11 thoughts on “All things are difficult”

  1. My favorite:

    “Nothing is impossible for the man who doesn’t have to do it himself.”

    A. H. Weiler

  2. My favorite variation is: “Everything is impossible until somebody goes ahead and does it.”

    Examples abound, going back to the caves.

      • I often wonder what kind of genius it took to invent sewing.
        Safety pins I can visualuze but needles? Thread? And rope?

        Modern inventors correctly remark they stand on the shoulders of giants. But those first inventors?

        • The invention of sewing seems obvious to me (as, of course, is almost always the case after the event).

          Cavepersons in the ice age needed warm clothing and had lots of bits of animal hide they could join together, plus lots of inedible bits (bone, sinew, etc.) of prey animals like deer. The guy who carved your bone fishing hooks and other tools would happily make you proto needles to make holes in the hides. Start by punching holes along the seams and tie the pieces together with sinew or thin bits of animal hide and the eventual move to sewing is a natural development.

        • All of this ties into my current writing about Neanderthals (and time travel, of course ;-). Circa 40kya. So I’m always imagining the inventions that could have been. For example, recent research shows that Neanderthals had string. And a bunch of string makes a rope. So I have ropes in 40kya. And also fishing nets: “… had perfected a way of making durable string from the inner layer of tree bark, and she was showing Rusty how to make the loops and knots to fix the net.”

          And, like M. Hall says, they were definitely doing stitched “clothing” (animal hides) using awl-like implements and sinews/tendons for binding.

          It’s fun to go back and reimagine/recreate it with a naive/innocent brain.

          • …with 20/20 hindsight. 😀

            If we space out the first inventions on a timeline, they look to be thousands of years apart. Not sure how obvious they might have been while trying to stay one step ahead of lions and hyenas and freezing and starvation.

            Even taking the leap from curing a pelt to wrap yourself in to holding it together with t-bones and wood forks looks to have taken lifetimes. Fun to speculate, yes. But still something to ponder, no?

            BTW, are you familiar with HALO and their (prehistoric) mythology?
            Some fun stuff right there.

            • “If we space out the first inventions on a timeline, they look to be thousands of years apart.”

              True, but my stories tend to take place over a few months. Stretching them over thousands of years could be less compelling ;-).

              Not really a HALO fan/player. Games aren’t my thing these days (except for disc golf and the daily NYT Spelling Bee online)

              • I suggest a looksie at their mythology.
                Halo isn’t just a shooter: each game focuses on a chapter of a broader story that includes novels, comics, and a couple of video narratives. All in service to a SF storyline that spans hundreds of millennia.

                Short version: Humans had a starfaring civilization as far back as 150,000 BCE that included multiple subspecies: Cro-magnons, Neanderthals, homo floresiensis, and more.


                They evolved an unusual narrative. Worth checking out, even outside the games. In fact, tbey are filming a series for SHOWTIME to deal with it.

            • A while back I read an article about various human/proto-human/prehuman species that came and went. For one they tracked the use of the same tools at the beginning and end of a stretch of several thousand years. Never have forgotten that one.

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