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PASSAGE INTO PROLOGUE

Who will you be tomorrow?

By

Raymond E. Kallaher, Jr.









PASSAGE INTO PROLOGUE

Copyright © 2018 by Raymond E. Kallaher, Jr.

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced by any means, graphic, electronic, or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, taping or by any information storage retrieval system without the written permission of the publisher except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.

The information, ideas, and suggestions in this book are not intended to render professional advice. Before following any suggestions contained in this book you should consult your personal advisor or counsel. Neither the author nor the publisher shall be liable or responsible for any loss or damage alleged arising as a consequence of your use or application of any information or suggestions in this book.

First Edition

ISBN: 9781370381531

Printed in the United States of America



Contents

Why I Wrote This Book

Who Should Read This Book

Chapter 1: In the Beginning

Chapter 2: Our Socio-Economic Environment

Chapter 3: Psychology of Success

Chapter 4: It All Begins With a Coal

Chapter 5: Components of the Journey for Success

Chapter 6: Resources for Success

Passage into Prologue

About The Author

References



WHY I WROTE THIS BOOK

It has been said that... We are the paradoxical ape... bipedal, large brain, master of fire and tools... trying to understand ourselves... destined to die yet full of optimism. We are insatiably curious and resourceful, capable of shaping our future from our shared understanding of the past.

The human race has gone through over 8 million years of evolution to arrive at a time of great scientific and social change. To our knowledge we are the only species on earth that have gone beyond instinct and developed self-awareness along with the capabilities of reasoning, perception, memory, and judgement that allow us to have direct and profound impact on our lives and the world we live in.

We are in the midst of a scientific, technological, and communications revolution that is rapidly penetrating the entire human population. How we access, process, and use this exponentially growing collection of knowledge and methods of communication will have a massive influence on advancing human capabilities and fundamentally reshape our future. This will result in discoveries, products, innovations and social revolutions that promise to affect all of humanity... possibly our very survival.

Discovery commences with the awareness of an anomaly... the recognition that nature somehow violated the paradigm-induced expectations...

Thomas Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.

I wrote this book as an exciting personal intellectual exercise to explore a collection of heretofore unfamiliar subject domains and how their integrated impacts have given rise to our present socio-economic environment. It also highlights some aspects of human biological and socio-economic evolution and how it may relate to cognitive development and the principles of success. It charts and highlights a path through millions of years of biological and social evolution to our present Modern Age and outlines some elements of today’s socio-economic environment and how we fit into the picture. It takes advantage of presently available information (see References) to probe some basic questions:

1. Where did we come from?

2. Where are we going?

3. How do we get to where we want to go?

I trust that the information captured herein will spark a degree of interest in the readers so they can do their own exercise to satisfy their own curiosity by which to define and chart their own path.

Ray Kallaher, Jr.



Who Should Read This Book

This book is for those who are curious about how they have come to be who they are, who they want to become, and how we as a society have arrived, after millions of years of biological and social evolution, at our present era... our Modern Age.

It has been shown that curiosity is a form of intrinsic motivation. When we are curious about a topic we are motivated to learn for its own sake. Scientists have found that when curiosity is stimulated there is increased activity in the reward center of the brain. Learning is exciting, fun and infectious!

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The most beautiful and deepest experience a man can have is the sense of the mysterious...

To sense that behind anything that can be experienced there is a something that our mind cannot grasp and whose beauty and simplicity are but a feeble reflection...

To me it suffices to wonder at these secrets and attempt humbly to grasp with my mind a mere image of the lofty structure of all that there is.

Albert Einstein, My Credo, 1932

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It was September 1958. We, the incoming freshman class were all gathered in the auditorium. The University President stood before us to deliver his welcoming message. He bid us welcome and shared with us the school rules and what was expected of us. Then, in conclusion he said something that has stayed with me my entire life. He said...

You will learn many things during your time of study here... but the most important thing you will learn is how to learn.

I would like to add... why do we learn? We learn to gain knowledge.

Def., knowledge: facts, information, and skills acquired through experience or education; the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject.

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Webster defines success as: a favorable or desired outcome. However, I believe that this definition is too terse and conceals a wide hidden world behind it.

I propose a more comprehensive definition:

Def., success: a process by which a person achieves ones aims or goals.

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Success is a journey, not a destination.

John Maxwell

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Note that the terse definition does not account for the dynamics of the process per se. That is, it does not expressly account for the time related effort one has to put forth which produces opportunities for personal growth that emerge through the process. Although we long for the tangible things that the process can produce, the intangible personal growth... including both knowledge and character... that comes via the process itself is probably the most valuable success of all. Personal growth involves our pursuit of knowledge, purpose and meaning through effort over time. It is in effect a lifelong quest for knowledge... for significance... to be relevant.

We should remain aware of our incremental growth as we go through this life process and welcome the serendipities... those exciting ah ha moments whereupon we experience the immense personal satisfaction that we have learned something new! Knowledge emerges from our daily effort.

Def., significance: the quality of being worthy of attention; importance.

We may ask ourselves... Why am I here? How can I live a life of significance? Significance is a quality that must be earned through a life of contribution. But this begs a follow on question... contribute what? What part of ourselves can or should we contribute... knowledge, skills, time... and why? Indeed, this is a question we must all answer for ourselves. Significance is measured by what positive impact we make on society and the positive influence on the people whose lives we touch.

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Unfortunately, contrary to popular belief, we all do not inherit the same opportunities. We each start from a different set of circumstances and genetics. Some start out rich, some start out poor. Some grow short, some grow tall, some are fast some are slow. Each of us has a different mix of needs, wants and desires as conditioned on the circumstances of our particular time and place. Therefore, to grow and succeed we must sculpt a plan to develop our needed skills accordingly. Education... knowledge... can level the playing field.

The common denominator is that we each have been blessed with a God-given brain that we can choose to use or choose not to use. The gift of neuroplasticity, which will be discussed later, gives us the ability to develop our intelligence and knowledge in the direction we choose. We thus have the innate internal capability to take control of our life and to make our own opportunities. We have to get into the game, face the risk and take advantage of whatever opportunities that we encounter or make for ourselves.

What sets us apart is the strength of our will to succeed as we walk our path of life. History is replete with highly accomplished people who came from meager backgrounds. Indeed, some of the most successful people are those who had to face the most difficult circumstances. Notwithstanding our particular personal circumstances, if we want to get ahead in life, we have to start from where we are, follow a few simple rules and persevere.

World recognized leadership experts have discovered that success depends more on WHO we are than WHAT we do. If we are going to maintain pursuit of our success we must put forth the effort and condition ourselves to recognize, understand and adapt to an ever changing world. We have to develop an understanding of how and why our socio-economic environment is changing and how we can join in the process rather than just riding along. With this we can contribute to and benefit from this complex process.



Chapter 1: In the Beginning

Time marches on and with each passing day the socio-economic environment around us is changing and adapting to the prevailing techno-economic winds.

Globalization and the rapidly advancing Information Age are driving changes to the economies, institutions and social environment of both rich nations and poor around the world. These changes are impacting the lives and financial well-being of individuals and families around the world. And some of these changes will be permanent.

The primary cause of these changes is, ironically, human ingenuity itself… we, as creative and intellectual beings are the very agents of the changes that are affecting our own lives. This is how it has always been throughout human history... it is in our nature to be adventurous and creative.

Setting the Stage for Human Evolution

Cosmologists estimate the birth of the universe to have occurred 13.7 billion years ago via a violent explosion and inflationary process that has come to be known as the Big Bang. It is believed that our nearest star, the Sun was formed around 4.6 billion years ago via gravitational collapse of material within a region of a large molecular cloud believed to include remnants from the super novae of earlier generation stars. Further evidence points to the formation of the earth about 4.5 billion years ago by the process of accretion from our solar nebula. Over the ensuing billions of years the earth and its atmosphere evolved to permit the emergence of primitive cellular life from the chemistry of primordial earth about 2 billion years ago, and the first primates emerged around 50 million years ago. This set the stage for human biological and eventual socio-economic evolution.

Pliocene Era - The Dawn of Man

Evolution has been a cruel master. Our ancestors have had to endure millions of years of environmental catastrophe, being prey of more powerful predators, competition and often mortal combat for territory and access to food. Those who developed skills and technologies for survival lived to pass on their genes whereas those who did not do so did not survive. We are here today because of the progressive resourcefulness of a few hearty survivors of history.

Def., human evolution: the process by which human beings developed biologically and culturally from now extinct primates.

Def., biological evolution: the process through which the characteristics of organisms change over successive generations.

Fossil records show that millions of years ago Africa was populated by a wide range of morphologically diverse hominids.

Def., hominid: any of a family of erect bipedal primate mammals that includes recent humans together with extinct ancestral and related forms.

This diverse population coexisted for millions of years and in all likelihood intermingled and interbred leading to a broad base of genetic diversity. Evidence shows that most of these hominid species ended in bio-evolutionary and genetic dead ends. What follows is a short story of a most likely evolutionary path from our most ancient ancestors through the ages to us.

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Scientists estimate that our human ancestors began to diverge from the African primates between eight million and five million years ago. During the period of July 2001 to March 2002 fossils of a hitherto unknown hominid were discovered in Central Africa. Scientists named this species Sahelanthropus tchadensis or Toumai for short. Toumai lived between 7 and 6 million years ago and is the oldest known human ancestor after the split of the human line from that of chimpanzees. Toumai had a combination of ape-like and human-like features.

Between 4 and 3 million years ago, again in Africa an apelike species evolved with two important traits that distinguished it from the apes. This species had small canine teeth and was bipedal. Australopithecus was this earliest of the completely bipedal human species.

Fossils from several early Australopithecines dated between 4.0 million and 2.0 million years ago clearly demonstrate a variety of adaptations that mark the transition from ape to human. Prior to four million years ago, fossil remains are sparse. Where available, however, they do show a primitive combination of ape and human features. Over the ensuing 2 to 3 million years Australopithecus and its successors... Homo habilis and Homo erectus... made significant advances as bipedal mammals and expanded their range and influence far and wide.


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