August 9, 2006:

Think about the impressive things which humans accomplish. They climb huge mountains, they build machines that fly, they go to the moon.

To my mind there's nothing in all of human accomplishment as impressive as the colonization of the vast Pacific by the Maohi people. Sailing the open sea for thousands of miles without compasses or chronometers or written records. Navigating by stars, by ocean currents, by clouds, by objects in the water, by birds seen on horizons, by lore handed down by word of mouth. To settle Tahiti, Rarotonga, Aotearoa, Rapa Nui, Hawaii. Thousands and thousands of empty miles, weeks and months at a time, carrying whole villages with their crops and animals inside floating houses lashed between two enormous canoes.