Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Utilization of resources on a cultural basis

Yeah, more crap on anthropology. Not as much fun as ridiculing demophyte politicians, that slavery supporting genocidal political party that still uses the symbol Andrew Jackson used to demonstrate that he was too stubborn to allow those abolitionists change his mind.

Still, I find Anthropology a lot of fun.  Probably for the same reason.

Lets get on with the anthropological use of resources in 'the world according to Jack' theory.

As I mentioned in a previous blog (just typed that out a pervious....is that a Freudian slip?) some where in the past one of our evolutionary ancestors came up with the psychotic idea of cutting off a dead thing's skin and wrapping themselves up in it.

While I am sure that not every member of whatever group this was rejoiced in this solution they did not oppose it by beating the inventor to death.

Solutions to problems and/or attainable desires must be acceptable to the group.

Some anthropologists believe that many societies did not develop the metallurgical skills necessary for technological development because they did not have much access to metals.

Yeah, not buying that. Copper and iron are plentiful in the United States, specifically in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Maybe, as the Natural Scientists of old believed (including our bigoted professor Darwin), Native Americans were just stupid.

Yeah, not buying that either. I have a different idea.

I think Native Americans were too smart to spend their lives digging under ground or heating and beating rocks into shapes. I think there was probably a lot of cultural or societal pressure not to do anything that stupid. Life was worth living, why dig, heat and pound rocks into shape?

Sure, Native Americans pounded copper and other metals and did some open pit mining. There was probably a cultural or societal preference not to dig big, nasty mines. The open pit mines that were dug were probably about as large as was culturally acceptable in that society.

The old world in Eurasia and Africa had things a little differently. Once some group developed new weapons technology the rest of the groups had to catch up in a never ending arms race that even today goes on.

Our world has developed a cultural resistance to specific technologies in a similar way that I believe other cultures have. Primarily against nuclear, biological and chemical weapons. Some members of our one world culture embrace these technologies. Most members do not and if the news is any indication I believe that, as the ancestors of gorillas probably once beat a group member that cut the skin off a dead thing and wore it, our one world culture will probably destroy those members who insist on using a culturally unacceptable solution.

Sure, lots of people will disagree. Those who think of the psychotic who originally cut the skin from a dead thing and began wearing it as a cultural hero for example. Personally I think the ancestors of gorillas had the right idea. Living naked in a warm region sheltered by trees. Yeah, I'm a bit of a tree hugger. Not too much though because I envy the big game hunters who once bagged elephants and rhino on the plains of Africa. Poachers have made the hunting of such animals unforgivable in my personal ideology. I can, however, envy those who hunted these animals in the late nineteenth century before the population became decimated.

I have mentioned that my beliefs and my desires are not always consistent and that those who want to call me a hypocrite for liking toilet paper as one of mankind's greatest inventions while at the same time detesting the environmental impact of human waste products are welcome to their judgmental opinions.

This is where Aristotle and Aristarchus come into play. Cultural acceptance of solutions is often driven by a charismatic leader regardless of solution accuracy.

In other words a likable person can convince an Eskimo to buy ice cubes while the Eskimo ignores advice from someone who is less likable.

Another way to put this is that politicians often sell us a bill of goods and deliver a fantasy instead of reality.

Aristotle convinced people that the sun revolved around the earth. Aristarchus was sure the earth revolved around the sun, but, people called him an idiot. Welcome to politics and cultural solutions.

Cultural solutions do not have to be “truth” or “accurate” or “best”. Cultural solutions have to be accepted by enough members of the group that the group can utilize the solution irregardless of their accuracy.

Irregardless does not mean without regard, by the way. Irregardless is a non-standard form of regardless. Look it up.

Solutions have to satisfy the group and create some kind of stability.

The geocentric solution offered by Aristotle did both of these. The theory stabilized education for almost two thousand years because it satisfied the group curiosity about the motion of the universe.

If the group accepts a solution and it does not help create stability or provide whatever benefits the group believes the solution should provide the group will reject the solution and seek out a different solution.

The ancestors of gorillas probably decided that the solution of wearing a dead thing's skin did not offer the cultural stability (for lack of a better term) that freezing to death offered.

The ancestors of people did believe the solution of wearing a dead thing's skin offered a culturally stable solution. If you believe in the theory of evolution. Fortunately I don't.

Disagreement does not, in spite of cultural stereotypes and propaganda, indicate opposition. I can disagree with an idea without opposing that idea. I can and will disagree with everyone about something and will agree with no one about everything. Because I disagree with a person or an idea does not mean that I oppose the idea, or research into the idea or concept or the person or whatever.

When an idea, or solution, is offered there are three possible actions that members of the group can take. Agreement, disagreement and apathy. If the disagreement is antipathetic (really strong) the group can literally beat the one who came up with the unacceptable solution to death.

Some people think disagreement is an insult. There is a word for people like this and we will get to that later.

Disagreement and discussion is a method of education. In my opinion people who have an ego so large that they feel they are always right and no one is allowed to disagree with them are morons.

What is really ridiculous is that when I disagree with someone who believes their opinion or theories unimpeachable they accuse me of thinking I know everything. How is that for ridiculous?

When I disagree with people they call me a smart ass, they will say I don't know as much as I think I do, that I think I know everything, etc, etc.

Pretty ridiculous, and very common in almost every documented culture. When I was a child teachers hung paddles on the walls and hit children who disagreed with them. I know because I was the subject of more than one teachers egotistical and corporal defense of their opinions.

As a result of this common behavior children grow up with the idea that people should not disagree with authority and seek to place themselves in a social position where people must not disagree with them. These people will defend themselves, verbally and physically, those who disagree with them. The more egotistical the more vicious the defense.

Many cultures realize this and create methods of arbitration that reduce the potential for violence. Yet, we still encourage children to react disagreeably when people disagree with them. Yeah, I could have said “badly” but I like “disagreeably” in this context.

I think we should encourage disagreements and help children learn to handle disagreements without punishments, even when they disagree with authority figures. Probably not going to happen, ever. Too much egotism and elitism in educational professionals and other authority figures.

So here we are, disagreeing, discussing and developing culturally acceptable solutions that provide increased stability for the group regardless of the technical accuracy of or the availability and application of specific natural resources to those solutions.

Or we beat those offering an offensive solution to death.

So much for evolution.  :-)

In summary every cultural group creates a set of cultural rules that favor presentation of solutions by charismatic presenters regardless of the availability of resources or the technological accuracy of the solutions.

Once a group accepts a specific solution and finds that it eliminates whatever problem or desire it was designed to be a solution for it will oppose alternate solutions to that same problem.  Often violently.

Violence is not a indicator of cultural advancement.  All cultures engage in violence in some ways.  There are no indicators of cultural advancement, there are variations in cultural behavior and resources including technology, natural resources and people.

Some things disgust or are accepted by some individuals and some cultures.  What an individual or a culture finds acceptable or disgusting is not an indicator of advancement or superiority.

So no matter how disgusting I think cutting the skin off a dead thing and wearing it is does not mean that gorillas have a superior culture to humans.

It just looks that way.

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