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Odds and Ends
8 10, 5:11pm
I understand that. You look at something like Japan and how their culture changed since the Vietnam war and cultural influence from the West. Japan today is very different than Japan 200-years ago. In Psychology we have a term for the unique = value phenomena and it is known as the ' Scarcity Principle '. Things that are rare stand-out and are valued easier. Nobody celebrates breathing, we all celebrate scientists. Same way a white kid rapping is expressive, African American kid is just what you'd expect. It is a trope of sorts.
However I wonder if this is a function of how the times change. When you think of it, we've been exchanging inventions, ideas, cultural traditions and what have you trough trade for a good 10 000-years ever since technologies like organized civilization, the wheel, travel, compass and cartography were invented. Traders traveled long distances to do trade and exchange products and resources, at the same time bringing in part of their culture and taking in some cultural influences where they went to trade off goods. One good example is the Chinese invention of gun powder and how it spread to the rest of the world trough trade. If you look at our modern world, many of our cultures are byproducts of this age and these practices.
Your cars are German, your algebra is what used to be Persian, your T-shit Indian, your tea is Chinese and so on so forth. Those are inventions, however I see culture in the same way; as not something that is fixed in time but as ever changing and evolving phenomena. Look at today with our ever increasingly connected world due to more effective traveling technologies like train and airplanes, and our information technology like cell-phones and the internet, it influences how we experiences cultures and their traditions. We all speak in English because it became the global lingua franca. In some ways we might have to learn to accept that our conceptions of what makes a Self change and so does the culture, some hopefully remain as they are with other traditions might be a dying breed or they'll adapt in some new way. You look at some isolated tribes today and they are still very aligned with their old traditions with barely any influence or threat of their culture disappearing from existence for now. Well not due to outside influence, environmental disasters might be another thing.
How many of us practice our ancestors cultures? Not many. Yet who would argue they were not unique in some ways? But their remnants still exist in our modern world, even if they no longer are actively present. So I wonder how much of this is due to how our world is changing. Of course I do not wish cultures to die out entirely, it'd be dull like I said, but I also think that to some degree our cultures will change over time in this way. On a personal level I don't mind, perhaps I am not as attached to what makes Finland Finland, because ultimately we all came from the same ancestor and honestly it should be about time we started acting like it.