order to make the greatest possible saving, or the least expense of material and labor. This is one of the problems which belong to the higher parts of mathematics. It has accordingly been resolved by some mathematicians, particularly by the ingenious Maclaurin, by a fluctionary calculation which is to be found in the Transactions of the Royal Society of London. He has determined precisely the angle required, and he found, by the most exact mensuration the subject would admit, that it is the very angle in which the three planes at the bottom of the cell of a honey comb do actually meet. ("109 degrees 28", and the other 70 degrees 32")
. . . "I myself do not believe that the bees indulge in these abstruse calculations; but, on the other hand, it seems equally impossible to me that such astounding results can be due to chance alone, or to the mere force of circumstance. " . . . "There is a theory, originally propounded by Buffon and now revived, which assumes that the bees have not the least intention of constructing hexagons with a pyramidal base, but that their desire is merely to contrive round cells in the wax; only, that as their neighbors, and those at work on the opposite side of the comb, are digging at the same moment and with the same intentions, the points where the cells meet must of necessity become hexagonal. Besides, it is said, this is precisely what happens to crystals, the scales of certain kinds of fish, soap-bubbles, etc., as it happens in the following experiment that Buffon suggested. "If," he said, "you fill a dish with peas or any other cylindrical bean, pour as much water into it as the space between the beans will allow, close it carefully and then boil the water, you will find that all these cylinders have become six-sided columns. And the reason is evident, being indeed purely mechanical; each of the cylindrical beans tends, as it swells, to occupy the utmost possible space within a given space; wherefore it follows that the reciprocal compression compels them all to become hexagonal. Similarly each bee seeks to occupy the utmost possible space within a given space, with the necessary result that, its body being cylindrical, the cells become hexagonal for the same reason as before, viz., the working of reciprocal obstacles."
Apparently Buffon, about one hundred years before Darwin published 'The Origin...' had come to the same type of reasoning based on, .... what else, ... observing many different types of bees. Some of today's scientists, who grew up watching 'Starwars' and the like, ... appear to prefer that the hexagonal structures being picked up by NASA probes are signs of anthropomorphic-like, .... what else?, .... intelligent lifeforms who have encoded their know-how into the genes of the terrestrial bee. This theory has the advantage that one does not have to leave one's computer and mess with the bees.
The ... ".. working of reciprocal obstacles", ... as Buffon terms it, ... would appear to be another way of stating the basic reality of 'living' in curved space-time and/or playing the game of pool.
Life in curved space-time is all about container-content-reciprocal-interference,... otherwise known as 'container-content-coresonance' when one gets in tune with the one's containing environment, ... and after a bit of dancing together, ... this reciprocal interplay between container and content 'coevolve' new forms; i.e. container-content-coresonance leads to container-content-coevolution.
Well, Darwin appears to have 'nailed it', all right, ... and an important point it is because it speaks to the issue of the mutual enfolding of behavioral evolution with physical evolution, ... certainly bees who get more done with less work and materials are going to have a better chance when the working seasons are short and materials are scarce.
One has to really start stretching credibility here to find a Dawkinsian (reductionist genetics-based) explanation here, ... not that that seems to put off people who go for elegant abstractions in spite of the relational consistency of reason one garners by abandoning the 'bottom-up' causal solutions.
What Darwin needed to provide, ... in order that we fully understood his reasoning, ...was a more detailed 'thought experiment' of how this behavioral change transpired. In fact, it seems to me that he did implicitly provide it, ... so I will try to paraphrase it along with a Dawkinsian version. First, the Dawkinsian version;
Dawkinsian version of Evolution of Hexagon cell producing behavior in bees:
It was a hot summer, and all the worker bees were complaining. There wasn't enough room to work and it was damned hard to get the materials because of the drought. One day, 'boss-bee', ... the most rationally intelligent of all the bees, and whose laziness always had him manipulating others to do his work for him, ... and give him a disproportionately large share of everything, ... called a meeting.
Guys, ... we've got a problem here. There's more of us now than they're used to be and space is at a premium, ... we're packing these storage spheres real tight now and its hard to get around them, ... everyone's bumping into everyone else and our nerves are getting frazzled. We've had several stinging deaths in the past few days and we've got to find a way out of this bind.
So listen up now, ... cause I'm going to share some stuff with you that I've never told anyone before. This may sound incredible, but my mother had sex with an extra-terrestrial and I'm now carrying genes which are encoded with advance geometrical problem-solving capability. Come and take a look at these architectural drawings I've prepared. From my studies of packed spheres, ... whose centers geometrically form a square grid in the horizontal plane, which shifts diagonally in the plane which is on the next level down, ... I've determined that we can kind of push the walls of the spheres out and flatten them in segments so that we no longer need to have two sphere walls butting against each other, but only one common wall which serves two storage cells. Not only that but, if we arrange the two layers right, .. .bringing the base planes in at an angles of 70 degrees 32 minutes, we'll reduce material requirements to the minimum and totally eliminate waste space. Accounting for the more efficient use of space, our overall structure will be much smaller and together with the double duty served by each wall, ... this will more than halve the material collection and working hours for each one of you.
Study these plans carefully, now, ... and let's go for it. Pretty soon we'll be smelling the roses for the sheer fun of it, ... while those poor bastards in the hive across the way will be so demoralized they'll be eating our wax to try to discover the secret of our success.
Darwinian version of Evolution of Hexagon cell producing behavior in bees:
Damn it Fred, ... I can't see you from inside this storage sphere I'm building, but I can recognize your buzz and every time I try to get a good shape on my sphere wall, ... your wall pushes into it and puts a dent in it. I'm hot and tired and I haven't got time for this shit. You're making my job twice as tough as it should be. Tell you what, .. every time your wall pushes in on mine, ... I'm going to push my wall out on both sides of the dent you make so that you have twice as much repairs to do as me.
Hey, will you guys knock it off, ... we're all running into this same problem in this cramped space. There's just too many of us here.
Fred, ... I warned you! Hey, ... no fair doing the same thing back to me, ... my wall is getting all flattened out and so is yours, and instead of touching at one spot, ... they're touching all over the place.
Hey you guys, the same thing is happening over here, as well. It seems to be happening all over the place. Since we're getting double wall layers everywhere, let's gnaw some wax off where we don't have to worry about our honey leaking out into the outside. Even if it leaked between the cells that's no big deal.
Hey, ... why don't we push this common wall thing to the limit and see what happens, ... there's clearly a material advantage everwhere we can share common wall. Yeah, ... why not?
This reminds me of what old Buzzaklitus used to say; that "opposites are unified through strife", .. like low and high notes beating against each other to make music.
Watch out for old boss-bee though, ... he'll sure as hell be telling the queen it was all his idea, ... and by so doing, ... exploit our teamwork to garner more control over us.
Right, .. here comes some more b.s. tales of aliens and genetic encryption, I expect.
* * *
Part II: The Genius of Teams
It was back in the fall of 1997 when, with notebook at the ready, I went off to capture the insights of a panel of the world's top oil explorers
"Future legends will be built upon shared discovery"; said the catch-phrase for the 1997 American Association of Petroleum Geologists Annual Meeting whose theme was "Future Legends". I had gone to the session to see the homerun hitters of 1930's to 90's oil & gas exploration and hear them discuss what it would take to grow a Babe Ruth or Joe Dimaggio out of today's crop of explorers.
It was not a big turnout, and the crowd was kinda quiet, the same sort of group you might see browsing around the science museum looking over the dinosaurs.
One by one they came out to deliver ten minute spiels recreating their stance for us, showing how they had gripped the bat, swung and hit the long balls. First out of the dugout was Bernard Duvall, who had joined the Total team in 1958, working in Libya, Venezuela, Canada and the US to become the VP of Exploration, and since retirement, a professor at IFP. Pitch him a challenge in the domain of thrustbelts, salt tectonics or deltaic sequences, and he could hit it out of the park. John Masters, when he spoke, described how Duvall had made three giant hits in three years in the Andes thrust belt, starting with Cusiana in Columbia and moving on from there. Bernard was more than a legend, said Masters, he was a National Treasure in his home country of France.
Even from the introductions it was apparent that two of these 'exploration greats', Duvall and Masters, seemed to be coming from very different vantage points.
According to Duvall, there were four dimensions of focus needed to build a legend; Culture, Diversity, Network and Dreams. Culture and diversity were what brought together all the needed ingredients, the global vision, the conceptual creativity, to enable you to look beyond the limited vision of others. You had to acquire the oil-finding culture and to do this you had to "READ", "READ", "READ". If you were too tied up in today's business, forget it, you were not going to build any legends.
John Masters, who was the last up to bat, had known the oil business all his life, having grown up in Tulsa. His first job was with the Atomic Energy Commission and the next was with Kerr McGee, exploring for uranium. He discovered the Ambrosia Lake deposit, the largest uranium deposit in the US, and moved on from there. As President of Kerr McGee in Canada, John got to like it up there, so instead of transferring back to the US when the time came, he formed Canadian Hunter and discovered Elmwood, the biggest gas field in Canada.
Masters pointed out that though this AAPG session was celebrating oil and gas discoveries, this type of thing was only popular "amongst ourselves." Columbus was brought back in chains, and folks of a similar disposition to those sitting on this panel would likely have suffered the same fate back in those times. Wildcatters are a different breed; just look at the five of them on the panel --- for them to try to work together would be a disaster.
To be an explorer, said Masters, ... you have to have an "attitude". Explorers are "right-brainers in a sea of left-brainers", and form a very small "cult", thinking differently and acting differently. When an explorer shares his ideas, he gets the same kind of icy stare back as Galileo got. The world only accepts discoveries when they become so blatantly obvious that denial is no longer an option.
Masters continued, ... "We are trained to do as everyone else does, but there are always a few minds which are structured to question the common wisdom and celebrate courage, --- "damn the torpedos, full speed ahead" attitudes. In Canada, there are fifty fields with greater than 100 million barrels equivalent reserves, and counter to common belief, the success rate is NOT one in ten, --- fifty thousand wildcats were drilled to find these fields, those are one-in-a-thousand odds!
People as are on this panel are indifferent to small goals. They go where others fear to tread. They look in the "unfavorable" places. If you feel the warm comfort of approval for what you're doing, you're not doing very much." One hundred companies turned down Prudhoe Bay and Atlantic Richfield finally had to drill it on their own. Tom Jordan, in Indonesia, drilled downdip from 27 Shell dry holes, to make one of his big finds. Mike went into Alaska before anyone else got the courage to. Bernard Duvall found three giants in three years in the formidable Andes thrust belt. And another if our panel members found a major field hidden within a diorite sill, ... of course he knew it was going to be there!
Elmwood and Ambrosia Lake both went against the common "grain of thought" --- the "English Patient" just won nine oscars, ... but had been turned down by every major studio in Hollywood. Deep basin gas reserves are there because of low porosity and permeability which keeps them separated from the water. "Big gas is found in crappy sands in synclines,.... tell that to your manager." None of us on the panel are "robots", ... we're reasonable human beings, ... we just don't know how to do it any other way.
Successful people know what they know and they know what they don't know, and they go to experts to consult on what they don't know.
Masters closed with a quote from Kipling ;
. . . . . . . . . . . "Something hidden. Go and find it.
. . . . . . . . . . . Go and look behind the Ranges --
. . . . . . . . . . . . Something lost behind the Ranges.
. . . . . . . . . . . . Lost and waiting for you. Go!"
. . . . . . . . . . . .and when you find it, It's God's present
. . . . . . . . .. . . Anybody might have found it --
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .but His Whisper came to Me!"
All of the panelists enjoyed talking about their discoveries, ... and there was little time available for questions and answers.
Klaus, from Germany, asked the first question and it was a good one; "You have all stressed individualism, going against the mainstream, but today the organizational thrust is for cooperation and teamwork, ... where does one stop and the other begin."
The moderator, John Gibbs, passed this question to Masters as Masters had previously spoken about the importance of teams of experts tuned to specific challenges ("Frankenstein teams assembled from the parts you need"). But Masters responded that Exploration "is not a team sport", at least not initially, since the first and fundamental step is the "flash of insight", the breakthrough concept which comes to a single person. The individual brain's wiring was still much more powerful than the wiring which was available to produce the "team brain". Once the "flash of insight" had transpired, then it was time to put together a team to ask questions, to bring the technologies together to check it out and make it happen.
But Bernard Duvall thought otherwise, and made a point of his disagreement with Masters. He felt that the "flash of insight" emerges from the team environment, through dialogue between diverse thinkers and diverse disciplines. That had been his own personal experience. Certainly some members of a team could be more creative than others, and some could be more oriented to leadership. But when they were all able to work together, this was already a sign of creativity. There was much more than technology going on in a team effort. There was a "collective creativity" which seemed to be at work in the team environment which spawned the breakthrough concept, the "flash of insight."
The contrast in the two explorer's views of team process was rather remarkable, ... Duvall, in the spirit of Montaigne, Kepler and Darwin seeing the creative leap as coming out of the simultaneous interference of team and constituents, ... and Masters, in the spirit of Galileo, Descartes and Newton, seeing it as coming from a localized insight and causal implementation. It almost seemed to be an artifact of culture, ... the 'looseness' of Duvall's description of the source of insight being unacceptable to the crisp 'never the twain shall meet' independence oriented view of Masters.
The views are clearly split in our culture with respect to the relative primacy, ... in nature, ... and in complex systems such as social systems, ... of 'space' relative to matter. Also split is the viewing of judgement as exclusionary balance, 'good' OR 'bad', .. or inclusionary balance 'good' AND 'bad'. As in the game of pool, it is always possible to describe the game causally, in terms of 'shots made' and ignore the 'shape', ... the reciprocal interference between space-and-matter, .. container-and-constituents.
There appears to be a great deal at stake here. Managing by the shot-making approach seems to be a degenerate case of managing by 'shape', or 'reciprocal disposition' effects, ... in both a mathematical and social system evolution sense, ... the former playing style encouraging each individual player to optimize his individual performance and the latter encouraging all players to invest in the simultaneous patterns of whole-and-part harmony.
The relativistic shift to viewing the world in terms of the primacy of space ('field') over material structure has been re-announced by Faraday and Einstein, ... as well as others, ... but it has not yet arrived and the cultural resistance appears strong. The bees may yet provide the unifying information, ... at least there continues to be great interest there (viz. the following note captured from the internet; "Barbara Shipman suggests a possible connection between biophysics and quantum physics at quark level. http://www.physics.helsinki.fi/~matpitka/honey.html")
Personally, I find the game of pool to be also very insightful, and it seems curious that Coriolis, ... the frenchman who came up with the notion that there is a varying accelerational field across the surface of our spinning earth, ... which means that general relativity comes into play and says that Newtonian laws cannot apply (curved space is needed), ... in the same year (1834) came out with the book; "Theorie mathematique des effets du jeu de billard" ("Mathematical theory of the effects of the game of billiards"). Did Coriolis play 'shape'?, ... or was he a 'shot-maker'?
Meanwhile, it seems we continue to put the cart before the horse, and ignore the wisdom of the bees. As Lao Tsu implicitly argued, ... materialism is fine but space is 'where its at'.
It is the center hole that makes it useful.
Shape clay into a vessel;
It is the space within that makes it useful.
Cut doors and windows for a room;
It is the holes which make it useful.
Therefore profit comes from what is there;
Usefulness from what is not there."
--- Lao Tsu, "Tao Te Ching"
 Michel Eyquem de Montaigne (1533-1592) demeure le bordelis le plus célèbre ; son renom durable à travers quatre siècles s'est répandu dans le monde entier. Ce fut un homme, d'une grande intelligence ; sa culture profonde transparaît dans ses "Essais", sa sagesse est toute empreinte d'humanisme. Il fut un homme d'action, un magistrat apprécié, un voyageur curieux, un habile diplomate autant qu'un fin administrateur, et il fut quatre ans Maire de Bordeaux pendant une période difficile.
Tout un pâté de maisons appartenait aux Eyquem ; d'ailleurs l'impasse Fauré s'appelait autrefois " rue Montaigne ". Montaigne siègea comme conseiller pendant treize ans dans l'ancienne forteresse du Palais de l'Ombrière qui abritait la Cour souveraine du Parlement de Guyenne, détruite en 1800.
En passant, il assistait à l'activité de la Bourse des marchands, construite à partir de 1564, autour de la "Place du Change", actuelle Place du Palais. Puis, en remontant, la rue Neuve, il atteignait l'h-tel du Président de Carles et celui du Conseiller de Ferron-Carbonnieux, ses amis, puis par la rue Teulère, c'est la Grosse Cloche, autrefois beffroi de ville, survivance pittoresque du Moyen-Age.
Combien de fois Montaigne se rendit à l'H-tel de Ville, alors qu'il était maire entre 1581 et 1585, à l'église Saint Eloi. Rue Saint James, il rendait visite à son imprimeur, Simon Millanges, et à son ami Etienne de la Boétie, dans l'actuelle rue Pierre de Coubertin.
Pierre Coudroy de Lille
[A lire : Francis JEANSON "Montaigne par lui-même" (1951)
Office de Tourisme de Bordeaux]
 The Explorer by Rudyard Kipling, 1898
"There's no sense in going further -- it's the edge of cultivation,"
So they said, and I believed it -- broke my land and sowed my crop --
Built my barns and strung my fences in the little border station
Tucked away below the foothills where the trails run out and stop.
Till a voice, as bad as Conscience, rang interminable changes
In one everlasting Whisper day and night repeated -- so:
"Something hidden. Go and find it. Go and look behind the Ranges --
Something lost behind the Ranges. Lost and waiting for you. Go!"
So I went, worn out of patience; never told my nearest neighbours --
Stole away with pack and ponies -- left 'em drinking in the town;
And the faith that moveth mountains didn't seem to help my labours
As I faced the sheer main-ranges, whipping up and leading down.
March by march I puzzled through 'em, turning flanks and dodging shoulders,
Hurried on in hope of water, headed back for lack of grass;
Till I camped above the tree-line -- drifted snow and naked boulders --
Felt free air astir to windward -- knew I'd stumbled on the Pass.
'Thought to name it for the finder; but that night the Norther found me --
Froze and killed the plains-bred ponies; so I called the camp Despair.
(It's the Railway Camp today, though.) Then my whisper waked to hound me:
"Something lost behind the Ranges. Over yonder! Go you there!"
Then I knew, the while I doubted -- knew His Hand was certain o'er me.
Still -- it might be self-delusion -- scores of better men had died --
I could reach the township living, but ... He knows what terrors tore me ...
But I didn't ... but I didn't. I went down the other side.
Till the snow ran out in flowers, and the flowers turned to aloes,
And the aloes sprung to thickets and a brimming stream ran by;
But the thickets dwined to thorn-scrub, and the water drained to shallows,
And I dropped again on desert-blasted earth and blasting sky ...
I remember lighting fires; I remember sitting by them;
I remember seeing faces, hearing voices through the smoke;
I remember they were fancy -- for I threw a stone to try 'em.
"Somthing lost behind the Ranges" was the only word they spoke.
I remember going crazy. I remember that I knew it
When I heard myself hallooing to the funny folk I saw.
Very full of dreams that desert; but my two legs took me through it ...
And I used to watch 'em moving with the toes all black and raw.
But at last the country altered -- White Man's country past disputing --
Rolling grass and open timber, with a hint of hills behind --
There I found me food and water, and I lay a week recruiting,
Got my strength and lost my nightmares. Then I entered on my find.
Thence I ran my first rough survey -- chose my trees and blazed and ringed 'em -
Week by week I pried and sampled -- week by week my findings grew.
Saul, he went to look for donkeys, and by God he found a kingdom!
But by God, who sent His Whisper, I had struck the worth of two!
Up along the hostile mountains, where the hair-poised snowslide shivers --
Down and through the big fat marshes that the virgin ore-bed stains,
Till I heard the mild-wide mutterings of unimagined rivers,
And beyond the nameless timber saw illimitable plains!
Plotted sites of future cities, traced the easy grades between 'em;
Watched unharnessed rapids wasting fifty thousand head an hour;
Counted leagues of water frontage through the axe-ripe woods that screen 'em --
Saw the plant to feed a people -- up and waiting for the power!
Well, I know who'll take the credit -- all the clever chaps that followed --
Came a dozen men together -- never knew my desert fears;
Tracked me by the camps I'd quitted, used the water holes I'd hollowed.
They'll go back and do the talking. They'll be called the Pioneers!
They will find my sites of townships -- not the cities that I set there.
They will rediscover rivers -- not my rivers heard at night.
By my own old marks and bearings they will show me how to get there,
By the lonely cairns I builded they will guide my feet aright.
Have I named one single river: Have I claimed one single acre?
Have I kept one single nugget -- (barring samples?) No, not I!
Because my price was paid me ten times over by my Maker.
But you wouldn't understand it. You go up and occupy.
Ores you'll find there; wood and cattle; water-transit sure and steady,
(That should keep the railway rates down;) coal and iron at your doors.
God took care to hide that country till He judged His people ready,
Then He chose me for His Whisper, and I've found it, and it's yours!
Yes, your "never-never country" -- yes, your "edge of cultivation"
And "no sense in going further" -- till I crossed the range to see.
God forgive me! No, I didn't. It's God's present to our nation.
Anybody might have found it -- but His Whisper came to Me!
 Excerpts From The Life of the Bee, by Maurice Maeterlinck, 1901 http://eldred.ne.mediaone.net/mm/b4.html
"There are only," says Dr. Reid, "three possible figures of the cells which can make them all equal and similar, without any useless interstices. These are the equilateral triangle, the square, and the regular hexagon. Mathematicians know that there is not a fourth way possible in which a plane shall be cut into little spaces that shall be equal, similar, and regular, without useless spaces. Of the three figures, the hexagon is the most proper for convenience and strength. Bees, as if they knew this, make their cells regular hexagons.
"Again, it has been demonstrated that, by making the bottoms of the cells to consist of three planes meeting in a point, there is a saving of material and labor in no way inconsiderable. The bees, as if acquainted with these principles of solid geometry, follow them most accurately. It is a curious mathematical problem at what precise angle the three planes which compose the bottom of a cell ought to meet, in order to make the greatest possible saving, or the least expense of material and labor. [note 2] This is one of the problems which belong to the higher parts of mathematics. It has accordingly been resolved by some mathematicians, particularly by the ingenious Maclaurin, by a fluctionary calculation which is to be found in the Transactions of the Royal Society of London. He has determined precisely the angle required, and he found, by the most exact mensuration the subject would admit, that it is the very angle in which the three planes at the bottom of the cell of a honey comb do actually meet."
[note 2] Réaumur suggested the following problem to the, celebrated mathematician Koenig: "Of all possible hexagonal cells with pyramidal base composed of three equal and similar rhombs, to find the one whose construction would need the least material." Koenig's answer was, the cell that had for its base three rhombs whose large angle was 109 degrees 26", and the small 70 degrees 34". Another savant. Maraldi, had measured as exactly as possible the angles of the rhombs constructed by the bees, and discovered the larger to be 109 degrees 28", and the other 70 degrees 32". Between the two solutions there was a difference, therefore, of only 2". It is probable that the error, if error there be, should be attributed to Maraldi rather than to the bees; for it is impossible for any instrument to measure the angles of the cells, which are not very clearly defined, with infallible precision.
The problem suggested to Koenig was put to another mathematician, Cramer, whose solution came even closer to that of the bees, viz., 109 degrees 28 1/2" for the large angle, and 70' 31 1/2" for the small.
I myself do not believe that the bees indulge in these abstruse calculations; but, on the other hand, it seems equally impossible to me that such astounding results can be due to chance alone, or to the mere force of circumstance. The wasps, for instance, also build combs with hexagonal cells, so that for them the problem was identical, and they have solved it in a far less ingenious fashion. Their combs have only oneyer of cells, thus lacking the common base that serves the bees for their two opposite layers. The wasps' comb, therefore, is not only less regular, but also less substantial; and so wastefully constructed that, besides loss of material, they must sacrifice about a third of the available space and a quarter of the energy they put forth. Again, we find that the rigonæ and meliponæ, which are veritable and domesticated bees, though f less advanced civilization, erect only one row of rearing-cells, and support their horizontal, superposed combs on shapeless and costly columns of wax. Their provision cells are merely great pots, gathered together without any order; and, at the point between the spheres where these might have intersected and induced a profitable economy of space and material, the meliponæ clumsily insert a section of cells with flat walls. Indeed, to compare one of their nests with the mathematical cities f our own honey-flies, is like imagining a hamlet composed of primitive uts side by side with a modern town; whose ruthless regularity is the logical, though perhaps somewhat charmless, result of the genius of man, that today, more fiercely than ever before, seeks to conquer space, matter, and time.
Tere is a theory, originally propounded by Buffon and now revived, which assumes that the bees have not the least intention of constructing hexagons with a pyramidal base, but that their desire is merely to contrive round cells in the wax; only, that as their neighbors, and those at work on the opposite side of the comb, are digging at the same moment and with the same intentions, the points where the cells meet must of necessity become hexagonal. Besides, it is said, this is precisely what happens to crystals, the scales of certain kinds of fish, soap-bubbles, etc., as it happens in the following experiment that Buffon suggested. "If," he said, "you fill a dish with peas or any other cylindrical bean, pour as much water into it as the space between the beans will allow, close it carefully and then boil the water, you will find that all these cylinders have become six-sided columns. And the reason is evident, being indeed purely mechanical; each of the cylindrical beans tends, as it swells, to occupy the utmost possible space within a given space; wherefore it follows that the reciprocal compression compels them all to become hexagonal. Similarly each bee seeks to occupy the utmost possible space within a given space, with the necessary result that, its body being cylindrical, the cells become hexagonal for the same reason as before, viz., the working of reciprocal obstacles."
. . .
When we say to ourselves, "This thing is of nature's devising; it is she has ordained this marvel; those are her desires that we see before us!" the fact is merely that our special attention has been drawn to some tiny manifestation of life upon the boundless surface of matter that we deem inactive, and choose to describe, with evident inaccuracy, as nothingness and death. A purely fortuitous chain of events has allowed this special manifestation to attract our attention; but a thousand others, no less interesting, perhaps, and informed with no less intelligence, have vanished, not meeting with a like good fortune, and have lost for ever the chance of exciting our wonder. It were rash to affirm aught beside; and all that remains, our reflections, our obstinate search for the final cause, our admiration and hopes--all these in truth are no more than our feeble cry as, in the depths of the unknown, we clash against what is more unknowable still; and this feeble cry declares the highest degree of individual existence attainable for us on this mute and impenetrable surface, even as the flight of the condor, the song of the nightingale, reveal to them the highest degree of existence their species allows. But the evocation of this feeble cry, whenever opportunity offers, is none the less one of our most unmistakable duties; nor should we let ourselves be discouraged by its apparent futility.
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