How do we know the past really happened?
       A rather skeptical hypothesis that the universe was created last Thursday, will expire on Thursday and that the universe was created by ‘You as a test for yourself’ belongs to ‘Last Thursdayism’ - an argument that the universe was created by God as recently as last Thursday. You can present evidence against the theory but Last Thursdayists would be quick to argue against that any evidence from past experiences are part of the ‘everything’ created. However, this falls within the realm of philosophy and not science as people believe that for a theory to be scientific, it must be possible to refute, test and disprove. Falling into the realm of philosophy introduces us to ‘razors’, in particular, ‘Newtons Flaming Laser Sword’. It states: ‘if something can not be settled by experiment, then it is not worthy of debate’. What does this tell us about the past? It doesn’t exist in the physical world, we can’t test it, run controlled trials, view it as we do gravity or protons; however, we can manipulate it. How do we observe the past? Well, we can observe the Earth and our impact: from great temples, walls and Chernobyl. Most of our history can be perceived through literature and the arts. Poets and authors were often hired by the kings to speak in praise of them. ‘If there is a war, the winner would be the righteous and the loser – a traitor.’ This quote resonates throughout history. Look at the genocide of the native Americans, while Columbus is taught as a daring adventurer, he was also a perpetrator of atrocities and his ‘legacy’ through the contemporary eye is the starting point that sparked hundreds of years of exploitation and racism. History is taught in eras, periods of time - stapled.
       If we step back in time, the 6th century BC for instance, we can see large scale metal staples in the masonry structures of the Assyrian and Persian empires. In 1000 - 588 B.C Persia, we can find Zoroastrianism. Zarathustra, the Avestan name for prophet Zoroaster, was the first to observe the aversive idea of evil in philosophical terms, probably inspired by being on of the oldest monotheist figures in religion. Based on the primacy of social responsibility, he founded a ‘system’ of rational ethics called the ‘Worship of Wisdom’. Zarathustra's ideas were undiscovered in post-Classical Western culture until the late 18th Century, the same century of which King Louis XV of France commissioned ‘a handmade stapler fit for a king’.
       Legend has it that the ornate staples it used were forged from gold, encrusted with precious stones, and bore his Royal Court's insignia.
       It wasn't until 1866 that George McGill would file the first American “paper fastener” patent. the less extravagant stapler was only able to hold one ‘staple’ at a time. The issue was that the machine would secure the the staple but you would have to fasten it by hand. It took over a decade for McGill to release his ‘Single Stroke Staple Press’ that secured and fastened the staple. This was surely used by Ruskin and Morris, of which the term ‘Design’ arose. John Ruskin(1819-1900), an advocate of social thought and William Morris(1834-1896) a theorist and the found of the Arts and Crafts movement. With the introduction of the machine production system, mid 19th century England flourished with the beginning Industrial Revolution. However, what was created was ‘imitations produced by the awkward hand of machinery’ which was an insult to the cultivated forms refined over time. Ruskin and Morris represented the collective ‘snort’ of the people: “We absolutely cannot bear it!” However, nothing was going to slow the production and consumption of the Industrial evolution. Despite the handmade golden staples crafted for King Louis XV, the design of staples hasn’t changed all too much, as if it were suspended in time, but we’ll return to this later.
       Late. We are often late because of a lack of organisation, events we can't predict or have no power over. Two of these brought the end to World War II.

KOKURA, Japan, Aug. 6 - At 10:30 A.M. on Aug. 9, 1945, Nobuko Okamoto was sitting with her family in an underground bomb shelter, thinking of the "whump, whump" of the American bomber she heard overhead a moment earlier and waiting fearfully for the all-clear signal that the air raid was over.

At that same moment, 14-year-old Kenji Yoshio was scanning the sky, watching for the flash that would signal the detonation of a new bomb that America had devised. But the sky was partly cloudy, so he strained to look through the patches of blue sky for the American bomber or the telltale flash.

And then nothing happened.
       
       Kermit Beahan was the pilot that circle Kokura 3 times with the bomb bays open; however, with the clouds that blessed Kokura brought the cloud the ended Nagasaki. It appears that a lack of empathy is fundamental to the cause of war and conviction to murder; however, it is within staples where I explore the neutralities of objects. Hitler and Churchill both used staples, a pencil, a ruler; had families, friends, social responsibility to their people; consciousness, language and emotion. Yet it is the primal part of our brains that twists our morality over and over again as we ‘progress’ in time. With so much that’s happened within the past century, it makes me wonder what we will miss? What will become of us?
       Let’s take a quick moment to discuss the use of staples in a medical term. Dr. Húmer Hültl (1868 – 1940) developed the first surgical stapler in 1908. Dr. Christian Albert Theodor Billroth (1829 – 1894)  was the first to use staples when he ‘set the parameters for gastrointestinal anastomoses when he developed the “Billroth I” and “Billroth II” procedures.’ Surgical staples allowed surgeons to perform complex anastomoses, a cross section between two channels, tubes or other networks. This reminded me of the Hemispherectomy, where doctors remove half the brain of a young child when experiencing seizures. A question from Michael Stevens ponders the cloning the conscious mind if when splitting the brain, we place them hypothetically into two separate skulls. He then questions consciousness and how we know that computer programs such as ‘Cleverbot’ are not conscious but rather are programmed to respond to certain stimuli. I would be curious as to whether we could staple the network of the neurones in our brains, an anastomoses procedure if you will, to become an immortal historical artefact in the Cloud(s).
       Returning now to the design of the staple, not quite as much as an axe but more so than emoji’s, it has been suspended in time without much change. Although granted that it has shrunk in size since its masonry use in Persia to today's last minute documents, the design has retained the same shape and purpose as a fastener. This is interesting considering our drive to improve and invent all aspects of life which suggests that with some things that can be developed further, don't require to be so. Muji has a stapler than ironically removes staples completely by dissecting, folding and tying paper(s) together in a single punch; however, despite the almost magically simple design and great environmental potential it doesn’t reside within every household. Every household releases energy every minute, hour and day; however, the total energy of the universe remains the same.
       The Conservation of Energy principle.

"Energy can neither be created nor destroyed”.

       The total energy of an isolated system remains constant. This combined with Entropy, the Second Law of Thermodynamics, sets us up with a pretty morbid future. Entropy could be simplified to the measure of chaos, it always increases or remains the same, so if you compare states of different entropy, the one with the greater entropy will be later in time. For example, if I was to take a box of staples and toss it in the air, the entropy of the staples remains the same since nothing about them has changed; however, the energy used inside my cells, muscles to create the movement of my body and sound of the metal clashing against the box has increased the total entropy of the universe as my body releases energy into the surround environment. Along as there is a difference in energy, entropy will continue to spread until we reach ‘Heat Equilibrium’, a state in which all energy is equally spread across the universe and nothing is able to happen, a cold end to the universe. It is here now I question the point in doing anything at all. It is true that the universe will increase in entropy until nothing is anymore, but until then we are stapled in our wake lives, fastened in ‘today’ so that tomorrow can be ever so slightly better.
       In 2011 there were 37 people alive who crossed with McGill, Ruskin, Morris, Hitler and Churchill. With Human’s fluctuating relationships and tendency to explore war, social constructs and conscious evolution, one thing to hold them all together was the apathy of the ever-so-extraordinary Staple.