Monday, June 6, 2011

Thoughts on Cultural Evolution: Part 2

I was pleased to find on Salon today a timely exclamation point to my recent post about cultural evolution. Their articlea slideshow of places "where civilizations collide"has some great examples of modern-day cultures that have evolved from the cross-pollination of disparate cultures many years ago. As the article notes: 
These cultural crossroads are the laboratories of civilization. Distinct elements of humanity come into contact, paths cross, mixing and recombining, adapting and innovating, creating something greater than the sum of the parts.
As with productive ecosystems, these are often places of transit, frontiers, or islands amid a vast nothingness. Commerce, conquest, climate and imperialism usually drive the intermingling of different peoples, generating both friction and beautiful moments of coexistence and tolerance. More than abstract social experiments, these cultural crossroads also happen to make some of the most interesting, historically complex places to visit. 
I agree...these cultures are all the richer for their variegated heritages (is that a word? Heritages?), and we citizens of the world are lucky to have them.


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