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The Sea

Staring at the sea this afternoon, it occurred to me that the urge to sail is not basic to human civilization. None of the various polities to leap to agricultural civilization (Sumeria, Egypt, Valley of Mexico, Papua, China, etc) were seafaring cultures. They were mostly riverine, enjoying the more predictable and useful fresh water. The Indians positively hated the “Black Water.” It’s not until we get to the Phoenicians, the Greeks, and the early Indonesian kingdoms that we see real maritime societies.

So people aren’t too quick to go down to the sea in ships. It takes some prepping first, to get used to the idea.