CHAPTER 2

Conflict Is Good: Why You Want It

Mining for Gold

I remember the first time I found gold. I was about 10 years old. It was in a steep alpine valley in Alaska. A crystal clear, cold mountain river tumbled over gravel and grey river rock.

A gold mine allowed visitors to pan for gold down river from the real mining operation. It was exciting! I had a gold pan, rubber boots, a shovel, and I was ready to go! It was hard, slow work digging the gravel and panning it out. But when the first gold flake sparkled in my pan… Wow! I was rich!

Actually, I didn’t get rich. In fact, I didn’t find any more gold. But even as young as I was, I could see that others were finding meaningful amounts of gold. They understood how to read the geology better ...

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