Category “Homo sapiens sapiens”

Ebola: proper overview graph?

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Flags o’ the World: colour histogram


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Kenneth Katzner (1977)

KennethKatzner_LanguagesOfTheWorldWhat’s most interesting to me is not so much the diversity of human languages, but more the extent to which they can all be analyzed within a common framework (‘linguistic typology’).

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The Western Illusion of Human Nature

Marshall Sahlins (2008)

MarshallSahlins_WesternIllusionOfHumanNature“One has to ask, if man really has a pre-social, anti-social animal disposition, how has it happened that so many peoples remained unaware of it, and lived to relate their ignorance? Many of them have no concept of animality whatsoever, let alone of the bestiality supposed to be lurking in our genes, our bodies and our culture. Amazing that, living in such close relations, with so called ‘nature’, these peoples have neither recognized their inherent animality, nor known the necessity of coming to cultural terms with it.”

– Marshall Sahlins in The Western Illusion of Human Nature.

“The manner in which the modern Occident represents nature is the one thing in the world the least widely shared. In numerous regions of the planet, humans and non-humans are not conceived as developing in the incommensurable world, according to distinct principles. The environment does not consist of objectivity as an autonomous sphere; plants and animals, rivers and rocks, meteors and seasons, do not exist in the same ontological niche defined by its lack of humanity.”

– Philippe Descola, Tour du Monde, quoted in Sahlins’  The Western Illusion of Human Nature.

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On Democracy

“What are the consequences of attempts to forcefully impose democracy on societies with no such traditions? Especially, how does the imposition of ‘winner-take-all’ democratic elections in ethnically divided societies exacerbate violence, as has happened time and again in many postcolonial societies in recent decades? How does the reframing of local differences in terms of international issues, backed by opposed international forces, create a virtual state of nature, as happened in Iraq, India, Sri Lanka, and many other similar situations, going back to the encompassment of local disputes in the opposition between democratic-imperial Athens and oligarchic Sparta in the Peloponnesian War?”

– Marshall Sahlins (2013, interview with David Moberg)

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Deaths by Cause

Butler (2012), ‘UN targets top killers’, Nature, 477, p. 261.

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Know thyself, Primate

“No man can ever attain to anywhere near a true conception of the subconscious in man who does not know the primates under natural conditions.” – Eugène N. Marais, letter to Dr. Winifred de Kok, 20 October 1935.

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Colour in Culture

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Vowel phonetics

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The singularity slips further

Wait!  Could interfacing technology be … limited?  (With apologies to Daniel Hornal)

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