> Lynne Kelly’s work is really quite remarkable in
> this area and demonstrates techniques used to
> commit large amounts of knowledge to memory by
> multiple different indigenous cultures. By
> extension, pre-literate cultures around the globe
> probably used similar memory techniques to ensure
> important knowledge was remembered across
Lynne Kelly's work and your perspective really are quite remarkable.
Modern people have this absurd notion that food just grew on trees. Wake up in the morning and step outside your cave and pick a few apples and a half dozen eggs and you were free to be superstitious and primitive all day long. But nature, reality, murdered almost every single individual who thought like this even before he could reproduce. Water, food, and shelter (+cloths) are nowhere and at no time so easily obtainable for more than several weeks. One must adapt to the changing environment or move on to greener pastures. The alternative is death. It requires knowledge to survive without grocery stores and cement plants not superstition and beliefs.
It was critical they first understand (theory) and then remember (words). The alternative is death. Only modern man can afford beliefs in natural or God given laws. Only modern man has the words to invent and communicate superstition. We live in a time that rewards stupidity, incompetence, and beliefs and those people who hold these as values reproduce. Even 100 years ago "intelligence" was not a significant factor in reproduction but now it actually tends to limit reproduction.
Modern man can sit in his easy chair and ponder the superstitions of ancient people but ancient people couldn't. They had work to do and homo omniscience to father.
> If you accept that knowledge was committed to
> memory in ceremony / performance and was retrieved
> through ceremony/performance as has been
> demonstrated unequivocally by Lynne in current day
> indigenous cultures then your attention must turn
> to how these ceremonies/ performances must appear
> to an observer who has knowledge of religious
> Further, Lynne has demonstrated that many of the
> most important ceremonies are for restricted
> gatherings of initiated people. We don’t know
> when, why or for what purpose superstition was
> I would posit the following theory
> around the why and what purpose:
> 1. the long term survival of the tribe was
> improved where the tribal knowledge was held by
> few rather than all people.
I doubt that anything was intentionally withheld. Rather there have always been segments of the population that aren't very clever or have poor memories. Some people are simply inclined to prefer to work with their hands or on specific tasks at which they excel.
I personally believe that children simply acquired as much Ancient Language as they were capable of acquiring among those with whom they interacted. A child with great proclivity for understanding and remembering would move up in society and those with lesser proclivity or other interests would move sideways. A few would show very limited ability to acquire language and would be laborers and helpers. Most people naturally gravitated to the work they were most suited.
There was no specialization of knowledge as there is today. Everybody knew "everything" but some were far more limited in knowledge. A few had a great deal of more specialized knowledge but this knowledge was still a part of the language.
> 2. Over time perhaps generations, the tribe would
> have seen some aspects of the memory performance
> of the elders/shaman and without the tools to
> unlock the knowledge, created their own
But I believe this applies to cultures after 2000 BC because before this there was only one language.
> It is easy to see how this could
> happen with examples of a sick person presented to
> a Shaman. He always does a dance, sings a chant
> and proclaims a treatment. To the un initiated,
> the dance and the chant is the magic that causes
> healing not the extraction of knowledge. The
> elders would also have observed neighboring tribes
> that through war or natural causes lost their
> initiates and thereafter the tribe devolved into
> attempts to copy their elders/shamans performance
I like your insights here.
Now days photographic memories are typically invented by each individual at a young age. These inventions are highly variable and tailored to the individual inventor. But it hasn't always been this way. Memory used to be a big part of language acquisition and in part a result of the millions of neural pathways that begin appearing in two year olds. What we might call eidetic memory was an outgrowth of language and the means each individual used to think. Of course, memory capacity and ability to recall would vary even in individuals who thought in digital language.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 15-Sep-18 18:37 by cladking.