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* - galaxy

congrats to Anamkwsashimasurnata Veramanakakutravedadanelat

Posted on 2010.06.05 at 08:07
"National Spelling Bee draws protesters calling for phonetic spelling" - huh? Is that an Onion article?...

So, this continental Indian girl won the National Spelling Bee - and I'm thinking about how come Indians are so smart with letters and numbers. Primes. String theory. All that. Then I realised that Indians have ridiculously long names which Westerners can't remember. I concluded that there are different ways of resolving the chaos that results from the clash between nouns and verbs, subjects and objects, etc., and the Indians decided to deal with this chaos by simply adding more and more letters and numbers to things. And they "evolved" brains that easilly remembered all this. Well, the Chinese prolly looked at this and said, "You guys are nuts!" and went off and used inflexion to convey different shades of meaning. So the Chinese don't need all those letters, they just need to say "Ping" and "Po" and "Ya" etc., in different ways - and their brains are trained to remember this inflexion. Indians see letters and numbers. Chinese see little pictures. Well, the Romans decided to add these clumsy modifiers at the end of words, and I think that is nuts. But, Westerners have brains that see forward-moving, linear time - which is pretty limbic. That's why they go to Limbo when they die, and dance and dance until God lets them join the Asians in Heaven.

I'm not saying that Indians are more evolved than Westerners. They just may have better memories in some respects. Interestingly, this morning I noticed what a fine memory my dog has. I let him outside but first removed a rawhide form his mouth. When he came back inside, he looked up to where I had put the rawhide, and waited for me to give it back to him. And I also gave him a treat but I noticed that he was preferring a little shrimp treat instead, (which I call "fish"). He dropped the first treat and waited. And I said, "No! I have no more fish! No more!" and I showed him my open hands. And he wagged his tail in appreciation that I was able to see what he was communicating to me, and he picked up the non-fish treat and walked away. Similarly, I was playing with him, and I imitated a little girl who has since moved away, "Hi King!" Then I imitated her mother, "You come inside. You stay away from that dog!" "But I wanna play with the dog!... etc." And so he looks over to where those neighbours had lived. Indeed, I think the poor beast remembers every damn thing that ever happens in his life. I think that most animals are so constantly bombarded by these memories that they have very little time to trifle with silly human things like language or cooking pasta. As I've said before, the great evolutionary advantage to being human is that we are all idiots. The only time we get a whiff of this magic we derisively call "instinct" is during sex and whammo it's already over and it's time to buy some socks or soak some beans.

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