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Thread: Re-Imagining Cultures

  1. Top | #31
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    In form us humans are like screeching feces flinging chimps. Just watch politics. Constantly throwing shit in each other's face.

    There is a Pacific island where traditionally men and women go bare chested. Saw it on an old PBS series Globe Trekwer. It is the exposed thigh that is considered sexually provocative. Western male sexual fascination with female breasts is cultural.


    In chimp culture an agumrnt can end with one male allowing brief dry humping by another as a sign of submisiion. Maybe the UN n try that. Males can be observed maturating each other. We can sure learn a lot from oter species....

    Part nature and part nurture.

    Cultural conditioning is the root cause of a lot of human conflict. We see it right now between Israel and the Palestinians.

  2. Top | #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    I've been reading some Max Weber recently and it's really got my wheels spinning on the Sociology/History paradigm.

    Over time I feel like I'm piecing together human nature and how it intersects with any given culture, and lately I feel like I've come to a stark realization about the topic (assuredly a realization that someone, somewhere has probably already had).

    And the realization is that once institutions become so embedded in any given community that they're taken for granted as they way things are most people don't even think to question them. In an average human life we're born into a world, that world feels normal to us, then we die. Change happens, but generally slowly, and under the assumption that the way things were before is the way things were supposed to be.

    For example, if you look at something like the liberal / conservative paradigm in politics. This feels normal, but why does any given politician need an affiliation at all? If the idea behind democracy is that we make an informed vote, why don't we look at the policies of our specific choices of representative and vote without any party lines? But because we've always experienced this paradigm no one even thinks to question it. It's an embedded institution that is just taken for granted, not even noticed.

    So I think this reality lends itself to a kind of socio-historical paradigm where we're continually building on the old without really questioning or completely re-imagining what was already there. Really a major constraint of human nature on any kind of significant progress.

    Thanks for listening to my rambling.
    Party politics is by design. It's not a flaw. It's to create an obstacle for lazy and uniformed people to randomly pop by and screw up the work of informed opinion. In a completely open market for ideas will always create a tilt towards the stupid and simplistic.

    I'm a big fan of party politics. I think it's great. I think the current western democratic system is the closest we will ever come to utopia.

    But yes, humans are creatures of habit. I talked to a historian who specialised in the Nazi concentration camp system. I asked her why nobody reacted to it. She said, "once people got used to it, they stopped reacting. It became a normal and acceptable part of life"

  3. Top | #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve_bank View Post
    Cultural conditioning is the root cause of a lot of human conflict. We see it right now between Israel and the Palestinians.
    I'm inclined to think it goes deeper, and can be boiled down to a basic survival instinct - the need to acquire power for oneself.

    Any behaviour at all, in theory, should offer some type of payback, and the payback usually comes in the form of material incentives. This manifests itself in politics that veils itself with 'morality', but is ultimately about power acquisition. Most of us don't know how to think in any other terms - the idea of just giving freely for no reason is completely foreign to us.

    Sometimes, by coincidence, there is no need for conflict, but when there is a need the instincts quickly set in.

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