Friday, December 02, 2005


Which of the Following Objects Best Represent Human Nature?

and why?

pick three

1) books
2) flags
3) space shuttles
4) musical instruments
5) tools
6) cloned sheep
7) clothing
9) computer chips
10)processed food

In order for the rest of the list to exist and therefore be applicable, books, tools, and cash [and there respective, collective, and relative derivates] are my selections. We know tools came before books; barter [cash] before books; but it is from books and the knowledge within that all else has evolved including, flags, space shuttles, musical instruments, cloned sheep, clothing, computer chips, and processed food, et al. So, for the hosts of this blog, Pickover and King, and writers alike, the pen [or the keyboard as it were] is, as it always has been, a mighty instrument that propels change. And what better representation of human nature is the art and evolution of change?
Books, flags and tools.

Books represent both the human intellect and the creative spirit of humanity.

Tools represent human ingenuity and industriousness.

Flags represent in an abstract fashion humanities greatest faults, the compartmentalization of the human species and the inevitable baggage that brings along with it--nationalism, racism, prejudice and our warlike nature.
Books-That we consider our ideas (and what a wide range of ideas we have) important enough to be written down and made into copies to share is very telling about our nature.
Flags-Point to our desire to divide ourselves into various factions and exhibits our territorial instincts.
Cash-Usually has some human face and/or important building, or saying on it...shows who and what we consider valuable and representative of us (or our little faction).
Too, easy...

Flags represent both our inate need to band together and our resulting rejection of other groups.

Tools and tool use are firm underpinnings of our development as a species and our subsequent survival.

Cash represents our perception of the scarcity of resources and thier value relative to one another.

I'd disagree that books are representative of our underlying nature, but rather an interesting outcome of other factors, including the above...
unfortunatly, FLAGS, CASH, and CLOTHING.

We gather into groups and hate the other groups who aren't US: (FLAGS)

We get as much as we can as fast as we can, and step on anyone who gets in the way: (CASH)

And we're superficial: (CLOTHING)
clothing, food , cash

Humans are creatures of instant gratification.
Tools, musical instruments, and clothing. Clothing is made of strings which we were making and using as clothing and decoration and nets as long as 35,000 years ago. Carpets have been known to encode language, just like scrolls and books. Tools are extensions of the hand and actually include such things as computers and cash. Musical instruments are equally old, having been made from bone and reed. They represent the human power of breath, and so represent life itself.
Computer chips. It shows how smart we are and how there's always new advancements. I think Computer chips are a major part of the future.
If you're looking for something representative of human nature, rather than human accomplishment, or human history, you have to choose something that is universal, or close to it. It has to apply to the Kalahari Bushmen as well as to the industrialized world. I choose tools, clothing, and musical instruments.
Cash, musical instruments, and flags. When you are rich cash is important, when you are poor music is important, and everyone loves to talk about politics.
Tools are what civilization has been built on.
Cash, or an exchange is what civilization has been built on.
And all cultures to my knowledge have loved music & that requires instruments.
In order to answer this, you have to start at the beginning & work forward to today.

I believe tools are first. I'm not sure if humanity could have survived without tools & they have been an integral part of society ever since.

Second, I would say clothing. At first to survive the cold & after, except in isolated examples, have been with us & flourished with great vigor all the way to the skinny-girl runway.

After that, I don't know. I want to include music, but if you do, other arts like dancing, & especially painting must be included too. If you had mentioned the arts, I would have included it.
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