A Library of Differance

July 27, 2006 at 7:48 pm Leave a comment

In that last rant on college I said that culture was assumable. That’s kinda one of those weird academic lingo power trip type of things where in said pseudo-intellectual (here me) says something that sounds cool, but practically speaking is almost impossible. After all how many could easily not just integrate, but become part of another culture entirely? But it does raise the question: how much of culture can we emulate and make our own? If given enough effort could you become Jamacian? Chinese? Canadain? and it also raises the question: what seperates us? We have libraries of genetic information available on the internet that can show the differences in genomes in plants or humans, but we’ve yet to categorize or quantify anthropological or pyschological differences in such a manor. If culture is a widespread phenoumouna amongst a set of people why can’t we pin down the linguistic, habitual, neuronal, and other aspects that make it unique? Could we set up tests similar to Steven Pinker’s for different languages? What assumptio0ns and preconceptions do culture A bring to language B? etc. Richard Nesbitt has shown that experiments can make Western men reason like Asian women, why can’t we chroncile the differances of cultures and make them emulatable? Want to know what it’s like to be a Fijian tribesman? Here are 5 exercises to help prepare you for their pyschological world, here are the most common associations they make between these words, here is where their grammar stops, etc. If we can become what we pretend to be, can we become what we consciously try to be? Enthographies and anthropolgical studies are common, but could we build a site where people could be quizzed and catalogued? Where we could look up the experience of another’s thought and see where they are coming from?

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