On Quarantines and Trees, Pencils, Technology, Art and Music, by Doug “Uncola” Lynn

A meditation on the wondrous inventions we use and take for granted every day. From Doug “Uncola” Lynn at theburningplatform.com:

Due to some sustained winds, I had a large limb of a sizable ash tree blown down. And, in consideration of the Emerald Ash Borer, which is sort of the COVID-19 of ash trees complete with its own federal quarantine regulations, I decided not to save the tree.  Instead, I chose to cut it down in 18-inch chunks, stack it, and let it season in the round.  Then, as needed, I’ll split it and restack it prior to its ultimate delivery into my high-efficiency wood burner on some crisp winter day.

Although I am sad to lose the tree I find myself grateful for technology, and capitalism, when undertaking such tasks.  These gratitudes cross my mind when disassembling the saw and using an air compressor or vacuum to clean the components. Or as I’m sharpening the chain and oiling things up for storage, I’ll think of those who designed and built the machines; creations that are, truly, three-dimensional manifestations of intelligence, logic, and love.

I’ll wonder how many people have benefited from such inspirations.  I’ll think of Adam Smith’s “Invisible Hand”and the “rising tide of capitalism” lifting all “boats”; and the “I Pencil” essay… those beautiful words written by Leonard Read. He was a libertarian peer of Austrian School of Economics luminaries like Ludwig von Mises and Murray Rothbard. He was an author who founded the Foundation for Economic Education; and he had the surname of Read. The irony.

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