Human Behaviour

A YouTube series I bumped into, Qin Dynasty, looked as if it might be interesting. I began watching it some time ago, there are 78 episodes, each 45 minutes in length, so it has taken some time watch the entire series. It is based on history, of Qin Dynasty, and follows a period of time when warring states in China were united, around 235 BC. I know nothing at all about Chinese history, nada. So I thought it would not hurt me to learn a little while being entertained through film.

I’ve been taking the opportunity, as I watch this series, to find information on the internet about this history. As I am entertained by the film, I frequently stop to read about the events portrayed. The script follows the actual history, offering no misinformation. Of course there must be artistic license in there somewhere, and history itself is not comprehensive. Being a complete outsider to Chinese culture and history, and not having any scholarly education on the subject, it is difficult to discern license from representation. No matter though, the reading I do fills me in on what is known by scholars about that time period and the political events that shaped people’s lives. The series deals with the powerful, and ignores the daily life of the majority of the population, but it is highly entertaining despite dealing primarily with elites.

What I am gaining from this experience is a broader understanding of what humans have been up to for so many centuries. Behind the veil of the pleasantries of polite society, of collegiality, of righteousness, and of “success” of many ilks, there lies a parallel and sickening reality. Climate change is an eruption of that parallel reality, intruding into the illusions woven by the makers and shakers, about human social structures. We are our own worst enemy, collectively, globally… seldom individually.

The biggest gain watching the machinations of power, in a culture older than Christ, is that my decision to leave the academy, where subtle and convoluted power plays are the main fare, was the best decision I’ve ever made in my life. Although I truly miss the joy of learning, the deep satisfaction of discipline, of research and investigation… I do not miss the power plays.

I found this series addictive, once I became accustomed to the rhythm of it.

On another subject, I just viewed an image of a child picking red raspberries. What memories that elicits! My Grandparent’s lived near an abandoned railway line, that was used by local people for various purposes, such as bringing the cows home from the fields, or taking a team of horses out to distant field. That was in my childhood. The railroad was still running when I was very young, I remember it well, the sound of the train, the shrill whistle, the station buildings. All that is gone now, just a rail bed left, used in this “modern” age as an ATV trail, and a snowmobile trail. But I digress.

Along the rail bed, when I was a young woman, there grew many wild raspberry bushes. My favourite way to spend time with my loved relatives was to wander down the track to pick the raspberries, we would pick quarts and quarts of them. When we had enough, we would head back to my Granny’s kitchen, and make an upside down fruit cake, or Granny would make a fruit pie. I think heaven might be a summer afternoon picking berries, baking in Granny’s kitchen, and enjoying those cakes and pies! Everything was wonderful, the people, the place, the time.



Updated on Wed, Jul 12 at 1:55 PM
25 °C
Partly cloudy
Wind 13 W km/h
Humidity 42 %
Visibility 35 km
Sunrise 5:35 AM
Wind gust 20 km/h
Pressure 101.3 kPa
Ceiling 9100 m
Sunset 8:51 PM


“A writer is a writer not because she writes well and easily, because she has amazing talent, because everything she does is golden. In my view, a writer is a writer because even when there is no hope, even when nothing you do shows any sign of promise, you keep writing anyway.”
Junot Diaz
1968 –

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Your memories of your Granny are wonderful! I can almost taste the raspberries and smell the upside down cake. I have a cousin who lives in the country. She just emailed me about the wild blueberries on her property. She said they’re smaller than store-bought berries but have twice the flavor. She made a cobbler with some of her berries.


Some years ago, DH and I watched a series on Netflix called Marco Polo. It dealt with his son becoming a servant to Genghis Khan for an amount of time and followed his exploits as he learned the politics of the house as well as learning to be a soldier. If I remember correctly, they also included historic actions that are recorded and I would look them up and go beyond the storyline to get a better idea of their lives.

We also watched a program about the Medici in Italy, how they patronized art and tried to survive a turbulent political period where popes acted like barons.