Who saw it before:
I felt like the last three essays were on the grim side, so I shall make light of things here and reflect on what has gone before.  Who else ever knew what I know and am telling you?

There’s scripture.  Start with the least favorite line: I the Lord the God is a jealous God, visiting the iniquities of the fathers upon the sons even to the third and fourth generations of those that hate me, but showing mercy unto thousands of those that love me.

That doesn’t sound nice at all.  It’s in the “Ten Commandments, which aren’t commandments at all.  It’s a covenant, a contract.  It starts off like a good contract should indicating the parties involved and roughly the time and location and then gets down to business.  The first order is NO OTHER GODS.  Now throughout most of history a marriage has been a holy ceremony, so that translates as don’t marry outside your church.  That’s not “denomination;” that’s church.  The congregation.  The small social pool.  The order is repeated a few times in case you missed it.  Then all you get is blessings; that’s the other side of the bargain.  That might take a little explaining, but I’ve done that before.  Well the dreaded line comes with numbers.  If you marry strangers you are going to be punished for three or four generations.  Now my stock broker tells me it takes three days for the funds from a sold bit of stock to become available.  But that’s business days.  And it doesn’t include the day on which it was sold.  And time is up after the “third,” which is actually the fourth day.  In other words it takes a week.  So if somebody who’s on the phone can be that misunderstood, it’s hard to say exactly how many of what we call generations is meant by third and fourth. 

Well if you marry strangers and that continues, your line will die out, and it’s pretty clear that it takes about five generations.  Also, that’s mercy to thousands, not tens of thousands.  If a community consists of two hundred adults with four hundred children and a bunch of unmarrieds and grandparents, you’re getting close to a thousand.  So those thousands aren’t all one gene pool.  Each gene pool is about a thousand if you count everybody.  So if you have a bunch of gene pools, you have a bunch of thousands.  In other words the Covenant has the numbers right. 

Skip over to Daniel.  The book is all about demographics.  At the critical moment of Belshazzar’s feast Daniel himself starts talking census. 

So how many knew?  The trouble with figuring out scripture is that the author or Author or authors are probably smarter than you and I.  So I’ll not attempt it.  Let’s just say scripture knows.

The next possibility is a playwright named Ben Jonson.  In “The Alchemist,” he has a character Dol Common, who is impersonating a noblewoman, feign madness.  She has been driven mad by too much study.  And what does she rave about?  Ancient history.  That’s were I get my best data not counting the last hundred years.  Likely Jonson saw as I do and turned it into a joke.

The next one is Isaac Newton.  He looked at dates of dynasties.  If I analyze his data I come to the same conclusion that I get from my own data.  Either he knew pretty much everything I am telling you or I am smarter than he is, a ridiculously improbable event.  And he respected scripture, so I imagine he saw what I see there. 

Daniel and Newton were both extremely intelligent.  And scripture describes people acting very strangely at times.  Newton acted strangely.  So all three involved studying history in the long perspective and involved madness one way or another.  Next I would propose Edgar Allan Poe.  His character Arthur Gordon Pym states that he has studied the ancient world and it has destroyed his mind.  Poe acted strangely at times, too. 

Finally there is the horror writer H. P. Lovecraft.  Nobody has suggested he was insane, although he was an excellent writer of horror.  But he has a character who is an Arab who is insane; he only appears as author of a book that contains knowledge of ancient and terrible things.  Lovecraft saw the threat of madness.

That’s six people, most of them undeniably brilliant, all looking at the same data and all either mad or fighting it.  Nobody else has seen it at all.

Got to worry about me, don’t you?

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