Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 48.djvu/562

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

electric eel also inhabits Venezuelan waters. Certain streams of the Apure district are carefully avoided by bathers, less through fear of the alligators than of these eels and other electric creatures, and of the ferocious fishes called caribs, after the once-dreaded tribe of cannibals. The last so abound that some creeks are said to contain "more caribs than water."

Noxious creatures are not wanting on land. Many snakes glide through the herbage, especially on the plains, among them being the anaconda, the boa constrictor, and the striped rattlesnake. The swampy islands of the Orinoco delta swarm with mosquitoes, and at the Maipures rapids, where "the wind never blows," the air sometimes seems to be full of them. Locusts are often a great plague to the peasants.

Venezuela is a country of great resources, with some obstacles in the way of utilizing them. Not all of its known useful minerals have been mentioned here, and a thorough geological survey, which the country has never had, would doubtless largely extend the list. Nor are its forest products by any means completely known. The future prosperity of the land requires self-control and energy on the part of its citizens, with regulations to induce the foreigners who go there to become Venezuelans instead of withdrawing a portion of its wealth to be enjoyed after returning whence they came.


IN my two former papers I have sketched the conception of any state of consciousness as a coordination of mental elements which might conceivably exist independently, and have endeavored to bring it into relation with our conception of the physical basis of consciousness as a similarly coordinated system of forces to certain elements of which the various discernible elements of consciousness in some sense correspond; and I have drawn from this fundamental conception two inferences; (1) That we must think and reason about the mental thing as we would about its physical basis; we must therefore ascribe to it dynamic properties which will in the long run be found correspondent to the laws of brain-functioning. (2) It is conceivable that a cortical process might exist without coalescing with any such system as underlies a personal consciousness, and that a mental state might exist in connection with the process out-