Re: Body manipulation and so on and so on
Robert Snower (rs222@WORLDNET.ATT.NET)
Wed, 17 Jul 1996 21:06:56 GMT
At 12:53 AM 7/18/96 +0000, Timothy Mason wrote:
>-- [ From: Timothy Mason * EMC.Ver #2.5.02 ] --
>>From Timothy Mason (firstname.lastname@example.org)
>Robert Snower says:
>> I do not understand the post that said, "Heavy mutilation appears to have
>originated in the >sado-masochistic milieu that favoured some of the more
>outrageous San Francisco bath-houses." >Isn't human sacrifice heavy
>mutilation? What about Oedipus' tearing his eyes out, Agamemnon's
>>sacrificial dismembering of his daughter Iphegenia, or ritualistic
>crucifixion? Heavy and outragious >ritualistic mutilations are undoubtedly
>of pre-historic origin.
>Try this -
> What are the origins of the Second World War?
> What are the origins of war?
First, a comment regarding your reply in toto: I do not detect very much
disagreement between us, but just to keep the thread going--
Any answer to your first question is meaningless without some measure of
tacit consensus on the answer to the second, because the second is a
specification of the first. E.g., it is meaningless to say the Second World
War had its origin in the invasion of Poland, if we do not have behind us
the assumption that "uninvited military invasions of a foreign country can
cause wars." In the case of body mutilation, I fear we have no such
consensus to make specification of.
>Several historians have had a stab at the first question, and a number of
>anthropologists, neo-Darwinians and sociologists at the second. My remark
>was of the first kind, as the context implied, and neither made nor implied
>a judgement concerning the second. I would think that the link between
>present body modification practices and those cited by Snower are pretty
>weak, but I may be wrong. My feeling about this is that tattoo parlours and
>the houses within which bodily mutilation are practiced are probably well-
>stacked with back copies of National Geographic - hey man! give me one of
>those - it looks really neat! Thus do the well-integrated ritualised
>behaviours of hunter-gatherers and pastoralists find their place upon the
>display counters of the world market-place. Whether it makes much sense to
>give the image caught in a fleetingly-glimpsed photo the status of origin, I
>do not know.
But why are those parlors well stocked with these? Why aren't they well
stocked with back copies of The Wall Street Journal - hey man! give me 100
shares of that - it looks really promising!
>I would suggest that both my suggestions are, at least, open to verification
>- the first through the use of the kinds of techniques used by
>epidemiologists, which have been successfully applied by both psychologists
>and sociologists, the second through (participant) observation. Of course,
>it may be that, as the adage has it, there are two kinds of statements in
>the social sciences - those that are profound but untestable, and those that
>are testable but trivial.
100 per cent agreement.
Best wishes. R. Snower email@example.com