Re: This used to be on disease and immunity

Eric Brunner (
8 Jul 1996 13:42:29 GMT wrote:
: comments are based on my own understandings, it is hardly likely that
: finding the 'terminology in the literature' would be applicable.

Feel free to post anything you want, now that you've established the value
you place on definitions of such key athropological terms as domesticatants,
cultigens and so forth. I'm sure you'll find subscribers who, like yourself,
find a dictionary an acceptable substitute for the literature. I'm still
a giggle over paleolithic. All very Humpty Dumptyesque.

: I have tried to make it clear that I am not a professional anthropologist,

This was self-evident.

: such my vocabulary in this field is probably quite limited. However, this
: does not mean that I cannot make an effort to express myself clearly.

A sucessful effort would be of different value than an effort.

: If you can suggest better terms for the meaning which I've tried to present,
: then by all means share them. Until then, Merriam-Webster seems just as
: good a place to find a match between word and concept as any other reference.

This would appear to be a poor use of my time, given your attachment to the
sources of your preferences. Generalized, your position appears to be that
for each term of specialist meaning, dictionary meaning takes precidence
until someone manages to convince you of the limitations of that meaning.

This could be extreamly tedious, since there are lots of rather loaded words
rattling about in dictionaries and a discourse on what is actually ment in
some context would have to incorporate a history of how that specialized
meaning came into being and what the theoretical issues behind each nuance
of meaning actually incorporates. Clearly, an attempt to use nomenclature
as commonly used within a field is less of an imposition upon participants
in that field than an insistance on the use of meanings provided by the
authors and publishers of dictionaries, who have their own cultural limits
and problems of ethnographic construction to compound the problem of any
useful collective understanding.

: > Since Aztec "culture" is defined as beginning in 1325 AD, I suspect that
: > you ment something else than what you've written, and Mesos in general are
: > exculded from your area(s) of prior examination.

: Since the topic seemed to have been an cultures existing around the time of
: European contact, the Aztecs seemed a good place to begin. Just because I
: chose to examine a single culture in depth does not mean that I excluded
: examination of other 'Mesos'.

I asked what you've examined. You've managed not to be responsive. Try not
to be offended, I've simply asked what you do know. It could be as obscure
as 14th century settlement patterns in the Canaries, or as mainstream as
Mesoamerican writing systems, or as on-point as maize genetics or the
ethnographic record of pathogenic events in the Valley of Mexico. It is
your offered area of in depth examination, I'm only curious to know just
what that is, given the pattern of assertions offered thus far.

: I do think I have a basic grasp on the interactions between
: these cultures, as well as an understanding of preceeding cultures.
: However, these concepts are vague, and my grasp was not enough to
: utilize these cultures in this particular post.

Well, by all means, use your own grasp over that of anthropologists.
So far you've managed to hit on basic issues in sedentism, cultigens,
settlement patterns, heck, I've lost count.

: I think that I wrote what I meant. It is possible that I was not
: clear, but my comments, I believe were focused on Aztec practices.

: > : As to the concepts of 'backwards' or 'behind', the Aztec practices of
: > : irrigation, fertilization, and terracing are still standard in agriculture

: > Sigh. These are hardly the inventors of these technologies.

: And the concepts of evolution and atomic theory were first presented
: before the current era. However, this does not stop us from crediting
: modern scientists who advanced these areas of study. My point was not

So it doesn't matter???

: that the Aztecs invented these technologies, nor that they were the
: only culture to utilize them. My point was that they did utilize them,
: and that they are still heavily used in modern agriculture. This appears
: contradictory to the concepts of a 'backwards' or 'behind' agricultural
: system.

It hardly requires wrong data to refute some crank "ranking" of cultigens
and human culture. Good data is usually sufficient.

Eric Brunner