Here is a bit from my ‘statement’ for my first solo show:

“It all constitutes a search for the moment of (recognition?). And when I find it, there is always that small buzz of (pleasure?) which wants to be caught and made larger. It indicates that something is important and worth noticing. How much of this ‘small buzz of (pleasure?)’ is hardwired and how much culturally acquired (what is the difference?) is a different question. “

A friend who I had asked to read the statement and comment asked about this bit: ‘How much of this ‘small buzz of (pleasure?)’ is hardwired and how much culturally acquired (what is the difference?)’ in particular about ‘what is the difference?’ At first, I groaned and realised that my tendency to flaunt phrases to impress had been caught out. Then in trying to maintain face, I mentioned that the Lamark had proposed at one point that characteristics acquired during an organism’s lifetime could be passed on to the next generation. I understood that there was a conflict between Lamark’s ideas and Darwin’s. I understand Darwin’s theory to mean that an organism can only pass on characteristics which the organism was born with. My friend then mentioned some research she had seen recently that brought into doubt the belief that lifetime acquired characteristics can not be passed on to offspring and I believe I have also seen something similar.

So that could explain ‘How much of this ‘small buzz of (pleasure?)’ is hardwired and how much culturally acquired (what is the difference?). in that it might not be certain that the ‘buzz’ is hardwired and that it might arise from cultural experience. I think I am talking nonsense at this point so would merely want to say that it seems to me that something that is ‘hard-wired’ deserves more respect and is more ‘real’ that something that is culturally acquired. and perhaps this is only because hardwiring takes a very long time, lasts a very long time and is subject to laws that are objective and ‘natural’. Whereas culturation takes a shorter time, is contingent and subject to human direction.

then I heard Herbert Gintis speaking on ‘gene culture evolution’ :

 People have language because of gene culture evolution. Here’s how it goes. You have a little bit of communication and people care a lot about it because they need to communicate to figure out where to go to find the next profitable location for hunting and gathering. And so then we were people who have a little bit of ability to communicate, that gives rise to genetic changes that make people more capable of communicating verbally, and that leads to more cultural dependency because people use communication more in their deliberations, and so you have a circle of genes affect culture and then the culture promotes a more genetic behavior. And this is only true in humans really, because humans only… Only humans really have cumulative culture that is where from one generation to the next, you maintain a body of knowledge and pass it on, and animals, animals have culture, but they don’t have very much cumulative culture, if birds learn how to open milk bottles, one generation learns how to do it, after a while, they forget, it goes away. It’s not cumulative.

I don’t have the time or skill right now to think this through but it might pertain to my sentence ‘How much of this ‘small buzz of (pleasure?)’ is hardwired and how much culturally acquired (what is the difference?)’

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