The Products of our Work
Anita Sharpe on Culture
I've been thinking all morning about a fascinating story in today's New York Times about a 1,000-year-old civilization, called Range Creek, just uncovered in Utah: 'Cliffside grain-storage units have been found here with their lids still intact, the corn and rye still inside. And while many sites in the West can still produce an old stone arrowhead or two, researchers found whole arrows here just a few weeks ago, apparently lying in the dust just where they were dropped 10 centuries ago at the time of William the Conqueror.'
What marks Range Creek, or any civilization, are the products of our work; in their case, it's the food they harvested and the tools they crafted for hunting and fighting.
So what work products most define the Western world today? Ten centuries from now, will someone write 'styrofoam drinking cups were left lying in the dust where they were dropped at the time of George W. Bush and Osama bin Laden?' What will come to symbolize our civilization? Windowless cubicles? Red convertibles? Semi-automatic weapons? The South Beach Diet?
Who knows. But the thought that most intrigues me is, 10 centuries from now, what do we want the products of our work to say about us?