I know Luka doesn't like quote dumps but the first thing i thought of when i saw this thread was this from Macbeth:
Ay, in the catalogue ye go for men,
As hounds and greyhounds, mongrels, spaniels, curs,
Shoughs, water-rugs, and demi-wolves are clept
All by the name of dogs. The valued file
Distinguishes the swift, the slow, the subtle,
The housekeeper, the hunter, every one
According to the gift which bounteous nature
Hath in him closed, whereby he does receive
Particular addition, from the bill
That writes them all alike. And so of men.
Now, if you have a station in the file,
Not i' th' worst rank of manhood, say ’t.
that's a sentence which inflames the imagination. it hints at a kind of capitalist eugenics which connects to the colonialist project. the word natives here refers to the Glastonbury locals but makes us think of the colonised subjects of the European empires and new men means new additions to the work force but also means a new type of man. a new factory model from the cities and not the rural towns and villages.
part of our obsession with 'generations' is this same sense of capitalism and technology creating new types of men, those which will supplant us, which are superior to us in all sorts of quantifiable ways, but also seem monsterous and inhuman.
I think it's linked to my stuff about 'the cut' partly. On page 13 of the evolution thread. I also think because it's suggestive of the violence used to ensure adherence to a standard. The precise enunciation and so on.
There's other stuff in there too. It denotes formality which is the opposite of familiarity and ease and friendship. You picture a Victorian upbringing with no hugs and kisses. Just embroidery practice and cold baths.