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Home :: Archive :: 2002 :: May ::
Re: Issues
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.1277  Thursday, 9 May 2002

[1]     From:   Clifford Stetner <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 8 May 2002 17:03:20 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.1269 Re: Issues Arising from Discussion of Possible
Southampton

[2]     From:   Marcus Dahl <
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        Date:   Thursday, 9 May 2002 08:14:21 EDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.1269 Re: Issues Arising from Discussion of Possible
Southampton P...



[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Clifford Stetner <
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Date:           Wednesday, 8 May 2002 17:03:20 -0400
Subject: 13.1269 Re: Issues Arising from Discussion of Possible
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.1269 Re: Issues Arising from Discussion of Possible
Southampton

> > Surely you don't mean to suggest that such fundamental human
> > traits as shame are not intrinsic to the human psyche.  You would,
> > I think, be hard pressed to find a reputable mental health professional
> > who would suggest that the inability to feel shame was not a serious
> > abnormality. What shames us, and how we react and express that
> > shame are the factors affected by cultural and environmental conditions.

Isn't this exactly what Foucault following Nietzsche claims almost
single-handedly distinguishes modern from premodern subjectivity? In
Discipline and Punish for instance, Foucault follows Nietzsche in
identifying public displays of torture as the mechanism by which people
were taught to internalize behavioral controls which the modern European
experiences as shame.

> > For my part, I see no reason to assume that the level of
> > homosexuality has ebbed and flowed as a result of social
> > and cultural factors.
>
> The strange assumption would be that the level hasn't changed despite
> social, cultural, and genetic factors, unless one can find a pressure to
> promote stability.
>
> To create "stasis" they'd have to cancel not merely "to some extent", as
> you assume, but quite precisely. It may be that at a certain level of
> homosexuality in a population there is achieved a system which has
> advantages over systems at other rates of homosexuality, and that these
> advantages tend to give systems at this rate greater longevity than
> others. Were it the case that a system near to such a level experiences
> a pressure to go to the advantageous level, one would expect to find
> systems at the advantageous level more often than would be the case if
> systems had, as it were, to stumble upon the advantageous level and had
> nothing to keep them there. Such a 'local pull' around the advantageous
> level would indeed create a pressure towards stability.

I should probably not introduce facts I'm not prepared to support with
sources, but I did read somewhere that the rate of homosexuality shows a
remarkable stability at ten percent of any given cultural group.

Clifford

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Marcus Dahl <
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Date:           Thursday, 9 May 2002 08:14:21 EDT
Subject: 13.1269 Re: Issues Arising from Discussion of Possible
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.1269 Re: Issues Arising from Discussion of Possible
Southampton P...

Gabriel,

Could you please explain the following passage a bit more...I always
thought the idea of natural law generally evoked by scientific
explanation was the movement towards least resistance ... i.e. it is
easier for a cup to fall and smash than it is for it to reassemble
itself once fallen. The smashed cup inhabits a lower energy state. It
seems to me that your idea of 'local pulls' contradicts this by assuming
that evolutionary process requires maximised states or areas of
maximised utility for certain processes rather than simply areas of
least resistance (to replication).

Perhaps it is best to leave science to scientists and get back to
Shakespeare?

>To create "stasis" they'd have to cancel not merely "to some extent", as
>you assume, but quite precisely. It may be that at a certain level of
>homosexuality in a population there is achieved a system which has
>advantages over systems at other rates of homosexuality, and that these
>advantages tend to give systems at this rate greater longevity than
>others. Were it the case that a system near to such a level experiences
>a pressure to go to the advantageous level, one would expect to find
>systems at the advantageous level more often than would be the case if
>systems had, as it were, to stumble upon the advantageous level and had
>nothing to keep them there. Such a 'local pull' around the advantageous
>level would indeed create a pressure towards stability.

All the best,
Marcus

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