The big story last year was the story of someone called Hilary and someone called Trump. The story of Brad-Jollie or was it Brangelina, aslo made a bit of a splash.
The story of Creation is a story and was written down in a big book. The story of Evolution, also a story, was written down by C. Darwin, and many others who now call it a Theory. Stories are much older than writing tho. Another big book of stories is called the Mahabharata, ancient tales of the mystic East, which was spoken in story long before it was written down. A story told down the generations as an oral history. Just as the Bible was.
Anouther big story from last year was the book; “Sapiens “by, Y.N. Harari. A book written story about this research into Humankind inwhich he tells the story of Gossip. Gossip theory is a multidisiplined Science, yes, many stories and many sides to that story.
The story goes like this. It is a story (amoung other things) about Race, race being such a contentious issue these days. For a coulpe of Hundred thousand years there were differant races of Humans, or more correctly Sapiens. But not completely different, as then there would’ve been no intermarriage between the Families of the early ancestors, the Ancients.
There were different Tribes, the Homo Sapiens, thats all of us living now. The H. neaderthalensis , the Neaderthals alive 4 00 000–40 000 years ago. The Denisovans, found in southern Siberia in the cave Denisova, with Neaderthals ranging in Europe and across the Middle East. Earlier progenitors went extinct previous Millenia before, like H. habalis; and H. naledi found not too far from where I am writing here in the Cradle of Humankind. The full timespan we are talking about goes as far back but not much more than a Million years ago to where we could recognise our forebares as any kind of family.
Today we are the only ones left, our brothers and sisters died out 40 000 years ago, the last neaderthals hanging onto the rock of Gibralter in 38 000 B.C. Humans went onto colonize and organize the origional Cities some 12 000 years ago, and the question is — How did they do it? One reason was the weather changed. Humans are always interested in the Weather. Global Warming occured and the Northern landscape changed as the cold snows retreated with a thawing of the Ice Age. Things got warmer and cultivation of Agricultre was developed. A technological advance. How did we do it and why?
Some stories point at the truth. Some divert from the truth and then others are barely relative. Blood groups mark our progess with technological developments in the human race. O is the Original, A = Agriculture of grains, B = Livestock and animal husbandry, with AB blood groups arising around the time of the Jesus story. AB develops in children today with fast thinking brains totaly connected with all electronic means of communications. And reconizing that the Shoulder /Scapular joint gives us upper dexterity not so common in the Mammal kingdom, a shared traite only incommon with our fellow large Apes and the Lemurs of Madagasca. God made Woman from Adam’s rib so they say, and he came from dust. Now we dig in the dust for slivers of rib or any bones come to hand, to find out how we came about.
The Human Genome sequence has been fleshed out into anouther tale about the Mitochondrial Eve. Our “original” ancestor. But how did cognition develop into ‘awareness’ ? The streams of Life comming down physically/biomechanically, through stories psychological and genetical, the by product is technological. We have created Wi-Fi with seamless invisible communication. This was only dreamed up in childhood games theorizing about tellepathic communication. Like dreams telling the stories of flying and self driving cars of the future. Google execs stating how now we are coding to program people. Code is anouther word for gossip, secrets and lies and conjecture and possible truth. Sign language being the earlist of code.
Humans, like other Primates, like to sit on their rumps, with their spines erect. Freeing the hands for expression and manipulation, always connected to the eyes. While making face to face conversation in real time, as preparing, sorting, storing, and cooking food. What spurred that massive leap in Human development over the ages, only in the last 50k years?
Gossip theory — attemps to answer this, with the help of Cognitive Embodyment and studies of old sculls and fossils. Our current closest relatives in the world are the Apes — Gorillas, Chimpanzees, Orangotangs and the Binobos. The Voicebox of the Chimps sits high in the throught at the back of the month, similar to the Neaderthals. This story has been established by studying bones and sculls of the differing Species. Our Voiceboxes are much lower in the middle of the neck, it is mainly Cartiledge and would not fossilize well and has been overlooked by Science, only being recognized recently, as a probable story of our ancestors. Our vocals are as a resut, far more able to produce a wide variety of sounds, from Bass/baratone to alto and Sopprano. Chimps and the others grunt, call, scream and roar for communication with their kin, Humans have developed talking as well as singing, mimicing and dancing. This suggests a far greater connectivity in Sapiens neural networks through the body and brains, as creativity manifests in multiple new directions.
Chimps have a different intellegence and the physical ability to survive in the Forrest with a better chance than ours. Nevertheless, we have developed greater connectivity in our brains and the 100 000’s of nerve connections to the meat on our bones. The Neaderthals had a more massive brain but were wired differently. Neurological Pathways, our Habits were different.
“Gee us the craik”, my Aunty said. “What does that mean J ?” I said.
“Give us the lowdown on whats happening. Whats the gossip?”
As the Hunter gatherers brought back their produce for the day to clean and prepare, this would be mostly the Women and Children, and the sories would begin to flow with the chatting as you worked. the Men were hunting the big Game. This was not an idyllic dream of the pastoral past, the fight for survival was fierce. Who was doing who, and whoes who in the zoo. Cain killed Able, with the animals of the Wild were all around. Talking and developing vocabulary and ultimately Language through gossiping and telling syories around the campfire. Creating new nurological pathways giving us the search for meaning; cognition and understanding to create more tools for production in the new day. Sentience we already had, with our fellows animals in the world, but Empathy and Obsession with the Mythos and the Fable and the knack of telling a good story came to bring forth the world we have today.
Politics is a story, Religion is a story of a story, the news and the blues, the rumours too. Rumours of war, the Heroic epic was one of the first ever stories to be written down on a piece of Babylonian Clay. “The medium is the message”, said M. McLuhan. Hold on Mr. Marshal, if the kids lost their phones and e-mail today, would the truth not be out there? The Babyboomers dont know how the Internet works; Generations X; Y; and the Millenials are between, with Gen Z totaly connected to the wired world. This disparity of stories and doors of perception, ambivilant world views, the old and the new, and the not so new new, create cognitive disconent view of reality. As humans we value the mythos of our relative stories to the tangible reality of our bodies. Post Moderism has passed as a paradigm explaining reality, it is no longer a valid story, Reality is not beholden to the eye of the observer, reality is not just relative. Philosophers come and go.
As R.Feynman said, “The real problem in speech is not precise language. The problem is clear language. . . and then the precision should be put in the place where the doubt exists. It is really quite impossible to say anything with absolute precision, unless that thing is so abstracted from the real world as to not represent any real thing.”
The Scientific Method and the propaganda of Big Brother fight for control in the stories of our times. Nanotechnology, robots and drones ushering in a Psyfi fear of distopian stories of machines taking us over. And then the every present story of You and your Family, marching forward in time through the generations.
A last word on Cognition and its development through embodied experience are Habits. Repeated actions perfected through repetition, create neurological pathways. These pathways within us go for a hundred thousand kilometers, entrentching habits that are obsessive or routine, medicated and compulsive and emotional and intuitive, like an old vynal record stuck on the needle continually repeated. To change you have to consciencely move and lift the needle off the record. Choice, conscience choice. You cant teach an old dog new tricks, they say the common sense story goes. Or have you heard the fable about the 3 Monkeys that speak no evil, hear none and say none too ? Hiding the truth. Speak truth to power. the tabloids scream for attention while the cartel cook up some more Fake News. Be skeptical and even if a very important person said it, and it doesn’t stand up to testing in the real world. Then it is not true.Choice, and Life choices and decisions that detirmine our destany. Old habits can be changed by understanding nature and remembering all the stories of the love of our Families, our Culture, our Wars and our Civilizations.