9 Matching Annotations
  1. Mar 2022
    1. Capitalization conveys a certain distinction, the elevated position of humans and their creations in the hierarchy of beings. Biologists have widely adopted the convention of not capital-izing the common names of plants and animals unless they include the name of a human being or an official place name. Thus, the first blossoms of the spring woods are written as bloodroot and the pink star of a California woodland is Kellogg’s tiger lily. This seemingly trivial grammatical rulemaking in fact expresses deeply held assump-tions about human exceptionalism, that we are somehow different and indeed better than the other species who surround us. Indigenous ways of understanding recognize the personhood of all beings as equally important, not in a hierarchy but a circle.

      Rules for capitalization in English give humans elevated hierarchical positions over animals, plants, insects, and other living things. We should revise this thinking and capitalize words like Maple, Heron, and Mosquito when we talking of beings and only use only use the lower case when referring to broad categories or concepts like maples, herons, and humans.

  2. Dec 2021
    1. I mean how are they gonna learn the ten commandments if they don't ever command each other you know no kidding order is necessary it's a moral duh so it's exactly the opposite you know of 00:42:38 the the opinions that most people would have today

      Is it possible that the delivery of the ten commandments was a moral and ethical ill brought upon Western culture? Was the fact of one person (or God, in this case) creating a hierarchical structure of one commanding another that began the idea of inequality in Western culture?

  3. Nov 2021
    1. Our elders say that ceremonies are the way we “remember to remember,”

      The Western word "ceremony" is certainly not the best word for describing these traditions. It has too much baggage and hidden meaning with religious overtones. It's a close-enough word to convey some meaning to those who don't have the cultural background to understand the underlying orality and memory culture. It is one of those words that gets "lost in translation" because of the dramatic differences in culture and contextual collapse.

      Most Western-based anthropology presumes a Western idea of "religion" and impinges it upon oral cultures. I would maintain that what we would call their "religion" is really an oral-based mnemonic tradition that creates the power of their culture through knowledge. The West mistakes this for superstitious religious practices, but primarily because we can't see (or have never been shown) the larger structures behind what is going on. Our hubris and lack of respect (the evils of the scala naturae) has prevented us from listening and gaining entrance to this knowledge.

      I think that the archaeological ideas of cultish practices or ritual and religion are all more likely better viewed as oral practices of mnemonic tradition. To see this more easily compare the Western idea of the memory palace with the Australian indigenous idea of songline.

    2. Sunlight streamed through the hole from the Skyworld, allowing the seeds to flourish. Wild grasses, flowers, trees, and medicines spread everywhere.

      Notice here that medicine is put in with grasses, flowers, trees and natural things. They are not something that is a chemical creation of man, but something from the Earth around us.

      In the Western framing of the scala naturae, this patently is not the case. Humans dominate nature in this framing and so we plunder and strip our medicines. Many of our medicines have a natural root from non-Western sources, but we analyze and remove the smallest pieces and purify them for commercial consumption.

    1. he Western tradition has never been more appealingly portrayed than in Rembrandt’s 1653 painting “Aristotle with a Bust of Homer.” Whether you stand in front of it at the Metropolitan Museum or look at it online, the painting turns you into a link in a chain that goes back three thousand years.

      Not sure how they manage not to link Rembrandt's 1653 painting "Aristotle with a Bust of Homer" here.

      Rembrandt - Aristotle with a Bust of Homer - WGA19232.jpg<br>By <span title="Dutch painter and etcher (1606-1669)">Rembrandt</span> - Unknown source, Public Domain, Link

      It might also be more interesting to use the metaphor of a ladder here than a chain to give a tangential nod to Western culture's scala naturae.

  4. Oct 2021
    1. Analog zur Struktur des Zettelkastens baut Luhmanns Systemtheorie nicht auf Axiome und bietet keine Hierarchien von Begriffen oder Thesen. Zentrale Begriffe sind, ebenso wie die einzelnen Zettel, stark untereinander vernetzt und gewinnen erst im Kontext Bedeutung.

      machine translation:

      Analogous to the structure of the card box, Luhmann's system theory is not based on axioms and does not offer any hierarchies of terms or theses. Central terms, like the individual pieces of paper, are strongly interlinked and only gain meaning in the context.

      There's something interesting here about avoiding hierarchies and instead interlinking things and giving them meaning based on context.

      Could a reformulation of ideas like the scala naturae into these sorts of settings be a way to remove some of the social cruft from our culture from an anthropological point of view? This could help us remove structural racism and other issues we have with genetics and our political power structures.

      Could such a redesign force the idea of "power with" and prevent "power over"?

  5. Jul 2021
    1. “Although a seemingly mundane and simple innovation, Linnaeus' use of index cards marks a major shift in how eighteenth-century naturalists thought about the order of nature,” says Mueller-Wille. The natural world was no longer ordered on a fixed, linear scale, but came to be seen as a map-like natural system of multiple affinities.


      Roughly the idea I'd just written!

      The idea of reordering nature this way would have been fantastic, particularly in light of the general prior order of the cosmos based on the scala naturae or Great Chain of Being.

      Compare this with Ernst Haeckel's Tree of Man. What year was this in relation? Was the idea of broader biological networks and network-like structure thought of prior to this?

  6. Dec 2020
    1. By harnessing emotion, the individual can move up the steps of

      the ladder of spiritual betterment."

      This evokes the idea of moving up the scala naturae.

  7. Oct 2020
    1. Finally, and as fundamentally as there is a numerical memory and a dia-lectical memory, there is a geometry of memory too. Almost every monas-tic mnemotechnical scheme—ladders, roses, buildings, maps—was based ongeometrical figures: squares, rectangles, triangles, circles, and complex refor-mations of these, including three-dimensional structures

      She doesn't mention it, but they're not only placing things in order for potential memory purposes, but they're also placing an order on their world as well.

      Ladders and steps were frequently used to create an order of beings as in the scala naturae or the Great Chain of Being.

      Some of this is also seen in Ramon Lull's Ladder of Ascent and Descent of the Mind, 1305 (Ars Magna)