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  2. Aug 2022
  3. Jul 2022
  4. bafybeiapea6l2v2aio6hvjs6vywy6nuhiicvmljt43jtjvu3me2v3ghgmi.ipfs.dweb.link bafybeiapea6l2v2aio6hvjs6vywy6nuhiicvmljt43jtjvu3me2v3ghgmi.ipfs.dweb.link
    1. The vast area of the world managed by In-digenous Peoples (at least 25 to 28% of landsurface) (Fig. 4) under various property re-gimes is no exception to these trends. Becauseof their large extent, the fact that nature isoverall better preserved within them (60), andbecause of the diverse stewardship practicescarried within them around the world (Fig. 4,A to I), the fate of nature in these lands hasimportant consequences for wider societyas well as for local livelihoods, health, andknowledge transmission (67).

      The roughly 25% of area that is (better) managed by indigenous people is also under threat from practices beyond their control.

  5. Jun 2022
    1. For Jerome Bruner, the place to begin is clear: “One starts somewhere—where the learner is.”

      One starts education with where the student is. But mustn't we also inventory what tools and attitudes the student brings? What tools beyond basic literacy do they have? (Usually we presume literacy, but rarely go beyond this and the lack of literacy is too often viewed as failure, particularly as students get older.) Do they have motion, orality, song, visualization, memory? How can we focus on also utilizing these tools and modalities for learning.

      Link to the idea that Donald Trump, a person who managed to function as a business owner and president of the United States, was less than literate, yet still managed to function in modern life as an example. In fact, perhaps his focus on oral modes of communication, and the blurrable lines in oral communicative meaning (see [[technobabble]]) was a major strength in his communication style as a means of rising to power?

      Just as the populace has lost non-literacy based learning and teaching techniques so that we now consider the illiterate dumb, stupid, or lesser than, Western culture has done this en masse for entire populations and cultures.

      Even well-meaning educators in the edtech space that are trying to now center care and well-being are completely missing this piece of the picture. There are much older and specifically non-literate teaching methods that we have lost in our educational toolbelts that would seem wholly odd and out of place in a modern college classroom. How can we center these "missing tools" as educational technology in a modern age? How might we frame Indigenous pedagogical methods as part of the emerging third archive?

      Link to: - educational article by Tyson Yunkaporta about medical school songlines - Scott Young article "You should pay for Tutors"


      aside on serendipity

      As I was writing this note I had a toaster pop up notification in my email client with the arrival of an email by Scott Young with the title "You should pay for Tutors" which prompted me to add a link to this note. It reminds me of a related idea that Indigenous cultures likely used information and knowledge transfer as a means of payment (Lynne Kelly, Knowledge and Power). I have commented previously on the serendipity of things like auto correct or sparks of ideas while reading as a means of interlinking knowledge, but I don't recall experiencing this sort of serendipity leading to combinatorial creativity as a means of linking ideas,

    2. From the classroom, to the street, to the Internet, Eric’s voice carried, and carried within it the possibility of a kind of education–amplified with digital technologies– that enables other human beings to become conscious, to become responsible, to learn.

      Sadly, we seem to have othered orality and cultural practices which don't fit into the Western literate cultural box. This prevents us from moving forward as a society and a diverse culture.

      In the 90's rap was culturally appropriated by some because of its perception as "cool" within the culture. Can this coolness be leveraged as a reintroduction of oral methods in our culture without the baggage of the appropriation? Can it be added to enhance the evolving third archive? As a legitimate teaching tool?

    3. listen deeply to Eric’s story

      Beyond Eric's words here, I'm struck by the fact that he's able to do this "feat" orally in a way that I certainly cannot. Perhaps he spent ages slowly building it up and writing it down in a literal fashion, but I suspect that part of it is not and that it is raw oral poetry in a way which requires culture and oral practice that I wholly lack, but wish I had.

      How can we better teach this?! Center this.

      Link to: - Eminem's stacking ammo

    4. Maxine Greene for example, begins by writing that “We are convinced that the movement towards educational technology is irreversible and that our obligation as educators is to learn how to deal with it,” but then she turns that resignation into resistance by adding, “how, if you like, to live with it as fully conscious human beings working to enable other human beings to become conscious, to become responsible, to learn.”

      If it's true that the movement toward technology is inevitable, how might we deal with it?

      Compare this with the solution(s) that nomadic hunter-gatherers had to face when changing from a lifestyle built on movement to one of settling down to a life of agriculture. Instead of attaching their knowledge and memories to their landscape as before, they built structures (like Stonehenge) to form these functions.

      Part of moving forward may involve moving back historically to better understand these ideas and methods and regaining them so that we might then reattach them to a digital substrate. How can we leverage the modalities of the digital for art, song, dance, music, and even the voice into digital spaces (if we must?). All digital or only digital certainly isn't the encompassing answer, but if we're going to do it, why not leverage the ability to do this?

      As an example, Hypothes.is allows for annotating text to insert photos, emoji, audio (for music and voice), and even video. Videos might include dance and movement related cues that students might recreate physically. These could all be parts of creating digital songlines through digital spaces that students can more easily retrace to store their learnings for easier recall and to build upon in the future.

    5. Groups in arts education rail against the loss of music, dance, and art in schools and indicate that it's important to a balanced education.

      Why has no one embedded these learning tools, for yes they can be just that, into other spaces within classrooms? Indigenous educators over the millennia have done just this in passing on their societal and cultural knowledge. Why have we lost these teaching methods? Why don't we reintroduce them? How can classrooms and the tools within them become mnemonic media to assist both teachers and learners?

      Perhaps we need to bring back examples of how to do these things at the higher levels? I've seen excercises in my daughter's grade school classrooms that bring art and manipulatives into the classroom as a base level, but are they being done specifically for these mnemonic reasons?

      Michael Nielsen and Andy Matuschak have been working at creating a mnemonic medium for areas like quantum mechanics relying in part on spaced repetition. Why don't they go further and add in dance, movement, art, and music to aid in the process. This can be particularly useful for creating better neurodiverse outcomes as well. Education should be more multi-modal, more oral, and cease it's unending reliance on only literacy as it's sole tool.

      How and where can we create a set of example exercises at various grade levels (similar to rites of knowledge initiation in Indigenous cultures, for lack of specific Western language) that embed all of these methods

      Link to: - Ideas in The Extended Brain about movement, space, etc. - Nielsen/Matuschak mnemonic media work

    1. https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/native-american-language-preservation-rcna31396

      Should outsiders attempting to preserve Indigenous knowledge, histories, or language be allowed to make money off of their work?

    2. But the copyright on the materials still gives the organization control over how the information is used, which is what some tribal leaders find objectionable.

      Oral cultures treat information dramatically different than literate cultures, and particularly Western literate cultures within capitalism-based economies.

    3. “No matter how it was collected, where it was collected, when it was collected, our language belongs to us. Our stories belong to us. Our songs belong to us,” Taken Alive, who teaches Lakota to elementary school students, told the tribal council in April. 
    1. It is a fact that lands have been sold for five shillings, which were worth one hundred pounds: if sheriffs, thus immediately under the eye of our state legislature and judiciary, have dared to commit these outrages, what would they not have done if their masters had been at Philadelphia or New York?

      This is almost hilarious in light of how the U.S. Government has since repeatedly dispossessed Indigenous Americans of their lands for far less than "five shillings."

  6. May 2022
    1. https://www.macquariedictionary.com.au/blog/article/865/

      Re: Junior Atlas of Indigenous Australia

    2. The decision not to refer primary school children to online language resources such as AustLang and the Gambay map was appropriate as it would create difficulties for both those readers and their teachers. Those resources are usually used by Indigenous language speakers and experts with a sound training in linguistics.
    1. pretty much all the arguments that we would be making too if we've met a bunch of Jesuits fear right of kings and reveal the faith and it's actually it's 00:41:37 the indigenous sort of looking rationally

      Perhaps summarizing Graeber and Wengrow too much here, but..

      The Enlightenment came to us courtesy of discussions with Indigenous Peoples from the Americas.

    1. The ninth edition entry, reprinted in Slate, also recommends the use of “Harts-horn.” Harts-horn, according to Merriam-Webster, is an “American pasqueflower.”  According to “Edible and Medicinal Plants of the West” by herbalist Gregory L. Tilford, pasqueflowers were used by Native Americans to induce abortions, or speed up childbirth.  
    1. Whig history (or Whig historiography), often appearing as whig history, is an approach to historiography that presents history as a journey from an oppressive and benighted past to a "glorious present".[1] The present described is generally one with modern forms of liberal democracy and constitutional monarchy: it was originally a satirical term for the patriotic grand narratives praising Britain's adoption of constitutional monarchy and the historical development of the Westminster system.[2] The term has also been applied widely in historical disciplines outside of British history (e.g. in the history of science) to describe "any subjection of history to what is essentially a teleological view of the historical process".[3] When the term is used in contexts other than British history, "whig history" (lowercase) is preferred.[3]

      Stemming from British history, but often applied in other areas including the history of science, whig history is a historiography that presents history as a path from an oppressive, backward, and wretched past to a glorious present. The term was coined by British Historian Herbert Butterfield in The Whig Interpretation of History (1931). It stems from the British Whig party that advocated for the power of Parliament as opposed to the Tories who favored the power of the King.


      It would seem to be an unfortunate twist of fate for indigenous science and knowledge that it was almost completely dismissed when the West began to dominate indigenous cultures during the Enlightenment which was still heavily imbued with the influence of scholasticism. Had religion not played such a heavy role in science, we may have had more respect and patience to see and understand the value of indigenous ways of knowing.

      Link this to notes from The Dawn of Everything.

  7. Apr 2022
    1. In studies comparing European American children withMayan children from Guatemala, psychologists Maricela Correa-Chávez andBarbara Rogoff asked children from each culture to wait while an adultperformed a demonstration—folding an origami shape—for another childnearby. The Mayan youth paid far more sustained attention to the demonstration—and therefore learned more—than the American kids, who were oftendistracted or inattentive. Correa-Chávez and Rogoff note that in Mayan homes,children are encouraged to carefully observe older family members so that theycan learn how to carry out the tasks of the household, even at very young ages.

      American children aren't encouraged to as attentive imitators as their foreign counterparts and this can effect their learning processes.

    1. Last night while watching a video related to The First Astronomers, I came across a clip in which Australian elder Uncle Ghillar Michael Anderson indicates that indigenous dendroglyphs (markings on trees) or petroglyphs (markings on stone in the stony territories) are the libraries of the Indigenous peoples who always relate (associate) their stories from the markings back up to the sky (stars, constellations).

      These markings remind me of some of those found on carved stone balls in neolithic European contexts described by Dr. @LynneKelly in The Memory Code and Memory Craft and carvings on coolamon in Knowledge and Power.

      Using the broad idea of the lukasa and abstract designs, I recently bought a small scale version of the Aberlemno Pictish Cross as a small manual/portable memory palace, which is also an artwork that I can hang on the wall, to use to associate memories to the designs and animals which are delineated in 18 broad areas on the sculpture. (Part of me wonders if the communities around these crosses used them for mnemonic purposes as well?)

      scale model of the Aberlemno Pictish Cross with Celtic designs in the foreground with the life size cross in the background

      Is anyone else using abstract designs or artwork like this for their memory practice?

      Anyone know of other clever decorative artworks one could use and display in their homes/offices for these purposes?


      For those interested in the archeological research on dendroglyphs in Australia: - The Western Yalanji dendroglyph: The life and death of an Aboriginal carved tree - Review: The Dendroglyphs or ‘Carved Trees’ of New South Wales by Robert Etheridge (Content warning: historical erasure of Indigenous culture)

    1. that's just the story of how we transfer knowledge and how we preserve that knowledge and move it around and even when it's taken from us and we can find it 00:53:56 we go and we sing that song and we sing that spirit out of there and so this is what's important about transmission of knowledge for for us and so that knowledge they don't belong 00:54:09 to us

      Uncle Ghillar Michael Anderson told a story of how his mob went into a museum and transferred the knowledge from sacred objects in the museum and then took the spirts out of there and moved them back in country. The curators didn't understand the process at all or how they had corrupted the sacred objects.

    2. that knowledge belongs to future generations that's who that knowledge belongs to we don't know yeah and and so 00:54:20 when you think of knowledge belonging to future generations then you then you of course understand the importance of being very precise 00:54:32 and being a carer and being a guardian of all that you learn because you're only here for a short time

      We don't own knowledge, it belongs to future generations. It's important to be very precise in your work as a carrier and a guardian of knowledge because you'll only have it for a very short time before passing it along.

      via Uncle Ghillar Michael Anderson

    3. same with our with the with the dendrites we will always tell you the story tell the story to the juvenile who's coming through the novices who's coming through the ceremony will tell them so as they 00:47:47 get to a certain age or a certain time or a certain experience in the ceremony we will then pass that knowledge onto him and we'll take it to him so these hieroglyphs and 00:47:58 petroglyphs and the etchings on the rocks and the paintings on there on the cave walls that's our library that is our library

      The dendroglyphs (markings on trees) or the petroglyphs (markings on stone in the stony territories) are the libraries of the indigenous peoples who always relate their stories from the markings back up to the sky.

      via Uncle Ghillar Michael Anderson


      Can this be linked to the practices of the Druids who may have had similar methods? How about linking the petroglyphs in the Celtic (English) countryside?

    4. and within that within that area then you have on one on the light side with on the eastern side of the milky way all of those people there have a 00:39:56 relationship to each other all the tribes and all the clans and so and then you come on to the west side exactly the same thing again so on the east side those stars on the 00:40:10 bright side we are not allowed if you've got a totemic system that belongs to the east side you cannot marry your children into any one of them you must marry across the river so 00:40:23 you've got to go across the river which is that milky way and so the light side's going to go across the dark side to find their wives and so the old people understood who the people were and 00:40:35 and so they understood that genealogical background of every family every child and so they made sure that that when you made a promise to a child you 00:40:49 make sure that there are at least five generation removed from the people you want to marry them back into genetics was very important to us even though we didn't know it was genetics at 00:41:01 the time but it was maintaining the purity of the people

      There's a light side (East) and a dark side (West) of the Milky Way (seen as a river) which is mirrored into the moieties of the people. Dark people must go across the river to marry those on the light side. The elders kept track of all the genealogy in the totemic system of every family and every child and made their promises such that there were at least five generations removed from their family to maintain the purity (in the sense of genetic soundness, not genetic purity from a "racial" perspective) of the people.

      via Uncle Ghillar Michael Anderson

  8. Mar 2022
    1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kkjf0hCKOCE

      The sky is a textbook. The sky is a lawbook. The sky is a science book. —Duane Hamacher, (1:24)

      Hamacher uses the Western description "method of loci" rather than an Indigenous word or translated word.


      The words "myth", "legend", "magic", "ritual", and "religion" in both colloquial English and even anthropology are highly loaded terms.

      Words like "narrative" and "story" are better used instead for describing portions of the Indigenous cultures which we have long ignored and written off for their seeming simplicity.

    2. for tens of thousands of years Aboriginal people and tourists Islander people have paid incredibly close attention to the world around them and still do today have developed knowledge 00:09:51 systems that are more complex than we could ever imagine or as intellectually capable as anybody else if not much more and that their traditions have a very detailed scientific component that we can learn from if we just shut up and 00:10:04 listen

      For tens of thousands of years Aboriginal people and Torres Islander people have paid incredibly close attention to the world around them and still do today; have developed knowledge systems that are more complex than we could ever imagine; are as intellectually capable as anybody else if not much more, and that their traditions have a very detailed scientific component that we can learn from if we just shut up and listen. —Dr. Duane Hamacher

      AMEN! What a fantastic quote.

    1. For Aboriginal Australians,its importance is recognised by its position at the centre of thenational Aboriginal flag, developed in 1971 by Luritja artist HaroldThomas.

      The Aboriginal flag was developed in 1971 by Luritja artist Harold Thomas. Centering its importance to Aboriginal Australians, the sun appears in the middle of the flag.


      It's subtle here, as in other instances, but notice that Hamacher gives the citation to the Indigenous artist that developed the flag and simultaneously underlines the source of visual information that is associated with the flag and the sun. It's not just the knowledge of the two things which are associated to each other, but they're also both associated with a person who is that source of knowledge.

      Is this three-way association common in all Indigenous cultures? While names may be tricky for some, the visual image of a particular person's face, body, and presence is usually very memorable and thereby easy to attach to various forms of knowledge.

      Does the person/source of knowledge form or act like an 'oral folder' for Indigenous knowledge?

    2. The idea that ‘everything onEarth is reflected in the sky’ and of ‘reading the stars’ to understandyour environment are two of the most common and widespreadthemes in Indigenous astronomy.

      Hidden in the phrase that "everything on Earth is reflected in the sky" or the idea of "reading the stars to understand one's environment" is the idea of associative memory. If you know one thing, you necessarily know another. Don't let this subtle idea of the words 'reflect' or 'read' hide what is going on.

    3. Lakota Elder Arvol Looking Horse explains that ‘Star knowledge islike a mirror. The stars are up there, and we have the stars down

      here.’ This philosophical standpoint is understood in the Lakota/Dakota language with one word: Kapemni—‘As is above, so is below: What is in the stars is on Earth; and what is on Earth is in the stars.’


      The Lakota/Dakota language word Kapemni captures the idea that what is in the stars mirrors what is on Earth.

    4. Everything is related. Everything is connected.

      Everything is connected. And isn't this just as it should be with respect to knowledge?

    5. Indigenous astronomy focuses on the empirical, scientificlayers of this knowledge, and Traditions refer to the social practices,cultural activities, and methods of transmitting and applying thisknowledge.
    6. Star knowledge is the body of knowledge aboutthe celestial realm and how it relates to a people, their land and theirculture.
    7. UNESCO broadly defines Indigenous Knowledge as ‘theunderstandings, skills and philosophies developed by [Indigenous]cultures and societies with long histories of interaction with theirnatural surroundings’.
    8. Who were the world’s first astronomers? The answer typicallyincludes scientists such as Galileo, Nicolaus Copernicus, or ancientcivilisations that gave birth to what we consider Western science,such as Sumer in Mesopotamia.

      Given the predominantly non-literate civilizations that comprised the ancient Near East, I've been wondering about how they may have actually been closer to Indigenous cultures than they are to more modern, literate Western culture.

      Perhaps he shouldn't dismiss them so readily here, but rather tie them more directly into his broader thesis.

    9. Peter Eseli of Mabuiag Island (known locally as Mabuyag)in the western Torres Strait began writing down traditional knowledgein the Kala Lagau Ya language in the early twentieth century. By1939, Eseli had amassed a 77-page manuscript, complete withdrawings, songs and genealogies as well as a wealth of starknowledge, some of which is included in this book. He continuedadding to it until his death in 1958. His manuscript was latertranslated into English.
    10. Professor Mātāmua’s 2017 book, Matariki: The star of the year.
    11. In 1898, Māori man Te Kōkau and his son, Rāwairi Te Kōkau,began recording traditional star knowledge in the Māori language.After 35 years, they had amassed a 400-page manuscript that

      contained over a thousand star names. Rāwairi passed the manuscript to his grandson, Timi Rāwairi. In 1995, Timi’s own grandson asked him about Matariki, a celebration that kicks off the Māori new year, heralded by the dawn rising of the Pleiades star cluster. Timi went to a cupboard, pulled out the manuscript and handed it to his grandson, Rangi Mātāmua.

      Was it partially coincidence that this knowledge was written down and passed on within the family or because of the primacy of the knowledge within the culture that helped to save in spanning from orality into literacy?

      What other examples might exist along these lines to provide evidence for the passing of knowledge at the border of orality and literacy?

      Link this to ideas about the border of orality and literacy in Welsh and Irish.

    12. Given the importance of star knowledge to the survivalof people and the thriving of culture, the role of an astronomer isgenerally considered one of the most prestigious and sacred roles inIndigenous societies.

      Star knowledge can be some of the most important social knowledge with respect to Indigenous peoples and as a result astronomers are some of the most prestigious and sacred roles in these societies.

    13. This hierarchical system ensures accuracy, rigour and competencyof information.

      Hierarchical systems of knowledge in Indigenous cultures helps to ensure rigor, competency, and most importantly accuracy of knowledge passed down from generation to generation.

    14. Guardianship of starknowledge is also a family affair in Lakota cultures of the northernMidwest of the United States. Arvol Looking Horse, a Lakota Elderand spiritual leader, teaches that sacred star medicine is maintainedby family lineages bearing the name Lúta.

      Star knowledge is guarded by family lineages in the Lakota cultures with the name Lúta.

    15. In the western Torres Strait, an astronomer is called a ZugubauMabaig, which literally translates as ‘star person’.
    16. In FirstNations, astronomers are the keepers of knowledge that informsnearly every facet of life and culture.
    17. The stars also give meaning to our existence. The sky is a canvasof sparkling dots that we connect to form familiar patterns, to whichwe assign narratives about their formation and meaning. Across thesky, ancestors, heroic figures, animals, landscapes and fantasticbeasts tell stories of the human experience. They speak of braveryand deceit, war and peace, sex and violence, punishment andreward. It is fascinating to find striking similarities in stories about thestars across vastly different cultures, with even more similarities in theways they are utilised.

      Are these graphic and memorable stories strikingly similar because of the underlying packages of orality and memory used in these cultures?

      This is one of my primary motivations for reading this text.

    18. Indigenous science has long been rejected without consideration,overlooked, or exploited without recognition by powerful Westerninterests. Bio-piracy sees Indigenous Knowledge of plants stolen andpatented for use in the food, cosmetic and pharmaceutical industrieswith little or no recognition or recompense. Indigenous starknowledge has been ignored, even when that knowledge clearlyexisted long before the ‘discoveries’ of Western science.

      Indigenous knowledge has been broadly ignored, rejected, and even exploited without any recognition by Western colonizers. Examples of appropriation include knowledge of plants patented for use in food, medicine, and cosmetics.

    19. Indigenous sciences are highly interconnected, while Westernscience tends to be divided into different categories by discipline, witheach diverging into ever smaller focus areas.

      Indigenous sciences are highly interconnected while Western sciences tend to be highly sub-divided into ever smaller specializations.


      Are Indigenous sciences naturally interconnected or do they form that way because of the associative memory underlying the cultural orality by which they are formed and transmitted? (I would suspect so, but don't yet have the experience to say definitively. Evidence for this should be collected.)

    20. Each of the cardinal directions signifies a meaning that isembedded in Warlpiri language and cosmology.

      The cardinal directions are embedded in both the language and the cosmology of the Warlpiri language.

    21. In the Warlpiri Aboriginal language of Central Australia, you do notdescribe positions of things with yourself as the focal reference point.Rather, your position is defined within the world around you. InWarlpiri, my computer is south of me, my cat is sleeping west of meand the door is east of me. It requires you to always know thecardinal directions (north, south, east and west), no matter yourorientation. Any one person is not the centre of the world, they arepart of it.

      Western cultures describe people's position in the world with them as the center, while Indigenous cultures, like those of the Warlpiri Aboriginal language of Central Australia, embed the person as part of the world and describe their position with respect to it using the cardinal directions.

    22. Western andIndigenous sciences work in different ways, with some crossover
    23. ‘Yes, ofcourse we have science! We’ve been saying that for years, but noone will listen.’

      No one has listened to Indigenous peoples when they say that they have science. The major boundary in hearing in this case is that Indigenous peoples rely on orality where as Western people rely more heavily on literacy. This barrier has obviously been a major gap between these cultures.

    24. A sense ofconnectedness is a unique part of Indigenous science. In Westernscience, knowledge is often considered separate from the people whodiscover it, while Indigenous cultures see knowledge as intricatelyconnected to people.

      A primary difference between Indigenous science and Western science is the first is intimately connected to the practitioners while the second is wholly separate.


      Would Western science be in a healthier space currently if its practice were more tightly bound to the people who need to use it (everyone)? By not being bound to the everyday practice and knowledge of our science, increasingly larger portions of Western society don't believe in science or its value.

    25. Science is something anyone can do, and everyone has done. Theprocess on paper is simple: closely observe the world, test what you learn,and transmit it to future generations. Just because Indigenous cultureshave done this without test tubes doesn’t make them unscientific—justdifferent.

      Perhaps there's a clever dig here that she uses the phrase "on paper" here because most indigenous cultures have done these things orally!

      quote from Dr. Annette S. Lee

    26. As Professor Rangi Mātāmua, a Māoriastronomy scholar, explains:Look at what our ancestors did to navigate here—you don’t do that onmyths and legends, you do that on science. I think there is empiricalscience embedded within traditional Māori knowledge ... but what they didto make it meaningful and have purpose is they encompassed it withincultural narratives and spirituality and belief systems, so it wasn’t just seenas this clinical part of society that was devoid of any other connection toour world, it was included into everything. To me, that cultural elementgives our science a completely new and deep and rich layer of meaning
    27. This would enable theElders to share their knowledge on their terms, and do so ascollaborators, not ‘research subjects’.
    28. All the knowledge provided by Elders in this book has beenapproved for public eyes. Higher, secret levels of knowledge exist,but they are not presented here.
    29. Mostof the knowledge shared in this book is what might be consideredthe ‘lower levels’, meaning it is equivalent to primary school intraditional cultures. Star knowledge is far more complex and in-depththan we discuss in this book, but even this is a lot to absorb.

      This is a strong example of the sort of erasure that happens with colonial cultures invading indigenous spaces. The invading colonizers don't realize how in-depth the indigenous knowledge is, how it's structured, or how to earn it through initiation processes, so they discard it and dismiss it.

    30. The First Astronomers challenges commonly held views thatIndigenous ways of knowing do not contain science.

      When reviewing back over at the end, ask:

      Did the book show that Indigenous ways of knowing do contain "science"? What evidence is presented here?

    31. These ways of knowinghave inherent value and are leading Western scientists to betterunderstand celestial phenomena and the history and heritage thisconstitutes for all people.

      The phrase "ways of knowing" is fascinating and seems to have a particular meaning across multiple contexts.

      I'd like to collect examples of its use and come up with a more concrete definition for Western audiences.

      How close is it to the idea of ways (or methods) of learning and understanding? How is it bound up in the idea of pedagogy? How does it relate to orality and memory contrasted with literacy? Though it may not subsume the idea of scientific method, the use, evolution, and refinement of these methods over time may generally equate it with the scientific method.

      Could such an oral package be considered a learning management system? How might we compare and contrast these for drawing potential equivalencies of these systems to put them on more equal footing from a variety of cultural perspectives? One is not necessarily better than another, but we should be able to better appreciate what each brings to the table of world knowledge.

    32. When profound ideas are introduced to theworld for the first time, our world is fundamentally changed and theprevious understandings consigned to history. There are those whocontinue to deny the intelligence and scientific traditions ofIndigenous people. The idea that the only true science is that ofWestern thinking must be consigned to history. Those who read thisbook will understand why.

      This is a great pull quote for the book, particularly for Westerners.

      However, these ideas are not being introduced to the "world" for the first time, they've long lived in indigenous cultures. We should be more pointed in underlining that they're being introduced to the "Western World" for the first time. These ideas should take up their own space in the pantheon of intellectual history.

    33. ISBN 978 1 76087 720 0
    1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KViPueei7TE

      Duane Hamacher identifies as a white American from the midwest.

    2. nura Gila indigenous Center at UNSW is working closely with Microsoft Research to incorporate indigenous 00:12:36 content into the world by telescope so we're creating interactive tours and all kinds of different materials to put in

      Microsoft Research has create the World Wide Telescope (https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/research/project/worldwide-telescope/), an interactive free astronomy software, which has a rich body of knowledge. The Nura Gili: Centre for Indigenous Programs at UNSW (https://www.indigenous.unsw.edu.au/) is working in concert with them to include Indigenous knowledge in the project.

    3. archaea what strata me which looked at how ancient civilizations understood

      archaeoastronomy : the study of ancient or traditional astronomies in their cultural context, utilizing archaeological and anthropological evidence.

      sometimes also spelled archeoastronomy

    1. An early example of a timber circle witnessed by Europeans was recorded by watercolor artist John White in July 1585 when he visited the Algonquian village of Secotan in North Carolina. White was the artist-illustrator and mapmaker for the Roanoke Colony expedition sent by Sir Walter Raleigh to begin the first attempts at British colonization of the Americas.[2] White's works represent the sole-surviving visual record of the native inhabitants of the Americas as encountered by England's first colonizers on the Atlantic seaboard.[3] White's watercolor and the writings of the chronicler who accompanied him, Thomas Harriot, describes a great religious festival, possibly the Green Corn ceremony, with participants holding a ceremonial dance at a timber circle. The posts of the circle were carved with faces. Harriot noted that many of the participants had come from surrounding villages and that "every man attyred in the most strange fashion they can devise havinge certayne marks on the backs to declare of what place they bee." and that "Three of the fayrest Virgins" danced around a central post at the center of the timber circle.[4]

      Artist, illustrator and mapmaker John White painted a watercolor in July 1585 of a group of Native Americans in the Secotan village in North America. Both he and chronicler Thomas Harriot described a gathering of Indigenous peoples gathered in the Algonquian village as part of Sir Walter Raleigh's Roanoke Colony expedition. They describe a festival with participants holding a dance at a timber circle, the posts of which were carved with with faces.

      Harriot wrote that participants had come from surrounding villages and that "every man attyred in the most strange fashion they can devise havinge certayne marks on the backs to declare of what place they bee."

      Secotans dancing in a timber circle in North Carolina, watercolor painted by John White in 1585


      This evidence would generally support some of Lynne Kelly's thesis in Knowledge and Power. A group of neighboring peoples gathering, possibly for the Green Corn Ceremony, ostensibly to strengthen social ties and potentially to strengthen and trade knowledge.

      Would we also see others of her list of markers in the area?

      Read references: - Daniels, Dennis F. "John White". NCpedia. Retrieved 2017-12-19. - Tucker, Abigal (December 2008). "Sketching the Earliest Views of the New World". Smithsonian Magazine. Retrieved 2017-12-19. - "A Selection of John White's Watercolors : A festive dance". Encyclopedia Virginia. Retrieved 2017-12-19.

    1. https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-the-pagan-gods-that-still-exist-in-israeli-city-names-1.8924898?v=1647845941967

      Cities in Israel named after Semitic gods of the ancient Near East.

      Jerusalem was likely originally Ir Shalem ('The City of Shalem') because the central shrine was dedicated to the Canaanite god Shalem, aka Salem, the personification of the Evening Star.

      Shahar, the twin brother of Shalem, was the personification of the Morning Star and was presumably the tutelary god of Zareth-Shahar. This town is in modern day central Jordan and was mentioned in Joshua 13:19.

      While the original Zareth-Shahar didn't survive into modernity, another town dedicated to the same god may have existed on the southern shore of the Sea of Galilee at a site known by the Arabic name for the morning star. A kibbutz named Ayelet HaShachar was built there after 1915. Ayelet HaShachar is a poetic biblical term for the Morning Star (Psalms 22:1).

      Jericho may have taken it's name from the tutelary god Yareakh, the moon god.

      Similarly the site Beit Yarekh may attest to that moon god being worshiped there as well.

      The sun god Shemesh may have created the eponymous names for cities Beth-Shemesh ('House of Shemesh', Joshua 15:10), En-Shemesh ('Spring of Shemesh", Joshua 15:7), and Ir-Shemesh ('City of Shemesh", Joshua 19:41). The modern day city Beit Shemesh was established in 1950 at a site with the Arabic place name 'Ain Shems which was believed to be the site of the ancient city Beth-Shemesh.

      The storm god Baal is the root of cities including Kiryat Baal (Joshua 18:14), Baal Perazim (II Samuel 5:17), Gur Baal (II Chronicles 26:7), Baal-Gad (Joshua 11:17), Baal-Hermon (Judges 3:3), and Baal-Hazor (II Samuel 13:23). There are also cities Baal-Peor (Numbers 23:28) and Ball Shalishah (II Kings 4:42).

      Canaanite god El was the tutelary god of the town Bethel mentioned frequently in the Old Testament including in Genesis 12:8. The Palestinian town Beitin is thought to be the site of the ancient Bethel. Beit El, an Israeli settlement, was created near it in 1977.

      Dagon was the namesake of Beth Dagon (Joshua 15:41). It continued until 1948 when the Palestinian town Bayt Dajan was depopulated leading up to the Israeli War of Independence. The site is now an Israeli town called Beit Dagan.

      Reshef, an ancient Semitic god from Elba and later identified with Apollo lent his name to the todays Arsuf, which is also known as Apollonia. During the Persian period, the Phoenicians had named a town there for Reshef.

      Horon, possibly a desert god with power over animals and snakes, is the inspiration of Beth Horon (I Chronicles 7:24). A modern settlement Beit Horon was founded in 1977.

    1. dark constellations

      Dark constellations are dark patches amidst brighter portions of the Milky Way in the night sky which are visible to the naked eye.

      Historically they were viewed by Indigenous peoples of Australia as well as Incans.

      The emu in the sky is an example from the southern hemisphere. Its 'body' is outlined by Scorpius and Sagittarius and its 'head' is known as as the Coalsack Nebula.

      Another example is the Great Rift.

    1. The constellations’ positions in the night sky on significant dates, such as solstices and equinoxes, are mirrored in the alignments of the main structures at the compound, he found. Steles were “carefully placed within the temenos to mark the rising, zenith, or setting of the stars over the horizon,” he writes.

      Phoenicians use of steles and local environment in conjunction with their astronomy fits the pattern of other uses of Indigenous orality and memory.

      Link this example to other examples delineated by Lynne Kelly and others I've found in the ancient Near East.

      How does this example potentially fit into the broader framework provided by Lynne Kelly? Are there differences?

      Her thesis fits into a few particular cultural time periods, but what sorts of evidence should we expect to see culturally, socially, and economically when the initial conditions she set forth evolve beyond their original context? What should we expect to see in these cases and how to they relate to examples I've been finding in the ancient Near East?

    2. But crucially, he believes the pool at the center of the complex may have also served as a surface to observe and map the stars. The water surface would have mirrored the sky, as water does – none other than Leonardo da Vinci pointed out the attributes of inert standing water when studying the night sky. For one thing, the stars were adored by the Phoenicians, whether as gods or deceased ancestors; and the position of the constellations was of keen interest to the sailors among them for navigation purposes, Nigro points out.

      Lorenzo Nigro indicates that the "kothon" of Motya in southern Sicily was a pool of Baal whose surface may have been used to observe and map the stars. He also indicates that the Phoenicians adored the stars potentially as gods or deceased ancestors. This is an example of a potentially false assumption often seen in archaeology of Western practitioners misconstruing Indigenous practices based on modern ideas of religion and culture.

      I might posit that this sort of practice is more akin to that of the science of Indigenous peoples who used oral and mnemonic methods in combination with remembering their histories and ancestors.

      Cross reference this with coming reading in The First Astronomers (to come) which may treat this in more depth.


      Leonardo da Vinci documented the attributes of standing water for studying the night sky.

      Where was this and what did it actually entail?

  9. Feb 2022
    1. https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2022-02-09/riverside-sohcahtoa-teacher-viral-video-mocked-native-americans-fired

      Riverside teacher who dressed up and mocked Native Americans for a trigonometry lesson involving a mnemonic using SOH CAH TOA in Riverside, CA is fired.

      There is a right way to teach mnemonic techniques and a wrong way. This one took the advice to be big and provocative went way overboard. The children are unlikely to forget the many lessons (particularly the social one) contained here.

      It's unfortunate that this could have potentially been a chance to bring indigenous memory methods into a classroom for a far better pedagogical and cultural outcome. Sad that the methods are so widely unknown that media missed a good teaching moment here.

      referenced video:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bu4fulKVv2c

      A snippet at the end of the video has the teacher talking to rocks and a "rock god", but it's extremely unlikely that she was doing so using indigenous methods or for indigenous reasons.

      read: 7:00 AM

  10. Jan 2022
  11. notesfromasmallpress.substack.com notesfromasmallpress.substack.com
    1. If booksellers like to blame publishers for books not being available, publishers like to blame printers for being backed up. Who do printers blame? The paper mill, of course.

      The problem with capitalism is that in times of fecundity things can seem to magically work so incredibly well because so much of the system is hidden, yet when problems arise so much becomes much more obvious.

      Unseen during fecundity is the amount of waste and damage done to our environments and places we live. Unseen are the interconnections and the reliances we make on our environment and each other.

      There is certainly a longer essay hiding in this idea.

    1. Man is neither height nor centre of creation. This belief is core to many Indigenous epistemologies. It underpins ways of knowing and speaking that acknowledge kinship networks that extend to animals and plants, wind and rocks, mountains and oceans. Indigenous communities worldwide have retained the languages and protocols that enable us to engage in dialogue with our non-human kin, creating mutually intelligible discourses across differences in material, vibrancy, and genealogy.

    1. Or, in Lallemant’s words: ‘I can say in truth that, asregards intelligence, they are in no wise inferior to Europeans and tothose who dwell in France. I would never have believed that, withoutinstruction, nature could have supplied a most ready and vigorouseloquence, which I have admired in many Hurons; or more clear-sightedness in public affairs, or a more discreet management inthings to which they are accustomed.’25

      How do we go from such varied statements from Jesuits which entered the popular discourse to the complete erasure of this knowledge in subsequent generations. Was the greed for land and power so great?

  12. Dec 2021
    1. We will suggest that there isa reason why so many key Enlightenment thinkers insisted that theirideals of individual liberty and political equality were inspired byNative American sources and examples. Because it was true.
    2. Historians are aware of all this. Yet the overwhelming majority stillconclude that even when European authors explicitly say they areborrowing ideas, concepts and arguments from indigenous thinkers,one should not take them seriously. It’s all just supposed to be somekind of misunderstanding, fabrication, or at best a naive projection ofpre-existing European ideas. American intellectuals, when theyappear in European accounts, are assumed to be mererepresentatives of some Western archetype of the ‘noble savage’ orsock-puppets, used as plausible alibis to an author who mightotherwise get into trouble for presenting subversive ideas (deism, forexample, or rational materialism, or unconventional views onmarriage).11

      Just as Western historians erase indigenous ideas as misunderstandings or fabrications or outright appropriation of those ideas as pre-existing ideas in European culture, is it possible that we do the same thing with orality and memory? Are medievalists seeing mnemotechniques of the time and not properly interpreting them by not seeing them in their original contexts and practices?

      The idea of talking rocks, as an example, is dismissed as lunacy, crazy, or some new-age hokum, but in reality it's at the far end of the spectrum. It's so unknowable for Western audiences that it's wholly dismissed rather than embraced, extended, and erased.

      What does the spectrum of potentially appropriated ideas look like? What causes their adoption or not, particularly in cases of otherwise cultural heterodoxy?

    3. For Europeanaudiences, the indigenous critique would come as a shock to thesystem, revealing possibilities for human emancipation that, oncedisclosed, could hardly be ignored.

      Indigenous peoples of the Americas critiqued European institutions for their structures and lack of freedom. In turn, while some Europeans listened, they created an evolutionary political spectrum of increasing human complexity to combat this indigenous critique.

    4. That, Pinker tells us, is the kind of dismal fate ordained for usby evolution. We have only escaped it by virtue of our willingness toplace ourselves under the common protection of nation states,courts of law and police forces; and also by embracing virtues ofreasoned debate and self-contro

      It's interesting to note that the founders of the United States famously including Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr regularly participated in duel culture which often ended in death despite its use as a means of defending one's honor and relieving tensions between people.

    1. The denial of native parental rights was finally legalized in 1891 and led to the mass forced removal of native children.[32] It wasn't until the 1976 Indian Child Welfare Act that the forceful removal of native children from their parents ended.
    1. you look at Rousseau he's writing two years later you know this is what everybody's discussing and the sort of social circles he's in so what does he do he synthesizes there's these two positions there's the evolutionist position and there's this sort of 00:53:31 indigenous critique possession and he does both so he comes up with the the first fusion well yes there was this primordial state where we were truly free and equal and that's cool but of 00:53:44 course then social evolution sets in and we lose it but you know someday we might get there again so basically by synthesizing these two opposed positions he essentially invents leftist discourse

      Graeber and Wengrow argue that Rousseau invents leftist discourse by juxtaposing the evolutionist idea of societies and the indigenous critique in Discourse on the Origin and Basis of Inequality Among Men (Discours sur l'origine et les fondements de l'inégalité parmi les hommes) in 1754.

    2. most people trained in our subjects are aware of is the 00:28:22 phenomenon of slavery among non farming populations and actually the classic example is precisely that of the the indigenous societies of the Northwest Coast who are known to have kept slaves 00:28:36 who were actually hereditary slaves in their households which were organized on these highly stratified aristocratic sort of lines what nobody seems to have 00:28:48 been interested up to now is why this practice of keeping slaves seems to sort of fizzle out and stop as you head south into what is now broadly speaking the 00:29:00 area of coastal California

      How many non-agricultural societies practiced slavery?

      Apparently some indigenous societies on the American Northwest Coast did down into coastal California.

  13. 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.

    1. Tania Bubela. (2021, November 17). New resources on #COVID19vaccines & #pregnancy from the fantastic group @CDCofBC Indigenous Knowledge Translation Working Group. @HarlanPruden working to meet knowledge needs of Indigenous communities in ways that are meaningful. @ScienceUpFirst take note! @SFU_FHS @CaulfieldTim https://t.co/oK3WJUj9p6 [Tweet]. @bubela_tania. https://twitter.com/bubela_tania/status/1460776956379557889

  14. Oct 2021
    1. The reality of the history of Canada’s mining industry makes #SquidGame look like child’s play.

      “The truth is that all of the gold that was mined out of the Klondike was under Indigenous land. There was no treaty with any of the Indigenous peoples in the Yukon.”

      “That land was stolen by the Canadian state and that gold was whisked away by private interests. The Federal Government only signed land claims with Indigenous peoples in the Yukon in the 1990s, but by that point, almost all the gold had been mined out of the ground.”

      “The Klondike gold rush was a rolling disaster that captured tens of thousands of people. When the first European explorers came to the Americas, they came here looking for gold. In the 1890s, that lust for precious metals eventually led men to the farthest reaches of this continent.”

      “Today, instead of 100,000 people descending on a small patch of land, you have large corporations digging treasures out of the ground. But the legacies these mining operations leave behind are just like what happened in the Klondike: workers with broken bodies, environmental destruction, the dispossession of Indigenous land, sexual violence. The gold rushes never stopped. They just morphed into something different.”

    1. When gold was discovered in the Yukon, 100,000 people desperately tried to make it to a small patch of land in one of the most remote environments on the continent. Few made it all the way. The Klondike Gold Rush was many things: a media conspiracy, a ponzi scheme, a land grab. But above all, it was a humanitarian disaster that stretched over much of the Pacific Northwest.

      “The truth is that all of the gold that was mined out of the Klondike was under Indigenous land. There was no treaty with any of the Indigenous peoples in the Yukon.”

      “That land was stolen by the Canadian state and that gold was whisked away by private interests. The Federal Government only signed land claims with Indigenous peoples in the Yukon in the 1990s, but by that point, almost all the gold had been mined out of the ground.”

      “The Klondike gold rush was a rolling disaster that captured tens of thousands of people. When the first European explorers came to the Americas, they came here looking for gold. In the 1890s, that lust for precious metals eventually led men to the farthest reaches of this continent.”

      “Today, instead of 100,000 people descending on a small patch of land, you have large corporations digging treasures out of the ground. But the legacies these mining operations leave behind are just like what happened in the Klondike: workers with broken bodies, environmental destruction, the dispossession of Indigenous land, sexual violence. The gold rushes never stopped. They just morphed into something different.”

      Canada is Fake

      “Canada is not an accident or a work in progress or a thought experiment. I mean that Canada is a scam — a pyramid scheme, a ruse, a heist. Canada is a front. And it’s a front for a massive network of resource extraction companies, oil barons, and mining magnates.”

    1. Canada is not an accident or a work in progress or a thought experiment. I mean that Canada is a scam — a pyramid scheme, a ruse, a heist. Canada is a front. And it’s a front for a massive network of resource extraction companies, oil barons, and mining magnates.

      Extraction Empire

      Globally, more than 75% of prospecting and mining companies on the planet are based in Canada. Seemingly impossible to conceive, the scale of these statistics naturally extends the logic of Canada’s historical legacy as state, nation, and now, as global resource empire.

      Canada’s Indian Reserve System served, officially, as a strategy of Indigenous apartheid (preceding South African apartheid) and unofficially, as a policy of Indigenous genocide (preceding the Nazi concentration camps of World War II).

  15. Sep 2021
    1. Khelsilem Is Young, Squamish and Reshaping the Political Landscape How the kid they called Old Man Rivers is helping to change the future of his people and the region.

      “The Squamish Nation fought for decades to get their land back. In 2003, 10.5 acres of the 80-acre government-designated reserve were returned to their original inhabitants.”

    1. Leanne Betasamosake Simpson writes of all her relations with living beings, the land, and the water. She explores the disconnection that results from the building of lift locks, canals, and hydro dams in her stories of Nogojiwanong in her book, Islands of Decolonial Love.

      In our recent Stop Reset Go meeting, we discussed the goal of connection. Leanne Simpson has much to say about connection in her collection of stories.

    1. To use your brain well, get out of your brain. Paul calls this offloading. To think well, she says, “we should offload information, externalize it, move it out of our heads and into the world” (243).

      This is certainly what is happening in the commonplace book tradition and even more explicitly in the zettelkasten tradition.

      What other methods of offloading exist besides writing and speaking? Hand gestures? Dance? What hidden modalities of offloading might indigenous societies use that Western culture might not be cognizant of?

      Often journaling or writing in a diary is a often a means of offloading the psychological cruft of one's day to be able to start afresh.

      This is some of the philosophy behind creating so-called "morning pages".

    2. We have piles of good research from the last few decades into how brains actually work. Or, if not how brains work (much remains mysterious!), what they like and don’t like.

      We're also dramatically missing thousands of years of indigenous experience as well.

  16. Jul 2021
    1. Anne: Let’s start by you telling me a little bit about the circumstances behind you coming to the United States, whenever you came, and how old you were, what your impressions were, what motivated you or your family to come.Juan: Why I had to come back to my school?Anne: Why you went to the US in the first place.Juan: Initially when I was five years old, my dad went to the US to work. He was there for three years, and then he was able to save up money to have my brother and my mom cross the border and be with him. My dad, I don't know why he chose Utah, but in specific, Provo. That's where I grew up.Anne: Provo.Juan: Yes, Provo [Chuckles]. What my dad always says is that he wanted to provide us with a better future because my dad comes from outside of the city, like the states in the south of Mexico. He lives in the small villages where the houses are still made out of mud or their houses are barely standing—where the actual Mexican culture comes from. I guess we could say the indigenous people. That's the kind of place that my dad was coming from. He just wanted to provide us with a better future than he could provide us here in Mexico. He wanted us to go with him to the US and to be able to create a better future and better opportunity for us.

      Mexico before the US, Migration from Mexico, Reasons, Economic; Time in the US, Arriving in the United States, First impressions, Living situation

  17. Jun 2021
    1. Te Hiku Media gathered huge swathes of Māori language data. Corporates are now trying to get the rights to it

      Example of tension between indigenous IP and commercial use.

    1. We hope to develop a license that is an international example for indigenous people's retention of mana over data and other intellectual property in a Western construct.

      Indigenous people's license example.

  18. May 2021
    1. No offense, but do you expect every professor to take a field trip with their class each lecture? Let’s be realistic here. How about the students get a workshop on it in the first week (and a book for all I care) and then learn to apply these techniques as they see fit outside the classroom.

      The article is about applying these techniques at the highest levels of education, at the point where the learners have already gone through 16+ years of intensive study. I wouldn't expect college professors to go on outings. But why not center these techniques and make them more mainstream at the lowest levels of education starting in kindergarten and for the first six years of formal education? Then they can become daily habits to make learning at the higher levels far easier.

      The interesting, and all-too-often ignored, feature of most colleges and universities is that they are on expansive campuses with large numbers of buildings, grounds, and surrounding neighborhoods which could specifically be used to create massive memory palaces or extended local songlines.

      Or not… some people prefer rote learning for certain actives

      Some may prefer rote memorization, though I don't personally know many who do, and I expect that most probably don't. This research study specifically underlines evidence that these Australian methods are easier and more "fun". The bigger issue is that the vast majority aren't presented with any options for alternate methods anywhere in their educations. I would suspect that the vast majority here in the forums are 15 years old or far beyond by the time they hear about these alternate methods.

      [...] others find “song, dance, painting” a little too new age to take it seriously… not passing judgement, but everyone is entitled to their opinion.

      Everyone is entitled to their opinion and you certainly have yours. I feel as if you have, however, passed judgment and simultaneously denigrated them (in my opinion) by labeling them "new age". The research article itself states:

      The foremost consideration with respect to teaching of the Australian Aboriginal memory technique is the cultural safety aspect and respect for the peoples who developed this approach. In our program, the teaching of this program was administered by an experienced Australian Aboriginal Educator, who was able to integrate the method into our teaching program, while simultaneously preventing several breaches of cultural etiquette and terminology which could easily have compromised the material had it been delivered by a non-Australian Aboriginal educator (TY), however well-intentioned.

      They're specifically mentioning here the lack of respect and attention (usually from Westerners, which I suspect includes you) that these methods are given outside of their home culture. I would suggest that you don't value these approaches because they weren't centered or focused on in your own cultural education. As a result you're missing out on the value they do contain, of which the research study under discussion provides direct peer reviewed evidence. Incidentally the metrical system you wish were centered is exactly the sort of technique that is already built into many indigenous systems and was very likely even embedded into ancient Greek culture, but it has long since disappeared and was nearly completely snuffed out by (religious) Western education reformers in the late 1500's.

      I'd recommend looking at Dr. Lynne Kelly's texts The Memory Code: The Secrets of Stonehenge, Easter Island and Other Ancient Monuments (Pegasus, 2017) and Songlines: The Power and Promise (First Knowledges) (Thames & Hudson, 2020) (with Dr. Margo Neale) for more details on some of these cultural traditions which have a more nuanced and respectful approach.

      Too often here in these forums, and in life, people treat these these mnemonic techniques as "clever hacks", when, for many current and past cultures, they were a literal way of both life and survival.

      Let’s face it, be it law school, med school, or b-school… students manage to graduate with or without techniques at the moment, so it’s not like we desperately need memory techniques in higher education.

      This is an incredibly privileged perspective. Sure these students do manage to graduate, but you're also looking a minuscule proportion of the most highly educated people on the planet. For perspective, in 2018–2019, 21,622 applicants were accepted to allopathic (MD) medical schools out of the 52,777 who applied, for an overall acceptance rate of 41% in the United States. The accepted people represent roughly 0.0003 percent of the world's population. This number doesn't get much bigger (or rosier) when you expand the population to those in all graduate schools world wide.

      I've got several hundred friends and acquaintances who did either MDs or combined MD/Ph.D. programs and very few would say their studies were easy. Why not make it easier? Why not make these methods more widespread? Why not provide them to everyone? Imagine the number who could have not only an easier time, but greater knowledge, (and more fun!)? Very few of the practicing physicians I know could still diagram the TCA-cycle described in the paper, but if you could have a more knowledgeable physician treat you, wouldn't you want that? Wouldn't you want a more educated and happier society all around?

      …I’d call that stone garden a “memory palace.” Is there an outdoor element or something that memory palaces supposedly don’t have? I really don’t get how this is different. I use outdoor memory palaces all the time

      The stone garden certainly is a memory palace for those who wish to use it that way. However, from the Australian Aboriginal perspective, there are additional layers of narrative, movement, (and potentially song, dance, and art, etc.) layered on top of it to enrich the experience. It's unfortunate that the paper doesn't go deeper into the subtleties or differences, but they're also making at least some attempt to show respect to the culture from which the technique stems. This is a place where Drs. Kelly and Neale's Songlines text may help provide additional depth and perspective, though even it would be limited in comparison with embedding yourself within a culture to have indigenous elders to teach you directly.

    1. The foremost consideration with respect to teaching of the Australian Aboriginal memory technique is the cultural safety aspect and respect for the peoples who developed this approach. In our program, the teaching of this program was administered by an experienced Australian Aboriginal Educator, who was able to integrate the method into our teaching program, while simultaneously preventing several breaches of cultural etiquette and terminology which could easily have compromised the material had it been delivered by a non-Australian Aboriginal educator (TY), however well-intentioned. The need for a deep knowledge and understanding of the appropriate context for teaching and delivery of this material is probably the main factor which would preclude more widespread adoption of this technique.

      I really appreciate the respect given to indigenous knowledge here.

      The researchers could have gone much further in depth in describing it and the aspects of what they mean by cultural "safety". They've done a disservice here by downplaying widespread adoption. Why not? Why couldn't we accord the proper respect of traditions to actively help make these techniques more widespread? Shouldn't we be willing to do the actual work to accord respect and passing on of these knowledges?

      Given my reading in the area, there seems to be an inordinate amount of (Western) "mysticism" attributed to these techniques (here and in the broader anthropology literature) rather than approaching them head-on from a more indigenous perspective. Naturally the difficult part is being trusted enough by tribal elders to be taught these methods to be able to pass them on. (Link this idea to Tim Ingold's first chapter of Anthropology: Why It Matters.)

      All this being said, the general methods known from the West, could still be modified to facilitate in widespread adoption of those techniques we do know. Further work and refinement of them could continue apace while still maintaining the proper respect of other cultures and methods, which should be the modern culture default.

      If nothing else, the West could at least roll back the educational reforms which erased their own heritage to regain those pieces. The West showing a bit of respect for itself certainly wouldn't be out of line either.

    2. As one of the authors recently pointed out [2], the cognitive demands on a person in a low-tech, paleolithic environment equal or exceed the cognitive loads placed on members of industrialized societies.

      I'll have to bump up Tyson Yunkaporta's work on my reading list, particularly the cited text:

      Yunkaporta T. Sand talk: how Indigenous thinking can save the world. Melbourne, Victoria: Text Publishing Company; 2019.

    3. A fourth theme to emerge from the analysis of the data, is the highly relevant ‘cultural’ aspect to this memorization technique which students greatly appreciated. As one student notes: “I like the idea of connecting Indigenous culture with science learning…”. The theme of culture overlays learning and demonstrates the importance of conceptualising Australian Aboriginal ways of knowing or learning with or from rather than about Australian Aboriginal people and their knowledge systems. As Yunkaporta [2, p. 15] states, it is important not to examine Australian Aboriginal knowledge systems, but to explore the external systems “from an Indigenous knowledge perspective”.

      This is so heartwarming to me.

    4. An important ancillary benefit was improved understanding and awareness of Indigenous Health and cultural safety.

      Not to mention a more sophisticated view of their culture and contributions instead of viewing them as "lesser", which is the dominant mode in most Western cultures.

  19. Mar 2021
    1. I love the ideas hiding in some of these design elements. The pieces are very atomic, but can be built up into some fascinating bigger designs.

      I'm curious if there are any mnemonics attached to these that add additional levels of meaning in the art in which they're embedded?

      The attached video was incredibly helpful: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kc3K-MyH3xg

  20. Feb 2021
  21. Jan 2021
    1. To acknowledge the traditional territory is to recognize its longer history, reaching beyond colonization and the establishment of European colonies, as well as its significance for the Indigenous peoples who lived and continue to live upon this territory, and whose practices and spiritualities were tied to the land and continue to develop in relationship to the land and its other inhabitants today.

      Particularly interesting to see the phrase "spiritualities were tied to the land" now knowing the power of mnemonics for a variety of indigenous peoples.

  22. Dec 2020
    1. Facebook has acted as a force for digital colonialism, attempting to become the de facto (and only) experience of the internet for people all over the world.

      In this framing, the IndieWeb is a group of Indigenous peoples who lived on the web before the colonializing Facebook arrived to tell us how we ought to be living.

  23. Oct 2020
    1. According to a recent Dutch study, that point of view still holds true today: Protestants and citizens of predominately Protestant countries tend to conflate labor with personal satisfaction more than those of other religious traditions.

      How does this juxtapose with the ideas of indigenous scocieties in James Suzman's article The 300,000-year case for the 15-hour week (Financial Times, 2020-08-27)

    1. It looks to me like Andy and Michael are grasping at recreating with modern technology and tools what many (most? all?) indigenous cultures around the world used to ritually learn and memorize their culture's knowledge. Mnemonics, spaced repetition, graded initiation, orality, dance, and song were all used as a cohesive whole to do this.

      The best introduction to many of these methods and their pedagogic uses is best described by Lynne Kelly's book Knowledge and Power in Prehistoric Societies: Orality, Memory, and the Transmission of Culture.

      If they take her ideas as a basis and then layer on their own thinking, I think they'll get much further much quicker. Based on my reading of their work thus far, they're limiting themselves.

    1. While calling memory “the store-house of our ideas,” John Locke recognized its limitations. On the one hand, it was an incredible source of knowledge. On the other hand, it was weak and fragile. He knew that over time, memory faded and became harder to retrieve, which made it less valuable.

      As most humanists of the time may have had incredibly well-trained memories (particularly in comparison with the general loss of the art now), this is particularly interesting to me. Having had a great memory, the real value of these writings and materials is to help their memories dramatically outlive their own lifetimes. This is particularly useful as their systems of passing down ideas via memory was dramatically different than those of indigenous peoples who had a much more institutionalized version of memory methods and passing along their knowledge.

  24. Sep 2020
  25. Aug 2020
    1. More information about the public domain

      Additional Resource: I would like to recommend adding:

      Traditional Knowledge and the Public Domain. Ruth L. Okediji. CIGI Papers No. 176 — June 2018

      https://www.cigionline.org/publications/traditional-knowledge-and-public-domain

      A thought-provoking paper about the the intersection of traditional knowledge and the public domain.

    2. More information about copyright concepts

      Additional Resource: I would like to recommend adding:

      Is it possible to decolonize the Commons? An interview with Jane Anderson of Local Contexts

      https://creativecommons.org/2019/01/30/jane-anderson/

      This interview expands on TK (traditional knowledge) labels and Cultural Heritage. The interview came about after a panel the CC Global Summit, where the panelists discussed "the need for practical strategies for Indigenous communities to reclaim their rights and assert sovereignty over their own intellectual property.".

  26. Jun 2020