Revealing Hidden Stories From Limestone Strata To The Sea Of Information

Like a fossilized seabed, human conversation is a treasure trove of information, waiting for curious divers who seek meaning.

August 24, 2023 22:15 EDT
Dear FO° Reader,

While hiking on the Jura ridge, Roberta couldn’t help noticing how steps leave tracks on soft terrain, but none visible on hard ground. Everything that happens, regardless, is marked somehow. Our feet resent fatigue and friction, the shoes feel the wear of treading on the ground and the ground itself takes the impact of feet that mold and polish it. Our experiences transform us. Earth’s continents have been moving for billions of years and, although invisibly to our eyes, they are still moving and leaving traces of their movement. 

The relentless upheavals of tectonic shifts have revealed secrets once buried deep under the Tethys Sea. The Jura Mountains are composed of limestone, a rock formed from ocean salts which mollusks use to form their shells. During the Jurassic period (which is named after the mountain range), snails and clams flourished in the shallow seas that covered much of what is now Europe. Their shells accumulated on the seafloor and, with time, the material compacted into rock.

Creux du Van, Jura Mountains, Shutterstock

In the 1970s and 80s, these mountains were the subject of a scientific investigation. However, the explorers were not geologists or archaeologists but oil companies, backed by substantial financial resources.

Isn’t it intriguing how the lure of one resource inadvertently leads to the discovery of another? The oil companies, drawn to the mountains by the promise of oil, stumbled upon an archive of historical and biological data encapsulated in the limestone.

If one takes their eyes off of the magnificent panorama that these mountains offer and looks to the ground, one will see that these rocks bear the indelible imprints of extinct sea creatures. Their fossilized remains unravel the story of the Earth’s ancient oceans and the evolutionary journey of life.

Everything, from a hiker on the trail to a mollusk beneath the sea, leaves behind traces of itself. So do we when we write and speak and think. The world wide web and all the libraries in the world treasure the voices of so many human beings. Most of them are hidden. We need more explorers, more fair observers and keen listeners to bring these voices to the public forum.

Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey, perhaps, discovered the treasure of human conversation while they were seeking the oil of advertiser dollars. But what we need is to do this work intentionally, equitably and with seriousness. This is the mission of Fair Observer: we crowd-source, fact-check and edit voices from all strata of the world’s voices to bring them to you, the reader.


Roberta and Anton

P.S. there are three events planned for next week 

  1. FO° Exclusive at 12:00 pm (noon) Eastern Time (5:00 pm London, 6:00 pm Paris, 9:30 pm Mumbai) on Wednesday, 30 August (Please register on Zoom here),
  2. FO° Meetup: NYC at 6:00 pm Eastern Time on Thursday, 31 August at Starbucks Reserve, Ste 105, Empire State Building, 350 5th Ave, New York, NY 10118 (Note that we will be meeting in the Concourse Level at the Starbucks. So come downstairs after entering the coffee shop.)
  3. FO° Meetup: Geneva at 6:30 pm Central European Time on Thursday, 31 August at La Petite Reine, rue Montbrillant, behind the train station, Cornavin. There are parking lots and public transportation in the vicinity. 
Jura, Sunset at La loge, Lelex.
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