Although I am dumbing down the discussion, I had to note the title - "The Spouter" and the premise of assigning agency to the fossils we burn, I was reminded me of the start of Ishmael's voyage on the Pequod (Moby Dick). In New Bedford MA, he stays in the Spouter Inn - of course referring to the spouting blow hole of the whale.

I found an alignment between the pre-fossil fuel era, when whale oil was our fuel of choice. A spouting oil geyser was preceded by spouting whales.

Of course, Moby Dick was centered on the monomaniacal Ahab and a whale – with agency. Melville based Moby Dick – loosely – on the story of the whaling ship Essex which was in fact sunk by a Sperm Whale, apparently deliberately off the coast of Chile.

Striking similarity.

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May 26Author

yes! you got it. Spouter is indeed from Spouter Inn. I write about Moby Dick here: https://open.substack.com/pub/thespouter/p/endlessness-and-intolerableness

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JED - wow. What a great essay on Moby Dick! It's so obvious but I had never looked at it that way. Melville alternates between the allegorical / deep philosophical message (which I never applied to the industrial age behavior of men) he wants to convey and the more tangible overview of whaling life - now I see these chapters in a fare deeper, richer way!

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