Thursday, January 30, 2003

Hierarchies of Society:

I often wonder about personal habits, and lately being on a diet has brought this home. They really are a link to our animal nature. I first thought about this when I had recently changed jobs, and realized that one of the first habits I established was to always return to the same stall in the bathroom. We do this everywhere. We sit in the same seat in a class. We prefer the same seat on the bus. There is an entire culture of seating on the train into and out of New York. Don´t you dare violate it.

These are the things that enable us to survive - they are the learned behaviours transmitted to us by our families and by our experiences. Memes. There are certainly habits one has that remind of our parents. Especially if you have a sibling, you can see your parents in some of their actions. The sum of these habits are our personalities. We are known by our actions.

Cultures, are therefore the aggregate sum of personalities, habits and actions.

So, like dietary habits, cultures are amongst the most difficult things to change. And you wanted to change the culture of consumption, you said? Good luck - that´s one hell of a diet.


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