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zhao
06-10-2008, 10:19 AM
what little i know about revisionist history and the fictional divide between "east" and "west":

during the first half of Greek empire everything came from Persia: food, music, technology, philosphy, mathematics, astronomy, religion, medicine, fashion, etc, etc, etc, etc. and it was not until the second part of the empire that the Greeks started coming up with their own ideas - and even then, very much influenced and inspired by South Asian (Indian), Middle Eastern (Iranian), and East Asian (Chinese) thought and practice.

Persian culture, the real "cradle of western civilization", came from Egyptian/African civilizations before.

these facts started to be buried by the Greeks themselves, replaced with the lie that Greece developed more or less by itself -- the beginning of everything "progressive" and "modern". and since then these false ideas have been further spread, and the truth buried deeper and deeper, during countlessly rewrites and revisions of history. the lastest of which saw powerful industrialists of 19th Century America apply sweeping education reforms across America, firing professors that did not tell their twisted version of the story, and installing yes-men that propagated the idea that "the West" was something different, and of different origions, from "the East".

the propagation of this fictional dichotomy between the "occident" and "orient" has always been politically motivated, provides a foundation for racism, distrust, and divide which furthers the aims of the ruling elite -- and is still instrumental today (the structural basis for "the war on terror", which also may be seen as the latest expression of these false ideas)

much of this train of excavations can be found in this book, derided by the ignorant and the brain-washed (just look at the ratings and comments on amazon):

http://i219.photobucket.com/albums/cc30/bobotronic/random%20shit/balckathena.jpg


What is classical about Classical Civilization? In one of the most audacious works of scholarship ever written, Martin Bernal challenges the whole basis of our thinking about this question. Classical civilization, he argues, has deep roots in Afroasiatic cultures. But these Afroasiatic influences have been systematically ignored, denied, or supressed since the eighteenth century--chiefly for racist reasons. The popular view is that Greek civilization was the result of the conquest of a sophisticated but weak native population by vigorous Indo-European speakers--or Aryans--from the North. But the Classical Greeks, Bernal argues, knew nothing of this "Aryan model." They did not see their political institutions, science, philosophy, or religion as original, but rather as derived from the East in general, and Egypt in particular. Black Athena is a three-volume work. Volume 1 concentrates on the crucial period between 1785 and 1850, which saw the Romantic and racist reaction to the Enlightment and the French Revolution, and the consolidation of Northern expansion into other continents. In an unprecedented tour de force, Bernal makes meaningful links between a wide range of areas and disciplines--drama poetry, myth, theological controversy, esoteric religion, philosophy, biography, language, historical narrative, and the emergence of "modern scholarship." Martin Bernal is Professor Emeritus of Government Studies at Cornell University; he was formerly a Fellow at King's College, Cambridge.


Could Greek philosophy be rooted in Egyptian thought? Is it possible that the Pythagorean theory was conceived on the shores of the Nile and the Euphrates rather than in ancient Greece? Could it be that much of Western civilization was formed on the "Dark Continent"? For almost two centuries, Western scholars have given little credence to the possibility of such scenarios.

In Black Athena, an audacious three-volume series that strikes at the heart of today's most heated culture wars, Martin Bernal challenges Eurocentric attitudes by calling into question two of the longest-established explanations for the origins of classical civilization. To use his terms, the Aryan Model, which is current today, claims that Greek culture arose as the result of the conquest from the north by Indo-European speakers, or "Aryans," of the native "pre-Hellenes." The Ancient Model, which was maintained in Classical Greece, held that the native population of Greece had initially been civilized by Egyptian and Phoenician colonists and that additional Near Eastern culture had been introduced to Greece by Greeks studying in Egypt and Southwest Asia. Moving beyond these prevailing models, Bernal proposes a Revised Ancient Model, which suggests that classical civilization in fact had deep roots in Afroasiatic cultures.

This long-awaited third and final volume of the series is concerned with the linguistic evidence that contradicts the Aryan Model of ancient Greece. Bernal shows how nearly 40 percent of the Greek vocabulary has been plausibly derived from two Afroasiatic languages--Ancient Egyptian and West Semitic. He also reveals how these derivations are not limited to matters of trade, but extended to the sophisticated language of politics, religion, and philosophy. This evidence, according to Bernal, greatly strengthens the hypothesis that in Greece an Indo-European-speaking population was culturally dominated by Ancient Egyptian and West Semitic speakers. Provocative, passionate, and colossal in scope, this volume caps a thoughtful rewriting of history that has been stirring academic and political controversy since the publication of the first volume.


About the Author
Martin Bernal, formerly a fellow of King's College, Cambridge, and professor of Government and Near Eastern Studies at Cornell University, is now retired.

chapters:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/0813512778/ref=sib_dp_pt#reader-link

book:
http://www.amazon.com/Black-Athena-Afroasiatic-Civilization-Fabrication/dp/0813512778/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1217852254&sr=8-8

mistersloane
06-10-2008, 10:47 AM
Yay! You found Martin Bernal! I wondered a while back whether you'd read him yet. He wrote the first one right at the height of the second generation of Afrocentrism and it coming out was just the perfect timing - listening to Jungle Brothers, Public Enemy, Lakim Shabazz etc and reading that and just having my mind blown.

Haven't got time today to read what people are saying about him now - I know he got badly discredited and seemingly went mad at one point. I don't know what I'd think about it now, I know a combination of him, Andrea Dworkin, Mary Daly and Robert Anton Wilson all helped form a fantastic world view in this reader.

zhao
06-10-2008, 05:52 PM
glad other dissensian(s) are up on this. maybe i'm biased but makes so much sense to me any which way i look at it.

waiting for the eurocentric opposition...

Mr. Tea
06-10-2008, 06:30 PM
This claim is interesting:


This long-awaited third and final volume of the series is concerned with the linguistic evidence that contradicts the Aryan Model of ancient Greece. Bernal shows how nearly 40 percent of the Greek vocabulary has been plausibly derived from two Afroasiatic languages--Ancient Egyptian and West Semitic. He also reveals how these derivations are not limited to matters of trade, but extended to the sophisticated language of politics, religion, and philosophy.

...for two reasons. As Bernal is obviously well aware, looking at what sorts of words are borrowed from one language by another is a well-known signifier as to the sort of relationship between the groups speaking those languages - an obvious example being that many of the English words associated with law, politics, the military and the Church come from Old French via the Normans. Secondly, because when words are borrowed or evolve over time, their evolution tends to follow certain fairly predictable patterns, so a rigorous linguistic analysis of these words could go a long way to either supporting or refuting this claim. Bear in mind that saying something is 'plausible' is a long way from proving it to be true, of course, but it's an intriguing idea.

luka
07-10-2008, 09:41 AM
i read these years ago, i think they're fairly convincing, broadly speaking.... there's another guy, diop or something that i read, the african origins of civiliaztion. that was more tenuous as he was determined to make everyone beleive the pharoahs looked like they came from nigeria or something....
it only gets ridiculous when people start getting doctinaire about it and refusing to give greece any credit whatsoever.... greece is still hugrly important and was responsible for a lot that was genuinely new....

padraig (u.s.)
08-10-2008, 06:02 AM
@zhao - are you just giving a synopsis of this particular strand of revisionist history or are you endorsing those views as your own, at least in part? not that it really matters, I'm just curious, having read a fair # of your posts as a serial lurker.


it only gets ridiculous when people start getting doctinaire about it and refusing to give greece any credit whatsoever.... greece is still hugrly important and was responsible for a lot that was genuinely new....

pretty much. I can't claim to have read a lot of scholarly works on the topic myself - I did, however spend a disproportionate amount of time reading about the 5%/Nation of Gods & Earth/NOI as a kid, mainly due to a lengthy obsessions w/the Wu & listening to a ton of that 5%-influenced rap in general. it seems like most things when people have an agenda to push, especially when it comes to something that can be as esoteric & nebulous as history & historical scholarship; as if someone took a gourmet meal & a pile of shit & mixed them together so thoroughly that it's frequently impossible to tell what's what. not that I'd ever claim the more "standard" Eurocentric view is more accurate/credible, quite the contrary. it's just that there's a vast gulf of difference between A) a reasonable assumption, such as that African/Asian cultures had a considerably bigger influence on culture/philosophy/technology etc. than white historians have credited them with and B) nonsense about white people being evil mutants bred by a renegade black scientist, which is like Scientology-level crazy.

it's all a spectrum, of course, but whenever I come into contact w/heavily Afrocentric music/writing/art I always have a preliminary cringe waiting for the moment when someone starts going off on Jews or claiming that homosexuality is a conspiracy invented by white people to destroy the black family (a la Francis Welsing, a major philosophical inspiration behind "Fear Is a Black Planet). though, again, it's often, as in the case of Welsing, mixed in with a bunch of valuable insights.

one other thing, vaguely related - I spent quite a lot of time training at a dojo that was mostly, including the sensei, African-American Muslims (mostly, but not all, NOI) and we always got on pretty while despite me being a pasty white devil. we did studiously avoid religious topics.

Slothrop
20-10-2008, 03:42 PM
To be honest, I'm slightly surprised to find that the influence of afroasiatic cultures on the ancient greeks is considered a radical idea - in terms of maths and science, certainly, it always seems to be well acknowledged. I guess there is still an idea of a 'Greek year zero' in terms of art and literature.

But it does sometimes seem like this sort of critique is freezing 'western scholarship' in time in 1900...

I've actually read a few not-exactly-new[1] accounts of Greek science that take the view that they actually took several steps backwards from their antecedants, by becoming a slave owning society and consequently developing a distaste for anything that smacks of work or 'technique', and thus attempting to distance science from technology and experimentalism.

[1] as in, inherited from my grandparents

nomadthethird
20-10-2008, 09:19 PM
I don't doubt at all that civilizations in both Africa and Asia predate "Western" ones or that they influenced Greek and other ancient civilizations deeply.

But as far as trying to trace all cultural signifiers to prior civilizations goes, I don't know if it's always that productive. Perception is often reality; the fact that certain European nations (Germany esp) built much of their own sense of cultural identity upon a mythologized idealized version of ancient Greek culture (as an origary source of concepts, political organization, etc.) in a certain sense creates its own reality. This is as important to study as humanity's African roots are, imo.

Like Padraig I often cringe at "historiographical" studies that claim to "prove" an Afrocentric worldview, but usually it's because fetishizing the other (a la Orientalism) can work both ways--both to make Westerners feel superior and to give some sort of unrealistic superiority to the Other for no other reason but that they are the "exotic" Other...

know what i mean?

nomadthethird
20-10-2008, 09:21 PM
I also don't happen to think that the Greeks were somehow special among civilizations in any other way but their military capacity.

padraig (u.s.)
21-10-2008, 08:32 AM
I also don't happen to think that the Greeks were somehow special among civilizations in any other way but their military capacity.

that seems pretty spot on. it seems as if their major innovation was the "decisive battle" mentality, so to speak, which broke w/the older, more "primitive" means of combat, which tended to be more ritualistic/lower intensity (relatively)/based on missile attacks. they were, if not the first, then at least one of the first peoples to overcome ancient taboos against face to face killing and the natural inclination to shrink from attack by edged weapons. again, I'm not an expert, but from what I've read it seems like a lot of that, like most things, had more to do w/exigencies of their geography/culture than any kind of "eureka!" style innovation. basically, the geography of Greece is such (rugged, tons of small valleys) that it lent itself to a lot of small landholders, who didn't really have a lot of time to campaign b/c they had to work their land, hence they acquired a taste for deciding matters quickly - charge, 1/2 hr to an hour of absolutely brutal carnage, and then everyone goes home. that's the mentality that shocked their opponents, esp. the Persians, who just weren't used to those kinds of tactics. that, plus the phalanx & its' attendant tactics, is what brought them so much military success. plus Alexander was undeniably a military genius.

of course it's open to debate whether the Greeks' military innovations are a good or bad thing (if such terms even apply), esp. given that primitive warfare seems a hell of a lot more sensible.

I do think there's something to be said for their achievements in the arts, philosophy, etc. though, to whatever extent those were influenced by earlier cultures (most likely the Egyptians or various Mesopotamian peoples). just in terms of the West, it seems as if the Romans/Byzantines, for instance, were pretty heavily influenced by the Greeks. the usual caveat applies about any supsicions one may about the inherent worth of the Western tradition given the last few hundred yrs of history. I tend to be on some "things went wildly wrong when hunter gathers settled down & began pursuing agriculture & shit's been fucked since" tip, but that's just me.

luka
21-10-2008, 08:59 AM
if you cant see whats new and different about greek art youre a bit dumb

Mr. Tea
21-10-2008, 01:29 PM
I also don't happen to think that the Greeks were somehow special among civilizations in any other way but their military capacity.

I dunno about this - they made some pretty amazing advances in politics, philosophy and mathematics, to name just three spheres of achievement, and that's without even mentioning art (or rather, the arts), as luka does above. The Greeks were certainly not the Old World's first monumental architects, but they did things with it no-one else had done before - look at the proportions of the Parthenon ffs, they're intentionally imperfect so as to appear perfect when viewed from the ground. Hero of Alexander invented a steam engine two millennia before Industrial Revolution, but since slave labour was virtually inexhaustible it was regarded as a novelty...this is a seriously sophisticated culture we're talking about here. That's not to say that it 'invented itself from scratch' - no culture ever does that, obviously - but it's no insult to the Egyptians or Persians or any other culture, all of whom had amazing achievements of their own, to give credit where credit's due to the Greeks.

I think it might be reasonable to give a more recent example as illustrative of this: consider a rather simplified lineage of rock'n'roll that describes it as more or less descending from electric rhythm and blues, coming from earlier Mississippi Delta blues, coming ultimately from the work chants of African slaves...now that doesn't mean rock'n'roll isn't an inherently American form of music, does it? It's a form of music that developed in America under the influence of other aspects of American culture (and then of course took off hugely in Britain and many other parts of the world), but which has a sort of ancestral germ cell that came from Africa a couple of centuries and many mutations ago. Ditto hip-hop a generation later.

Edit: and as for their military prowess, most of this aspect of their history consists of squabbling between city-states and ever-shifting allegiances and pacts, with no overall superpower-like control of the region. Sure, there were the Trojan Wars, but that was the bronze age, pre-dating Classical Greece by over five hundred years, and the period of Alexander's huge but short-lived empire came somewhat after the high noon of Greek culture. In any case, Alexander wasn't even Greek, he was Macedonian.

zhao
10-11-2008, 05:04 PM
so sorry this took fucking for ever.


@zhao - are you just giving a synopsis of this particular strand of revisionist history or are you endorsing those views as your own, at least in part? not that it really matters, I'm just curious, having read a fair # of your posts as a serial lurker.

i am endorsing these or the majority of these views as my own.

but i have only limited interest in questions of who came first and who copied whom; it is the CONTINUITY and UN-SEPARATENESS which is important.


there's a vast gulf of difference between A) a reasonable assumption, such as that African/Asian cultures had a considerably bigger influence on culture/philosophy/technology etc. than white historians have credited them with and B) nonsense about white people being evil mutants bred by a renegade black scientist, which is like Scientology-level crazy.

sure. A) i pretty much agree with, and i think it has had much more crucial impacts on the world than a lot of people think. B) ... depends on which of the day you ask me ;)

no, all kidding aside, I'm not interested in demonizing "white people". i quite like Jarred Diamond's analytical process and the conclusions he comes to: there are concrete, pragmatic reasons for Europe probably not contributing to world knowledge as much as Middle Eastern, Asian, or African cultures in the big picture, and none of them are any kind of inherent stupidity or backwardness or, god forbid, genetic inferiority.

and there are concrete, practical reasons for Europe's ascendency and subsequent conquest, namely territorial luck of draw which provided them with knowledge from the east and material advantage, and not any kind of inherent visciousness or brutality. (i believe who ever had those cards in that situation would have played them the same way)


it's all a spectrum, of course

sure, but that can easily become a wishy-washy relativistic view which confounds all views into a muddy stew; and the "all grey no black or white" thing should not be taken so far as to discourage seeking of truths.

and the truth is that we are all one. and that the illusion of separation comes from surface phenomenon and chance, and fostered into doctrine and used as a tool by those motivated by greed and hunger for power to have their way with the world.

nomadthethird
10-11-2008, 11:06 PM
Yeah, sure Greek art was great. I agree with Padraig's excellent post entirely.

If you read anything the Greeks wrote in Greek, all they talk about is war. (hyperbole) It's craazzay.

nomadthethird
10-11-2008, 11:08 PM
if you cant see whats new and different about greek art youre a bit dumb

Idealizing the human form? No one's ever thought of that before. J/k, I like Greek art, especially the pottery with the hot gay sex scenes on them.

zhao
11-11-2008, 12:01 AM
i went to an islamic art exhibition here in berlin last summer. for 4 hours mesmerized by the mind boggling psychedelic geometry, the beyond words gorgeous colors, the subtlety... what intricate subtlety that speaks to the depth of the soul with mere repetition and juxtaposition of forms. the Persian carpets were simply to die for... a feeling of ecstatic peace, a frightful beauty which reminds me of the vast greatness of being... a timeless abstraction in service of a higher purpose. visual poetry, manifestation of the divine.

and when me and my friend walked out of the exhibit we were suddenly affronted by these big cheesy nudes full of gaudy heroism. self important and full of vulgar egotism -- an exhibit of Greek art.

Persian art is Andrei Tarkovsky, is Abbas Kiarostami.

Greek art is the loudest, most annoying, cliched, obscene and pointless Hollywood blockbuster.

luka
11-11-2008, 07:34 AM
yeah and shakespeare is overwritten bombast, and sunsets are gaudy and overrated
and titian was a hack, and rembrandts paintings are too brown and beer is just gassy water that makes you feel ill....

zhao
11-11-2008, 08:47 AM
yeah and shakespeare is overwritten bombast, and sunsets are gaudy and overrated
and titian was a hack, and rembrandts paintings are too brown and beer is just gassy water that makes you feel ill....

haha i'm sure what i said about Greek Art feels like blasphemy to your indoctrinated brain, with your aesthetic receptors all but mangled by years of "THIS IS GREAT ART. THIS IS THE FOUNDATION OF CIVILIZATION".

well fuck all that BULL shit I'm calling a spade a spade.

compared to the Persian understanding of abstraction, through out which pervades a sense of cosmic transcendence, the Greek obsession with materialist representation and illusionism would only be boring except for its abhorrent heroism.

compared to the supreme elegance and humility of Islamic art (and art from other older traditions) which places the human subject within sublime nature, within the infinite glory of divinity, within the universal scheme of things, Greek loud and obnoxious self aggrandizement was testament of nothing but their own simple mindedness and lack of understanding. (pointing the way to the destructive course we find ourselves on today)

oh how the elders would shake their heads at these chest pounding stupid new kids on the block with high opinions of themselves as only those truly ignorant could...

Mr. Tea
11-11-2008, 12:56 PM
compared to the supreme elegance and humility of Islamic art (and art from other older traditions) which places the human subject within sublime nature, within the infinite glory of divinity, within the universal scheme of things, Greek loud and obnoxious self aggrandizement was testament of nothing but their own simple mindedness and lack of understanding. (pointing the way to the destructive course we find ourselves on today)


Yeah, 'cos the Islamic world's a paradigm of peace, prosperity and groovytastic human rights. :rolleyes:

STN
11-11-2008, 01:32 PM
I've got to say, I think a lot of Greek tragedies to be rather rocking. I don't think I've been indoctrinated into this. Visual art maybe not so much, but stuff like Oedipus Tyrannus, The Orestia, The Lysistrata etc etc floats my stoat.

I would also like to give Antient props to Petronius's Satyricon and Catullus's saucy rhymes, even though these are Roman. Edit: and not tragedies.

zhao
11-11-2008, 01:47 PM
Yeah, 'cos the Islamic world's a paradigm of peace, prosperity and groovytastic human rights. :rolleyes:


Yeah, 'cos the Christian world's a paradigm of peace, prosperity and groovytastic human rights. :rolleyes:


Yeah, 'cos the (insert name of any religion or nation or people here) world's a paradigm of peace, prosperity and groovytastic human rights. :rolleyes:
.
but we are talking about art here. to mention fucking islamic terrorism like a good state trained puppy is out of place, stupid and has nilch do with with jack shit.

Mr. Tea
11-11-2008, 01:50 PM
your smart mask is beginning to slip again Tea

Who said anything about Christianity? You were talking about Persian (Islamic) art and how amazing it is, and how trashy and trite Greek art is and how the latter somehow relates to "the destructive course we find ourselves on today".

zhao
11-11-2008, 01:50 PM
I've got to say, I think a lot of Greek tragedies to be rather rocking. I don't think I've been indoctrinated into this. Visual art maybe not so much, but stuff like Oedipus Tyrannus, The Orestia, The Lysistrata etc etc floats my stoat.

I would also like to give Antient props to Petronius's Satyricon and Catullus's saucy rhymes, even though these are Roman. Edit: and not tragedies.

ya i'm down with a lot of that too

polystyle desu
11-11-2008, 02:35 PM
Gotcha Zhao

Last Jan. while in Japan, TokyoBroadcastingS ran a great docu on old Persia:
Yzad, Zorasters
The ancient ruins of a walled city with a lake in the middle, possibly Harappa ...

Petra comes to mind as well !

Old roots for sure

Mr. Tea
11-11-2008, 02:49 PM
Harappa was a city of the Indus Valley civilisation, which existed before the Indo-Aryan people (related to the Persians/Iranians) arrived in the region. But yeah, it goes right back to the stone age, properly ancient.

polystyle desu
11-11-2008, 02:51 PM
Looks like a great place to set up a tent and hang out, take the air, imagine ...

Slothrop
11-11-2008, 03:03 PM
yeah and shakespeare is overwritten bombast, and sunsets are gaudy and overrated
and titian was a hack, and rembrandts paintings are too brown and beer is just gassy water that makes you feel ill....

In other news, people in the east are so much more spiritual.

Mr. Tea
11-11-2008, 03:09 PM
Looks like a great place to set up a tent and hang out, take the air, imagine ...

You don't say...

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/9a/Mohenjodaro_Sindh.jpeg

In a way, I think places like this which were built by civilisations whose writing we can't understand, or which didn't have writing, have an even stronger allure than those like ancient Egypt or Babylon whose history is relatively well understood.

And buildings recognisable as temples or tombs are one thing, but then there are places that just have a sheer namelessness about them...

http://www.world-mysteries.com/easter_island_04.jpg

http://www.sacredsites.com/europe/england/images/men-an-tol-stone-500.jpg

http://www.subversiveelement.com/files/GreatSerpentMound.jpg

(somewhat off topic, but it's an excuse for some great pictures)

zhao
11-11-2008, 03:12 PM
second to last picture makes me kinda randy for some reason :slanted:

Slothrop
11-11-2008, 03:23 PM
http://www.sacredsites.com/europe/england/images/men-an-tol-stone-500.jpg
:D

Orientalism starts at home!

Mr. Tea
11-11-2008, 03:26 PM
:D

Orientalism starts at home!

Or Celtic-Revival Glasto-mystical poppycock, at any rate. ;)

zhao
11-11-2008, 04:54 PM
Or Celtic-Revival Glasto-mystical poppycock, at any rate. ;)

now the ancient Celts were deeply connected, right? meaning, of course, that they always got a table at the best resturants. no, bad jokes aside, can someone weigh in on the lineage?

Mr. Tea
11-11-2008, 05:10 PM
now the ancient Celts were deeply connected, right? meaning, of course, that they always got a table at the best resturants. no, bad jokes aside, can someone weigh in on the lineage?

Well the Celtic languages are Indo-European, meaning they're related somewhat to Latin (and hence Italian, French etc.) and, more distantly, to English, German, Greek, Hindi, Farsi, Russian etc. etc. etc.
However, I think the consensus among modern linguists is that just because two groups share a similar language, it doesn't necessarily follow that they are descended from a single ancestor group or have closely related cultures. There used to be a common view that the various Celtic groups had formed this big pan-European confederation that dominated the continent before the rise of Rome, but nowadays this is put down to romantic imaginations and it's generally thought there was no unified 'Celtic' culture, just a bunch of disparate tribes speaking a family of related languages or dialects and probably having some elements of belief and material culture in common. There was certainly never any such nation as 'the Celts' the way there were 'the Romans' or 'the Greeks', anyway.

Mr. Tea
11-11-2008, 06:47 PM
Zhao, I've just noticed that you've rather dishonestly changed what you said in a post I'd already quoted:



but we are talking about art here. to mention fucking islamic terrorism like a good state trained puppy is out of place, stupid and has nilch do with with jack shit.

Well hang on mate, you can't have it both ways. You were trashing Greek art and, by extension, the entire culture and its world-view, blaming it for "the destructive course we find ourselves on today" - apparently Plato invented global warming and the credit crunch - while praising art from the Middle East, both from the Islamic era and earlier, for supposedly representing the antithesis of this. Now your thesis might hold some water if modern-day Greece and other countries that are in some way culturally descendant from Greek thought were benighted, backwards-looking dictatorships while those of the Middle East, with all their humility and cosmic transcendence, were much more progressive and peaceful. Now I'm not saying any western culture is a paradigm of excellence, by any means, but when I'm out somewhere with my girlfriend she isn't wrapped from head to foot in black cloth and walking a respectful dozen paces behind me, you know what I'm saying? If you're going to be as culturally partisan as you are, it would do you credit not to blow your top when other people have biases based on different priorities and criteria from yours. Calling a culture that produced Homer, Aristotle and Archimedes "simple-minded" merely betrays exactly the sort of ignorance and prejudice you're so quick to damn in others.

And YOU mentioned terrorism, I didn't say anything of the sort.

zhao
11-11-2008, 07:04 PM
Zhao, I've just noticed that you've rather dishonestly changed what you said in a post I'd already quoted:

no what i erased was this:


your smart mask is beginning to slip again Tea

cuz i didn't wanna be an unnecessary dick.

and more on the other stuff later... already late for dinner

nomadthethird
11-11-2008, 07:48 PM
ancient Egypt or Babylon whose history is relatively well understood.


I agree, but one of the most impressive/interesting things I ever saw in a museum was that big Babylonian wall in that museum in Berlin that has all the building facades in it.

The point is, aesthetics are just that, you most certainly can separate art from culture on a formal level and appreciate it that way without subscribing to every negative cultural production that came from the civilization where the art was made.

nomadthethird
11-11-2008, 07:53 PM
haha i'm sure what i said about Greek Art feels like blasphemy to your indoctrinated brain, with your aesthetic receptors all but mangled by years of "THIS IS GREAT ART. THIS IS THE FOUNDATION OF CIVILIZATION".

well fuck all that BULL shit I'm calling a spade a spade.

compared to the Persian understanding of abstraction, through out which pervades a sense of cosmic transcendence, the Greek obsession with materialist representation and illusionism would only be boring except for its abhorrent heroism.

compared to the supreme elegance and humility of Islamic art (and art from other older traditions) which places the human subject within sublime nature, within the infinite glory of divinity, within the universal scheme of things, Greek loud and obnoxious self aggrandizement was testament of nothing but their own simple mindedness and lack of understanding. (pointing the way to the destructive course we find ourselves on today)

oh how the elders would shake their heads at these chest pounding stupid new kids on the block with high opinions of themselves as only those truly ignorant could...

Not everyone who likes Greek art is "indocrinated"...come on now. That's just silly.

You have every right to dislike it yourself, but think about what you're saying for a minute.

One could easily argue that there IS NO "human subject" in Islamic art, as it's completely NOT-REPRESENTATIONAL. No human figures. In this sense, you could see its abstractions as part of a general tendency in the Islamic world to empty out the power of the subjective experience of "divinity" in favor of a highly abstract and absolute divine law where the subject is only important insofar as it carries out the divine will.

Do we even need to go into why this can lead to things like "honor killings"? (And yes, I know, we have all sorts of domestic violence-related murders in the West, but our problems spring from a different source culturally...)

Mr. Tea
11-11-2008, 08:07 PM
The point is, aesthetics are just that, you most certainly can separate art from culture on a formal level and appreciate it that way without subscribing to every negative cultural production that came from the civilization where the art was made.

This is very true. I can appreciate St. Pancras station, for example...

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/portal/graphics/2007/11/14/ftstpancras114.jpg

...without having to believe Britain had the right to take over half the world.

nomadthethird
11-11-2008, 08:22 PM
This is very true. I can appreciate St. Pancras station, for example...

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/portal/graphics/2007/11/14/ftstpancras114.jpg

...without having to believe Britain had the right to take over half the world.

Very nice. There's something big and imperial about British art and architecture that has same sort of grandeur that French or Italian art has without all the pesky Catholicism. So it's a little more abstract and ornamental without the gaudy symbolism. (a little like Islamic art I suppose)

I'm super interested in Central and South American arts and artifacts right now, especially because their symbols and sacred fetish objects are so similar to Egypt's.

http://www.emeraldtreasure.com/gbird.gif

http://www.thecityreview.com/aztec4.jpg

nomadthethird
11-11-2008, 08:26 PM
Some even look Chinese:

http://www.thecityreview.com/aztec1.jpg

Agent Nucleus
11-11-2008, 08:39 PM
the next ill-advised revival movement: Chavinese art!

http://www.stanford.edu/~johnrick/chavin_wrap/chavin/images/stillchavart3.jpg

http://www.stanford.edu/~johnrick/chavin_wrap/chavin/images/cabclav.jpg

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/0/07/Cabeza_Clava_Chavin.JPG/90px-Cabeza_Clava_Chavin.JPG

http://www.mythinglinks.org/chavin~feline~barakat.jpg

The Chavinese were based in coastal Peru and have roots predating the Egyptians, Sumerians, etc. They had no military and their society was built around semi-annual rituals utilizing advanced acoustics and psychedelics (yopo/DMT and mescaline). Get on the bandwagon now ;)

nomadthethird
11-11-2008, 08:52 PM
Never seen this Chavinese stuff but I like it :) The south and central americans art traditions immediately made sense to me once I tried hallucinogens, but especially the organic ones like mushrooms peyote mesc, etc. That first picture looks like what the sky looks like on an organic trip, only it moves.

I've always wanted to travel to Peru, where the coca grows wild and the ancestors of the Incas still chew it.

http://i220.photobucket.com/albums/dd171/threebraids/mask2.jpg

http://img87.imageshack.us/img87/1307/tolima061hb8.gif (http://imageshack.us)

I know some people who've been to Patagonia and they loved it.

nomadthethird
11-11-2008, 09:00 PM
Even if the "divide" between the East and West is fictional, so many of our values are. Everything is fictional. Race is a fiction but people insist that it's biologically based. Many people believe that race as a fiction is so embedded in our culture that no amount of science will wrest it out.

culture=our fictions

IdleRich
11-11-2008, 09:15 PM
"I agree, but one of the most impressive/interesting things I ever saw in a museum was that big Babylonian wall in that museum in Berlin that has all the building facades in it."
Weird I was just reading about that in a newspaper article about ten minutes ago.

nomadthethird
11-11-2008, 09:31 PM
Looking at all of this indigenous art must be sharpening my psychic powers.

Mr. Tea
11-11-2008, 11:50 PM
Yeah, that kind of semi-abstract Meso-American/South American art is incredible, and very psychedelic - I remember a parade of Mayan/Aztec deities and related imagery on my first mushroom trip, though some of it was kind of Ankor-Wat inspired too.

On a yopo tip, that stuff certainly does the trick but BY GOD it commits noserape on you when you snuff it. :mad:

Edit: anyway, enough drug nerdery. Zhao, let's forget the Greek/Persian bust-up for now, there's a whole world of ancient/early mediaeval European art and architecture that owes nothing to Graeco-Roman culture. Stuff like this...

http://www.uni-due.de/DI/Clocmacnoise_Crozier.jpg

...and this...

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/f/fd/Sutton.Hoo.ShoulderClasp2.RobRoy.jpg/350px-Sutton.Hoo.ShoulderClasp2.RobRoy.jpg

...and this...

http://www.visitnorway.com/ImageVault/Images/id_2470/conversionFormat_12/ImageVaultHandler.aspx

...and this...

http://neatorama.cachefly.net/images/2007-09/newgrange-entrance-slab.jpg

...and this...

http://www.britishmuseum.org/images/ps260149_l.jpg

OK, so a lot of the Celtic Art stuff has been co-opted by the psytrance-and-pink-dreadlocks brigade with more or less horrific results, but much of the original stuff is absolutely incredible.

nomadthethird
12-11-2008, 03:12 AM
Good idea (http://psychoactiveherbs.com/catalog/index.php?cPath=67), Mr. Tea.

The Celts are cool if you can whittle away the various layers of fantasy novel reading pseudo-Wiccan cheese and realize what a cool tribe they really were. I always think of them when I listen to Hawkwind.

luka
12-11-2008, 08:36 AM
christ zhao you ae actually a walking breathing cliche. the real thing in its purest form.
a comedy character devoid of any self-awareness


haha i'm sure what i said about Greek Art feels like blasphemy to your indoctrinated brain

dont you ever feel embaressed?

Mr. Tea
12-11-2008, 09:29 AM
Good idea (http://psychoactiveherbs.com/catalog/index.php?cPath=67), Mr. Tea.

The Celts are cool if you can whittle away the various layers of fantasy novel reading pseudo-Wiccan cheese and realize what a cool tribe they really were. I always think of them when I listen to Hawkwind.

Yeah, but as I said, they were really a whole load of not-too-closely-affiliated tribes that had related languages and cultures.

Apparently they invented soap a good couple of centuries before the Romans got hold of the idea. So much for dirty, smelly barbarians. :)

zhao
12-11-2008, 11:05 AM
i http://www.tedescoweb.it/sprache/engl_dt/heart.gif dissensus

nomadthethird
13-11-2008, 12:22 AM
Yeah, but as I said, they were really a whole load of not-too-closely-affiliated tribes that had related languages and cultures.

Apparently they invented soap a good couple of centuries before the Romans got hold of the idea. So much for dirty, smelly barbarians. :)

How different were the languages I wonder?

Romans invented a sewer system way before anyone else, though. They also had pretty racous orgies.

fokse vektaire xeven
13-11-2008, 01:32 AM
very psychedelic .

I'm sure it's most comfortable for you to conceptualise it that way.

This is religious art.

waffle
13-11-2008, 02:13 AM
How different were the languages I wonder?

Romans invented a sewer system way before anyone else, though. They also had pretty racous orgies.

You couldn't possibly ever dream of having an orgy without a sewer system.



This is religious art.

Between psychotropic veggies and Celtic new-ageism, maybe it's time to do a little dance with a Sheela Na Gig (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sheela_na_Gig).

nomadthethird
13-11-2008, 02:30 AM
I'm sure it's most comfortable for you to conceptualise it that way.

This is religious art.

Are psychedelic and religious mutually exclusive categories or something? Hardly. ;)

nomadthethird
13-11-2008, 02:34 AM
You couldn't possibly ever dream of having an orgy without a sewer system.

Between psychotropic veggies and Celtic new-ageism, maybe it's time to do a little dance with a Sheela Na Gig (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sheela_na_Gig).

Romans were pretty decadent but not in a fun psychedelic way, more in an aggressive militaristic gluttonous incestuous way.

for some reason, I assumed Sheela Na gig were Norse when I saw them...unless there are Norse ones as well...?

nomadthethird
13-11-2008, 02:38 AM
That would have been a great freshman course, "Comparative Decadence in Ancient Cultures" ...

Wesleyan probably has one.

luka
13-11-2008, 07:16 AM
I'm sure it's most comfortable for you to conceptualise it that way.

This is religious art.

how repellently priggish.

Mr. Tea
13-11-2008, 08:34 AM
I'm sure it's most comfortable for you to conceptualise it that way.

This is religious art.

But we're talking about cultures where psychedelic/hallucinogenic drugs played a vital role in religious ceremonies. Have a quick google for 'entheogen' - or 'teonanacatl', 'ololiuqui', 'ska pastora', 'peyote', 'ayahuasca', 'Brugmansia', 'Anadenanthera'...

IdleRich
13-11-2008, 08:59 AM
Anyone been to the Byzantium exhibition in London yet? I quite fancy it - got until March I guess.

http://www.royalacademy.org.uk/exhibitions/byzantium/about/

Mr. Tea
13-11-2008, 09:14 AM
Anyone been to the Byzantium exhibition in London yet? I quite fancy it - got until March I guess.

http://www.royalacademy.org.uk/exhibitions/byzantium/about/

No, but I really want to. Looks like some seriously impressive Jesus-bling.

Mr. Tea
13-11-2008, 01:36 PM
for some reason, I assumed Sheela Na gig were Norse when I saw them...unless there are Norse ones as well...?

Sheila-na-Gig is interesting, it seems to be one of those archetypal figures that juxtaposes regenerative powers with death and magic - a sort of sacred witch-mother - and has been linked to Kali in Hindu mythology.

polystyle desu
13-11-2008, 03:13 PM
Sheila-na-Gig is interesting, it seems to be one of those archetypal figures that juxtaposes regenerative powers with death and magic - a sort of sacred witch-mother - and has been linked to Kali in Hindu mythology.

Quite interesting, Sheila -na -Gig.
Parts of her back story and name sound and resound with Tibetan origin stories and names.
Deep roots alright ...

zhao
13-11-2008, 11:26 PM
just to add something shortly (so much work right now) that i meant to a few pages back:

of course i realize the very many different periods and types of Greek art, for instance the mosaics, the religious icon paintings, etc, some of which I'm very fond of, and don't mean to flat out diss all of it -- would be foolish to do so. with my harsh words only wanted to make a point... and was mainly on about those statues.

and the valid and good points made by Tea and Nomad (may be others that i have not read) Re: other conceptions of human's relation to the cosmos as expressed in visual art and their relation to fucked-upness in the world -- will address as well.

OK now i have to fight sleep and design design design design design

nomadthethird
14-11-2008, 05:42 AM
Anyone been to the Byzantium exhibition in London yet? I quite fancy it - got until March I guess.

http://www.royalacademy.org.uk/exhibitions/byzantium/about/

It's really weird that you mention this, I'd written a bunch of stuff about Byzantine art/architecture at the end of one of my posts upthread yesterday and decided to erase it because it was kind of rambling and off topic.

Add this to the Babylonian wall coincidence, and I think you've got what we religiously psychedelic folk call "vibing."

zhao
16-11-2008, 05:36 AM
found some fascinating stuff regarding ancient connections. after collecting the following excerpts i realized that they are from but 1 section of a work called "Polynesian Pathways By Peter Marsh". this chapter is "Ancient Americas", among other chapters with titles like "Ancient Asia". among other things it examine the criss crossing inter-connectedness of ancient cultures by following linquistic, genetic, and artistic strands, offering a vision of shared ancestry entirely mind boggling in its complexity.

so keep that in mind, and at the link at the end use aarows at bottom of page to navigate:


Archaeologists are just beginning to realize that to understand European prehistory, American prehistory must also be considered. The Solutreans of Spain are now believed to have crossed the Atlantic using the southern Equatorial current and entered the Caribbean and Central America between 18,000 and 12,000 years ago to become known as the Clovis hunters of America. Recent genetic findings suggest that the people now known as Gaelic speaking Celts (including Irish, Welsh, Scots, Basques and Berbers) are a remnant of a group of people who also left Spain between 1,8000 and 12,000 years ago and spent 6,000 years isolated from Europe before returning, bringing the Megalithic culture to coastal Europe.


Geneticist Prof Steve Jones, who recently published a book called Y - The Descent of Man, said:
"Genetics provided more reliable clues to the distant past than language did". He and colleagues at University College, London, have spent years creating a genetic map of the Y chromosome, which is passed by males from generation to generation.

James Wilson and Prof David Goldstein of University College London, with colleagues at Oxford University and the University of California, found that Welsh and Irishmen are genetic blood-brothers of the Basque people.

"Somehow these people have remained in isolation from the rest of Europe up until the Bronze age where their genes begin to indicate an influx of female genes from mainland Europe" said Prof Goldstein.

The other scenario is that these people were not living in Europe, but were in the Caribbean, the East Coast of America and on islands in the Atlantic."


Barry Fell, author of 'America B.C.' is an accomplished decipherer of ancient scripts and has managed to identify a great deal of Celtic, Phoenician, Iberian, Egyptian, Berber, Libyan and Viking scripts in America, indicating that a great deal of trade contact occurred during and after the Bronze Age, but ceasing around the time of the beginning of the Roman Empire. Apparently these great ocean navigators after the destruction of Carthage, decided to withhold all information on navigating to the Americas from the Romans and by the end of the Roman Empire and the onset of the dark ages, much was forgotten about trans Atlantic navigation and the Americas.

Barry Fell has identified Ogham script in America, Ireland, Spain and Africa that goes back to at least 800BC. Early Egyptian scripts were used by the Micmac of North America right up to the arrival of Missionaries. He also identifies many early style Celtic Megalithic monuments on the east coast of America, in particular New England, New Hampshire, Vermont and Woodstock, they take the form of Dolmens, Phallic menhir, Men-a-tol, massive stone Druid's chairs, megalithic chambers, Solstice and Equinox viewing chambers and burial mounds. These all parallel similar structures in Coastal Europe, especially on the Dingle peninsular, Brittany and some sites in Spain. As usual, this work has been ignored by the Eurocentric 'No one before Columbus' fraternity.

Although Barry Fell did not go further than assert that most Celtic connections occurred around the Bronze Age. He was not aware of the more ancient genetic connections the Celts had with the proto-American Indians. With further studies done, more accurate dating of the Dolmens and other megalithic monuments will possibly show that some American megaliths may actually predate the arrival of Celts on the Dingle peninsular in Ireland, indicating that the Caribbean and America was the original homeland of the Celts.

article places Atlantis somewhere in the middle of the Atlantic ocean, and as some kind of meeting point of ancient american and celtic cultures:


It is no coincidence that many Central American place names are also derived from the fabled city of Atlantis. Aztlan, Azatlan, Atlanta, Tlan, Tolan, Tulan, and Tenochtitlan are all linguistically similar.
...
This period of development, starting 7,590 B.C. is remembered in Aztec legends as the beginning of the Age of the Third Sun - “The Age of the Red Haired People. These people are most likely a reformed fragment, from the survivors of Atlantis.

These people were the survivors of the second age who had come by ship from the east to the New World, settling in the area he called Botonchan; they encountered there giants who also survived the second age, and became enslaved by them.

Not only did the Age of Red heads end in America and Begin in Europe at this time, but it also marks the massive genetic bottleneck in East Asia when the Thais, Tibetans, Tlingit, Haida and Hawaiians dispersed from the Taiwanese people.

Many people seem to think that Celts influenced American culture and ancient petroglyphs and megalithic monuments may seem to suggest this, but what one is seeing here is a dispersal of culture not to America, but from America.



excuse the hurried cut and paste editing job. tried to sum up key points. but time is running out, and there is still a part of this that i have not read, including things like this:


Other Civilizations around the time of Atlantis - 9,500 year old City Found Underwater off India.

According to the BBC's Tom Housden, reporting on the Cambay find:

The vast city which is five miles long and two miles wide. It is believed to predate the oldest known remains in the subcontinent by more than 5,000 years.

:D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D

the above are all from this chapter:

http://www.users.on.net/~mkfenn/page9.htm

here are all the chapters of the paper:

http://www.users.on.net/~mkfenn/index.html

nomadthethird
18-11-2008, 01:35 AM
The Y chromosome is so funny, it has so little variability. Men really are all the same. haha.

Agent Nucleus
19-11-2008, 07:54 AM
the quipu is really fascinating. it is a language system developed before cuneiform in peru. the language doesn't consist of visual signs or markings on a surface. It is based on colored knots of string that represent concepts and numbers. this was long before the mayan calendar system and all the crazy burroughs time-magic.

http://www.ceciliavicuna.org/images/quipu.jpg

this would be the equivalent of a sentence. i think all abstract art prior to the modern period was based on spiritual experience and/or hallucinations. Kandinsky codified it all (incorrectly) according to colors and shapes - i wouldn't say spirituality is entirely absent in modern art like Malevich for example.

polystyle desu
19-11-2008, 08:14 PM
Nice add Agent N ... cool

And then this kind of goes back to Zhao's ancient Iran - pre Iranians thread - onto the old Silk Road mixing grounds ...
The red haired mummies out West in China
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/19/world/asia/19mummy.html

waffle
19-11-2008, 11:27 PM
The Y chromosome is so funny, it has so little variability. Men really are all the same. haha.

That's what the 'Imitation Game', the Turing Test, is really all about: not only are men 'all the same', they're so all the symbolic-machinic same that even the symbolic sequences of a computer interface are equally acceptable, so much so that computer science and AI are desperate to realise this ultimate symbolic order. I've just been reading Zizek's take on this: the Turing Test was really about sexual difference (and including a startling reference to Adorno's analysis of sonic hauntology from 80 years ago):


We all know of Alan Turing’s famous “imitation game” which should serve as the test if a machine can think: we communicate with two computer interfaces, asking them any imaginable question; behind one of the interfaces, there is a human person typing the answers, while behind the other, it is a machine. If, based on the answers we get, we cannot tell the intelligent machine from the intelligent human, then, according to Turing, our failure proves that machines can think. What is a little bit less known is that in its first formulation, the issue was not to distinguish human from the machine, but man from woman, why this strange displacement from sexual difference to the difference between human and machine? Was this due to Turing’s simple eccentricity (recall his well-known troubles because of his homosexuality)? According to some interpreters, the point is to oppose the two experiments: a successful imitation of a woman’s responses by a man (or vice versa) would not prove anything, because the gender identity does not depend on the sequences of symbols, while a successful imitation of man by a machine would prove that this machine thinks, because “thinking” ultimately is the proper way of sequencing symbols… What if, however, the solution to this enigma is much more simple and radical? What if sexual difference is not simply a biological fact, but the Real of an antagonism that defines humanity, so that once sexual difference is abolished, a human being effectively becomes indistinguishable from a machine.

The further thing one should emphasize here is Turing’s blindness to the distinction between doing and saying: as many an interpreter has noticed, Turing simply had no sense for the properly SYMBOLIC domain of communication in sexuality, power politics, etc., in which language is used as a rhetorical device, with its referential meaning clearly subordinated to its performative dimension (of seduction, coercion, etc.). For Turing, there were ultimately only purely intellectual problems to be solved - in this sense, he was the ultimate “normal psychotic,” blinded for the sexual difference. The crucial intervention of the Turing test appears the moment we accept its basic dispositif, i.e. the loss of a stable embodiment, the disjunction between actually enacted and represented bodies: an irreducible gap is introduced between the “real” flesh-and-blood body behind the screen and its representation in the symbols that flicker on the computer screen. Such a disjunction is co-substantial with “humanity” itself: the moment a living being starts to speak, the medium of its speech (say, voice) is minimally disembodied, in the sense that it seems to originate not in the material reality of the body that we see, but in some invisible “inferiority” - a spoken word is always minimally the voice of a ventriloquist, a spectral dimension always reverberates in it. In short, one should claim that “humanity” as such ALWAYS-ALREADY WAS “posthuman” - therein resides the gist of Lacan’s thesis that the symbolic order is a parasitical machine which intrudes into and supplements a human being as its artificial prosthesis.

Of course, the standard feminist question to ask here is: is this erasure of the bodily attachment gender neutral, or is it secretly gendered, so that sexual difference does not concern only the actual enacted body behind the screen, but also the different relationship between the levels of representation and enactment? Is the masculine subject in its very notion disembodied, while the feminine subject maintains the umbilical cord to its embodiment? In “The Curves of the Needle,” a short essay on gramophone from 1928. [16] Adorno notes the fundamental paradox of recording: the more the machine makes its presence known (through obtrusive noises, its clumsiness and interruptions), the stronger the experience of the actual presence of the singer - or, to put it the other way round, the more perfect the recording, the more faithfully the machine reproduces a human voice, the more humanity is removed, the stronger the effect that we are dealing with something “inauthentic”. [17] This perception is to be linked to Adorno’s famous “antifeminist” remark according to which a woman’s voice cannot be properly recorded, since it demands the presence of her body, in contrast to a man’s voice which can exert its full power as disembodied - do we not encounter here a clear case of the ideological notion of sexual difference in which man is a disembodied Spirit-Subject, while woman remains anchored in her body? However, these statements are to be read against the background of Adorno’s notion of feminine hysteria as the protest of subjectivity against reification: the hysterical subject is essentially in-between, no longer fully identified to her body, not yet ready to assume the position of the disembodied speaker (or, with regard to mechanical reproduction: no longer the direct presence of the “living voice,” not yet its perfect mechanical reproduction). Subjectivity is not the immediate living self-presence we attain when we shed away the distorting mechanical reproduction; it is rather that remainder of “authenticity” whose traces we can discern in an imperfect mechanical reproduction. In short, the subject is something that “will have been” in its imperfect representation. Adorno’s thesis that a woman’s voice cannot be properly recorded, since it demands the presence of her body, thus effectively asserts feminine hysteria (and not the disembodied male voice) as the original dimension of subjectivity: in woman’s voice, the painful process of disembodiment continues to reverberate, its traces are not yet obliterated. In Kierkegaard’s terms, sexual difference is the difference between “being” and “becoming”: man and woman are both disembodied; however, while a man directly assumes disembodiment as an achieved state, feminine subjectivity stands for the disembodiment “in becoming.”

From Masturbation, or Sexuality in the Atonal World (http://www.lacan.com/symptom/?page_id=247)

Post-production: forgot to add some audio-visual clarification of the concluding paragraph above: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oddg6dCB7FE

Mr. Tea
19-11-2008, 11:53 PM
That's what the 'Imitation Game', the Turing Test, is really all about: not only are men 'all the same', they're so all the symbolic-machinic same that even the symbolic sequences of a computer interface are equally acceptable, so much so that computer science and AI are desperate to realise this ultimate symbolic order. I've just been reading Zizek's take on this: the Turing Test was really about sexual difference (and including a startling reference to Adorno's analysis of sonic hauntology from 80 years ago):

Oh, but of course: and Shannon's Source Coding Theorem is actually a sublimated Oedipal complex, and Goedel's Incompleteness Theorem is a really about castration anxiety, and the Axiom of Choice is an incredibly subtle critique of consumerism, and, and.....

jambo
20-11-2008, 12:29 AM
Somewhere in a room there is a Chinese speaking person using an elaborate system of punch cards in an attempt to determine if the previous post was composed by a human Mr. Tea, a Ms. Tea or a computer manipulating symbols in a suitably convincing Tea-esque mode, and whether any of these constitute actual intelligence or not. ;)

Mr. Tea
20-11-2008, 01:12 AM
Bah, lumbled! :(

nomadthethird
20-11-2008, 06:02 AM
Very cool, Agent. (I like your blog, btw).


That's what the 'Imitation Game', the Turing Test, is really all about: not only are men 'all the same', they're so all the symbolic-machinic same that even the symbolic sequences of a computer interface are equally acceptable, so much so that computer science and AI are desperate to realise this ultimate symbolic order. I've just been reading Zizek's take on this: the Turing Test was really about sexual difference (and including a startling reference to Adorno's analysis of sonic hauntology from 80 years ago):



Post-production: forgot to add some audio-visual clarification of the concluding paragraph above: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oddg6dCB7FE

When I took cog sci, I paid someone else to make my turing machine. :(

Did Zizek churn out a book about this or is the internet to only place to look for this stuff?

P.S. I'm reminded that I should probably read some Houellebecq

nomadthethird
20-11-2008, 06:12 AM
In short, one should claim that “humanity” as such ALWAYS-ALREADY WAS “posthuman” - therein resides the gist of Lacan’s thesis that the symbolic order is a parasitical machine which intrudes into and supplements a human being as its artificial prothesis.


How long have I been waiting to read this sentence?

<3 Zizek

nomadthethird
20-11-2008, 06:18 AM
my limbic system is confused, it can't decide whether i love or hate Zizek for being so goddamn smart and articulate :confused:

Agent Nucleus
22-11-2008, 08:19 AM
Very cool, Agent. (I like your blog, btw).



When I took cog sci, I paid someone else to make my turing machine. :(

Did Zizek churn out a book about this or is the internet to only place to look for this stuff?

P.S. I'm reminded that I should probably read some Houellebecq

Thanks nomad, always enjoyed your posts. Zizek talks about the Turing test in The Parallax View - it seemed like he came to all kinds of contradictory conclusions. There's a section on cognitive psychology (Varela, memes, evolutionary psych). I tend to lean toward the idea that we're made up of independent, self-contained sub-units in the mind. I had a discussion a few years ago with Howard Bloom about this - we decided the brain is like a crowded room where everyone is competing for attention: conflicting memes, values, drives, desires (in the lacanian sense of orbiting around a lack or absence). I think all the rules of a network would have to apply to the brain, so you would have connectedness, the six-degree phenomenon, emergence, complexity, closed-systems, feedback loops, etc. From an abstract/modeling perspective i guess you can map out cogntion but not its full range of causes and affects/effects. To me AI would be like consciousness without reference to time or causality - maybe something like dreaming.

waffle
22-11-2008, 08:17 PM
Oh, but of course: and Shannon's Source Coding Theorem is actually a sublimated Oedipal complex, and Goedel's Incompleteness Theorem is a really about castration anxiety, and the Axiom of Choice is an incredibly subtle critique of consumerism, and, and.....

Oh, yes of course. Have you actually ever read anything by Alan Turing? (Or Freud for that matter?) Or the article in which his game was first formulated?

The very first sentence in Turing's paper from 1950, Computing Machinery and Intelligence, is "I propose to consider the question, 'Can Machines Think?', a question which he then proceeds to technically reformulate into a series of subordinate questions that result from the playing of a rarefied game of illusion in clinically controlled laboratory conditions.

First the initial formulation of the game: "The new form of the problem can be described in terms of a game which we call the "imitation game." It is played with three people, a man (A), a woman (B), and an interrogator (C) who may be of either sex. The interrogator stays in a room apart from the other two. The object of the game for the interrogator is to determine which of the other two is the man and which is the woman. He knows them by labels X and Y, and at the end of the game he says either "X is A and Y is B" or "X is B and Y is A." ... The ideal arrangement is to have a teleprinter communicating between the two rooms ... It is A's object in the game to try to cause C to make the wrong identification ... The object of the game for the third player (B) is to help the interrogator. "

Zizek, therefore, is quite correct to state, as previously quoted, that Turing's original 'imitation game' was concerned with sexual difference, and then further, that of comparing the symbolic output of computing machinery with the 'intellectual capacities' of a man:

The reformulated test: "We now ask the question, "What will happen when a machine takes the part of A in this game?" Will the interrogator decide wrongly as often as when the game is played like this as he does when the game is played between a man and a woman? These questions replace our original, "Can Machines Think?" ... The new problem has the advantage of drawing a fairly sharp line between the physical and the intellectual capacities of a man."

-----Quoted from Alan Turing, Computing Machinery and Intelligence, Mind, Vol. LIX, No. 236, (1950).

waffle
22-11-2008, 08:38 PM
To me AI would be like consciousness without reference to time or causality - maybe something like dreaming.

That's the ... unconscious, the real, that which eludes formalization. And the existence of which is denied by (at least by 'hard') AI researchers.

Agent Nucleus
25-11-2008, 11:03 AM
That's the ... unconscious, the real, that which eludes formalization. And the existence of which is denied by (at least by 'hard') AI researchers.

i've studied a bit of Lacan and I like the analogy. In Seminar XI I think Lacan says something to the effect of "the real of the unconscious is sexual reality"... which would certainly be denied by most AI researchers. But i'm not sure if by reality here he means the real (that which eludes represenation) or reality (by his definition: a montage of words and images). One thing i was never clear on: is the unconscious Symbolic, Imaginary, or Real? It seems like a fundamental problem but i'm not sure if (or where) Lacan addresses it.

Slothrop
06-01-2009, 02:00 PM
Kind of relevant to the OP, a vaguely middlebrow BBC prog about medieval Islamic science. It's interesting in that it provides some light historical context and talks about why the Islamic empire was able to do so much cool stuff - primarily because it provided a language of scholarship across half the world, allowing for exchange of ideas between scientists and philosophers from traditions from india to greece - as well as just telling us yet again about the origins of the words 'algorithm' and 'algebra.'

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00gksx4

Mr. Tea
06-01-2009, 02:06 PM
Yeah, I saw that last night. The thing that stuck with me the most was the sense of what an amazing place Baghdad must been a thousand years ago, and even as recently as the 1960s. Very sad.

polystyle desu
12-01-2009, 07:19 PM
found some fascinating stuff regarding ancient connections. after collecting the following excerpts i realized that they are from but 1 section of a work called "Polynesian Pathways By Peter Marsh". this chapter is "Ancient Americas", among other chapters with titles like "Ancient Asia". among other things it examine the criss crossing inter-connectedness of ancient cultures by following linquistic, genetic, and artistic strands, offering a vision of shared ancestry entirely mind boggling in its complexity.

so keep that in mind, and at the link at the end use aarows at bottom of page to navigate:







article places Atlantis somewhere in the middle of the Atlantic ocean, and as some kind of meeting point of ancient american and celtic cultures:


[/B]


excuse the hurried cut and paste editing job. tried to sum up key points. but time is running out, and there is still a part of this that i have not read, including things like this:



:D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D

the above are all from this chapter:

http://www.users.on.net/~mkfenn/page9.htm

here are all the chapters of the paper:

http://www.users.on.net/~mkfenn/index.html

Just rereading this post and links Zhao
Interesting turn of things - they came from N America - not from Europe to N America.

Atlantis Atlantis where were you ?
Seems to be too many old stories , accounts for it not to have existed ...

Isnt' there also a 'Galician' connection - people from Ukraine / Carpathians who went South to live in Spain ?

PBS just ran the new series on India with first program on origins.
People who became known as Aryans went East from around old Persia
and who they had to move because their land dried out and made their way through the Fertile crescent into India

I am still curious about the Sogdians also from Iran region who traded and lived along old trade route between Asia and Europe in Khotan in W China early on

Shamballa / Shangrila / Shaoshyans from Zoraster another whole story

Always curious as to how much has been forgotten,
didn't make to any form of text , got erased
- overwritten

zhao
25-03-2009, 01:43 PM
found many amazing threads on the Assata Shakur forum containing a HUGE wealth of information, in the form of e-books, audio books, and videos, on topics such as those addressed here.

the 3 volumes of Black Athena can be found and downloaded on this page (http://www.assatashakur.org/forum/uhuru-links/31550-shameless-plug.html)

and Afro-centricity Debate - Dr. Clarke & Professor Martin Bernal debate professor Mary Leftkowitz and Professor Guy Rogers. Mid 90's, Topic of discussion and debate is the book 'Black Athena' written by Professor Bernal. Split into 5 parts: Part 1 (http://www.megaupload.com/?d=2Q83ZQS1) part 2 (http://www.megaupload.com/?d=LXPS0YAG) Part 3 (http://www.megaupload.com/?d=MP8VWQMP) Part 4 (http://www.megaupload.com/?d=VSJB2XO7) Part 5 (http://www.megaupload.com/?d=OAKLH2R7)

many others on this page (http://www.assatashakur.org/forum/open-forum/27966-free-black-history-e-books-more.html), such as:

- Donlald A. Mackenzie - Ancient Man in Britain
- E.O. James - The Ancient Gods
- Acharya S. - The Christ Conspiracy - The Greatest Story Ever Sold
- Another Jesus
- Christianity's Greatest Controversy
- Herman L. Hoeh - Compedium of World History vol.1 & 2
- Forbidden History of Europe
- Prof. Hilton Hotema - Mystery Man of The Bible
- The True History of Christianity
- Micheal Cremo - Hidden History of the Human Race
- The first 2500 Years of Human History (contains some lies but still interesting)

Also fascinating videos and interviews with scholars on topics such as the Dogon Cosmology. for instance the following for download on this page (http://www.assatashakur.org/forum/conscious-music-artists-news-views/25430-knowledge-power-audio-video-info-drops-drop-em-here-11.html):

Magical Egypt - 8 Episodes Plus Extras

Episode 1: The Invisible Science
A growing body of evidence us suggesting a missing chapter in human history. Symbolist author and Egyptologist John Anthony West explores evidence of a sophisticated science behind the unexplainable accomplishments of Ancient Egypt. Was Ancient Egypt the inheritor of a body of scientific and spiritual knowledge from an even earlier civilization? Author / Mathematician Michael S Schneider discusses organic geometry and the role of the Fibonacci number series in growing life. West then demonstrates the presence of the Fibonacci series in the stages of construction of the temple of Karnak, also known as the "House of Life".

polystyle desu
05-05-2009, 04:36 PM
Click languages in Africa ...
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/01/science/01eden.html?scp=4&sq=&st=nyt

Mr. Tea
06-05-2009, 01:56 AM
Click languages in Africa ...
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/01/science/01eden.html?scp=4&sq=&st=nyt

Thanks for that PD, I love all this kind of stuff. Damn, I'd have made a much better anthropologist than physicist. :(

Anyway this stuff reminds of some things I read recently about work by Stephen Oppenheimer based mainly on genetic analysis, though he also uses language, which suggests that everyone in the world outside Africa is descended from a group of perhaps just a few hundred individuals who left East Africa at some point in the distant past and went on to colonise the whole of the rest of the planet - thus explaining the relative paucity of genetic variation outside the continent.

He also reckons today's Brits are descended mainly from neolithic people from Iberia, and that the idea that we're (they're) all derived from Celts, Vikings etc. is largely untrue. Fascinating stuff (to me).

zhao
06-05-2009, 06:45 AM
thanks polystyle!


I'd have made a much better anthropologist than physicist. :(

i also sometimes think what if i had gone into this field instead of art...
but we can get into it anytime we like... not on professional level at first...



He also reckons today's Brits are descended mainly from neolithic people from Iberia, and that the idea that we're (they're) all derived from Celts, Vikings etc. is largely untrue.

this in keeping with the overturning, by Bernal and others, of the 19th century revisions of early history.

polystyle desu
06-05-2009, 03:42 PM
Probably more turning of soil to go ... digging deeper ...
Who has been overwritten ?

zhao
07-05-2009, 03:29 PM
Who has been overwritten ?

not sure exactly what you are asking about but if it is the 19th Century revisions of ancient history, which saw the Ancient Model suppressed by the Aryan Model, the one man mostly responsible was Karl Otfried Muller, a historian "adamantly opposed to recognizing any specific borrowings from the East".

are you reading these books? is anyone besides me?

and just found a review of a book by one of his loudest detractors by Bernal:

http://bmcr.brynmawr.edu/1996/96.04.05.html

polystyle desu
07-05-2009, 04:58 PM
I simply point to everything that has been overwritten , over time;
civilizations, languages and techniques learned so long ago as to appear alien to us 21st century goers.
There just seems to be a rather large gap between what's really 'known' and what's been lost.
Obviously some things are still a 'mystery',
but it seems almost all stories have at least some little grain of basis to being with .
Anyway, human animals -with all our flaws and cycles of often self created problems ,
still like to travel long distances to see the oldest , most ancient ruins - those deeper roots.

polystyle desu
14-05-2009, 02:42 AM
They are finding older art...
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/14/science/14venus.html?ref=global-home

luka
14-05-2009, 08:41 AM
its never been disputed that the iberians were in britain and are part of our genetic inheritance. its textbook stuff.

Mr. Tea
14-05-2009, 09:41 AM
Recent textbooks, maybe. The more traditional view has been that of succeeding waves of invaders killing off or displacing previous inhabitants, hasn't it? And I think Oppenheimer is the first person to show that Britain's DNA isn't just "in part" Iberian but mostly-to-almost-entirely (as you go from East Anglia to Cornwall/Wales/W. coast of Ireland) Iberian.

luka
14-05-2009, 09:44 AM
i first read it in trevelyan, not terribly recent in other words.

zhao
14-05-2009, 10:02 AM
its never been disputed that the iberians were in britain and are part of our genetic inheritance. its textbook stuff.

to someone who has looked deeper in to these things, such as yourself, maybe.

i come from generations of higher learning. and it is my parent's belief, and also mine until i encountered Black Athena and others recrently, that Classic Greek culture was inherently European, and of European origins.

and this is clearly still the belief held by most. just look at the majority of historians in the world attacking Black Athena since it came out. just look at the comments for the book on Amazon.

just yesterday at the Russian shop next door, where i was purchasing some frozen dumplings:

me: yeah i know how to cook them as they are almost exactly the same as dumplings in China.
shop woman: oh? it all comes from Italy like Pasta.
me: um.... no...

zhao
14-05-2009, 10:12 AM
They are finding older art...
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/14/science/14venus.html?ref=global-home

everything just keep getting pushed further and further back, and we keep discovering that our past is ever older than we previously thought.

remember this thread (http://dissensus.com/showthread.php?t=7498&highlight=excavations)? i don't know what is going on with that site... but probably will just have to wait for the official paper to come out and read about it in the NY Times just like everyone else.


we have been thinking all along that Sumer was the first civilization, but this is beginning to be clearly false as excavations have been going on in recent years, and is still continuing, in present day Turkey, Iraq, etc., which is uncovering a previous civilization which pushes everything back another 5000 years at least.

giant stone pillars up to 20 meters tall which were used as part of temples to which people came from hundreds of kilometers to worship are being unearthed, and the date of their construction is said to be somewhere around 10,000 BC. (5000 years before the Sumerians in Mesopotamia).

this was related to me by a friend keen on such matters over some bad sushi saturday night, and has been on my mind ever since. i've been doing a bit of googling but i think none to very little information is available at this point as the excavations are still under way.

in archaeology circles it is certainly the norm for dates to be pushed back and back time and again as new discoveries surface, and people have been conjecturing about this for sometime, but I was still very much surprised to hear of it -- even though it does make sense somehow.

Mr. Tea
14-05-2009, 10:20 AM
just yesterday at the Russian shop next door, where i was purchasing some frozen dumplings:

me: yeah i know how to cook them as they are almost exactly the same as dumplings in China.
shop woman: oh? it all comes from Italy like Pasta.
me: um.... no...

Ooh, I bet that pissed you right off. I imagine I'd be the same if I heard someone calling Marmite a "British version of Vegemite" or something similarly outrageous. :mad:

zhao
14-05-2009, 10:33 AM
well not as much pissed me off as just another glaring example of the brainwashedness of world populations by revisionist history reflecting Eurocentric ideology since the 1800s...

Lichen
14-05-2009, 11:21 AM
I was taught from an early age that Marco Polo took the idea of noodles back to Italy from China; thus pasta.

My brain obviously escaped washing.

zhao
14-05-2009, 11:23 AM
My brain obviously escaped washing.

and we all appreciate your dirty durtee nasty filthy mind Lichen :)

what about classical greek civilization? from your education do you have a picture of it largely deriving from older African and Semitic civilizations, or mostly white european?

Lichen
14-05-2009, 02:36 PM
Interesting...the impression I have of Greek civilisation (maybe from my education, maybe from my lack of it) is that is that it represents the beginning of European civilisation, rather than a staging post between older African or Semitic civilisations and modern European civilisation.

The "Alpha", if you like.

zhao
14-05-2009, 02:54 PM
it represents the beginning of European civilisation, rather than a staging post between older African or Semitic civilisations and modern European civilisation.


i don't think anyone disputes Greece being the "cradle", "fount", "beginning" of "western civlization". the point is its relationship to Egypt and Semetic tribes being systematically and almost completely denied by Eurocentric and Racist historians since the 1800s. a relationship much like the one of Japan to China: there were innovations, yes, but as a whole the young culture is largely derivative of, indebted to, and massively influenced by the older civlizations.

Slothrop
14-05-2009, 03:18 PM
About the only actual history I've really read on the origins of greek culture is a not-particularly-radical history of greek science from some time in the late 50s / early sixities. And iirc that talks about greek science as an extension of phonecian and egyptian science without suggesting that this statement is anything controversial.

I've always pretty much assumed that what you're saying was the case, tbh, and if I've ever heard anyone else talking about it I'd assume that that's what they must have said. Where else was greek culture supposed to have come from? Random celts in forests? If the african / semetic roots are being so comprehensively, er, whitewashed, why can't I even think of anyone having told me an alternative explanation?

luka
15-05-2009, 07:56 AM
youre right slothrop, zhao is overstating the case dramatically. virtually all mainstream textbooks acknowledge the role of egpyt/mesopotania etc.
read the mainstream stuff as well as the radical bits is my suggestion. you'll have a more rounded view.

zhao
15-05-2009, 09:38 AM
zhao is overstating the case dramatically.

regardless of what text books you read at the schools you went to, the image of Classical Greek culture in the popular imagination, the idea of Greece held by the general population, is ABSOLUTELY a white and european one, of european origins, and not having much if anything to do with Africa or Asia.

if anyone did a poll on the streets of the city where they live, and asked: did Greek culture come from Africa? much more than half will say "no". probably 80&#37; and above. (a lot of people don't even think Egyptians were black!)

your denying of the existence of a world view shaped by systematic, pandemic racism is problematic and suspect.

luka
15-05-2009, 09:53 AM
dont be a div all your life.
breathe slow. read what i wrote. don't throw accusations of racism around.
you never bother looking into anything in any depth. you're a magpie. you snatch at whatevers shiny.

luka
15-05-2009, 09:54 AM
i read black athena when i was 16. its a fascinating book.
and you're just zhao being zhao i suppose. i too will breathe deep.

zhao
15-05-2009, 11:09 AM
i read black athena when i was 16. its a fascinating book.

like i have been saying, you are a thoughtful, curious person of above average education (whether by schooling or on your own), and do not represent the general public.


the image of Classical Greek culture in the popular imagination, the idea of Greece held by the general population, is ABSOLUTELY a white and european one, of european origins, and not having much if anything to do with Africa or Asia.

if anyone did a poll on the streets of the city where they live, and asked: did Greek culture come from Africa? much more than half will say "no". probably 80% and above. (a lot of people don't even think Egyptians were black!)

do you disagree with this assessment?

STN
15-05-2009, 11:41 AM
and we all appreciate your dirty durtee nasty filthy mind Lichen :)

what about classical greek civilization? from your education do you have a picture of it largely deriving from older African and Semitic civilizations, or mostly white european?

What white European culture is it ever purported to have emerged from? Etruscans (I don't believe so; they are always presented as unpleasant forbears of the Romans).

zhao
15-05-2009, 12:35 PM
What white European culture is it ever purported to have emerged from? Etruscans (I don't believe so; they are always presented as unpleasant forbears of the Romans).

the 19th century historians who overturned the "Ancient Model" attributed the birth of Greece largely to "invading tribes from the north".

Mr. Tea
15-05-2009, 02:16 PM
(a lot of people don't even think Egyptians were black!)


Well they weren't - not compared to blacks from sub-Saharan Africa, anyway. They were brown-skinned like modern Egyptians are: fairer than southern Africans, darker than Europeans or Mesopotamians.

In fact Egyptians are often depicted in their own tomb paintings and so on as looking quite different from, say, Nubians:

http://www.catchpenny.org/images/seti1a.gif

A Libyan, Nubian, Syrian and Egyptian, respectively.

In any case, the notion of distinct, discrete races has been discarded, hasn't it? Egyptians, then as now, are intermediate in appearance between black Africans and light-skinned Semetic people. There's no reason they have to belong exclusively to one group rather than the other.

Clearly they didn't (and don't) look much like Elizabeth Taylor, however. ;)

zhao
15-05-2009, 04:59 PM
that sounds ok

zhao
15-05-2009, 05:11 PM
so Luka, if you do not disagree with this:


the image of Classical Greek culture in the popular imagination, the idea of Greece held by the general population, is ABSOLUTELY a white and european one, of european origins, and not having much if anything to do with Africa or Asia.

if anyone did a poll on the streets of the city where they live, and asked: did Greek culture come from Africa? much more than half will say "no". probably 80% and above.

then i was not "overstating the case dramatically".

and you should both recognize this as well as explain your motive in accusing me of exaggeration.

luka
16-05-2009, 01:49 AM
why are you trying to ascribe sinister motives to me?
i don't understand.
i was pointing out that we live in the 21st century, not the 19th. the things you are saying are not as controversial as you are making out. a lot of it is accepted, mainstream history. that is all. although it does remind me of the book i was browsing in this morning, (and thoroughly enjoying)
ATLANTIS
by ignatius donnely
plenty of dodgy racial stuff in there though

luka
16-05-2009, 01:51 AM
as to the general public, well, who knows if they even exist.
that strikes me as a crude attempt to change the parameters of the argument.

zhao
16-05-2009, 07:32 AM
why are you trying to ascribe sinister motives to me?
i don't understand.

not an attempt to ascribe, rather to understand, because i am confused as to why someone would willfully and dramatically downplay clearly ubiquitous and commonly accepted world views propagated by racist ideology.


i was pointing out that we live in the 21st century, not the 19th.

you think what we believe in the 21st can not be massively influenced, or indeed still largely based on, thinking which went on and things which took place in the 19th? especially when these thoughts and things include fundamental historical revision and sweeping academic and educational reform?

if you do you are wrong. in many respects, philosophically, politically, even scientifically, the origins of a lot of our "modern" commonly accepted beliefs can be traced to the 19th century and earlier and much earlier.

it often takes a loooooooooooong ass time for scholarly findings to reverse popular beliefs.


the things you are saying are not as controversial as you are making out. a lot of it is accepted, mainstream history. that is all.

^^^ and you are making false statements grossly distorting reality. that is all.

go outside. ask the first 10 people you meet on the street: "did Greek culture mostly come from Africa?" and see what kind of answers you get.

do it.

what most people might agree on is "some influence", but not the mother-child relationship between the Egypt and Greece.

just look at the 2.5 (http://www.amazon.com/Black-Athena-Afroasiatic-Civilization-Fabrication/dp/0813512778/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1242459757&sr=1-1) and 2 stars (http://www.amazon.com/Black-Athena-Afroasiatic-Civilization-Archaeological/dp/081351584X/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1242459757&sr=1-2) out of 5 and the comments that the first 2 volumes of Black Athena gets on Amazon.

and not only the "general population", even in academic specialist circles, look at the vehement attacks on Black Athena from reputable scholars since it came out.

"accepted, mainstream history"? not even close.

luka
16-05-2009, 11:34 AM
cant be bothered with standard zhao preening

zhao
16-05-2009, 12:02 PM
cant be bothered with standard zhao preening

if you can't defend your own statements why do you make them?

you said i "dramatically overstate", and now that i have put up a proper argument for that not being the case, you are just going to cowardly refuse to engage, with personal attacks on my character?

what the fuck luka? why are you acting like this when we both know you are capable of better?

luka
16-05-2009, 12:10 PM
i've said all i had to say and you have willfully misinterpreted as being, presumably, a personal attack. i fail to see how repeating myself ad nauseum is going to do anyone any good.
incidently if i walk onto the street and ask the first 100 people i meet about the origins of greek culture, at least 50 of them will be chinese or aborigine and will say, what the fuck are you talking about luke you fucking weirdo.

zhao
16-05-2009, 02:29 PM
i've said all i had to say ... i fail to see how repeating myself ad nauseum is going to do anyone any good.

the very little you have said in this thread is wrong, and you can not back it up. if you think that's enough i guess it's enough!


cant be bothered with standard zhao preening


you have willfully misinterpreted as being, presumably, a personal attack.

i did see "standard zhao preening" as a remark about my personal character. how should i have interpreted it? as stream of consciousness cut-up dream poetry?

luka
17-05-2009, 02:49 AM
hahah yeah i know i shouldn't get on my high horse, it doesn't suit me. i love making personal attacks, im not in the debating society. i don't care about those rules.

we don't disagree anyway.
what claim do you think i am making?
make it again for me in a single sentence.

craner
17-05-2009, 02:58 AM
you think what we believe in the 21st can not be massively influenced, or indeed still largely based on, thinking which went on and things which took place in the 19th? especially when these thoughts and things include fundamental historical revision and sweeping academic and educational reform?


Fantastic, Zhao is a Straussian!

luka
17-05-2009, 03:22 AM
one of the curious things about dissensus for me is that i only clash with people i agree with. like droid, i agree with everything he says, i even love the same music he loves, but he keeps winding me up and i am forced to insult him.
you too zhao, most of that hippy shit you spout, i beleive that too.
but mr tea, i despise everything he stands for, i loathe everything he likes, but he's amiable enough spouting his bad puns, and i never want to fight with him.
craner is diffrent. he is what we professionals call a scitzoid personality. he doesn't beleive anyrthing he says, his social self is completly divorced from his true self and the two are not even on speaking terms anymore. eh craner!

craner
17-05-2009, 03:46 AM
Luka is the most amazing example of a rampant and roaming passive aggressive maniac I know, so I guess, what I am saying is, yes, I agree, Luke.

craner
17-05-2009, 03:49 AM
What's great about Dissensus, though, is that you meet people more insane than you, like Zhao and Nomad. Of course, I am in love with Nomad, so that's a whole seperate issue. But it helps. With day to day life things. Like buying milk.

craner
17-05-2009, 03:50 AM
I just got beer in my eye, which hurt.

nomadthethird
17-05-2009, 04:36 AM
Luka is the most amazing example of a rampant and roaming passive aggressive maniac I know

You haven't met my mother yet, then.

Mr. Tea
17-05-2009, 04:45 AM
but mr tea, i despise everything he stands for, i loathe everything he likes, but he's amiable enough spouting his bad puns, and i never want to fight with him.


:)

Mr. Tea
17-05-2009, 04:51 AM
I just got beer in my eye, which hurt.

Durr, spaz.

zhao
17-05-2009, 11:31 AM
well thread has gone all meta in a sarcastically self reflective, casual confessional, warm and fuzzy but sprinkled with sublimated spite kinda way, so i'm not sure if the point is worth making anymore but it might be



what claim do you think i am making?
make it again for me in a single sentence.

that the massive influence the Egyptian and Semitic civilizations had on Greece, their relationship being akin to that of parents to child, is "commonly accepted mainstream text book stuff".

which i disgree with.

Mr. Tea
18-05-2009, 12:14 AM
Your inbox is full, Luka.

luka
18-05-2009, 10:14 AM
heronbone@gmail.com

Slothrop
18-05-2009, 10:15 AM
To switch position a bit and back Zhao up, I think the common myth about the classical greeks isn't that they drew on previous European civilizations rather than previous african civilizations so much as that they sat down in a world of uncivilized savages and created art, architecture, drama, science, philosophy, government etc etc etc pretty much from the ground up. The Egyptians were ancient people who left monuments, the greeks were modern people who left plays.

Obviously the extent to which this is true is rather debatable, although given that we can barely decide whether Funky is doing anything new or just rehashing older stuff despite the fact that it's happening under our noses, a consensus seems unlikely. Pretty much any 'child culture' can be seen as an obvious continuation of the parent if you look at it from one angle and a radical rupture from another angle and trying to quantify which angle is being comparatively overstated is pretty hairy.

Also, I thought the above had been under fire pretty much since Nietzsche anyway...

zhao
18-05-2009, 10:46 AM
I think the common myth about the classical greeks isn't that they drew on previous European civilizations rather than previous african civilizations so much as that they sat down in a world of uncivilized savages and created art, architecture, drama, science, philosophy, government etc etc etc pretty much from the ground up. The Egyptians were ancient people who left monuments, the greeks were modern people who left plays.

quite right. the greeks being originators who built the foundation of "western civilization" by themselves is probably the main false belief. which also propagates the fictional deivide of "east" and "west", being separate entities, having intrinsic, fundamental, and irreconcilable differences.


Obviously the extent to which this is true is rather debatable, although given that we can barely decide whether Funky is doing anything new or just rehashing older stuff despite the fact that it's happening under our noses, a consensus seems unlikely. Pretty much any 'child culture' can be seen as an obvious continuation of the parent if you look at it from one angle and a radical rupture from another angle and trying to quantify which angle is being comparatively overstated is pretty hairy.

i think this is bordering dangerously to the kind of historical relativism that i absolutely do not endorse -- "no one can be sure what happened so there is no such thing as truth and it's a waste of time worrying about it".

1: sure there are different versions of any story, some of which become dominant, and others are suppressed. it is of course important to examine the competition of these narratives, and the causes for their rise/fall.

2. as Bernal says, with ancient history there is (almost) no such thing as "proof". but convincing models of truth can be constructed from substantial plausibility. the biggest one in this case is the birth of european culture not taking place in Germany or the Alps, but in the southern and eastern most part of europe, a place closest to Africa and Asia. so it is very much likely that the older civilizations played crucial roles in the birth of the younger one. (and of course the linguistic roots, religious history, technology trading hands, the dissemination of philosophical thought -- all of these things can be examined, and together they can form a pretty damn good picture)

Slothrop
18-05-2009, 12:24 PM
It's more that concepts like "the birth of european culture" are horribly fuzzily defined. You can trace certain continuities and identify particular innovations (and the tracing of continuities seems like it was heavily underrepresented for quite a long time) but debating whether there were "more innovations than continuities" or vice versa and hence whether they "invented european culture" or "adapted egyptian culture" seems unlikely to get anywhere.

zhao
18-05-2009, 03:07 PM
the tracing of continuities seems like it was heavily underrepresented for quite a long time

those continuities between Egypt and Greece were very well documented by Greek historians, and very well represented all through out history -- until the 19th century, when a rupture in this representation occured; when scholars, acting in accordance to the "racial science" of the time, denied this continuity, the massive influence of ancient blacks and jews on European culture, and installed their own eurocentric version of the birth of Greece.


but debating whether there were "more innovations than continuities" or vice versa and hence whether they "invented european culture" or "adapted egyptian culture" seems unlikely to get anywhere.

this debate in this case, and certainly the work of scholars like Bernal in examining this area, have been very much fruitful. Bernal makes an excellent case in showing the names of many central Greek gods and cities having been directly borrowed from Egyptian; etymological evidence which establishes something like 30% of Greek vocabulary having come from Egypt, 30% from Semitic Culture; accounts of Plato traveling to Egypt to study in its libraries and the continuity of philosophical inquiry; and continuities in other fields such as astronomy, science, medicine, etc, etc, etc.

and from all this a very good model of ancient history is constructed, what Bernal calls the "revised Ancient Model", which should replace the Aryan model (invented in the 1800s). and most in the academic world have been against his claims.

polystyle desu
18-05-2009, 06:59 PM
Besides the ancient 'Venus' news posted a few pages bk,
here's another case of timelines being examined, possibly to be rolled back -
or in this case -a place found in the gamut of 'names' and 'boxes' of present day humankind ... :slanted:
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/16/science/16fossil.html?_r=1&ref=science

Mr. Tea
18-05-2009, 07:13 PM
the biggest one in this case is the birth of european culture not taking place in Germany or the Alps, but in the southern and eastern most part of europe, a place closest to Africa and Asia. so it is very much likely that the older civilizations played crucial roles in the birth of the younger one.

But this is just crazy - the bit I've highlighted, I mean. Such a notion (viz. that European culture began north of the Alps) may have been prevalent in the 19th century, but I've never heard of it outside of discussions of the dubious (in fact downright fabricated) historiography of romantic nationalism. Mainly in this thread, come to think of it. It was certainly consigned to the dustbin by the time I was in school, anyway, and probably a good generation or two before that. If anything, the impressions I remember of history lessons or textbooks on 'the cradle of civilisation' are at pains to place it in the regions where agriculture, metalwork, pottery and writing began (at least, as far as the Old World is concerned), namely in the valleys of the Nile and the Indus and above all Mesopotamia. Not even in Greece, in other words - let alone Germany!

Edit: the crux of the matter is that no-one is substantially disagreeing with your claim that scholarly Euro-American views that were once prevalent on this subject were a load of old racially-motivated rubbish: it's just that such views have been considered obsolete for a long time now so to a large extent you're attacking a straw man. Slothrop has been saying this for most of the thread (ed: and luka) but you've studiously ignored him.

Edit edit: that's not to say that the peoples native to the north and west of ancient Europe didn't have rich and fascinating cultures themselves, just that they (obviously) didn't contribute much, if anything, to classical Helenic culture.

luka
19-05-2009, 01:20 AM
and i've been saying it too!
read someone other than Bernal for crying out loud!

luka
19-05-2009, 01:21 AM
sit in on some lectures at a university or something.

Mr. Tea
19-05-2009, 01:29 AM
sit in on some lectures at a university or something.

What, and end up all brainwashed and indoctrinated like us, you mean? Fat chance! ;)

zhao
19-05-2009, 10:39 AM
Mr. Tea you misunderstand the purpose of "not coming from Germany or the Alps". it is not not a direct statement of the obvious, but rather to illustrate the plausibility of the African and Asian roots of European culture.

and if you are at all right about the African and Asian roots of European culture being taught the world over, this has changed only in certain academic circles, and only during the last decade or so; and does NOT mean that it is "widely known and accepted".

typical white european response to deny the massive influence of racist ideology in shaping consensus world views, today or any day.

"you are just paranoid". "you are just under informed". "you don't realize that these racist ideas only exist in the past and not today"

typical bullshit.

droid
19-05-2009, 12:08 PM
I'm curious Zhao - have you attended a European school or University? Have you canvassed tens of thousands of professors and students for their opinions? Have you reviewed the syllabi of thousands of European universities and schools? Can you provide a history of changes in the teaching of ancient history in Europe based on verifiable data? How prevalent are the views you claim are predominant in comparison to other theories in percentage terms? Have you done a survey of history students or the general populations of different European countries?

The reason I ask, is that when you throw around accusations like this:


typical white european response to deny the massive influence of racist ideology in shaping consensus world views, today or any day.

(Other than the irony of assuming that there is a homogeneous 'white European' anything) You really should have something other than opinion to back it up.

BTW - I asked 6 people about the origins of Greek culture. One said they thought "it came from nowhere - formed itself". One said "Egypt". One said "the Middle East/North Africa", 3 said "Ive never really thought about it".

swears
19-05-2009, 12:12 PM
i think this is bordering dangerously to the kind of historical relativism that i absolutely do not endorse -- "no one can be sure what happened so there is no such thing as truth and it's a waste of time worrying about it".



I thought Slothrop made some very good points there.

Realising that there are limits to what we may be able to uncover or conceptualise in regards to the objective truth of the world or its past is not relativism. It's actually more within the spirit of realism or scepticism.

Relativism is believing any old tosh you like because it's all equally "valid".

Just because we admit we don't know the answer to a particular question or even the best way of asking it is not the same as saying there is no answer in the first place.

STN
19-05-2009, 12:15 PM
I was taught that it mostly came from Egypt in my suburban comprehensive school in the 90s. I certainly don't doubt that a white, Eurocentric bias has shaped views of history, but I believe this is changing and has been for a while.

zhao
19-05-2009, 02:59 PM
I'm curious Zhao - have you attended a European school or University? Have you canvassed tens of thousands of professors and students for their opinions? Have you reviewed the syllabi of thousands of European universities and schools? Can you provide a history of changes in the teaching of ancient history in Europe based on verifiable data? How prevalent are the views you claim are predominant in comparison to other theories in percentage terms? Have you done a survey of history students or the general populations of different European countries?

You really should have something other than opinion to back it up.

i obviously have not done the extensive polls and surveys, yet the false beliefs and attitudes i describe stem from far more than mere "opinion", but rather an accumulation of observation both directly, and of portrayal of ancient Greece in the media.

things might have indeed changed more rapidly and thoroughly in academic circles than i am aware, but i maintain that it is not a stretch to say that a Eurocentric Greece with its debt to Africa and Asia drastically down-played and systematically under-stated is still ubiquitous, and by far the prevalent conception in the culture at large.


BTW - I asked 6 people about the origins of Greek culture. One said they thought "it came from nowhere - formed itself". One said "Egypt". One said "the Middle East/North Africa", 3 said "Ive never really thought about it".

i imagine someone as well read and thoughtful as yourself would hang with a similarly educated crowd; and yet even among the people around you there is 1 out of 3 which thinks Greece developed independently.

i have spoken to many friends and people i meet about this as well, and i have found Eurocentric attitudes WRT to this by far the most popular.

i will make a point of continuing this survey, perhaps even in a bit more formal fashion, and report back my findings. (would be nice to hear the results of anyone in this thread too, if you can be bothered)

zhao
19-05-2009, 03:12 PM
Realising that there are limits to what we may be able to uncover or conceptualise in regards to the objective truth of the world or its past is not relativism. It's actually more within the spirit of realism or scepticism.

yet there has been a ton of work done on the issue at hand, and it is not realistic to be sceptical about the "Revised Ancient Model" put forth by Bernal, based on a "lack of information", because there is plenty of information.


Relativism is believing any old tosh you like because it's all equally "valid".

which is what ends up happening, defaulting to a consensus view of the world (which i see as largely Eurocentric and in denial about those deep roots)


Just because we admit we don't know the answer to a particular question or even the best way of asking it is not the same as saying there is no answer in the first place.

saying "i don't know where Greek culture comes from" is willfully ignoring the solid case many have made for identifying EXACTLY where it came from.

it's like sayin "i don't know where Japanese culture comes from". such an attitude is anything but "neutral".

luka
19-05-2009, 03:13 PM
i'm reading the Odysessy. have you read it? or any Plato? different people by all accounts. that is, different ethnic groups. don't downplay the achievements of the greeks just to redress what you (rightly in my opinion) see as an imbalance in history as it is commonly understood.

luka
19-05-2009, 03:16 PM
greek culture had its antecedents but no one, least of all Bernal is claiming they 'stole' their entire culture from anyone else.
roman culture took more from the greeks than the greeks took from their predecessors but still retains a great deal of its own character.
and why all this emphasis on egypt. the british museum put on a fascinating exhibition on the sub saharan civilizations a few years back, if you really want to talk about 'black' civilizations.

droid
19-05-2009, 03:36 PM
i obviously have not done the extensive polls and surveys, yet the false beliefs and attitudes i describe stem from far more than mere "opinion", but rather an accumulation of observation both directly, and of portrayal of ancient Greece in the media.

things might have indeed changed more rapidly and thoroughly in academic circles than i am aware, but i maintain that it is not a stretch to say that a Eurocentric Greece with its debt to Africa and Asia drastically down-played and systematically under-stated is still ubiquitous, and by far the prevalent conception in the culture at large.

I'm not sure it is fair to say that TBH... and observation is intrinsically linked to the bias of the observer as we all know.. point is that your throwing around a lot of very precise and severe criticisms without a solid basis (IMO).


i imagine someone as well read and thoughtful as yourself would hang with a similarly educated crowd; and yet even among the people around you there is 1 out of 3 which thinks Greece developed independently.


It was one out of six - you've ignored the 'Ive never thought about it' answers - if the eurocentric view was as pervasive as you claim this would be the default? and no - the people i work with aren't particularly well read or thoughtful!!:D

Why all this talk of Egypt anyway - what about the Sumerians? Also, didn't the Greeks steal their language from the Phoenicians?

polystyle desu
19-05-2009, 03:43 PM
I'm going to keep trying to elbow some info - in this case 'media' or 'news' into the thread-
The branding of ancient finds ...
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/19/business/media/19fossil.html?partner=rss&emc=rss
:slanted:

swears
19-05-2009, 03:51 PM
saying "i don't know where Greek culture comes from" is willfully ignoring the solid case many have made for identifying EXACTLY where it came from.



Nobody is denying the influence of Egypt on the culture of ancient Greece. But the idea that it was an EXACT "parent and child" relationship is problematic. It depends what you consider to be important or innovative about the Greeks, and what period of their history you're talking about. For example, concepts like democracy or the Platonic ideal would have been entirely alien to the Egyptians.

swears
19-05-2009, 04:14 PM
This reminds me of the time I used the word "obviously" in an A-level history essay. My tutor circled it and wrote "In history, NOTHING is obvious!" in the margin.

Slothrop
19-05-2009, 06:08 PM
Nobody is denying the influence of Egypt on the culture of ancient Greece. But the idea that it was an EXACT "parent and child" relationship is problematic. It depends what you consider to be important or innovative about the Greeks, and what period of their history you're talking about. For example, concepts like democracy or the Platonic ideal would have been entirely alien to the Egyptians.
Yeah, exactly. It's like arguing over whether ska is a continuation of US rnb or a Jamaican innovation. When it's really both - you can easily identify stylistic continuities and equally easily identify new and original elements, but debating whether the innovations somehow 'outweigh' the continuities implies that you've got some sort of absolute weighting system, which is pretty much nonsense. It's like asking what colour a bowl of smarties is.

Arguably this is going down the same alley as the earlier classicists did but in the opposite direction - taking the complicated weave of continuities, evolutions, ruptures, progressions and regressions that have marked the development of society and then applying a simplistic label - "the birth of modern civilization" - to part of it in order to fit with your [euro/afro]-centric mythology. Neither strikes me as good scholarship.

(NB - I haven't read Bernal so I'm not claiming that this is what he says.)

Mr. Tea
19-05-2009, 06:14 PM
Mr. Tea you misunderstand the purpose of "not coming from Germany or the Alps". it is not not a direct statement of the obvious, but rather to illustrate the plausibility of the African and Asian roots of European culture.

and if you are at all right about the African and Asian roots of European culture being taught the world over, this has changed only in certain academic circles, and only during the last decade or so; and does NOT mean that it is "widely known and accepted".

typical white european response to deny the massive influence of racist ideology in shaping consensus world views, today or any day.

"you are just paranoid". "you are just under informed". "you don't realize that these racist ideas only exist in the past and not today"

typical bullshit.

What the hell are you on about now? Where did I say anything about "the world over"? I haven't been educated "the world over", I was educated in the UK in the 80s and 90s. Ergo, I can talk about my own experiences but not the experiences of others. You would do well to apply this to yourself.

Look, can you honestly not see how foolish you're making yourself sound, as someone who was born in China and grew up in the US (or were you born in the US too? well, whatever), by lecturing people brought up in the UK about the awful racist lies were we undoubtedly indoctrinated with at school? As far as I know you haven't taken a history GCSE or A-level recently. Why don't you tell us about your own experiences in American schools? I wouldn't presume to tell you what's on the American high-school history syllabus because clearly I don't know it.

And to start flinging around a highly offensive and emotive slur like 'racist' whenever anyone suggests, however politely, that you might be incorrect in your assumptions about a school system you have no knowledge of, or even has any view of history and culture that's not a carbon copy of yours, just makes you come across like a grade-A tosser.

Typical zhaoist response to the suggestion that possibly not all white Europeans are misinformed, rabid racists.

nomadthethird
19-05-2009, 06:40 PM
In my craptastic public school, they taught a very vague, very PC version of the Pangea theory as the origin of civilizations as we know them.

(I can't speak to Zhao's experiences, but I don't know of any school system that still teaches Western primacy and cultural sovereignty...)

zhao
19-05-2009, 08:49 PM
i am talking about the heavily understated and very much under represented massive influence of African and Asian civilizations on Greece in the world at large, and not what schools are teaching.

schools may teach that race doesn't exist, it does not follow that the population knows it or understands it or don't still go about business as if it did.

from my own experience, i have a BFA, my parents both have Doctorate degrees, all of their friends highly educated, and all of mine as well. and last year when i found Black Athena was the first time i had read about this "massive influence". it was pretty much news to me, and i realized that what i thought before was a gross Eurocentric distortion, and a heavy down-play of those deeper roots.

again, as i said before, the schools may have indeed changed their tune more completely than i am aware, but what i perceive of the world at large, both from personal experience and media representation, i maintain that this understatement and down-play, if not complete denial, is still very much prevalent all over the world.

zhao
19-05-2009, 08:49 PM
oh and Mr. Tea, you are an idiot.

zhao
19-05-2009, 09:02 PM
observation is intrinsically linked to the bias of the observer as we all know..

indeed. and the same is applicable to you as well.

Mr. Tea
19-05-2009, 09:58 PM
oh and Mr. Tea, you are an idiot.

*helpfully picks up your toys and hands them back to you*

Zhao, have you noticed that as a general rule you and I get along quite well except in those threads where you have a 'radical agenda' to push, where your motive for debate seems to stem from an unshakeable conviction that you alone are unquestionably correct and everyone else is wrong? It's not even as if anyone in this thread has said what you'd clearly love one of us to say, i.e. "Greek culture owed nothing to African/Middle Eastern cultures." Everyone, as far as I can see, has made it clear they do not agree with that statement; in fact we've all acknowledged a very big influence, and also that this was downplayed for a long time, historically. What people are questioning is that this outdated view is so widely held today, and your response has been to yell "Well everyone knows it is!" and call us idiots. Hardly rhetorical dynamite.

It's just that because so much of your self-esteem seems to come from this idea you have of yourself as a great righter-of-wrongs and slayer-of-racism that when someone so much as suggests that, in some particular area of their experience, there isn't quite so much racism as you think there is, you fly off the handle and start branding them racist. You're like a witch-finder or something: either someone admits guilt, in which case great, they're guilty - or they deny it, in which case they're lying because they're an evil witch!

droid
19-05-2009, 10:16 PM
indeed. and the same is applicable to you as well.

Yes of course, but Im not making sweeping assertions based purely on my personal observations and little else. :cool:

zhao
20-05-2009, 04:51 AM
as people have said i guess i'm pretty much preaching to the converted here... the difference of opinion on whether the world is still held sway by outdated eurocentric perceptions of history is unlikely to be resolved (the truth is probably a mixture of what we've been saying anyway -- maybe about 60&#37; me and 40% you guys :D) and i think we can agree to disagree and move on.

do think the casual poll is a good idea though. keep asking people and see what they say...

polystyle desu
28-05-2009, 04:31 PM
Evolution through fire.
Very ancient roots ...
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/27/books/27garn.html?hpw

zhao
28-05-2009, 05:46 PM
i disagree with his basic premise. just more of the same old... i think we were human, doing a fine job of survival, and enjoying life more than after, in many ways, a loooooong time before cooking.

Sick Boy
28-05-2009, 07:24 PM
Though I can see what's being said here in regards to a number of cultures pre-dating the Greeks having a culminating influence on where we are now, it is not too far off to say that our (Western) society is much more similar and has attitudes more similar to Greek culture than any of those before it.

The Greeks' religion and mythology were born more from scientific curiosity than fear, and were a celebration of mankind as being the centre of the universe. Far from being supernatural, formless or bestial entities with little regard for humanity, their gods were a heightened reflection of man's perceived glory and intelligence - a kind of celebrity culture, you could say.

Western society has progressed more or less along these lines ideologically ever since. If we're trying to determine where civilization itself first occured, then there were clearly civilized, advanced societies before the Greeks, but in terms of civilization as we know it now, the Greeks pretty much set the tone for the next couple thousand years.

vimothy
29-05-2009, 01:15 AM
Maybe the sun does travel round the earth; it depends on your perspective.

zhao
02-06-2009, 08:39 PM
ooo vimothy you are so cryptic.

went to pergamon museum (http://www.berlin.de/orte/museum/pergamonmuseum/) which has a permanent display of greek art among other things, and thought it the perfect place to conduct a little informal survey. asked about 12 people randomly the question: "what are the roots of Greek Culture, or where did it come from?" ---

4 said they don't know;
4 said it was entirely invented by the Greeks themselves;
1 said "middle east",
1 said "mesopotamia",
1 said "jewish cultures",
and only 1 mentioned Egypt at all, identifying it as a main source of influence.

massrock
02-06-2009, 08:44 PM
The Ishtar Gate there is I think the most impressive thing I have seen in a museum.

josef k.
02-06-2009, 09:00 PM
Everyone knows that civilization originated in Ancient Atlantis, the better part of which which was destroyed by a nuclear catastrophe, following the discovery of cold fusion by Atlantean scientists. Only the ruling lizard-sorcerer-priest class of the civilization managed to escape annihilation, setting-up bases on the Moon and the Mars, while retaining a handful of agents on earth, secretly controlling the development of human progress. At key points in history (the building of the pyramids, the birth of Christ, the development of Islam, the fall of the Ming Dynasty) these creatures have intervened in order to deliver the optimum outcome for their lizard-sorcerer masters. Yet the masters have enemies; a secret race of advanced aliens beings who originally seeded the Earth with life at the dawn of the universe. These beings left behind them designs for a time-travel machine which would allow the reversal of time itself and a general escape from this universe into the sixteenth dimension, a realm of pure light. Fragments are buried under the great pyramid of Giza, Chichen-itza, Teotihuacan. If the fragments could be found and assembled...

massrock
02-06-2009, 09:24 PM
This is just common sense.

Sick Boy
03-06-2009, 02:30 PM
You'll find if you conduct a random survey that only 15&#37; of men wearing hats knows this.

@massrock: I believe you about the Ishtar Gate.

zhao
22-06-2009, 06:57 AM
Droid,

over the years you have been informative and inspirational on multiple topics from reggae to the Israeli/Palestine conflict, and i deeply appreciate and respect your indepth knowledge and understanding. but on the subject of whether Europeans and North Americans are aware of the ancient African and Hasidic roots of European civilization, you are simply, and completely, mistaken.

the vast majority of "westerners" have an entirely Eurocentric image of Greek culture, one that had nothing to do with ancient Africans or Jews, much less having borrowed heavily from these much older civilizations.

even the ones who are aware of "some" Egyptian influence, some of them have an idea of Egypt of not really having been African, but rather a mediterranean culture not much related to what went on down south, unaware of the thriving and at the time incredibly wealthy cultures in Mali, Ethiopia, etc. at that time and before. and some of them routinely, and heavily downplay the massive influence of these Afro-Asiatic cultures on Greece, choosing to stress the original innovations which took place during the second phase of Greek culture, and point to that as the real birth of European civilization.

you want "proof" of what i am saying, and it seems nothing short of ludicrous, for "proof" is everywhere one chooses to look, and to me it is not even a subject worth debating: without question the vast majority of westerners have entirely false or incredibly distorted ideas about the origins of Europe, born of racism and racist revisions of history which occurred during the 19th century.

not having access to official data or time to conduct proper surveys, i have cited the world wide reaction to Black Athena since its publication as testament, and you have dismissed this as insufficient.

Bernal's book was the first major work to address and seek to correct these fallacies and injustices, and the response to it, both from academics and the general population, have been predominantly, if not entirely, hostile. there have been numerous volumes published in opposition to Bernal's model of ancient history, dismissing it, deriding it, and in attempt to destroy it, in defense of the ubiquitous Eurocentric Greece, and the debate in scholarly circles continue to this day.

and while i know amazon.com ratings are not much to go by as far as determining consensus of the general public is concerned, but those of you who are familiar with their ratings system and how it is used know that 2.5 stars out of 5 (http://www.amazon.com/Black-Athena-Afroasiatic-Civilization-Fabrication/dp/0813512778/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1245648550&sr=8-1), from 76 ratings that the first volume of Black Athena received is a very rare thing for any work, especially those of substance.

i am honestly baffled by your assertion that the views expressed in Black Athena is "widely accepted" and "common knowledge", and can only speculate on why: perhaps you are surrounded by forward thinking, well read, and very educated people? perhaps Ireland is much more progressive and informed than other parts of the world? i have no idea, and it would be interesting to learn of the reasons for your false and skewed assessment.

droid
22-06-2009, 10:11 AM
Zhao, I have repeatedly said that I don't necessarily disagree with your suggestion, what I do have a problem with is your methodology.

Amazon reviews and informal surveys of a handful of people, combined with subjective bias on your part - it wouldn't stand up in academic circles, its little more than opinion really. Amazon reviews in particular are no basis whatsoever to form an accurate picture. There are tons of good political books that get negative reviews because they are controversial and get trolled. I also object to being portrayed as part of some racist conspiracy to keep the truth hidden.

My own casual poll seemed to confirm that 1/3 people had no interest, one third of people said Egypt/mid east, one third said Greece. Ive searched a University library and an academic journal database and found a dozen or so books dedicated to the subject. This suggests to me that the idea is not half as controversial as you believe it is.

Now maybe things are different here, there could easily be geographical/academic/peadogological bias, which applies equally to your own experience. This is the point I'm trying to make. IMO, you shouldnt make such strident claims based on subjective perceptions and you should thoroughly examine your own possible bias and experience, but rather you should test your theories as rigourously as possible. Speaking to a few Ancient History professors might give a better over view of the field. If proof is "everywhere to see", why cant you produce it?

As for the book itself - Bernal's theory seems to be one amongst many. I haven't read it so I cant judge, but I seriously doubt that its the be all and end all on the subject. In the interest of balance, 'Black Athena revisited' might be worth a read.

So anyway. I'm not objecting to the idea as I haven't read the book in question, what I do object to is shoddy methodology and definitive claims based on that methodology. Im not saying your wrong necessarily, or that this wasn't true 20 or 30 years ago, but on the basis of my own meagre education, Im not convinced

That's all. No need for a debate about it really. :)

zhao
22-06-2009, 10:52 AM
thanks Droid. but you are failing to consider the vehement attacks on Bernal after those books were published. from what i know world wide reaction was overwhelmingly, predominantly negative. (they supposedly drove him to the brink of madness)

going forward, as a debate it might not be very fruitful in terms of whether these ideas are popularly accepted or not alone, but there is plenty more to be said on the subject at large. so i will continue to read and think and communicate with who ever will engage with me... and lets use this as an opportunity to expand our horizons, instead of the sad alternative, the one of reinforcing our own calcified beliefs and notions...

3 Body No Problem
22-06-2009, 03:00 PM
there have been numerous volumes published in opposition to Bernal's model of ancient history, dismissing it, deriding it, and in attempt to destroy it, in defense of the ubiquitous Eurocentric Greece, and the debate in scholarly circles continue to this day.

The reason Bernal's book has been heavily criticised in the ensuing academic discussion after its publication is that many of Bernal's claims are overblown, and his evidence is often flimsy.

This is not to say that Bernal's book is without merit.

Sick Boy
22-06-2009, 09:21 PM
The reason Bernal's book has been heavily criticised in the ensuing academic discussion after its publication is that many of Bernal's claims are overblown, and his evidence is often flimsy.

This is not to say that Bernal's book is without merit.

This is also my position on this debate. Ancient history is Ancient history. It is hard to know definitively - the background and prejudices of the historian exploring it is always going to be a problem in getting an objective view of what actually went down. Bernal is a historian complete with these difficulties. And like other non-black non-afrocentrist historians, he has been accused of his studies being tailored to meet a theory while not quite standing up as objective proof.

He is definitely not without merit. You simply can't read Bernal as if his word is scripture just like you can't read anyone's word as scripture when the subject is what happened two thousand years ago.

zhao
22-06-2009, 11:45 PM
The reason Bernal's book has been heavily criticised in the ensuing academic discussion after its publication is that many of Bernal's claims are overblown, and his evidence is often flimsy.

This is not to say that Bernal's book is without merit.


Ancient history is Ancient history. It is hard to know definitively - the background and prejudices of the historian exploring it is always going to be a problem in getting an objective view of what actually went down. Bernal is a historian complete with these difficulties. And like other non-black non-afrocentrist historians, he has been accused of his studies being tailored to meet a theory while not quite standing up as objective proof.

He is definitely not without merit. You simply can't read Bernal as if his word is scripture just like you can't read anyone's word as scripture when the subject is what happened two thousand years ago.

sigh... guess i have to explain this again:

we all know there is no such thing as hard proof when we are dealing with ancient history. but convincing models can be constructed based on probability: some versions are much more likely than others. for instance:

fact: European culture started in Greece, the southern most, eastern most part of Europe. why?
why did it not originate in Germany or the Alps?
because Greece was the closest to Africa and Asia -- this is the most likely answer.

have you guys who talk about Bernal's "over blown claims" and "flimsy evidence" read his books?
but regardless of whether you have or not, you are just repeating what his detractors say, without substantial examples.

Bernal wrote a 4th volume with a dozen or so chapters each dealing with a major work which attempts to discredit Black Athena. I look forward to reading that one after i finish the first 3 volumes.

but you see, droid, plenty of proof of what people think right here: Black Athena is not entirely rubbish, but it is not to be trusted.

it is a FUCK of a lot more trustworthy than a Eurocentric and whitewashed version of Greece that's for DAMN sure.

Mr. Tea
23-06-2009, 12:41 AM
we all know there is no such thing as hard proof when we are dealing with ancient history.

I disagree with this. Imagine if a papyrus fragment containing a proof of Pythagoras's theorem were to be found in an Egyptian tomb dating back to the Old Kingdom? Or if an old Babylonian cuneiform tablet discussing ideal Forms, a thousand years before Plato, were to be discovered? Such a discovery would be a piece of very hard evidence that would hugely shake up our picture of the ancient world.



it is a FUCK of a lot more trustworthy than a Eurocentric and whitewashed version of Greece that's for DAMN sure.

Can you seriously not see how such partisan statements as this aren't going to win people over to your POV when your whole argument revolves around bias, prejudice and the availability (or otherwise) of evidence?

zhao
23-06-2009, 06:59 AM
I disagree with this. Imagine if a papyrus fragment containing a proof of Pythagoras's theorem were to be found in an Egyptian tomb dating back to the Old Kingdom? Or if an old Babylonian cuneiform tablet discussing ideal Forms, a thousand years before Plato, were to be discovered? Such a discovery would be a piece of very hard evidence that would hugely shake up our picture of the ancient world.

goes without saying that when there is evidence it is used. :rolleyes: the probability thing is regarding the very often lack of evidence.


Can you seriously not see how such partisan statements as this aren't going to win people over to your POV when your whole argument revolves around bias, prejudice and the availability (or otherwise) of evidence?

this and the accusation of Afro-centrism serving a political agenda is all shit that has been hurled at Bernal by his detractors for years and years.

1. it's not "my" argument. but rather one that i endorse.
2. it certainly does not revolve around bias, prejudice, and "lack of evidence", like the commonly accepted Eurocentric model.

what gives you the authority to make such sweeping claims? have you even read the books?

and are you confusing the debate on the competition of historical models and the debate on which one is more commonly accepted?

3 Body No Problem
23-06-2009, 10:08 AM
fact: European culture started in Greece, the southern most, eastern most part of Europe. why? why did it not originate in Germany or the Alps?
because Greece was the closest to Africa and Asia -- this is the most likely answer.

No, this answer is bullshit. If geographic proximity to Asia or Africa was the determining factor why did the many other places that are near Asia or Africa not come up with anything like what Greece came up with? Disease, Weather, internal warfare etc i.e. luck play a big role here.


have you guys who talk about Bernal's "over blown claims" and "flimsy evidence" read his books?

I have read some Black Athena, in the 1990s but not much. Have you followed the scholarly discussion that ensued? Do you have anything substantial to say about counterarguments to Bernal?


but regardless of whether you have or not, you are just repeating what his detractors say, without substantial examples.

Several people in this thread and the deleted on did point you towards problems of the afrocentric theory. You didn't come up with any substantial counterpoints, except implicitly accusing anyone who's not agreeing with you/Bernal as eurocentric/racist, like here:


it is a FUCK of a lot more trustworthy than a Eurocentric and whitewashed version of Greece that's for DAMN sure.

Mr. Tea
23-06-2009, 12:58 PM
what gives you the authority to make such sweeping claims? have you even read the books?

and are you confusing the debate on the competition of historical models and the debate on which one is more commonly accepted?

Note that I'm not making claims about Bernal's book per se, but about your arguments (which are based on Bernal's, of course) which I can read and have been following pretty closely.

Sick Boy
23-06-2009, 01:47 PM
have you even read the books?

Have you read anything else?
Your arguments against Bernal's detractors so far has consisted of pestering a small sample group of people in a museum.

zhao
25-06-2009, 08:48 AM
No, this answer is bullshit. If geographic proximity to Asia or Africa was the determining factor why did the many other places that are near Asia or Africa not come up with anything like what Greece came up with? Disease, Weather, internal warfare etc i.e. luck play a big role here.

disease, weather, luck, etc, for sure always play a role, and that can explain the flowering of thought and sciences all along the fertile crescent way before the greeks came along.

the other places didn't come up with sophisticated civilizations like the Greeks? which other places are you talking about? but this is the wrong question to ask, betraying your fundamentally greek-centric/eurocentric attitude: the greeks came much later than in many ways more advanced civilizations, from which they borrowed heavily. and their rise can be attributed to the luck of which you mention - a young culture which was able to synthesize the wisdom and knowledge from multiple parent cultures, forming a basis for innovation.




I have read some Black Athena, in the 1990s but not much. Have you followed the scholarly discussion that ensued? Do you have anything substantial to say about counterarguments to Bernal?

i am still reading the first volume. it's terrible as i seem to never ever have time to read these days... i have read some of Bernal's responses to his opponents, like this (http://bmcr.brynmawr.edu/1996/96.04.05.html), and watched some videos of the debate.

i never pretended to be a historian or anthropologist, or have indepth knowledge in these areas. but from what i have read, which is very little, his opponents are mostly neo-con assholes like these people (http://www.moonbattery.com/archives/2008/04/mary_lefkowitz.html).


Several people in this thread and the deleted on did point you towards problems of the afrocentric theory. You didn't come up with any substantial counterpoints, except implicitly accusing anyone who's not agreeing with you/Bernal as eurocentric/racist, like here:

which "problems of the afrocentric theory" have been brought up here? if i can i will provide counterpoints. but i will be more able after more reading.

yes i do think ideas of ancient history (and other subjects) based on racist thinking runs very deep in the world today, and are often held by even the most "liberal", "progressive", and educated people. i'm not sure if subscription to notions which are based on revisionist versions of history exactly qualifies people as "racist"... but that just depends on where you draw the line.


Your arguments against Bernal's detractors so far has consisted of pestering a small sample group of people in a museum.

not my job to argue with Bernal's detractors. graphic design for films and television, playing music live and in studio, those are my jobs.

a lot of what went on in this and other theads have been a debate on whether eurocentric ideas still overwhelmingly dominate the western world, and not on the actual debate on ancient history.

Sick Boy
25-06-2009, 06:22 PM
a lot of what went on in this and other theads have been a debate on whether eurocentric ideas still overwhelmingly dominate the western world, and not on the actual debate on ancient history.

It is on the debate of ancient history because your main argument supporting this claim is that the majority of people deny the influence of ancient African and Jewish cultures on ancient Greece, and put undue emphasis on ancient Greece as being the birthplace of civilization.

I'm basically looking for an answer to this:



the greeks came much later than in many ways more advanced civilizations


I still don't really buy your claim that the majority of people deny the Middle East and Egypt's influence in general on ancient Greece. This is quite pervasive knowledge. If it's a matter of the degree of that influence as you suggest above then you still need to clarify how those previous cultures were more advanced.


i am still reading the first volume. it's terrible as i seem to never ever have time to read these days...but from what i have read, which is very little, his opponents are mostly neo-con assholes


not my job to argue with Bernal's detractors. graphic design for films and television, playing music live and in studio, those are my jobs.

Your hasty generalizations are fallacious and not very convincing. If your job is not to argue with Bernal's detractors, then it is clearly not to convince us or to discuss but to reassert over and over an appeal to authority that you won't allow to be held up to critical inquiry without deeming all those who attempt it racists.

3 Body No Problem
30-06-2009, 01:12 PM
the other places didn't come up with sophisticated civilizations like the Greeks? which other places are you talking about? but this is the wrong question to ask, betraying your fundamentally greek-centric/eurocentric attitude: the greeks came much later than in many ways more advanced civilizations, from which they borrowed heavily. and their rise can be attributed to the luck of which you mention - a young culture which was able to synthesize the wisdom and knowledge from multiple parent cultures, forming a basis for innovation.


I'm sorry but this doesn't hold up. If, as you suggest, what the Greeks invented was just an inevitable synthesis of pre-greek ideas, why did the neighbouring countries didn't come up with the same things? Why did the Egyptians not invent the axiomatic method in mathematics, why didn't Rome invent (analog) computers? Etc ... Rome is an especially interesting and powerful counterexample to your suggestions: Rome destroyed Greek culture, but had a lot of Greek teacher/slaves, and access to a considerable amount of Greek scientific writing. Yet, dispite this considerable headstart, Rome contributed essentially nothing to scientific progress.

The most natural explanation for this divergence in outcome between hellenistic culture and that of its neighbours/successors is that there was something unique about greek social organisation,


i have read some of Bernal's responses to his opponents, like this,

In "this", Bernal isn't really getting to the heart of the matter, as outlined above and in previous postings. He just goes on about vague things like whether greek religion was substantially different from other religions, and similar irrelevancies. Who cares?


which "problems of the afrocentric theory" have been brought up here? if i can i will provide counterpoints. but i will be more able after more reading.

See above, and previous postings. Summary: if Greece didn't do anything special, why didn't all the other surrounding cultures come up with the things the Greeks did?

This is what you and other Greek-bashers need to explain.

zhao
30-06-2009, 03:06 PM
Summary: if Greece didn't do anything special, why didn't all the other surrounding cultures come up with the things the Greeks did?

This is what you and other Greek-bashers need to explain.

putting words in my mouth bro. i never said "greece didn't do anything special", or said anything which would amount to "greek-bashing".

i recognize the innovations of the greek empire, always have, even in the somewhat problematic (in other ways) first post of this thread. but the point is the drastically underplayed Egyptian and Hasidic influences.

3 Body No Problem
12-07-2009, 05:24 PM
putting words in my mouth bro. i never said "greece didn't do anything special", or said anything which would amount to "greek-bashing".

Hmmm.


i recognize the innovations of the greek empire

What are they in your opinion?


but the point is the drastically underplayed Egyptian and Hasidic influences

What are the concrete hasidic influences on what you recognize as the innovations of the greek empire?

M.E.S.H.
14-07-2009, 08:17 PM
i recognize the innovations of the greek empire, always have

lol

swears
14-07-2009, 11:27 PM
Why can't people give more props to the USA, then? Their empire's massive.

zhao
15-07-2009, 08:02 AM
was just thinking how ironic it is for me to care so much about these deep roots, as i'm probably as rootless an urban nomad as you can think of, with no ties to my own heritage, lineage, or even family.

3 Body No Problem
15-07-2009, 01:43 PM
was just thinking how ironic it is for me to care so much about these deep roots, as i'm probably as rootless an urban nomad as you can think of, with no ties to my own heritage, lineage, or even family.

In my experience, people start caring about these things when they become older, in their 30s, when they start to be confronted seriously with their own mortality, when they face the question of having children and what that means, the trust differentials between family/clan and strangers. Being and urban nomad (and I'm one myself) brings these trust differentials into sharp relief.

swears
15-07-2009, 02:30 PM
I'm going to reconnect with with my Irish and Jewish roots by becoming a self-hating drunkard.

M.E.S.H.
15-07-2009, 09:15 PM
I'm basically a rootless urban nomad who has always recognized the innovations of the greek empire .

zhao
16-07-2009, 08:10 AM
In my experience, people start caring about these things when they become older, in their 30s, when they start to be confronted seriously with their own mortality, when they face the question of having children and what that means, the trust differentials between family/clan and strangers. Being and urban nomad (and I'm one myself) brings these trust differentials into sharp relief.

true, true. all of this ancient history stuff for me might be a substitute for what i lack in real life... a sense of connection.

i know it's cliche but i honestly, really, have no home, and simultaneously everywhere i go has the potential to become home (berlin for example)... where to next? istanbul? kenya? but with the freedom there is a sense of disconnect, at times a feeling of being alone...

nomadthethird
16-07-2009, 07:56 PM
was just thinking how ironic it is for me to care so much about these deep roots, as i'm probably as rootless an urban nomad as you can think of, with no ties to my own heritage, lineage, or even family.

Oh yeah I know. Like when you have no idea where your relatives past your grandparents live or lived or whatever, and the ones you know all changed their names and moved from country to country over and over.

I thought it was so weird in Europe how these people actually had a sense of belonging to a culture, and a static sense of identity, and on top of it, this sense that culture really matters. It's a huge difference you'll see between Americans and Europeans, it's subtle but it comes up in a lot of situations. They tend to get frustrated with Americans for not giving proper obeisance to their precious "culture"...

Mr. Tea
16-07-2009, 08:34 PM
At the same time it can be funny how 'history-starved' some Americans seem, like being insanely proud that their little town has a building in it that dates back to eighteen-hundred and sixty-eight! or whatever. Though I guess this is probably more of a small-town kind of attitude (and a small-town white person's attitude - I'm sure black Americans are well aware of their historical circumstances...). Bill Bryson talks about this - I remember him saying that there are more intact 17th-century buildings in the small Yorkshire town he moved to than in the whole of his native country.

Hence the huge popularity of the Disney resorts in America and the relative disaster of Disneyland Paris. I mean, apart from the obvious contempt that many French people hold for American culture in general and probably Disney and particular, there's the added factor of "Why pay lots of money to wander around a fibreglass castle when there's a real one a half-hour drive from my house?".

Sick Boy
17-07-2009, 02:57 PM
I thought it was so weird in Europe how these people actually had a sense of belonging to a culture, and a static sense of identity, and on top of it, this sense that culture really matters. It's a huge difference you'll see between Americans and Europeans, it's subtle but it comes up in a lot of situations. They tend to get frustrated with Americans for not giving proper obeisance to their precious "culture"...

In ways Canada is worse. A lot of Canadians clamour to be anything but Canadian because defining their most immediate national identity is a very difficult task (there was a point in time when a massive national swell in patriotism resulted over a Molson Beer commercial). They will cherish and celebrate passionately the fact they have ancestry that is Irish, Scottish, Serbian, French, Spanish, Polish, Portuguese, you name it, but they still couldn't identify a picture of Canada's first prime minister.

Typically, Canadians are way, way, way more ignorant about their own country than Americans.

Sick Boy
17-07-2009, 03:01 PM
Tim Hortons, a Canadian coffee franchise, is a object of immense national pride in Canada, so much so that it even eclipses a knowledge of Canada's actual history, important figures, etc., in terms of building a coherent national identity.

And the worst part about it is Tim Hortons is owned by Americans.

vimothy
26-08-2009, 01:32 PM
This dude -- political economic anthropologist, Timothy Earle -- looks really interesting: http://www.anthropology.northwestern.edu/faculty/earle.html

vimothy
12-11-2009, 04:49 PM
Is this the right thread for this? Dunno, but 'ere you go anyway:

Intergenerational Wealth Transmission and the Dynamics of Inequality in Small-Scale Societies (http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/326/5953/682)--Monique Borgerhoff Mulder et al, 2009


Abstract:
Small-scale human societies range from foraging bands with a strong egalitarian ethos to more economically stratified agrarian and pastoral societies. We explain this variation in inequality using a dynamic model in which a population’s long-run steady-state level of inequality depends on the extent to which its most important forms of wealth are transmitted within families across generations. We estimate the degree of intergenerational transmission of three different types of wealth (material, embodied, and relational), as well as the extent of wealth inequality in 21 historical and contemporary populations. We show that intergenerational transmission of wealth and wealth inequality are substantial among pastoral and small-scale agricultural societies (on a par with or even exceeding the most unequal modern industrial economies) but are limited among horticultural and foraging peoples (equivalent to the most egalitarian of modern industrial populations). Differences in the technology by which a people derive their livelihood and in the institutions and norms making up the economic system jointly contribute to this pattern.

padraig (u.s.)
12-11-2009, 04:57 PM
big up Vim, looks good. I'll try to get to it over Thanksgiving.


political economic anthropologist, Timothy Earle

ha! that's one of the places I'm looking at to transfer, I'm actually headed over there today for an interview. I don't really have a lot of time for electives, but Economic Anthropology looks interesting. esp. if it can be shoehorned into a Poli Sci minor somehow.