What is culture?

From: Bill Barowy (wbarowy@attbi.com)
Date: Mon Mar 22 2004 - 05:54:31 PST

Well, if it walks like a culture and quacks like a culture, it's a culture.

I'm feeling bold and careless this morning. How about a rant if not
perspicuity? Here's one pseudo/quasi/semi-operational definition: Culture is
a meta-expression, a placeholder, for all that which a non-cultural
psychology cannot account. It's a shapeshifter -- what it is depends upon
who is looking at it, and what framework they are using. Let's look at it
through a 3-sided prism:

In an extended triangle, culture is, in part, what is modeled by the extended
triangle. The element "community" is the wild card modeling whatever is not
represented by the other elements. That's the present. Culture is also the
ensemble of all the triangles that have led to the developments of the
elements (and their relations) of the triangle modeling the activity one is
investigating. That's the past. Culture is also the ensemble of all the
extended triangles that will develop because of the present activity modeled
by the extended triangle. That's the future.

It's very much like the physicist's universe. It's everwhere surrounding
everything, permeating it, inside of it. In a physicist's universe, the
universe is not just "out there" but is also very much "in here", even in a
vacuum. If you don't believe it, just ask any experimentalist. Especially
ask MIT physicist Dan Kleppner who pulled apart nothing to get light.

Perhaps developments in both the universe and culture are limited by the speed
of light. But even over the vast distancs of the internet, that's much
faster then microgenesis.


This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Tue Nov 09 2004 - 11:42:23 PST