Thursday, March 3, 2016

"Botswana Loses a National Treasure"

via Science on the Run

"...Shortie's experience immersed in the bush allowed him and his age-mates to track wild animals at an advanced level. Their skill of pursuit was so practiced that they almost became the creatures they were following, and were therefore able to make predictions about where the animal was headed, then test those predictions based on evidence presented by fresh tracks. This allowed them to catch up to animals which would otherwise outpace the hunter. Shortie's teachings allowed Louis [Liebenberg] to develop his theory of tracking as the origin of humankind's scientific mind, from which all science and technology, which the global economy thrives on today, were to ultimately follow. Louis' profound thesis is published in his book, "The Art of Tracking, The Origin of Science."...  
"...He was among the last of the great walking Encyclopedias of the Kalahari, and his passing is somewhat like the burning of a library. It signifies the very nearing end of an Age. Young people in the Kalahari villages do not have the same opportunity to immerse themselves in the bush, nor are they very interested in the old ways. We mourn not only that Shortie is no longer with us in the flesh to colour the present, but the impoverished future around the corner for the coming generations. They might have more material wealth and distractions, but they will understand much less than the immediate generation before them.  
"So long dear friend, we are mere students without a Master.  
 "—The indigenous people of Botswana"

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