Our own devices.

I'm a big fan of Human Behavioral Sciences, like Anthropology and Psychology.  Some of the most interesting things I have ever learned have to do with what causes us to do what we do.  I have become aware of many of the unconscious influences that impact the very things that make us who we are, and how some contradict many of the assumed ways we think we function as a society and even individuals.   You'd be very surprised to find out how little control you have over your personality, and even belief systems.   I can understand how violating of a statement that can be for some people, but it's true.

Take for example, kissing.  What makes licking another person's tongue a positive experience for couples?   I love to kiss my boyfriend... but why?  Some may say it's because I love him, which is true... but what makes kissing that symbolic act of affection that causes us to feel happy and even sexually aroused?  What if we as humans did something else instead?   Would  colliding asses with someone fulfill that same desire for affection, if we saw people doing it in romantic movies growing up?    Would a couple still kiss each other if they had never heard of or seen someone kiss before?   

What I like to imagine the most about culture, is a society without it.  Of course this is impossible, we are social creatures who need some sort of cultural experience in order to survive...
But what if... what if we somehow isolated two people (male and female) from society, starting at birth?    Kinda like a feral child raised by wild dogs.  Cruel, yes... but this is purely hypothetical.    Imagine someone who has never interacted with another culturally influenced human, or has saw/experienced anything we've created through our social existence.   Not knowing any type of difference between wrong and right.  Not knowing anything about religion, etiquette, crime, trends, science, music.   How would those two test subjects behave?  How would they solve problems?  Would they question their existence?   What would be rude to them?  How would they manage resources?  How would they communicate?   What would cause them to fight, or get along? 

Nobody was born a money-hungry, racist.    Who we are and what we believe depends very much on our exposure to society.  Whether we're alienated or conformed, there are cultural influences everywhere... not just religiously, politically, or trendy... I mean everything besides our desire to eat, sleep, and survive, is taught to us in one way or another, through both our experiences in culture and the teachings of authority.   Think about that next time you kiss your lover, give a high five, or even stop at a red light. It's all culture... even if it's what you believe makes you the individual you are.

Uploaded 05/02/2011
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