Artifacts Have Replaced Tigers and Bears Knowing is like day breaking, understanding is like lightening striking. Comprehension is the payoff for struggle. There is a hierarchy of comprehension. Like a pyramid with the base being awareness, followed by consciousness (awareness plus attention) then comes knowledge with understanding at the pinnacle of the pyramid. Reading is the key to knowing and essay writing is the canvas for creating understanding. Of all the creatures perhaps humans are the only ones who fail to live up to their potential. Obesity is the evidence of a lack of physical endeavor and boredom is the consequence of a lazy brain. Reading is fundamental. Writing is the art and science of creation. We can take any policy issue that might enrage any one of us and we can discover that the root cause of it is the fact that we the citizens are not doing our job. In a liberal democracy wherein the sovereignty rests on the shoulders of the citizen any outrage committed by that society can ultimately be traced back to the lack of enlightenment by the citizen. Enlightened does not equal informed. Information flows over us in a daily deluge but consciousness is the missing catalyst for action. Our daily dose of information might be compared to our drive to work each morning. We are deluged with information reaching our perception on our drive to work and very little of that information becomes an object of consciousness. Humans are pattern recognition creatures. We survive by the patterns of which we are conscious. To be an enlightened citizen is to be a citizen who has rationally organized a matrix of pattern detecting systems. We have in our genes some pattern detecting systems. When hiking in the woods I am occasionally stopped in my tracks with a deep chill by some kind of form or movement. Among this infinite of movement and pattern one particular set penetrates my consciousness. We have evolved with this detection system so as to survive the predators. Our predators were once tigers and bears but today they are humans and artifacts (something created by humans). I think that if we make the intellectual effort to understand some domain of knowledge and perhaps take the additional effort to write out our understanding of that matter, our essay will serve as our pattern for recognition for matters pertinent to that domain. I consider that writing an essay is a major means for reaching an understanding of a domain of knowledge. I think that these forums offer a great opportunity for practicing our writing skills. Do you agree? Is writing in your wallet?