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I think information in myths is indeed a side-effect... it's all about the rules and the field... in a way it instructs us to behave within some boundaries.. the boundaries of the things we can imagine....

Two small points. I am trying to say that the idea of "rational" communication is a myth. This does not mean it is false.. it is just a structural narrative... like all the things we nomrmally call myths because they are false to us.

And one final note about magic/religion and violence/greed. Magic and religion are universal topics.. all societies have structural myths about them...so it is certainly not a meme.. it is a structure.

Regarding violence and greed.. they are certainly quite widespreed but no universal. Some structural narratives have wiped out both... people in these societies can not even understand the concepts.

It is true that in the case of violence it is only two among thousands (inuit and a group in the pacific islands) while the absence of greed is much more widespread among cultures. This may tell us that biological effects are very low regarding greed. Violence is different.. violence has a vital language component: it is a way to communicate with others.. and communication is really one of the human keys, so violent behviour do spread like memes, because they are exactly that: a way to communciate something to another person (that you ahte him, that you do not want them there, etc...) displayed in vivid grammar.

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Fri Aug 28th, 2009 at 11:37:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
kcurie:
the boundaries of the things we can imagine
Ludwig Wittgenstein - Wikiquote
The limits of my language mean the limits of my world.
violence has a vital language component: it is a way to communicate with others.. and communication is really one of the human keys, so violent behviour do spread like memes, because they are exactly that: a way to communciate something to another person (that you ahte him, that you do not want them there, etc...) displayed in vivid grammar
Metaphors We Live By, Lakoff and Johnson
It is important to see that we don't just talk about arguments in terms of war. We can actually win or lose arguments. We see the person we are arguing with as an opponent. We attack his positions and we defend our own. We gain and lose ground. We plan and use strategies. If we find a position indefensible, we can abandon it and take a new line of attack. Many of the things we do in arguing are partially structured by the concept of war. Though there is no physical battle, there is a verbal battle, and the structure of an argument--attack, defense, counter-attack, etc.---reflects this. It is in this sense that the ARGUMENT IS WAR metaphor is one that we live by in this culture; its structures the actions we perform in arguing. Try to imagine a culture where arguments are not viewed in terms of war, where no one wins or loses, where there is no sense of attacking or defending, gaining or losing ground. Imagine a culture where an argument is viewed as a dance, the participants are seen as performers, and the goal is to perform in a balanced and aesthetically pleasing way. In such a culture, people would view arguments differently, experience them differently, carry them out differently, and talk about them differently. But we would probably not view them as arguing at all: they would simply be doing something different. It would seem strange even to call what they were doing "arguing." In perhaps the most neutral way of describing this difference between their culture and ours would be to say that we have a discourse form structured in terms of battle and they have one structured in terms of dance. This is an example of what it means for a metaphorical concept, namely, ARGUMENT IS WAR, to structure (at least in part) what we do and how we understand what we are doing when we argue. The essence of metaphor is understanding and experiencing one kind of thing in terms of another.. It is not that arguments are a subspecies of war. Arguments and wars are different kinds of things--verbal discourse and armed conflict--and the actions performed are different kinds of actions. But ARGUMENT is partially structured, understood, performed, and talked about in terms of WAR. The concept is metaphorically structured, the activity is metaphorically structured, and, consequently, the language is metaphorically structured.


En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Aug 28th, 2009 at 12:24:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Lakoff:
Arguments and wars are different kinds of things--verbal discourse and armed conflict--and the actions performed are different kinds of actions. But ARGUMENT is partially structured, understood, performed, and talked about in terms of WAR. The concept is metaphorically structured, the activity is metaphorically structured, and, consequently, the language is metaphorically structured.

But really they're not, because they both share the metaphor of territoriality and domination.

Semantic territory and dominance are as important as physical territory and dominance. In fact you can't hope to win or own physical territory unless you have semantic and intellectual dominance over a significant population - who are then magically persuaded to wage a physical war for you.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Aug 28th, 2009 at 05:19:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
who are then magically persuaded to wage a physical war for you.

Or who are thereby marginalized and rendered manipulable or disposable by you.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Aug 28th, 2009 at 05:41:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
or, strangest of all, both!

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun Aug 30th, 2009 at 08:45:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It seems they are more related than by metaphore... read propaganda and discussion of economic ideals...

the best way toc onquer terrirtry if , for example, you are a big company aiming for a particular oil field in the middle of Nigeria is to win the argument about the dangerous rebels who attack your facilities.. in front of the argument about peasants trying to defend their land from contamination..

At the end.. it is all a war... even in cases of physical and teritorial disputes... at the end it is about winning the war.. symbolically, of course...

Only after winning the argument you can do whatever you want with no fear of cosnequences..

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Fri Aug 28th, 2009 at 07:51:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Try to imagine a culture where arguments are not viewed in terms of war, where no one wins or loses, where there is no sense of attacking or defending, gaining or losing ground. Imagine a culture where an argument is viewed as a dance, the participants are seen as performers, and the goal is to perform in a balanced and aesthetically pleasing way. In such a culture, people would view arguments differently, experience them differently, carry them out differently, and talk about them differently.

I suppose that's the way we would like argument on ET to be.

When it becomes a war everyone ends up as frazzled as when a fistfight erupts in a dance hall.

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Aug 29th, 2009 at 04:01:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As far as discovering the (more or less) real world or valuable stories is concerned, all is needed is to exclude bullshit arguments from the discussion. But tha would be called "fascism" by Bill O'Reilys.
by das monde on Mon Aug 31st, 2009 at 01:06:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Two small points. I am trying to say that the idea of "rational" communication is a myth. This does not mean it is false.. it is just a structural narrative... like all the things we nomrmally call myths because they are false to us.

Joseph Campbell famously defined myths as "other people's religions."

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Aug 29th, 2009 at 12:03:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Joseph cmapbell is the one who said that if youw anted to change the world you had to change the metaphors...

The deepest way to change the world is changing the mythology.. but that's not somehting I advocate to do from scratch... change and push our narrative... unless some incredible guy is smart enough to generate a new mythology and roll it...

Even the Aericna right did not change the basic mythology in the whole society...just the narrative for the important subgroup

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Sun Aug 30th, 2009 at 12:18:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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