RE: Why Europe is so Contrary

From: Steve Drew (
Date: Sun 08 Dec 2002 - 21:09:45 GMT

  • Next message: Steve Drew: "Evolution"

    > Date: Sun, 08 Dec 2002 19:58:57 +1100
    > From: Jeremy Bradley <>
    > Subject: RE: Why Europe is so Contrary
    > At 01:23 AM 8/12/02 +0000, you wrote:
    >>> Date: Sat, 07 Dec 2002 21:46:02 +1100
    >>> From: Jeremy Bradley <>
    >>> Subject:
    >>> SNIP.......Steve:
    >>>> Also,implicit in your statement seems to be the idea that social evolution
    >>> has a
    >>>> destination? Society changes, and good or ill are relative to the
    > society of
    >>>> the observer.
    >>>> Regards
    >>>> Steve.
    >>> Jeremy:......... Hi Steve
    >>> In my study of narrative form I developed a theory that the linear
    >>> rhetorical form of outcome based narratives, such as we all grew up with,
    >>> normalise the notion that outcomes and destinations are the inevitable
    >>> result of existence.
    > Steve:
    >> The notion you talk about would appear to be correct for any society
    > Jeremy's reply:
    > The 'goal' of many pre-colonisation peoples was to maintain a status-quo.
    > This is discernible in their narrative patterning. Australian narratives
    > were cyclical, like their notion of time. A story typically starts with
    > locating the story in the land, language and the people, thereby
    > establishing the status-quo. It then moves to the problem. A solution is
    > found with the assistance of nature, magic or a 'spirit' intervention. And
    > the status-quo is thus restored (apologies for the simplification).
    > As you can see this is significantly different to our traditional narrative
    > structure.
    >>> Jeremy........cont.:
    > In my memetics, subtle cultural notions such as these are part of a coded
    >>> sets of information ( culture memes which form a complete 'strand', or
    >>> cneme, for want of a better word) which constrains the production of
    >>> culture so that evolution can't happen outside of previously set
    > perameters.
    >>> It is the 'cenemes', of which I have only mentioned one, which make memes
    >>> appear to be good or bad to different peoples (as our current case-study
    >>> clearly shows).
    >>> Like the mapping of the human genome, the mapping of a cultural cneme is
    >>> possible through the analysis of the most enduring elements of that culture
    >>> - - its narratives and their form.
    >>> 'owzat Steve?
    >>> Jeremy
    > Steve:
    >> I don't have any qualms as such, I just tend to note when people tend to
    >> ascribe a direction to evolution. It occurs (evolution), and only humans
    >> ascribe good or ill (and a direction) to it.
    >> Not a cricket fan thank god:-) and I hope I've faired better!
    >> Regards
    >> Steve
    > Jeremy:
    > The Australian Estuarine Crocodile has existed, in its present form for at
    > least 50,000,000 years. The toxic ticks that I catch for anti-vemom are the
    > most dangerous animal in Australia and have been unchanged for longer. Both
    > of these animals are perfectly adapted for what they do. I therefore
    > suggest to you that the process of evolution is not ongoing. IMO it stops
    > at some stage, perfect adaptation.

    Only if the environment doesn't change sufficiently. Also, hasn't the estuarine croc suffered lately due to a new(ish) predator :-)

    > In the case of pre-invasion indigenous Australian societies, that stage of
    > cultural evolution arguably arrived many millennia before our forebears
    > emerged from their caves; let alone before they ceased to be ruled by
    > inbred, syphilitic, drunken, war-lords with a desire to consume the
    > possessions of others. IMO colonising Europeans were the true uncivilised
    > savages. The very fact that our linear cultures are still evolving is
    > evidence of their inferiority. (controversial stuff eh Steve)

    Not really. We will continue to adapt or die out, even if the changes to the environment are our own doing. Inferior and superior are subjective terms. Species exist or they do not.

    Also, I don't buy the noble savage at one with the environment bit. As Joe has noted re the Anasazi, Easter Island etc, I would suggest that the reason they did not deplete their resources may be due to the environment itself in Australia. If I understand it correctly, pre agriculture, viable resources were not to plentiful and were widely dispersed, which would make it difficult to produce a sizable population that could cause harm to the environment. I do agree that they were very in tune with the environment they lived in (as were many other hunter gatherers throughout the world). This is slowly being recognised by your government in respect of burning the land in a controlled fashion to avoid the yearly catastrophes that seem to be occurring with respect to uncontrolled bush fires.
    > I'm not a great cricket fan either and I didn't mean to rub any salt into
    > the wounds caused by the unmerciful flogging of your National team in its
    > latest foray to the antipodes.
    > ;~)

    It is a demonstration of our generosity to pretend to lose. You have to admit it is convincing! A letter to The Times suggested the best way we could be the best in the world at a sport is to invent another.....but tell no one else :-)
    > Jeremy


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