Posts Tagged ‘history of names’

Memories of Humankind

December 28, 2008

What memories of the human race need to be preserved? All of them?

There have been billions of humans on this planet, over tens of thousands of years. They have created hundreds of cultures, thousand of sub-cultures. Languages have come and gone; so have religions and cults and creeds. What must we remember from this welter of memories, and why?

What is the value of the act of preservation, when the artefacts being preserved are merely symbols, that have all been replaced by perfectly good alternatives? If no one remembers a rain god of an ancient Polynesian culture, but we all now worship our scientific understanding of why it rains, have we lost something of irreplaceable value?

The human race can only remember so many things. We generate new ideas and constructs every day, and every day there are more of us to do it. There are hundreds of millions of blogs on the Web today; hundreds of millions of us are pouring our thoughts and ideas into a massive, bubbling  stew of human knowledge and aspirations and passions. Something must give and must be lost so that these new ideas can take their place in our consciousness. The old ways of naming and calling must wither away, until all we have are some old jokes and hoary myths.

Thinking of this while listening to Siouxsie and the Banshees, wondering what fascination Native American, the Sioux tribe in particular, must have had for a British born punk artist.