Speaker for the Diodes - June 20th, 2007

Jun. 20th, 2007

05:28 am - QotD

"I've always wondered, who was the first person to try honey? [...] Who said, 'Look at that nest of stinging insects all flying; I bet there's something tasty in there! Hmm, let me just go in there and have a rummage'? It's probably the same person who decided that catfish might be tasty as well: 'Oh, look at that catfish, looks like a monster ... Let's taste it!' Or potatoes, that's another one. Who really ... a potato, if you didn't know? It looks like a big, dirty stone! There must have been some kind of middle-ages Fear Factor thing going on. But you only hear about the successes; you never hear about the guy who said, 'Mmm, rabbit earwax, I bet that's tasty!' (It's actually not bad. Tastes like chicken.)" -- Craig Ferguson, on the CBS television show, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson [I'm not sure what date; I caught it on a rerun. Spring 2007 when the decline in the bee population was in the headlines. -- DGA]

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02:44 pm - Thinking In Twos

Argh -- gorgeous weather today, the most comfortable we've had here in Baltimore for a while, and I'm feeling too headachy and run-down to go take advantage of it. :-( Going to see whether I can manage a nap and feel well enough to accomplish anything this evening (dunno whether I'll get to HCB rehearsal or not; need to try to get out to nail salon as well).

Something that has irked me for ages is the human tendency to create false dichotomies, and to try to interpret the world in dichotomies in general. Many things that I consider overlapping, unrelated, or subsets of a larger spectrum, get sorted into two lists presented as "opposites" and then tied to other things that are really unrelated just to have two neat columns. So, for example, myriad traits get classified as "masculine" and "feminine" just for the sake of list-making and interpreting the world as binary, when many of those traits have nothing to do with gender.

So this quote from a comment by [info] velvetpage on [info] xtian_trackback (2006-10-27) caught my attention:

The mysogyny can be traced in part to medieval theologians such as Thomas Aquinas. They brought into the church the works of certain Greek philosophers like Aristotle, who philosophized extensively about dualisms and opposites - man/woman, light/dark, good/evil, etc, etc. It was a parlour game in learned circles to come up with as many of these opposites as possible.

I can't help wondering how some of our socially-ingrained ways of thinking about classifications would be different, if that medieval parlour game had been organized in threes instead of twos, as a few similar modern (and snarky) ones are. Or in fives.

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