Received: by alpheratz.cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk id CAA14097 (8.6.9/5.3[ref email@example.com] for cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk from firstname.lastname@example.org); Sat, 2 Mar 2002 02:27:23 GMT X-Authentication-Warning: cheetah.nor.com.au: Host 252.digital.ppp.telstra.dataheart.net [126.96.36.199] claimed to be green-machine Message-Id: <email@example.com> X-Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org X-Mailer: Windows Eudora Light Version 3.0.1 (32) Date: Sat, 02 Mar 2002 13:15:34 +1100 To: email@example.com From: Jeremy Bradley <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: RE: Rumsfeld Says He May Drop New Office of Influence In-Reply-To: <email@example.com> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Precedence: bulk Reply-To: email@example.com
At 02:19 PM 1/03/02 -0500, you wrote:
>Using a family example I can remember all too well how quickly 'my'
>daughter learned the word 'mine'. When you think about it recognizing
>something as a possession is a rather sophisticated notion.
This is my point exactly. Whilst Grant sees possessiveness as an
exclusively natural trait, I suspect, from my work on traditional cultural
narratives, that it is largely conditioning.
'My' children also learned the 'mine' concept early whereas the near tribal
children that they associated with did not develop it until much later. My
hypothesis here is that I taught the trait to my children at the
pre-linguistic stage by removing 'my' possessions from them. For example,
"Don't put Daddy's keys in your mouth", or "Careful with that honey it's
The people with whom we lived however did not a) have as many possessions
as we did and b) they did not value the possessions to the exclusion of the
child's enjoyment and freedom of action. That this caused cultural
difficulties between infants was disturbing and enlightening. As you can
imagine, when the children played together, the Aboriginal children wanted
to play with whatever toys that they saw and my kids wanted to protect
One of the key indicators in my mapping of cultural cnemes (or menomes - I
haven't decided yet) is what happens to personal goods after death. It
turns out that in the so-called civilised (individuated) world we leave our
possessions to whoever we want to, whereas many tribal people either
distribute goods to the group or burry them with the body.
As you say Ray, recognising something as a possession is a rather
sophisticated notion. It is still 'my' position that notions (memes) are
more nurture than nature (genes).
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