SMBC: We’re constantly dying

via Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal.

Of course, while we’re alive, new parts of us are constantly coming into being.  But for adults, the child we once were died long ago.  That is one of the realizations that I find soothe the fear of death.

7 thoughts on “SMBC: We’re constantly dying

  1. 🙂 that was good, thanks – I’d have liked to comment further, but that’ll have to wait for some further reading on the subject and right now I’m up to my neocortex in cognitive and evolutionary accounts of ritual behavior. Someday though …

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      1. All online so far – I started with:

        ‘Why Ritualized Behavior? Precaution Systems and Action-Parsing in Developmental, Pathological and Cultural Rituals’, Boyer & Lienard 2006

        Click to access BoyerLienardBBS.pdf

        … and:

        ‘Rituals of Humans and Animals’, Alcorta & Sosis 2007

        Click to access AlcortaSosisanimalrituals.pdf

        I’ve also just started reading Harvey Whitehouse:

        http://aeon.co/magazine/being-human/harvey-whitehouse-ritual/
        http://www.nature.com/news/social-evolution-the-ritual-animal-1.12256

        … more at:

        http://www.icea.ox.ac.uk/research/ritual/publications/articles/

        If I ever run out of stuff to read … well, I don’t think that very likely – there’s more Boyer, Sosis, and Whitehouse at least 🙂

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      2. Basically it seems you’ve got the cognitive contagion avoidance aspect on one side and costly signaling theory on the other, but I wonder if it isn’t a combination of both maybe – I don’t know, further reading required.

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        1. Wow, that’s some good stuff. One question I would wonder is, do we observe ritual in any other animals? My naive answer is yes, because I’ve seen my dogs engage in it, but that raises the question if there is a distinction between habit and ritual. Maybe rituals are habits at a cultural level, that get passed down from generation to generation.

          I think about guymax’s story of a temple leader who ordered a cat that was disturbing his meditation to be tied up during meditation. After he died, the cat continued to be tied up. When the cat died, they found another cat to tie up. Centuries later people started writing treatises on the ritual of tying up the cat.

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