"No experiment can be more interesting than that we are now trying, and which we trust will end in establishing the fact, that man may be governed by reason and truth. Our first object should therefore be, to leave open to him all the avenues to truth. The most effectual hitherto found, is the freedom of the press. It is, therefore, the first shut up by those who fear the investigation of their actions." --Thomas Jefferson to John Tyler, 1804.

Fire transitions

Another transition: We’re seeing the phasing-out of fire lookouts.

The Medford Mail Tribune had a piece out today about Ken and Colleen Struck, now in their 70s and nearing a quarter-century of summer work as upper-elevation forest fire lookouts. The Oregon Department of Forestry has only one other fire outlook left in its southwest region. Others seem to be scaling back too, in favor of cameras or satellite observation.

Unclear whether this is a case of new technology simply superseding old. After all, as one person quoted remarked, you can’t get a feel for the situation from a camera.

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