6.0717 Rs: Quotation; Recording and Remembering (2/83)

Fri, 7 May 1993 18:14:03 EDT

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 6, No. 0717. Friday, 7 May 1993.

(1) Date: Fri, 07 May 93 09:30:56 BST (12 lines)
From: Virginia Knight <ZZAASVK@cms.manchester-computing-centre.ac.uk>
Subject: Tom Crowe's quotation request

(2) Date: Fri, 07 May 93 11:26:30 CST (71 lines)
From: stan kulikowski ii <STANKULI@UWF>
Subject: recording and remembering

(1) --------------------------------------------------------------------
Date: Fri, 07 May 93 09:30:56 BST
From: Virginia Knight <ZZAASVK@cms.manchester-computing-centre.ac.uk>
Subject: Tom Crowe's quotation request

Tom Crowe wanted to identify a quotation to the effect that not even
God can undo the past. This is Agathon fr. 5, cited by Aristotle at
Nicomachean Ethics 1139b. The Guadeloupian proverb may be saying something
slightly different, that God's actions are irrevocable; Agathon (and
Aristotle) are considering action in general.

Virginia Knight
University of Manchester
(2) --------------------------------------------------------------81----
Date: Fri, 07 May 93 11:26:30 CST
From: stan kulikowski ii <STANKULI@UWF>
Subject: recording and remembering

ok, ok,

since several have jumped on the 10K deaths by electrocution... that
came from 'my memory' of someone writing about the social phenomenon
associated with evaluating environmental impact statements and the like.
i could not swear the claim was for 10K deaths per year or 10K total. not
to mention whether the antielectrificationists were worried about 10K
electric deaths worldwide or just for the USA. even 800 deaths per year
in the USA might scale out to thousands in china and developing countries
where the technology is less developed and the population is high. i
have known three people who died by accidental electrocution, so the claim
does not ring terribly false to me. a few years ago i recall the center
for disease control (they publish stats on morbidity and mortality)
discussed findings on industrial electrocution which is a common form of
accident, especially for agricultural workers. fieldhands with long
irrigation pipes don't think to look up and zap themselves on low slung
power lines. the point was that even when the predictions of impact
statements are correct, the social implications are not.

i think the claims for literacy lessening social use of memory was one
of those accurate impact predictions, but the social implications were
wrong. few people in our society would want to go back to the days of
scribe literacy... even though we are probably returning there by the force
of video anyway. i was really more concerned about finding someone to
give a pointer to the augustine quote.

and on the matter of camera technology and memory. i always carry a
small camcorder when i am a tourist. i got one that just fits tucked away
between elbow and wrist, so the fire button can be pressed without
bringing the thing up before my face. that is the threatening action
which is anthropologically objectionable. it is an intensification of
the stare, which is generally impolite. i record as i walk around to
look at stuff or talk with people. most people do not even notice that
the camera is operational since i am not sighting thru the eye piece. the
resultant tapes rarely show the things that most tourists' photograph.

my vcr tapes are manifestly understandable to kids in elementary
schools. you see where the dogs poop on the streets of paris. hear what
the beggars ask for. see the ducks swimming in the oily riverwater-- oh
yeah, that thing in the background happens to be a cathedral called
notredame. who cares about that? the kids today know that life isn't
real until you see it on television. i make my videotapes so when i get
home i can determine if i had any fun while on vacation. events in
realtime are ambiguous. it only thru the television (meaning, distance
viewing afterall) that we have proper perspective to evaluate anything
worth having.

memory is too subject to reconstruction to be reliable. i have recently
joined a group called MUFON (mutual UFO network) who offer support
services to the victims of alien abductions. after months of meeting with
these people (there are now 1000s of them nationwide for you number
watchers) and listening to their testimony, the hypnotic regression
technique most often used to 'restore their memory of missing time' seems
highly suggestible to cultural motifs-- currently the little grey guys
with the big black eyes. psychiatrists claim to be convinced because of
the uniform level of somatic detail that the abductees produce in their
'memories'. the stories the abductees tell are well worth the effort to
study in their own right. the writing and taping and other means of
recording the abduction phenomena makes these memories real. and i do not
even mind if these aliens want to come to my house for dinner and sperm
. stankuli@UWF.bitnet
when a thraskin puts fingers in its ears, it is polite to shout
--- -- old venusian proverb