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Old February 14 2014, 08:07 PM   #39
Re: Are monocultures actually the rule?

CorporalCaptain wrote: View Post
FreedPhotons wrote: View Post
To answer that I think we need first to ask ourselves two questions:
1/ Why do we have so many cultures in the first place?
2/ Is the reason why applicable to other planets?
This is a good beginning, but what it's missing is a projection of what we are going to look like in the future. If human culture will evolve into a "monoculture", say because of global communication, the global economy, and global travel, say over the next several hundred years, then that undermines the use of humanity as an example of monocultures not being the rule. Thanks to technology, our global society is qualitatively different now than it ever has been in the past.
Fair enough, although even in a single country or city there are dozens of subcultures and communities. Ex: rappers, star trek fans, farmers... etc. - at least in humans, I don't think complete uniformity is possible. If aliens were to visit only NYC for example, they would see people with widely different clothing, hairstyles, attitudes, walking the same streets. Even in 2506 (if we survive that long) I have great difficulty imagining that people in Jakarta and NYC would be impossible to tell apart (as they would be on all Planet of Hats ST monocultures).

Richard Dawkins is hardly the world's seminal sociologist. To imply that sociocultural evolution is an idea due to Dawkins or to suggest that his work was instrumental in proving that it occurs does a disservice to the scientists who actually deserve credit, including those such as Childe who made significant contributions to the field before Dawkins was even born.
Well, like everyone I can only refer to what I know. I happen to know Dawkins' work, and he did coin the word "meme" if I'm not mistaken. But I will definitely check those names out, thanks.

While many of the intelligent species encountered in Star Trek did evolve in ways similar to how humans (in-universe) evolved, that was by no means universally true of all aliens with whom communication was possible. The Companion in "Metamorphosis" and the cloud in "One of Our Planets Is Missing" have unknown origin, they do not belong to any recognizable cultures, and they are life forms of a completely different order, and yet communication was still possible with them and they were recognized as intelligent. That alone is enough to take the "have to have" out of your statement.
Well there's Star Trek and the way they choose to represent the universe and then there's real life. My opinion of real life is that I find it very difficult to believe we could communicate with intelligent life-forms who had not evolved (and therefore shared with us none of our evolutionary characteristics), since that would mean they would exist in a way that is almost impossible for us to imagine. Of course, I may be proved wrong in 3069.
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