RE: Rumsfeld Says He May Drop New Office of Influence

From: Jeremy Bradley (
Date: Sat Mar 02 2002 - 02:15:34 GMT

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    From: Jeremy Bradley <>
    Subject: RE: Rumsfeld Says He May Drop New Office of Influence
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    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.
    >Ray Recchia

    Thanks Ray
    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
    their 'possessions'.
    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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