AWESOME Reason Mag Editorial

People either have rights, or uniforms.

What comes first, culture, or the people who make it up?

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  1. Alex

     /  July 14, 2008

    Going back to sociology is applied psychology which is applied biology….
    There is a semi-reasonable hypothesis that the reason for culture is so that early man would know where to put their energy to survive. Amongst a group that thought/ate/talked/acted the same as that early human did, that human could relax and spend time and effort on other activities, vs. being constantly on guard against the unknown. The hypothesis goes that it takes way too much energy, effort, and non-base survival skills to spend on this level of activity unless you get something out of it. So if you buy into this hypothesis (which in general I do), people make the culture, not the culture making the people. So therefore culture can change and adapt to environmental stimuli, or it can remain constant and unchanging and either thrive because its strong, or fail because the environment wipes them out.

    What I think so many people miss is how much technology changes culture – it always sneaks up on people and they’re surprised by the changes and sometimes bemoan “Oh…it’s not like it used to be”. So, the creation of culture allowed us to think and develop technology which in turn changed the very culture that allowed those thoughts and technology to be developed.

  2. Mike

     /  July 14, 2008

    I will throw this quote out there: (from General Abrams) “This Army sure isn’t what it used to be, and it never was.”

  3. Good quote. Though they don’t really mean “uniforms” in a military sense, but in the sense of what behavior is expected of a person. Remember in the 80s, when whites who were into hip-hop and hung out with blacks were called “wiggers?” Violated “the uniform.”


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