The Anomalist

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Rebuilding the Pyramids--Not

A Column by Charles Miller

 As I work at my computer in the dead of night, I reach back and tune my TV to one  of the many anthropomorphic "learning" channels--full of "Earth's  Rage" and "Volcano's Fury" and the "cruelty" of weather  patterns (replete with mood-music-per-cloud-formation); and there I find one more  in a procession of popular "scientists" declaring for the umpteenth time that "We could not duplicate the Egyptian pyramids today." Hoo-boy.

 Are they suggesting that our technology is somehow inferior to that of ancient Egypt?  Don't you think the pyramid-builders would have bowed in awe to a high-rise construction  crane? "I gotta get one of those things!"

 We've seen and heard these ridiculous comparisons for years--particularly on the  so-called "learning" channels of cable TV. Some bored anthropologists organize  an effort to reconstruct a miniature pyramid, or attempt to replicate the Easter  Island monuments (albeit on a vastly miniaturized scale), and they always fail miserably.  Oh, they lament, if we only had a grasp of the ancient secrets...

 Why can't modern science come out of the closet and say: "We're not interested  in the facts so much as we are in making politically correct observations"...  It seems the politically-correct thing to observe, relative to ancient megalithic  cultures, is that they were possessed of "engineering knowledge we still don't  fully understand."

 But political-correctness aside, and truth be told, we in the modern world have  technology beyond the Egyptians' wildest dreams--we just aren't motivated  to accomplish anything on the scale of their pyramids. No big secret.

 Certainly, the pyramid-builders were working only with flesh and mineral and gravity  and motivation--No hydroelectric power sources, no internal combustion engines, no  industrial-grade lubricants. Yet "we today" cannot replicate their  accomplishments. Plainly, this is a devolution in cultural motivation.

 The statements "We cannot replicate the technology" and "Their knowledge  is lost to us today" are pure bullshit. The manpower contained within a single  American apartment complex could build a formidable pyramid over the course of a  decade or so: You get up in the morning, you quarry granite, you haul granite, you  place granite, you do it non-stop for years. Simple.

 But it's not a matter of manpower or technology--it's a matter of motivation. The  public perception is that, in the Egyptian days, there were "Gods on Earth"  in the guise of the Pharaohs. "Hey, get a move-on! The Godhead is going to be  pissed!" Sufficient motivation, I can imagine, to throw together a pile  a rocks.

 Today, there is no God on Earth (if you accept Ted Turner's estimation). In the West,  there is an oppressive central government, a decadent entertainment media, and a  shallow educational establishment that provides no motivation to cultural greatness.  Western culture today is based on division of population and importance of  the individual, rather than cultural unity toward a common cause. If we cannot aspire  to the greatness of building pyramids, it's not for a lack of technology.

 So, where do our supposedly "objective" researchers get off making these  politically correct statements about "lost" technology, when the technology  and resources--flesh, mineral, gravity and motivation--are readily available?

 It sounds like a cop-out on the part of "modern scientists-"-mystifying  Egyptian technology--rather than admitting that we have a weaker culture today, incapable  of mustering the unity to accomplish great things.

Copyright 1999 by The Anomalist.