The Danger of Mining Foundations

This month’s issue of Wired Magazine includes an interesting article about a little town in Oklahoma called Picher.  The article is titled Welcome to Armageddon, USAIt tells the incredible story of a once thriving city; a city that died because of its hollow foundation.

“Picher sprang up as a 20th-century boomtown – the “buckle” of the mining belt that ran through Oklahoma, Kansas, and Missouri.  The earth underneath it produced most of the lead for US bullets in World Wars I and II.  The population peaked at 14,000 in 1926.  But when the lode ran dry in 1970, the mining companies moved out. 

Downtown Picher, OK by Sooner4Life

One-third of all houses in Picher are undermined by massive voids.  Sinkholes are a major problem; the city is literally swallowing itself.  “The water pumps were shut off when the mines closed; their subterranean chambers refilled with groundwater and leaked acid into nearby Tar Creek, threatening the town’s drinking water.  Kids started coming home from swimming in ponds near the mines complaining of what they thought were sunburns, never realizing that the pools were full of caustic chemicals.”

The police department has disbanded.  The schools have closed.  The government has dissolved.  Picher is a dead city.  Very few people still live in Picher, and they are considered radicals.  One of these radicals, John Garner, says that he will continue to live in Picher and keep the town alive.  All of this despite the dangerous levels of poison in the air and water and the dangers of looters who come to disrupt the peace.  But even Garner recognizes the biggest problem is that “there is no next generation…looking to carry on the fight.”

As I read this story, I thought of the spiritual implications of mining our foundation.  If we do, we will find ourselves in the same situation as Picher, OK.  We will be full of sinkholes.  People will leave by hundreds and the thousands.  Our children will be poisoned.  And ultimately, we will find ourselves fighting for something that has no chance to live because there will be no next generation looking to carry on the fight.

The Truth: According to Wikipedia

This is something I wrote WAY back in February of 2009.  I was reminded of it while reading a post on Jordan Parnell’s Blog.  He is in the middle of a series of posts themed around the concept of Wikipedia.  I highly recommend his blog.  Please take a moment and check it out.  I’m sure you will enjoy it.
Now for what I had to say about Wikipedia and Truth back in 2009.
What is Truth? What is Ignorance? Which are we closer to? Clive Thompson, in his article, “Manufacturing Confusion”, in February’s issue of Wired Magazine touches on these questions.

Agnotology is the subject at hand. The word, coined by Stanford’s Robert Proctor, means “the study of culturally constructed ignorance.” In other words, truth is suppressed by cultural ideas, beliefs, practices, ect. According to Thompson’s article Mr. Proctor says, “when society doesn’t know something, it’s often because special interests work hard to create confusion.”

One of the examples argued; evolution. Mr. Thompson implies that the rational and educated person would agree that the question of evolution has been “incontrovertibly answered in the affirmative, proven by settled facts.” However, because many church or religious groups have spent much money defending creationism, the truth of evolution has been suppressed leaving many people ignorant.

“Can we fight off these attempts to foster ignorance?” Thompson asks. He seems to think so. His suggestion, “we need…information tools that are designed to combat agnotological rot.” Enter Wikipedia. Wikipedia can be used to eliminate all the ignorance because truth is reached by consensus. Whatever the majority decides is truth. Truth is swayed by the opinion of man.

Interesting idea Mr. Thompson. But the words of one of history’s most famous judges come back to me. “What is Truth?” Pilate asked the broken and beaten man kneeling before him. What he did not know was the the one he would shortly sentence to horrific death by crucifixion was THE TRUTH.

I have heard many times in my life (thank you Bro. Mooney) “God is God and I am not”. My opinion and your opinion and the opinion of the majority will never have one ounce of effect on Truth. So when it comes to doing a bit of research for this rant, thank you Wikipedia. But when it comes to knowing Truth, no thank you. “For I know whom I have believed.”

“I am the way, the TRUTH, and the life.” -Jesus

I would love to hear your thoughts.  Please leave a comment!