Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
I think that's overstating the number of centuries of difference. The median of Western(TM) society in 1800 would be a lot more familiar to someone from the median walk of life in Western(TM) society in 1300 than it would be to a person from the median walk of life in Western(TM) society today.

At most, we're talking two centuries. That's pretty daunting, but far cry from seven. In reality, I suspect that it's closer to a century and a half - just long enough for first- and second-hand experience of the old ways.

The Danish head rabbi (I think) was on the radio a couple of years ago. And his advice was: Consider the list of disagreements between different cultural groups. Try writing it up. Then strike from the list every item that is not absolutely and completely unacceptable to either group. His claim was that you would end up with a very small list, and that most of the symbolisms that get so much media play would not be on it.

I think it's an interesting exercise. It should probably be taken with a grain of salt, just as all such gedankenexperimenten should, but hopefully it can serve to put the proper perspective on matters.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Feb 7th, 2009 at 12:22:00 PM EST
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