I figure if an essay goes three or four years without comment it is history, which as we all know, repeats itself. Today, Norma took her shovel to some artifacts of nanocivilization left in the eaves of our house by summer wasps. I will add the picture she took. I will also add a picture of Arizona, where the Clovis People were. It is a useful picture that came with this computer and I get a lot of use out of it. Sometimes it is Hamlet's castle. Sometimes it is sideways. This time it gets to be what it really is, Arizona.
Archaeologists from Oregon are examining tiny diamond fragments in Arizona and forwarding an hypothesis that these "nanodiamonds" are coincidental with the disappearance of the Clovis People 13000 years ago. They think the nanodiamonds were formed under heat and pressure of a falling asteroid. This calamity transformed the landscape, the flora, fauna and Clovis People into what scientists call smithereens.
What an enigma! Nasa scientists raise the obvious question: where is the impact crater? Until it is found, and the process fully explained, I will hold to my own theory that these tiny diamonds were brought from elsewhere --most probably mined by nanoAfricans, imported by nanotycoons, sold in microscopic jewelry shops and discarded as humans got taller. Research into lost peoples sometimes follows signs left by lost economic systems. It would be prudent, given the current financial climate, to pursue this approach.
The most popular theory of where the Clovises went has to do with the overpopulation of their territory by nanosociety, which wintered upon them and itched terribly. This drove them not only back into the sea but caused them to evolve into invisibility. They were not, however, the only invisible culture.
The Goths were, despite being uncouth and disorganized barbarians, able to invade highly civilized and well-defended Rome in the 3rd, 4th AND 5th centuries. This routine was compromised however when invading forces were drafted from the west. These were Visigoths, who were just like Goths except you could see them. They were less than triumphant and replaced by eastern or Ostrogoths, who only thought they were invisible but were really just sticking their heads in sand and were easily overcome by the Roman tactic, funestus cuneus, or "deadly wedgie".
Clearly such anomalies may be approached scientifically with some success. Invisibility is hinted at in disciplines other than archaeology and economics. Psychology admits to the Fregoli Delusion. Sufferers believe everybody is really the same person in various disguises. In its chronic stage, this is known as religion. L'esprit de L'escalier, or "stairway wit", causes one to think of a snappy comeback to a remark only when it's too late --indisputably a form of invisibility. Prosopagnosia renders one unable to recognize the faces of others. All these maladies could account for mass disappearances. But are the objects of such disorders truly vanished?
I think we must return to the economic approach, the only one that penetrates the mystery to any useful depth. If we follow the trail of devalued coinage, carbonized remnants of paper currency, IOUs chiseled in stone, we learn visibility decreases in proportion to solvency. Throughout the ages, in matters of visibility, personal and national, you get what you pay for.