Saturday, July 23, 2011

Three Tends

Social conservatism appreciates cleanliness and purity. The current stress on hand-washing and education about germs and infections tilts society in a more traditional, less innovative direction.

Society is aging, and older people tend to be more cautious, less bold.

The awareness of one's own death affects the decision-making of individuals and groups of people. A consequence of more public discussions of end of life care, advance directives, right to die, and mortality might be that we become … “more socially conformist and centered on group values, more authoritarian, less understanding or forgiving of deviance, and all the more willing to punish eccentrics and outsiders and to reward mainstream heroes.” *

Might these three trends lead to the end of deviation?  Are there other markers?

        * NIcholas Humphrey, Soul Dust: The Magic of Consciousness, Princeton, 2011, p 189

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Motel room decor

A modest motel in Napa, CA - twin beds with matching bedspreads, twin night tables, identical twin lamps, d├ęcor topped off with twin paintings – two framed art prints, the same print, centered over each bed.

Please comment on why identical prints seems so odd, though identical lamps are expected.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Tools or Patterns?

Tools or Patterns?

Humans are differentiated by being users of tools.

Humans like to find patterns (think about the constellations).

I wonder if finding patterns came before using tools, that first humans recognized a pattern in several unrelated events and then developed the tool to make that pattern happen in a consistent way.